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All comments by John D'Errico
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The X was alerted, and immediately explained as 5-7.
June 14, 2018
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“There is no holding where the first finesse loses where a 2nd finesse will avoid the loss of a 2nd trick.”

RHO must cover on the second round. Now you see the split, and can stop drawing trumps, to play for a trump coup position in the end game.
June 10, 2018
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You missed this one too:

With a stiff honor offside, you initially appear to lose two tricks either way. You lose one trick on the first hook, because with H832, RHO should never cover on the first found. Then that pesky RHO is awake on the second round, so they cover to ensure their 8 will take a second trump trick.

This presumes that you do not have the option of playing for a trump coup later on, when you see the poor break. So stop drawing trumps after the second round, while you remain with K7 over 83 on your right. You will need to get two ruffs in hand along the way to shorten your trumps, then arrange to be in dummy in the end game to lead through RHO.
June 10, 2018
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Don't forget that you will lose two tricks to QJx offside with the double hook, whereas you lose only 1 trick there by cashing the AK.
June 10, 2018
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None of the choices they did make were overtly terrible. On a different hand, they all might have worked better. I'd say that both North and South took the actions that MIGHT have found them in a making game on a better day. They both acted optimistically.

If anything, that was the problem. They would have been happier had one played the role of designated pessimist.
June 7, 2018
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Is the mis-spelling of Norway as Noway any hint of your personal predictions? I'd think that team might at least have some chance. :)
June 5, 2018
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I've added two new poll options just now.
May 29, 2018
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Clearly the problem is shared by all the “B” activities, Bridge, Barbershop harmony, Bowling, Baseball, …

But who would ever have known that the choice of what letter a name starts with might be the kiss of death? Yes, I sometimes whistfully wonder if a different name had been chosen long ago, if things would now be different?
May 21, 2018
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Max & company really impressed me, so that the next time we see them we won't be thinking underdog anymore.
May 15, 2018
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I assume you mean an immediate jump to 4♢? That might be an interesting idea. But I hate to have the system force us unilaterally past 3NT on a semi-balanced hand. Could responder be 2443 in shape, and the place to play this contract is in 3NT? It is so hard to get there after 4♢.

If the scoring is IMPs, you might not feel so bad at heading for a ♢ contract. But 5♢==death at matchpoints.
May 9, 2018
John D'Errico edited this comment May 9, 2018
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Or, would 4 of the minor then be minorwood? Bidding can be so confusing somedays. :)
May 8, 2018
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5♣ is not GF with the indicated minor? :p Ok, if partner takes it out to 4 of the minor, you can always pass and hope they don't call the director.
May 8, 2018
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As I recall, EHAA has none. Certainly playable. At least one local pair around here plays it still, and does well enough. At pairs, such a system can offer some advantages due to a high variance.
May 8, 2018
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Of course, this question was after dummy came down. And it was asked by declarer. So waking partner (dummy) is not an issue. Dummy can sleep as much as they want, as long as they turn the cards as requested.
May 7, 2018
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Yes, you can consider if there is unmistakable UI, consider if a problem has been thrust upon you.

But as soon as you start to try to figure out what it is that partner MIGHT have been thinking about, you are driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Now you are focusing on what partner might have that would have encouraged them to do something they should not do. Now you are actively using the UI to make inferences about partner's hand.

Partners will sometimes have a problem, and unintentionally pass along UI. But my argument is it is better to be deaf and blind to what they communicated illegally, than to focus on what they may have. If you have a clear cut response to what was LEGALLY shown by partner's bid, then that is your correct response. If your choice of bids is not clearcut, then as I said before, the problem has been thrust upon you.
May 7, 2018
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They might say they have not discussed it. But they should never tell you that you cannot even ask the question. And if they play together often, then they may well have an implicit agreement.
May 7, 2018
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Always appropriate. You are asking if your opponents have an agreement, which in this case may well be very pertinent to the auction at hand.

In fact, it is true that many pairs have exactly that agreement, or something close to it. Would it have been alerted? Probably not, although actively ethical opponents would at least post-alert that fact. So it is quite reasonable of you to ask. And if they do this often enough, then it is still an agreement, just one that they wish not to disclose. In that case, filing a recorder memo would seem proper.

If they tell you that the question is inappropriate, then your response should be an immediate call to the director, which IS appropriate.
May 7, 2018
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Yes, in some cases it is too obvious to ignore. If partner had diddled for a while, and then passed, there would be a clear inference that partner was thinking of bidding, but passed. So an unmistakable signal.

But it is impossible to guess that partner was just possibly thinking of making an insufficient bid.
May 6, 2018
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If you are sitting there wondering what partner might have been thinking about when they were fumbling with the bid box, then you are thinking the wrong thing. You should do your best to ignore the tempo of your partner. There is no information to be gained there, and any information you might gain is not legal for you to use. As soon as you start thinking about whether some bid is appropriate or not not here, you are using information that you are not allowed to have. So don't even try.

Bid what is correct for your hand to bid, per your agreements, as if no fumble had ever happened. Let the director sort it out if there is a question.
May 6, 2018
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I'd like to nominate Steve to head the BoD renovation committee. Of course, the existing BoD would probably need to approve it, so scratch that idea.

Anyway, a very thoughtful effort by Steve, and one that I hope receives serious consideration.
May 2, 2018
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