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All comments by Steve Willner
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The most common shape is 4OM-5om, but other shapes including 5-5 are possible. The only requirement is that 1NT is a better description – given the conditions – than double, overcall, jump overcall, or higher NT. Double and simple overcall by an unpassed hand show values; other bids are preempts. It may make a difference whether their M is or because a 1 overcall is possible over 1.
Sept. 16
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For those who play 2m artificial, what do you do when you are dealt a good hand that would be a natural 2m overcall? (Most likely opener has three cards in m, but of course you can't know his actual holding.) If you pass, the auction will often come back to you at 2M, and you have a choice between bidding 3m (possibly hammered when LHO has length in m) and pass, perhaps missing a good contract your way.
Sept. 16
Steve Willner edited this comment Sept. 16
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I think everyone agrees that pass is a logical alternative. So is 4 in my view and I think most others'. These determinations are based entirely on AI.

Are you arguing that 4 is not a LA? True, it gives RHO another call, but it also take a 4 cue bid away from LHO, and it has the merit that the contract might actually make if everyone passes.

If you believe both calls are LAs, the legal question becomes which, if either, is suggested over the other by the UI.
Sept. 15
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That last is fairly common: continuous VP scale for “important” (in the eyes of the tournament organizer) events, old VP scale for other events.

The continuous VP scales should be called “Bethe” scales in honor of Henry, who established their mathematical basis and did the initial computation. (I wrote “scales” plural because the WBF and ACBL scales used to differ by 0.01 VP in some places. I'm not sure if they have now been brought into agreement or not.)
Sept. 15
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The 38% for a vulnerable game is based on IMP expectation, so it's directly relevant only in a long match. A notional one-board match is equivalent to BAM or matchpoints. Expectations for other match lengths can be computed given whatever assumptions one wants to make about the scoring and probability of various results. (A simple computation might assume random outcomes with a variance of 30 IMP^2 per board.)
Sept. 15
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“Break in tempo” is not used in Law 16. For purposes of discussions such as this one, the term should probably be understood as “departure from proper tempo.” That means Dave's item 1) is not a break in tempo, but item 2) might be. Regardless of that, if a BiT carries no “extraneous information” – the term that is used in L16 – it doesn't restrict anyone's legal options.

Most people know this, but it's probably worth adding that BiT includes actions that are too fast, not just ones that are too slow.
Sept. 15
Steve Willner edited this comment Sept. 15
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“The laws were different then.”

Fair enough; the 2007 and 2017 Laws now say “when play ends.” Please delete item 2 from my list above.

It is still not an infraction to call the Director earlier or later. Given the typical level of Director competence in the ACBL, players here might consider calling when dummy comes down despite the Laws change.
Sept. 15
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I believe Edgar Kaplan made the suggestion to (when applicable) call the Director when dummy comes down.

I don't see a UI problem. Suppose, for example, declarer made a slow penalty double, and dummy pulled it. After you see dummy's cards, you don't think the pull was legal. What UI would result from calling the Director then? In some jurisdictions – I am tempted to write “in sensible jurisdictions” – the bidding cards would still be on the table, and the Director's job will be easier then than later. Even if that's not the case where you play, the Director will have more time to consider the ruling.
Sept. 14
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In the OP, “Partner follows with ♠3.”

I don't see how that helps, though. Partner would not signal trump length unless he were looking to ruff.
Sept. 14
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No heart stopper?

Absent the UI, I think Jeff's interpretation is correct. Opener could be 4=4, 3=4, or 3=5 in the black suits. The UI tells me that opener has some spade length and therefore might be short in clubs. If I were allowed to use the UI, I'd pass 3 in tempo before the doubling starts. That makes pass illegal in the actual circumstances.
Sept. 14
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Ed has, as usual, given all the nuances. It may be helpful to summarize when to call the Director.
1. when the possible Unauthorized Information is given.
2. when dummy comes down, if that's the hand that possibly took advantage of the UI.
3. after play is over.

As to item 1, calling the Director isn't necessary if everyone agrees on the facts (that the call or play was unduly slow or fast or whatever).

It's not illegal to call the Director at other times, but it is pointless.
Sept. 12
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Once one figures out the club situation, the question becomes whether declarer has six spades and A or seven spades without A. I don't see any way to tell other than what one knows about the individual's past.

In actual fact, declarer's hand was J98542 T AK83 K6. (The 3 bid showing “good hand” was accurate!)
Sept. 12
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MR has – of course! – identified the key point. Partner is a good player and will probably give honest count in this case because he knows _this_ declarer won't be paying attention. The problem was I was so mesmerized by the K play that I wasn't paying attention myself. That's the real lesson of this hand, or at least one lesson: even when certain of the position, also be certain you have considered all the evidence available.

Another lesson, I suppose, is that the game most of us play bears little resemblance to the game MR and KW play. Actually, I've long been all too aware of that. :-(
Sept. 10
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the major distinction I see. If 1NT is 100% forcing, it can include GF balanced hands, and that means your 2m bids are always real suits. If you play semi-forcing, you have to bid 2 on something like Axx Axx Axx Jxxx. You probably have to bid 2 over 1 on Axx Axxx Jxxx Ax. (Add a J or Q somewhere if you think these aren't good enough to GF.) Those who play 1NT forcing never have to bid such bad suits.

On the other hand, semi-forcing immediately limits responder's hand. While passing is rare, sometimes it's right, and when opener is strong or in a competitive auction, he knows not to play responder for more than whatever the 1NT limit is.

Craig Zastera above gave a more general explanation of the same point, but it's this specific case I consider most important.

If you play semi-forcing, it's probably worthwhile to make your 2 response wholly artificial, but that requires complex followup agreements and gives up the advantage of 2 showing a good suit and GF values.

As others have written, playing 1NT instead of 3M when responder has a 3c limit raise is a minor problem at most and may be an advantage.

The choice may come down to how often you would pass 1NT if it's semi-forcing. If very rarely, “make it never.” (That was someone's, maybe Larry Cohen's, bridge tip.) I've seen simulations saying it is seldom right to pass, but that may have been with particular system assumptions. It certainly assumed 5cM. If you have opened a 4cM, passing has a lot more going for it.
Sept. 5
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This was my thought also at trick one. It requires guessing but doesn't require East to be 2-2 in the reds. The spade position is likely to be right on the opening lead, and if the -K is wrong, nothing works so far as I can tell.
Sept. 5
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In practice, L64C will lead to a weighted score between 5= and 5-1. The weights would be the Director's best guess at what would have happened if the revoke had not occurred plus a modest bonus (usually 10%) to the NOS. You'd have to know the players to make an estimate, but presumably someone capable of a revoke is capable of discarding carelessly. Even a small weight for 5= is better than 100% of 5-1, but in a club game, there might be a social cost for the correct ruling.
Sept. 5
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Comma replacing “and” is standard usage. (That doesn't make it a good idea in regulatory text.)
Sept. 3
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I agree with Michael about the Yellow chart. That seems to prohibit any form of multi.

Multi is allowed on the Red chart for segments of 6+ boards. A 2 bid that might show only diamonds wouldn't be allowed. As far as I can tell, item 8 even prohibits 2 showing “weak with hearts or strong with diamonds,” a simple transfer preempt with a strong option.
Sept. 3
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If you insist on colors, why not light to dark as in martial arts belts? Or go by number of letters: red, blue, green, purple. (That order is used in another field of endeavor; I didn't make it up.) Or colors of the rainbow. Or even alphabetical.

Personally, though, I'd use numbers or letters.
Sept. 1
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Am I reading it wrong, or is multi to become prohibited in Flight A Swiss Teams events? I can't find anything on the Yellow Chart that would allow it.
Sept. 1
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