Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Michael Haddox-Schatz
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As someone who has dragged a number of friends to tournaments for their first duplicate experience, some of whom have since joined the ACBL, this policy makes me sad.
March 7, 2018
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I don't know what 1st place should pay, but what feels “fair” to me is that if you have a 30 table field, the sum total of all the master points given out in this event should be the same whether the event is an individual, pairs, or team game.
Jan. 2, 2018
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Here's a situation that I had come up that I think gets to the heart of the poll question.

I was playing in 4 and the opening lead was a heart. RHO got confused and played the A rather than a heart. She realized her error in time and we called the director. She then played a heart with the A becoming a penalty card.

I proceeded to win the opening lead and then drew trump (they split 2-2). I now had the option of playing one more round of trump knowing that RHO would have to discard the A.

If I understood the OP correctly Ai-Tai Lo would not play a 3rd round of trump here, unless he would've without the penalty card. and he is surprised to learn that some people would intentionally play the third round of trump, taking deliberate advantage of the penalty card.
Dec. 12, 2017
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This question speaks to me because the system isn't that different from what I play with my regular partner, and it is a good month if we play more than 1 session in a month, so these types of mistakes come up, since the auctions are so rare.

When my partner makes the sign-off bid of 4S, I have very strong evidence of a miscommunication. The most likely disconnect is on the meaning of XX (an auction that we've likely never actually had come up in real play), but it is possible that he realized he had misunderstood a previous response and only just now realized it and so really does want to sign off.

The UI very strongly suggests which type of mistake was made. As I said in a previous comment, without an explanation, I would almost certainly bid 6. But given the explanation, I feel I am stuck between losing options. (and this wouldn't be the first time where an opponent who had no intention of bidding asked a question in the middle of an auction, making us aware of a miscommunication and now giving us no ethical way to land on our feet - not that I am bitter.)
May 12, 2017
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Is this a valid option: Bid 6, and then if 6 makes ensure that the director is called and that there was UI and that the hand should probably be scored as if it was in 4?
May 12, 2017
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Why would partner ask about heart controls if he's going to stop in game even though I have a first round control? This strongly suggests to me that partner and I had a miscommunication. Without the explanation, I would probably back this judgement by just bidding 6.

However, it's hard to say that Pass is not a Logical Alternative to partner's sign off bid when he's the captain of the hand. And the UI definitely suggests bidding on. So given the explanation, I'd expect to have the contract rolled back to 4 if I bid on. (unless 6 goes down, of course).
May 11, 2017
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Since I don't play much, ease of memory is important. We play that we bid the shortness. So over 2 - 2N:
* 3 - Minimum
**o 3 - reask
**oo+ 3 - 4315
**oo+ 3 - 3415
**oo+ 3N - 4405 or 4414
**o others, natural and non-forcing (except 4 still asks controls)
* 3 - 4405, extras
* 3 - 4315, extras
* 3 - 3415, extras
* 3N - 4414, extras
March 19, 2017
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If by “should” you mean what to the rules say - I'll leave that to others. However, if should is a more hypothetical - what “should” the rules say…

I agree with Max. First, when I see someone has dropped something, I have this habit of either pointing it out to them, or if it is more convenient (for example the person is of “bridge” age) I pick it up for them. If I see that they dropped their glasses or their pencil, I'll pick it up. If I'm between rounds and turning off my “bridge brain”, I might pick up a card on the floor before I'd even realize that there might be something wrong with doing that.

Second, I don't play nearly as much bridge as I'd like. As such, I really value “normal” bridge results. The sooner the offender realizes they have dropped a card, the higher the odds that the hand can just be played out “normally”. Like Max, I would be very grateful to anyone who pointed out a card on the floor to my opponent and allowed us to play the hand.
Dec. 30, 2016
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This subthread reminds me of one of my first games at a local club. Most of the players assumed my partner and I were married (my standard response - we are, but not to each other), but this one lady somehow knew we weren't married to each other and so had a much more unexpected line of conversation.

Lady to me: You do realize she is married don't you!

Me: <confused> yes

Lady to partner: And your husband is ok with this?!?!?!

Partner: ?!?!?!?!?
Dec. 28, 2016
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Let's assume, for sake of argument, that I asked the question in the proper non-UI form, but it was still unclear to me if dummy had promised 2 or 3 trump. On the very rare occurrence that the opponents' explanations weren't complete and thorough, I assume it is ok for me to ask how many trump dummy has shown, for the sole purpose of knowing what declarer is expecting? (and therefore giving me a hint as to how many trump declarer has.)
June 10, 2016
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It feels analogous to what south did in your post. He was asking to understand how west viewed the hand, not to understand what east has, and you object to that. When I ask, I am trying to understand how declarer views the hand, not to know what dummy has.

Presumably there's a distinction that I am missing.
June 10, 2016
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I have a habit that I think is relevant to this discussion. After partner has chosen his opening lead, but before facing it, I will sometimes ask declarer about the meaning of some of dummy's bids even though I will see dummy before I have to make any play decisions. My reason for doing this is I want to know what declarer expected during the bidding with the hope that I will better be able to figure out declarer's hand.

My understanding of the arguments here is that most posters think this is ok, but Jeff feels it is questionable. Am I being unethical with these questions?
June 10, 2016
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I am definitely NOT ambidextrous. I write, throw, bat, etc. right handed. However, I don't find the difference in holding a hand of cards fanned vs. pulling a card out to require enough difference in dexterity to cause me to strongly favor one way vs. the other.
Feb. 25, 2016
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You need to do more research on handedness. I am completely right-handed, but up until I was exposed to bidding boxes it was completely random which hand I pulled a card with. I know other right-hand people who benefit from a “left-handed” bidding box because they hold the cards in their right hand and pull with the left.

Now I mostly hold the cards in my left hand and pull with my right to simplify bidding, but sometimes my left hand gets tired and I swap.

One data point (even if this person normally pulled with the right hand), is just that, a data point. Definitely not enough to draw a conclusion.
Feb. 25, 2016
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Ray, is there anything wrong with illustrating your line of play? This is how I try to claim. e.g. “I'm going to play the ace and king of clubs pitching my two small diamonds, (showing the two small diamonds as I say this) and then I will lead a heart to my hand and my hand is good” (showing the rest of my hand consisting of top cards).

Is this a valid and legal way to make a claim statement?


Anthony, I like to not claim when not on lead, but sometimes the person on lead is agonizing for minutes. (or at least it feels that way) In addition to not wanting wait that long, I feel bad letting them struggle over a lead when it doesn't matter what they do. So I do sometimes claim when an opponent is trying to figure out what to lead, but I try to be extra careful with my statement and to make sure I describe how I'd handle any lead.
Jan. 31, 2016
Michael Haddox-Schatz edited this comment Jan. 31, 2016
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I tried to limit my story/question to the facts of what happened because I think that is all that matters as far as a ruling concerns. However, since it is natural to try to read into people's motivations, here was my take based on my observations and knowledge of those involved.

When declarer started to face her hand, she did not seem to be about to say anything and I don't think she was going to make any statement, trusting her hand to speak for her. I don't think she had thought through what would happen if I had led another diamond (which I was about to do). I also do believe that she really thinks should would have ruffed high had play continued without a claim.

My partner truly believed that if he said nothing, the director would rule in favor of declarer because by the time the director asked for clarification the declarer would realize the situation and would say she would ruff a diamond high.

I also think that the director would have ruled based on how she thinks the play is likely to have proceeded and she would have concluded that declarer would have ruffed high (even without any questioning by defense or any immediate clarification by declarer) and so would have ruled that the contract makes. i.e. I think my partner's fears were justified.
Jan. 30, 2016
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Since all the principals have had their ethics questioned on this thread and I am responsible for bringing this story to the internet, I feel the need to defend them.

Based on conversation that happened after this event I am confident that while both declarer and my partner were competitive and wanted every trick they were due, they both would rather have the contract go the wrong way than to earn a trick they didn't deserve. And the director knew neither player would stop playing based on this ruling and so “losing a customer” was not a factor in her decision. i.e. if anyone's actions were wrong, it was not because of poor ethics.
Jan. 30, 2016
Michael Haddox-Schatz edited this comment Jan. 30, 2016
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I'd like to thank everyone for their replies. First, to clarify the timing, my partner asked declarer what she would do on a diamond lead as soon as it was clear that declarer was claiming - before she said anything or had even gotten her hand all the way to the table. While I could see declarer's cards, I hadn't had time to parse what cards were in declarer's hand.

I think the confusion at the table was caused by an incorrect understanding of claim procedure.

Declarer (and possibly this director?) believes that an unspecified claim should be resolved based on how it would have been played without the claim. Since she honestly thinks she would have trumped with the K, that is how it should be ruled.

My partner thinks the claim will be resolved based on the explanation given to the director rather than what is initially stated by the claimer. This is why he immediately jumped in to ask his question - he didn't want to give the declarer a chance to realize the problem. I.e. he is convinced that if he said nothing, declarer would realize the situation (based on his failure to accept) and then state that she would trump a diamond high, when asked by the director. (and that the director would use that explanation to adjudicate the claim)
Jan. 29, 2016
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Kit, I appreciate your answer and I remember you saying something similar in another thread. What you say makes a lot of sense to me and I aspire to do it, but socially it is hard. There is pressure to accept the claim (or challenge it) right away. Some of the players think the claim is so obvious that they just fold up their hand without even showing it, and dummy follows declarer's lead. If I don't return my cards or challenge the claim (after much less than 30 seconds), I'll get asked what is wrong.

Of course, had my partner followed this advice, we wouldn't have been in the situation where it could be argued that declarer wasn't given a chance to clarify her claim.
Jan. 28, 2016
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“…this pointless exercise.” I'm not sure people who spend their time on an internet forum focusing on a card game are in any position to be casting stones about what is or isn't pointless. (especially when there is probably a decent overlap between bridge enthusiasts and math enthusiasts)
Jan. 22, 2016
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