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All comments by John Portwood
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This isn't quite true (although a good guideline).

Suppose a suit is as follows:

……….KQT6
JXXXXXX……….. -
……….AX

There are no entries to dummy - when declarer cashes the Ace then (assuming we agree playing to the King and Back to the Ace is worse than careless) declarer cashes the Ace and can take the marked finesse. (Law 70E as Ed has quoted above).

Although the rules impose a very high bar “any doubtful point will be resolved against the claimer” - the laws also tell us to be as “equitably as possible”. Thus you don't have declarer throwing Kings on Aces. (If he has to throw a King on an Ace to make the contract then you don't allow that, since I cannot imagine that failure to do so could be worse than careless.)

In the OP case, declarer can play for the squeeze or finesse, so would only be allowed the claim if both worked
Dec. 30, 2019
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If you have a choice of options i.e. playing for the finesse or playing for the drop then the claim will only be allowed if BOTH options work. If you have a 2-way finesse then you will always lose it.

In this case, there is no reason why East could not hold K J9XX as his last 5 cards and has been squeezed in hearts and diamonds. (Making a contract with a mundane finesse is hardly as satistfactory as making one on a squeeze).

(And declarer could just run the J forgetting to overtake)
Dec. 30, 2019
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Even if the diamonds did run - if the Jack of diamonds is offside I would still rule down one since although finessing the Jack is not the optimum method, to do so is merely ‘careless’.
Dec. 30, 2019
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Lets see - 6 tricks in a 4-1 fit or 7 tricks in a 4-3 fit (2HX-1 scores better than 2CX making). (If you take 2CX 1 off you should be making 2H - LOTT = 15)
Dec. 27, 2019
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I think one of the quantum leaps in bridge defence is the realisation that declarer can't (usually) see through the backs of the cards and will occasionally misguess - and be encouraged to do so.

The next step is to realise that you shouldn't think for 10 minutes before putting your plan into operation.
Dec. 27, 2019
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I certainly blame Foobar.

I blame NS as well for not having an agreement as to how poor the South hand might be for overcalling 1NT.

I would also blame North for greatly overestimating his trumps, since the 1NT caller is more likely to hold the Ace and his spot cards aren't very good.

I also blame North for not realising that South could have no defensive tricks at all. When Foobar comes in voluntarily at the three level, he must have reasonable values otherwise why would he be risking a large penalty to compete against a part score.

I also blame north for failing to count to 8, 9, 17, 26-28 and 40.

North is guilty of Walter Mitty bidding, hoping his partner has defensive tricks when there is no evidence at all that he has them.
Dec. 26, 2019
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Buddy - I know enough about Flannery to know it is the Ghestem of the ACBL - i.e. everyone forgets it! Just because I live in England does not mean I only know 4 card majors, Acol two bids and a weak no trump. (I will admit that in England a multi 2 , and even a weak 2 are more popular than Flannery.)

Although the announcement came after the 4 bid, WEST had not yet called, so East can amend his call after the 3 Spade bid - if he does then South can amend his call, said previous call being UI to partner.

If you read another comment of mine, I suggest that bidding on is demonstrably suggested by the UI - so, as usual, I am trying to deal with both the MI and UI consequences.
Dec. 25, 2019
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The correct information is “We have no agreement: amongst the possibilities are two-way Drury or a natural diamond suit”

Law 75D3

3. When there is an infraction (as per B1 or D2) and sufficient evidence exists as to the agreed meaning of the call, the Director awards an adjusted score based upon the likely outcome had the opponents received the correct explanation in a timely manner. If the Director
determines that the call has no agreed meaning, he awards an adjusted score based upon the likely outcome had the opponents been so informed.


Then the opponent MIGHT have doubled 3 and collected 500 - then again he might not.
Dec. 25, 2019
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Hence my comment about a split ruling. It is fairly easy to get to 4 for NS - after all they did bid it, the problem is what to do with EW since East's “I would have bid 3” looks like resulting in the pair NOT bidding 5.

In fact if both sides are non-offending doesn't it mean that the final ruling HAS to be 4 since NS are regarded as non-offending and treating EW as non-offending does not mean AFAIK that you then treat NS as offending for assessing EW score.

Of course East's 3 could have promised a club fit - and East should be aware that West's withdrawn 3 call is AI to him.
Dec. 25, 2019
John Portwood edited this comment Dec. 25, 2019
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To be fair this is a lovely kettle of fish.

1) North shouldn't have said anything Law 75B3 - this is a ‘must’ law. (The strongest word, a serious matter indeed) and warrants a procedural penalty - which may just be a telling off and advice not to volunteer information about his own calls in the future.

2) Director now ascertains whether NS DO in fact play Flannery - if they do not (e.g. have an agreement to play 2 as natural for instance) there may be no MI and 3 (below) does not follows.

3) Director interviews East - OK it is fine to find out what East would have done had he been given the correct information BUT the TD can offer East the chance to change his call after the 3 bid (without further rectification, the fact that South has bid 4 after East's pass is UI) (TD should interview West as well of course).

4) If the TD ascertains that NS do play Flannery and South merely forgot to alert then there is no UI for South, but North has UI that South may be bidding a natural suit instead of giving preference. This may suggest bidding on and passing could be a logical alternative. (And now we start polling)

5) Rewinding the auction back to 3 is obviously an incorrect ruling

At the end of the day we clearly have a director's error 82C and I don't think we can have the board scored normally - so both sides get AV+. Anyone want to argue for: NS +620 EW -50?
Dec. 24, 2019
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If 4 is natural non forcing I would say that it is comparable since it shows spades and must have values SIMILAR to what a 1 call would make. Law 23A1. (If you would make the call on 7 spades to the 9 and a bust then I would hold it non comparable.)

If you need 16-20 points and 6 spades to make the call and it is forcing then that, too is comparable since it is a subset of hands that would open 1 (Law 23A2).

If you would make that (4) call with 23+ points and spades (or whatever your strength is to make a forcing opening bid) then I will start considering the 4 not to be comparable - but I will need to find out when you start moving from 4 to another call e.g. Blackwood after a 4 opening.

if it is not natural then it isn't comparable.
Dec. 24, 2019
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Hi guy at Farnborough - meet Law 72B1

B. Infraction of Law
1. A player must not infringe a law intentionally, even if there is a prescribed rectification he is willing to accept.
Dec. 24, 2019
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Oh I know - I don't believe in ‘protecting the field’ either - a good board for one side is a bad board for the other - the same MPs are at stake. But some do. My argument is esoteric in that I prefer both sides to have a reasonable chance to compete for all the MPs by bidding and playing.
Dec. 23, 2019
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Well given the set of possible solutions, one that ‘protects the field’ by not dishing out random tops and bottoms is surely preferable.
Dec. 23, 2019
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The law may be ‘stupid’ - but it is much fairer than the ones we had previously. The thing is - we never hear of the cases where the application of the law enabled a sensible bridge result to be obtained.

Previously IIRC the 4 caller had to pass - so there was no way that a potential 4 contract (let alone a 6 contract if the Spade bidder had a useful hand) could be reached.
Dec. 23, 2019
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Law 40B

5. (a) 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.

It does NOT say “generally known to bridge players of the class playing in the event”.
Dec. 23, 2019
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“Should partner alert the 1 call as potentially showing the majors? Of course not. At the point you bid 1, as far as he is concerned you have diamonds.”

No he doesn't - he knows you may have diamonds OR both majors (assuming he has seen this before). The opponents are entitled to this knowledge.
Dec. 22, 2019
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“Also, opener never corrects to the 3-level, regardless of what responder has supposedly shown. This gives responder latitude to fool around if he so chooses.”

Isn't this a psychic control?
Dec. 22, 2019
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Good girl! At least when she next asked questions opponents couldn't pin any UI on the partnership.
Dec. 21, 2019
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I voted for the 2nd option - then changed my mind.
Dec. 20, 2019
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