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All comments by Roland Voigt
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“If west has Kxxx Qxxx Qxx xx 3♣ will still be more successful than if he would have xxxx xxxx xxx xx.”

Good example. What is the expectancy for 2, and what is it for 3? I can imagine a lot of hands where both contracts go down. This would needs a very thorough analysis.
May 24, 2018
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Yes, and we know that he doesn't have x xxxx xxxx Qxxx either. The hesitation eliminates some unsuitable hands and also some suitable ones. In order to determine how the odds change, it is necessary to study all the cases that are affected, not just the ones we find convenient.
May 24, 2018
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Regarding David's comment:
In one hand of the last and decisive round of the German Bundesliga 2018, a player of the victorious team bid 3NT despite holding a 4-4 fit in spades. 3NT made, while everyone else went down in 4. Also, his partner was the only player in the playing venue who had a cup of eucalyptus tea at the time.

I guess we must charge the pair with illegal communication, coded by the choice of beverage. How do we judge there has been illegal communication? In a field including some of the strongest players in Germany, nobody bid 3NT except the pair with the eucalpytus tea. It happened to work rather well.
May 24, 2018
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Henrik,
I see no direct correlation between values in the West hand and the success of a 3 bid. If West has xxx Qxx xx Axxxx, 3 will work well. If West has xxxx Qxxx Axx xx, 3 will not work well. Both hands have the same values.
May 24, 2018
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Suppose East had (successfully) doubled instead of bidding 3. Assuming Pass turned out to be a LA, I guess most readers in this thread would adjust the score. The justification for the adjustment should be something along the following lines:

“The UI from West's BIT tells us that West was thinking about bidding, so his hand must be close to a different call. It can either be unbalanced (most likely with a long suit) but with insufficient shape, or balanced but slightly too weak.

East's double caters to all possibilities: If the West hand is weak with a long suit, West can comfortably bid it at the three level and find a fit in the East hand. Given East's spade shortness, this action will probably be successful - either contract can make, or the opponents can be pushed to 3.

If West has a balanced hand without spade length, he can bid 2NT (scrambling), and the bidding will rest in East's longest suit, clubs. Finally, if West has spade length, he can convert the double. Again, this is likely to succeed because in that case, based on the UI, EW are known to have the balance of power and NS have no spade fit.

Either way, the X can be expected to lead to a better result than Pass, so it is suggested over Pass by the UI.”

You may disagree with a few details (among other things, it depends on the available methods - such as Lebensohl - to show a weakish hand with a long suit). But in essence this is how a demonstration should look like.

In order to disallow the actual 3 bid chosen at the table, it must be possible to come up with a similar reasoning. Of course one could copy large portions from the above argument.

However, this does not work all the way; for example, the balanced hand with spade length will typically lead to an inferior result (2 would go down, but it is far from certain that EW can make a three level contract - after all, the combined strength will be insufficient for 3NT, and there is no guarantee to find a fit).

Kit's approach goes in the right direction. But simply conducting a poll with only two choices (Pass and 3) does not do the necessity for a logical reasoning justice.

Simply put, this could be used to show that 3 might be suggested over Pass, but not “demonstrably”. Such a poll would be more of the “I have a feeling that 3 will work better” kind, whereas Law 16B demands a higher standard.

Finally, David's approach is misguided on a far deeper level. The idea of Law 16B is that the UI allows us to draw inferences about the West. Instead he goes in the opposite direction, coming up with a single hand type and arguing that it would have reason to produce UI. It suggests a fundamental misconception about simple matters such as Cause and Effect. That he labels those who bid with the East hand anyway (potential) cheaters is just the cherry on top of it.
May 24, 2018
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“a slow pass by a hand with a takeout double available shows clubs”

Sure, and the lottery results are demonstrably suggested because someone plays the correct numbers.
May 23, 2018
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John,
it would be easier if you could answer my question and let me make my case, rather than avoid the question, guess what my case is and make it for me.

The mere fact that you are unable to answer whether a 7NT (which is part of the larger group “Action”) is demonstrably suggested over Pass (“Inaction”) is already evidence that the simple argument “Action over Inaction” is insufficient.

Apart from that, what you are suggesting is that the director tries to read the player's mind in order to decide whether a call is demonstrably suggested over another. This is completely misguided; the laws were designed specifically to avoid any mind-reading.

Kit,
in case I wasn't clear above, I completely agree that your question is the right one to ask. My answer would be different, but that's fine.

However, there is something else that bothers me. It is well-established that polls are conducted to determine LAs; is the “demonstrably suggested over another” part also subject to polling only?

As I see it, this should not just be about which gets more votes. The wording “demonstrably suggested” requires that one can produce a sound, logical, easy-to-follow argument. And the main argument which has been offered here is based on false logic.
May 23, 2018
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@John, Kieran and others:

Even David Burn - and it is probably not a secret that I think very lowly of him in UI matters - recognizes below that some bids are suggested over Pass by the UI and others are not.

Law 16B says that a call is illegal if it is demonstrably suggested over another. “Action” and “Inaction” are not calls, so the grouping argument can only work if it applies to every element in the group. This is basic logic.

Therefore the mere statement that UI generally suggests “action over inaction” can by itself not be a valid argument for an application of Law 16B.

Whatever it is that suggests 3 over Pass must be more specific than just the fact that it is “Action”. And a director must be able to offer such a demonstration.
May 23, 2018
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John, this is not about “worrying”. It is about a straightforward question: Is 7NT demonstrably suggested over Pass by the UI, or is it not?

If RHO opens 1, I can tell that a 1 “overcall” would be an Insufficient Bid, whether anyone really makes the bid at the table or not. If a heart is led and an opponent holds a bunch of hearts, I can tell that discarding a club would constitute a revoke, whether a player actually does it or not.

Understanding the laws requires that we are able to answer such questions even if the situation does not arise. How can we hope to apply the laws correctly and consistently unless we are able to deal with them in hypothetical scenarios?
May 23, 2018
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Point taken, but then we must also observe the following: Law 16 speaks about adjustments, Law 73 speaks about penalties. As some people keep reminding us, a score adjustment is not the same as a penalty. If we find that EW have violated Law 73 but not Law 16, we can award a PP, but we cannot adjust the score.
May 23, 2018
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Sure. X keeps the auction open. 3 keeps the auction open. A jump rebid of 5 by opener also keeps the auction open, but I don't think responder will be pleased.

There must be something the reopening X has, the 3 rebid has, but the 5 jump does not have. This is what a demonstration must aim for.
May 23, 2018
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Same argument as usual: Would you say that a 7NT rebid by East is suggested over Pass?
May 23, 2018
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I agree with the concept, but not with your hypothetical reasoning. The UI suggests that West has some values, all right. But why would that suggest that 3 is more attractive than Pass?

Suppose West's minor suit holdings are switched. I hope we can agree that he would hesitate all the same. If this is West's hand, I am confident that we can defeat 2 more often than not. On the other hand, I doubt that any three-level contract by our side will be a success.

People are so eager to believe that “values -> bid” must automatically be satisfied. This usually works if we have a call available which caters to all (or at least sufficiently many) different shapes in partner's hand, typically a negative-ish double.

Suit bids are a different matter. They work primarily if partner has support for our suit, and that is something the UI does not tell us.
May 23, 2018
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There was UI, and there was damage. Two questions must be asked: What are the LAs? And which calls are demonstrably suggested over one of the LAs by the UI?

In order to answer the first question, you conduct a poll (that's what polls are for, after all). But without mentioning the UI - you just give them the bidding problem with the East hand and explain the available methods. Telling players about the UI will bias the poll and possible distort the results.

The second question is harder to answer. Assuming Pass turns out to be a LA, is 3 demonstrably suggested over Pass? I would like to see such a demonstration (a proper one, not the usual “action over inaction” fortune cookie stuff). I believe that X is suggested over Pass but have doubts about 3.
May 23, 2018
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I have no idea what you are saying either. My suits can be bid or unbid, stopped or unstopped (or half-stopped if you like), red, black, rounded, pointed, whatever. But they are not “sailing”, and I certainly don't want to include something I don't understand.
May 22, 2018
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Huh?

You can always show, which is easy to remember. You can always ask, which is also easy to remember. What doesn't work for us (I guess) is that some bids are showing and some bids - in very similar situations - are asking.

What I don't understand is your suggestion (at least it sounds like you are suggesting it - maybe I am misunderstanding you) that asking is generally superior to showing. Because either way there are hands you cannot conveniently handle.
May 22, 2018
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What if you have 3163 with xxx? You can't handle both problem hands at the same time, whether you show or ask. The question is only which one is more important to you.

With two unbid suits we have agreed to always show and never ask, plain and simple. It's easy to remember, and that matters a lot to us.
May 22, 2018
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Double is out of the question for me. Never make a low level penalty X without showing a huge fit first. If I did not have a strong heart raise available in the previous round, raising hearts now is a must.
May 22, 2018
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These two sequences are completely unrelated, and I would not dream of making assumptions for one sequence based on the other.

Hand 1: Assuming opener does not pass, any further bid should be in search for the best strain. In particular, bids below 3NT are typically probes for 3NT. With two unbid suits I prefer showing to asking, so 3 shows spade values for me. With the given hand I would bid 3.

Hand 2: Most of the time we are only in partscore territory. There is no particular reason to assume that we belong in notrump, so I would not bother to show spade values. I could imagine bidding 2 artificially with both minors here.
May 22, 2018
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I think it is not that bad. Double dummy it is probably losing, but people make bad decisions under pressure (hence in reality the outcome will depend on the quality of the opponents and their methods over interference).

Switch the majors and I would very likely overcall. The advantage of getting my spades in early will make up for the downside of overcalling with 5332 shape. Every now and then LHO wants to transfer to 2 (and pass), in which case I am better off bidding right away.
May 22, 2018
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