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All comments by Kevin Rosenberg
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The bigger issue is, assuming it's not penalty, what the original doubler's priorities are. You seem to assume that advancer's double tends to deny 4 hearts, so would that mean responder's priority is to bid a 4 card minor before 4 hearts?

These are the questions which should be asked, rather than distinguishing between option 2, or 3, or DSI, which are all really different ways of saying the same basic thing (although what you describe as DSI is not what most people would think - what you describe is a two-way double, which is not what most people mean when they say DSI - though god knows what they do mean)
March 29, 2018
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Where do you claim there was MI? It seems like W had no idea what was going on (maybe they didn't know what trump was) and E was bidding and explaining pretty normally.

Also I think the word “probably” in E's explanation makes it clear he is not explaining a firm agreement.
March 26, 2018
Kevin Rosenberg edited this comment March 26, 2018
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I don't think it's at all clear W acted on UI. True, they gave the wrong response to keycard no matter what was trump, but I think it's at least clear that they didn't really think spades were trump (I've never seen a mixup of 5h and 5s). My guess is they thought hearts were trump and accidentally counted the KS. Whatever the case, it just seems clear they thought hearts were trump, and then thought 5s was some kind of first step king-asking bid.

You could argue that the slow 5s woke west up, but it's very unclear how. I maintain that West clearly did not think spades were trump when they responded to keycard, and thus, I cannot imagine them passing 5S if it was bid in tempo. Thus there is no UI.

As for MI, cmon.
March 26, 2018
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They haven't found a spade shift yet, and if they do shift it only hurts if they shift to a non-queen spade, and even then W has to win and shift to diamond to put you in danger, and even then it still need to be specifically A and J of diamond offside with the AH with lefty.

1. I'm prepared to lose to this defense, and

2. your line of winning the first club and leading a heart also loses on this layout anyway to a much easier defense.

P.S. the only counter possible is if W had both aces, which is something we hadn't considered yet. But then if spades are 4-2 ducking the club would hurt.
March 26, 2018
Kevin Rosenberg edited this comment March 26, 2018
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the auction is kinda strange. partner really shouldn't have enough to make 4S good since they could have started with double. Something like AKJxxxx xx x AQx seems too good to bid only 2s first (and even there game is far from cold). I would guess partner has something like that hand without the QC, or with the QH instead of QC. If they only have 6 spades their shape is a little unclear but again I don't think we can make 4S.

I'm not sure I agree with Richard's comment above. I'm pretty sure this hand shouldn't bid 3S, and I wasn't originally sure if bidding 4S here was best, so I don't really think 4S is impossible.
March 26, 2018
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yes, i assume if E ducks, most declarer's would go wrong and attack hearts
March 26, 2018
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Another classic win for the paki spade. Just checking though, they were non-vulnerable right?
March 25, 2018
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Alexander,

My point though was in the difference between advanced players and top players. Obviously there are a lot of levels of bridge, which is the point I'd take from your anecdote.

The point I was making though, would imply that if someone were to be awed by a top player's play or thought process, then they could equally be awed by an advanced player's play or thought process.

Not everyone can learn from a more advanced player's thought process, especially if the thought process is far beyond that player's ability. But again, the point I was making is that I think there is generally not so large a gap in the difficulty of thought process (ok sure, there are high-level squeeze hands etc, but I'd bet that there are some top players that aren't even that good at high level squeezes etc.) between low-level experts and top players. Rather, I think the difference lies in the consistency of the thought process (ALWAYS keeping track of the shape, HCP, and in general inferences that the advanced player can keep track of, but fails to do consistently).

Basically, I'm saying that if you set your emotions aside (a lot of people get especially nervous playing big name players), you'd probably see that playing a top player isn't so different from playing a lower level expert. In most cases, they don't do anything spectacular, and are just more consistent at attempting to do the same thing as everyone else.
March 25, 2018
Kevin Rosenberg edited this comment March 25, 2018
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Alexander,

With regard to your earlier comment about top players “beating you with plays you can't even understand,” I'd disagree.

The main difference between advanced players or new experts, and top level players, is not that top players routinely do magical or inexplicable things in the cardplay, but that they more consistently do normal or good things. The same basically holds true in the bidding.

(yes, some top partnerships have quite exotic methods, but so do non-top partnerships. Honestly as far as I can tell, there is no real noticeable gap in the exoticity of methods between top players and lower-level experts. Once again, the main difference lies in consistency in bidding judgment and cardplay).

This isn't to say that playing a match against advanced players or lower level experts isn't useful. It definitely is. I don't know you of course, but I think for most people, playing a match against top players can be equally useful. Perhaps the issue is that the former group seems more approachable after the match for postmortem, but I really don't think top players do mystical things in the bidding, or especially the cardplay, very often.
March 24, 2018
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I have no idea what more South could have done (bidding slam over 5d is crazy). North should not have signed off with a decent hand and the AK of trump when their partner begged them to cuebid.
March 21, 2018
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Ax KQ10xxx AK KJx ?
March 20, 2018
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From S's pov, partner is 4522 pretty much for sure:

AKxx AKxxx Ax xx (or reverse the minors) is a fair slam. Not particularly good or bad.

A10xx AKQxx Ax xx (or reverse the minors) has fair 5 level security

Stronger hands are possible than the first hand. Obviously some hands like AKxx AJ10xx Ax Qx also happen to make slam quite good even though they aren't really better than the first hand.

All in all south has a pretty close decision. It's difficult to construct a hand where the 5 level isn't a decent favorite, and there are some constructions where slam is good. If South does bid, they must bid keycard I think, else they risk reaching slam probably opposite AKJx AKQJx xx Qx or something off two aces. There are some hands where slam is quite poor where partner has 4 keycards.

In my view, south did fine to pass. It seemed conservative to me at first, but it really isn't.

For N, there's obviously nothing terribly wrong with their bidding, but I'm sure I'd open 2c. Simply put the N hand is worth 2c, so should probably open it. Playing Kokish is a bit annoying but I assume the auction would go:

2c-2d-2h-2s-3s-… surely slam is reached (N shows H+S)

OR maybe:

2c-2d-2n-3h-3s-4c-… and surely slam will be reached.
March 20, 2018
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assuming 2n is leb?
March 17, 2018
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Rosenthal - Mahaffey
March 15, 2018
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yes
Feb. 13, 2018
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2 points, one very important

1. There is no texas after 2n-3c-3d. 4d is not a jump, so 4M (either major) must just be natural, at least undiscussed

2. The value in bidding smolen is when partner DOES have support, and bids 3S, you can now bid 3N, which is fairly likely to be the right contract when partner has 3 spades.
Feb. 13, 2018
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Ben held the W hand, so I can't speak for him, but I can't imagine strongly criticizing either action (at MP's - at Imps I know I'd always bid game there).

When we went over the hands with Geoff Hampson, he also suggested the possibility of W refusing to play 3N (after bidding smolen) on the basis that their hand might be more valuable in spades than in NT. That would be the winning decision here, as 4S is a better spot than 3N, though I don't think Ben (or I) really considered that option until Geoff brought it up, and I'd call it somewhat of a position.

An additional point on the hand is that the E hand might be too powerful to open 2N. Certainly I considered opening it 2C.
Feb. 10, 2018
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I agree with what my mom said (for once) above.
Feb. 9, 2018
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for points 1 and 2, I don't really disagree with you. I think overall, this sort of philosophy produces the fairest outcome in the environment most people play in (that is, I think there are far more cases of bids being fielded using UI in some way, then not using UI). As I said, it can result in people getting screwed when in fact there was no UI, and they just fielded the bid fairly.

Additionally, I never explicitly said this, but I think the whole notion of determining whether opener had UI from partner is sort of silly. If the defenders claim there was UI, and opener and responder say there was none, there is really nothing the director can do but guess anyway.

To your 3rd point, sure it could be construed that way by EW, but this is not my problem. I'm sure when you tell some people that their bid was not a LA, and was suggested by the UI, so it should be removed, they might take THAT as an accusation of cheating. But this is not my problem as a director, though I would try to clarify what I just said to EW if possible.

Also, in some sense I AM claiming that a large group of people have a tendency to be (possibly unintentionally) unethical (though I wouldn't say cheating) in these situations. This is in fact the whole reason I have my philosophy. I don't see how this relates to wires or prearranged signals. There is no notion of anything being prearranged here that I can see.
Feb. 7, 2018
Kevin Rosenberg edited this comment Feb. 7, 2018
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if everyone at the table says there was no UI (I don't know why you mentioned tempo), I would still rule as I said

I'd believe that a large majority of the time, the opener got some sort of signal, maybe even involuntary, from the responder, that caused them to at least be more aware of what was happening. It doesn't mean I'm accusing them of cheating, or even intentionally using UI. It's just my philosophy that pairs land on their feet way more than they should in these situations (it can't be a coincidence that they land on their feet much more than if there were screens), and therefore I think that UI contributes to this.

So even if nobody mentioned the opener having UI, I would still
assume it and rule as such. It's not a perfect world, but then again we see the same thing in other UI situations. Sometimes a player really was always going to make a certain bid, but because the UI suggested it, we don't let them make it. To me, this is a similar sort of case.
Feb. 7, 2018
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