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All comments by John Portwood
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Announcements are basically intended in simple situations to provide information to the other side without them risking restricting their partner by providing unauthorised information i.e. they are interested in what the call shows.

In the EBU there are very few announcements (opening NT range, Standard Stayman, red suit transfers) I do not know whether other RAs extend or restrict the list.

Certainly in the circles I move in, many players don't realise that once the auction becomes competitive, announcments aren't made.


The laws state that a RA can designate the means whereby a pair may be notified that a call made may need an explanation (As Ed says - an announcement is a form of alert). Thus calls are alerted when their meaning is different from one set as deafult by the regulatory authority. (Personally I think that not alerting a cue bid in any sitauation is a problem - why can't they just say: “Don't alert a 2NT call if it shows the two lowest suits, or if a cue bid is Michaels” - then at least variations can be alerted.
May 9
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I play that 3 over any NT call that hasn't previously specified a suit is puppet Stayman, whether 1N, 2N, 2 - 2X.. 2N, or 2!..2N.
May 7
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You make 2 diamonds. You need to make 4 clubs or you have no chance, so you need 3 more tricks. The spades are solid for 3 tricks - the hearts aren't.
May 6
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I am sure there is a reason why such common sense isn't inculcated within the laws. I'll try and bring it up 8 years or so from now.

The problem we have is that the defender has detached a card before declarer has played from dummy. This suggests that he has no real choice which card to play to the trick (the only outstanding cards in the trump suit of course being the two honours.)

If he could have known that such an irregularity might work to his side's advantage (as it did!) then we adjust. (This says nothing about the player's ethics, even the most ethical player may break procedure.)
May 5
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You know when you can concede the rest of the tricks when it starts playing high cards on high cards. Wish it could claim (properly) as that might encourage organics to do the same.
May 4
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East has to do something 'Extremely serious error (not related to the infraction)or a gambling action whihc if unsuccessful it might have hoped to recover through rectification' for there to be aplit decision in these circumstance. If it turns out that he has made an error by misguessing then I think (certainly at pairs) he has to try something against the odds to try and get that trick back. 10% of an average is better than 90% of a bottom.
May 4
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Parnter misbids and then realises he misbids and communicates to the effect of “oh s..t”.
May 4
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Which is why I think the TD is wrong. Everything in the laws is against the requirement to ask being imposed on the NOS. Note my third paragraph AND my conclusion.
May 4
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Law 72C (above) is very wide ranging - the word ‘could’ means that the TD doesn't have to prove the player ‘knew’ and thus also means that the player isn't called a c***t for coffeehousing or whatever.

However: for an adjustment to be made under 72C there must be an offence - so let's look.

The offence is “detaching a card from the hand and indicating by body language that they intended to play it at the trick.” before it waas their turn to play.

First of all: has the card been played - the answer is obviously ‘no’ - Law 45C - card deemed to be played.

1. A defender’s card held so that it is possible for his partner to see its face is deemed played to the current trick (if the defender has already made a legal play to the current trick, see Law 45E).

So there is no infraction of law 45C - however the player HAS varied the manner in which they play to the trick.

So we come to 73D1 (no one is suggesting that the player tried to deceive declarer)

1. It is desirable, though not always required, for players to maintain steady tempo and unvarying manner. However, players should be particularly careful when variations may
work to the benefit of their side. Otherwise, unintentionally to vary the tempo or manner in which a call or play is made is not an infraction. Inferences from such variations are authorized only to the opponents, who may act upon the information at their own risk.

As in 72C the law sets a very low bar. ‘particularly’ and ‘may work’ are objective not subjective. Also I do not think that the player has ‘unintentionally’ varied the manner (The whyfore and wherefore do not matter) so the qualification ‘Otherwise…’ does not apply. Pulling out the card is a deliberate action that could have been avoided and thus is not ‘not an infraction’ under the meaning of the law - and 72C does apply.

Once 72C is invoked it is very difficult to see how a score adjustment cannot be made (David Burn would say ‘never’ I suspect).
May 4
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1) What is the agreement? This is ALWAYS the first thing you find out.

If it is forcing and there is no evidence of any UI (grimace etc) or CPA then no adjustment

If it is NOT forcing and the RA do not require bid to be alerted then no adjustment. (Personally I think that certain RAs should require conventional calls to be alerted. Failure to do so is IMHO disregarding the definition of ‘alert’ in the laws. You can't have ‘do nothing’ as “A notification, whose form may be specified by the Regulating Authority, to the effect that opponents may be in need of an explanation.”)

2) If it is NOT forcing and an alert is required then 100% the NOS have been misinformed and the director has made a mess of his decision (pardon my Mandarin).

Justification

1) You are only required to specifically ask about an unalerted call if it is in a situation where:

a) You would expect it to be alerted AND
b) You can ask about the call without giving UI to your partner or waking up the opponents.

Obviously a) does not apply - so you don't need to ask.
May 4
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Good technique is to think at trick one before you play from dummy, after declarer plays from dummy and possibly as declarer if defender plays an unusual card.

Thinking about the hand as more information comes in is quite reasonable. The laws make clear that breaking tempo is not a fault as long as it is not as an aid to deception and should be careful when it might work to their benefit.Law 73

D. Variations in Tempo or Manner
1. It is desirable, though not always required, for players to maintain steady tempo and unvarying manner. However, players should be particularly careful when variations may
work to the benefit of their side. Otherwise, unintentionally to vary the tempo or manner in which a call or play is made is not an infraction. Inferences from such variations are authorized only to the opponents, who may act upon the information at their own risk.

2. A player may not attempt to mislead an opponent by means of a question, remark or gesture; by the haste or hesitancy of a call or play (as in hesitating before playing a
singleton); by the manner in which a call or play is made; or by any purposeful deviation from correct procedure (see also Law 73E2).

E. Deception
1. A player may appropriately attempt to deceive an opponent through a call or play (so long as the deception is not emphasized by unwonted haste or hesitancy, nor protected by
concealed partnership understanding or experience).
May 2
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However the comparable call situation means that there is NO UI, so partner isn't constrained by the LA/ carefully avoid requirements. Thus as long as his response is what most people would do then it won't be rolled back. (Although a weighted score adjustment is still possible, 23C is less onerous than 16B).

SO going to a UI situation is regressive rather than progressive.
May 1
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1. is not quite correct - "it has the same or similar meaning attributable to the cancelled call"

Thus if the potentiall cancelled call could have different meanings then the replacement call could be a similar one to any of them.

Example:

1NT (3), 2.

Did the 2 bidder not see the 3 call (and therefore the IB showed hearts) or did he think the 3 call was actually 2 (and therefore the IB showed diamonds)?

In this case, of course, bidding 3 OR 3 wouldn't silence partner since the call would presumably be the lowest showing the same denomination as the 2 IB.
May 1
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I don't have hand evaluators or simulators, but the North hand just feels good. The minor honours are fully supported by major ones and are thus being promoted.

South's hand feels bad. Honours generally in the short suits –> poor help in establishing long cards; tons of losers, hardly any good spot cards.

One of the reasons the contract fails is the lack of tens and nines - very useful cards in no-trump contracts. (Yes the cards lie terribly for NS, butt he lack of intermediates reduces the flexibility in play.)
May 1
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The problem is that law 40d is very restrictive.

(d) Unless the Regulating Authority provides otherwise a player is not entitled to any aids to his memory, calculation or technique during the auction period and play.

One assumes that the ACBL dies not regard ‘placing a finger’ as being ‘attempting to prevent an iregularity’, in that the irregularity is only possible when declarer conceives of the notion.

there is a fine line between “participating in the play” and “attempting to prevent an irregularity”.

FWIW I wouldn't mind if dummy did it (as long as the action did not annoy the defenders).
April 29
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The problem with No Trumps is that there are so few bids before you have to decide whether to bid game or not. This means you have to be as precise as possible as quick as possible.
April 28
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That is not really the right question. You change a “very unlucky” distribution to a “very lucky” one. The correct question is really “in how many ways will the EW cards result in the contract making, compared to the number of ways the EW cards result in the contract going off?”

If adverse distribution results in two off and a favourable one results in the contract making, then I think it is statistically logical to assume that most of the possible distributions will result in one off.

No doubt someone can run simulations - but I don't know where to do this.
April 28
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Overall I think that you should be entitled to ask the TD to read out any specific law. This is subject to two qualifications.

1) There is almost certainly a bridge reason for it (unless you are trying to strike up a relationship/ flirting etc). Partner must carefully avoid taking advantage of this fact. Maybe the TD should find out what it is - idle curiosity could be regarded as a breach of etiquette (74A2).

2) The right extends to the reading of the law, not its interpretation - that is done at a player's own risk (law 21?). Thus if someone wants to know how much 2 XX + 4 is (and not many people know this intuitively) then the director merely reads out Law 77. (In many cases when an irregularity occurs, the TD of course is going to have to apply an interpretation of the law e.g. “If I call 3 is this a comparable call?” Of course the TD should read out the appropriate law when attention is drawn to an irregularity and he is called.

With regards to point 1) - although I am sure the director would accommodate, he may feel slightly annoyed inside, especially if a more pressing director call should emanate from another table.
April 28
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Actually since the comparable call need only be ‘similar’ there is some leeway e.g. a call showing 12-14 might be regarded as being ‘similar’ to one showing 13-15. if the fact that he can't hold 12 or could hold 15 helps their partner then we adjust.

Note that the fact that there is decreed NOT to be UI actually means that there is no requirement to apply the “Logical Alternative” route in 16B. Players are allowed to develop the auction as they choose. If, for example, a player makes an invitational raise because partner is more likely to have 14 or 15 points then we do not automatically disallow it (which we would under 16B) instead we may give a weighted score.

Of course the treatment varies depending on whether it is an IB or a COOT.

I think 23C stems from the fact that the OS mustn't gain from any assistance from the CC, they can only break even. The CC structure gives them a greater chance of breaking even - which is to be applauded.
April 26
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Presumably the 2 - pass or correct shows a shortage in hearts and a hand willing to play in 2 if that is partner's second suit. It says nothing about how strong the hand is (unless other calls are available) in support of other suits.

There is a hand where the responder to a multi was willing to play either in 2 or 7.

Assuming west did not want to accept the call then double might be comparable (see above). I do not think that any bid is going to be comparable since the ‘pass or correct’ implies length in the other denominations and I don't think any bid is going to do that.
April 26
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