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All comments by Paul Lamford
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And if you swap the ten of hearts and the six of hearts around, you can make 6C from North, and only a low diamond lead defeats it as South. The same lead as defeats it in Michael's variation.
March 9, 2018
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That is for “agreement with a claim or concession”. Law 71 deals with this case, a “withdrawn concession”, and there the requirement is more onerous, so the TD only adjusts if a trick is conceded which could not be lost by normal play.
Nov. 26, 2017
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The problem the TD has is that finessing is a “normal” play, which is defined by laws as including careless, but not irrational.
Nov. 26, 2017
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I agree with David Burn. A compatriot of mine substituted his own cards for ones provided by the organisers and was banned for ten years; that was just as much cheating as if he had been sent in error the hands each day and looked at them in advance. I regard this as similar. Phil Ivey cheated in the same way by behaviour that was not intrinsic to the game. The card counter in Blackjack does not cheat as his behaviour does not alter the game.
Oct. 26, 2017
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Routine to bid in my view. It is purely “what is most likely?”.

The first SIM board I did had the overcaller with ♠AQTxxx ♥AKx ♦Jxx ♣J and partner had a huge penalty double with ♠KJ9xx ♥none ♦AKxx ♣AKQx. Dummy was dross with a slew of clubs but partner stopped bouncing up and down on his chair when he only collected +300 against 2Sx with 6D cold and 7D making on the AH lead.
Oct. 26, 2017
Paul Lamford edited this comment Oct. 26, 2017
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Our labrador plays a good game, but only trump contracts, where he is always suggesting: “Ruff”.
Oct. 23, 2017
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A simpler scoring system would be to get 1-point for making a one level contract up to 7 for making a 7-level contract. I would stick with 1NT to 7NT rather than 7NT to 13NT. You get no points for over-tricks so it pays to “bid up”. If you go down then -1 point for 1 down and -13 points for 13 down. You can double and redouble and all the above are doubled or redoubled. So, if the opponents call Four Spades, they get +4 if they make 10 tricks, and you lose -4 if you go 2 down doubled in 5 of a minor. Scoring is just total points over a set number of boards. I find that normal bidding methods are pretty good for this, although the gains for games and slams are not there.

I agree with James that bidding comes a long way after play, and you could have BasicBridge with the bidding performed by the app - the GIB robots would do fine - and then the student can rotate if he prefers to practice defence rather than declarer play. Later he can do bidding. There are some learning programs for bridge, but none has yet reached the level of eXtreme Gammon which teaches backgammon very well indeed.
Oct. 23, 2017
Paul Lamford edited this comment Oct. 23, 2017
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I have spoken to several people about the issues in the Gold Cup semi-final, and waited until I established all the facts before commenting.

Firstly where pairs play in the same direction, this reflects badly on the organiser who in this case was also the TD. I agree with Tony's criticism here, and the comments of others, and liken it to the error by Graham “Three Yellows” Poll who failed to send off a player who had received two yellow cards in a World Cup football match.

Poll retired from international tournament finals football on 29 June 2006, citing the error as the reason. He said in his retirement announcement:

“What I did was an error in law. There can be no dispute. It was not caused by a FIFA directive, it was not caused by me being asked to referee differently to the way I referee in the Premier League. The laws of the game are very specific. The referee takes responsibility for his actions on the field of play. I was the referee that evening. It was my error and the buck stops with me.”

I think the TD should check the lineups for each match and that the correct boards are being played and that they have been duplicated correctly. That is one of his primary functions. My partner, Stefanie Rohan, ran 5 Lederer Invitation tournaments of 8 teams each without a single board played in the wrong direction. The year after she stopped running it, an entire match was played in the wrong direction, and the organiser asked me “not to mention this” in my write-up of the event … (The TD there was a different one to here).

On the second matter, the slow play fines, the wording that Paul Gipson quoted makes it clear that the fines would not normally be increased automatically unless they were in consecutive sets.

“Where the same pair incurs a fine in consecutive stanzas of the same play period, each of these penalties shall automatically be increased by 50% and the Director will normally exercise his authority (hereby confirmed) to require the withdrawal of that partnership for the next session. To give effect to such a decision the Director shall inform the team Captains of it. For substantial or repeated delays the Director should impose a more severe penalty or refer the facts to the Appeals Committee which shall have the power to do so.”

I understand from the person who acted as Appeal Referee that the last sentence was used to confirm the 50% increase and this was upheld by him on appeal. It does however say “more severe penalty” and what happened was that the TD just imposed the same (50% extra) penalty. The law is rather woolly here. What does “substantial” mean? That has to be at the discretion of the TD. I am told that the longer of the two late finishes was 9 minutes after the end of the round, and the other less than 5 minutes. Is this substantial? I consider not but the TD ruled otherwise. I regard both the TD and the referee who ruled on the appeal to be two of the most objective and fair people in British Bridge, and I think Tony's innuendo in “That was at least an action without favoritism” is very unfair. The decision may not have been right, but I am sure that both would have been trying to come to the correct decision. I know that there was a time monitor for most of the matches in question and she was consulted. I think, as Jeremy Dhondy says, the rules should be improved although judging responsibility for slow play will always be difficult.
Oct. 23, 2017
Paul Lamford edited this comment Oct. 23, 2017
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I think PFA applies in rubber bridge and 4D is stronger than 5D. I would wind it back.
Oct. 6, 2017
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You are right. You would need the defenders to win the remaining 6 tricks as well. And you would need the revokes to be in 3 different suits each.
Sept. 15, 2017
Paul Lamford edited this comment Sept. 15, 2017
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-6400 occurred at a North London club on Tuesday, but it was adjusted by the TD to +2940.

http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/77388-the-rabbits-revocation/page__pid__933242#entry933242
Sept. 15, 2017
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I don't think you can have a 13-trick adjustment, Ulrich, as there is no penalty for a revoke at trick 12 - it just gets corrected - and trick 13 cannot have a revoke. If both defenders revoke on the same trick, that is just a one-trick transfer. So, my first thought is that the maximum transfer is 11 tricks, and the maximum adjustment is from 7NTxx= scoring +2980 adjusted for 11 revokes by declarer to -6400. However, one cannot achieve this as a trick won in dummy when declarer revokes does not count, and declarer cannot win tricks with 11 revokes (as he leads after each one, so can only have 6 revokes at tricks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11), so one needs the defenders to win 11 tricks containing revokes. This is fairly easily achieved but only in a suit contract (as the revoker needs to win every revoke trick), and the adjustment is then from -6400 to +2940 (7Hxx= or 7Sxx=). There is also a requirement that each of the revokes in the same suit from trick 3-11 gain a trick in comparison with not revoking.

http://blakjak.org/telltale.htm I believe gives the maximum loss for 26 penalty cards where declarer gains 12 tricks from the exposure of the opponents' cards and makes a slam he would go 12 off in otherwise. The solution link no longer works, but I am sure you will have no problem constructing the defenders' hands. PM if you fail!
Sept. 15, 2017
Paul Lamford edited this comment Sept. 15, 2017
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I agree. But then if he was making it he should not redouble although against a top British player they did and scored 2660!
Sept. 13, 2017
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Well done to Michal Czerwonko for selecting 7H, cheap at these colours even against a small slam. Unless North is a fine poker player, she will have as a minimum ♠none ♥A ♦AKQxxx ♣AKQxxx or she would just make an obvious forcing pass over 6H. You know from your minor suit holdings that minors are very likely to be breaking.

Tom Peters said, “If (North) just bid a grand slam off a cashing ace then he may not have much company.” Indeed. So assume there is no cashing trick and save.

In Pula saving fetched about 90% of the matchpoints. The link:

http://jtz.club/wp-content/themes/jtz.club/rezultati/par/17pulasunadditional018.html
Sept. 13, 2017
Paul Lamford edited this comment Sept. 13, 2017
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North wasn't brain-dead, and will correct to 7D if he had a spade loser or if he thinks you have a diamond void … and then it does matter how partner interprets double.
Sept. 13, 2017
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I think North is the one more likely to do the redoubling. He did on the -2660 that occurred.

The question I would be asking is “What does partner lead if you double and North corrects to 7D?”
Sept. 13, 2017
Paul Lamford edited this comment Sept. 13, 2017
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5NT is minors or a two-suiter, but your spade holding tells you it is minors. Your partner should interpret double as asking for a spade lead, although he might think you have a diamond ruff.
Sept. 12, 2017
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I would not have been believed if I had reported the North hand, but I can later post the link for the doubting Thomases or Clarks. The lowest score on the board was -2660 and that was conceded by a previous winner of the EBU Brighton Congress Main Swiss Pairs. That does not mean, necessarily, that it is right to save … And it is from Pula, and the Secretary Bird has flown home so no story there …
Sept. 11, 2017
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The TDs in Pula would rule that if a strong 2C could include a weak NT with 5 controls it would be brown-sticker and HUM, and an illegal agreement. Amusingly the new EBU 2C bid would be allowed in a simple system event in the UK, such as the London event the Palmer Bayer (for complete beginners), but not allowed in most WBF events and only allowed in the Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup if conceding seating rights and giving notice.

“2.4 If the bid does not show a known four card suit it must show a hand a king or more over average strength”, is the relevant regulation.
Sept. 9, 2017
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They were hand-dealt as the person who duplicates the boards was on holiday. And, as you know, every hand is just ask likely as the next one.
Aug. 30, 2017
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