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All comments by Roland Voigt
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What I find illuminating is how strongly the opinions among the experts differ even in basic judgment matters. For example, in case N9 (regarding a claim/concession), one commentator is comfortable with the classification of a line of play as merely “careless”, while another describes it as “bizarre, irrational, and ridiculous”.

Such dissents can be found in several other cases as well. I view this as a healthy reminder that rarely anything is ever “obvious”, and that people would be well-advised to take different views into account instead of insisting that one position is clearly the right one and without alternative.
June 20, 2018
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Could be successful to bid.
June 19, 2018
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Fair enough.

On a more general note: Only a person who spoke to the players first-hand can give a reasonable estimate of what “would” have happened. Since I wasn't there, my guess is as good as yours. I voted for 3= because I consider East's explanation credible in an abstract sense, and also to emphasize my disagreement with the strictly punitive approach to such cases.

The point is, dummy's actions were infractions on a purely procedural level. Only by dealing with the UI case we can justify an actual adjustment. You can rest assured that, if I have doubts at the table that South would have made the right discard (i.e. if I consider both choices LAs), I will rule against him. But not just because dummy played a card prematurely.
June 19, 2018
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Of course. It is impossible to know for sure what would have happened without the infraction. But this is virtually always true. That is why we do not need 100% certainty. For example, if we have only 99% certainty, we still rob the other side of a 1% chance. It is something we take into account.

The lawmakers are of course aware of this. For example, the laws regarding LA speak stuff like “a significant proportion”. They do not give exact numbers (for good reason), but there are guidelines like “1 out of 5” or thereabout.

The director in the OP case cannot know what the outcome would have been, had it not been for dummy's actions. He can only estimate/guess how likely it is that declarer would have got it right anyway. This is subject to his judgment, and he is at liberty to judge that the infraction had no bearing on the result.
June 19, 2018
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Did it?
June 19, 2018
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As far as I am concerned, X against 4 would have been penalty (or at least very penalty-ish). It makes one hell of a difference if partner responds 5 to a takeout bid or to a penalty double.
June 19, 2018
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I make the systemic response (2 waiting in our methods), what's the catch?
June 19, 2018
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Partner strongly believes 4 is going down. We have the ace of trumps. What more is there to say?
June 18, 2018
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I voted for 3 making, on the assumption that 1) dummy played the card immediately and 2) declarer did not have sufficient time to intervene before East took action. (Both are not entirely clear from the OP.)

Under these circumstances I am ready to believe that declarer would have got it right. (It helps that he was able to point out the significance of East's play to trick 10.) Not every infraction is automatically meant to be followed by an adjustment. But I would rule against declarer if he had been pondering over his play, because that would suggest both discards were LAs for him.

In the end, what matters is whether the director is satisfied about the events - and declarer's state of mind - at the table; it is virtually impossible to judge these things from the distance.
June 17, 2018
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I understand the sentiment about the attempt to be ethical described in the OP by disobeying the rules. But I do not share them, and I would find any implications unacceptable that those who follow the rules under the given circumstances are less ethical.
June 17, 2018
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Based on the OP description I am positive Law 25 does not apply. This was a loss of concentration, not a mechanical error (see Law 25A2).
June 17, 2018
Roland Voigt edited this comment June 17, 2018
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4 is a very natural game try.
June 17, 2018
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In my experience, players weak enough to miss the inference that partner could have passed 1X are players who would not start looking for a heart contract at the five level or higher.
June 15, 2018
Roland Voigt edited this comment June 15, 2018
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With Jonathan's example hand AKQJxx QJT9xx - A, I wouldn't open 5 either. I would deserve to find partner with a bunch of spades and heart shortness; everyone else will bid and make a spade slam with less “sophisticated” methods, while I struggle to keep trump control and not go down in 5.
June 14, 2018
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I expected Peter's solution, but frankly I think this is a terrible problem. If I ever held this hand - QJTxxxxxxxx - AK, I wouldn't dream of opening 5. 6 will make half the time even if partner has no trump (honor), and if he happens to have the ace I can make a grand with or without the king.
June 14, 2018
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Although opener will often have 5-5 for his 2 rebid, it is not something I would strictly demand. There are lots of strong 5-4 hands which can be awkward to bid if you are not allowed to show your second suit.

However, I would expect a higher ODR for this sequence. Having heard us pass in the first round, he took two more free actions that showed a wish to compete further. I thought of a hand like xx AKQxx KQJx Ax.
June 14, 2018
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If the X was only alerted but not explained during the bidding, I don't think an adjustment is called for. The Alert itself does not give South any helpful information to work with.

If the X was explained at the time, South has - potentially useful - UI from the explanation. The director must find out what South thought he had shown and what he would have expected a 3NT rebid by opener to show without the UI. Impossible to rule from the distance, without an opportunity to interview South about their system.
June 14, 2018
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“standard 5 opener”

Did I miss the announcement for the Shortest Bridge Joke Contest?
June 13, 2018
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Out of curiosity, what is there “friendly” about a club game where a player not only violates the law but also goes ballistic if the matter is addressed?
June 13, 2018
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This is not my idea of a 4 opening. And it is not a “magic fitter” either - after all, you have 14 top tricks except against a 4-0 break. I would open 2 but probably 1 will also work.

If it is the partnership's style to make random openings, i.e. guess the final contract from the start, either change your style or accept that you will misguess every now and then. No blame except on general bidding philosophy.
June 13, 2018
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