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All comments by Marshall Lewis
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The action was simian enough, but not a true Stripe-Tailed-Ape as it is extremely rare for a player who has made a pre-emptive single-jump overcall to bid again, so the double could hardly be necessary to stop them from bidding slam.
Oct. 30
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(1) Yes, a great slam with that hand facing: QJx AKJTxx xx KQ, which is unequivocally worth GAZ

(2) Of course partner is ALLOWED to go over 4H, never did I say otherwise. What I said was he is NOT GOING TO go over 4H because the most he can do is make three forward-going bids (including 2D) but when that doesn't elicit much zeal he is going to have to subside.

(3) “3N us not that committal really, since it is limited.” Sorry, I do not understand how the first clause there connects to the second one via “since”. The problem with 3N is that it suggests a balanced hand, i.e. 6322/7222. We don't have that.

(4) 3H is a serious underbid and 3N is a misbid, while 4H removes any possibility of playing in 3N. Perhaps “bizarre” was too strong a word.
Oct. 30
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(1) Partner can investigate all she likes, but a hand that can only respond 1N is not going to be able to bid above 4H. If she has a fit of sorts she is not going to have enough to go beyond game, and without a fit she will not even dream of slam.

(2) For those who reckon in terms of HCP – always dubious with respect to unbalanced hands – we are only a king short of what a 2C rebid is commonly supposed to show. This is compensated for by the fact that we have about a 4-loser hand, which is much better than some random 5431 sixteen-count.

(3) Yes we have all those bids available and more – but most of them are irrelevant, because they would be bizarre on this hand. We don't have either a void or slam interest so 4C is out. With an unbalanced hand 3N seems very ill-advised – we certainly want to keep 3N in the frame, but making that rebid with an unbalanced and top-heavy hand like this is too unilateral a vote for that game. The hand is really sort of in-between 3H and 4H on value, but the former is unattractively NF and the latter too committal. What we want is a way to keep both 3N and 4H in the discussion without distorting the hand, and that is what 2C lets us do.
Oct. 30
Marshall Lewis edited this comment Oct. 30
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If partner were a Passed Hand, then a 4H opening would have been on the menu. Since s/he is unlimited, that clearly seemed an inferior choice here, so we have opened 1H. Hence the question is what 1H-1N-4H shows, as opposed to 1H-1N-2C*-whatever, and then probably 4H. I am content to let the theoretical answer to this question be whatever folk may believe it to be, or rather what they think it is in the absence of discussion. What is rather more important here is the PRACTICAL basis for choosing one sequence over another.

In my view, one reason we might choose to go more slowly is when we want to find out – if the auction works out in a way that allows us to do so – where partner's concentration of values (if any) is situated, in order to form a clearer conception of what contract to propose.

That description seems to fit this hand snugly. If forced to guess here and now, we would guess 4H – but 3N could so easily be the optimum spot. Since we are playing GAZ, what reason is there for not using it here? There may be issues later on in the auction, but surely not at this juncture.
Oct. 29
Marshall Lewis edited this comment Oct. 29
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It is almost as colossal a fail as an attempt at humor as it is as intended artistic imagery.
Oct. 25
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Those who find the sort of general issues in focus on this thread to be a source of exhilaration might enjoy the experience of reading Winwood Reade's “The Martyrdom Of Man”.
Oct. 25
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I personally still find the quoted excerpt offensive, even when wrapped in broader textual swaddling.

I would add that apart from the idiotic socio-political tenor of the passage, it is also:
(1) simply dreadful prose
(2) even at best completely ornamental, i.e. it does nothing useful to advance the objective of discussing the importance of imagination in bridge
(3) totally supererogatory, since every player in the world both uses imagination on a regular basis AND is aware of doing so – hence the perceived need to justify a discussion of the topic through some intended rhetorical tour de force is bewildering.
Oct. 25
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PS – When comments of this ilk get a “LIKE” from a generally conservative bidder, I feel like I haven't gone off the deep end just yet.
Oct. 24
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And then after partner passes the feckless 2N advance with: KJTx x AQxx Qxxx, we ask incredulously why he didn't bid game?

I do understand that it is pairs. I still want to insist on game when I think we are favorites to make it even when partner would pass 2N, which is what the issue is.
Oct. 23
Marshall Lewis edited this comment Oct. 24
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Yes one of my stock answers to inquiries about our carding is: “Depends when you ask”. Usually produces a knowing laugh. You have to be rather careful who you say it to though, as there are a lot of tone-deaf people out there. :)
Oct. 23
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The answer to that question is cunningly concealed in the immediately following sentence.
Oct. 22
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There aren't a lot of typographical options on here for adding special emphasis to a portion of text. My apologies to the delicate stapes of any who may have been offended or otherwise put off by my choice of diacritic flourishes. I will note however that any statement of the general form “I understand the words P/Q/R so there is no need to capitalize them” makes little sense, since the function of capitalization has virtually nothing to do with elucidating the meaning of potentially abstruse words.
Oct. 22
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Even if it were/is true that “most partnerships have not sat down and made specific agreements about lead choices”, the conclusion that “the question is meaningless” is a complete non sequitur. The question is legitimate – if the enquiree has no agreement and no relevant experience with the current partner, that is the answer to the question, but it in no way renders the question meaningless.
Oct. 22
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The worst case scenarios, which are both likely enough, feature -590 versus -500, so not much to choose from. The money is in +100 versus -200, or better, so gun to my head I would recommend Pass on a purely disembodied “Guess who can make what?” plane.

At the table there might be a bit of extra vig in 5D if playing against some foe(s) with well-established tendencies to keep on bidding (especially at these colors) in competitive auctions.

Bottom line, then, is that it is easier to answer the question if we know the opponents and their foibles than in isolation.
Oct. 21
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“over-regulation … is my opinion part of the reason why the game is in decline.”

It is fine to hold opinions – and as the maxim goes, everybody has one. But unless there is actual evidence cited, the one above carries the exact same weight as: “My opinion is that increases in regulation are the reason that the game has not declined even more than it actually has.”

The forum certainly allows us to submit subjective reports on our belief systems, but we should all be aware that only some will regard them as meaningful (usually, those who hold similar disembodied-from-evidence opinions) – while others will view them as either phatic-expression-binding-on-noone, or just empty noise, perhaps depending on how dyspeptic they are feeling at the moment.
Oct. 21
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That is one possible conclusion one might draw.

Another possibility is: “What the inserted material was trying to do was indeed sorely needed. It just did not succeed in achieving its entirely justifiable objectives very well.”
Oct. 21
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While acknowledging that there may be room for legitimate dialectal – or idiolectal – variability in the semantics associated with certain informal bridge terms which have (to my knowledge anyway) never been properly defined, “2nd and 4th” to me is not a lead “style” but rather a codified systemic agreement.

Lead “style” – for me – has to do with things like the relative likelihood that a player/pair will lay down unsupported aces, underlead aces, incline towards attack rather than conservation of resources on auctions that do not clearly point in any specific direction (or the reverse, or neither), etc. The question is where we draw the line, if anywhere. For example, can we ask: “Ceteris Paribus, how often do you gauge your partner would lead low rather than high against 3N from (say) AKTxx / QJ932” (on an auction like this)?“ And if not, is it simply because ceteris are never paribus for this particular dilemma, i.e. it is always the elusive ”just bridge"?

There is a lot of work to be done here, in my opinion, by those who make – and modify – both the Laws, and the official Documents Of Disclosure, i.e. CCs. It starts with defining terms that are currently pretty vague – far too much so to be useable as reckoning points or criteria for any statutory purposes.
Oct. 21
Marshall Lewis edited this comment Oct. 21
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In large part that is because people are not all answering the same question.
Oct. 20
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That can be a pretty big IF, especially for a person who takes such a large number of factors into account.
Oct. 20
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He is not fishing for a tell. He is exercising his lawfully guaranteed right to know what you know as a matter of partnership agreement or experience. Period.
Oct. 20
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