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All comments by Nikolay Demirev
1 2 3 4
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Jim,

I find your question interesting. A lot of pros play so much that there is little time and desire to do it in a non-professional setting. Some of them have lives outside bridge too :)
Since we all started with love for the game, players feel that they want to give back to the game at some point. This may mean playing with friends, your mom and aunt as you say. It may also mean introducing the game to beginners that you meet outside of your bridge life. It may mean writing for bridge magazines or online.
Aug. 17
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Gavin,

I see the difference in the two incidents but arguably the player is solely responsible what he or she carries on them. In other words, if you have someone else's phone in your pocket you are the responsible party if it goes off. The regulation does not apply any differently.

I see a lot of similarities as well: Both electronic devices went off by accident; both devices were to the best of the owner's knowledge unusable; both times it was unfortunate to happen.

Now, in one of the cases the ACBL Electronic Policy was deemed clear while in the other there seemed to have been at least some confusion whether it was a violation or not. Why? The interpretation of the wording in Appendix J is clear according to most. So, there is the human factor which subconsciously questions the scope and the thoroughness of the regulation in place. I would have hated to see you in our position had your wife lost and especially if they applied it in the end and it mattered. I just don't find it in me to accept certain score adjustments as a productive part of the game we all love.
Aug. 8
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@ Sathya and Brian:

To be clear, I never meant to imply unfairness by the directors based on any ethnic profiling or player's skill or accusing them of such. “With prejudice” was meant that they had made up their mind to blindly enforce penalties at one point and didn't bother to hear the explanation (check your dictionaries). The deficit of fluency in English could be irritating when you are understaffed and overworked (as in the directors' case) because it takes extra time and patience to understand what really happened.

In contrast, I saw a post somewhere above describing how Gavin searched for an iPad in a lost mode and it rang in his wife's purse. The iPad must be connected to a WiFi and must be on for Lost Mode to override silent mode. Therefore the iPad in question was live and operating and able to receive and send data. This exact semantics were used to issue penalties to our team. But my teammates could not explain it well and the penalty stuck. So I see a precedent here where two very similar situations are treated differently. Don't you? If the rules are applied without exception to the book why would there be any difference?
Aug. 8
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Ai-Tai, I agree with this line of thought. Monetary penalty would be much more of a deterrent for carelessness with one's phone. Suppose you are out of contention and your phone rings - then what do you care for the PP? A uniformly enforced monetary fine will sting more and will feel right. And as you brought it up before, same should apply for discussing boards loudly. For the size of the fine I would say comparable to the size of the entry so $50 for national events sounds right.
Also agree that more should be done for consistent taking advantage of UI due to BIT and not only during the bidding but also while defending a hand. For a lot of those is difficult to prove intent though. Luckily often there is a recognizable pattern.
Aug. 6
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Jim, thank you for for taking the discussion on the intended track. The closing line of my article argues exactly that: the unpleasant and unsatisfactory feelings due to winning or losing on PP for the participants and negative reactions of all the bridge players who hear about it. PP come with their imperfect semantics and are not uniformly applied -that's a fact. Forget about our case and look retrospectively at the last 15 years of top level bridge. Many events and matches have been won or lost on questionable appeals and PPs. -n.
Aug. 6
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One clarification here because from people's comments it seems they doubt the facts.

1. I have no reason not to believe what my teammates told me. I checked and rechecked everything before I decided to write an article with the support of my team. Hence the delay after the event was over.

2. I asked them twice before the session if their phones were off until they confirmed.

3. The sound the director heard was the default turning on chime when a phone boots up. We offered to reproduce it and we offered the official call records to prove it. There was no phone call made to the phone, not a message or any other data.

4. The offered explanation with elbowing the on button is what we thought was the most plausible cause but any combination of pressing the phone between body, pocket and elbow triggered it by accident. That's not relevant. What matters is that it was unintended.

5. Had I reminded them to have the sound off as well for double protection it wouldn't have come to this discussion. Alas, this is my mistake I have to live with.
Aug. 5
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Thanks for your comment, Kit. Finally to see something on the right track. Cell phones ringing is a disturbance and annoyance - I fully agree and I hate it as much as you do. Does the current electronic device policy prevent cheating? In the last two years we witnessed cheating on the highest level which was consistent, collusive and without discretion. None of those cases included electronic devices. If people are inclined to cheat they will find their ways. The purpose of this article if not to whine about our 2nd place as many suggest in their comments but rather to challenge the policy in place which is not uniformly applied and doesn't solve much. However, when the regulations are randomly applied, they change the outcome of events and matches. All of my teammates and other friends suggested that we should say something about it and hopefully when enough people express their discontent with how the things are, the ACBL will take a second look at what is in place for the moment and make it better.
Aug. 5
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Similar to how they handle it in the Team Trials now. The old check-in your phone procedure was ridiculously complicated.
Aug. 4
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Nice study Hans! Event though I enjoy reading it, I dropped the deep bridge math long time ago in favor of what my gut and experience tell me on those hands.
1NT-3NT looks perfectly alright to me in IMPs. Not nearly as much in MPs. But I can't stand going down in 3NT when partner's hand is 5332 or 5323. 5233 doesn't bother me terribly but it will still look pretty demoralizing for the team when 4S makes and 3NT goes down on an everyday defense. Therefore, I would use puppet and unless partner shows 5S I would bid 3NT. What price did I pay I wonder? On the surface it looks to me essentially the same as the “Blast” approach but I will call it “Educated Blast”. Still, I am sure I lost something to “Blast” along the way.
Jan. 10
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Aviv,

The line has to be drawn somewhere and there is no question about it. I have no problem with it being where it is. There is always a way to go around 1NT range with a small singleton. Besides, the particular hand in question will NEVER win me over for the other side. It is a straightforward 1 opening.

———
Marshall,

It is a very good thing they disallow Multi for pair games and BAMs. Not only the prealert takes unnecessary time, but when it actually comes up, there is so much fuss about it and by the time everyone is done feeling their back pockets for the defenses before getting up to look for it at the table they played 3 rounds ago, the round gets called. I would say that Reisinger will become 10 times more interesting (for me) if everyone is FORCED to play within the same simple 2/1 system with no gadgets.
Jan. 5
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I agree with Kit. K10x(x) in righty is strongly indicated from the way the hand is described.
Jan. 4
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I would open 1 on this hand. 1NT won't occur to me as an option regardless of the rules.

However, I agree on principle that players should be allowed to bid based on their judgement rather than on rule constrictions. Openings included. And there is also nothing wrong with experimenting in bridge. To the young and aspiring bridge player, this is what appeals to the game in the first place and this is what drives the bidding theory forward.

Still, the coin has another side. A lot of us have witnessed (and done) opening 1NT on nothing even remotely resembling a classic 1NT hand. A lot of us can agree that grabbing the NT with certain partners is the single most effective strategy to improve our results. This in turn creates a lot of resentment with those who have to defend against it, constantly keeping in mind that the opener may hold a 6421 or a 7321 shape (yes, it has happened). This is very much as if I tell you to defend against 4+ opening preempts or that 2 opening can often be a psych. So, I understand the reasons behind this rule and I must say that I support it as far as it specifically addresses 1NT and I think it is to the benefit of the large crowd of not so experienced players who can't handle everything that's thrown at them.

As a conclusion, I support all bidding methods and experimental bridge: including Forcing Pass systems and “psych on every hand” attitude. But wisdom dictates that there should be a time and place for everything and it would be a good idea to introduce “unrestricted” events for those want to unleash their geniuses while a certain structure is maintained for the majority who don't want to deal with XBridge.
Jan. 4
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Jan, I suggest a more constructive approach:

*Danny clearly says he intends NOT to play regardless of the length of the matches. Perhaps it is wiser only those who DO intend to play to express opinion and especially when the length of the match is a deciding factor for their participation.

*Another point of consideration would be to go 10 years back and look at the players who had made it to the R8 and their opinion to have more weight as they will much more likely be affected by the length of the matches than the rest.
Jan. 2
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Correct!
Cashing the 3rd club forces him to either part with a diamond or set up a major for you;
And if he follows to the 3rd club, there is no way he can keep more than 2 side winners and protect the length in hearts at the same time.
Jan. 2
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3 since you shot yourself in the foot already. Opening 2 is preferable as you will always feel uneasy that you are underbidding (or distorting too much) later in the auction after 1 opening. Control responses only add to “in favor” of 2C opening.

I recommend to change 2 rebid to forcing (to your preferred Gazzili style)
Jan. 2
Nikolay Demirev edited this comment Jan. 2
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Kit, a great hand and write up! However I disagree with the evaluation of the hand. For what it's worth, to have a play for game you need to add at least another K to partner's hand, which will bring him to a “heavy invite” as values (facing 1m opening). Therefore the opener's hand is no better than an “average maximum” 1minor opening.
Jan. 2
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Even if I generate 100 hands for the people who think 3S as invitational is the way to go and that they will never run into a problem, I don't think it would matter. Most will continue to see it their own way. I simply offer my opinion which formed as a result of over 25 years continuous quest for improvement and I am not going to argue my point to death.
Happy New Year! :)
Dec. 31, 2016
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*Not having half days is preferable.
*USA1 and USA2 semi-finals & finals of 120 boards each.
*USA1 R16 and R8: whatever the majority wants. However, 90 boards will save only 1 day so I would lean towards 120 for all.
Dec. 31, 2016
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@ Bruce:
you don't need the J at all and it also works against 4=4=3=2. You are on the right track though, now try for perfection :)
Dec. 31, 2016
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@Eric's “Why not just bid 4♠?”

because you will get this dummy xxx Axxx Qxxx Kx - unlucky :)
… and then someone will post the bidding question “how do we get to 3NT on this hand?” … and there will be a perfectly manufactured auction to fit the case: “…Er, you start with 3C and then over 3H-3S you offer 3NT. And partner should pass because…..”

Not good enough for me but thanks a lot :)
Dec. 31, 2016
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