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All comments by Mike Gill
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This is a good point, Peter, and I agree that is the main difference between the two cases (actually, in our case information was freely volunteered about how the agreement had been discussed extensively as recently as right before the session). I like this interpretation and it does make the ruling in our case correct (although I don't remember ever seeing this explicitly in the rules).

However, this still leaves Hamman basically in the position of trying to guess if his opponent remembered their agreement, right? If responder actually has majors, the hand could be a total misfit and he's letting them off the hook (and possibly turning a large + into a -) by bidding anything, but passing if it was a diamond raise is asking for what actually happened. He certainly wouldn't have gotten an adjustment if he'd bid hearts and South had turned up with both majors, so he could easily be getting a 0 either way if he guesses wrong.

I think determining if your opponents have judged correctly or are over/underbidding is an interesting part of the game. Trying to guess if your opponents remembered their bidding system seems like a total crapshoot and not something that should be part of the game.
Oct. 29, 2016
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A parallel situation happened to me recently when one opponent forgot their agreement at favorable in our strong club auction and the other correctly played them to have forgotten based on also having length in the bid suit (but not enough to be sure). This frequently turns out to be a really diabolical defense. For the record, the director and subsequent committee ruled (incorrectly it now seems) in our favor.

I like the idea of not being able to profit from first-round forgets, which would have covered my situation as well. I suppose you could make some provision that in a non-competitive auction you're allowed to keep your result as long as it didn't affect your opponents' bidding. That would only be ok as long as you were required to disclose your misapprehension before the opening lead (are you?).

As a simple case, if I open 1NT with a random 13 count thinking it's a weak NT but partner correctly alerts as 15-17 then puts me in game with his 13. Can I really legally just accept my possible good result from the opponents thinking I have my bid? Seems like that would not be active ethics to me, but I'm not sure it's against the rules. Maybe I can justify this to myself since most of the time my forget would nail me to a wall and I'm entitled to get lucky once in a while right? (wow just writing that makes me want to take a shower)
Oct. 26, 2016
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I think passing is totally reasonable and obviously anything could work on this one. My preference is to open a weak two with this sort of hand then bid again. If I bid 2 then bid 4 over 4, partner will know I have 6 and a lot of extra shape. Even though I would normally do this I think this is close to passing anyway because the hand is so weak and because I don't really want a spade lead.
Oct. 5, 2016
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Yeah this is why I posted the discussion. It seems like this is a common enough situation that the rules should be clear on your obligations on alerting as well as how you must bid. Nobody so far seems to have found anything definitive in the rules (and I couldn't either). I'm happy to believe I've been doing this one wrong.
Sept. 28, 2016
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I would have replicated your actions and I think they are all clear. Given what he showed, partner had about the worst hand he could have an grand was still really good.
Sept. 18, 2016
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I must admit I am surprised at Pass being the majority vote as well. Seems like 5 has way more horses going for it - it might make (varying degrees of unlikely depending on partner's style but definitely possible), it could be a good save against 4= (and they might not even double - we have two aces and partner is likely to hold a third), and best of all the favorable opponents might easily judge to take out insurance in 5 knowing it will be cheap. Clearly going -100 or -200 if they double when 4 is -1 is a likely result, so I might even pass at Matchpoints, but seems like the gains from bidding outweigh this possibility.
Sept. 1, 2016
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I think this is clearly correct with 4-6 shape where you know you're going to bid over 3. I actually did consider it anyway, but I think the issue with this is that partner might have a normal 3 bid over 3 and now you have to guess what to do on your own.
Aug. 31, 2016
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Ron, I think 3 hearts is virtually marked because partner didn't try for game over 2. Pretty hard to construct hands that are good enough to double 3 but that aren't good enough to try for game unless partner is worried about a 4-3.
Aug. 31, 2016
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No, I'm quite happy making a LR actually. I think would still make a limit raise with JTxx AQxxx Qx xx, but it's close.
Aug. 24, 2016
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Are the doubleton quacks pulling their full weight? Of course not, but this is just still a normal LR IMO. The 5th trump is definitely an asset, even if it doesn't lower the loser count. x Kxxxx xxx AKxx is a cold game even with all of our quacks completely wasted and that's not even an opening hand much less an accept of a 4-card constructive raise.

I don't understand the statement that the hand is essentially unchanged if you subtract the J or make the Q the J. Those changes *might not* let you take any more tricks but they might!
For the record I think JTxx AQxxx Qx xx is certainly on the border of a LR if not over (I would for sure make a LR if I didn't have a mixed raise available or at IMPs) but JTxx AJxxx Qx xx is clearly not a LR.
Aug. 23, 2016
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I don't think this is clear. If opponents are solid citizens, partner is likely to have 4324 shape and both part scores could be making. Even -1 against 140 or vice versa is a nontrivial win. If my opponents were aggressive, I would pass since I think both contracts -1 is too likely a result
Aug. 22, 2016
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I think it was at most mildly aggressive and certainly not desperate. Remember partner knows it's likely you have a good hand because
1) you balanced R/W
2) you have the spade length (else the opponents didn't compete to 3 at favorable with a 9-fit, which seems unlikely)
3) your suit can't be all that great since he has the KJ9.
Aug. 9, 2016
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IMO anything but Texas then keycard is making an easy hand hard. You have 31-32 HCP PLUS a strong 6-2 (at least) fit - why are you trying to thread the needle? Even if you're off the AK the opponents still have to find the lead and you're basically guaranteed to have the pitches if they don't.
Aug. 8, 2016
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I bid 3NT like most of the BW crowd, but I thought it was very close between 3NT and 5.

Good news: 9 tricks were made in 3NT
Bad news: Not by your side…

Partner held xx Qx Kxxxxx KJ9, but LHO has a normal heart lead from J9xxxx Jxx Ax xx once his partner didn't X 3. In desperation I finessed in clubs to try to overcome the blockage and lost to the stiff Q, so I lost 6 hearts, a club and two aces. The other table teammates bid 5 over 5 and brought back -50, so 22 IMPs were riding on which game you bid.

The saving grace is that if you guess to bid 5 and they don't find their spade ruff, you win the set by 66 have to lose sleep over the myriad of ways you could have picked up those last few IMPs.
Aug. 7, 2016
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My personal judgment was that this situation lended itself naturally to a swing and that I didn't need to do anything crazy, but I figured I'd include the context in case anyone felt differently.
Aug. 5, 2016
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I don't think anyone has said this, but this to me is an automatic direct 4 playing precision. Heck, this auction is one of the best things about playing Precision. Can you construct a hand for partner where you have slam? Sure, although he really has to have a perfecta. It's wayyyy more likely LHO comes in at the wrong time over 4 and it's going to be very expensive when he does.
Aug. 3, 2016
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I don't even see how it's that. Nobody forced him to play in a high-stakes money game. I didn't say I wouldn't feel bad for the guy, I'm sure I would. Mental lapses come in all shapes and sizes. This while being admittedly somewhat more catastrophic in nature, is still just a mental lapse.
Aug. 3, 2016
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This is nothing like an ethical dilemma IMO. How is forgetting the contract different from any other mistake?
Aug. 3, 2016
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Speaking as another person who got caught up in this, it certainly was frustrating but hardly the end of the world. The issue was that the initial board placements were not boards that were together. Our first two boards were correct (19-20), but when we got to our second table they had just played 17 and 21 and got passed 15 and 23. Honestly it seems more likely that the error was made in stacking the boards initially, since it would be weird for the director to pick out non-adjoining boards for no reason.
July 29, 2016
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I think if you're going after hearts, there is a very strong argument for crossing in spades to lead a heart up. This prevents them from untangling HJx opposite H9xx and probably will get LHO to duck from Hx if he should happen to hold that.
July 28, 2016
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