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All comments by Arend Bayer
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That does not seem right to me. Of course, we do not *know* why partner bid 5 slowly. But it seems much more likely that he was considering a weaker alternative than 5 (e.g. a forcing pass if pass is forcing), than a stronger alternative.
April 29, 2018
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If you double, I assume you plan to pass 4? What if it is doubled?
April 15, 2018
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I would actually like to ask the opposite question - internationally, even very successful partnerships rarely last decades. What kept your partnership going on such a high level for such a long time?
April 5, 2018
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Given that BYE regularly makes it to the round of 16 of the USBC, there would be no shame in losing to them.
April 4, 2018
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It's worth pointing out that we already have many situations where not playing in tempo automatically gets penalised. Namely, when the hesitation gives away the position to the opponents. If everyone decent player can learn to duck smoothly with Axx in front of KJx in dummy, then maybe they can also learn not to invite slowly opposite a 1N opening (or pay the penalty otherwise)?
March 29, 2018
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I know you are joking, but of course that's the issue. None of David Gold's peers would even consider passing. Yet when I see “weak opponents” at the club bid 3 in this auction, I'd give you 3:1 odds that they have a strong NT with 5 diamonds, rather than a 13-count with a singleton in clubs. (The clubs I play in are in weak NT country.) Thus, they wouldn't be permitted to bid 3 after the hesitation if we followed the bridge laws.
There does seem something unfair about making a bid that my opponents wouldn't be allowed to make (if we were to enforce the laws against them, which I personally wouldn't).
March 22, 2018
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“1♦ better minor”. And what does partner open with 4=4 in the minors?
March 12, 2018
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What does “implied agreement” have to do with “implicit agreement”, or, more pertinently, with a “partnership understanding … reached … through awareness of the players”?
March 1, 2018
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Michael, what you describe falls under “mutual experience”. If that's what the authors of the law had meant, they wouldn't have had to include “awareness” in 40A1a.
Feb. 27, 2018
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I am disappointed by the results of this poll, and surprised that 48% of voters think “no agreement” is an acceptable explanation in both cases. I think this is clearly against the sprit of full disclosure, and also against the Laws. Let me explain.

First, let's consider the spirit of full disclosure. Given the description of “Anne”, I would happily make the 4 bid myself partnering her if I had spade support. I would avoid bidding 4 opposite Charles. Thus, it's clear I am not just guessing based on my hand. It's clearly an implicit partnership agreement based on my knowledge of their background; it's not just “bridge logic”. Most importantly, the opponents are unable to make the same informed guesses as mine, if they are unaware of Anne's and Charles' background. Having implicit-but-undisclosed agreements due to our secret knowledge of each other's background seems an obvious circumvention of full disclosure.

Now, let's follow the Laws. Law 20F asks us to disclose partnership *understandings*, not just partnership *agreements*. What does this mean? Well, there is Law 40 to define the term. 40A 1 (a) says “Partnership understandings as to the methods adopted by a partnership may be reached
explicitly in discussion or implicitly through mutual experience or awareness of the players.” Can it really be any more obvious that my awareness of Anne's background falls under that definition?

I think there is only one situation where “No agreement” opposite Anne is sufficient as an explanation - when the opponents know Anne's (and my) background just as well as I do.
Feb. 27, 2018
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I voted for non-serious 3N. But I am hoping that the BW 2/1 team will set fairly clear guidelines on how much a “serious slam interest cuebid” shows - standards for that seem to vary a lot.
Feb. 23, 2018
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Isn't this a case where Larry Cohen and the Bridgewinners team clearly know what the right agreement is for their target audience? (A pickup partnership between two advanced, but not expert, players.)

I would be completely happy with some amount of dictatorial decisions - after all, I can't think of any more benevolent dictators than this team! You could still make a post “We propose the following decisions; if you strongly disagree with any of them, please comment and we may put them up for vote.”
Feb. 14, 2018
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I think 6 is worse than 4N. Slam cannot be good opposite two keycards and no K. (Obviously slam cannot be good opposite a hand that would respect a 4 sign-off either, but at least at that point slam was still a theoretical possibility.)
Feb. 11, 2018
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If 2 denies a slam try, responder can often jump to 4M without giving away unnecessary information.
Meanwhile, to have a slam try opposite a passed hand, opener probably needs some shape, so he may as well start to show it right away.
All in all, I think “standard” gets it right in this auction (2 = any game try, bids above 2M = slam tries).
Feb. 9, 2018
Arend Bayer edited this comment Feb. 10, 2018
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Paul, I don't know what Jan discussed with her partner. But I have a suspicion - 3NT would suggest playing 3NT from opener's side, whereas 3 would suggest playing 3NT from responder's side…
Feb. 9, 2018
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I have a hunch that we'll soon get a chance to outvote David and Richard soon and make BW 2/1 use serious or non-serious 3N :)
Feb. 5, 2018
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Mike, I don't think money could buy you an expert with better credentials or expertise than Greg.
Jan. 27, 2018
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I am curious why you chose not to include the Bayesian analysis in your original article. Isn't the Bayesian factor the single most precise quantifiable information we can obtain from analysing fresh data?
Jan. 24, 2018
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Shouldn't 4 suggest a hand like this? A 4NT bid with good spade values.
Jan. 9, 2018
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I am open to other preferences in established partnerships. But for BW standard, I would strongly prefer if 15-17 balanced hands never open 1M.
Jan. 9, 2018
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