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All comments by John Portwood
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Lets see - OP wants to know whether he is likely to pickup a big swing. Isn't that gamesmanship as well - since his opponent doesn't have to tell him?
3 hours ago
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I wonder whether he is entitled to do so. He is allowed to know that South has a weak jump shift, but not that NS are (presumably) having a bidding misunderstanding.
22 hours ago
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Yes - combined UI/MI cases are notoriously difficult.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” AC Doyle.
Jan. 22
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I think you may be incorrect on 1) - since West was the hand that passed out the auction.
Jan. 22
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THe only quibbles I have are

1) did the director offer West the chance to bid.
2) South should have called the director before correcting the explanation.
3) As usual the director seems to have been too simplistic in his ruling (apologies if not) - since from the information given, 2 does not seem to be an automatic call and there should be a weighting towards other final contracts with the UI taken under consideration if this would lead to a worse result than 2N-4.
Jan. 22
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Well look at it this way - partner opens 1 Club, you show a weak hand with hearts and partner now bids 2NT - the UI you have suggests that it is best to pass - so if bidding 3 (or 4) is a logical alternative then you have to make it. Obviously we cannot comment further without seeing the hand.
Jan. 22
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Well I think Larry is entitled to know that the call is ‘not pre-emptive’, but it is close.

“During the auction and before the final pass any player may request7, at his own turn to call, an explanation of the opponents’ auction. He is entitled to know about calls actually made, about relevant alternative calls available that were not made, and about inferences from the choice of action where these are matters of partnership understanding.” LAw 20 BUT

“When explaining the significance of partner’s call or play in reply to an opponent’s enquiry (see Law 20) a player shall disclose all special information conveyed to him through partnership agreement or partnership experience but he need not disclose inferences drawn from his knowledge and experience of matters generally known to bridge players.” LAW 40

Very difficult to assume that a jump bid in a new suit by an unpassed hand could be pre-emptive.

There is, of course, a difference between “no agreement” and ‘I’ve forgotten'

Presumably the director polled, but it is quite possible that 3 would be bid part of the time even with the correct information (resulting in the same outcome) and is it a gimmee that 3NT would be rebid by opener who isn't sure what his partner means by a 3 response.

(RHO of course is wrong - the call should be alerted (at least in England) as the LHO isn't 100% sure it is natural and could have a potentially unexpected meaning).
Jan. 22
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Here is a summary of the laws

Law 72
2. In general there is no obligation to draw attention to an infraction of law committed by one’s own side (but see Law 20F for a mistaken explanation and see Laws 62A and 79A2).

3. A player may not attempt to conceal an infraction, as by committing a second revoke, concealing a card involved in a revoke or mixing the cards prematurely.

Law 62

A. Revoke Must Be Corrected
A player must correct his revoke if attention is drawn to the irregularity before it becomes established.

Law 79A

2. A player must not knowingly accept either the score for a trick that his side did not win or the concession of a trick that his opponents could not lose.

So the laws say you don't have to draw attention - therefore it is not unethical to not do so (subject to the above). The big boys are expecetd to look after themselves.
Jan. 21
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Suggested amendment to Rules in MLB

“(d) Unless the Regulating Authority provides otherwise a player is not entitled to any aids to his memory, calculation or technique during the auction period and play.”
Jan. 21
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I don't see where your logic is leading you - there are a range of possible results and we try and balance them out. If the NOS would not have reached +620 we don't give them +620 at all, if we think that they might or might not have reached +620 then we give them part of the score they would have got for +620 and part of the score they would have got for +170. Think of it simply as a supposition of quantum states.

Ignoring fine tuning - suppose a top is 20 matchpoints without the result in question, those who scored +620 got 18 and those who got +170 got 8. Then if we think that on only a quarter of the time the pair would have bid the game then we award them.

25% of 18 (4.5) and 75% of 8 (6) = 10.5 matchpoints - their opponents get the converse (9.5) matchpoints.

Now in real life we have to adjust the scores a bit: instead of 5 pairs who got 18 matchpoints, we got 5.75 pairs scoring 18.625 matchpoints (21-4.75 X 0.5) : the 5 original pairs keep the 18.625 and the NOS gets 75% of the matchpoints for this. We work out the matchpoints for the other scores as well on a similar basis.

(You note that those who got 18 matchpoints now get a bit more - this is because they made +620 100% of the time when the NOS only made it 75% of the time).
Jan. 18
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@Ellis - Is that me (1st or 3rd) or the other John?
Jan. 18
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Well we had better look up definitions in the Laws.

It isn't a bid

Bid: an undertaking to win at least a specified number of odd tricks (tricks in excess of six) in a specified denomination.

And it isn't a call

Call: Any bid, double, redouble or pass.

So it is:

Extraneous: not part of the lawful procedures of the game.

And therefore we apply Law 16B

B. Extraneous Information from Partner
1. Any extraneous information from partner that might suggest a call or play is unauthorized. This includes remarks, questions, replies to questions, unexpected alerts or failures to alert, unmistakable hesitation, unwonted speed, special emphasis, tone, gesture, movement or mannerism.

I don't know what it suggests - was there a partnership agreement as to the meaning? However partner had better carefully avoid making use of the information.

Note that since there hasn't been three passes in a row the player making the XXX is free to make whatever call they want. (Law 22A).

(I will admit there have been one or two times when I wanted to make a XXX ‘call’, usually however as a responsive XXX rather than a balancing XXX)
Jan. 18
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Assuming the UI attendant with the MI does not suggest that NS should be playing in a minor-suit partial, then NS cannot be compelled to play in a minor suit - even if the rest of the field are playing in it! EW are going to be assigned the matchpoints (assuming that they would NEVER make the unfortunate lead given correct information) on a basis such as:

NS +120: EW -120 –> 60% (sympathetic weighting)
NS +150: EW -150 –> 40% (……)

So, (if not using Neuberg) NS get the total of: 60% of the matchpoints they would have got for +120 and 40% of the matchpoints they would have got for +150.

Now it may well be that the matchpoints awarded on this breakdown are exactly the same as:

NS +130: EW -130 –> 100%

But if so that is a pure co-incidence. The first option is correct - it just takes a bit more maths to work out.

Note that you don't work out the matchpoint score by calculating the matchpoints for

60% X 120 + 40% X 150 (=132)
Jan. 18
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“Can it ever be right for a Director to punish a side via a result unlikely to be attainable through normal play?”

The director is perfectly entitled to include a result that is unlikely to be attainable through normal play i.e. not one that can only occur through use of UI. He does that by including a small percentage of the result in his weighted ruling.

This is not a ‘punishment’ this is rectification - an attempt to work out what might have happened had there not been an infraction.

Law 90 allows the TD to issue a PP for any infraction that results in an adjusted score. This penalises (by definition) the offending side for what they have done, without rewarding the NOS.

The RA may decide what a standard PP is - in the EBU it is 25% of a top, 3 imps or one vp, however any club (which is often its own RA) can decide what standard PP they will require (hanging, drawing and quartering is frowned upon, but I suppose buying the TD a drink at the bar may be more reasonable - I mean at least a double pp is calculable.) Once they have decided on this then they have to be consistent - and only issue lighter/ stricter penalties due to extenuating or aggravating cirumstances.
Jan. 18
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I have been called by a player whose claim was

“I will play all my trumps keeping one card” - hoping to make on a pseudo-squeeze.
Jan. 18
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I am sure I read a story about a director being called at an (EBU) congress. On having ascertained the facts he pulled out a copy of the lawbook, to be greeted with “Well if you don't know the laws, we want a director that does.”
Jan. 17
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The problem is: partner explained the convention as “Shows Spades and Clubs” - this is the correct explanation - (I remembered before the explanation but since I wouldn't allow such remembrance as a TD, being self-serving, I can't really rely on it here).

And I made a mistake: I deduced that partner had no real preference for spades and clubs and since the opponents had bid hearts he probably didn't have many of them either - so he had to have diamonds. So I bid 2 (partner had 6 of them!). Of course I am not allowed to do so since that is based on UI (partner's explanation), so I was wondering what LA's (if any) there were to 2. Obviously 2 is demonstrably suggested by the UI.
Jan. 17
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Are we losing NT now as a natural bid? (other than 6 or 7?)

1NT - (semi) forcing
2NT - Raise with 4-card suit
3NT - mild/ serious slam try
4NT - RKCB
5NT - Pick a slam

(Persoally I hate 2NT bids as natural whether opening, responding, rebidding or whatever, it compresses the auction as you struggle to find out whether you should be in 3NT before you get past it.)
Jan. 17
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Without going into the question regarding what the BIT shows (South has to bid something!) :-

Our club has two players who direct on a regular basis. We call each other to the table as/when necessary - normally an appeal would be considered by the other TD, but we will rope in an experienced player on a judgement basis if one of the TDs is involved.
Jan. 17
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It doesn't quite work like that - South shouldn't be in the position of having to decide whether to bid 5 or pass 4.

Even if South's bid of 5 is an extremely serious error we have to decide whether the call is related to the infraction.

It looks like South worked out that North actually had a club suit and raised him - with two quick tricks and a shortage in Spades as well as three good trumps, I don't think that raising to 5 is an extremely serious error. South also presumably thinks that North has some good diamonds as well if he thinks that North has made a takeout Double. After all, North is forcing South to bid at the three level - a lead directing double would not show as good a hand as a take out double does.

Anyway - I would like to hear from South why he bid 5 - for all I know he might be bidding it on a red-suit double fit and asking North to choose between 5 and 5.

(I think we are all assuming that the double of 3 is lead directing by agreement, is it?)
Jan. 15
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