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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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Don't make a bid such as this unless you are prepared for partner to pass.
NEVER pass a bid such as this without an agreement that it is NF.

You may get a little high with this philosophy, but you will avoid disaster.
Feb. 15, 2015
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Alvin: BWS is not “Standard”

Barry: That is true. However, your pass of 2 showed some willingness for a spade lead.
More importantly, even if not playing this ‘pass convention’ (or even if it were as different auction) PARTNER CANNOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE HOLDING. If double means ‘spade lead’, it can't suddenly not mean ‘spade lead’ just because you hold J.
Feb. 14, 2015
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Glad for this comment. Not because of the content, but because the article stated:

“The Board of Directors has little real accountability to the membership. Board elections are typically either not contested, or proceed with very small voter turnout and little membership interest.”

which, I felt, implied that the Board was elected by the membership. I believe that the Board is elected by Unit Board representatives - and those Unit Board elections are often uncontested.

Everybody commenting here probably know this already. I post this for those reading who were not aware of this.
Feb. 14, 2015
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See? I TOLD you I don't know much about football…
Feb. 14, 2015
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Doesn't mean that they are not sometimes worse than useless either.
Feb. 14, 2015
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Whether I am correct or not, Kit's post sort of proves my final sentence is true…
Feb. 14, 2015
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In my overly long ‘football post’, I managed to omit another reason why I think this was a poor analogy. The ‘penalty’ NEVER results in a definite score - it increases likelihood of opponents scoring scoring (in randomly varying amounts), which then increases likelihood of losing. That's another ‘step’ behind a PP which, being a score adjustment, immediately increases likelihood of losing.
If the ‘penalty’ in football was an automatic point, or number of points, then it would be a better analogy.
Feb. 14, 2015
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There is also a small technical reason to shift to a spade at trick 2.
Declarer might have started with Kx, Axxx, Q87xx, KQ. Yes, you'd need to have rose-colored glasses to think that hand qualified for a 15-17 NT - but declarer WAS 1st seat favorable where (for some) anything goes. I know it was the Senior KOs - but some Seniors were once Juniors…
Feb. 14, 2015
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In “Standard”, this double calls for a spade lead. Of course, it's likely partner does not know all that is “Standard”. Few players do.
Feb. 14, 2015
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Steven: Nobody has agreements as to what a double is when MI has been revealed in this way. One second, you're doubling a ‘majors. hand, the next second you’re doubling a hand.
I think your earlier implication that double was a failure to play bridge is WAY off base.
Feb. 13, 2015
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What rule says double of 3 is penalty? And how do you know East even intended it this way?
Feb. 13, 2015
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“Would you change your opinion if better TD training were in the offing?”

No. But I would feel less bad about the current system.
Feb. 12, 2015
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Ed: I think you either have to take the position that PP's follow some pre-determined format (such as the revoke penalty), or that they are subjective in nature (such as score adjustments for UI or MI). I'm not sure which one you are espousing, but I don't like either.

When should the penalty be assigned? How much should the penalty be? It will inevitably be decided differently by different Directors on different occasions (even if the circumstances are identical)

You say “Personally, I would give PPs more often and would usually give 10% unless I have reason to believe more is appropriate.”

That is my worry. I worry that even Ed Reppert will not be able to assign these penalties in a consistent way. If Ed's mind is wiped clean, I have no confidence that Ed ((who I regard as highly intelligent, logical and fair) will give the same ruling on Friday as he did on Tuesday.

As for the “speed limits” analogy. I'm not sure that Directors would wish to be considered with the same ‘love’ that traffic cops are. However, I'd point out that speed limits are there in an attempt to save people from getting physically maimed or dying, so I don't think that it's really a good analogy.
I'd also point out that when driving is COMPETITIVE - such as race-car driving - then there ARE no speed limits. I guess they want those events decided by the actual driving.
Feb. 12, 2015
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Ed: You said “Is a five (or ten, or fifteen) yard penalty part of a “normal result” in football? Or is it extraneous, and something which should be eliminated?”

It has been said more than once on this site, and by more than one person (you MAY have been one of them) that other sports are not bridge, and we should not attempt to be bound by the way they do things.
However, since you brought it up….I think football is more like score adjustments than PP's. (Warning: I don't know much about football.)

1) In the case of certain penalties, such as offside and holding, if the NOS achieved a greater result, the penalty is normally waived. If there is no damage to the NOS, the penalty is ignored. (No ‘PP’)
If there was no gain (or a gain lesser than the penalty) then the penalty is assigned. In football, it's almost always impossible to determine what ‘would’ have happened (and it would take too long to do so - impractical), so they have a formula that determines the number of yards for each type of penalty.

2) One case where football goes to a “what would have happened” scenario is pass interference by the defense. They place the ball at the spot of the foul (where it ‘would’ have been caught). The exception being that, if you are in the end zone, they won't give you a touchdown (I guess they want actual touchdowns) and will place the ball on the 1-yard line.
I think this is pretty close to ‘score adjustment’ in bridge.

I think your football analogy argument is strongest when one considers penalties AFTER the play is over (such as personal fouls). Here, there is no possibility that the penalty affected the outcome. I would justify this ‘PP’ by saying those penalties are there to prevent players getting physically hurt. (Which, aside from being a sensible goal, might also affect future plays in the game.
In bridge, nobody is getting maimed. However, as you may remember, that was the one situation I deemed PP's reasonable - a blatant violation but no damage.

Football needs their penalty structure to run their game. I don't see that bridge really needs PP's (although I accept them as stated above). Often, the bridge violation will lead to a score adjustment unfavorable to the OS. When it doesn't, we could either have a PP system (which should be a formula) or we could go to disciplinary action (especially for repeat offenders).
Feb. 12, 2015
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Ed: I would say if a pair won an event without the PP and lost it with the PP, that the PP ‘decided’ the event. Yes, I know many other bids and plays could also have ‘decided’ the event. But the PP is different from all other score ‘changes’ - it was not part of a true bridge result that actually occurred - or could have occurred.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree about ‘decided’. Maybe it's just semantics. Maybe I need to say something like “I want the standings of a tournament to be, as far as possible, based exclusively on bridge results that occurred, or could have occurred, under normal bridge scoring.”

Your second paragraph seems to me to bolster my point. You say the following: “It is my impression”; “maybe the higher number is appropriate”; “I think PP's should be less rare than they are” “should it be more?”.
These are exactly the sort of questions and doubts that are currently in Directors' minds when ‘applying’ PP's. Is it justified? How much should it be? The results are arbitrary and inconsistent penalties. And, until and unless there is some equitable and consistent way to penalize players in this matter (and I can't imagine what that way would be), I think we are better off without this can of worms. (Yes, I know it's not fair to call it a "can of worms as part of my argument.)



Feb. 11, 2015
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Phil: You can't rule that they play 4 unless there is evidence that North gave south UI. Here, it seems south was never that sure about 2
Feb. 11, 2015
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Poor Kathryn. Somebody will understand what you are saying someday…
Feb. 11, 2015
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The club shift gains when declarer is 4-5-2-2 with Ax
Feb. 11, 2015
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I agree, Tom. That is why I prefaced my interminably long answer with that caveat.
Feb. 11, 2015
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“East, at least, could see all the spots below the spade lead.”

How do you know this? The 5 was led and dummy has the 4. what about the 2 and 3? How do we know East could see them?
Feb. 11, 2015
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