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All comments by Brian Davies
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We play transfer advances. Here I bid 2, showing hearts, then we would support spades at the next turn.

Transfer advances mean that you don't need to choose between a forcing and non-forcing change of suit.
Jan. 18
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If this would be a normal weak two for this partnership, then switching to a Multi / Lucas Twos would be sensible.
Jan. 18
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There is a key piece of information missing. What is the usual partnership style for weak twos? Will this hand fall within partner's range of expectation?

If partner is expecting a sound six-card suit with two of the three top honours in the 6-10 range, then this is pushing it a bit!
Jan. 18
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You can play it either way round - I do play both penalty and take-out with different partners. But I think that take-out has become the normal method.
Jan. 8
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East remained silent throughout?!
Jan. 8
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Agree with this.

How do we show spades in this auction? Those doubling are clearly not intending the double as showing spades. Those bidding 3 are clearly intending the bid as artificial. In my world the 3 bid is natural (swap the diamond and spade holdings in the OP hand).
Jan. 4
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Michael: you would like a bit more definition for your systrm notes. Don't you think that your opponents might be entitled to that additiobal definition?
Jan. 1
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Hi Frances,

I don't have any problem with your first two examples - which show additional strength (and will be revealed by subsequent bidding).

I disagree that most will make a take-out double holding a weak-no-trump type hand and three cards in opener's suit. In my experience, this is a minority treatment at best and a treatment that should be disclosed in an ideal world. (It's not great bridge either, in my opinion, but that isn't the point). Partnerships who make these off-shape take-out doubles are aware of their partnership tendencies, but opponents do not receive the benefit of disclosure.

Maybe my grievance is due to my misplaying a recent hand because I played the doubler for shortage. But I feel that the current regulation doesn't force adequate disclosure here.

For what It's worth, I think that it is good that we have a definition and most of the definition is good. I can't remember the previous wording and maybe that was not not perfect either.
Dec. 31, 2018
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In England, the Blue Book defines take-out doubles:

“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 the bid doubled and what he can be expected to hold for his actions (if any) to date.”

Previous versions referred to shortage in the suit doubled and preparedness to play in other suits but these references have (wrongly in my opinion) been removed.
Dec. 30, 2018
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Yep, if you want to open it 2 and you have no partnership agreement to open 2 with extreme distribution, then open it 2. You will now have an implicit partnership agreement and might have a problem next time you are dealt a 6610 hand and choose to open 2. You might not have this problem very soon!
Dec. 21, 2018
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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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