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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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Full disclosure is not debatable. Please forget about laws and regulations involving alerts. They are written for f2f play, not for online play where self-alerting is available.
June 14
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That is the “other” option.
June 14
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There is no “normal” way to cash the spades. West is planning on cashing them both, and the order of cashing them is suit-reference as best as possible within the context of the situation, since only two possible signals can be given. There is nothing more complicated than that.
June 14
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I always have my explanation typed in before I make my bid. Very simple, and avoids the possibility of an opponent acting before knowing what my bid means.

I don't think this takes any extra time, since I'm going to have to type my explanation in anyway before my opponent bids. In fact, I think it is faster, because my opponent doesn't have to wait for the explanation – it comes with the bid. Clearly if I alert but don't include an explanation my opponent should wait until the explanation is given before he bids. If he doesn't do so that conveys the UI that he doesn't care what my bid means.
June 14
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If you have to ask whether or not you should alert the call, the answer is yes. That is how certain you should be to not alert an agreement which you and your partner have, or an inference which could be drawn based on some partnership agreement. For example, if you could have made a support double and didn't do so that should be alerted – not that you deny 3-card support, but that you had a support double available. However, if your partnership has the agreement that you always make a support double with 3-card support, then you alert and explain that your action denies 3-card support.

To put it very simply: I there is any doubt, alert and explain. How difficult is that to understand?
June 14
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On deal 1, partner's 8 of hearts is clear suit-preference for spades. I lead the 8, saying I don't want a spade back. Partner will have no trouble figuring out that means I can ruff a heart. I'm not leading the king of spades, as partner could have stiff ace.

On deal 2, partner's order of spade plays (king then queen) is clearly suit-preference, so I'm not leading a club. If declarer has a doubleton heart, I should play a heart. If declarer has a singleton heart, I should play ace and a trump.

Which is the case? If declarer has a doubleton heart, partner should have ducked the first round of hearts since partner has the count. However, if declarer has a singleton heart partner has 3 hearts, and partner should have passed 1 rather than bid 1. So, partner has made a mistake, and I have to guess which mistake partner has made. I'll guess the mistake was in the bidding, since that might be a judgment call – the defense of ducking the heart does not involve judgment.
June 13
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As far as I know, nobody has written a pamphlet describing alert procedures and regulations for online play. So I'll write one.

Everybody ready? Here is is:

Alert and explain any bid which has a meaning or inference which wouldn't otherwise be obvious.

That is the entire pamphlet.

Oh, wait. That is exactly what Michael said.
June 13
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The law isn't to be changed to you telling the opponents what your hand is. What the law says is that you tell your opponents the meaning of your call as you understand your partnership agreements to be. That is what full disclosure is about.
June 13
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The bidding is never irrelevant
June 12
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Here is our very complicated defense:

Pretend it is a weak 2 bid.

Optimal? I'm sure it isn't. But at least you will know what your bids mean, which is what is most important.
June 12
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Then the conditions of contest should be changed. How can it make sense to forbid a player from making a private chat with an opponent? One of the nice features of BBO is that we can ask such a question privately without either of the other players knowing that the question is being asked.

This has nothing to do with laws. It is just common sense.
June 12
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The big advantage of self-alerting as done on BBO vs. f2f play with screens is that both members of a partnership will receive the same information and that information is what the bidder intends. This pretty much takes care of all MI issues. Mi is a much more serious problem than UI. With UI, if the player receiving the UI simply ignores it and bids normally there won't be a difficulty. With MI, when a pair receives different information about enemy bids they will be bidding at cross purposes and there will be no way to reach a meaningful result at the table.

You are suggesting a solution which involves the E-W pair intentionally giving North and South different information. That cure is far worse than the disease.
June 12
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How does BBO let you know if your partner is asking about the meaning of a bid?
June 12
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When I said there is no solution, what I meant was that there is no way to avoid you getting the UI. RHO meant his bid as natural, and would have meant it that way even if he knew you thought that 2 was Michaels, since he knows that it was meant as natural which makes his 2 call natural. Therefore he will never be alerting you otherwise, so you will always have the UI from his failure to alert. There is no way to get around this. That is what I meant when I said there was no solution. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

As we agree, the solution is to treat it as the UI it is, and not take advantage of it.
June 12
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I don't remember when this happened – it was quite a while ago. Quite possibly this resulted in the change in the laws regarding this sort of issue.

I was just illustrating what can happen if the score of the match is known going into the final board or boards.
June 12
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There is no solution to this problem. You have the UI when your RHO doesn't alert, and nothing is going to change that. Even if you had alerted and explained the systemic meaning of partner's call, that wouldn't help matters. The opponents know what your partner has done, and they will be bidding their hands on the assumption that your partnership meaning is what your partner thinks it is, since that is what his hand actually is. Thus, you would have received the same UI, since there would have been no alert of the 2 call.

What you should do is tell both opponents what has happened, and then bid your hand as if partner's bid means what you think it should mean but the opponent's bid means what he thinks he has shown. Thus, from your point of view the bidding has gone: Partner bid Michaels, and RHO made a natural 2 call. You just have to ignore the UI.

Fortunately this scenario is very rare. It takes a parlay of a player forgetting his methods and the opponent's bids being such that one can deduce from an enemy alert (or non-alert) that partner is on a different page.
June 12
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From Westbot's point of view, your hand could have been AJ Axxxxx Ax xxx.

So why wouldn't you have pitched your losing club on the diamond instead of making your club play? We humans reason that way, and know that declarer can't have ace-doubleton of diamonds and a small tripleton club or he never would have played the hand this way. But the bots are currently incapable of such reasoning. For them, it is simply deal out the remaining cards resulting in a construction consistent with the what has been shown in the bidding (i.e. they would reject a hand where declarer had fewer than 5 hearts), and make the play which succeeds most often (double-dummy) with the constructions generated in the simulation. Not surprisingly, the bot found the club play to be successful more often than the spade play. We mere mortals know that many of these constructions where the club play is the winner are inconsistent with declarer taking a sane line of play, but the bots don't know that.
June 12
Kit Woolsey edited this comment June 12
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The only diamond layout I can think of which is consistent with these cards is for declarer to have QJ doubleton. Why declarer is playing a diamond if that is his holing is beyond me – maybe he is missing the queen of hearts and is fishing around for some information. At any rate I don't need a diamond ruff, so I might as well lead a high spade and see what happens.
June 11
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We have always played it as if no competition, although perhaps your concept might be better. Keep in mind that the structure isn't as good as at the 3-level, since opener can't show 3+ card support – that would involve going past 4 of the major.
June 11
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Let's say that West isn't looking into declarer's hand and doesn't find that defense.
June 11
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