Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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David G: I was thinking that made more sense - despite the fact that the OP had East as dealer. Obviously, North had bid hearts somewhere along the line since South led them.
Perhaps, at the OP table, East overcalled 1N a bit light. Now North's defense makes perfect sense, as far as I can see.
Feb. 21
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I could make the diamonds K109. But I agree it would be nice to know the auction.
I wrote what I did because, elsewhere, I had seen some severe criticism of the defense - and I felt this OP might reinforce that. I don't know whether the criticism was fair (my experience is that it's often not) - but I wanted to point out how North's defense at least COULD be the logical one. It certainly feels ‘natural’ to grab the ace and set up your suit while holding the other ace - without permitting declarer to ‘steal’ a spade trick.
Feb. 21
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Well, yes. But I'd say it's also ‘right’ for the appropriate people to determine what the law ‘should’ be going forward - and to amend it appropriately.
Feb. 21
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Aviv: All those are things declarer should do for his own benefit. I don't think there should be any law that declarer MUST do them.
The only thing I think the law should prevent in this area is thinking, mid trick, about which card to play from ‘equals’. In other words, there should be no thinking mid-trick unless you have a bridge problem.
Feb. 21
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David B: It's generally beneficial for declarer to plan his plays in order to make them smoothly. But I don't think there should be any law that declarer MUST do so. Or even any law that a player must think at all.
Feb. 21
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Gerben “With QJ987 you claim there is a bridge reason so you can think 5 seconds about playing the 9, and then some more seconds which of Q and J is more deceptive. ”

There are many things you ‘could’ do if you want to be slimy. Using the 9 as a front for illegitimate thought about which honor to play (which I think is what you're suggesting) would be just one more of those.

The point about the equals is more relevant when the defender KNOWS more stuff. For example here, let's defenders know declarer has a doubleton D. He leads a D, thinks a while, and puts in the J. His LHO wins the ace, and is now ‘fooled’ into thinking declare must have KJ doubleton - and defends accordingly. But the declarer had QJ doubleton and ‘figured out’ that, in this case, the J was the more deceptive card (which it was).
Now it's obviously fine for declarer to figure this out before playing from dummy. But it's not fine (with me) that the mid-trick ‘thought’ play a role in the deception.

That is what I think the Laws should be clarifying. Not some idea (which I see as ridiculous) that declarer cannot think about a legitimate bridge play (here, 9) .
If RHO wanted to make some inference here, that is the sort of thing that should be classified as ‘at your own risk’.
Feb. 21
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For many pairs, and certainly the large majority of experts, it's not never. It's an agreement as to when. In the ACBL there is no way to easily disclose the details of that agreement. Am I suppopsed to disclose in advance every detail of every competitive agreement I have (about 50-60 pages in my notes)? We'd never get started.

WBF card and USBF System Summary form do a better job. And when they are pre-submitted and properly completed (which is rare), one actually can prepare for such things.

As it stands now in ACBL, one has to ask about these things. The conversation could go:

'If I redouble, and you pass, is that for penalty?

'Only if you ask'.
Feb. 21
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Except when your partner, unaware of this, takes your redouble seriously and raises one more level - and you end up playing doubled in the same strain - one level higher. Cool.
Unless of course your partner is ‘in on’ your scheme - in which case your failure to disclose it to your opponents is illegal.
Feb. 20
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In that case, it's still not what I'm looking for. That would be a different ‘theme’.
Feb. 20
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Charles: Thank you SO much. I guess I look a little silly for “early in the book” being page 295 - but I'll live with that!
Feb. 20
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If East started with K10xx, AQ9, KJx, KJx then A was necessary to defeat 3N.
What were the discards on the 4th club? Seems relevant.
Feb. 20
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Andy B: I've always thought that being “careful” meant that if you ‘space out’, and it turns out that hurts the opponents, then you are in jeopardy. I never thought it precluded thinking about a bridge problem.
Feb. 20
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Gerben: “For me, there is no demonstrable bridge reason to think for 10 seconds as declarer. When you lead a from dummy and East plays low, this is not at all surprising. Declarer should have been prepared for a low card. So for me, the second condition for score adjustment is given.”

I completely disagree. This sounds like a lawyer's or politician's argument (read ‘BS’.).
Yes I might well plan what to play from hand. But sometimes not. RHO might rise and save me the problem. Or it might matter to me which spot RHO plays - do I really need to sit and figure out what I will do for each of the missing spots before I called for a card from dummy? OR (and this happens all the time) one might have called for a card thinking one was going to play an honor, but then reconsidered that maybe one should finesse the 9.
As long as declarer was thinking of making a ‘bridge play’ (trying to take more tricks on a double-dummy basis) - such as finessing the 9 - I think to make a law that he can't think goes against what is ‘right’. Whereas if he's merely thinking about whether to play the Q or J, based on which is more ‘deceptive’, I think thinking mid-trick is ‘wrong’.
Feb. 20
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Frances: The important thing is that you have rules that cover all auctions. I play fewer penalty passes than you, but my rules also cover all auctions. I know my rules are not optimal - and doubt that yours are either. For example, after (2 - weak)X-(XX) I think it's pretty clearly optimal to play pass as no preference - so you can get to the ‘right’ major.

Your ‘bid at the 1-level’ rule is smart. Had not heard that before (and don't need it myself). As an interesting side point, I'd note that after (say) 1(P)-1(X), P(P) I think it's correct to play responder's redouble as business. Advancer might just pass the double with a bad hand and 5-card because he feels that -160 (or even with overtrick(s)) will be better overall than bidding. I've seen this a few times - and responder could not ‘punish’ the opponents because ‘pass-out seat redouble of a low-level suit contract is always SOS.’ (Once, responder just bid 3N - making - but could have gotten 1100 - or, I think, 1520 if they played there.)
Feb. 20
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If East were the stronger player, and didn't cover this important point before playing, then I think he should take some of the blame - perhaps even most of it.
The (comparatively) modern style is to define pass as penalty and make exceptions. The universal exception is (1y)X-(XX)P.
The old style was to play never penalty and make exceptions - or just use logic for exceptions. This would clearly have been a logical exception.
But if West is inexperienced, this might not be so clear to him/her.
Feb. 20
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Kit: I've seen this mixup so often I presumed there was no clear agreement. And, if there WAS clear agreement that pass is penalty, why would there be ANY discussion about who is to blame?
Feb. 20
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I think you would need to specify that Bromad makes redouble then 2 NF - in order to have that agreement
Feb. 20
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Moved
Feb. 20
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Maybe. Unless there is an illict agreement, there is some danger that partner, not in on the ‘joke’ will raise and get you into trouble where none existed.

Howver, a preempter or overcaller doubler redoubling are, I think, clear moments to play pass as penalty.
Feb. 20
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Steve M:

Because opponents are allowed to bid and your hand might get ‘lost’ since cue and then 3 would be forcing. And if advancer's suit is hearts then (1m)X-(P)2m, 2-3 is Forcing.

It's just ‘simpler’ to have a double jump to 3-level as being 10-11 with 5-card suit. The preemptive hand is rarer - and less important to show (and nobody is quite sure what that hand is).
I've been playing this 20+ years and been happy/comfortable with it.
However, preemptive was certainly the meaning in Old Standard - and I still consider it to be the way most play it.
Feb. 20
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