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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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Frances: I was thinking somebody might say my ‘right’ to not accept the lead does not extend as far as my ‘obligation’ to play to win within the rules; that my reason for non-acceptance must be my own self-interest.
July 17, 2015
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David B: I ruled making 7.

By current law, AFAIK, East is allowed to accept the lead out of turn and defeat the contract. I have no problem with East doing that - I never have a problem with someone following the Law.

If declarer actually had called for the 2 from dummy and I were East I would tell him he is in his hand. I always do when my opponent leads from the wrong hand - even where it's not relevant.
Obviously, in this case, this results in the grand slam making (which, to me, is as it should be).
Maybe somebody will say I have no ‘right’ to behave this way.

I did have one case, though, where the declarer, with AKxx in hand and J10xx in dummy called for the jack. When I pointed out he was in hand he cashed the AK (even though he could have reached dummy) and Qxx was onside. He assumed I would only try to stop him leading from the wrong hand if the finesse was off.
July 16, 2015
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Nice construction.
For me, there are conflicting issues:

a) My desire that when a claimer doesn't know what's happening, he will ‘lose’ if losing is a legitimate possibility.

b) My desire that all illegal calls and plays should be canceled and corrected to something legal. And that there be no automatic penalty for the illegality (but any doubt is decided in favor of the non-offenders.)

I well know neither of these is what the Law IS (especially not (b)) - it's what I'd like the Law to be.

For me (b) ‘trumps’ (a), so I'd try (in an attempt to emulate Lord Denning) to find a legal reason to rule making seven. Here, that reason would be that there is no play after the claim - therefore the illegal play from the wrong hand cannot be made or accepted.

As the Laws stand, I could see a director ruling either way. To me, that's part of the problem.
July 16, 2015
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Let's say partner continues with 3 over your 1S-2C, 2D-2N, 3C. What do you do now with 5-1-5-2 or 5-1-4-3?
July 15, 2015
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“How many hearts does he have?”

Since the 9 was not mentioned and partner won the J, that seems pretty obvious. Perhaps you meant to say declarer played 9…
July 14, 2015
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And my post was trying to make the point that it would be better if we could never be penalized because of how long our opponents took. That won't happen till each pair has its own time.
July 14, 2015
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Sorry, I intended to post my thoughts here a long time ago, but got sidetracked and forgot.

The leader can picture quite a lot about the four hands. LHO has (probably) 7-card spades, quite likely with a stiff heart. RHO has 5-5 in the reds, and either a club stopper or (more likely) 0-5-5-3 (with or without a club stopper). Why is 0-5-5-3 more likely? Because with 1-2-5-5 he might well have preferred 4 with what we know are ‘empty’ hearts and probably no huge source of tricks in diamonds.
Partner looks to be most likely 3-4-0-6, yet he did not overcall 2 NV, so his clubs are probably not that good.
If declarer's spades are 1 loser, there is only one real hope - that partner has Qxx and Axxx - not very likely.

So, let's make the following assumption: that LHO has 7-1-2-3 (spades no better than AQ10xxxx) and RHO is 0-5-5-3, and that opponents hold AK.

A heart lead works when partner has 10xxx (or 9xxx with stiff 10 in dummy) AND partner can win both spades (or declarer ducks 2 hearts).

A club lead works when partner has J10xxxx or better AND can win both spades.

Which is the better hope? Partner needs ‘more’ in clubs than in hearts - but he has more of them.

My post-table analysis is, based on the above assumptions, that the heart is slightly more likely to be successful. (Of course, other constructions are possible.) maybe somebody else can help with the math.

The actual hand? LHO held A109xxxx, A, Kx, Axx and RHO had —, 10xxxx, AJ98x, Kxx. Partner had KQx, xxxx, —, J109xxx.

Perhaps LHO should have bid 4 (declarer has to guess on J lead). Perhaps partner should have bid 2. But this is what happened in this year's Open trials in the match my team lost - and I failed to find the winning lead.

July 14, 2015
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I'm not disagreeing, Francis, just asking the question. I wish I could see a “Sliding Doors” example of a claim/no claim session. Maybe with a ‘third door’ when you only claim when one hand is high.
July 13, 2015
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“scourge”….“nit pick”. Isn't the use of each of these terms prejudicial?

Who should make the judgment of which inaccurate claims are acceptable, and which are not? The players? Or the Directors?

Also, do we actually know how much overall time, in practice, is saved by claiming?
July 13, 2015
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I imagine each member of the Committee reasoned thusly:
“I think I would never have gotten this wrong. Therefore, nobody else would have.”

Wrong on three counts.
July 12, 2015
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Each pair should have its own time. In the 2-card ending you describe, the time is assigned to defender. If the trick can be made (Kx onside or stiff K offside - or A or Q is onside) the time is assigned to declarer.
The defender can, if he chooses, not claim. He might do this if he believes saying nothing will help declarer misguess on a future hand, and is willing to have the time assigned to him. But I think that would be pretty rare in practice.
July 12, 2015
Michael Rosenberg edited this comment July 12, 2015
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I think it's preferable to have players make (or mention) the jettison play. Or learn that they should have.
July 12, 2015
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“is there any doubt in your mind she would have made the hand had play continued?”

Have you ever watched top-level bridge? The only think that is “clear” to me is that players, no matter how skilled, might do almost anything.
So when they make an incomplete claim they become ‘suspect’.
And, as you implied yourself, the player who is not having an aberration would mention unblocking, or at least play one unblocking trick.
July 12, 2015
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Hand 1: (a) if diamonds are 3-1, down 2. Failure to mention unblocking is an error.
(b) If diamonds are 2-1, I ask declarer for clarification. If they give the ‘right’ answer (mentioning unblocking), I accept the claim (though, if I were director, I would warn declarer to claim with more care). If they don't mention unblocking in some way, I would rule down 2.

Hand 2: Down 5 (or less if that is not possible). You don't get to find unmentioned jettison plays after claiming.
July 12, 2015
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“is there any doubt in your mind she would have made the hand had play continued?”

Yes.
July 12, 2015
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Partner is not supposed to bid over 1 doubled with a weak hand and a weak suit. So can certainly have a 5- card suit. He doesn't need a ‘decent’suit for that to be our best possible escape. And he can have 4-5 HCP facing my 14.
But even that doesn't need to be the case for a 1 bid. Partner might be 4-3-3-3 with some decent spade spots, and you might be 2-4-3-4 minimum hoping partner could escape in a red suit (as Kit said earlier).
If opener might be 4-4 in the minors, there are even more possibilities.
Passing the double then bidding FREELY later can mean different things depending on agreement; bad suit, or 2 places to play or something else.
But a forced bid shows nothing except some length. it could even be a prepared bid for further rescue. For example with 4-4-3-2 partner should bid 1 over the redouble of 1. If that gets doubled, then redouble will allow us to get to the longer major fit, if there is one.
July 12, 2015
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You could make that agreement. You could make any agreement. But the point is, absent any prior agreement, that redouble here is SOS.
July 12, 2015
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When I first heard this auction, my thought was that 1N is a weird bid that I wouldn't make on almost any hand. Whether, i'm 18-19 or 12-14 I would probably start with redouble. how can i be sure 1N is safer than a 1-level suit contract? if I get doubled in a suit contract i can stil stay at the same level and bid NT. The reverse is not true.

I have some sympathy for Kit's position that we should just forget about ‘showing’ 18-19 here, and just escape as best we can. But it is possible, especially at this vul, that East has a bad hand with clubs (QJ10xx(x) and out?).
I have no sympathy for Kit's position that the range of the direct 1N is an open question. I also have no sympathy with Gabor's position that redouble then 1N shows 18-19. You can't show strength via an SOS redouble. And, as Kit himself pointed out, that's what you might do with a 2-4-3-4 minimum.

Conclusion: direct 1N should rarely be bid. But, if it is bid, it shows 18-19 (probably a good 19 - maybe xxx, AKQ10, AKx, Kxx?). And redouble then 1N (at any time)leaves the range unshown.
July 11, 2015
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Max: For the record, if my player-clone made the claim as given in the OP, my director-clone would rule down 1. Because, on this particular hand, it would be obvious that my player-clone was in la-la land. Experts can have tunnel-vision too.
July 11, 2015
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Ed: That is one definition of “apologize”, but I don't think it's the only one. Another definition could be “to tell someone you are sorry for something that has caused (or induced someone to feel) unhappiness.”

I think it's reasonable to “apologize” for the “slam on a miracle” that induced unhappiness - to show the opponents you sympathize with what happened to them. Especially if you think the particular opponents would appreciate it.
Of course, it's also reasonable not to apologize.
July 10, 2015
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