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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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You say you could make if an opponent has Jx of spades and a bare heart ace left. But isn't xx of spades just as good in this case (not that there's really got much chance that is the hand)?
Feb. 26, 2012
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I agree that very few experts would consider a heart lead, even though it has merit. I also agree that a spade lead is normal.

I don't agree that, if you lead the spade 3 for deceptive purposes, “It won't make any difference to partner”. Dummy is a favorite to be 3-3-3-4, but it is not the only possibility. It may have a bad 4-card major or bad 5-card club suit in an otherwise notrumpy hand. Then dummy may have Hx in spades with partner having J10xx - and he may think your spade three suggests a 4-card holding.

I also think it's a little inconsistent to talk about leading deceptively, while implying that partner's count at trick one must be honest - he is also allowed to be tricky. Probably not here, however, since partner, with Jxxx of diamonds would likely prefer declarer thinks he has 4-card spades.

You say “Declarer can't have king-doubleton with a small club, since partner would have played one of his honors from J10x.” On this hand, I see little reason why he should not (though it may influence partner into temporarily miscounting the hand). But I also see no reason why he should not play low. As a generalization, I would say low is “normal” here. If dummy had as little as Q8xx, playing an honor might induce a declarer to go right with AK9.

Excellent point about ducking the second round of clubs. It's the kind of play few experts consider. If you win it, you have no chance against a good declarer. However, I'm wondering if there is any declarer who, after you win the second club, would play for the minor suit squeeze because you didn't duck? Too deep, I guess.

Also, excellent point about pitching the heart queen.
Feb. 19, 2012
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Eugene:

I am sorry if this bothers you, and I have no wish to engage in an incendiary discussion on this site, but I sometimes feel compelled to point out when I believe glaringly inaccurate statements have been made – and this is one of those occasions.

I only read the first ten lines of Judy K-W’s long post, and I found it to be factually inaccurate.

As I said before, it is not true that all players signed something. I represented the US in Shanghai and I was not asked to and did not sign anything. Neither did Debbie. We also represented the US several times prior to that, and neither of us was asked to or did sign anything.

I'm guessing that I could find 100 players who have represented the US and not signed anything.

Regarding her claim that:

“ During the discussions, after returning home from the WBF WC's in Shanghai, these signed documents were brought up many times in the USBF discussions of what went on and NEVER, AT LEAST UP TO NOW, HAS ANYONE DENIED THE SIGNING OF THEM.” (my emphasis)

I would point out that on BridgeBase Forum (which was the major online discussion center at that time), Debbie started a thread to publish the truth of what had happened, part of which was this(posted on November 18, 2007):

“Signing Statements:

Contrary to some rumors, my team was not given any document to sign, by the USBF or any other bridge organization, before going to Shanghai, or before playing in the USBF Trials. Until today, not one of the 20 or so players I have spoken to, who have qualified this past year or before for a world championship through a USBF trials, clearly remembers ever signing anything.”

The link to the thread is http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/22356-just-the-facts/

If it was brought up in discussions at that time that documents were signed, it was probably not true – and definitely not true that they were signed by everyone. Repeating that false statement now does not add any credence to it.

It is true that SUBSEQUENT to Shanghai, Debbie qualified and she and her team were asked by the USBF to sign something - NOT before the Trials, but before the World Championships.

If intending to continue referring to Shanghai, I think it would be nice if she would acknowledge that some of her statements on this thread were false.
Feb. 8, 2012
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Judy Kay-Wolff said (regarding the Shanghai sign):

“ all members had signed papers agreeing to keep politics off the drawing board.”

This statement is false.

Feb. 7, 2012
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Bob H:
So you think Zia will make the HOF on the first ballot. Do you also think that Obama will beat McCain in 2008? And that the Giants will win the Super Bowl in the 2011-12 season?
Feb. 6, 2012
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Randy:

I don't see any reason why we couldn't have a Senior HOF also.
Feb. 5, 2012
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I selected D3 before looking at comments, for the same reason as Barry R. There is no good reason to make an active lead. Any other diamond helps declarer guess the suit (D5 if, say, J98 facing AK6)or the count if D2.
When you are giving away information, you should ask “Who am I telling?”
Feb. 5, 2012
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I concur with Geoff. It would be different if our “sport” were one such as Track and Field, where women do not compete with men. Since they can and do compete, the HOF should follow the same structure as our game. And there is no reason why qualified women could not be in inducted into BOTH HOF's.
Feb. 5, 2012
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I have only looked at this for a couple of minutes, so I am quite likely mistaken, but:

It seems to me that if West ducked the heart that declarer, to succeed, would need to finesse the D8 (if East held the D8, ducking HA would defeat, I think)when winning the club ace (since he no longer has the heart jack for a second entry). If that is the case, it seems that declarer, on winning the spade queen in dummy, should lead a DIAMOND not a heart, planning to lead a second diamond after winning the club ace, thus not needing D10 onside. He can play hearts from his hand.

Of course, maybe South could have avoided all this by bidding three HEARTS….
Jan. 29, 2012
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Since it's doubtful to double with 3-3-1-6, even a good one, isn't it likely that partner is (4-3)-0-6?
With a void, the prize is much greater for partner - our making game is that much more possible. and, isn't it also possible that partner, appreciating the problem of me being 4-4 in the majors, might be planning to bid 3S over 3H? He might do this with excellent clubs.

If any, or all of this is true, the chance of reaching a 4-4 major fit is greatly improved. More importantly, the chance of defeating 3D goes down dramatically when partner is void. On the actual shape, we had 15 trumps, and bidding can “never” be right. On the void shape, there are 17 trumps, and bidding can “never” be wrong.

I think that's the question we need to answer over 3D doubled. Does partner have a void? Basically, I
would presume he has one - although I'd be a lot more confident at matchpoints
Jan. 14, 2012
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Peg:

Yes, sorry, it was directed at you. I don't like the law the way it is, and I am going to suggest it be changed. I guess you, at least, won't be wishing me luck!
Jan. 11, 2012
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So what, if anything, would you do if the law WERE changed?
Jan. 11, 2012
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Peg: I understand you don't have a problem with the current laws. My question to you is this: would you have a problem if the law were changed so that the penalties are not automatic?
Jan. 11, 2012
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Peg:

In the case of the revoke in a grand slam where the trump ace now vanishes, this is a bridge result that can NEVER be achieved by bridge plays.
In the case of a legal play, this is a bridge result that is possible to be achieved.

Some times, inferior legal plays can gain; this is probably far from the best example, but let's say declarer has QJ92 in hand facing K765 in dummy. Declarer plays small from hand and, thinking he has played the queen from hand, calls “small” from dummy. Declarer can get no redress if I now win my ten from A10 doubleton. Instead, if I now win my singleton ace, I can get no redress because declarer played the “wrong” card.
Other than the situations in which the laws provide for the taking back of an unintentional legal play, legal plays do and should count.

Yes, many “ridiculous” legal plays are made. Often they end up not costing anything (and, sometimes, they gain), and often they do.

It might have been better had I used the word “impossible” to describe the grand slam making off the trump ace. I object to the impossible result AND the automatic penalty. I don't want the former, and have no desire for the latter.

I guess I just can't view a revoke, or an exposed card, or a lead out of turn or an insufficient bid as “bad” bridge - I see it as illegal. I'm willing to profit from legal but bad bridge but not, automatically, from illegal bridge.

Jan. 11, 2012
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Hendrik:

You said: “I really don't see where playing the two of clubs on partner's A of
spades lead (revoking) is any different than playing the Q from AQ in fourth
seat when third hand played the K”

The difference between the two situations you describe is obvious. The two of clubs on the ace of spades is an ILLEGAL play. The ILLEGAL play mandates a Director call, and you are compelled to change your play. As I have already said, I believe we should change the laws to remove the AUTOMATIC penalty for illegalities, but instead the Director should do his or her best to restore equity, with any doubt resulting in favor of the non-offenders. That would take away any ridiculous results (such as grand slam making missing the trump ace), but also would be a deterrent to making illegal plays (the idea being that you can't gain but might lose).
The Q from AQ when they play the king is a LEGAL BUT INFERIOR play. Assuming that your intention was to play that card, as opposed to it falling out of your hand or just pulling the wrong card out, you have no reason to call the Director, and no right to change your play.
By the way, a legal but inferior bid or play sometimes gains - and when it does the opponents have no redress.

I believe one is entitled to the good score that often (not always) stems from a legal play. I would prefer it if one is not entitled to the automatic penalty from an illegal play - though one is entitled to an improved score if the infraction helped the offender.
Jan. 11, 2012
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Andy has expressed the position I would take on illegal bids and plays, and has done so in a very precise and succinct manner. In fact, I'm thinking of just copying and pasting his five bullet points, and sending it to the Laws Committee.

When you have automatic penalties instead of judgment, you are giving up on case-by-case equity. Life may be too big and complicated to do that, but I don't think bridge is.
Jan. 8, 2012
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One scheduling concern is the Women's event. At the moment, the primary woman's event is the 2-day Bam, run opposite the Open 2-day BAM. If we play a 4-day Blue Ribbon, or a 6-day Reisinger, women will not be able to compete in both thos events and their own “major” (some may say this would be their choice). I guess a 3-day (sadly not 4) BR, and a 5-day (sadly not 6) Reisinger may be all that can be achieved in practice. That would allow the Woman's event to remain in between.
But obviously, there are many alternatives for how to reconstruct the Reisinger and BR.

Jonathan and Tom: I suggest that you contact everyone on the Committee in advance of the Memphis meeting. It wil probably facilitate change if everyone is apprised in advance, rather than having it sprung on them.
Jan. 6, 2012
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I don't like Barry's idea, unless the event is SIX days long. It's already tough enough to make the third day coming down to ten teams. And you want to make it even more difficult?
Jan. 5, 2012
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I have long thought the Reisinger is far too short, and that there is too much randomness associated with qualifying for the second or third day. I think it should be at least 5 days long. I feel less strongly about whether it should be in the form of a KO (which I prefer) or run along lines similar to the current method.

I would also like to see one of our National Pair games be made longer. What about a 4 day Blue Ribbon and a 5 or 6 (depending on the size of the entry) day Reisinger?

This would mean losing the 2-day Pair game, and 2-day BAM. I would be happy to trade that for longer premier events.

The Swiss would also get more teams - though probably not those who reach late stages in the Reisinger.

Regarding the number of boards, we play 52 in a pair game, including moving and breaks. I think we could comfortably play 56 in the Reisinger.

Regarding Steve's point re non-elite teams, I'll make a suggestion for which I'm confident I'll get approximately zero support. There should be no seeding in ACBL events (yes, I mean the Vanderbilt and Spingold, too). All teams start on an equal footing, and the draw and the brackets are random. Isn't it difficult enough already for a “non-elite” team to do well? Must we also ask them to bear a more difficult draw?
Interestingly, the Reisinger, in its current form, is, I believe, the one event that does not give any advantage to the seeded teams.
Jan. 5, 2012
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So I moved 3,000 miles to be close to the Cavendish, and now they move it 7,000 miles away? WTF?
Jan. 4, 2012
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