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All comments by Fred Ferguson
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David, I think you are right … I think this sums up my position.

“So, the law is implemented as if it were “claims succeed or fail depending on whether in the mind of the Director people would or would not follow a losing line”.”

Only in this case the Director (me) assumes a line of play once the stated line of play (DK then small diamond to the DAQ in dummy) transition has been made to dummy … so I say, then what? As Director, I say what would be the logical line of play from this position, AND playing the HA first seems illogical.
Nov. 21, 2017
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I agree with Gordon that if it is part of the claimed statement, there isn't a problem.

BTW, I have not heard anyone here say that if they were playing this out they would cash the HA before playing on the clubs.
Nov. 21, 2017
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Roland, I like your analysis …

“I am under the impression that everyone who argues here that playing the ace of hearts is illogical does so with the - perhaps subconscious - awareness that the lead will be lost at some later point. But this awareness is exactly something declarer did not have, or he would not have claimed as he did in the first place.”

The question I have/had when ruling on this is … should declarer, be forced to play the ♥A (which is what defender was claiming) or assume the cards would be played in some logical order (i.e., protecting against losing the lead). Each of the players I consulted during the game thought it illogical to cash the ♥A before playing on clubs.

BTW, defender does not get to define the line of play, it is Directors decision.
Nov. 21, 2017
Fred Ferguson edited this comment Nov. 21, 2017
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I was the director on this call …

According to 70.D.1 The Director shall not accept from claimer any successful line of play not embraced in the original clarification statement if there is an alternative normal* line of play that would be less successful. *For the purposes of Laws 70 and 71, “normal” includes play that would be careless or inferior for the class of player involved.

What was omitted in the description was the discussion of Law 70.D.1 that states the director should take into consideration the “the class of the player involved” … I initially awarded 1 trick the CK and said at the table I would review the ruling. The pair involved was a solid B strata pair, and thus, I talked to 3 of the top players in the club and with a solid B pair and asked about how this situation might be played out. Each agreed that a solid B strata pair would not be carless and cash the HA (unblocking the heart suit) before playing on the long club suit clubs. If the pair involved was a C strata pair, I probably would have ruled that the C pair might, in fact, carelessly cash the HA.
Nov. 21, 2017
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Many players will play takeout through 4H so double of 4C would have been for takeout NOT penalty. If you double 4C and partner happens to bid 4D, then on rebid you would bid 4H (Equal Level Conversion), saying to partner, one of the majors please and partner would in this deal choose spades.
Nov. 2, 2017
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You are 100% correct that 1D - 2D works much better with 4-card support for a minor suit raise than 1C - 2C.

As I stated above, South could bid 2NT. But with 2 and 1/2 QT and 4 controls South does not need North to have much extra to make game. I took the position with HA, CA and SQ109 South has three suits stopped and South was too good for 2NT and not good enough for 3NT.

So on this deal South has a problem of creating a forcing auction. And therefore, I chose to make a forcing inverted minor suit raise with 4-clubs than bid 2NT which partner might pass.
Oct. 25, 2017
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Hi Douglas … if I had written this deal up with South passing, someone would have said, but South opened 1C at my table.

As I stated above, if South passes, it is easy for West to create a forcing auction with 2C, as you did at your table. Many players will open ALL 12 hcp hands, and thus, I wanted to show in this analysis how West would create a forcing auction IF South does open this … what did you call it worst possible 12 hcp hand.

BTW, I love “Kokish Relay”, but Eric Kokish prefers the name he gave to this agreement Birthright.
Oct. 25, 2017
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NP I loved your comment! I typically like to use the splinter bid when my hcp alone do not look like they will produce game, but allowing for the added value of the typically 9-card fit and shortness will produce game. If I know in the case of this deal it was only an 8-card fit I am somewhat concerned AND if I have greater values that might produce slam I don't necessarily want to relinquish captaincy. Thanks for playing in TCG.
Oct. 18, 2017
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bwahahaha … my bidding is often called a lot of things, but wimpy is not usually one of them.

I considered the self-splinter of 4C but: 1) if partner only has 5-6 hcp and passes 2S then 4S may not produce 10 tricks and 2S just might be the right contract and 2) if partner has better values he will not pass 2S and I will be in a better position of advancing to game or slam.

I love Splinters and use them often but “the splinter” relinquishes captainship in the auction i.e., by making the Splinter you are telling partner “I have fully defined my hand and you are now in control of the auction” (and has captaincy).

In this deal if partner can respond to 2S then I (North) will not have relinquished captaincy and can still control the auction. In your auction after 4C you relinquished captaincy and partner took the RKC route.
Oct. 18, 2017
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LOL It is very hard predicting what will happen at the table … I try to think about what might be likely and what the field might do.
Sept. 27, 2017
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The support cuebid of 2S works ok, but I really like the Splinter.
Sept. 27, 2017
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Yes, you are correct! But here is the question? After South makes the Stayman cuebid of 3C and North shows a 4-card heart suit, can South with and 8-card fit in hearts just PASS 3H holding 8 hcp and 9 support points? My concern about the 3C cuebid is that it looks game forcing.

On defense (very interesting), if East makes an opening lead of the DA and seeing the CQ9 doubleton in dummy shifts and cashes the CAK and goes back to diamonds cashing the DKQ declarer (North) will be forced to trump the third diamond in hand shortening spades to 3 trump. North can still make the same 9-tricks must now cash 3 spades and cross to dummy HJ to pick up West S10.
Sept. 27, 2017
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I would like to believe Doug, under most circumstances, I would play in my club games the same as I would in tournament play. This is a little slanted because my club runs so many restricted games, the open games are pretty tough competition.

Here is an hand I held today in 3rd seat (red vs white) 

J 9
 Q 9 4
 A 10 6 5 4
 A 6 2

I did not open this hand and the board was passed out giving my partner and me 59% on the board. Afterwards, my RHO, an A player, was upset saying most pairs would open this hand and further, I would have opened this hand in tournament play. Hmmmm, it got me thinking do, would, should I play differently in club play vs tournament play.

I did not like this hand, while I hold 11 hcp, 2 QT and a 5-card diamond suit, I don't have any honors in combination, and the SJ and HQ don't look like they are helping this hand. I told my RHO if I could move the HQ to become the DQ I would look at this hand differently and maybe open this hand with 2 and 1/2 QT.

My point is I would like to believe in most circumstances I would play the same in club games as tournament games.
Sept. 22, 2017
Fred Ferguson edited this comment Sept. 22, 2017
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LOL you are so negative. It is impossible to bid based on distribution of missing cards, you just have to bid your shape and values.
Sept. 21, 2017
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Yeah, as I said it is an ugly deal. Swap black aces giving the SA to East and the CA to West and it is a home run.
Sept. 21, 2017
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Hi Jeanni thanks for the response. I would never advise a Texas Transfer with just five cards.

I would qualify my comment by saying this is “my personal opinion”, BUT is it not an opinion. You can go all the way back to Modern Bridge Conventions (1981) pg. 13 that cite the originator of the Texas Transfer convention shows “at least six cards” all the way up to modern day with say Barbara Seagram's 25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know pg 77 that say the Texas Transfer convention applies if you have a six-card or longer suit.

In the game of bridge there are times to get creative, but a misrepresentation of a convention is a pretty serious issue to most players.

Hope this helps.

Fred
July 26, 2017
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Thanks for your response Bud. I'm not in a position to address what “the large majority of players” would do, this would be, at best, subjective.

I am aware that by opening 1D and rebidding 2C responder would not be wrong to assume opener's diamonds are equal to (5/5) or longer (5/4) than the length of clubs, but this deal fits into the category of “problem distributions”. If clubs had been better, I would have suggested opening 1C and rebidding 2C. I would NEVER support (even in private discussion) the rebid of 1NT EVEN with the singleton HQ … this just really goes against bidding agreements on shapes and values.

I would refer you to an example in Max Hardy's 2/1 Standard Bridge Bidding for the 21st Century (green book) pg 27 where Hardy with the hand A53 7 KQ105 K8643 with 12 hcp and 2.5 QT, because it is unbalanced and opener will rebid in a suit, open 1D, planning a rebid of 2C because the diamonds are reasonable and the clubs are poor.

Hope this helps. Fred
July 26, 2017
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Because North responded 2S … the 2S bid warns partner off of 5S.
July 7, 2017
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This auction 3H - 6H doesn't deserve a comment, but … there are so many other bids you can make to test for slam, why would you consume your own space. When it is your auction, conserve space.
July 7, 2017
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I don't agree with the double after 1H - 1NTF | Dbl, I think the prudent thing is wait and see what North will bid - for all you know North could bid 2C. But ok, you made a “judgement bid”, but then after 2H you decided to bid 2NT in balancing seat … Doug, you bid all of your values when you doubled and if partner did not take action to bid 2S over 2H, well, you have done all you could/should do. There is the green card in the box with PASS imprinted on it, lol.
July 7, 2017
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