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All comments by Shan Huang
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Hi Peg,

Even though I have to say that I didn't check their entire card thoroughly to make sure they didn't mark “intermediate only at unfavorable vulnerability” at some random places, I really don't think that's the case because I was never told anything like that when I made the director call. This was not even their argument. All they were trying to say is that their preempt could be heavy because they were red. I mean, I don't want to get too much into this issue because there's no recorder at the table and we can't check people's convention cards now. This could be just a misunderstanding and I hope it is. But the point is, having an appeal after the game can be somewhat flawed because players can have time to prepare their reasoning. I'm not saying we should not have appeals at all. I just want to point out this problem so we will hopefully find a way to make some improvements.
March 29, 2013
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Hi Oleg,

I was actually feeling the same way after the hand. I felt they made a good bid and made me go down in a cold contract. It was frustrating but I accepted that. Just before the next hand, I looked at their convention card to make sure I got the right information, but I saw on their convention card it's clearly marked “intermediate jump overcalls when vulnerable”. And I clearly remembered I saw that was red thus alertable. That's why I felt I needed a director call.
March 29, 2013
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Hi Peg,

I don't think it's the director's fault not making any allowances. I could stay for an extra 2 hours and walk home with my crutches. It's just very inconvenient for me. And since the result won't really change our standings that much, I chose not to waste my time and left. It's just so outrageous that, if I don't show up, the appeal now becomes a twist of facts. When I tell bridge players this story, they all say it's my fault because if I don't show up in an appeal, I would have no chance. It sounds to me like the appeal just gives some players a chance to twist the fact, and if they are lucky and their opponents couldn't show up, it's an automatic win. On the other hand, I think the information director has at the table is usually more accurate, because it's first-handed.
March 28, 2013
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Hi Oleg,

I don't know how close you are to your EW friends. But unfortunately, you got a lot of facts wrong. The lead was a spade, not a diamond. 3C was never alerted. I asked twice and all I got was “preemptive, and we are not crazy”. I understand people can choose to make a heavy preempt, but if it's marked on your card that it's intermediate, as a declarer, I'm supposed to know that. I don't think David Bakhshi had his convention cards marked “intermediate jump overcalls when vulnerable” and didn't alert/explain correctly.

I don't know if you get my point or not. It's not that people can't make a preempt bid with 12 points. It's that you can't tell me it's preempt when it's marked red, “intermediate jump overcalls”, on your card.
March 28, 2013
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I see. Thanks :)
Feb. 12, 2013
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Thanks for the great article Kit. Is opener ever allowed to bid 3S over 2NT if he has wastage in every suit and a hopeless hand?
Feb. 12, 2013
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probably because you see them in your hand
Oct. 24, 2012
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Interesting hand, thanks Kit. I have some different opinions about defending 2NT vs. defending 3NT though. As Steve pointed out, if opener rebids 2NT in tempo, he's very likely to have a normal 18-19 balanced hand where ducking would be the winning play.
However, if opener rebids 3NT, he's pretty much marked with 6+ good diamonds, and a much higher chance of having spade shortness. And if we count his tricks, he probably has at least 6 diamonds, 1 spade(if it's not running), and 1 club(if we duck), so we need <1.partner to have the ace of heart; 2. declarer doesn't have more than 6 diamonds> in order for the ducking to be effective. Not to mention that, if declarer has something like Ax Kx AKJxxx Qxx, he might just bid 3D.
So it seems like ducking is more reasonable when opener rebids 2NT, not 3NT.
April 28, 2012
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Excellent article, some very good points, really enjoyed it.

Eugene, I also have some concerns about the idea “encourage=cash”.

Even though “encourage=cash” avoids the guess when east has Qxxxx or Jxxxx(these are the only cases I can think of so far), the auction might go differently and it could help west to figure out whether east has 3 or 5 spades. Most importantly, east-west will have a serious problem when east has Qxx of spades.

When east has Qxx of spades and it's right for west to underlead at trick 2, they will never get it right. West would almost never play east for the queen when he discourages. Even if west gets in later and has another chance, he still needs to figure out east actually held Qxx of spades.

This might result in another problem. Say west is leading from AKxx or AKx. When west gets a discouraging signal from east, where it usually denies the queen, west might put declarer for the wrong high cards. It could cause west to have some wrong options.

And lastly, let's not forget that, if we play “encourage=queen”, east can always get creative and solve certain ambiguity problems, as proven in the article.
April 20, 2012
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Ken:
Thanks for replying. Honestly I can't remember what exactly the director said, but I think you are right, he didn't say it HAS to be something. But since it's a possibility, he has to rule against us. Sorry I didn't rephrase it very well.

I think some line has to be drawn here though. If I double and bid 2NT with 23hcp and the same shape, it still could have been the case that I misbid and received some UI from my partner's alert. So that means as long as I double with a balanced monster, my partner's going to alert, and I would be in trouble. I guess one way to fix this problem is that, when we explain our double, we say, “this could be a single suit, or a balanced monster.” and the definition of monster depends on the partnership.

Another thing I don't understand is that, why are we the offending side? All we did was that one of us violated our agreement, due to a special situation. So how is violating partnership agreement related to violating the rule of bridge?
Aug. 17, 2011
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Sorry it was all white, that's where the 100 and 120 comparison comes from :)
Aug. 17, 2011
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This is a great topic. I never knew the rules are so strict about receiving UI from partner's announces, even though neither of the players are doing it intentionally. I would really like to share a similar experience from myself several months ago.

It was a matchpoint game, my RHO opens 1NT, 15-17. I was holding: AJx Kx AKx Kxxxx. I play DONT with my partner, so there was no appropriate call I could make. I chose to Double, and planning to rebid 2NT after my partner's expected 2C. It's probably not a good spot if my partner has nothing, but I just hated to pass 1NT with that hand. And if we are making 8 tricks, declaring 2NT would give us 120 and defending 1NT would be just 100. Anyways, my partner alerted the X, and was asked, and explained it was a single suit hand. Not much surprise, it went 2C back to me, and I bid 2NT, which was passed out and ended up making +1 by some bad defense and good luck.

After the hand is done, RHO called the director, complaining we are passing UI through the alert, and reaching an unreasonable 2NT contract. Director took some time, and eventually decided to roll back the contract to 2C down one(my partner has a singleton club). His reasoning was the following: Of course I explained X and 2NT was my entire plan, but the director's point was that no one knows what a player thinks during the game, so the call has to be against the offending side. After a few hands, I still couldn't agree with the ruling and asked him what if I'm holding 4333 with 23 hcp. He said I have to pass, because that's our agreement.

I had been feeling that the director made a ridiculous ruling against me on that hand. But after reading this article, I realized that the rulings can be complicated and maybe there's something I don't understand. I would really appreciate everyone's opinions.

P.S. Just to be more precise, the actual hand might be a little bit different than the one I'm showing. But I was definitely holding 18+hcp, and 5332 shape with Kxxxx of clubs, and other points scattered in all suits.
Aug. 17, 2011
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Man this article is so great that I registered an account to reply. I mean, there were probably good articles before but I'm new to this site, so forgive me if I missed those.

Excellent analysis from all directions. I just have a few additional humble opinions.

I don't think East can possibly duck 2 rounds of diamonds and shift to a spade without having the 9 of spade. If he had done that without 10 of spade, he might give away the queen of spades when you had AJT. Thus, if he had done that, he has to have the 10 of spade, and this will make you play the 9 when you are holding AJ9. Thus, once you see the 9 of spade from West, ducking two rounds of diamonds and shifting to a spade was not an option any more for a player like Meckstroth.

And why would East play a heart back? As you said, it pretty much gives away the position of K of hearts since it might be the only way for you to make the contract when East has the K of hearts. Thus, I feel he's purposely done that to make you feel squeeze is the right play. But I mean, they are world champions and they might think this is what exactly what you will think once he leads a small heart back, and squeeze IS the right play and he's trying to talk you out of that.

I'm a beginner in bridge. Hope my logic makes sense.
Nov. 9, 2010
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