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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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@Karen Allison.

Just because you do not discuss you system in third seat does not mean that you do not have agreements in third seat. You can have implicit agreements. You also have partnership experience which both must be disclosed and may create implicit agreements.

These implicit agreements are subject to regulation.
Sept. 14, 2016
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I have been arguing the 2+ club problem with the regulations for years.

It really seems the regulators are not interested in having rules that mean what they say. I have said it elsewhere but the “unwritten rules are worth the paper they are written on” in my opinion.
Sept. 14, 2016
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The name HUM may well be short for Highly Unusual Method. However I do not think you can depend on that or an argument that something is not “highly unusual” to declassify it as a HUM. This is what the WBF system policy says:

WBF Systems Policy,
20
13
(revised)
Page
2
2.2
HUM Systems
For the purpose of this Policy, a Highly Unusual Method (HUM) means any System that exhibits one or more of the following features, as a matter of partnership agreement:
a)
A Pass in the opening position shows at least
the values generally accepted for an opening bid of one,
even if there are alternative weak possibilities
b)
By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be weaker than pass.
c)
By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength.
d)
By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows either length or shortage in a specified suit
e)
By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows either length in one specified suit or length in another.
EXCEPTION
: one of a minor in a strong club or strong diamond system

I think we can or at least should be able to assume that if you have one or more of the features described then your method for the purposes of the WBF System policy is a HUM however Highly Unusual or not you think it is.
Sept. 13, 2016
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You can have an agreement to open some hands light in third seat. If the method is undisclosed it is not in the least surprising if the accusers do not describe it accurately.
Sept. 12, 2016
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Yes Adam it seems unfair. However it is also unfair that some players play according to the written rules whilst other players flout those written rules knowingly.

Is it right that a pair flaunt the rules knowing that the rule is not enforced? I do not think that it is. Perhaps others think that that tactic is ok. I would like to try and understand their justification.
Sept. 12, 2016
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That is fine Tom if that is the regulation. It is not the regulation so players doing whatever they want is playing contrary to the rules when what they want is not according the regulations.
Sept. 12, 2016
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“Yet here we are discussing it as if it were some sort of crime to do what everyone in the room is doing.”

The problem with your premise is that this is simply not a true statement. There are players who play according to the written rules.
Sept. 12, 2016
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No it is not sufficient to explicitly state “light 3rd seat openings”. While that discloses the agreement it simultaneously makes the system a HUM if by light they mean a king or more below average strength. Then they need to comply with the HUM regulations which would also require a notification on their card.
Sept. 12, 2016
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No one seems to understand this.
Sept. 12, 2016
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This is not a shoe horn. The HUM regulations are explicitly for light openings at the one level and openings at the one level that do not show a specific suit.

The 2S opening you mention is a Brown Sticker Convention.

A style that opens light in third seat does not need a shoe horn to fit into the definition

“By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength.”

If you open five counts by partnership agreement you are playing a HUM.
Sept. 11, 2016
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This issue has been around for many years. Several years ago I was commentating when Helgemo opened a 7 count in third seat with 1 at a world championships. I commented that this was outside the regulations. A kibitzer from Norway sent me a private message saying we do that in Norway.

It is clear in my mind that if you do that in Norway or the USA or NZ that you need to disclose this method. The problem is that the system regulations then require you to register a HUM.

I have been privy to a number of conversations over the years with world class players who claim opening light is “just bridge” or similar. This really is problematic when the regulations do not allow such an agreement (explicit or implicit). Claiming it is just bridge within a partnership is tantamount to claiming at the very least it is an implicit partnership agreement.

In my view the regulators have been extremely remiss in not clearing up this situation. It is widely known general knowledge that many pairs open very light in third seat especially non-vulnerable. They have turned a blind eye to this issue whilst having and promoting an explicit regulation that states that doing so with an agreement (even if implicit) is not allowed without your system being classified as a HUM.

In my view the rules either need to be adhered to or changed to reflect what is really allowed. It simply is not acceptable to have unwritten rules that we will allow such departures from the written rules. It creates a two class system where some people adhere to the written rules whilst others in the know flaunt them but adhering to some unwritten rule that it is “just bridge”.
Sept. 11, 2016
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Interesting David. I played against one member of that partnership in another event playing the same undisclosed convention. I called the director when the bid was alerted and explained we had not had the opportunity to prepare a defence and the director just insisted we played on with no repercussions.
Sept. 11, 2016
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We can estimate from a hypothetical poll but we will need to make some assumptions. Say the movements are Mitchell-like with half the pairs EW and half NS for each session. Assume two sessions. Assume at least one 9-bagger in each session (otherwise we would be discussing 3 9-baggers in 25 boards). Assume some randomish mixing of the pairs from session to session. Assume 9-baggers in the other direction.

Then about 1/4 of the pairs sat the same way as you.

Assume say 75% of pairs sit in the same seats (always north etc) and 25% swap between north and south, and east and west where appropriate.

That gives us a ball park of 3/16 in our poll will have had 3 9-card suits.
Jan. 1, 2016
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I had this email passed on to me:

“Kathie Miller just phoned me. Her daughter, our friend, Samantha Nystrom passed away this morning. Kathie asked that no flowers be sent, instead make a donation in Sam's name to a charity of your choice. She asked me to spread the word so please tell the people this e-mail is not going to reach.

She has spoken to Ken; there is going to be a celebration of life at the club at a future date. Kathie has asked that the hugs of commiseration and words of condolence be restrained as she would have a hard time dealing with it. Sam is an organ donor; Kathie is struggling with that now but I suggested she may have a different view in the fullness of time. She is with her son Cameron, who has been a tower of strength for her, and they expect to return on Tuesday, with Sam's body to follow. I asked about the costs, which I believe can be large in this situation, and she was unsure. I suggested that we, the bridge community, could be of assistance in that regard, and I hope it is something we can all think about.

I will see you all at the Celebration of Life”

and previously yesterday this message:

“she is in hospital, prognosis is not good.

Drs dont think she will regain consciousness, and if she does, there will have been significant damage.

She went to take a nap on thursday afternoon. Andrew went to wake her at 5 and she was blue. Managed to resesutate (spelling?) Her to get a pulse, but she crashed in ambulance. She was on life support and they were icing her head (swelling from lack of oxygen). Today at 4pm she started to breathe on her own so they took her off vent and had plans to start to warm her head. But i have not received an update since then.

That was from Dec 18/19. Yesterday Susie said she saw Samantha in hospital and she had a feeding tube (still unconscious)”

I met Samantha at a Regional in Surrey, BC in November 2009. She wasn't playing for some reason that I don't recall. She kibitzed me for a couple of sessions and I had a few short conversations with her in between sessions. We didn't keep in close contact but she left a very good impression in me and I often had fond memories of her when I saw her online on BBO or facebook.

RIP I will miss you Samantha.
Dec. 21, 2015
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I think at least part of the confusion with “natural meaning” comes because the author is using “natural” in its natural sense whereas perhaps subsequently others use “natural” in the sense defined by the ACBL or other RA.

Not sure I haven't bothered to check but possibly Norman Squire in Natural Bidding described fourth suit forcing as “natural”. There may not have been a regulatory definition of “natural” at that time.
Dec. 10, 2015
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Why not simply say “please explain the auction?” without any reference to any particular denomination?
Dec. 9, 2015
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The disadvantage perhaps is that there is one team always in the three-way match.
Dec. 4, 2015
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This pattern will work

1 10
2 9
3 8
4 7
5 6

with 5 v 6 v 11 in a three way match.

On the next round swap the two pairs of teams at the top on the right (or left) to get (and continue the same three way match):

1 9
2 10
3 7
4 8
5 6

Then for round three each team moves two places forward (or back) to give:

9 8
10 7
1 6
2 5
3 4 11

Then again swap on the right in pairs. Then move two places again. Repeat so there are five pairs of rounds to give 10 rounds in total.
Dec. 4, 2015
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In an ideal world the dealing program algorithm would be available for scrutiny so that we would know that 1 was not the case. It should be possible to do this without allowing anyone to gain an advantage from simply knowing the algorithm.
Nov. 22, 2015
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In my view the lower the standard of proof the lower the penalties that can be fairly applied.

If you ban someone for life based on a weak standard of proof that does not seem at all fair.

If you ban them for two weeks that is not so unfair on the players but might be unfair on the opponents.

I think it is non-trivial to get this balancing act right. However I would not want life time bans unless the standard of proof was extremely high.
Nov. 12, 2015
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