Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Michael Rosenberg
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
David T.

Rant follows:

It makes sense to think that the non-compulsory aspect of CC submittal played a part in that situation being worse than usual.
Unfortunately, anything to do with CC's is very bad - even when compulsory. Players don't submit cards. Or they come to the table without their CC saying “I lost it, but I can just tell you.” Others have cards where some (or much) of the information is wrong - even basic information.

When I made my first WBF card with Zia, I read the instructions carefully and did my best to have all information be correct and according to those instructions. It took me many hours. There were 63 footnotes (some just about style). Eric Kokish later told me it was the best WBF card he had ever seen.
Since then, after many tournaments of seeing so many players simply not care what kind of job they did, I have become far less diligent. I just try to make an accurate card, but don't torture myself.

Btw, this is not restricted to the WBF. In the ACBL, there are regulations (often printed in the Daily Bulletin) that are equally ignored. Players are supposed to have two cards (often don't - sometimes not even one); they are supposed to be identical (often aren't); and (I believe) are supposed to be at the opponents' reach (often aren't - you often have to ask, sometimes getting a dirty look).

If someone complains about these regulations being flouted, they are likely to be called a stickler and/or a crybaby. (I've been part of the problem - I never complain.) The Directors will never do anything about these regulations unless called - and even then usually just say “fill one out” or something like that.

Nothing is ever going to change unless the regulations have teeth. If you can assess an automatic penalty for a cellphone, or for slow play, why can't part of a Director's duties be to walk round and assess automatic penalties for CC deficiencies? If that were the case, I bet people would actually make an effort to follow the regulations (as they do with cellphones). Isn't having a correct CC more intrinsic to the game than a turned off cellphone?
Who knows how much advantage a pair has gained in an event because they had something wrong on their card the entire time, but the opponents who looked at it never realized?

The authorities (both WBF and ACBL) will (rarely) assess some sort of penalty. For example, I've known them to prohibit the use of a convention that was not on the card, and even to assess an imp penalty if the convention came up and there was damage. But these lone issues of ‘justice’ merely highlight the greater injustice - that hundreds of other errors (often greater ones) in the same event go unpunished (and unlooked for).

I'm not saying that it's universally true that players act badly in this regard. There are plenty of players who do a good job - or at least attempt to. But there are also plenty who don't care (although they're quite happy to look at an opponent's properly filled out card).

So the result is, as usual, that the way things are serves as a punishment for those who do things right (they do the work AND provide the correct info), and as a reward for those who do things wrong. And there is the usual apathetic faction who just don't care.

End of rant.

Aug. 15, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I believe the point of Steve's article was how one might make the hand against lesser players by reading the spots. Against competent opposition, finessing the 1s10 is not a serious consideration - East could easily have QJx (even QJ9). There is no way one is going to risk going down if trumps are 3-2.
So yes I'd be down 2 on the actual hand (if West didn't make that ridiculous Q play). But I don't see how that's relevant to anything I said. I am trying to make against all 3-2 breaks, plus sometimes when East had a stiff quack. Leading a second risks going down when trumps are 3-2.
Aug. 14, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I wasn't actually trying to make against 4-4-3-2. That distribution is less likely than either of 4-4-2-3 or 4-3-3-3. 4-3-3-3 is theoretically the most likely of the three distributions, but if I believed the hearts were 4-card with West, I'd choose to make against 4-4-2-3 rather than the less likely 4-4-3-2.
Of course, after, A at trick 3, ruff, A, to K, ruffing the succeeds against two shapes (4-3-3-3 and 4-4-3-2) and I guess is theoretically superior. But, if I feel sure West has 4-card (thus ruling out 4-3-3-3) I should ruff the last heart.
I suppose that, assuming we believe hearts cannot be 5-2, the play should go A (trick 3), ruff, A (East plays a quack), to K (East shows out). Then, based on the fall of the hearts and your judgement of the opposition, make your best guess as to how to continue.
Aug. 13, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“Let's assume first that the jack is either a singleton or from QJ doubleton. If it is singleton, finessing offers your only hope.”

Unless I'm missing something this is incorrect. Let's say I play to A (E plays a quack) and a spade to the K and East shows out. Now I ruff a heart and play a to the K (West following). Now I have to guess West;s shape; if he's 4-4-2-3 ruff a heart; if 4-3-3-3 ruff a .
After successfully ruffing the second red card from dummy, I play four rounds of clubs, scoring 10 en passant for the tenth trick.
Aug. 13, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Any reasonable doubt should go to the NOS…
Aug. 7, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Whaddya mean I got it wrong? I was quoting an entirely different Joshua.
OK, you got me. But my “wrong” quote was more in keeping with what I wanted to say….
Aug. 7, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“The only way to win is not to play” - Joshua
Aug. 6, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“Was there MI? Did the OS gain? If so, the NOS were damaged, and the score should be adjusted.”

Not always true. There has to be a link between the MI and the gain. It is not enough that the OS gained. The gain has to be as a consequence of the MI, and not merely subsequent to it.

Imagine a scenario where I get MI and, as a result am playing 4 doubled as a save over their making 4 (which was going to score 620). As it happens, this should have been good for me as 4 doubled goes down 500. Unfortunately, I revoke and now go down 800. the bad result came AFTER the MI, but NOT BECAUSE of the MI - the cause was the revoke.
So the OS ‘gained’ after the MI - and would not have gained without the MI - yet there should be no adjustment, even for the OS. At least, that is my understanding.
If I am correct, this seems fair to me. The NOS had their chance at a good score. Indeed, they had a sort of double shot, since if 4 was ALWAYS down 800 then an adjustment WOULD be made.
Aug. 6, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“In David Burn’s example, we have no reason to believe the MI was a direct cause of the result. ”

I disagree. The MI put something in the mind of declarer that should not (and would not otherwise) have been there. We are human. Tell me a guy has the k, and it's a lot more likely I'm going to think he has the k.

So, obviously, “direct cause” is semantically subjective, but I certainly think there are players who would find the throw-in without the MI, yet robotically fail with the MI. To me, for those players, that cause is direct enough.
Aug. 6, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
What is your favorite color?
Aug. 5, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
David B.

This one is easy. Director rules against South. Then, if South goes to Committee, overturn the Director's ruling.

Presuming the results are published, this is the perfect solution. The slam is made - and South is publicly embarrassed. (Of course, the embarrassment can be avoided by not appealing.)
Aug. 5, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The auction itself would make me a little suspicious. My hand makes me extremely suspicious. Why did RHO bother bidding hearts without a good suit, and then bid NT? The normal reason for bidding 2H would be a black suit weakness. But it's not as if LHO bid a black suit that now suggested to RHO that the weakness is now ‘covered’.
The auction is akin to a player who makes a control bid and then, after a sign-off, bids Blackwood then slam. The control bid is “suspicious”.
The law (I believe) proscribes that, if partner is aware of this possibility from previous experience he needs to alert. I think it would be better for the game if “innately controlled psyches” were not alertable at all - as long as partner truly can never be involved. Of course, the latter may not always be easy to decide. But I think having ‘poker’ as part of the game is good.
Aug. 4, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
William,

The third word of your article should be “opens”, not “opponents”.
Also, you asked “Does it depend if you have that suit available at the one level?” If you do, that makes the bid a jump shift, not a “2 over 1”.

For the record, in Standard, the two-over-one is defined as natural NF - almost always at least a 6-card suit. The jump shift is defined as preemptive - at least a 6-card suit.

Obviously, one can make different agreements - and almost all expert partnerships do.

Btw, the redouble as 10+ any shape is partly non-Standard. Over 1-of-a-major, the redouble theoretically does not include hands with 4(+)-card support.
Aug. 4, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I really liked this article - lots of important points. One quibble: in discussing whather to lead a club to the ace or the queen, Kit said:

“It almost certainly isn't going to matter on this hand. But as a matter of technique, you should play the queen of clubs. If you play the ace both opponents will know you have the king, since otherwise you would have taken the finesse. If you play the queen West will know you have the king when the queen holds, but East won't be sure who has the king. It never hurts to develop good habits for handling suits such as this so when it does matters you can do the right thing without having to think about it.”

All this is true. But there are also some hands where you might want to overtake the Q later (East following with the jack on the second round). So making the more deceptive play of a club to the queen, while generally desirable with this combination, will not be correct on every hand.
Aug. 2, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Leo Rosten, in his book, “People I Have Loved, Known and Admired” wrote (mentioning one of those people) “To the unknown genius who put an ad in a newspaper ‘Last day to send in your Dollar’ with a P.O. Box number. Hundreds of idiots sent in their dollars.”
Aug. 1, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“it is primarily the responsibility of the speaker, not the listener, to ensure that clear communication has taken place;”

Sorry, I don't understand that…I guess you failed in your responsibility.

Stating something as a fact, doesn't ipso facto make it a fact.

“the fact that English is the official language of bridge does not actually matter a hill of beans”

I can certainly imagine many cases where it would be the determining factor in making a ruling. I'm sure, if you want, you can too. I'm not saying this case is one. To repeat, I am not offering any opinion about this case.

“It is a pity that the result of a major event is determined by the composition of the appeals committee. It would be a Good Thing if, confronted by the same set of circumstances, any director and any committee would give the same ruling.”

I totally agree. In fact, I have been saying exactly that for over 20 years.
July 30, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“I think, on the whole, that I would prefer to win a match by playing better bridge than my opponents, not by speaking better English.”

You may be shocked to hear that I would “prefer” that also. And that I would also make my best effort that the opponent understands what I am saying. But I believe my preference (or yours) is irrelevant to the point I was trying to make.

However one might want people to behave, the point I was trying to make is that if a reasonable (not necessarily perfect) effort was made to communicate something, that not (or wrongly) understanding English might lead to an adverse result to which there ought to be no redress.
I'm not happy about that. I'm also not happy that there is an automatic penalty for an established revoke. But these are the rules of the game, and if somebody happens to win a match because of these rules, I don't see they have done anything wrong.

If I chose to play an event where the official language was Hungarian, I would hope as you do) that my opponents would behave as you suggest. However, if they did not but still attempted to behave reasonably, I would not feel they had done anything wrong. I would seek no redress (and would be entitled to none). I would see it as my responsibility that I chose to play in an event where Hungarian was the official language, while not understanding Hungarian.
July 29, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
David B.

I don't think your ‘szokásos" analogy is fair. English is the official language even in WBF events. Obviously, it is the official language in an ACBL event.
If a player does not understand English, and suffers due to that lack of understanding, I sympathize with that player. But I do not rule in their favor. I believe it is their responsibility to understand what is said, or make an attempt to have conveyed them to them an explanation of what they do not understand (whether by using writing, bidding cards or calling the director).

I am not commenting here on the merits of the particular case at hand. I’m merely saying I think the analogy is not fair.
July 29, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
When?
July 25, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I just looked at this and haven't properly analyzed it yet. But I'm wondering how many of those commenting would be suggesting A and ruff a if LHO had started with Kxxx…..
July 25, 2014
.

Bottom Home Top