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All comments by Steve Willner
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I think the point of the “critical footnote” is that class of player should _not_ affect the ruling. In effect, I believe the footnote is saying “Even a world-class declarer can have a careless moment. Treat that as normal for claim rulings.”

David's point seems to be – as it often is – that the language used in the Laws is so unclear that nobody can tell what the right ruling is. I agree with him here.

FWIW, I believe custom around here has been to allow unstated lines of play when something remarkable will happen in the course of a stated line. That's OK with me: despite the facetious (I hope) comment below, the Laws are designed to encourage claims. However, disallowing the unstated line in this case looks consistent with the Laws text.
17 hours ago
Steve Willner edited this comment 16 hours ago
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Thanks. I just ordered from “jeremy,” who seems to be cheaper than BB.
Oct. 20
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Thanks for the information. I wish it had been available from an official source.
Oct. 20
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In general, the Open chart will allow a wider variety of competitive methods than the GCC does. Over natural openings, a known suit will still be required in most cases, but the bid to show it need not be in that suit.
Oct. 19
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Polish Club, in particular the 1 opening, will not be legal under Basic+ so far as I can tell. The article in the Bulletin claimed it would be legal, but I've received no response to my query about which provision allows it. I don't see any.

It looks as though Polish Club will be legal for the NAP B District qualifying (GCC), but I haven't seen what chart will apply to the national finals. (No reply to my query about that, either.) Michael: do you know? If Basic+, it would make sense to grandfather in the GCC for 2019 only.
Oct. 19
Steve Willner edited this comment Oct. 19
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Any update on the book's availability in the US? I put my email address on a list but have seen nothing yet.
Oct. 19
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“It doesn't matter how likely it is judged that West would have bid 3.”

That's an interpretation I've never seen before.

Law 12C1b says the Director “should seek to recover as nearly as possible the probable outcome of the board had the infraction not occurred.” (Wayne also quoted it below.) The usual interpretation is to assign probabilities to all legal outcomes with a bit of benefit to the NOS. For example, if the Director believes that with correct information West was about 50-50 to bid 3S and East was about 50-50 to raise to 4S, the Director might assign something like 30% of 3S+1, 30% of 4S=, and 40% of 3H= or maybe 35/25/40.

This is in no way a comment on the OP's specific case, which has insufficient information to say what the ruling should be.
Oct. 19
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Steve has an interesting idea, but is the amount enough? Having 70 teams contributing $500 per team is only $35000. Would that even make a dent in litigation cost? If the potential cost is as low as that, I wouldn't expect it to be much deterrent to the ACBL's taking action.
Oct. 19
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The MIT club keeps a low profile and isn't exactly a high priority with the MIT administration. It does retain enough status to get a free room, though.
Oct. 10
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Avon: could you please check the reason Sheinwold was barred from captaining an American team? My memory is that it was because he didn't tell the then-ACBL president Lew Mathe about the accusations against Zuchelli and Facchini (sp?) at the 1975 BB. (That proved to be a good decision when Mathe, having found out, blabbed before the investigation could be completed.)

After the conclusion of the event (at the awards presentation perhaps), Sheinwold was reported to have a apologized to the Italians. That seems inconsistent with the reason suggested.

There is no doubt he was barred from future captaincy, and this decision was unpopular with the ACBL BoG.
Sept. 20
Steve Willner edited this comment Sept. 20
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I have no trouble deciding which is more upsetting.
Sept. 20
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As Tomasz indicated, that's hardly a complete simulation. When opener chooses a rebid, responder can have 0 to 3 spades (maybe 4 if playing constructive single raises). Even – or especially – if you take out 3 and 4, the best contract may well be in a minor.

I am not claiming the simulations I've seen are definitive and am not sure that's even possible. Even when the partnership has a better contract than 1NT, it may not be reached. However, I don't think there's much downside to opener being unable to pass 1NT, and there's an advantage in having responder's 2m show a real suit.
Aug. 29
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Yes, more or less. I meant any hand that has value in being led up to rather than led through. Usually that will be balanced with tenaces, but it might mean a positional stopper or something else. The opposite of “lead value” might be a hand with three aces and nothing else.

In the 1-balanced GF case, we can play 3NT either way. That means we can attribute our wrong-siding to bad judgment, not to system.
Aug. 29
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Simulations I've seen – which you can discount if you like – say that after a 5cM opening, there is usually a better contract than 1NT. Of course some of the time 1NT is best, but it's hard to identify those deals. It is therefore seldom right to pass 1NT even if it's only semi-forcing.
Aug. 28
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Until now I had missed that there was a change in WJ2010. In WJ2005, the 1NT response to 1. In 2010 it became 8-11. The 2NT response also changed, becoming 11-12 HCP, so the effective top of 1NT is a bad 11. That means (I think) opener will always pass 1NT with the weak NT type but can raise 2NT with a max weak NT. This reaches the 13-14 opposite 11 HCP games, but it has the downside of reaching 2NT when responder has an invite and opener refuses. Another downside is that responder has to jump directly to 3NT with a balanced GF, leaving less room to explore slam when opener is strong.

The sequence 1-1NT-2NT doesn't seem to be documented in either WJ2005 or 2010. I suppose it could show 14 HCP for opener. Playing 2NT with 9 opposite 14 isn't the worst thing in the world, but neither is it ideal. Is this how 2NT is used, or does it show a balanced hand with slam interest?

My partner and I are playing a modified version of WJ2005, where a 2NT response shows a balanced GF with lead value, and 3 shows a balanced GF without lead value. Opener bids 3NT unless holding one of the strong types. We play 3 as standard in WJ: long hearts, weak hand. It has never come up, so we don't miss the loss of the natural 3 bid. It is still higher than we would like when opener is strong, responder's value location will usually be easy to describe. Otherwise responder's hand would have lead value.
Aug. 28
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That's partly right, but one wants to take advantage of 1M being limited to 17 HCP.

Was the original question about a 1M opening or 1? For 1M, you almost never want to pass even though 1NT is only “semi-forcing.” Probably you should pass only when the M is very weak and you don't want it to be trumps in a 5-2 fit. Otherwise, even aside from missing game, 1NT is too likely to be an inferior part score.

After 1-1NT(9-11), you can miss game on 14 opposite 11. Vulnerable at IMPs, I suggest opener be a little conservative in opening and responder be very aggressive about promoting 11 HCP to a GF. (That means often promote, not always promote.) There is no perfect solution, though.
Aug. 27
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When playing with a new client who is a few steps down from your ability, what advice would you give before the first session?
Aug. 27
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I've always just followed the book: 1M with 15-17 HCP, 2 when stronger. The same principle applies in : 1M with 18-19, 3 if stronger. These hand types are uncommon, and I don't have enough experience to say whether this is good or bad, but it seems playable.

A general principle of WJ seems to be bid in natural order with GF strength, majors first with less. I don't think I've seen that written explicitly, though.
Aug. 24
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An important difference from standard American bidding is that opener will always have at least 4 and usually 5 or more. I'd bid 1 playing some flavor of standard or 2/1 but pass playing WJ. Opponents' silence suggests that opener is relatively strong, and if you bid 1 in WJ, you are likely to play 3 opposite 15-17 points or maybe something else too high. The pass worked badly this time because, among other things, opponents never bid with 22 HCP and 8 between them. That doesn't make it wrong in general.
Aug. 24
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Did you mean “at the one level?” With 5-5 in M, I'd hardly ever be passing regardless of strength.
Aug. 16
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