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All comments by Scott Needham
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Thanks, I do understand – that's the objective.

Yes, I am relatively inexperienced, having taken 30 years off of bridge for various reasons (lots of reading and study and some random play in the interim), and only playing tournaments for the last 4 1/2 years or so. I am finding as I play up – my favorite events right now are Bracket 2 or 3 KOs at large regionals – that many competitors in those events use the alert procedure and the laws as part of their arsenal (oughtta be a checkbox on the card “aggressively use questionable interpretations of the Laws to interfere with opps' play”), so for some time now I've been thinking I must make study of the Laws a part of my game. You undoubtedly see why ;-)

I'm lucky enough to have detailed agreements with most partners, so “imagine screens” works quite well for me (and is likely to be the only criterion I can apply ATT to any good effect.) Cases 1 & 2 are pretty much no-brainers to me, b/c I have agreements I prefer in those situations, and I understand the problems that arise if agreements are not in place; the question whether I would allow a call is not one I need to consider, so I don't need to pursue those minutiae. I just need to be able to do my best when and if a situation arises. Unfortunately, this goal is complicated by the poor rulings we see from directors, and the varying opinions they hold, on many issues.

Onward and upward. Wishing for a comprehensive ethics handbook; resigned to having to peruse the appeals case books. Maybe you'd like to do periodic articles for BW, in the form of 5-10 question quizzes? That kind of exposure to relevant issues would be a considerable boon to a high percentage of BW readers….
Aug. 25, 2012
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and I am sure many are thinking that I am complete non-cents.
Aug. 25, 2012
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Yes, kind of obvious set of examples, where I've got two suits to bid. Re-rethinking what I meant to ask, obviously framing my question poorly. Got straitjacketed into a situation whee I'm jsut thinking about support bids….

(If I'm going to bid 3D, can't you give me the QD? please? Not sure whether I'm being competitive or forcing here, but if I had the QD, and P bids 3S, may I now bid D until s/he shuts up?)


Aug. 24, 2012
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I had another long thing focusing on why I think “attractiveness” is a poor criterion for why the 4S bidder can't bid, but I'll spare you all. (It has to do with – never mind.)

My thinking boils down to a question: Is there any “convention disruption”/failure-to-alert-by-partner situation, WHERE P DOES NOT TAKE ANOTHER CALL, in which I CAN, ethically, call anything but pass? I'm thinking the answer is negatory, but if there are some classes of auctions, please advise.
Aug. 24, 2012
Scott Needham edited this comment Aug. 24, 2012
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KW: “On the third hand, obviously the 4? call should not be allowed – nobody who understands the rules would dispute that.”

Except maybe the opps, who, it would seem, stand to benefit from the 4S call in 96.375% of actual deals. ;-@

So here's another wrinkle, aimed at the “committee,” not specifically at KW. Are opps OBLIGATED to call the director, and to try to get the 4S call disallowed, on the ground that it is a technical violation (and maybe conscious ethical lapse), rather than happily allow the offending pair to sit for what will likely be minus 5-1100 a lot (maybe a very high percentage) of the time?
That is, are opps bound by an obligation to the field?
Aug. 23, 2012
Scott Needham edited this comment Aug. 23, 2012
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TY, Aviv, the “sources of information” criterion provides grist for the proverbial mill. As I implied above, this kind of convolution in thought process is new territory for me. I'd have said 4S by responder might be very, very stupid, and very bad bridge, but I'd have been 90% sure it could not be a violation; before today I never would have gotten to the “set of possible hands held by partner” rationale. And, IMHO, there are three categories of behavior to consider: outright, planned cheating, unethical actions and violations of the laws. State of mind matters: our primary ethical directive would seem to be to behave as we believe the laws dictate in the situation presented. And I gotta say: I'll bet 90% of non-highest-level tournament players would be flumoxed by DR's and your explanation of Case 3, though this kind of situation seems old hat to some posters. I'm all for education; who's going to write a useful handbook?
Aug. 23, 2012
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Somewhat – but I was referring to the convolution in thought processes required in this kind of situation, not to your explanation. TY again.
Aug. 23, 2012
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TY for this – I just want to take this opportunity to say, with all sincerity, that it is anything but clear. :-& Now I just have to figure out how to generate a broader rule.
Aug. 23, 2012
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Case 2: 3D is inv. Is 3H prima facie a slam try? Can it be a HSGT? If the first, “imagine screens” would suggest 4H, unless our FJ agreements allowed QJTxx, then 4D; if the second, 4S. I just know I'm wrong about this….

EDIT: Phil has 3H right, I think, as general inv: 3S if the second.
Aug. 23, 2012
Scott Needham edited this comment Aug. 23, 2012
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I want to be clear: I think anything but pass is bad bridge on this hand. What I don't get is why does the failure to alert and, by extension, I suppose, the set of hands P may hold (KQxx xx Qxxx Qxx – yes, it has happened) make 4S more attractive?
Aug. 23, 2012
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“Stating what I thought was obvious, but apparently isn't to all: In Case 3, the failure to alert makes it more likely a bid of 4? will be successful because partner can have many hands where he would have bid 4? himself had he known what your bid meant.”

Gonna have to chew on this for a while….Now you're saying that “imagine screens” isn't enough? that is, you seem to be saying that basing my future behavior on the (I thought mandated) assumption that P has correctly alerted won't fly, that the mere failure to alert requires me to bar myself? and that this is because there is a set of actions that P may have taken if s/he did alert (based on the set of hands s/he might possibly hold)?
Phrased another way, you seem to be saying that I am barred b/c P is never entitled to know either (1) that I have a Drury call or (2) that I have S at all; yet another way: that I am barred b/c I can take no action that might awaken P to the failure to alert? That's a possible rule, I suppose, but it seems very much irrelevant at this point in this auction.

All I know from 1S is that P made that call, and that it presumptively reflects whatever understandings we may have re: 3rd seat w/w 1M openers and P's failure to open 2S or 3S or 4S – why am I not entitled to conduct the auction as if P had a 3rd seat w/w 1S sub-min opener, which is what I would've thought had the Drury call been alerted?

My head hurts, and I don't mind admitting to honest bewilderment. For some time now, I've been trying to work out a set of rules that I can use to guide myself in the various different kinds of UI situations, and it looks as if one of them is toast.

Apologies for the length of this response….
Aug. 23, 2012
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Right, assume P alerted–but w/r, is 4S a LA and do I need to make my choice of call based upon that criterion (E.g., hm-m-m-m, yes 4S might be in the mix, but is it MORE logical that P?)? or is this a case for application of the other (devastatingly practical?) rubric I've been hearing a lot lately, “make the call you want to/were going to make and let the Director sort it out”? IOW, if I have to try to choose the action that is dictated by what a committee might eventually rule, it seems like I'm acting like judge and jury rather than a bridge player.
Aug. 23, 2012
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Just had a thread on BBO about these Baze seqs, concluding that 3N in this situation should be spread-out values (less interested in any stiff) with relatively (?) poor M and 4M = spread-out with relatively good M.

Treatment? or conventional and therefore alertable?
Aug. 23, 2012
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I have concluded that I am an ethical minefield. Not b/c I don't want to play “pure,” but b/c I most often don't understand what behavior is compelled by the laws in a given situation.

Take the last example. OK, as a rule of thumb, what I've been trying to do (after a lot of puzzling over advice and appeals books) is “pretend there are screens.” So: I assume partner alerted his screenmate, then chose to pass, implying a poor hand. Why can I not call 4S? It would not be a particularly good call IMHO, but rolling the dice on -2? What if we needed a board right then, calling for swingy tactics? What if they were red and we were not?

How about this one: They are red, we are white, and I DON'T bid 4S b/c partner's failure to alert suggests we do not have a C fit, making me less sanguine re: the sac? Ethical problem (of course, not one likely to come to light)?
Aug. 23, 2012
Scott Needham edited this comment Aug. 23, 2012
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Patterning-out/asking just in case P holds weak S. Thinking there is a real possibility of a C slam; recognizing some risk in bidding 4C over 3N (identifies pattern-out and S short; P can bid according to his/her S quality): might have to play 4N, and I always go down in 4N. Oh, wait, I've successfully transferred the declaration….
Aug. 20, 2012
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E
Aug. 12, 2012
Scott Needham edited this comment Aug. 12, 2012
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NEWS – Director!

Too bad you're not in the news business….
Aug. 7, 2012
Scott Needham edited this comment Aug. 7, 2012
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Barry Crane: Jesus saves, I defend.

Bob Hamman: Any slam that makes is a good slam.

Bobby Wolff: Passing can be dangerous.

Jan Janitschke: Where's the hand you held during the auction?
Aug. 5, 2012
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Non-sequiter.
July 25, 2012
Scott Needham edited this comment July 28, 2012
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Explaining my “other” vote: Most often the direct jump is defined as “recovering the strong jump shift.” Then, it seems to me, you need to decide what that means just as you would need to define a SJS: (a) what suit quality?, (b) what strength? or © what possible combinations of the two, i.e. AQ KT98765 A Kxx. 2DGF then a jump could/should be lesser HCP, same type of suit quality. 2DGF then simple rebid could/should look like the suit in ©, but lesser HCP. And if you adopt the 2C-then-self-splinter GF+ sequence mentioned in response to your BBO thread, the direct 3H and the 2D-then-jump-in-H alternatives can be defined as “no short.” Also, a recent interpretive problem I encountered: After O's 1N rebid, should some hands that would've been minimally SI after O's unlimited/unbalanced 1S rebid just bid game, meaning the lower limit for SI is automatically raised?

EDIT: Noticed I didn't really answer the question. The 3M jump to me is a Very Good Suit, defined as at least 5 winners and at most one loser opposite a small stiff, with normal breaks; it is at least a non-min with controls, like xx AQJTxx Axx Kx. Solid suit is 1X-1Y/1Z-3N. Hands with shortness use the 1X-1Y/1Z-2C/2D-jump self-splinter. So the bid is descriptive, GF and inv to slam if partner likes the info.
July 24, 2012
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