Join Bridge Winners
All comments by John D'Errico
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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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Anyone who was actually qualified to take the job, should (certainly after this) be smart enough to turn it down.
May 2, 2018
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But, suppose if he could take over, and replace the BoD too. Now that would be a real coup in bridge.
May 2, 2018
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That he tried to be open and communicative with the membership suggests he was far more qualified in at least one respect than those who preceded him, or the BOD for that matter.
April 30, 2018
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This should have been a poll.

If your opponents had been silent for the entire auction, you might come to the conclusion that it was probably partner who tanked. However in these circumstances, that is not at all clear.

All hands were bidding here. You might guess that partner was the one who hesitated, but that is only a guess. It could easily have been partner's screenmate who tanked. Were they thinking about a save? Or maybe they both thought for some time. Was at least some of that time spent in partner explaining that your bid was a transfer?

Finally, even if you think it was more likely partner who was thinking, you still don't know what partner was thinking about. In a competitive auction, it is not uncommon for all sides to need to consider the options.

Even I, who tends to try to bend over backwards to avoid problems when partner has tanked, would not worry about that here. You can do as you wish, as long as your conclusion is not driven by the idea that partner HAS tanked. Partner has taken a free bid there. Would a forcing pass have applied in this auction?
April 29, 2018
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Thanks for giving us all this link to a thoroughly enjoyable read! My only disappointment was that it was somewhat difficult to follow the hands, shown in a non-standard format.
April 28, 2018
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To me, revokes (etc.) are not part of the game. They are an occasionally unavoidable distraction that comes along with playing cards.

Suppose for example, we created the ultimate virtual reality tablet?

A tablet that shows you the face of partner, while they are bidding, showing any faces they make at your bids. It allows you to slap your bids or cards on the table. It allows you to play footsie with partner to pass signals. Yes, the VR tablet would let you hear the sound of a riffle shuffle as the cards are dealt. It would also force you to get up from the table, and move to the next table between rounds.

Would we argue that this is all part of bridge? Is the ability to make an Alcatraz coup a good thing?

I want to argue that these are all things that come along with cards as a card game. But they are not really part of bridge as a game. What makes bridge a game that I keep playing is unearthing a criss-cross squeeze, buried in a boring 1NT contract. It is finding an artful defense to a contract, made possible by legally allowed signals with partner. It is the beauty of bidding a cold slam based on only inferences we can take from the bidding.
April 28, 2018
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This brings up an interesting question. Many proponents of computer based bridge have always said that disallowing problems like leads out of turn, revokes, etc., these are good things.

You are arguing that a revoke or lead out of turn is part of bridge as a card game. Is it? Is something that is against the rules of the game, still part of the game?

Eliminating leads out of turn, revokes, etc., this also speeds up the game, eliminating the need for director calls on those problems. It also reduces the chances of ethical problems arising, for example, when partner now becomes aware of a card in your hand they must now ethically try to forget.

I can see arguments on either side of this coin.
April 28, 2018
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