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All comments by Brian Davies
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I agree with this Nigel. But I suggest that the annotation should include any Authorised Information that was available.
Dec. 21, 2018
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Let me offer a new opinion, since I think that this sub-thread is addressing the real issue - i.e. How should we resolve an issue when there is both Authorised Information and Unauthorised Information present.

Ed Reppert states: ‘I think it works like this: when you have AI from the bidding and/or play that tells you emphatically “there is only one bid or play here”, the UI doesn’t matter. If the AI is at all uncertain, the UI matters, and your action is constrained by it so that if the action you chose was demonstrably suggested over an alternative and the opponents were damaged, the score should be adjusted.' - I think that it is correct, as far as it goes. But why limit the AI to just the “AI from the bidding and/or play”?

In my opinion you clearly have UI from the hesitation. I am fully persuaded, by expert comments on this site, that this UI suggests a diamond lead to a significant number of (but not all) high-level players.

In my opinion the AI consists of (1) the cards held; (2) the auction and (3) the comment made by East. I am unclear whether, for others, the argument against (3) is “the comment doesn't clearly suggest a diamond lead” or “The comment arose as a result of the hesitation and cannot be therefore considered AI”. I am also unclear from my reading of this thread what the exact facts are about the timing and context of the comment. But hesitating is not an infraction in itself - any potential infraction would only arise from the improper use of UI from the hesitation. So, in my opinion the comment does not appear to have arisen from any improper actions by the opponents (unless the facts are different from my understanding) and therefore the comment is AI.

So now we a need to establish whether the full set of AI, including the comment, tells us that “there is only one play here”. I can't answer this question (I don't pretend to have the bridge expertise), but the way to answer this question is to poll players - telling them ALL of the AI.

If this option is not available, because it is incompatible with Laws/Regulation, then the Laws/Regulations should be revised.
Dec. 21, 2018
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What do I do if I plan to transfer, then bid on if partner super-accepts?

I don't particularly like these bidding forum options where seven-level bids are used artificially. But they get very silly when two-level bids are used artificially.
Dec. 17, 2018
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This post should have been constructed as a bidding poll, without telling us that there was UI.
Dec. 11, 2018
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I was about to open a weak NT because my hand is a balanced NT-shape hand. My hand is still a balanced NT shape and I see no reason to say anything at this stage.

I want a six-card suit, or a two-suited hand to come in here.
Dec. 10, 2018
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David Burn:

“Think of it like a game of cricket. You bowl a ball, the batsman swings at it, a fielder catches it before it hits the ground. You ask the umpire politely ”How is that?“

Now, in asking how that is you are in no way implying that the batsman is a cheating so-and-so for remaining on the field knowing full well that he hit the ball.”

You should be careful with your analogies David. In the not too distant past, it was considered to be honourable for the batsman “to walk” if he knew that he had hit the ball.
Dec. 5, 2018
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I agree that you can divide players into these two groups. But you also need to divide further - do they have an agreement that double shows / does not show the ace? Or do they arrive at this from general bridge knowledge and experience.

If there is an agreement, this information should be given to those polled. If there is no agreement and both interpretations are logical alternatives that might be chosen by players of relevant experience, then we have two logical alternative bids.
Dec. 4, 2018
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David writes a column “Great Bridge Disasters” for the EBU's magazine English Bridge. I'm sure that he must already be working on writing this one up.
Dec. 4, 2018
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This blue book definition is clear and is, I think, a good definition. Asking about “what is meant by a penalty double?” seems unusual.

There is a similar definition of take-out doubles in the blue book: “A take-out double suggests that the doubler wishes to compete, and invites partner to describe his hand. Partner is expected to bid, though a pass may be made on a hand very suitable for defence in the context of the level of bid doubled and what he can be expected to hold for his actions (if any) to date.”

This definition is also clear. But different players have different styles of take-out double. Asking about style seems more relevant after a take-out double - but I never come across this question. I recently mis-played a 3NT contract after partner opened 1 and RHO doubled on J43 KQ84 K6 A963 and I failed to ask whether opponents played an Italian style of take-out double.
Nov. 5, 2018
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Richard, you are asking that the sequence 1, 2; 2, 2; 3 be “probably natural”?

It feels like finding a diamond fit should be a lower priority than (1) identifying a 5th heart; (2) identifying a sixth spade; (3) identifying a stop for no trumps; (4) showing additional strength in a forward going hand.

I would have thought that “possibly natural” is more like it.
Oct. 30, 2018
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Yes, forgot that. Clearly only a one-round force.
Oct. 30, 2018
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“North had three choices over one spade - raise, 1NT, or 2♣.”

1NT systematically shows 6-9 in Acol. You could widen it to 6-10, but a non-forcing 1NT becomes a bit unmanageable with such a wide range (what values do you need to invite?).

A raise to the two-level is certainly possible on a three card suit. But most would prefer to have ruffing values to do this. Also a 10-count with two aces is a bit strong for a 2 raise. Raising to the three-level on a three card suit is inadvisable.

The 2 response is normal in Acol.

“South had two choices over two clubs, show hearts, then diamonds, or show diamonds, then hearts.”

It is difficult to bid both as a bid of the 4th suit would be artificial. If you choose to respond 2, you can raise a (4th suit forcing) 2 bid and not lose the heart suit. The usual rule in Acol is to bid four-card suits up the line and a 2 bid is standard.

Having said this, I don't want to risk burying the major in 4th-suit-forcing murkiness and I would also have chosen 2. But a subsequent 3 bid would then be 4SF, not natural.
Oct. 30, 2018
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Depends how you play the 4th suit forcing 2. It is surely too much if this is forcing to game opposite a minimum opening. Even if only a one-round force it is arguably on the light side.
Oct. 30, 2018
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This is not logically consistent. If South could have 4 spades then it would seem to me that the 3 bid is needed as a natural hand with a four-card spade suit, else how do you find a 4 contract when you have a 4-4 fit?
Oct. 30, 2018
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Oops, managed to construct a 14-card hand. (I have now edited and corrected).

I would treat 1, 2; 2, 2 as forcing for one round only and play that you only by-pass the four-card spade suit if worth another bid (a good 11+).

But given your methods, South might still have a 13 count with five clubs and four spades and we are agreed that 3 is then needed as Natural.
Oct. 30, 2018
Brian Davies edited this comment Oct. 30, 2018
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Why is 3 a cue bid? How would you bid:
A982 AKJ8 K83 82
opposite
KQJ6 Q73 4 K10974

I would bid this 1, 2; 2NT, 3; 3, 4

Or will you always show a four-card spade suit in preference to a longer minor?

(Edited to fix 14-card suit)
Oct. 30, 2018
Brian Davies edited this comment Oct. 30, 2018
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2 then 2 may be (is likely to be) false preference with two-card support only. But yes, openers 3rd round pass is a bit lame.
Oct. 29, 2018
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“3NT is a slam try in hearts” Really, why? I'm not sure that this is clear.

Given the four-card major context, 3 is simply offering a choice of game between 4 and 3NT. It looks to me like the follow-up 3NT bid is an attempt to play in 3NT… unless the 3 is a cue bid, confirming a five-card heart suit and setting hearts as trumps (and this is not clear from the opening post).
Oct. 29, 2018
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A few system questions:
(1) Given the weak NT / 4-card major context, I believe that 3 is simply a choice of game (bid 4 if you hold a five-card heart suit, bid 3NT if not holding a five-card heart suit)?
(2) Has responder denied a four-card spade suit? Is it possible that responder might hold five clubs, three hearts and four spades? If this is the case, is the 3 bid simply continuing the search for the correct game contract?
(3) Or is it impossible for responder to hold a four-card spade suit? In which case the 3 bid is surely a slam try suggesting a maximum hand in context (18-19 HCP) and setting the heart suit? And in this case, North has taken the stronger route to 4?
(4) What range is an opening 2NT? I would value the North hand as worth 20. If this hand is not worth a 2NT opening, then maybe the range of the 2NT rebid is too wide?
Oct. 29, 2018
Brian Davies edited this comment Oct. 29, 2018
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“i think this time N could have have 6 hcp” - 10+ per opening post.

I agree that North might bid 3 (it is close), but surely south is worth another try even after the 2 preference bid?
Oct. 29, 2018
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