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All comments by Kevin Barnes
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Didn't the last ACBL bulletin contain a listing of Canadian highest lifetime masterpoint holders with online points listed alongside? It seemed remarkably pointless.
April 20, 2015
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The GCC does say “Clubs have full authority to regulate conventions in games conducted solely at their clubs.”

But the ACBL's elections to the LAWS say:

“Law 40B1 and Law 40B2(a): An opening bid of
1NT and an opening bid of one in a suit, which
by partnership agreement could show fewer than
8 high-card points, is designated a special partnership
agreement. These two special partnership
agreements are disallowed in all ACBL sanctioned
events.”

The Laws permit a Tournament Organizer “to announce regulations supplementary to, but not in conflict with, these Laws”

So, if this is an ACBL-sanctioned event, then no it is not permitted.
March 24, 2015
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Moreover, the defense database has an approved defense to the 2 three-suiter short in diamonds, which implies it must be midchart.

http://web2.acbl.org/defensedatabase/1a.htm
Feb. 2, 2015
Kevin Barnes edited this comment Feb. 2, 2015
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Once declarer knows the spade break, which she will on the first round of spades,then I think it would be irrational rather than careless to try to cash all the spades, if she still holds the Q, particularly given the apparent immediate response to the opponents.

But given claimer's mind-set, would it be irrational, rather than simply careless, to discard the Q on the J (or a a subsequent ), before playing the spade which would alert her to the spade break?
Jan. 20, 2015
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“maybe my making the occasional bid such as this will make the opponents somewhat leary about my bidding on future hands. That being a good thing, yes? ”

Depending on how many of your opponents read bridgewinners, maybe simply publicly voting for options one or two should have the same result…..hope that is a good thing..
Dec. 30, 2014
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I virtually never keep a private scorecard at pairs. This cost me once. We took a doubled contract down and then when it came to agreeing the score opponents denied that there had been a double. Partner also did not keep a scorecard, and this lack of evidence was critical to the director's ruling that the board be scored as undoubled.
Dec. 17, 2014
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I find it useful to leave the card out for a few seconds as it seems to be an effective deterrent to “insta-calls.” This practice does not contradict the regulation, as that is silent on timing.

What I do not do is accuse LHO of a hesitation if they do not then bid immediately. However if the subsequent pause is very extended, the practice also helps give some kind of baseline to distinguish between a hesitation mandated by the skip bid regulation and a more lengthy one which may convey UI.
Nov. 16, 2014
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Where does the regulation say “immediately”?
Nov. 16, 2014
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I'm not sure why you see pre-alerting as a “crutch” and it doesn't imply providing a suggested defence. Instead it is an easy way to smooth acceptance, by giving the opponents an opportunity to ensure that they are on the same wavelength and so avoid the gains that come simply through unfamiliarity.

In the mid-chart Washington DC AX game that John Adams referred to “up thread,” the frequency of people playing transfer responses to 1 club has steadily increased to a point where I would guess it's something like 15-20 percent of the field, perhaps more (as John says, there's a wide variety of systems in use). Obviously with my most regular partner I have had an agreement for some time on a defence(essentially Steve's first option). But since he is directing the game more often than not, I also play with a variety of less regular partners. I suspect that we're now at a point where I would assume the first of Steve's alternatives without discussion with anybody who plays in the unit game regularly, but I could be wrong and it's still useful to have a trigger to confirm this. But it was particularly helpful to have the pre-alert during the transition period when it was becoming more common. And it's still helpful if I ever play with someone who's not a unit game regular…
Nov. 5, 2014
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My understanding (borne out my experience) is that in robot tournaments the robots use the same random number “seed” for their simulations so that under identical conditions they do the same thing. But apparently very minor changes in these conditions can result in significant changes in their behavior.
Aug. 22, 2014
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John,

I think it's pretty clear that this was the AX flight of the WBL Unit Game, with which you are familiar, and Chris is trying to confirm or not his assessment of what were logical alternatives for West.

Whether the East/West in question are anywhere near to being peers of Robinson and yourself presumably depends on exactly who they were(which I don't know), but shouldn't be completely ruled out a priori.
Aug. 22, 2014
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Since seeds 56 and 58 made it to the round of 16 this time, you may not be drawing the second line in the sand in quite the right place!
April 1, 2014
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I checked the WBF website…seems the WBF may not have had much room for manouevre in choosing the personnel of the committee:

The Disciplinary Code states that: “If the case arises, a Disciplinary Commission, “the Commission” appointed by the WBF President, rules on the cases of reprehensible conduct referred to the WBF. The Commission consists of three people selected by the President from a group of five approved by the Executive Council and including at least two members of the EC. The Commission includes at least one member of the Executive Council, who acts as Chairman of the Commission.”

The “Disciplinary Committee” listed on the website consists of five names. These are the three members that served on the commission, the prosecutor,and…….Ulrich Wenning, teammate of the accused in the event in question.
March 31, 2014
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12.C (even in the version promulgated by the ACBL) reads “if , subsequent to the irregularity the non-offending side has contributed to its own damage by a serious error (unrelated to the infraction)or by a wild or gambling action, it does not receive relief….

So the wild or gambling is part of the Law, not a European standard. And even if the US is less favorable to the NOS in assessing what constitutes a ”serious“ error, in this case it is difficult to argue that it is ”unrelated to the infraction."
Aug. 30, 2013
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The GCC permits:
RESPONSES AND REBIDS
1. ONE DIAMOND as a forcing, artificial response to one club.

So if you want 1D to be artificial, it also has to be forcing. And if you pass 1D more than once or twice, so as to create an implicit agreement that you can, then you end up with an agreement that is illegal under the GCC.
Aug. 22, 2013
Kevin Barnes edited this comment Aug. 22, 2013
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Yes. It's almost certainly exactly 5. Even if partner chose not to preempt in second seat for some reason, he could have bid 2 spades directly over 1 club with 4-7 hcp, six spades and concentrated values.
Aug. 22, 2013
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The pair doesn't play impossible negatives… over 1C 4441s 8-13 are shown by 3C or 3D and stronger ones by 3H
Aug. 22, 2013
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The flaw in your logic is as follows. The 2H call does convey a meaning not related to the denomination named ie that it also has 4 spades. This is in addition to the meaning related to the hearts that are specified. This is what makes it conventional.

On the other hand, what may be less well-defined is that since it is in competition after a double it is not clear that it still qualifies as a “response.”

I think it is 100% clear that a precision one diamond is not considered natural - it is by no means as vague as Max suggests below “they kind of show the suits they name.”

“An opening bid of one club is natural if, by agreement, it may be exactly 4-4-3-2
with two clubs, three diamonds, and four cards in each major. Otherwise:
1. An opening suit bid or response is natural if, by agreement, in a minor it
shows three or more cards in that suit, and if, by agreement, in a major it
shows four or more cards in that suit.”

Although I have a lot of sympathy with the difficult job directors have to do, in my opinion a director in the Vanderbilt really needs to know this.
March 28, 2013
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