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All comments by Robb Gordon
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I bid 6C on the “last guess” theory. RHO has a load of spades and not much to be kidding around. A phantom (if it is a phantom) save is not unlikely. I shall be delighted to defend.
March 22, 2017
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Congratulations!
March 19, 2017
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North did bid 2H. The partnership agreement was 8+ with hearts.
The problem is poorly worded alert regulations that imply that any cuebid is “self-alerting”.
This creates a two-edged sword for the “offending” side. If they don't alert these situations arise. If they do alert there can be a UI complaint potentially.
I think after all this time most experienced players know to err on the over-alert side of the razor. I play a cuebid of a one of a major opening as 4 of the other major and long clubs. I have learned to alert this despite the regulation. But the alert procedure needs fixing in this and many other ways.
I am not sure the offending side should be punished here but the non-offenders should definitely get some relief. This isn't just “rub of the green”.
March 19, 2017
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Well done guys!
March 19, 2017
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Actually while I understand the desire for publicity, and Gates' relationship with bridge (as well as Buffet's) has certainly been publicized in the past, I think it was pretty cool that he walked around with his partner just like anybody else and wasn't bothered. I passed him between hotels a few times. I'll bet there aren't many places where he could do that.
March 17, 2017
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I will always be grateful to Zeke for all that I learned when he played with me after coming back to bridge when I was a young college student. He taught me about bridge and he taught me even more about how an expert player behaves at the table and away from it.
March 12, 2017
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Suggest you contact Dr. Martin Seligman on this board. He has done several studies on issues relating to competitiveness.
Feb. 5, 2017
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We are very sad and surprised to learn of this. He was a good parson.
Jan. 29, 2017
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Michael's post is EXACTLY correct. Period.
Jan. 26, 2017
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“Having a sound business background and an unbridled passion, knowledge and expertise for the game, and a preparedness to live in Memphis isn't enough.”

Actually your examples of Jay Baum and Roy Green contradict this. That is EXACTLY what is needed. Your father would have also been among them had he not been treated shabbily by the politicians of that time.
Jan. 25, 2017
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My parents were players. I borrowed 5 Weeks to Winning Bridge when I was 7 from their bridge library. My first duplicate was at 10 but I didn't really start playing regularly till 13. And I didn't start attending tournaments as a player (I caddied) till college.
Jan. 23, 2017
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I have known Mark (and others) for years. I agree that Mark is a good guy. But it strains credulity that nobody knew the rule about playing in the same direction. It has happened all too frequently in the past and been well publicized.
Jan. 18, 2017
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Stayman but denying a stopper.
Jan. 10, 2017
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This is perhaps appropriate for another thread but since it is in the same vein I am going to try.

You and your partner are victimized by a clear Law 16 violation (slow pass, hesitation Blackwood or something of that ilk). Inexplicably the Director rules against you. In your opinion your case is clear cut and you appeal. You feel that you have a 90+% chance of a favorable committee ruling. When the game is over you discover you have a 45% score. Do you pursue the appeal to protect the field?
Jan. 8, 2017
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Here is a somewhat more illustrative albeit more complex example.
Same 4-3 fit.

3-3 is 35.5%
4-2 is 48.5%
5-1 and 6-0 add up to the remaining 16%.

You play 2 rounds of the suit and all follow, so the 16% is eliminated.
This leaves 3-3 as 42% and 4-2 as 58%.

You play a 3rd round of the suit and second hand follows.
What are the odds now?

You have just eliminated half the 4-2 breaks.
So the 3-3 break is approximately 60%.

Easier to look at if you say
3-3 is 42%
4-2 is 29%
2-4 is 29%
Jan. 6, 2017
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John, no it is not a discussion. But THIS (the nature of regulation and the wisdom of choosing - or not - to enforce) is a discussion and an important one IMO. What you propose to me is just gossip. Yes, interesting to some but…
Jan. 5, 2017
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@John Cox - Yes. I disagree. Artur raised an interesting and important issue. “Outing” a pair for enforcing the rules (no matter how stupid) is not a useful nor is it a constructive discussion.
Jan. 5, 2017
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As a member of the ACBL Laws Commission I would say the director must be called when attention is drawn to an irregularity.

Further I would say that per Law 80B2 the sponsoring organization (SO) may make regulations and conditions not in conflict with the Laws and these have the force of Law for the event.

Now the Law does not permit the SO to regulate the meaning of natural bids. So if in this case the player had opened a strong 2 Spades, nobody could tell him that this (legally) didn't qualify. In fact he could psyche a strong 2 Spade bid.

But under Law 40 the SO may regulate “Special Partnership Understandings” (formerly conventions). They are even allowed to make stupid rules like the one you point out. In fact they frequently do make stupid rules.

Now, as a human being my answer is slightly different. In a friendly club game or in a social or money (Rubber Bridge) game I would generally waive any remedial action unless the irregularity actually damaged me. I am not going to allow the opponent to beat my grand slam by ruffing a trick with a card left in the suit!

But in serious competition choosing to waive rectification is a slippery slope. What are the criteria for when do waive? Do you always waive the rules when you are not damaged? Only against weak players (in your judgement)? Only against friends? Only when you are not in contention?

In my opinion anything but the former is putting you in a position to pick winners and losers. I don't think this is a good thing. In some ways it is tantamount to “dumping” to a friendly pair in contention when you are out of it. The main difference is that you might get caught doing this - waiving a penalty is unlikely to be discovered and it isn't clear that anything could be done even if it was.

Back to this case. In this case the reality is that I probably would NOT enforce the rule simply because it would not occur to me that a bid I would at least consider making myself and possibly the best bid could be against any rule.

Thanks for this post. It certainly is thought provoking.
Jan. 5, 2017
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The “ACBL forcing us to bid poorly” is nothing new. When I was a beginner I opened 2S with AJT9xx x xxx xxx. Pretty normal, huh? Nope. At that time it was a RULE that you MUST have 6 HCP for a weak two bid! I am not kidding. I got an ave -.

Having said that I think this new rule is bad for other reasons. It encourages players who really don't have the experience and judgement to do so to open 1NT with inappropriate hands.

Having said THAT, I don't agree that 1NT would be the majority choice of experts. Personally I would consider it the worst alternative but that is just my opinion. It is certainly nothing I would assign any likelihood to the opponents in most circumstances. Therefore I agree that your treatment is at least alertable.
Jan. 3, 2017
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I abstained. The correct answer is “call the director”.
Dec. 29, 2016
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