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All comments by Jonathan Ferguson
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Pitch a instead of ruffing? E is endplayed.
April 26, 2013
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In over 10 years of playing (semi-)regularly on BBO I have never once failed to announce my revokes.

But seriously, Peter Boyd nailed it. Ethics doesn't enter it. It's specifically and explicitly countenanced in the rules.

The “ethics trump bridge” argument is silly as it can never be considered unethical to play a game according to its rules. If you don't like the rules, get out there and lobby to have them changed.

It'd be like if you struck out in baseball and the catcher dropped the ball and you didn't run to first (to try to beat the throw) because you swung and missed and a strikeout is a strikeout.
April 22, 2013
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I don't like the fit jump because the result on the hand is so likely to depend on the location of the K and I don't want to give the opponents the opportunity to up/down-grade accordingly. I'd rather just gamble that 4 (when I eventually bid it) is unlikely to lose more than 3 IMPs (-500 vs -400) and has a big upside.
April 18, 2013
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Judy:

I'm not championing anyone for inclusion, nor do I have any desire to do so. Nor am I expressing any opinions on the qualification of any particular person for inclusion, only that using the incident in Shanghai as an excuse to exclude someone who is otherwise fully qualified would be (is?) a travesty.

An example might help: In Bobby's book he talks about being paid to have sex with one of his female bridge students (pg 25.) I'm sure there are prudes out there who are offended by that. He talks about working in the military, spying on suspected gays in order to end their careers (pp 14-15.) I'm sure there are people out there who are offended by that.

I hope we can agree that neither of these activities, no matter how offensive some people might find them, are grounds to exclude him from the ACBL hall of fame.

Now, he also talks about an ongoing pattern of unethical play during his partnership with Jim Jacoby:

“One advantage Jim and I had was that I could read him like a book. We weren't blatantly exchanging signals or anything close to that, but I could always tell by Jim's demeanor whether he had a good hand or a bad hand and whether he liked the way the defense was going. I'm not proud of this, and I believe that today, through the use of screens and bidding boxes, we have managed in large degree to eliminate antics such as eye contact and body language from serious bridge competition. Oh, but how much easier it is to play when you know what your partner has!” (pg 33.)

Now, I hope we can both agree that if you're going to start quoting the ACBL criteria that an ongoing pattern of unethical play is a more serious breach of those criteria than a single instance of someone standing at a podium in solidarity with a child holding a cardboard sign with a relatively innocuous political message on it.
April 15, 2013
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As for Bobby, I very much enjoyed your book, but I felt that your attacks against the late Doug Heron, who was a particularly young sufferer of some form of dementia/Alzheimers at the time, were in very poor taste under the circumstances.
April 14, 2013
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If Jill Meyers is not in the HoF because of the Shanghai affair, then the HoF is a farce until she is inducted.

GWB was a war criminal then and is a war criminal now and patriotic Americans did the patriotic, ethical and sportsmanlike thing on that day. Those who are on the wrong side of history need to get over it.

As for the HoF representing nothing but supreme excellence, I suppose I could support removing all current members and waiting until we see someone who represents nothing but supreme excellence, but I expect we'd be waiting a long time.
April 14, 2013
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I considered myself chicken for not bidding 4 and was surprised to find that so many are even more chicken than me.

Since game is likely laydown opposite as little as akxxx xxxx xx qx I think I owe partner a good spade raise.
April 13, 2013
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I want to know about the K and (only) 5 lets me do that, I think. Does it make it sound like I have first round club control? Maybe, but so what?
April 13, 2013
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I'm not crazy about the 4 bid (I passed) for a few reasons.

1. I don't want a lead.

2. As far as putting pressure and right decisions, looking at my hand it seems that the outcome of various high level contracts is very likely to be a function of the random location of the A and K and not something that leaving the opps a bit of room will help them to get right.

3. If I think 4 is often making it seems more likely that I'll be allowed to play it there if I let the opps shoot their wad first.

4. I'm not really saving the last guess for the opponents as if they bid on as they likely will (and did) I won't know whether to double or not.

The strongest point in favor of the preempt imo is that they opened a precision and not a standard and conceivably could be prevented from discovering their (presumed) monster fit. That consideration might well override all the others I've mentioned.
April 13, 2013
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He's bidding to make. He's allowed to play me for 1 card, but not 2. I think 6 is right. I wish my 2 were the 3 though.
April 13, 2013
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I used to routinely open hands like this 4 but as I age I try to make fewer extremely high variance decisions. I'm quite surprised that NOBODY (in the first 53 at least) tried 4 though.
April 11, 2013
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I'm going to bid 3N and hope that E has 7 solid clubs, in which case I rate to be cold and have a funny story to tell.
April 8, 2013
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Maybe they could introduce minimum criteria for automatic selection (say 10 Open NABC wins or 10,000 Platinum Points) and that would reduce the pool so that the voting dilution problem wouldn't be such an issue.
April 5, 2013
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I didn't care for his thread title. He should have stuck with ‘Porknoy’s Complaint'.

But seriously, he's trolling. Don't feed him. If you're hypersensitive, block him. For heaven's sake don't emulate him.
March 30, 2013
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I cringed a bit as I read through the original write-up of this case. When I read ‘South said he might have led a heart with the correct information.’, I couldn't imagine a more self-serving statement. That may have shaded my review of the rest of the appeal.

I don't think Auken/Welland were beating this hand without the MI. But I do believe that the MI did throw mud in their eyes and reduced ‘very unlikely’ to ‘zero probability’. I understand being upset under such circumstances.

If this match had been played on computer, we wouldn't have this issue.

As far as whether TD's or experts should be the final arbiters until we get important matches played on computers, I like the current system. I think TD's subconsciously do their jobs a mite better knowing that their decisions can be appealed and I like that the TD's favor the non-offending side and let a committee overrule that later, which doesn't mean that the original TD decision was incorrect in any way.

The Huang appeal is very interesting and I hope it gets a thread of its own. My initial thought is that the decision was wrong, but when I was that age I'd have stayed up all night and hopped back to my hotel on one leg if necessary. The crux of the case is what was written on the CC. The TD should have made note of it at the table.

Mr. Graves' contention that the ACBL board is behaving badly might also warrant its own thread and I'd love to read more about that too.
March 30, 2013
Jonathan Ferguson edited this comment March 30, 2013
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I think it's worth trying to rightside this hand so I start with 2 and then (assuming law-abiding opponents) 3. I'm not surprised that's a minority opinion.
Sept. 26, 2012
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Nothing normal about it.

http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/52051-pass-or-pull/
Sept. 26, 2012
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I like committees. I like the director ruling in favor of the non-offending side and the offending side having to argue their case. But I'd like it if committees didn't know who was in front of them. Have the proceedings done by computer/text chat.

The worst recent committee decision I've seen (appeal case 2 from Memphis) had nothing to do with equity or the laws. Barring temporary insanity it must have had to do with who appealed.

As far as ‘fairness in bridge’ generally, the occasional bad appeals decision is but a grain of sand in a beach full of both deliberate and subconscious impropriety that won't be eliminated without moving to electronic play.
Sept. 25, 2012
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You're not teaching your children Swedish? I'm surprised. (My half sisters had Mom speaking Swedish to them and Dad speaking English to them from birth and so ended up effortlessly bilingual.)
Sept. 20, 2012
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Oh, sorry. It was just a silly pop culture question. (I guess you answered it.)
Sept. 20, 2012
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