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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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Yes, of course the Q would not be unplayed - unless I had already guaranteed a 4-card holding, in which case I could use the second honor as SP.

As Peter says, I see no technical advantage for either method (maybe there is one I can't see), but have always played this way because it ‘feels’ right to me - and that's how I remember it.

Btw, there IS a cost to this method

A classic situation is leader can have 5 or 6 to the AK, dummy has QJx and the non-leader has a doubleton.

So if I had AKxxx and wanted the lower ranking, I'd lead the middle spot - partner would know no overruff, and would know I didn't want the higher ranking suit. But the downside is that I might have no preference, and now that message can't be sent.
If I KNOW partner ruffing high was not an issue, then I can lead low for lower ranking. And if partner KNOWS I know this, then he can read middle as “no preference”…..

By the way, note that declarer would be making this situation easier if he ‘hides’ the deuce - that would allow me freedom of spot signaling.

The issues would be the same for the other method - except there the middle spot would ask for the higher-ranking suit. And there, declarer's hiding of the highest spot eases things.

To save ink(?), yes, I know that differentiating AK lead by length solves this problem. However, just like my ‘solution’, it creates others….
Feb. 9, 2014
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Maybe it's because they fear 20 speeches at the HOF dinner….
Feb. 8, 2014
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I've always played lowest spot says “declarer might be overruffing”

It may seem random, but my reason is based on this. Let's say I lead high from AKQx. Dummy has jack-fifth and 2 rounds cash. Now high obviously says “don't ruff” while low says “ruff high”

Based on that, it gives me the FEELING that high saying “don't ruff” (or ruff low, while low says ruff (maybe high).
High is the ‘normal’ to me. That's as best as I can explain it.

Feb. 6, 2014
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If there were to be a UI problem, I would enforce the penalty. That has never happened yet for me. I would guess that 99% of revokes have no ‘relevance’ - the player is usually just a trick ahead of themselves and there is no UI.

If a player feels in any way uncertain as to whether they have been damaged (whether by UI or otherwise), they should take the penalty. Eventually, I hope the law will be changed, and the decision to damage will be made by the Director.

Possibly, the law change I envision should not be for all events and levels.

Eventually, eventually, the game will be played on computers - and revokes will be truly impossible.

Under current law, a grand slam missing the trump ace can be made. I don't think that's a good thing.
Jan. 30, 2014
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I'm in the “Rarely/Never” category, but I checked “Other” - because the reason I almost never enforce the penalty is not “because I don't want to win that way”, but because I think this law is antiquated and should be changed.

I have no problem with others enforcing the penalty on me or anyone else - indeed, I think it would be ridiculous to have a problem with someone following the laws.

I don't enforce the penalty, because I think the law should be that illegal plays (and calls) are canceled. There should be no ‘automatic’ penalty. Equity should be restored, with any doubt going in favor of the non-offending side. With revokes, probably more than any other illegal play, there is often no doubt that equity would mean no adjustment.

There is no “good guy” thought here. I am a stickler when it comes to claims, or accidental LEGAL plays. For different reasons, I think the letter of the law needs to be applied there.

I know I'm in violation of the laws when I just tell the opponent to pick it up, because I can see it is irrelevant. (By the way, I am not selective - I would do this against my worst enemy in the finals of a major event.)
I am supposed to call the Director, and there is some provision for me to ask to waive the penalty. But I never do that.

The only time I would extract a penalty would be if I saw I was somehow damaged. I've probably faced over 50 revokes in the last 25 years, and I haven't taken a penalty yet.

This is my (very small) part in trying to get the Laws changed. (I tried legal channels a long time ago, but was rebuffed.) And I hope that other experts who gain a benefit from my action, and/or agree with my thoughts on the matter, will follow suit (pun intended).
Jan. 30, 2014
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Bridge in the year 3000. Steve leads a club, and declarer drops the Q because he DIDN'T lead a trump….
Jan. 29, 2014
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There is no simple guideline. Each partnership needs agreements.
A good start is to say, “all doubles at low levels are TO, unless otherwise agreed” and then list exceptions. The fewr exceptions the easier it is to remember and know what you are doing. Some common exceptions are: (a) when pass is forcing (b) after we make a strength showing double or redouble; ©after we make a penalty double

There are others that each opartnership might make, but the important thing is to have a rule covering all auctions - so partner is not scratching his head when you double
Jan. 19, 2014
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Quite right - it was pretty stupid to joke about a typo while making one myself. But I thought it simpler to edit it than explain it….
Jan. 10, 2014
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I think it's better to root for “in” teams….
Jan. 10, 2014
Michael Rosenberg edited this comment Jan. 10, 2014
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Change the hand to 1074, AK4, J1097, 543, and the auction to (2)X-(P).
This hand is similar to the actual situation - 2 heart stoppers. Now I WOULD think the hand worth a constructive 3. Yet I agree with Kit that, in the actual situation, the hand is not worth it.
The reason is that there is hope to shut out the long suit after the 2 opening. Opponents' preempts often help you.

One point about the play. Kit said “It is impossible that East has both of the missing spade honors. If he did, he wouldn't have played small.”
I disagree. If East had KQxx he might play small. Declarer certainly doesn't have both the jack and the ten - he would have taken 2 finesses. If West has the J, E doesn't want to play the Q. If declarer has J8x, he may not play the jack (especially if he thinks it's “impossible” East has KQ.
So the only disaster for East is if declarer has Jx - and he might even stick in the 8 from J8.
If East's read on the distribution is that declarer is likely to have 3-card , he might well play small from KQxx
Jan. 4, 2014
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You can get a little of the best of both worlds between Lebensohl and scramble. 2N is a scramble, but if you bid a direct 3 it is a game try. To just play in 3, bid 2N, then convert 3 to 3.
Similarly (and more importantly), when they bid (1-2)X, then 3 is a game try. To just play in 3, fake a scramble with 2N, then bid 3 over 3m. (Your hand-type will be unclear if partner bids 3, but you will be known not to have a game try.)

I play this way whenever partner doubles 2M, and 2N is defined as artificial.
Jan. 4, 2014
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Kit's “I'm not so convinced” might be his biggest underbid in many a year….
Dec. 26, 2013
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10 is what many lead from this holding, thinking to be ‘tricky’. But some declarer's may suspect this holding. Whereas the J will make them ‘certain’ you don't have the ten, because you didn't try to be ‘tricky’.
Anyway, that was my thought.
Dec. 23, 2013
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J. Who would ever play me to lead that from this holding? So I think it's ‘safer’ than a low heart (declarer might have A9 or Q9).
Dec. 21, 2013
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Once again, I object to the presumption that, if N-S got an inferior result (or even a terrible result)that North or South (or some combination thereof) MUST have committed an error.
Bidding, by its nature, is often inexact. And it is quite possible to get an inferior (or even terrible) result while doing nothing wrong.
Therefore, one of the options in “Assign the Blame” should almost invariably be “x% to North, y% to South, z% to ‘rub of the green’”. And, sometimes, z = 100.
Dec. 21, 2013
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If, when you watch bridge online, you believe everything you see is what actually happened, I recommend you go to the site I just started - buybridgesonline.com
Dec. 19, 2013
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We need a precise set of rules for trick one tempo. Instead, we have no rules and a lot of complaints.
Dec. 13, 2013
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Congrats, Marty. Yet another feather to add to your crowded cap. Also, I think it's worth observing that your many successes have come in a shorter competitive time span than anyone else I can think of.
Dec. 12, 2013
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You're right - it is different. I was just trying to make the point that clearly superior might not be a big difference.
Dec. 6, 2013
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Here's a different argument against playing 4 as balanced.

Let's say the 1N opening showed exactly 16 HCP. I would say there are AT LEAST 3 ‘ranges’ of 16 HCP on this auction. Now go back to 15-17. There might be more than TEN ranges here. (Admittedly there is some cross-over, e.g. some 15 HCP will equal some 16 HCP.)

But I think it's nice (a ‘luxury’) to be able to bid (over 4 when hearts is trump):

4D = Medium (or max with control, planning to continue over 4)
4 = Minimum
Higher = Max. no diamond control (unless KCarding)


Dec. 6, 2013
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