Join Bridge Winners
All comments by John Torrey
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
On the actual deal partner had

x
Ax
A9xxx
AQxxx

I'm a 3 bidder, and I firmly think partner could, should, and would bid 3 over that. (I didn't hold either hand in real life.)

June 8, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Steve: No. You get to know the laws by reading them, not by accepting the common wisdom. What is a “played card”? Law 45A: “Each player except dummy plays a card by detaching it from his hand and facing it on the table immediately before him.” That sounds a great deal (but not exactly) like what happened to the 5 of spades. Law45C1: “A defender's card held so that it is possible for his partner to see its face must be played to the current trick.” You can argue that the player did not “hold” the card, but that is weak. Then Law 49: “Except in the normal course of play … when a defender's card is in a position in which his partner could possibly see its face … such card becomes a penalty card.” I think I can persuade myself that the 5 of spades was not exposed “in the normal course of play,” and thus should be a (minor, when we get to that part) penalty card. But the law is not as clear as we would all like it to be. The problem is not with fact but with law.

Compare Law 48A: “…Declarer is not required to play any card dropped accidentally.” Admirably clear.

As for #4. The two laws are:

Law 10A: “The Director alone has the right to determine rectification when applicable. Players do not have the right to determine (or waive - see Law 81C5) rectification on their own initiative”

Law 81C5: “The Director's duties and powers normally include the following:…to waive rectification for cause, in his discretion, upon the request of the non-offending side.”

In Steve's example, if the 12-card dummy had misled the defenders, the director should adjust in their favor, based on the dummy's obligation (42D): “…dummy spreads his hand in front of him on the table, face up, sorted into suits, the cards in order of rank with lowest ranking cards towards declarer…” In this case it misled the declarer, so the result stands - except that I think the director could agree to a re-shuffle, based on Law 81.
May 12, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Phillip asks when there is “cause” to waive a penalty. 20 years ago I was directing at the Raleigh Bridge Club. We had a player who (as we all knew) had an eventually fatal brain tumor. He was a good player, but about twice a session he would have a slippage and play a ridiculously inappropriate card. Many players thought this should be automatically forgiven. I struggled as director: shouldn't everyone play by the same laws? Then I found the clause that allows penalties to be waived. One session (with the player out of the room) I announced that I would automatically approve all such requests for this player. The problem was solved and everyone felt we had done the right thing.
May 12, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Your director is clearly wrong on point 4, which brings his other opinions into question.

Point 1 is debatable. I know there was a vote that overwhelmingly said that the card should be a minor penalty card, and I agree that that is what the law should say. My problem is that I don't think it does. (See my prior comment quoting the laws.)

Point 2 is wrong. It is a question both of fact and law.

Point 3 is true and very relevant to the overall discussion. Suppose the 5 really should be a minor penalty card, in the original example; you generously told the player to put it back in his hand. As fate would have it on the next deal they reach a touchy slam, doomed on the lie of the cards. Declarer takes a losing finesse into your hand and you are about to cash the setting trick, but…the 10 of spades falls from your fumbling fingers first. You look at the declarer, the person you were generous to on the previous board; she says, “Director please!” Your nasty thoughts (and words, if you can't hold them back) are completely unjustified. When your opponent says, “Sorry. I should have called the director on the last hand,” you know she's right.

A big, big problem with players making their own generous rulings is that they come to expect reciprocity, and there is no way to draw the line.
May 12, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Some comments on the Laws, from a director:

1. Law 50 was cited above to argue that the card should be a minor penalty card. The Law starts, “A card prematurely exposed (but not led, see Law 57) by a defender is a penalty card unless the Director designates otherwise”

2. Law 45C1 is relevant: “A defender's card held so that it is possible for his partner to see its face must be played to the current trick.”

I believe that the card in the example was not “prematurely exposed” - it was exposed at the player's turn to lead It's a played card and not a penalty card. The distinction between major and minor penalty cards applies only after we determine that there is a penalty card in the first place.

Law 10A: “The Director alone has the right to determine rectification when applicable. Players do not have the right to determine (or waive - see Law 81C5) rectification on their own initiative”

Law 81C5: The Director's duties and powers normally include the following:…to waive rectification for cause, in his discretion, upon the request of the non-offending side."

In a Lawful and highly sportsmanlike world, the non-offenders could call the Director and request that the 5 of spades be allowed back in the player's hand; the Director would very likely allow this. And nobody could object. They also could not object if such a request was not made.
May 9, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Oops! I stand corrected…a truly nasty problem.
May 8, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
On deal 118, I think the shift can be found.

If West has eight spades he's making, so assume seven, and three diamonds as indicated by the lead. Assume he has seven spade winners (or else he's down already). So he has nine tricks and there will be a squeeze against North unless we break it up. A heart return after the first diamond caters to Qx in West as well as to a singleton club queen. If West has three hearts to the Q and no clubs, we can't beat it. If West has a singleton king in clubs or hearts we have to guess which one to return, but continuing diamonds will not work, with the 6 of trump an entry after partner's diamond ruff.

Continuing diamonds works when West has exactly Jxx in hearts and no clubs; North will have to lead hearts after the third diamond (from his KQx) and not clubs (from his KQ10xxx) and then pitch correctly on the run of the spades when West abandons the ace of clubs for a pseudo squeeze. It may also work when North's spades are KX (X not the 3).

It took me a while to work out these chances. Meck didn't have that long.
May 8, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
For me it “should” be a fit bid. But I would not spring it on a partner without discussion first.
April 18, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm with Max.
April 16, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Michael: I'm pretty sure COV is Concentration of Values, but I have not seen it widely used.
April 15, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If the BSS regulation is as described then the 1C bid was a violation. (I agree with the sentiment above that this would be a poor regulation.) If the rule does not specify penalties for this violation then the director or committee should determine whether the violation resulted in damage to the innocent side (at least in ACBL-land). No damage = no adjustment. Perhaps a 3-IMP penalty for repeated violations would be reasonable, but that's just trying to make the best of an unnecessarily bad situation.

If that is indeed the regulation in force, the director call is completely justified.
April 11, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As an ACBL director I have always considered that 2C is psychic if it is an attempt to deceive the opponents as opposed to getting a constructive result. I've found this a useful distinction. Applying it to the hand above would allow the bid, IMO.
April 10, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I have to say that the ACBL online-posting facility for results is very nice, free, and relatively easy to use. Here's a sample game report: http://clubresults.acbl.org/Results/252858/2012/03/120328A.HTM

Scroll down to see the nice formatting of hand records paired with player results.
March 28, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I wrote a bridge timer program that runs on Windows computers. It's available at no charge from me; I can send it by email. It's in use in several clubs and has been used in Sectional tournaments. It may have escaped to Europe as well. The main complaint about is that it does not beep or make other noises.

Email me at johnctorrey@aol.com for a copy. All you need is an old Windows laptop to run it on. The program is also available to other Bridgewinners folks.
March 28, 2012
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
In the poll I had the ace of spades…
Nov. 18, 2011
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I was not aware of the other studies, and I thank the commentators for mentioning them.

For clarity: I counted contracts, not tricks. When declarer made more than the DD number, the excess did not matter.

I'm not so sure about the “inadequate samples” critique. Maybe I can address the adequacy mathematically. (I know that sample size benefits have a long tail and a steep initial slope. My statistical intuition says that a sample of 480 is much better than a sample of 48 and not much worse than a sample of 4800, which is very little better than 5 million.)
Oct. 11, 2011
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Sorry if my post was not completely clear. Kit is mostly correct: if declarer is in 4NT and takes 10 I say + (as Kit says), because the extra trick meant avoiding defeat. But if DD says 9 and declarer in 3NT takes 10 I say > (low-value overtrick - I would not count it as matching DD).

I'd say that the relative infrequency of + and - compared to > and < shows an appropriate focus on what matters in these matches.
Oct. 11, 2011
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm delighted to see this excellent addition to sim-literature!

I actually had two reasons (one good and one bad) for restricting most of my simulations to 48 deals:

1. I wanted to analyze the actual deals. In many cases I wanted to see which invitations would be accepted, and how the accepted-invitation hands did. I still value this capability, and I feel that looking at the hands gives an insight into why a policy works or does not. (Applying the general success I've seen for accepted invitations, my rule of thumb is that a hand is not worth an invite unless it makes game close to half the time. 31/42/27 is not a good invite in my experience.)

2. I was not proficient enough with the simulation language to write the kind of programs that could use thousands of deals. (Therefore I'm very grateful that you have included your detailed code. I have a question that demands this kind of simulation and now I think I can do it.)

BTW: without actually looking back at the files I made for my initial study, I can say that it's extremely likely that I threw out a deal here or there, because an opponent would surely have bid. I've found that my results (especially for tipping-point hands, which of course are the interesting ones) can be significantly swung by the rules for excluding hands where they probably would have bid. My rules have evolved and are more sophisticated now than they were in my first sims.
Aug. 29, 2011
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“…if opener only ”psyches“ 2S when responder doesn't have spades then obviously there is something unethical going on.” If the “something unethical” is either foot signals or an undisclosed psychic control (responder has to bid 3C to show spades, or some such) then the pair is cheating. If they are just lucky, they're not. The 2S bid is not what makes it unethical. If they are cheating (and only on this auction) they picked a strange and rare way to do it. If they are simply cheaters in general I'd expect to catch them from their in-general behavior.

We can legitimately become suspicious of players because we “don't like their bidding,” but we can never actually punish them for that. Let's not go there.

Aug. 9, 2011
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I do not see what is supposed to be “unethical” here. A player passed in an auction where he could have clarified an ambiguous holding. That is the natural, obvious meaning of Pass, and if the players had agreed in advance that it would have that meaning, I have no problem with it. The Laws require that players not have undisclosed agreements. I see no violation here.

The risk a player runs when making a “destructive” bid is a measure of the ethical value of the bid: an agreement that removes all risk (Partner won't raise if I bid spades in situation X) is unethical. Our West player took a risk in passing, that East would expect him to have spades. That's another clue that passing is perfectly ethical.

A law or regulation requiring a player to clarify his holding would be contrary to the game as I know it.
July 31, 2011
.

Bottom Home Top