Join Bridge Winners
All comments by John Torrey
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 13 14 15 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I changed my vote from Bridge_too_far to Other. My respect for my partner is not affected by whether he confesses to an undetected revoke that had no effect on the outcome. (If the revoke had an effect on the outcome, I'd say confession is ethically mandatory, whatever the Laws say.)

But I am saddened by the 2:1 margin favoring the first answer. The problem is that Active Ethics purports to be The Correct ethical behavior for the game. We are supposed to admire it and feel disappointed in those who fall short of it. It creates an expectation that is not justified. The player who says, “just put that card back in your hand and play what you intended,” may feel slighted when that favor is not returned. It should not have been extended, in my view. If the Laws are not our guide to ethical behavior then we are in a swamp of good intentions and random outcomes. The idea in duplicate bridge is that when the same actions are taken at different tables, the outcome should be the same.

Emotionally, I feel admiration for West. But rationally, I have to suspect that even his behavior - which surely went beyond the Law - may have been excessively generous. It's hard to know where to draw the line When you start competing for the most selfless act - and that is exactly the point. Just do what the Laws say. That's hard enough.
Nov. 23
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
For extra pairs, an 18-table web is simpler than the 17 (no sharing required) and allows for one (2-board sitout) two (standard 18) or three (rover) extra pairs.
Nov. 22
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I like following the Laws. I pick 81C5.
Nov. 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The statement quoted is clear enough. I endorse it. What is less clear is how we deal with claims where this is not done. (The Laws frequently say that a player “should” do something, without providing a penalty for not doing so.) The Laws do not require us to disallow such claims. Rather they call on us to disallow claims where the the statement embraces a “normal” line that does not succeed. We must use our judgement to determine what is normal. It is wrong to argue that because we must use judgement there is doubt, and that therefore (since the Law says that doubtful points go against the claimer) the claim must fail. This reasoning nullifies Law 70D1.

Do you disallow the claims in all my example cases?
Nov. 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“Make sure your statement is watertight.” Good advice to claimers, but not the standard required by the Laws for allowing the claim, and we should not confuse the two.

My own standard is that the line should meet some level of “obvious.” I thought the case here met that standard. The point is that “watertight” is NOT the standard. Suppose declarer's claim requires four tricks from a suit with AKxx in the dummy and QJx in declarer's hand, with no side entry to dummy. If you would disallow the claim because declarer could block the suit by taking the ace and king first, then we are too far apart to have a useful dialog.

If you are with me on that one, then suppose that in the case here, declarer's hearts had been AKx (with 2 more tricks needed for success). The heart x is a “loser” but nobody would discard it: we'd allow the claim. Now make the hearts KQx (with one more trick needed). Again I allow the claim. Make them QJ10… I'm allowing the claim all the way down to xxx. At some point we may part company, but we can disagree about what meets the standard, but agree that perfection is not required.

In Debbie Rosenberg's Claim Ruling Poll (where declarer needed to unblock AQ8x opposite K7xxx to take the five tricks in the suit) I voted not to give declarer that fifth trick. The unblock was not obvious, in my opinion. To allow that claim and not this one seems inconsistent to me.
Nov. 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
When I was an active ACBL director, we were instructed to distinguish between “bad claims” and “good claims, badly stated.” This is clearly the latter. Ask yourself four questions:

Is the flaw in the statement fatal? (I refer to the 2008 Laws - don't have the new ones for reference yet.) 70D1: “The director shall not accept from claimer any successful line of play not embraced in the original clarification statement if there is an alternative* normal line of play that would be less successful.” The * goes to, “For purposes of Laws 70 and 71, ‘normal’ includes play that would be careless or inferior for the class of player involved.” One view would note that discarding spades IS “embraced in the original clarification statement,” which would lead us to allow the claim without asking if the alternative is normal.

But let us ask. Is discarding hearts “normal”? In my view, there is nothing “normal” in requiring a capable player to discard hearts. A 500-point player should be assumed to get this right. If the hand had been played out, is there any doubt as to the outcome?

Third question: Do you want to play in a game where this claim is denied, or one where it is allowed? Whether I'm South or East at this table, I prefer the second. The Laws should not encourage Lawyering.

Finally: If you were North, would you be calling the director on this hand? I would not.
Nov. 15
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
West had

K 8 5 3
K 9 3
Q J 10 9 8
J

I was declarer. I won the third diamond and played a heart to the 10, then finessed the spade return. I could have salvaged three club tricks at the end to make 1NT, but didn't. I posted because down 1 felt stupid. (My heart play lost on the layout but wins with 3-2 hearts when West has the jack or the king is doubleton, which seems like a reasonable proposition.)

Half the field was in hearts. Getting to hearts is easy when the opponents compete - something to think about.
Nov. 10
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
A count-losers approach:

If the diamond finesse wins I have one spade loser, no diamond losers (trumping the fourth in the dummy), and two club losers. If the finesse loses I can still make when diamonds are 3-3, by discarding a club from dummy on my fourth diamond and ruffing my third club, losing a spade, a diamond and a club. Possibly I could also play for both club honors to be with East.

I will want to finesse twice in diamonds, so entries are important: best to trump the spade high to start with, then enter dummy with a low heart to the nine and take the first diamond finesse. If the finesse loses I may be able to combine a double finesse in clubs with the chance of the diamonds breaking. In this case I use a high trump to get to dummy for the first club finesse, and a diamond ruff for the second. If the defense ducks the first diamond I may be short of entries to play for the clubs onside.
Nov. 8
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This is board 10 of the Instant Matchpont game. East had

AQJ10
x
AJx
Axxxx

(I was South.) East thought 3 was a major underbid. There was discussion about whether 2 was a reverse or a jump shift. I thought it 3 was a good mainstream choice & posted the poll as a sanity check. (I wasn't sure I could participate in the table discussion without being rude. My partner was leaning towards East's views. In my defense, I did let West know about the poll.)
Nov. 1
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Did anyone else spend time wondering whether the auction was

1 Pass 1 Pass
1NT

and not

1 1 1NT All Pass?

It's the former.
Oct. 8
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
East had AQxxxx, xx, –, JTxxx. At the table, West bid 4 and it made 7 on a diamond lead.

3 looks like an unlucky start, but when East bids 4 (not 4!) that is probably enough to get to 6.
Sept. 27
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Fixed, at least partly.
Sept. 5
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This was a quiz question that did not specify. The quiz answer was to lead a club, based on the threat of dummy's diamonds and our vulnerable diamond queen. (For quiz purposes, a heart lead is a “mistake”.) Your point is valid, but “Any” captures the original problem.
Sept. 4
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Yes, they did. But the whole thing is complex and difficult. The test is part of the unit mentor/mentee program, which is a very good thing, IMO. Many of the mentors are far from expert players and the role of the unit in guiding the bridge aspects of the program is hard to define.

This question was an attempt to address the principle that a player should consider her rebid before making her initial bid. I'd rather teach how-to-think-like-a-bridge-player than teach a long list of Rules, but it's hard and takes good teachers.

I have offered some feedback, which I hope is received as constructive. The feedback included posting some bidding polls here.
Sept. 3
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If I had a Bols Tip, it would be “Lead first through the short hand.” This combines “what should I do” with the “what's going on” because you have to figure out the short hand to apply it, and that leads to considering the distribution of the unseen hands. And it's almost always the right play when you do figure it out.
June 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
One reason is that you can “fast answer” a number of polls without viewing the whole problem statement.
June 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As I read it, there will not be groups of 18. All entrants will be in the same “section,” with the top 18 getting points.
June 18
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I was the director. (I told East I would treat his objection as an Appeal and let Bridgewinners decide.)

My problem with this suggestion is the cognitive limits of the N-S players. Some time ago one of them needed a ride home. He took out his driver license (I don't think he actually drives) and showed me the address. As we approached the address, he said, “No, that's not right.” He called a relative on his cell phone and got the actual address (not near the DL one) and I took him home. They do not play negative free bids; I'm not sure offhand if they play negative doubles. They do sometimes open hands with less than 10 HCP. I've never seen less than eight. I could ask them to announce Light Openings - their club opponents already know this - but they'd be likely to forget. They are friendly people who were once industrial engineers. They seem cheerfully aware of their present limits, on some level. Sometimes they may do a good bridge thing, but the odds are against it.
June 17
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Page 10: “…a blackout thinking that South has two trumps left…” You mean East, not South.
June 3
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The rest of the story: East had


10x
98765432
Qxx

You have two spade losers, but each winner endplays West, provided you discarded a club on the first trick (so that one ruff-sluff is enough to establish clubs). You have some guessing if West exits the J.

I don't think I've seen an eight-card straight flush before this one.
May 28
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 13 14 15 16
.

Bottom Home Top