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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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Hence the quotation marks around it. But you're correct - “alleged” is clearer/more accurate. In fact “alleged ‘confession’” might be ‘best’…
July 6
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Eduard: “I was say, South pass is serios error. I dont say, this si egregious error or extremely serious error.”

I certainly don't agree pass was a serious error. However..

Please answer this question:

Are you aware that “extremely serious error” is the standard for an adjustment against N-S?


* * * * * *

“I wrote: ”It is obvious that many of them have a similar view.“

You change my words into other question: ”Please name those who said in the discussion that South's pass of 4 was an extremely serious error or an approximation. “

What you wrote was this:

”It is obvious that many of them have a similar view to me.
Some said it in the discussion.“

It's obvious the ”view“ we are talking about is the view that South made a serious error. So I don't see how I ”changed your words“. I asked you a question that was entirely consistent with the words you used. I said ”…extrememely serious error OR AN APPROXIMATION“.

* * * * *

”I cite similar view: “It seems to me that South forgot to play bridge after opening 2. While doubling 4 isn't guaranteed to work out well (could be -790), NOT doubling 4H is likely to result in something worse.”

That's fair enough - I would agree that is support for your view. However, you said “some” so you need at least one more - probably two more to be fair.

* * * *

Michael:“ I'm guessing almost all of them had a different reason for their vote.” Which reason,pls? You think the players voted for the result stay because they think S didn't make a mistake? Its suprice for me.

There are multiple possible reasons for some of those votes.

a) They could think the MI wasn't sufficient to affect North's bid

b) They could regard North's bid as a wild gamble

c) They could view South's redouble as depriving N-S of the right to an adjustment. Or (i suppose, North's pass of the redouble

d) They could hve an inherent bias in favor of letting the table result stand

e) They could not understand all the issues correctly.

And, yes, there could be a few who think as you do. But I suspect most of those, if they've read everything I've said here, then they, unlike you, no longer hold that opinion.
July 6
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Jim F: It the h*ll means this: that each player was signaling but partner was not looking. I believe this is what Reese claimed in his ‘confession’.
July 6
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Kit: Irrelevant. What matters is that North failed to make what is, at imps, a totally obvious 5 bid the round before but made it now.
Yes, perhaps he would have now bid 5 over a snappy double. No way for us to know whetrher that is the case, or whether it is the case that the slow double influenced the bid.

The message we should want to send is ‘South, don’t do that'. Double in tempo. The way to send that message is to disallow the 5 bid. This is ‘fair’ due to the combination of the failure to bid 5 with the slow double.
July 6
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“It is obvious that many of them have a similar view to me.”

No, it's not “obvious”. I'm guessing the reason for their vote was NOT “extremely serious error” by South in passing 4. I'm guessing almost all of them had a different reason for their vote.

“Some said it in the discussion.”

Please name those who said in the discussion that South's pass of 4 was an extremely serious error or an approximation.
July 6
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I actually read one of your articles. Well, maybe not every word – but close. I have 3 comments:

1) I think the idea that only the visual evidence matters, and what actually transpired at the table does not, is crap. First of all, it’s almost always what happens at the table that initially arouses suspicion. It’s what has (in my mind) been the determining factor for every convicted pair thus far.
When players are cheating, there is something that doesn’t ‘feel’ right. Because they are not playing real bridge and (eventually) that will be their undoing.

2) “The gravest possible offense is for a partnership to exchange information through prearranged methods of communication other than those sanctioned by these Laws.”

So one could reasonably say that IF a pair transmitted signals, but did not receive them, then that would be less than the “gravest possible offense” – because there was no “exchange”.

3) The “infamous” hand 56. Your multi-page rant is, to me, entirely unconvincing. If anything, because I found your arguments to be so weak and obviously biased, it made me think more than ever that this hand highlights a lack of knowledge about length in the heart suit.

a) The idea that Forquet “must” have AJ109xx and ‘cannot’ have AJ9863 is bprderline insane. (By the way, I note that you wrote “AJ9xxx” – again confirming your bias – not that I needed any more confirmation)

b) People who play bridge don’t play bridge very well and never have done – at least not on every hand. Never forget this. The idea that Reese would always go into a thousand word analysis of whether to cash A if he were NOT cheating is, again borderline insane. He might well just make some play.

c) If a player WAS cheating, even less so would he go into this interminable (and perhaps incorrect) analysis. He’d cash the heart – which looks like a ‘natural’ play – even for a non-cheat. A cheat would certainly not worry about an accusation for cashing the A

Your analysis of this hand reveals to me that you do not care about the truth in this matter. You are a biased prosecutor who believes in the defendants’ guilt, and you will say whatever it is you think will lead to a ‘conviction’ (here, in the minds of Bridgewinner readers).

There were many ‘points’ in the article that I thought weak (or made in a biased manner). But the ‘thesis’ of hand 56 was, for me, the cruncher.

The only pro-cheating arguments that make sense to me on 56 are either Reese missed the signal, or he decided to maybe ‘sacrifice’ a partscore hoping it might not matter (and knowing it would help bolster his defense later if something went wrong).

I am NOT saying I believe Reese-Schapiro to be innocent. I don’t. The visual evidence WAS (overall) overwhelming. And there were some hands that were certainly suspicious (though the overall hand evidence was weaker than one would expect for a strong cheating pair).
The story Reese told later seemed plausible – and I admit I wanted to believe it as a ‘solution’ in my mind. But I guess I don’t really believe it.

However, I’m aware I could be wrong about any of this. I don’t KNOW the truth. Maybe you should try saying the same thing because, like it or not, YOU don’t KNOW either.
July 6
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David L: That is a really good point that I missed. As usual, looking at all 4 hands, instead of just thinking about 2 hands, caused the problem.
July 5
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Here is a good process to go through when deciding whether to make a TO double.

a) Do I have an opening bid? (Discount wasted Q or J in their suit)
b) Do I have reasonable support for all unbid suits. (these days Hx in a minor might be considered ‘reasonable’

If the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’, do not double.

Then, here is a good rule of thumb when deciding whether to double 1. Ask this querstion:

'If the bidding goes (1)X-(4)4S, how do I feel?.

If the answer is ‘sick’, then don't double.
July 5
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Page 2: “…we defended 4 by East. I led my singleton club. Declarer won, cashed the A, and played diamonds: making five, -650.”

After pitching 2 spades on the diamonds, Why didn't he make 12 tricks by ruffing a spadse and exiting a heart? South is enplayed.

Sorry to be picky about something so small - but I just failed to qualify in a 3-way at a Sectional - we needed one more imp in EITHER match. So, right now, I'm overly attuned to overtricks.
July 5
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Eduard: I agree with you that our game needs simplification.
Twenty to thirty years ago, I had been suggesting less artificiality in bidding - perhaps having only two basic systems allowed. Having the game be all about card play and bidding judgment. I gave up that ‘fight’ when I got no support. Also, I understand that, for some people, figuring out bidding systems is the fun part of the game. So I gave up.

Now, my efforts toward simplification are law based. I have been suggesting that, whenever an illegal action occurs (bid out of turn, insufficient bid, lead out of turn, exposed card, revoke), that, instead of a bunch of ‘srtificial’ rules and penalties (that most plsayers don't even know), that the rule be ‘uniform’.
The illegal action is cancelled and bidding (or play) proceeds normally. The illegal action is AI to the non-offenders and UI to the offenders. This would greatly shorten (and, I believe, simplify) the rule book.

Returning to our main disagreement (whether South's pass of 4 in the OP was a “serious” error), you seem to be alone in your opinin that it should be deemed thus.

I have sometimes found myself in the position where I have an opinion, but everyone disagrees with me. Usually, I'll change my opinion. Very rarely, I might maintain it despite beinmg alone.

There are some situations where I believe it is possible for someone to be ‘alone’ and still correct. However, determining whether an action is a “serious” error (and the actual standard is “extremely serious”) is NOT one of those possible situations. If everybody is telling you that it's not a “serious” error, continuing to maintain that it is becomes mere stubbornness.

The definition of “serious” error makes it impossible that, if correct, you would have no support for your position.
July 5
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Even better (in the suit in a vacuum) is low towards the 10
July 5
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Eduard: “if it is better today than in past, why does the jury change the order of many the highlights events in last years?”

Because in the olden days, you just accepted bad ethics as being ‘part of the game’. Rather than calling the Director (who would likely shrug and do nothing) you simply retaliated with your own bad ethics.

“Slowly we dont have events without scandal.”

But there is no “scandal”. Al there is is players not doing something right - and the getting called out on it - and then the score adjusted to what whould have happened had the pair done the ‘right’ thing in the first place.

A “scandal” is what the cheating pairs like Fantoni-Nunes and Fisher-Schwartz and (probably) Lanzarotti-Buratti got away with for years.
A “scandal” was “that old Black Magic” that permeated our gamr for decades.

The cases you mentioned are not, in my view, “scandals”.

Things are MUCH better now - though still far from perfect. But at least we're now playing more of a real game.
July 5
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Eduard: Hitherto, our disagreement has been mainly on the question of whether the OP South committed a ‘serious’ error when he passed 4. You have repeatedly said ‘yes’. I have repeatedly replied ‘not even close’.
Now, you seem to want to pivot and say that the ‘gentlemanly’ thing to do is to to let the table result stand.

The discussion as to the reasons bridge has been waning is an interesting one. We don't really agree, but I'm not going to discuss that issue here.

However, I will say that what you call the ‘gentlemanly’ behavior of yesteryear was anything but. What I see that we had was:

a) A lot more yelling. By and large bridge players today, especially the younger ones, are far better behaved than 40 years ago (I know from personal experience).

b) Players not being overly forthcoming about one's agreements.

c) Blatant and non-stop use of UI. There is still some of that - but it's A LOT better.

d) Blatant sexism. Oh, wait, we've still got a lot of that.

Forty years ago (or perhaps 50 or more) it was a ‘given’ that you ‘helped’ your partner; that you took advantage (though not too obviously) of that ‘help’; and that you didn't complain overmuch when your opponents did this (except later in private whisperings).

Then, we finally started ‘cleaning up’ the game. Edgar Kaplan, above everybody, made a HUGE difference in this happening. Things gradually have improved and, while what we have now is still far from perfection, the bridge now is a lot more ‘real’ than it was in the ‘good old days’.

You seem to long to return to yesteryear. Well, when it comes to millions more playing, I'm with you. but I don't know how to create that - and I don;t believe being ‘gentlemanly’ has, in reality, anything to do with it.

But while you may want a return to the days of mass UI and insufficient disclosure, I do not.

If our game needed that to be popular, then it's not really such a good game, is it?

* * * * * *

One more question; is it truly ‘gentlemanly’ for E-W to do something clearly wrong (East definitely, West maybe) - and then turn to complain about South's action(s) in order to avoid paying for their mistake? Doesn't a ‘gentleman’ say "I made a mistake - I should pay for that'?
July 4
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'Zenkel', not “Zenken”
July 3
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Yeah, I feel bad. If I were a real bridge player, I'd have pointed out that Phil's “Michael” was an unnecessarily confusing signal. Or maybe if I didn't just think that everything's always about me…
July 3
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I don't know if this is a way to run an organization. And I won't ever know because I DO know this is not the right way to post an article. A first ‘paragraph’ of over 30 lines with no spacing is, for me, not worth attempting to read.
July 3
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Phil:

a) If they said ‘Namyats’, I'd say ‘what’s 3N?'

b) 3N opening is on the card. I always go through a card

c) I never agree to play Namyats (I made the only partner of mine who was ever playing it stop).

So your question is moot. I don't realy see the puropse of your question, anyway. I already said that the majority who play Namyats use 3N as a 4m preempt.
July 3
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Nigel G: Yes. Or K and Jx (perhaps succeeding against those that think like David Burn).
In addition, if either player has stiff K and you duck with Kxxxx and declarer is suspicious enough to repeat the finesse (but not lucky enough to avoid the ruff).

And then there could also be a further wrinkle. Declarer has AJxx, AJ10xx, x, AQJ. By taking the finesse first, he now (against a ‘clever’ LHO) makes 12 (or 13) tricks instead of the 11 he would have made had he started with the finesse.

Great bridge is always one step ahead of good bridge…
July 3
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Michael A. R. Again, I wish to correct a convention definition.

The convention “Gambling 3N” shows, by definition, a solid minor. For me, I need AKQJ (or 8-card). Some think of “solid” a little less strictly - they might do it on AKQ seventh.

Your basic structure makes good sense facing a solid minor, except for “Up to you whether 4NT shows shortage in the other minor or no shortage.” It's better to play 4N as no shortage and 5m as short in om. That way, you are leaving a more likely ‘out’ in 4N.

But while your structure makes good sense facing a solid minor, it's far less clear that it's optimal facing a ‘4m preempt’. Because partner is far less likely to be certain what your suit is.
July 3
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“Low heart from hand will make the contract appreciably more often than spade to dummy to lead low heart from there.”

Please define “appreciably” in terms of a percentage. Then remember that a) North passed 1 and (b) North didn't lead a stiff spade, Then divide your tiny estimate by about 10.

There is reality in matches being decided by 1 imp. It happens. And if a match contains 2 such hands, that could be 2 imps, etc.

I don't think there is much reality in going down by leading a spade to dummy.

Yes it's wrong to play for overtricks when ‘close’ - for a variety of reasons (some psychological). However, it's also wrong NOT to play for overtricks when it's in no way close.

In my original comment I said “probably”. But that was (probably) a significant underbid.
July 3
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