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I dont understand why 4 guaranteed a control, unless 4 actually denied one. AQJxxx Kxx Kx xx? But I'll answer according to the stated conditions. I assume 3 was NF as we're not told otherwise, so Frances' fear is unfounded.
Aug. 14, 2016
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Pass is obvious and fine. Love all at pairs I'm going to stick in a lead directional nonforcing 2 bid - there's no way 1 would be passed out.
Aug. 14, 2016
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Sometimes I spend time away from bridge trying to teach students mathematics at University. We are conscious that certain tests and assessment procedures we adopt may be biased towards one gender or cultural group. As a half-hearted experiment, we recently tried to compare risk-taking between groups by including 3 multiple choice tests as part of their yearly assessment. (We would need a license to do this kind of thing with animals, but humans are fair game.)

In test A, there was no penalty for wrong answers. So assuming students were merely trying to maximise their marks, there was no reason why they should not guess on questions they could not answer.

In test B, there was a penalty for a wrong answer, such that if you guessed every answer you should expect to score 0 on average.

In test C, there was a heavier penalty for wrong answers, so that out-and-out guessing had a negative expectation.

These rule differences were carefully explained before each test.
We expected that there might be fewer blank answers for test A than for B, and that possibly our female students and certain cultures might shy away from answering C-questions.

In fact, we found no significant variation between the test-types. People had habits which seemed independent of the rules.

Some students had a mature attitude - “Why would I guess an answer? I want to learn how to work it out.” Others just ignored or forgot the scoring rules when answering the questions. Under stress, they do what seems natural to them.

There were some slight indications of gender and especially cultural tendencies, but these seemed to be deeply ingrained in personality and were not triggered by the kinds of penalties we were willing to inflict.

To return this to a bridge-context, we all make riskier bids non-vul than vul. If this result carries over, one might predict similar ratios of vul to non-vul risks between the genders.
Aug. 12, 2016
Jonathan Mestel edited this comment Aug. 12, 2016
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You might want to remove the duplicate 5 and 3 in your description.
Aug. 12, 2016
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I have commented on this hand elsewhere. 3 is surely forcing, and most likely partner is angling for 3NT. We could hardly be more suitable. Why else did we bid 3? 3NT, 2nd choice 4
Aug. 12, 2016
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Agreed; but I'll double and hope to get away with it. For me 2 would also show s.
Aug. 12, 2016
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Because 4 might systemically be (a) a splinter or (b) to play? Like it or not, your methods are that 3-level fit-jumps are inv+.

There are other situations where one can get caught like this. You decide to bid slam, but if partner has the exact cards a grand is possible. So you cue at the 5-level on the way and partner, bless his cotton socks, thinks for a while and signs off…
Aug. 12, 2016
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Thanks to everyone for comments, several of which had not occurred to me.

At the table, I felt that with the UI I had to pass, and we scored +170.

Partner held AKxxxx xx x Axxx. I personally regard this as too strong for the 3 rebid. If partner bids more cautiously with the uncertainty, it slightly undermines Kit's argument that we are free to do as we choose. Change one of her s to a and we would have gained from the confusion by staying low, which would perhaps have been unfair.

The match was played in a private home. Director calls would have been cumbersome, over a phone. It is unlikely opponents would have requested a ruling unless I'd actually stood up and looked at partner's hand, so the onus was on us to get it right first time.
Aug. 11, 2016
Jonathan Mestel edited this comment Aug. 11, 2016
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The “idea” of 3 was to help partner over a 5minor bid by LHO, say AKxxx AKx x xxxx. It seemed more informative than 2NT.
Aug. 10, 2016
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I thought fit jumps were agreed (they would been after an overcall), but obviously partner wasn't sure after the double. They can be invitational or game-forcing.
Aug. 10, 2016
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As I said above, I don't think partner is allowed to “wake up” after 3. (Ax xx AKxxxxx xx say)

My partners would not bid 3 without a major on this sequence, so I cannot ethically pass. If yours do, then you must pass. So long as we each score -1100 somehow, we can at least be happy with our ethics….
Aug. 10, 2016
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OK.

I feel I've contributed (possibly more than) enough to this.

If I understand the contrary opinion, it is “Even though the 2 bidder knows (through UI) that his partner does not have a natural 3 bid, and that the best result for his side is likely to pass it, he may legitimately interpret the undiscussed 3 as natural and pass. We are 100% confident he would have done the same thing had 2 been alerted.”

I suppose I am not 100% confident of this, but that is between me and my psychiatrist.
Aug. 10, 2016
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Yes. It's not natural to bid a suit NF in a live auction having passed when partner has shown length for two other suits. In Roland's example 5 above 3 is of course intended as forcing and it is further evidence that the 2-bidder should bid (3 not 3.)

In ethical dilemmas with UI we deal with “Logical Alternatives.” The offending side is not meant to choose a course of action which benefits it when there is a worse LA. If, as I believe, it is logical to play 3 as forcing, the onus is on EW to demonstrate that it is not.
Aug. 10, 2016
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If you have a clear, preferably written, agreement, that 3 is natural, then you have no problem, whatever the merits of such an agreement. But ACs can be suspicious when such an agreement is claimed without evidence when it happens to let an offending side off the hook.

A possibly useful tip: If you say “Ghestem” to anyone who has served on ACs in the UK, they'll likely run away screaming…
Aug. 10, 2016
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Well, it's a better description of his hand than the 1NT opener, the 3 bid and the 3 bid is of theirs! How would you bid that hand, playing a natural 2 overcall? You're trying to reach 3NT, of course, after partner's raise.
Aug. 10, 2016
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In the UK, at least, while his partner's actions are plausible within his original misunderstanding (AKxx xx AKJxxx x perhaps?) he is not meant to “wake up”. This is because in practice he often wakes up because of partner's reaction and realises what is going on. If partner makes an impossible bid, that is different. One would have to assess how “impossible” 3 was.
Aug. 10, 2016
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I agree the 2 bid was ill-advised, but that is not the issue. It is clear to West that at least one person probably does not have the values for their bid. But unless there is any reason to believe otherwise West is ethically bound to assume his vulnerable partner is not psyching. He has (we believe) made a natural 2 overcall, and when we raised it he introduced a new suit at the 3-level. Would you not play that as forcing? At the very least it is a game try. Bid 3NT if you prefer, but you cannot possibly pass it. West may very well have picked up something from the vibes at the table that something was amiss, but he is not allowed suddenly to remember the 2-convention and pass.

I was not at the table; maybe the 3 was indeed bid for unethical reasons, but that doesn't mean it is the wrong call. And it should have led to a greater penalty. I am very unhappy with the idea that is ok to try to get away with a smaller penalty by passing 3. To summarise, I believe:
(A) Bidding over 3 is a logical alternative to passing
(B) Passing 3 undoubled is in fact the call suggested by the UI
(C) Therefore bidding 3 (in the expectation of -1100) is the ethical choice.
Aug. 10, 2016
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What a minefield it all is! I actually think that the vast majority who pass 3 are not behaving ethically, although I fully accept that they all are trying to. We should assume partner has understood our 2 and in context 3 by a passed hand really has to mean pick a major. The UI tells us we are booked for a disaster, and to pass before we are doubled is in my view very close to using the UI to our advantage! (I repeat: I accept that everyone is trying to be ethical - but in my view the ethical path leads us deeper into mire).

I haven't noticed any comment about West's pass of 3 in the auction. How can this not be forcing? West has a clear raise to 4 in my view, and I would have adjusted the contract to 4x.
Aug. 10, 2016
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Why isn't one of your options make a slam try with a singleton heart?
Partner has either K or A. If I show a stiff heart, (s)he will give up with K, but will be encouraged with A and a -fit, both of which are fine. I may even avoid a singleton -lead against 4 this way, and won't opponents be cross.
It is doubtless because I make bids like this that you haven't played with me for ages…
Aug. 9, 2016
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I felt the odds favoured bidding 6, but I seem to be out on a limb here.
Aug. 9, 2016
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