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All comments by Alan Frank
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Also, in the event that there is uncertainty as to whether responder is promising five cards, you don't add further uncertainty about the meaning of the double.
31 minutes ago
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@Gordon, as the author of the first comment, it was not my intention that anyone who somehow took the OP seriously would have been clued in by what I wrote. And based on the number of people who claim not to have realized that it was a joke, I believe I was successful in this regard.
23 hours ago
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To those who didn't get the joke at first, when an opponent at the table leads us astray by a falsecard, the response should be “well played,” rather than filing a recorder form.
April 2
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I understand how serious Covid-19 is. My wife can't work. My son at RISD is trying to do 3D architecture projects–which would normally be done with physical objects–online. My 92-year-old parents can't see each other for weeks because my mom broke her leg and is in rehab, with no visitors allowed. And I am struggling to get critical medical treatment because my specialist's office is closed.

This pandemic is different from other disasters we've faced. When the power goes off, we can play bridge by candlelight. When the government screws up, we can get a hundred thousand people to march in Washington. And until now, when a loved one died, friends and family could gather together to mourn.

What do we have left to deal? Humor. Wonderful song parodies such as “Super bad transmittable contagious awful virus” (https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/504177173581926/?v=504177173581926) and “Everything's Closed” (https://tinyurl.com/tp4y9fb). And the first thing I looked for when I got up yesterday, the annual BW April Fool's joke.

Thanks, Steve!
April 2
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I am completely convinced that nobody at the Sioux Falls NABC will contract Covid-19. I also like the idea of masks to reduce UI. Perhaps this is something we want to continue even after the pandemic. And finally, I'll point out that the famous Wall Drug is just a bit west on I-90, so that any needed medical supplies during the event will be easily accessible.
April 1
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@Jim & Michael H: Both players must indeed play the same system (but see the editorial in this month's Bridge World), but style may differ. For example, with a 4-2-3-4 fifteen count, the pro can open 1NT and the client can bid 1…1. Or play a system like this over 1NT:
2* puppet to 2, after which responder can pass, sign off in 2M, bid a forcing 3M, bid 3m as invitational in the corresponding major, or bid a natural 2NT
2/2 normal transfers
2/2* four-card suit, invitational
2NT puppet to 3, after which 3M shows four cards in the other major, and 3NT shows 4-4 in the majors
3* puppet Stayman with inverted responses and over 3, responder bids the four-card suit he actually holds
3 singleton in a major
3M* singleton in the other major
Bids marked with asterisks are used by the stronger player. Obviously, this is not a good system for a well-matched pair, but it will allow the stronger player to declarer the vast majority of suit contracts and is legal.
March 28
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Yes, Phil, but so do several of the players at the club.

Michael, there is a big difference in the verbs “play” and “know.” “Play” is understandable purely as a description of external behaviors, whereas “know” relates to internal states. So long as a computer is following the rules of a game, it can be said to be playing the game. (Merriam Webster's definition: “to engage or take part in a game.”)
March 21
Alan Frank edited this comment March 21
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You can usually get away with ambiguity in one dimension on the lowest bid, as many sequences will give you a chance to ask. I would suggest that this ambiguity not relate to partner's length in the suit, as the LOTT implies that when preempted, your choice of call is more likely dependent on that than on strength, and if not preempted, as noted, you can ask.
I agree with all of those who have said above that XX is best used to show Ax or Kx.
March 21
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Michael, can you please cite a specific Law to that effect?
March 21
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I don't think Michael's comment was negative. Even though it is not exactly bridge according to the Laws, it is an extremely similar game and still equally impressive to win the tournament, especially this year when external circumstances are pulling people away from physical tables into online play.
March 21
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@David, if the official language were Italian, I would try to learn a few words for explanations and speak English with my partner between boards.
March 20
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One possibility: 2 2 2 3 (double negative) 3R is natural and 3 shows and . In all but the last case, opener can rebid 3NT over a 3 preference to show 5=4=2=2 with adequate stoppers. With a spade one-suiter, bid 3 first.
March 20
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@Michael: What do you think of 2 2 3NT with that hand?
March 20
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With 5-3-3-2, I would treat it as balanced with Kx or better in the doubleton. In the absence of a simulation, I guessed that this is between 34-66%.
March 19
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Is that really the best way to practice?
March 18
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You say here that the signoff “virtually must be accepted,” but in the main article, you write that responder can bid on after DCB and a signoff with undisclosed extras. Can you clarify?
March 16
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Italy has 23% elderly; U.S. has 16%. World Bank stats; see https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.65UP.TO.ZS.
March 15
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I would consider that 45F was also violated. Note that Dummy may not play a singleton without direction from declarer, but there is no penalty prescribed for this violation, as it cannot harm the defense.
March 15
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@Ben: Yes. Less certain about Meckstroth and Helgemo.
March 15
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Perhaps even worse, consider the case where a team is leading going into the last round, their opponents are DQ'ed (for whatever reason), and another team passes them.
March 14
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