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All comments by Matthias Berghaus
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A long time ago a player opened 2. When my partner asked what it meant responder asked back :“Did he use the stop card?” The TD patiently explained why this is a no-no. It didn`t happen again.
July 3, 2016
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Wouldn`t have blamed you if you hadn`t….
July 2, 2016
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Steve, I think you forgot what strange universes are around us…. I have seen people sit behind KJ9 (dummy) with AQ10 and play the Ace regardless of the card played from dummy, and even a queen or two on the king. I have seen very strange things. Maybe I did something like that too, more than 30 ago, but I have clean forgotten about the mindset to make plays like that. But those things exist, and for a TD those are the more difficult problems, because usually a TD has no idea about what flight C is like any more. And does opener know? Maybe, some players play badly for decades, they probably know. Some are just new, they don`t. A couple of months ago the daughter of a fairly good player (and stepdaughter of a really strong player, national and european champion), having been taught the basics by her parents, showed up with her boyfriend and made up a team in a fairly good competition, way above their heads. If you tried to read any of the huddles you were a goner. Opener would not have known, and they might have had that auction, too. Dummy could have had anything from an Ace more to two Aces less, and no one, not the most avid gambler alive, would have offered or taken a bet, believe me.

So as long as we do not know whether our pair under discussion is type A or B, we can`t really say, can we?
July 2, 2016
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Does the long pause (including sighing, tearing of hair, whatever) suggest anything to a flight C player? I have no idea whatsoever. If so, then it has to be rolled back. If it is comparable to what happened in last Sunday`s individual (don`t ask), probably no information was exchanged… As Richard says above, to an unexperienced player the most boring hands can be difficult problems. I think you have to be there, and know the plaers, or have a poll amongst people who can identify themselves with the approach taken. Could be difficult to find people who would not bid 3, but since we need answers about the other hand, this may be a small problem. Still, we need peers, so we need folks who (or their partner..) would bid like that, including opening 3, and that may not be so easy to do. With more experienced people I would roll back, as slow shows etc., but this auction would not have happened, then. This is impossible to answer from a chair.
July 2, 2016
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Not to mention that the TD, studying the layout before the verdict, would generate massive amounts of UI…. I would demand a spade and make what tricks are available. If W should happen to drop the 10 of spades on the table, or pull the wrong card, the result would be the same, no? Why should one mistake be “punished”, but not the other?
July 1, 2016
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Sure, if you know the hand, that may influence you. But if time permits it may be enough to find out what you _did_. At any rate that would give a hint whether to admit you to the peer group at all. You may be too weak, too strong, too sane, whatever…..
June 16, 2016
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My argument would be that X would show the other suits (and a level lower…), so why waste bidding space? The only suit you can`t show if it is something else would be spades, so I expect that this should be true if we didn`t discuss this, but everyone has had different experiences, so I expect differing opinions to be out there, too.
June 15, 2016
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@DB No, that is not what we do. We rule against a partnership that applies the information gained (pard wanted to bid only 2) to pass a bid that is forcing per system (to give an example). So if EW stop in 3 here, while being systemically unable to do so, we can - and will - adjust.
June 14, 2016
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To sum it up:

A: The TD should have been called at the time of the IB. If he had explained the options as N I would have accepted 2 and repeated my diamonds at the level of two. At least 6 cards, good suit, extras. Pretty good description….

B: This is not a UI case.

C: Maybe a 27D case, but unlikely here. We only adjust if the offenders reach a contract they would not have reached without the IB (for example if they now have a gameforcing situation at the level of two. Mind you, if Ibidder blurts out why he made that call (thought he was dealer, didn`t see this bid or that, forgot to take his pills, whatever, now _that_ is UI alright, but it is a different kettle of fish, too.
June 14, 2016
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I agree. Why should my score be rolled back if my opps made mistakes? I can understand misinterpreting the black card as 6S, but I can`t understand using it in the first place…
June 10, 2016
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None that I know of. That being said, Gonzalo has a point with his objections.
June 7, 2016
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Something like 6-10
May 10, 2016
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I would say that he would know whether shooting pard would work to his benefit for sure, else why shoot him….?
May 6, 2016
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He did? I want to hear that! Give!
April 7, 2016
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Let us take these one at a time.

Declarer is (more or less obviously, more in the case of the 10) unaware of the missing trump. John quoted L70 above, so the 4 is getting a trick, as ruffing any which way and playing A is normal, not irrational. Still, in the case of 4 declarer gets two tricks by brute force, but not three.

With the 6 out there is a way to lose two tricks. Ruff high, then “cash” the trump. Oops. It is a legal play, no doubt, but does anyone play that way? Why ruff high? Nearer the thumb? Maybe, but I am not convinced. And then another trump? Nobody does that at the table, I think.

The case with the 10 is about the same, except declarer may ruff low and still “cash” the trump.

The underlying dilemma (in my eyes) is this: People do not (at least not in my experience, but your experiences may be different) play trumpos before other winners, so the 4 scenario is what usually happens or would happen if they didn`t claim. In the 6 /10 scenarios IMO _no_ player would lose two tricks, in real play. Even (maybe especially) weak players do not play trumps before outside winners. But if we want to give the defenders one (4) and two (6/10) tricks, we actually “force” declarer to do what is bad for him. This is IMO not what the law says. Maybe it should do so, but it does not say “Claimer is doing what needs to be done to lose the maximum number of tricks.” A shame, maybe, but WBF and/or NBOs have to decide whether that is the way they want it, and then put it in the laws or the regulations, or (and this IMO is what is there, at the moment) we have to say “well, if the play had gone on, what number of tricks would each side take?”, and if any doubtful points remain, _then_ we decide against claimer. But is this doubtful? I cannot for the life of me remember someone actually play trumps before winners.

The _really_ interesting scenario comes when the outside winner is not an ace, and declarer may actually have doubts whether that card is high, especially if one or both defenders followed when that suit was played the last time.

A problem would arise if someone managed to “claim” with the 4 out, then with one of the others out. What are we going to say after having him play the winner before trumps one time, then the trumps before the winner next time(s), and now s(he) ask us to show him the lay where it says that s(he) is always going to get it wrong? Would (s)he not always plays the same way, always thinking that they are all high and it doesn`t matter anyway?

If we make the winner a small one, then we have a doubtful point, and I have no compunctions to let declarer get it wrong, unless declarer can demonstrate that it was known that the outside winner is high. Unlikely, when the count in trumps got lost….
April 7, 2016
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It is never tool late for that
April 7, 2016
Matthias Berghaus edited this comment April 7, 2016
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I think that, from a viewpoint of ethics, you should not consider the reward, if any. Of course you should judge the risk, no question about that. IMO, if you feel the decision to be wrong and _nothing speaks against it_ (and there are various consideration, missing sleep to name only one), then you should appeal. But that is said by someone sitting in a comfy chair at home… At the tournament site the whole scenario may look completely different, for various reasons.
April 6, 2016
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You should realize that Gordon is involved in TD schooling, so he really knows a lot of them…
And in the top levels low self-confidence is not a trait you are likely to find in many TDs
April 6, 2016
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Saying “ruffing high and drawing your trump” or words to that effect would certainly have saved time vs. playing on. What wastes time is not claiming, but claiming badly.
April 6, 2016
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Kit`s point is that if certain data were to be found by perusing the earlier play, there would be no doubtful points left…

I remember a TD exam where a declarer claimed wordlessly after seing LHO`s card to the trick, and the task of the aspirants was to find out that this card completed the count on thr hand so declarer now had a 100% endplay against RHO…..
April 6, 2016
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