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All comments by John D'Errico
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Every once in a while, I pick up a human dealt hand with 12 cards. The standard thing, is if the hand with 14 cards has not seen their hand, I take one of their cards at random, where I choose the card. Then I check to see what card I received. How can it be a deuce so often?
Oct. 11, 2018
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So, would that have been a Franklinian slip?
Oct. 11, 2018
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I have some friends who like to get together, all four at a kitchen table, and play on BBO, with tablets. They can still talk with each other, so social interaction is no problem. But they get the advantages of alerts that are seen only by opponents. They get complete hand records for later discussion.

All are good friends, who frequently play together, so it is not an issue of trust at all.

It works quite well for them.
Oct. 10, 2018
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When we played that board, partner also opened a 14+ to 17 1NT. North overcalled 2♡, natural. I was contemplating passing it out myself, opposite a possible 14 count if North had said nothing, but once 2♡ was in the mix, what to do?

Partner rags on me for not doubling enough at match points, so I did. -2 for +500 was worth 16/17 on our card. I checked, one pair did bid and make 3NT with an overtrick, against a pair who are known to defend erratically, so they may have been lucky in their choice of opponents. 4 other pairs E-W did manage to make 10 tricks in NT part scores. 10 pairs scored 7 or 8 tricks in NT partials - mostly in 2NT.

Anyway, in our club a NT part score making 9 tricks would have match-pointed around 11/17.
Oct. 10, 2018
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East fell in love with his hand. Not like I've never done that before. But here, it was pretty much all East in my eyes.
Oct. 8, 2018
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I tried to like this response twice, but that just makes it a null-like. So assume I've liked it an odd number of times n, for odd n>1.
Sept. 26, 2018
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David, is that a snarkish reference? Let me count, did he say so 3 times?
Sept. 26, 2018
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If you agree that East can open this hand in third seat, as long as they have distribution, then you are agreeing to psych on some specific hand types. After all, your statement is that:

“East avoids opening without distribution.”

This sounds like the start of an agreement about when to psych to me.

Sorry, but all of this feels like you are trying to skirt the boundaries of what is legal, and you are trying to determine exactly how far you can push things, what you can get away with. It is a bit of a slippery slope.

As far as N-S not being able to find their heart fit, I cannot imagine not making a TO double with the South hand after 1♣.
Sept. 25, 2018
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Yup.

Or just consider two players, both ACBL members, having lived here all their lives. A is seriously good, but plays relatively little, due to work considerations. B plays a LOT, is ok, but has 10x as many monster points as A. Playing a lot does that. Surely A should be assigned additional points to reflect the disparity in skill? If not, then what justifies doing just that for visiting players from other countries?
Sept. 19, 2018
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If you pass, suppose North passes the double of 2♠. Now East must surely bid, but East now has options, in showing where their strength lies with a maximum hand if they can bid below 3♡. So I might argue that 3♡ is weaker than pass here. It tells partner that you are uninterested in game because it removes any chance for partner to tuck in a bid below 3♡. Even if North bids 3♠ in front of partner, your pass should be a cooperative signal to partner that you would have been interested in game. My take, at least.

Given the minor suit quacks, I'd just bid 3♡, and as Richard says, it also takes away bidding room from your opponents.
Sept. 15, 2018
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I'm still working on whether to show current or original count on the second round…
Sept. 15, 2018
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So, would you tell your kids it is ok to only plagiarize someone else's work, as long as they only lift part of it, perhaps the less interesting part? Teach them it is ok to copy the work of others as their own, even in part, and tomorrow they will copy a larger fraction.

Mark has made his living as a journalist, selling those words as his own creation. If he draws your eyes in by what he writes, even if it is only the intro, and we accept this action as acceptable, then we encourage others that it is acceptable behavior.

Mark has been a busy guy. Too busy apparently to do the writing himself. But when he decided that copyright laws were only there for others to follow, then he is taking on too much work.
Aug. 4, 2018
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Ross Amann has pointed out that I missed one point, that at trick 3, I can afford to rise with the club jack. This avoids the need for North to hold the club 10. With care in the play to ensure a heart ruff, the same defensive lines will still apply.
Aug. 2, 2018
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North did say 5-7, out loud. With no question asked. I should have made that more clear. No questions were asked by the defense in the bidding at all, until dummy came down, when the director was called because it seemed there was UI involved. They did ask the meaning of 1♡, which was explained.

The question posed to the director was, if South knows that North thinks he has 5-7 HCP, then South knows that North has something extra, due to his jump to 3NT. The jump to 3NT, coupled with the info about 5-7 caused the issue with UI in my eyes.

How did I know that North was responding as if to Blackwood? North's responses to 4NT and 5NT seemed to be made in the tempo of a Blackwood response in the bidding. If North had a real heart suit there, he probably would have thought for a few seconds each time. Thus, should I take out 4NT to 5♡, take out 5NT to 6♡? There was no real thought involved, beyond the time to count a number of aces & kings. So my gut told me they were intended as Blackwood responses, of an unspecified variety. That conclusion seems born out by the number of aces and kings held by North.

In the end, after reading what you have said, North should never have offered the range without being asked for the meaning of the double. This would have let South try anything he wanted.
June 14, 2018
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No screens.
June 14, 2018
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Double was explained immediately as 5-7, with no question made.
June 14, 2018
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South apparently did not know what Double showed. But he also did not know what to do immediately, so he decided that X would get things started.
June 14, 2018
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The alert was made, then without a direct question, was explained immediately as 5-7. So the explanation was offered without a question made.
June 14, 2018
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North played the contract, not South. Along the way, North took a diamond finesse to the queen. Seeing the jack told him to then hook the 10. At least that is what I think happened. There was some confusion due to the director call.
June 14, 2018
John D'Errico edited this comment June 14, 2018
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What was the pointless question?

We try very hard not to ask questions at all until after the bidding, unless there is a need to do so. In this case, since South has doubled partner's bid, it might be pertinent to know if double was penalty or takeout, or if South was showing a range.

But in fact, the Double was explained gratuitously, with NO question directly asked, as 5-7. After that, no questions were asked at all. It seemed clear they were not on the same page, so there was nothing to be gained by asking a question.
June 14, 2018
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