Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Kit Woolsey
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I don't accept the situation any more than you do. It is a matter of what is the best solution.

You believe the best solution is to not allow kibitzing.

I believe the best solution is for the organizers to not invite the cheaters to play.
an hour ago
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Why is it difficult? Partner is marked with the ace of diamonds, since declarer would never be holding up here with Jxx in dummy. Since there are only 18 HCP outstanding, that means declarer has the rest of them. So I can count for sure 4 spade tricks, 3 heart tricks, 1 diamond trick, and 1 club trick for declarer. The only possibility for a fifth defensive trick is in the club suit, so the jack of clubs shift jumps out at you.
2 hours ago
Kit Woolsey edited this comment an hour ago
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East has the ace of diamonds, but didn't double 4. If he had AJ, he probably would have doubled. So, I'm placing the jack of diamonds with West.

Why did West lead a diamond rather than a heart, considering that his partner didn't double 4? The reason is that West has a lot of length in diamonds, so he judged leading away from the jack was reasonably safe.

For these reasons, I'm trusting the lead to be an honest lead from J98xxx. This paces East with likely more clubs, so I'm playing the king first. After that, vacant spaces makes the finesse slightly superior.
6 hours ago
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I don't know anything about the status of online club games. However, if they are invitational, there is a very simple solution: Don't invite the player to play in the game any more.
6 hours ago
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I think that is his business, not yours.
7 hours ago
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Of course what Oren suggests is best. From the kibitzers point of view they wouldn't know or care that there is a delay. It simply remains for BBO to implement the necessary software an technology.
7 hours ago
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If I am proven wrong and somebody finds a way to create a cheating-proof environment for online bridge, that would be great. Then online events could have real significance.

Preventing kibitzing doesn't do the job.
7 hours ago
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I don't know. Does it really make a difference?
7 hours ago
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Michael,

Perhaps it is wishful thinking. However, we did play against every team in the round robin (except the two teams who had a bye). Since my team was 4-handed, I played every board. At no time did I feel the slightest bit of discomfort about the possibility that my opponents were cheating.

If you have any particular reason to believe otherwise, I will be happy to discuss details in private. Such details of course should not appear on a public forum.

I don't understand where you get the impression that I think cheating in online games isn't a big deal. I think it is a very big deal. It is for exactly this reason that I do not believe online games have any real significance. They are not the Spingold or Trials, and never will be, for the reason that cheating is always possible and relatively easy to do regardless of methods of trying to prevent it.
20 hours ago
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I totally agree with everything Bobby says. Scary.

We play in these tournaments for practice and because we enjoy the game. The USBF invitational was one of the most pleasant tournaments I have played in, and I would say there was little or no cheating of any kind.

While we all try to play our best in these online tournaments, as Bobby says they don't mean anything. They aren't the Spingold or the trials, and they never will be. The potential for cheating will always exist, regardless of how many cameras or delays we use. So let's just enjoy playing in these events and let the kibitzers enjoy them also.

As for the cheaters, there is a very simple solution. We are not dealing with any public membership organization such as the ACBL or the WBF. These are all privately run invitational tournaments. The tournament organizer is king. He/she can invite or not invite anybody for any reason, and that is that. There is no need to prove the a player or pair is cheating to some committee or court. The best defense against the cheaters is for tournament organizers to take a hard line and not invite them. The cheaters will soon find that they don't have a place to play.
July 5
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I much prefer some form of control responses to any of the above suggestions.
July 4
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Bridge logic should dictate that when a defender is 100% known to have at least 3 spot cards with which he can signal, as is the case here, then 3-way signals should apply. The definition of the 3-way signals depends upon partnership agreement. Most common is for a middle spot to be encouraging, with the highest and lowest spots being suit-preference. Thus North should play the 2 of spades, and South should then find the club shift.
July 3
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I think South just has to bid 3NT over 3H and hope for the best. 4 doesn't figure to make. 3NT might.
July 3
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Keith,

That is not what I said in my commentary. In my opinion, there is no logical alternative to the diamond shift – I don't care how many experts shifted to a heart when making a probably rushed polling decision.

Also, in my opinion there is nothing about the huddle which suggests any particular shift. Steve was simply trying to decide which discard would be most helpful to partner, and he made a very good discard. Had he discarded a spade, Kerri might not have gotten it right, although even then the diamond shift looks pretty clear as Steve has to have something in diamonds.
July 3
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Ed,

The opinion of the director, those polled, the panel, and all of the commentators except yours truly is as follows:

The pair is playing odd-even discards. Ostensibly, the discard of a low even spot card is supposed to call for a shift to the lower of the other two suits, hearts in this case. Since it took Steve a long time to make the discard, that is UI that he doesn't really want a heart shift – he just doesn't have the spot card to signal what he wants. Thus, the UI suggests not shifting to a heart. Since a heart shift was made by those polled, it was deemed to be a logical alternative. Therefore, the diamond shift is not allowed.

As you can tell from my comments, I do not agree with this. I believe he was thinking about which suit to discard, not about whether or not he had the desired spot card in the suit. Also, from the Bridge information available to Kerri I do not think a heart shift is a logical alternative (even though 4 payer polled did shift to a heart).
July 3
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It is easy to say that partner should return he jack of hearts from KJ87, and obviously this works well when the opening leader has AQxxx. But what if declarer has Q9x? If you return the jack declarer will cover, and the suit is blocked. Yes, declarer can block the suit by playing the 9 if you return the 7, but in real life he will play the queen (hoping you have the ace), and now you can run the suit.

Returning the 10 from 1087x is less likely to cause confusion on balance, since declarer will usually not be bidding 2NT with J9x. Admittedly on this layout partner will be facing the same problem.
July 2
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In theory, dropping the jack from J10x is quite safe. Even if partner has stiff queen declarer won't get it right, since he won't risk losing to the idiot's finesse when you dropped the jack from Jx and partner had Q10 doubleton.

In practice, players don't think along these lines. From West's point of view, the value of dropping the jack from J10x will not be apparent. Unless the bidding makes it 100% clear that declarer has only 4 hearts, the chance that West has J10x is virtually zero.
July 2
ATB
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Suppose South had the same shape, but his ace of spades were the ace of cubs, giving him: KJx xx AJxx AQxx. Would South have had any reason to evaluate or bid differently? Yet now, 5 is a terrible contract. If N-S had reached 5 and gone down, you would be posing the same ATB problem asking who was more at fault for getting to 5.

You must fact the fact that some hands are guesses. While there might be a percentage action, we don't always know what that percentage action is. There can't be an issue of blame on a hand such as this.
July 2
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Actually, if West has the king of clubs (along with assumed king of hearts), you are 100% cold. When you cash the last trump and discard a club, West would have to discard his king of clubs in order to guard the diamonds, in which case you score your queen and ace of clubs separately. Otherwise, West isn't guarding the diamonds, and the double squeeze must succeed.
July 1
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As always, if you feel you need to ask if a bid is alertable, the answer is yes.
July 1
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