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All comments by Max Aeschbacher
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They were correct to remove the stop card. While it was a mildly useful tool for reminding your opponents not to cheat, it was much more widely used to remind partner that you were making an alertable bid.

EDIT: I'm not accusing anyone in this thread, or anywhere else, of the C-word. I wrote in the general second person in effort to avoid that.
March 27
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Now that a clear majority has presented itself I'll reveal what happened. At the table in question, there was a substantial break in tempo over the 5C bid. After the director was called, responder insisted that he had a “clear-cut 5 spade call”. I disagreed with that assessment, and I'm glad to see most of you did too.

I have sympathy for the fact that we can't really have a defensive spade trick, but that doesn't mean we're not beating 5C some other way. Also, as one friend put it: “Aiming at -500 instead of -600 seems like too thin a target”. On the actual deal, 7C is cold (on 26 HCP), as is 4S. Indeed 5S will often make if the defense doesn't cash its tricks right away. While passing doesn't lead to a great result here, if you bid, and they somehow decide to bid 6C, you're getting a zero.
July 18, 2018
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I suspect a club is the only lead that beats the contract, because that's the only suit I'm sure I'm NOT leading.
July 18, 2018
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I have a general distaste for asymmetric agreements unless they come up quite often. (Like the difference between Stayman followed by 2H vs 2S.) This might not be a once in a lifetime auction, but it could be 30 years before you see it again, and any agreement you set now will have been forgotten. I think it's best to default to meta-agreements here, and just use XX to show first-round control, even if it's slightly suboptimal.
July 18, 2018
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Until we can build that 40,000ft wall along the eastern seaboard, this will have to do.
April 1, 2017
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I'm dying to know what the whole hand was.
Nov. 3, 2016
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Alas, the 4 was not on Greg's head during the drunk Swiss, it was during the two-session open pairs on Saturday. And we were both sober. I will note that I was impressed that he remembered to play that card from his head at the appropriate time.
July 21, 2016
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I hate popcorn, but if you were to create videos recapping all the hands you've EVER played together, I would buy a year's supply of popcorn and quit my job.
April 19, 2016
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I don't think pass is easy. I was tempted to do it, but I feel compelled to give partner the benefit of the doubt that the could have a “bridge” reason for bidding the way they do. Perhaps they chose to bid a control-heavy 6233 20-count this way. I'm bidding in hopes that we find our fit.
March 31, 2016
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I feel pretty strongly that whether pass is forcing is a matter of taste and partnership understanding. My taste here is that pass IS forcing. Partner is not racing to compete to 4m rvw with minimal values. Their X of 3 creates a game force (unless 3X becomes the contract). My preference is that if we have forced to game, and opps bid, pass is forcing. I choose 5 here because my diamonds look like trump. I would pass if I thought partner had at least a -5% chance of doubling 4S for penalty, but I think (looking at the auction, and Qx of spades) that the chance is much lower. I
March 28, 2016
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It seems so elegant to have the IMP pairs start a day after the Plats; it can't possibly just be an oversight. The schedule was obviously constructed that way intentionally. I believe the intended purpose is to preserve the toughness of the field in the Platinum Pairs. Starting the IMP pairs a day later would dilute the field of the Plats because everyone who qualified to play would do so figuring they could always play the IMPs if they don't make day two. On the other hand, moving the IMPs just trades Sunday for Friday as the day which people who don't qualify to play the Plats have nothing to do (regional events notwithstanding). Perhaps this is less of a big deal since those affected could just arrive a day later.

My main point is this: moving the IMP pairs is not simply a matter of scheduling. It would substantially change the nature of the Platinum Pairs as an event. It is the premier pair event at the North American Championships. Don't get me wrong, qualifying to play this event is entirely non-trivial, but the strength of the field is further increased by having another (open) NABC+ event which starts the same day.

A schedule change which I've never seen mentioned (but might have most, though not all, of the desired effect), would be to trade the Silver Ribbon Pairs with the IMP pairs on the schedule.
March 27, 2016
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Well crap. I suppose I'll swallow my pride, and leave my mistake in full view, but I'll also stick with my vote for pass.
March 9, 2016
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<counts hand a second time> Yep, still a 9-count with only 3 spades. I don't hate double, but I don't NEED to do it. Just because the auction is weird doesn't mean that 4 isn't making. I can't imagine a hand partner could have where she didn't bid twice, and we have a score to protect.
March 8, 2016
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But North is allowed to know that West has SHOWN spades here. Absolutely South should be educated on the importance of not making remarks like that, but I think North, (knowing that West has spades) is allowed to bid 4H as a hedge against the possibility that South (who also knew that West had spades) was trying to show hearts. I think the AI is at least equal to UI here.

Feb. 18, 2016
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I don't think such a chance is warranted under the laws regarding claims. The claim itself is a declaration of how the rest of the play will go. It is not an opportunity for declarer to consider (previously unconsidered) pitfalls based on reticence by the opponents about accepting the claim, or questions from the director.

Claiming should mean “I understand SO COMPLETELY how the rest of the play will go, that I feel it's unnecessary to waste everyone's time playing trick-by-trick.” When claiming starts to mean “I'm done thinking about this hand; I'm just going to lay my cards down and see what happens”, then we have a problem.
Jan. 12, 2016
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I had an opponent open a strong 1C against me with 8 solid hearts and out. I went on a bit of a rampage asking if this was legal, and I found, to my dismay, that this is a legal TWO club opener! Best comment from a director on the matter: “Unfortunately, we can't force your opponents to play good bridge.”
Dec. 16, 2015
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“Sleazy as hell” was the phrase that first ran through my head.
Nov. 11, 2015
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I like that story a lot, but it's not the one I remember. I think you opened a strong 1C, LHO overcalled something like 4S. Joe read the situation perfectly with very little information. It's possible I'm remembering wrong, because it was New Years, after all.

Regardless, whether the results are good or bad, can you comment on how your partnership moves forward from stuff like this. Do you just laugh about it? Do you have honest conversations about what your reasoning was? Indeed, what was Joe's reasoning to make the call he did?
Oct. 29, 2015
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In Charleston, on New Years Eve, you told me a story about a hand you played with Joe. I think you might have said it was the first hand you ever played together, but either way, it was a spectacular auction. Can you share that story here?
Oct. 29, 2015
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My man!
Sept. 23, 2015
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