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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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I would like to tell Aviv:

In the case you give, I disagree with your ruling. Part of the purpose of a skip bid is not only to allow the next player time, but to give the ENTIRE TABLE a chance to adjust to the new situation. So after (1S)4H-(4S) the next player should have been prepared - ESPECIALLY for 4S - by far the most likely bid over which he was likely to face a problem. The 4S bidder waited the appropriate time, and now the auction should be back to ‘normal’ tempo - at least for advancer's call.
It would be very different had responder ignored the skip bid warning and bid at once - now I would allow advancer skip bid time to consider his action. If opponents complained, I would point out that responder's speedy action was the root of the problem.
Sept. 9, 2011
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A different take:

Let's say the 4H bid came immediately. Now responder, who intended 4C as KC, knows this particular partner would never respond to KC without taking at least a few seconds to check his response was correct. So he surmises that partner thought 4C was a splinter, and was signing off. Now he bids again - 6H, 5H invitational, or perhaps a Rekeycard(!) 4N ask - and gets to a making slam.
It's not likely there would be any question (since no BIT) but, even if there was (“why did you bid 4C?”), responder could say “When I bid 4N, I intended it as KC - but as soon as my bid hit the table, I realized I was (or might be) wrong. In any case, there was no BIT, so what's your problem?”

I admit I would be looking to rule against the player who, in the actual case presented, bid after the BIT. But maybe a clear, but short, BIT doesn't say much here?
Sept. 8, 2011
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You are wrong in the sense that, if the ruff is in hearts, the defender can get that ruff with EITHER Axx or Qxx. Whereas if you cross to dummy and run SJ, then the ruff will not happen if SQ is onside (with or without SA.)
I think eliminating H8 holdings after H10 would not be sound against some Wests.
Sept. 6, 2011
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Once they jump to 4C and their partner raises to 5C, I don't consider it at all surprising that they bid 6C. So I would think it is important to prepare for that, and that 5H was clearly for the lead. 5D not so clear - maybe I'm just showing values there to help partner if they bid 6C (but I could definitely stand a D lead).

My general principle is that bids in competitive auctions are descriptive, to help partner - and not a slam try. So 1H(1S)-(2S)3S, 4m suggests 5-5 (or maybe 6-4) - and may not have real slam interest.
Sept. 5, 2011
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On 3), you don't address the issue I brought up that 5H (or 5D) could have already been bid for the lead. Isn't that a lot more practical than bidding 5S, doubling, and then hoping partner is on the same wavelength?
Sept. 5, 2011
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Re: the first hand:

A club might have been led - esp. if 3C was defined as help suit - which would almost certainly defeat

The heart ruff worry seems bigger than you say. I didn't see you say what the spot card lead was, but J8xx seems possible - so if SQxx or AQx is onside you go down in a cooler if you play a trump from hand. Also, J1087 in non-leader does not seem as unlikely to me as it does to you - especially if that player had a trump holding such as AQ doubleton.

Still. it seems unclear to me whether to play a trump or a club. But if I played a club, I would get the spades wrong, running the J
Sept. 5, 2011
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I was not correct. Brian Platnick pointed out to me (as I'm sure others have noticed) Declarer wins D lead in hand, plays HA then low H, wins second D in hand, goes to dummy with H, plays C to Q, draws trump, goes to Dk and finesses club
Sept. 5, 2011
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I find it interesting that if S is 6-4-2-1 or 5-5-2-1 in the minors (neither one is that likely on the auction), then only a DIAMOND lead is effective. S wins a heart and plays a second D. Or at least, it's interesting if I am correct.
Sept. 4, 2011
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1) I definitely agree that there should be clear rules as to when a force is created. But the idea that anyone could think this particular 4S bid as creating one frightens me. That question belonged to a different auction.

2)“I have never understood the attraction of responding 1NT with a weak hand and 3-card trump support. If you are that afraid of the raise turning partner on too much, simply pass.”

I would have said, rather:

“I have never understood the attraction of passing with a weak hand and 3-card trump support. If you are that afraid of the raise turning partner on too much, simply respond 1N.”

I like to play 1M-2M as mildly constructive - without that, there is too much pressure on opener to decide when to make a game try (this problem is alleviated for those that play Strong Club). But when I have a lesser hand, I still don't want to pass, since the fit makes game possible. My experience has been that passing tends to make opponent's life easier - it's usually clearer to them that it's their hand.

3) Regarding the Lightner Double aspect, I believe that it should not apply when nobody has any idea whose hand it is (as in the actual auction), ESPECIALLY when, as in the present case, overcaller has the opportunity to bid 5H for the lead. I think this is a more valuable strategy than waiting in the bushes with your void. Of course, I don't have this agreement with anyone but myself….
Sept. 4, 2011
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I guess the fact that it is matchpoints (which I had forgotten) does make the 2H bid less of an anti-percentage action (though no less stupid, given the risk of a misunderstanding). At imps, where you might have been dealt a huge penalty by passing, I think 2H would be insane.
Aug. 17, 2011
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Bill (9Hall):

IF it is true that “Both partners knew the situation was undiscussed”, then the 2H bid was not “overly conservative”. It was just plain stupid. Why make a ridiculous underbid AND incur the risk of a very serious misunderstanding?

I think it likely that the player who bid 2H had no thought it would be misinterpreted as a transfer. - until he heard his partner's announcement.

Aug. 17, 2011
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But how can you say you would have bid 3S “without all these complications”? Isn't it true you would never have bid 2H?
Aug. 17, 2011
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I agree with Joe - except for calling it a “little thing”. Bidding 2H on this hand was a mind loss. So one can't just ask what you would/should do over 2S. You can't have this hand. A (very extreme) analogy would be to say “you open 4N with xxxx, xxxx, x, xxxx and partner bids 5D. What do you do now?
So, in considering bids over 2S, you need to realize some are ‘impossible’ - 3N for example. There is no hand that can bid 2H then 3N.
So the problem needs to be presented thus: you are called to replace a player who is suddenly taken ill (perhaps explaining the 2H call) and you need to act appropriately. What should you do?
Well, the first question is ”what does partner's auction show (without the UI)?“ Partner thinks my 2H is weak, so he is either showing extra strength, or feels it necessary to improve the partial. I would say 2S could be anywhere from a valuation of 15 to 21 with 5 or more spades. If he has only 5 spades, he will have either extra values or singleton/void in hearts (else he should pass 2H). And his hand and spades are not good enough to jump to 3S. But there are a myriad of shapes he could have - 6-2-1-4, 5-0-5-3 and many others. He could have AKQJxxx, x, Ax, xxx - remember, my bid was weak, so there would be little reason to do more.
As I said before, 3N is not a possible bid on this auction. I'm not sure what 2N SHOULD show - perhaps something like —-, J10xxx, Qxxx, Qxxx? I really don't know. But my point would be that a player who bid 2H already has no idea what he is doing, so it's difficult to sensibly ascribe any action to him. Rather, perhaps we should just assume he now ”woke up" - and realizes he now has a hand worth a GF, as Joe says. So, I think the logical alternatives we must foist upon him are 3N or 4S, and since, based on the UI, 3N is far more likely to be a success, it should be 4S.

The issue as to whether you must choose the worst possible action, or the action you believe you would have taken, depends on one's parsing of the laws. It is clear to me that one may not choose an alternative that the UI suggests will help extricate you from your mess. It's not clear to me that I must choose a possible but unlikely alternative that I know will ‘not work’, as opposed to the bid I think I would have made - which may or may not lead to a good result.
Aug. 17, 2011
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Kit:

This is the rule I learned from Zia; give partner 3 hands consistent with his bidding - a very suitable hand, an average hand, and a very unsuitable hand. After seeing how you do opposite all these hands, you should have a pretty good idea of how high to bid

Ken:

Actually, I was discussing the actual (inferior) line of HAK. IObviously, after ruffing a D and W has qJxx you have to play clubs from the top. Sorry that wasn't clear.
Aug. 15, 2011
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Bidding: I would think it clear to sign-off over 4C. When you need a perfecto, and even then slam is not cold, it usually pays to give up - since partner, with a less well-fitting max, will often get you too high. In fact, when I read that a slam try had been made, my first thought was that the player had forgotten his methods and WAS signing off. Since Kit did not mention this, I presume that was not the case.

Lead: Kit makes an excellent point about the lack of trump lead. On the auction, i think I would lead a trump from ANY holding - even Hxxx or the actual QJx. It might even have defeated the actual hand.

Play: I thought the analysis was superb. My only unanswered question was whether it might be correct to finesse C10 if LHO had 4-card H (and would it matter if he had QJxx or Hxxx?).
Aug. 15, 2011
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Eugene:

I think that, in the period following 9/11 (maybe 2 to 3 years), the majority of people accepted the increased scrutiny. But my belief is, in the present day, the majority "tolerate' it because they have no choice.

I am publicly advocating to go back to the days before 9/11 in terms of security.
Aug. 14, 2011
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Eugene:

I abide by the rules on airport security because I have no choice if I want to fly. Before I read your post, I THOUGHT I was in the majority….

Regarding taxes, I am happy to pay them (although I disagree with the specific structure, which I see as unnecessarily complicated) - I believe that's how a government works. But here, I thought I might be in the minority…..
Aug. 14, 2011
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Ignoring the sarcasm:

First one I agree was picky - actually, I thought your comment could be perceived as a little insulting to Boyd-Robinson - would you ever say that about Meckwell?

Second one I stand by. I don't think any player who thinks 2N is a preempt is rational - at least in that area of thought. So if one of the players was using that as part of their reasoning on the hand, and that was part of the problem, then I think they lost their reason (I have no thought that this actually happened, without a lot more evidence).

Your description of why a rational player might consider it a preempt would also a apply to a strong jump overcall or a jump cue asking for a stopper. Is there someone who would consider those to be preempts?

It's interesting to try to define what a preempt is. I would say a jump bid with limited strength, both playing strength and (especially) high card strength.
Aug. 13, 2011
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Ken:

I should have quoted Kit's full paragraph, which was:

“Since East did pass out 5, I will assume that in their partnership the 4 call did not create a force. Thus, the bad result is one of poor judgment rather than partnership confusion.”

Isn't that saying that, since there was no misunderstanding, it MUST be poor judgment? I really don't see another way to read it with the word “Thus” included.
Aug. 13, 2011
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Danny:

I agree that my disciplinary method might not have enough teeth - that's why I said “Deciding the appropriate disciplinary penalty is one of my many areas of non-expertise.” You say “what comes after the warning? Prohibition from events? We don't want to go there.” To me, It is far better to prohibit someone who repeatedly violated a rule from playing in that event, than to decide the result of the event with an arbitrary penalty.

Eugene:

What I would mainly like to see the ACBL change is that, in any event where screens are used (such as the Spingold), they are used from the start of that event.
Aug. 13, 2011
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