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All comments by John Portwood
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You can always play part of a Mitchell - e.g. for 16 Tables put 32 boards in play and then play 12 or 13 rounds only - or you could play a web Mitchell if you can duplicate the boards. That can go up to 22 tables at least. bridge scoring software should be up to the task.
Sept. 9, 2019
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For seaing arrangements:

Well at the supervised pairs on Mondays they sit where they like - no one seems to mind sitting NS or EW. (there are usually a couple or more ‘expert’ players to host or make up a full table.)

On Tuesday afternoons (social players generally but some good ones play, well relatively good anyway) players again don't seeem to mind - we play a Mitchell with a couple of arrow switches in it for e.g. 12 tables, with less we'll play a hesitation or double hesitation Mitchell.

On Tuesday evenings players draw positions at random when they arrive - movement is usually a Howell so most are moving - any who have difficulties moving between tables are allocated one of the stationary NS positions. Again no one seems to mind.

Whilst you cannot agree perfect competition between everyone by arrowswitching, you can certainly have enough competition so that the result is reasonable - just by arrowswitching just over 1/8th of the boards. Then it does not matter if the strong pairs are NS or EW. When you play against them as EW - that is competition: when they play against other EW pairs then they are doing their best to help you. Without arrow switches the two cancel out. With arrow Switches then for the rounds when they play in the same direction as you they are competing against you again. (This varies but of course it is usually TWO sets offor each arrowswitch round - the ones where they play EW and you played EW earlier and the ones where you play as NS and they played as NS earlier. For pairs where the same board is arrowswitched on subsequent rounds this doesn't apply.)

I don't seed - doesn't seem necessary in a balanced event.
Sept. 9, 2019
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Unless that is in your agreements then no. You can't atart manufacturing agreements just to get you off the possible hook.
Sept. 8, 2019
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Actually you can't - you must “carefully avoid” taking advantage of the UI - and taking 3 as a cue bid is obviously an attempt to not raise the heart bid by partner.
Sept. 8, 2019
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Why are you going up to the three level vulnerable with no guarantee of a fit? When your secondary honours are badly placed? When partner almost certainly has 4 or 5 spades (and thus fewer cards to support you and you are likely to get forced in the long trump hand)? Everyone says that they would balance - but with no fit the three level is dangerous.

Sorry - but you need rocks in your head to balance on the East hand.
Sept. 7, 2019
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Where is Upper Bhumpopo - I mean they did well at Chennai.
Sept. 6, 2019
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If I may put in my oar - 4432 15-17 points, I will open the major suit first, being ready to rebid 1NT or 2NT as appropriate. If partner does not want to play in No trumps he can take it out. The point is: you plan for problems that might occur in the auction.
Sept. 5, 2019
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You want the opening lead through the strong hand?
Sept. 4, 2019
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Why not announce 1NT : 13 normal distribution with a standard deviation of 1.5?
Sept. 3, 2019
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You alert 1S - 4C splinter - you do NOT alert 1S (4NT = minors) - EBU Blue Book 4B4

(a) Artificial suit bids above 3NT made before the opening bidder’s second turn to call (i.e. the first bid and the next three calls)

My empphasis

(A 3NT call that is artificial (e.g. Acol Gambling 3NT or a pudding raise) IS alerted because 3NT is not above 3NT.)
Sept. 3, 2019
John Portwood edited this comment Sept. 3, 2019
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I would certainly like to see qualifications as to when hands at the extreme ends of a wide distribution would be opened. If vulnerability is a factor then you can qualify your bidding. (9-17 non-vulnerable, 11-17 vulnerable or whatever). Suppose you added the following on your convention card

1NT 9-17 (note 1)

“Note 1: at the lower range needs additional playing strength other than just high card points e.g. good spot cards and a 5-card suit. At the higher range hand will be defective in intermediates and/or hold honours in short suits”.

The problem is that you can't announce all that - all you can announce is the range. The only other option is to alert the call as it has apotentially unexpected meaning. I would recommend that players of a very wide NT range should ‘pre-alert’ opponents, since the method is unusual and opponents should have the right to be able to agree whether they play this as a strong or weak NT, as their defences may differ.
Sept. 1, 2019
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Yes - since it has a higher minimum value than might be otherwise expected and is pretty much game forcing. (Many players will respond one of a major with pretty weak hands in terms of high card points)
Sept. 1, 2019
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In particular those that have a potentially unexpected meaning or are not exclusively for takeout (over a natural suit), do not show the suit (over a transfer), or limit or show something extra about partner's hand e.g. a double of a weak 2 showing 15-17 points, or are lead directing, but not the actual suit being doubled, or are not for penalties (over a 1NT, 2NT or 3NT call). In fact the majority of different types of doubles ARE alertable - it is just that by far the most common uses aren't.
Sept. 1, 2019
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In that specific case you make a note on your convention card. Blue Book (Orange Book, Yellow Book, Green Book, Bright pink Book with yellow spots on or whatever the EBU decide to call it)

3 D 2 If a partnership agrees to make take-out doubles of suit bids on almost all hands with opening bid values including length in opener’s suit, this should be disclosed on the system card. Similarly the practice of doubling for take-out on unusually weak hands should be marked on the front of the card.

(I usually make a note that “JP is more likely to double with an off-shape hand than JP Partner” or “JP is more likely to bid 1NT at the extremes than JP Partner”.)

(I currently have (on one convention card) “This is a new partnership - pauses are more likely to be as a result of trying to remember partnership agreements than having an awkward call to make”)
Sept. 1, 2019
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Drury abuse is one of the more common TD calls when 1st/ 2nd in hand has a decent club suit not strong enough to bid at the one level or pre-empt. (Along with Flannery in the US and Ghestem (everywhere)).

FWIW, I play 4 card majors and so full Drury would be impracticable. On the upside, I am not bidding 3 Spades/ hearts over 1 Spade/ Heart with only three. My partners forget enough conventions as it is - don't see why I should help them forget another one.
Aug. 29, 2019
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EW played a weak NT (12-14).
Aug. 28, 2019
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Novice/ improver games are so slow, because they have to think about what to do. they don't have the experience.

At Durham we play an 18 board supervised session in something just over 2 1/2 hours (3 boards a round makes it quicker). Again - we had 6 1/2 tables and playing 6 rounds of a 7 round Mitchell makes life easier for them.

Even our intermediate session don't like playing non-Mitchells. I had 9 1/2 tables yesterday and, knowing the clientele, played 8 rounds of a 10 round Mitchell (24 of 30 boards), figuring it would be easier for them even though EW had to sit out 3 boards instead of two had I played a double hesitation Mitchell or a 3/4 Howell.
Aug. 28, 2019
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It is hard to see how a deliberate revoke and the creation of a penalty card (which has to be led)could work to the detriment of the non offending side.
Aug. 24, 2019
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deleted
Aug. 24, 2019
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Well it seems to be a case of Director Error (failing to advise that the J can be changed and if so that the 3 can be also - Law 62C)

So we apply law 82C

C. Director’s Error

If a ruling has been given that the Director subsequently determines to be incorrect, and if no rectification will allow the board to be scored normally, he shall award an adjusted score, treating both sides as non‐offending for that purpose.

So the question now is: “can the board be scored normally” and if not how do you treat “both sides as non-offending”?

No doubt I will be corrected but it seems to me that you have to rule that (for NS) they will find the correct defence part of the time. (Maybe 40%) and that (for EW) that NS will NOT find the correct defence most of the time e.g. 20%.

Other split weighted decisions are available.
Aug. 23, 2019
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