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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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Yes, it did. The deals in my series are always real life deals. There is no need to make things up. Bridge hands are always interesting.
45 minutes ago
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I don't see any validity to that. Partner asked for a major. You have one, so you show it.

In fact, most expert pairs have an agreement about an immediate bid (vs. pass) over the double – either it shows a club stopper or denies a club stopper depending upon the partnership agreement. Either approach is fine, it is the agreement which is important. You said nothing either way in your presentation of the problem.
14 hours ago
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Paul,

Of course E-W could appeal a slow double. It would have to be shown that:

1) The slowness of the double suggested a diamond lead (as opposed to something else).

2) There was a LA to a diamond lead after the double.

IMO, neither of these conditions exist. I would expect any double of 7NT to be made slowly. In addition. IMO the diamond lead is 1000% after the double.
18 hours ago
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I think the ACBL rules are meant for no screens. With screens, it should be: Alert and explain any understanding if there is the slightest possibility that it would otherwise not be interpreted properly.

As I said, most likely Bobby and Joe didn't have a specific agreement about the pass since they aren't a regular partnership. Bobby probably just made the assumption that Joe would have redoubled with first round diamond control, which is mainstream.
18 hours ago
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It isn't so clear to me that double of an artificial 3 means I want to compete somewhere. In my partnerships it simply shows clubs and is lead directing.

Despite this, if South received MI I believe there was damage. IMO South competing over 3 is a LA (with the limit raise explanation), and that explanation makes it a lot more attractive to compete than the explanation South got.

Since there doesn't appear to be any documentation saying South got the correct explanation of the partnership agreements, the assumption is that he did get MI.

Since competing would have worked out better than selling out to 3, N-S are definitely awarded redress. What the proper adjudication should be is another matter, but there should be an adjudication.
19 hours ago
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Melanie,

Suppose you didn't have an ace. You wouldn't be thinking at all over the 7NT call. Your green card would be on the table in 2 seconds. This is just routine. There wouldn't be any thought about delaying, because there would be no reason to delay. This would be what would happen 99% of the time.

In this rare case where you do have an ace, you do have to go through the thought process you describe. Unless you are a very quick thinker, you aren't going to be able to pass quickly. Thus, if you delay at all and then pass, you will have transmitted the UI that you have an ace. Whether this UI makes a difference for partner's opening lead would depend upon the auction and his hand.

If instead you double, the delay won't give him any UI. He will know you have a problem, but the fact that you are doubling 7NT when he is on lead itself echoes the information that you have a problem.

Consequently, I think you conclusion is quite correct. You just double, which has to show an ace (if his lead matters), and let the chips fall where they may.
Dec. 9
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Peg,

Remember, this is behind screens. Since there is no danger of giving partner UI when alerting and explaining (one of the nice features about screens), any kind of agreement which might not be expected should be alerted even if one thinks it is “mainstream”.

Since Joe and Bobby aren't a regular partnership, it is quite possible they never discussed this situation and Bobby bid 7 on the assumption that Joe's pass denied the ace of diamonds even though they didn't have an explicit agreement about this. If that is the case then obviously there is nothing to alert.
Dec. 9
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All of my hands in this series are from the point of view of either me or my partner and the problems one of us faced at the table. Since we do play Precision, the answer to your question is no. South couldn't have more than 15 (or whatever South judges is a 1 opener) for the 2 rebid. Sorry if I hadn't made that clear when posing the problem.
Dec. 9
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If Grue had failed to alert the pass over the double of 4 as denying a diamond control, then we would have an entirely new issue. That information might be quite relevant to South's decision to not double 7NT. It also might cause him to have more of a problem about whether or not to double.

From the write-up, we have no reason to think Grue didn't appropriately alert the pass over the double.
Dec. 9
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If declarer has K9x of spades, you will have made his life a lot easier. Granted he can pick up the spade suit on his own by leading a spade to the 9, but this is not going to look very attractive to him and he likely will be focusing on the diamond suit.

Furthermore, what is your game plan if your queen of spades holds, which it certainly will if declarer has Axx. If you continue the suit, you may find declarer with Kxx, and you will have blown a spade trick. Or you may find declarer with QJ of clubs, AKx of spades, and now declarer will have time to establish the fourth spade to discard a losing club. Partner's signal is not necessarily going to be readable.
Dec. 9
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Thanks for the link, Ray.

Rui, that is a tremendous article. It should be required reading for every director.
Dec. 9
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Club back seems clear. Declarer's likely shape is 3-4-4-2. There are layouts in every other suit where breaking that suit potentially costs a trick in the suit.
Dec. 9
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I don't think that Grue's remark has anything to do with the case. It doesn't tell Glubock anything that Glubock couldn't figure out for himself. I will grant that the remark makes it more likely that Glubock would have found the diamond lead (assuming no UI) since Glubock might not have thought of the possibility of a diamond void without the remark, but it doesn't come close to making the diamond lead automatic.

Frankly, I have my doubts about the write-up being accurate regarding Grue's remark. I can't imagine that if Grue realized the danger after having bid 7NT that he would have said what he is reported to have said to the opening leader before the opening lead was made. My guess is that if this is what Grue said he said it after the opening lead had been made, when upon seeing the diamond lead he realized what had happened. Of course the only people who know the timing and exactly what Grue said are Grue and Glubock.

Yes, something South did not do affects my decision. South failed to double 7NT. In my view South has a clear double. This double must show an ace if it has any lead significance, since otherwise what would be the point of doubling. The logic of the auction makes it very clear that this ace must be the ace of diamonds, as Levin wouldn't have bid 7 missing another ace. Thus, with no UI, South's failure to double indicates that South doesn't have the ace of diamonds.

If I were polled by the review committee, I would have said:

The UI suggests a diamond lead.

Given the auction and no UI, I would have led a spade.
Dec. 8
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As Michael says, polling can be flawed. The pollees are often rushed and don't think the problem through thoroughly. The poll is often given with the wrong information. The poll sometimes asks the wrong question. Simply the fact that there is a poll often biases the answers.

If directors would first consult a top expert before doing any polling in order to make sure the bridge aspects are correct, the right information is given in the poll, and the right questions are being asked, the results of polling would be a lot better.

On this hand, assuming the BIT is established there are two questions to be answered:

1) Does the UI suggest any particular lead, and if so which lead.

2) Is there a LA to the diamond lead.

Question 1) is straightforward, and should get a meaningful answer from the poll. The facts are there, and the pollees can give an unbiased answer since they don't know what happened other than that there was a BIT.

Question 2) may create a bias. When you are given this as a lead problem, your first reaction is: Why is this a problem? If you deduce that the reason it is a problem is that partner has an ace, you are now answering with the same UI. It takes a very objective person to say that he would lead a spade when he “knows” that a diamond lead is a winner. Thus, those who say they would lead a diamond may be biased, so I would have my doubts.

As it turned out, several pollees chose to lead a spade (or at least a non-diamond) anyway. That is all that is necessary to establish that there is a LA to the diamond lead.
Dec. 8
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Wayne,

I agree that if a slow pass does not demonstrably suggest a diamond lead, then there is no justification for an adjustment. I do believe it demonstrably suggests a diamond lead. My reasoning is as follows:

1) Clearly South is thinking of doubling. If he isn't considering doubling, there is no reason for the slow pass.

2) The reason for South's thinking about doubling must be either that he has an ace or he knows of a bad split in a critical suit. The only critical suit where a secondary trick figures to defeat the contract is spades, and North knows from the bidding and his hand that South can't have a spade trick. Therefore, South has an ace.

3) That ace can only be the ace of diamonds. If South had another ace West would never have bid 7, since an ace would be missing and West would have no way of knowing that the missing ace isn't cashing. The only reason West was able to bid 7 was because he knew the missing ace isn't cashing, and he could know that only if it is the ace of diamonds and he has a void in diamonds.

Perhaps you find fault with this logic. However, it is worth noting that all 5 of those in the second poll came to the same conclusion.
Dec. 7
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Peg,

You are quite correct. If it is judged that:

1) There was UI

2) The UI suggests a diamond lead

Then, for a diamond lead to be kosher it would take a virtually unanimous vote for the diamond lead. Such a vote would indicate that there was no LA. A 50-50 vote indicates that there was a LA. If there is a LA, then the diamond lead should not be permitted.
Dec. 7
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Obviously saying “I was always planning on making the call” is a self-serving statement which the director and committee should ignore. The cards speak for themselves.

I was simply giving a good guideline which will usually have you doing the right thing. Yes, it is possible that an action which you considered clear is judged to be not clear by a committee. So be it.
Dec. 7
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A good general guideline is as follows:

If the action you want to take is clear in your mind, then take it.

If the action is not clear in your mind (and is suggested by UI), then take an alternative action.

The best way for the action to be clear in your mind is to plan ahead. While you can't always predict what will happen, you can usually forecast the likely things which partner will do and prepare for them. If you know what your plan is, then follow through with it regardless of UI.

This planning ahead will improve your bidding. In addition you will avoid giving UI to partner, since having planned ahead you will be able to make your next call in tempo.

For example, suppose your side has a heart fit, and you make a 4 Q-bid. Before making this call, you should be planning on what you will do if partner bids 4. If your plan is to take another call, then you can comfortably do so even if partner tanks before signing off. If you haven't formed a plan, the UI will create more of a problem.

Similarly, suppose you had Q-bid 4. You know one of the bids partner might make is 4. You should plan ahead, so if you are going to then sign off you can do so in tempo and avoid giving partner any UI.
Dec. 7
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If South doubles 7NT he clearly had something to think about. I can't imagine any situation where whether he had doubled quickly or slowly would suggest any specific lead.

If South passes quickly over 7NT, that is the norm which would be expected 99% of the time. Clearly no UI there.

If South passes slowly over 7NT, there is the obvious UI that he was thinking of doubling. Whether or not this UI suggested a particular lead would have to be judged on the actual hand and auction. If it is judged that the UI suggests a particular lead and North makes that lead, whether or not North has a LA would have to be judged on the actual hand and auction.
Dec. 6
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Paul,

There are casebooks online of all the appeals from U.S national tournaments going back several years. If you want to do the dirty work of going through them, you will get an answer to your question about what percentage of rulings were overturned.
Dec. 6
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