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All comments by John Portwood
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It doesn't matter if -420 is a good score - if -170 is a better one.
Jan. 6
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No doubt someone will comer along and say the correct explanation is

“We are not sure what we are doing, amongst the possibilities are a weak hand with clubs or a forcing raise in clubs”

So East has MI - and we must decide what he would do knowing the above - he might take some action, he might not.

(Mind you he was lucky NS didn't bid the cold slam)

Of course we also have to check the UI situation - my gut feeling is that passing is not a LA for South given his hand.
Jan. 6
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Many years ago (75 or so) someone said that you should consider how much worse your hand could be for the bids you have made. Assuming you don't play FNJs and partner can be trusted this is quite a nice hand.
Jan. 4
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Law 20 clears matters up.

“During the auction and before the final pass any player may request, 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.”

There is nothing in there about Milton C Work points, Zar points, Roth/Stone, HCQT, Vienna or anything else. What the opponent is entitled to know is what your agreement is i.e. how you have agreed to evaluate the hand.

If you use the Vienna system then you would say “30-35 High card points counting aces as 7, kings as 5, queens as 3, jack's as one”

If you use Zar points you would say “25 - 29 Zar High card points counting Aces as 6, Kings as 4, Queens as 2 and jacks as 1”

If you use Milton C Work High card points you would say “19 -21 High card points, but we also include 18 HCP if the hand has above average trick-taking ability for an 18 point hand”

Obviously since the 4321 HCP system is by far the most common you need not specify the type of grading system in this case.
Jan. 2
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It seems the OP gave a full and accurate explanation of their agreements that could have influenced the 2 call - and that they had no agreement on the actual call made. Well done!

East should very politely have been told to visit on his own behalf a taxidermist. Some players like to take advantage of the good nature and/ or ignorance of their opponents - not nice people.

Obviously the director should have held firm - and partner should have remained quiet AS THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DO SO - Law 9B2 (but see paragraph 1).

East should be forcibly reminded that law 74 applies both to pro's and rabbits.
Jan. 2
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The difficulty is how to define “Weak” in a format that is understandable to ‘all’ bridge players - since the lowest common denominator is the Milton C Work point count basis then that is what RAs(certainly the EBU) use - although they also have problems with ‘Strong’.
Jan. 1
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I wouldn't say ‘conveyed UI’, but perhaps some MI. Maybe East should be told.

“Ostensibly weak, but South could have some additional values”

If this explanation is given then it does not matter what the South hand actually has (within reason)

So now we poll and find out if East would have balanced given the correct information - and then make a (weighted probably) decision as to what would happen.

(One assumes there is no UI demonstrably suggesting NS go onto 5 of course - that clouds the issue.)

Isn't the hand ‘weak’ by WBF definition (3 points below average)? - This of course has no bearing on the information that East should be given.
Jan. 1
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Suppose you have this information (East ‘knows’ you have two spades) = would it affect your play at trick one or trick two?
Dec. 31, 2019
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Only 93% - obviously there is a better use for the mini 1NT.

The hand, interestingly shows is an example of why you shouldn't pull partner's penalty double of 1NT even with a weak hand - especially vulnerable.
Dec. 31, 2019
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The hand came from a swiss pairs event.

But just one thought - are you allowed to know that East thinks you have 2 spades?
Dec. 31, 2019
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Yes ‘normal’ includes careless or inferior e.g. finessing tha Jack holding 7 cards with AKQT
Dec. 30, 2019
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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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