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All comments by Jeff Lehman
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This seems right to me. If, say, declarer is 7=3=2=1 (with solid spades, Q and K), West does not want to be placed on lead and forced to lead a minor suit.

(Maybe 7=3=3=0 is more likely, given that partner did not offer a diamond raise, but even then playing A and having it ruffed should be OK.)
July 18
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I hope the “cooperative penalty” doublers and “DSIP” doublers have guidelines (presumably non tempo-based guidelines) for how their partners are supposed to act over their doubles.
July 17
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… and what Melanie says would be especially true if master point awards were more strongly aligned with Strength of Field.
July 17
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I remember playing for awhile with a fellow who believed that overcalls were not about finding a fit to compete but were for lead-direction. He would have chosen 2 on AQJ-third.

Even if not playing with that fellow as opponent, strikes me that the double is for penalty. No free rides for opponents.

When opponents have bid and supported spades – that is, had West overcalled 1 – then the double would be announcing a high defense-to-offense ratio for the 1 opening bid.
July 17
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In a non-Precision context, the problem with jump to game fast arrival is that when partner has a non-minimum, he has no bidding room to ascertain whether your minimum is a slam suitable minimum or a non-slam suitable minimum.
July 17
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Ron, perhaps because the ninth trump makes so much difference in evaluation? When responder has shown GF values and trump support for opener's 1M, it is vital to opener to distinguish whether such trump support is 4+ cards (as is shown by Jacoby 2NT or splinter) or is only 3 card support (shown by responder's second round support of opener's 1M).
July 17
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I prefer keeping the picture bid rules simple, meaning no first or second round control of an unbid suit. Qx satisfies that rule.
July 16
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I prefer picture bids, but not with responder having four card trump support for opener's major. Game forcing hands with four card support are suitable for Jacoby 2NT; hands of minimum game forcing strength with three card support might be suitable for picture bids.
July 16
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I prefer for the 3sameM bid to be extra values with three card M support, on theory that using that space to show two messages to partner is worthwhile. 4sameM, on the other hand, would also be telling partner multiple messages, 3 trumps, minimum GF 2/1, and no control in the other major.

Btw, I would still play 3NT after 1M-2; 2-3sameM as frivolous 3NT and control bid only with extras. In other words, responder's jump to 3M does not require control bidding, but does announce extra values.

In general, my feeling is that 2/1 bidders' sometimes reluctance to jump to 3agreedM – either by responder on the auction you raise or by opener's jump rebid of 3M – impedes, rather than helps, slam bidding. IMO, better to use some bidding space to announce slam interest to partner than to keep bidding low and not share slam interest with partner.
July 16
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My parnership notes on picture bids are pretty simple. They apply to any 2/1 GF auction that began with 1M. “Minimum” means that if your hand were a king less in strength, you would not have sufficient strength: (1) for opener, to open the bidding; or (2) for responder, to bid GF 2/1.

• When there is a jump to 4-level in a suit previously bid by partner
• Meaning of “picture bid” jump to 4-level in a suit previously bid by partner.
o Minimum overall values but such values are concentrated in suits bid by jump bidder
o Deny a 1st or 2nd round control in suits not bid by the partnership.

Agree with Steve's second and third points above (but you need a modern version of Jacoby 2NT to account for game forces with extra values and four spades), but not with Steve's second point above. An auction such as 1-2; 2-4 is a useful picture jump. Opener with a non-extra hand such as AQxxx, Axxx, QJx, x can control bid to try for slam. And opener with an extra hand such as AKxxx, AKxx, QJ, Qx knows there are two quick club losers and can pass 4.
July 16
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A very general comment about bridge: strats are good, brackets and flights often not good. An exception for brackets and flights with very low maximums … certainly not the ones we see nowadays with maximums in the thousands of master points.
July 16
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I don't find it funny to be laughing at people being drunk or stoned. I'm not against fun, but to associate fun with being impaired is something I do not support.
July 16
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The “sportsman like dumping” that springs to my mind is from a top-notch sure-to-qualify-from-Swiss team losing a match to a middling team where the result of losing is to allow the middling team to qualify for one of the four semifinal spots rather than to chance a more competitive team from qualifying.
July 15
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Just about all the Bridge Winners readers want players to be excited about the possibility of competing against the best, just for the thrill of occasionally succeeding and for the learning. But … why not also use the master point award calculations to encourage “playing up” by creating a bigger contribution to such awards from Strength of Field, making more mp-rewarding the occasional success in the tougher field and making less mp-rewarding the more frequent success in the easier field?
July 15
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To add to Daniel Morgan's fine list … Third, if master point awards appropriately reflect Strength of Field, the Flight C team might be thrilled at the award for their success to make the semifinals, with potential for even a bigger award should their good results continue in the KO round. Fourth, the success of the Flight C team might lead to their choosing to play in future tougher events, study the game further, and become tournament regulars … maybe even to convince their Flight C brethren what is possible for them, too.

Btw, if a team really does not want, under any conditions, to play tougher competition, there should be a limited event for them to play … but one where the master point awards appropriately reflect the low Strength of Field.
July 15
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I suspect those who favor reducing the number of regionals are not expecting regional attendance to “increase … proportionately”. Rather, they are expecting regional attendance to just “increase”.

By returning to the days when regionals offered a much larger size of field and higher number of top-notch competitors, regionals might become special again. When the lines between club games, sectionals, and regionals have become so blurred, many of the games have become less special.
July 15
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I think there could be many teams who would consent to be bracketed down in order to accommodate a team that wants to play up.

Now, if you asked those accommodating teams “do you want to be bracketed down?”, you might receive a few fewer consents. (Even if they do really prefer to be bracketed down away from the master point near-peers who are their skill-superiors.)

In short, I don't think the post asks the question the right way.
July 11
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By the way, I object to the wording about what opening can lead “ethically”. I would not deem a diamond lead unethical, but the real question is whether there is a logical alternative to the diamond lead at Trick 2 and if the UI might have demonstrably suggested the diamond lead over a logical alternative. My inclination is that a spade is a LA and the UI suggests a non-spade.
July 10
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Partner, holding a diamond void, might have had a legitimate reason for not doubling the contract. He might not be sure where a second trick is coming from, since he feared that an opponent is void in spades.
July 10
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By the way, I suspect that the Strength of Field for KOs will tend to exceed that for pairs, for two reasons: (1) KOs would be more tightly bracketed than pairs, because perhaps there are only 8 teams in each bracket, so that the top bracket of teams are likely be stronger than the top bracket of pairs; and (2) I think the best team will win more often than the best pair … so there remains a motivation for top players to favor teams, a motivation which might also cause the Strength of Field mp factor for teams to exceed that of pairs.
July 10
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