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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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One or more tricks.
March 30, 2015
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Joe: I agree with almost all you say there.

The reason why I believe the rules on false claims should be extremely strict is this: first, a claimer is generally attempting to ‘get’ something; second, a false claim means you are already having some sort of “irrational” thought. If it was a true ‘blackout’ (as it often is), who is to say what further blackout you might have perpetrated had you played the hand out?
March 29, 2015
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“Why not simply abolish the whole “established revoke” standard and say it's a one-trick (or two-trick) penalty?”

While we're abolishing stuff, how about abolishing ALL automatic penalties, and assign an adjusted score only when there is actual damage - with any benefit of the doubt accruing to the non-offending side?

In the case posed by the OP, that would mean no damage. Would it be unjust if that were the law?
March 29, 2015
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This idea that partner should bid 2 with any hand with 6-card is, in my experience, not correct. I've believed this about this auction for more than 20 years, and the evidence I have seen has been, to me, convincing.
Most hands with 3(+)-card should tend to pass - if partner has a doubleton heart and values, he can balance. I would also pass many hands with a doubleton heart - unless the spades are really good. Only with a stiff (or void) heart do I feel the impetus to bid here.
2 does not show extra high cards, but it must be recognized that it includes hands in the 14-16- range that would have bid 2m.

With Walter's first 3 hands, I would pass. with the fourth hand, it's a clear 2 bid. Facing the actual South hand, 3 will make on 3-2 spades (pitch club on 3rd heart). But then, you'd want to be in game - 3N will make as long as leader as AK, or or doesn't lead one (or they are blocked).

On the actual hand, I think North had a clear 3 rebid. But I'm far less clear on South. I don't feel as some do that he has a clear bid, nor as others do that pass is automatic.
The South hand, as demonstrated by Walter's 4th example, offers good prospects for 3N. The aces, the heart stopper (using only 2 HCP) and the doubleton spade mean we have reasonable play for game opposite what I would call a solid weak two opening - AQJxxx and a side K.
The problem with the South hand is twofold: first, it likely doesn't have enough value to make 4 cold when partner has a stiff ; second, when we go down in game, we may go down a lot. For example, opposite that weak 2 we might go 4 or 5 down. At this point you need a lot more than the ‘normal’ 37% (say) for a vul game.
A final strike against bidding with the South hand is that it's not clear WHAT to bid. You'd like to bid 2N to invite the most likely game. But you might well rather play 3 if stopping in a partial. I guess you'd bid 3 - partner can still try 3N with solid spades or something in hearts.
If opponents were vulnerable, I'd think it pretty clear to pass. That's because the prospect of a bad spade break, or honors lying badly would clearly increase. Against favorable opponents, that is not much of a consideration - players stick in a lot of bids these days.
Add a jack, any jack, to the South hand and that would tip the scales for me to bid. As it is, I'd probably pass. But, whatever I do, I am worried.
March 29, 2015
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Dale, in your example hand, what contract would you wish to be in?
March 29, 2015
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Don't shoot the messinger.
March 27, 2015
ATB
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Saverio:

1) I feel strongly that problems should be posed in an unbiased way, so as the person answering has no idea what you ‘want’ them to answer. Only this way do you have the chance of a ‘true’ answer.
Even spot cards are often ‘used’ by people giving problems. Adding them when they want you to bid more, omitting them when they want you to bid less. It's better to have no ‘x’s' when posing a problem

2) “Am I right when I say that over 1N doubled South could bid redbl or 2N to show power and bal or unbal hand?”

I presume you mean North. I agree 3 shows a good playing hand - but I think it is more likely to be a SEVEN-card suit at this vulnerability.
2 obviously might be 5-6. And it's possible responder can have 4-card spades - 1N does not absolutely exclude that (though it would be a notrumpy hand). i'd describe 2 as at least the values for a 3 bid with at least 4-card .

3) “Knowing South has something in and at least tolerance…”

Anybody might have 3-4-4-xx to bid 1N. I'd hardly describe xx as “club tolerance'. And I know world class players who believe it is reasonable with 3-4-5-1 (though I am not in their camp). So North does not ‘know’ of club tolerance.

4) North knows 5 is a possible contract, but also knows it is still possible to arrive there after 2.

5) ”Is South hand worth an invite to 5 after N's 2 rebid?"

In my opinion the answer is clearly yes. Even you might rebid 2 with, say, J432, 32, A, AK5432.
South has already ‘strayed’ a little with 1N - he might have chosen to bid 2 as limit-or-better. If partner has AK432, he will never visualize the suit being a huge favorite to run facing 1HCP.
March 27, 2015
ATB
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How about the “tool” of, over 2, bidding 2 or 2 to show a ‘good 3 bid?’
March 27, 2015
ATB
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South 100% - only because I don't like the biased way the problem was posed.
March 26, 2015
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To me, a good idea is to construct things so we can actually start at the time we say we are going to start. I think words should mean what they say.
March 22, 2015
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Maybe an organization would maximize it's revenue by doing what makes it's ‘customers’ happy. It's not about seeding, at least not for me. It's about being orderly and professional.
March 21, 2015
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I agree with Steve. Except I think 2 days (maybe even 2 weeks?) in advance would be better.

That way, the Bridgemates could be prepared in advance and be ready for the start of the event. As it stands now, they are often not operational till near the end of the first round, and I've played in National events where they don't work till the second round.

In the first session of this year's Platinum Pairs I had FIVE(!) different table number assignments, before I actually got to play. (In ‘fairness’, two of those were at the same physical table).

The appearance of a frantic shambles is not a good one. Usually, it's not a shambles - but it always feels a little frantic - especially for those doing the seeding. (Thanks, btw, to David Berkowitz, Ron Smith and Chris Willenken who I know have all done stellar duty here. I apologize to anyone who I have omitted.)

Kit's point that last-minute pairings do form is true, but to have smooth organization we need advance entry.
I think it would be nice for an event scheduled to start at a certain time to actually start at that time.
March 21, 2015
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I'm not understanding how playing 10 at trick one would avoid the later ruff.
March 19, 2015
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How do you handle a ‘mostly club’ hand, too good to double? xx, AJx, Ax, AKQxxx? And Ax, AJx, xx, AKQxxx? Not to mention xxx, AJx, Ax, AKQJx?

There is some hand that can bid 3. But bidding it on all my examples won't ‘work’.

In case you haven't guessed, I don't believe double of 3 should be defined as ‘penalty’. I think it should mean what I always think it should mean (in the absence of specific discussion);

“Undisclosed values, no better descriptive bid available”.

I can still get a penalty sometimes; when I can stand to pass, and advancer has enough to double; or when I double and advancer is (say) 4-4-4-1.
I agree you will get more penalties. But my experience is that the ‘awkward’ hands get dealt far more often. And I try to teach the following: “Double is not penalty, unless specifically agreed or no other possibility.”
Then I have a list of Penalty Double situations…
March 18, 2015
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A supernatural defense would be possible if LHO started with stiff spade and Jxx. Now the low fails for a different reason…
March 16, 2015
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Sometimes, nice guys finish first…congrats guys
March 16, 2015
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I believe, for normal TO shapes, that “school” is mostly thinking about a 1-level overcall.
March 12, 2015
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It's true some would double with that hand, but the auction may get uncomfortable. I prefer a Kokish-style 2. Perhaps, if I had instead made the hand 0-2-4-7, I could have deflected this criticism. Or perhaps had I just ‘settled’ for a construction with only 10 tricks in 3 doubled…
March 11, 2015
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They might. I'd say 3 and redouble are both reasonable, but 3 is probably ‘smarter’. Unlike 3 with the actual hand.
March 10, 2015
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I totally disagree that RHO had anything close to a 3 bid.
When you pass the double with this hand, you are mostly saying to your RHO “I think you're a little crazy”. East is vul against not and bidding again, when for all he knows, you are about to pass TWO clubs doubled.
He doesn't need Josh's 8.75 tricks, but he does need about 8 tricks. On his actual hand, he can't even be sure of 6 tricks!
What purpose is there in bidding? Maybe opponents are going to bid above 3 anyway. Maybe partner will come back to life (though that is unlikely). Maybe you go down a couple in 3 (even undoubled) when they had no fit and no making contract.
Here's a construction of what I think the passers ‘deserve’

Partner: QJ10x, KQJ109, AKJ10 — Declarer Kxxx, Ax, —, AKQ109xx. Declarer wins the heart lead, crosses to A, ruff , K, ruff , ruff , ruff , ruff , A, exit with a heart. Declarer is sort of disappointed to ‘only’ make 11 tricks. (I could have given a hand where they make slam, but liked this better.)
March 10, 2015
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