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All comments by Jeff Roman
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In the Honolulu BRP my partner (John Fout) led against 4s, and declarer asked “leads and carding?” I told her and ended with “and we sometimes play suit preference in the trump,suit”. She says what do you mean, sometimes? I said well this (I casually played a card face down on the table) is just following suit, but this (I THUMBED a card face down and STARED at John) is suit preference. She looks at me and says you can't do that! I look over at her husband, eyebrows arched, and he says “I think he's kidding, honey…”
Oct. 29, 2015
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There are still plenty of people around who remember this…I still get reminded of it several times every year…

I was 14 or 15, something happened at my table, which meant that I needed that woman over there to come over here. So I did what I had done my entire life when I needed that woman over there to come over here: in a hotel ballroom full of tables of bridge, I raised my hand and my voice and called out “Mom!”. The room erupted in laughter as my mother headed over, and the floor steadfastly refused to swallow me whole…


Edited because a couple people wrote to ask…yes, the director was (is) my mother.
Oct. 28, 2015
Jeff Roman edited this comment Oct. 29, 2015
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Years ago, playing with Aaron Silverstein, we played against a very talented pair. They had a relay auction to 6d, leaving Aaron on lead. He asked, and the dummy said all my bids were relays, and my partners hand is…and then he called it. Aaron leads, the dummy comes down, and he and I and declarer are just staring at the player who is the dummy. “What?” he asks. I say “well, if that's his hand, how's he going to make 6 diamonds?” He looks at his hand, lets out a moan and his chin sinks into his chest. Declarer says cheerfully “well, you explained the bidding great!”. :)
Oct. 26, 2015
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If I tried to share all of the hysterical things…prolly crash the internet, but here's one of my faves:

A friend of a friend had about 5 masterpoints, but she was VERY enthusiastic. She had just learned about The Negative Double and thought it was perhaps the greatest thing she'd ever heard of. Now SHE'S explaining how they work to HER partner…so they come to the club and have the auction 1c - p - x (because she was 4-4 in the majors, and what else would you do?). The next guy asks can you do that? And they proudly explain sure! It's The Negative Double. But the man persists “but what would the contract be?” So they call the director, and it all goes downhill from there. Now, after the game, I'm chatting with my friend when these two come up, tell us what happened and ask for an explanation. Once we caught our breath from laughing, we did some educating. The cherry on top was when the partner turns to my friends' friend and says “so these negative doubles aren't THAT great. I mean, they require opponent cooperation of some kind…”
Oct. 26, 2015
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The difference between this hand, and one where the layout is AKQJ of clubs opposite 1098xxx is that this hand has a “gotcha” to it. I'd be willing to bet that if clubs been AKQJ opposite 109xxxx, the director wouldn't have been called. Further, if s/he HAD been called, the swift ruling (upheld in committee) would be 13 tricks taken. There's no chance in the world that a declarer who had noticed the blockage in the club suit, and the necessity of crossing to the dummy with the 9 of diamonds would fail to mention it in the claiming statement. Getting hung up on the perception that no competent declarer would ever get this wrong is misguided.

The ruling isn't that the person can't declare, the ruling is that the person misclaimed.
Oct. 24, 2015
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I don't think this problem is particularly interesting, or even close (from the standpoint of making a ruling as a table director or committee). The failure to mention the club situation in a trick one claim means declarer didn't see it AT THAT MOMENT. Would they have? Almost certainly. But “almost” is where the rubber meets the road here.

As the opponents in this situ, we can all decide for ourselves if we would call the director or not, but we can't vilify players who would choose to do so…bridge is a game of rules.

As the declarer in this situ, of COURSE you'd be kicking yourself, but let me give a different slant to this…recently, a close friend (and world class player) claimed a slam, they all scored it up, thanks all around for a good match, out to wait for teammates to finish. He then realized that his claim of “draw trumps and claim” would result in down 1, because of some timing issue very similar to this one (I don't remember the precise details). Despite his certainty that he would've seen the issue in time (it was fairly trivial), he went back in and told his opponents to score the board as down 1…

As for you, Boye…“thank you” seems woefully inadequate, but I'll go with it for now.
Oct. 24, 2015
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For years I played that tranferring to a minor got the answer to the question “Partner, if I were to table AQ or KQ 6th of this minor and no other hcps, would you like to play 3nt?” (No-Yes). I have since been convinced by people I respect that this is too low-frequency, and that there are better methods available. Therefore with my current methods I would just play 3c and call it the cost of doing business.
Oct. 24, 2015
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I love this letter and greatly admire the Dutch NBO for writing it. Unfortunately, the WBF is too far gone (at least under it's current leadership) and too deeply entrenched in its beaurocratic ways to ever right the ship. Mr. Rona and Mr. Harris (and probably others) need to be shown the door, and sooner rather than later.
Oct. 22, 2015
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Frigid is the hand where we go for 1100, and then express our disappointment that our teammates didn't bid their vul 6c in the 5-2 fit which, once trumps are 3-3 and the heart hook wins…is frigid. :)
Oct. 18, 2015
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It was my intention to lead the J of hearts, but apparently I fat-fingered the Q of clubs.
Oct. 15, 2015
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Exactly.
Oct. 14, 2015
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I don't know Mr. Harris, but what could have possessed him to allow his name…tell you what, forget that, let's do it this way…

If asked (ordered, whatever) to sign and issue this statement, would any of you have done so?

I sure as hell wouldn't.

Having read the interview with Mr. Rona (the one who doesn't seem to grasp that Rome is burning) and now this (from the one who understands that Rome is burning, but wants to blame the people trying to put out the fires) it's clear which two heads should roll first.
Oct. 14, 2015
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I held Axx, - , Axx, AKQJ10xx My student opened 2s. Now, I knew 5nt was not an option here, so I bid 2nt, knowing that if she didn't bid 3h, then her response to 4nt would be all about spades. The opps cashed 5 hearts, and I claimed. Later, when I discussed this hand with her… “Well, I didn't have a feature”. :) I asked her…“so, if I bid 4nt and you don't have any keycards, are you going to pass?” “Oh I see…”
Oct. 11, 2015
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Christian, yours weren't the only eyes that welled up while reading this powerful, brilliant post.

Thank you, Fred.
Oct. 10, 2015
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Geoff, spare us the sugar-coating and just tell us what you think, geez…need a decoder ring with this guy. (Insert rim shot here).

Wouldn't it be accurate to say that for the most part the strongest teams in the world enter the Reisinger? As for random, I don't understand that comment at all. Before Swiss teams, tournaments ended with BAMs. The reason Swiss swept the nation upon its invention is that the lesser teams have a chance. Six flat hands and on the 7th, you and Eric bid a grand, find trumps 4-0 offside, and when your opponents play 3nt, you lose the match by 13, haveaniceday. But in the Reisinger? That team has zero chance. I'm genuinely surprised to hear such strong feelings against the event.
Oct. 8, 2015
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Jeff, what about holding the Reisinger the first three days? We have always tried to have one pair event per year that not everyone can play in. It used to be the LMs, now everybody is an LM. Then it was the BRP, everybody has BRq's. Now we have the Plats. If an event has to go, make it the BRPs. (Yeah, I love the Reisinger).
Oct. 7, 2015
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I let people get away with almost everything in clubs. In cases of cheating I go up to them after the game and have a friendly private chat, discuss what happened, do some educating, keep it light. But the eye-rollers? The “we're not just stupid, we're aggressive about it” players? It is my long experience that the behavior described in this post will turn out to be the tip of the iceberg in this pairs' repertoire, They are poison. They will alienate people (experienced and inexperienced) with their constant complaining, and the best course of action is to try to bring them around quickly. If that doesn't happen, then bridge doesn't need them.
Oct. 2, 2015
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The WBF better hope this turns out well, by which I mean that at the end of the day, there better be some seriously good reason(s) for not having told us immediately what's going on. As it stands right now, their actions are potentially only slightly less damaging to bridge than those of the cheaters.








Updated to correct a typo
Sept. 28, 2015
Jeff Roman edited this comment Sept. 28, 2015
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Thank you for clearing this up for me.
Sept. 27, 2015
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It is my understanding the the Polish team qualified without B-Z, which is the basis for their decision not to withdraw.
Sept. 27, 2015
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