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All comments by John D'Errico
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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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Do you know what I saw?

I saw bridge finally moving into the 21st century. A great start on your part!
April 28, 2018
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That would be a great idea for a bridge story. Of course, it would probably have copyright issues. Add in Cato for a little mayhem at the table.
April 27, 2018
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Moose and mouse are only one letter apart.
April 26, 2018
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Lets see. The ACBL is an organization that exists to serve the people who pay the bills. So Brian wants to change things so that most of the ACBL members will be priced out of playing in the top events, which is about the only reason for some to go to an NABC.

Yes, it is true that some people have no problems paying $200 a night hotel bills. I'd rather not. As it is, 11 days, @$200 a night = $2200, just to sleep. Then add in travel. Food. Playing fees, which are already higher at an NABC than other events. Not all ACBL members are wealthy.

But lets add another $50 a day or so for playing fees. I'll never return if you convince them to make NABCs into an exclusive club, entry available only to the wealthy.

Sorry Brian. The way to fix the ACBL is not by convincing more people to drop out of bridge.
April 25, 2018
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North MIGHT (even should) bid up the line in response to a TO double, and therefore bid hearts. But THIS north will probably bid spades. The only evidence we have is that this North indeed did bid spades in a very similar situation.
April 24, 2018
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You might be right about getting to 6♡ over a double.

But when asked to choose a major, North chose spades. A TO double also asks partner to name a suit to play in. I'll argue that the same North will still choose spades over a double.
April 24, 2018
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4♣ is not the end of the world. It may miss a great diamond slam. It avoids partner passing a TO double, which may be the right thing on some hands.

But partner has bid spades. Now South decided to mistrust that they have found a fit. Could North have only 3 spades? And this is why 4♣ was the wrong choice. South asked for partner to bid a major. North did, and South did not trust the answer. So why ask a question if you won't like or accept the answer?

Double seems a more flexible choice to me. Now South need not worry so much that North actually has a spade fit. Given that when South made a cuebid, North chose spades, I imagine that North will still choose spades over a double. That would get you to 6S, since North needs little more than a spade honor to make slam a reasonable shot.
April 24, 2018
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These were exactly my thoughts. It seems logical. After all, how often has a Lightner double come up for you recently? In my case, about the only one I can think of was a psychic Lightner double, where I pushed them INTO 6NT, a contract against which I did have two sure tricks.

But as Paul says, while the CSD sounds interesting, once you think about it, the gray areas become the devil. Is that sure trick really a trick? Have you now told them how to play the hand?

Is pass with 0 or 1 defensive trick alertable? Probably a post alert. But this may well tell them how to play the hand, especially if that explanation comes in every competitive slam sequence.

What defines a competitive sequence anyway? How many times must your side have bid for this to apply?

Does this force every competitive slam auction to be either played by your side or if they play it, they will be doubled?

I suppose if your partnership carefully defines things. When does it apply and not, with careful, clear rules. It could work. Especially valuable is if partner is the understanding type, when it gives the show away.
April 17, 2018
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So what are you doing now? Following me around and insulting every comment I make? Do I have a stalker?

As far as your comment goes, you are again going overboard. When did I call 4♠ terrible?

As far as your comment goes, I don't really care about K&R points. Unless of course you are the Walrus, who knows nothing more than how to count points.

I said that Of the two people, N&S, that South was the one who was more off base than North, that South was the one here who had some expectations that this hand would not play well. South has SLOW values outside of spades, that are far more likely to be of value on defense than offense. So to complain about the result here, South is the one who took a risk, and therefore, South is the one who needs to take the blame, NOT push it onto North.

What I did NOT like here was the behavior of South, who took a result that they did not like, and blamed partner for the result, when it was South who was in the driver's seat.
April 14, 2018
John D'Errico edited this comment April 14, 2018
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Gatlinburg must be one of the best regionals to attend. Low entry fees. Pretty darn good hotel rates. A nice place to visit overall. Probably why it is so well attended every year. Way to go Gatlinburg!
April 14, 2018
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In first or third seat, I would seriously consider opening that hand 1♠, although you never know about the value of a stiff king. 1♠ or 2♠ both seem reasonable, depending on your bidding style.

In second seat, 2♠ seems about right for me. Partner should trust me to have a little extra.

If any poll did apply here, it would be for South. And one of the poll options should be if North should look for a better partner. Thus one is not critical, since South was arguably the person who committed the offense here.

South has a hand with slow values that are terrible for 4♠. So NS cannot make 4♠, but it looks like they have 4 tricks on defense against a heart contract.

So this looks to be a case of how to win the postmortem for South. Be aggressive. Blame partner when South was the one who was more wrong. Keep partner on the defensive.
April 13, 2018
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Everyone makes plenty of close calls, in every game. What would you report on this hand? That East made what may be a good decision in context of the bidding? That West slightly overbid? That West might have done something wrong had the bidding gone differently or if they had a different hand?

Perhaps we should look carefully at every call I made in the last game I played. Feel free to file a recorder memo for every time I overbid. Or every time I chose a conservative action. All based on the opinion of someone else as to what was an overbid or a conservative call?

If you did this for me, I'll bet I'd have a dozen recorder memos filed against me for every session I play.

Look at it a different way. Consider any hand that appears in a Master Solvers Club in any magazine. On every hand, we can see world class experts completely disagree on the proper bid on any hand.
April 11, 2018
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