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All comments by Steve Moese
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As a general approach, doubling to show 5-7 HCP should be limited to the 2-level or below (I prefer through 2, with 7+ HCP over 2/ and 8+ over 3/). 3-level requires more for this action to reduce risk of overbids like this.

Even if there is a fit, partner only promises a 6 loser hand and East holds a 9-loser with the dreaded 3-small s. If responder passes 3 and opener passes 5, a double by responder would be a Balance of Power or cards double - max holding for previous action and a belief we own more than half the HCPs.

Partner would have to have a 4-loser or compensating values to afford playing at the 5-level opposite a 9-loser hand.

Note, opener's double of 5 would show a much stronger hand.

If partner doubles 5 West should sit not bid - an 8-loser in East is very unlikely given the original pass.

Sometimes preempts work.
Aug. 6, 2012
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Ned,
I plead a post-midnight post - the most pessimistic count is 9 cards + 10.75 HCP + 2 QT = 21.75 so I will open. Thanks for waking me up.
July 30, 2012
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I will always open this hand at IMPs whether playing 2/1 or Precision; or in all games when playing Precision. The only exception I will make is if partner requires Rule of 22 opening bids (Rule of 20 + 2 QTs). This one counts to 21. Hard to resist 9 major cards a good suit and 6 losers.
July 29, 2012
Steve Moese edited this comment July 30, 2012
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Henry, maybe we should take our cue from Hockey - Put the offending pair in the penalty box for 8 hands. If they continue, ban them from the next 16. If they continue, ban them from the next 32 (48, 64). Yes, this means we need teams of 6.

I strongly disfavor arbitrary or formulaic score adjustments. Scores must be made at the table.

(I still like the idea of a forced repechage with the non offending side getting to replace boards from the original 64).

The target should be the chronically slow pair. Slow play cannot be done to induce an advantage. That behavior should be punished severely.
July 28, 2012
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Well, counselor, the evidence suggests EW play Italian style control bids through 5, allowing A, K, x or void. EW agreed s at the 3 bid. 4 by West clearly says “I lack a control”. The ambiguity starts with 5 and is compounded by 5NT.

5 says I have your back partner (Eat's aceless hand didn't), and 5N seems to say “Do you have 2 top honors?” 5N as Pick a slam seems remote as there was only one suit bid and agreed by EW.

Unfortunatley the evidence presented in this case omits the ability to cross examine. Did East bid 5 to pretend/bluff/suggest a void? If so, then this case should be considered for a brilliancy prize and not a conviction. 5N would have convinced me at the table.

The only insanity I find is the insane joy we spectators had watching this improbable event unfold. The only responsibility I see is David's and Gary's for crafting one of the most improbable endings in the history of the game.

There's something right about leaving experts scratching their heads.

Yes, I gave David the reasoned share of the blame, but would recind my decision were he to tell us he was bluffing…there is a fine line between creativity and insanity.
July 28, 2012
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Playing Precision where 1 promises 2 cards, we always ALERT. Why? Because partner knows that 2=4=2=5 is possible according to our 1/2 structure. Indeed 1=1=5=6 is also possible. Many precision players simply announce “Could be as short as 2”. Which is right and fair? I think our way is. So do several regional directors in the mid west.

When sitting down at the NABC Swiss Qualifiers in the sixth round against world class compeition, we dared to ask their agreement over 1m-P-1H-P-1N that is, did they ignore a 4-card suit on a balanced hand or usually bid 1 with 4. We choose to ask this in advance so we do not get into UI. Unfortunately we got arrogance instead of transparency “We choose to do what we think is right in the moment. We don't have to tell you in advance.” (Justice: we won the match by 22 IMPS).

Finally in the Detroit NABC Swiss Qualifiers we sat down to play against Barnet Shenkin and his partner. During a Jacoby 2NT auction Barnet bid 3 in response alerted by his partner. I had the temerity to ask what that bid meant. Both Barnet and his partner took 90 seconds to mention that it would indeed be better to simply say “May I have a review of the bidding with all explanations” so that I did not appear to call attention to the 3 bid itself. They tolerated my lack of experience and helped me learn something important about the proprieties of the game in a way that I hope I can replicate.

I find that taking a minute BEFORE PLAY can help get to key questions about system treatments.

My current irritation is about players who alert 3rd rebids at or above game level, and about players who offer explanations when not asked to do so.

One final strategy we often choose against highly artificial systems is to review their card then ask they do NOT alert, waiting to have full explanation at the end of each auction. This is a bit more risky, but eliminates UI on both sides.
July 27, 2012
Steve Moese edited this comment July 28, 2012
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As a favorite Grand Master is known to say, “Why let them go down when we can?”

Pass has only one way to win - they go down and so do we.

Bidding has several - they make and we have a save, they bid on to 5 and go down while 4 makes, they go down and we make, They make and so do we.

I hate my quacks, but 6 s - please!
July 25, 2012
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I confess I prefer the overbid of 1N on South's shape and texture. Failing that, 2N at South's 2nd turn seems better than 2. North's 3 call seems wrong-headed. As others have pointed out 2N is better. What happened to Hamman's Rule?
July 25, 2012
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I think 64 boards should be manditory. However I think the penalty for slow play should be MORE PLAY.

Huh???

Yes, for every 20 minutes beyond play limits, the teams must play an additional 4 boards as a repechage style penalty.

The offending side must allow the non-offending side to replace up to any 4 boards they want from previous play from the quarter where the offense occurred with any of the new four boards.

The intent here is to make slow play so unpalatable and punishing that no one will want to have the penalty imposed. This also takes the arbitrary nature of the penalty (how many IMPs?) out of the equation.

If both sides offend, then 8 boards minimum must be played, with each side having 4 substitutes to make. Neither side can change any of the new board results.

Second offense within the same match doubles the penalty, etc.

To implement this approach the ACBL will have to create the TIMER position (as in swimming) who can use watches and video to define fact.

The only quid pro quo penalty for wasting time is to force players to waste their own free time - time they would ordinarily want for relaxation, and to make the penalty based on play, but sever enough to cause compliance.
July 25, 2012
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Would seem that the play of the 10 at trick 2, ducking in dummy, leaves the defense with no counter and the offense with 9 tricks…(I assume East played the Q to trick 1).
July 21, 2012
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You and I would do fine together. Not sure other partners would do the same…What if 3 is enough for 7?
July 18, 2012
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5 seems clear in principle (my original vote) but is it in practice? I'm just happy I hold enough in trumps to make the step 1 response (0-3) unambiguous!! However what about Step 2? Pard could hold 98652, AKxx, AKx, x UGH! and we can't make 6 of anything. I guess I hope I'm playing 1430…Any 2 of course is good for 6.

Reonsidering I would prefer a fit showing 3/ if I can be sure partner will begin cuebidding…
July 18, 2012
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My favorite approach here is to cue bid the lower suit to show the lower target suit and the higher ranking suit to show the higher target suits, either INV+. Bids in the target suits are then to play (so 3 here would be clearly preemptive).

I understand the cue in the minor could be an attempt to play for some - I just think this happens to infrequently to be worth that use of the bid.
July 18, 2012
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Thanks Eugene - missed that -
July 15, 2012
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I think the first double is clear cut. I don't like overcalling on a 5-card minor enough and I don't fear a Moysian in s. Now I think a 2nd double is a better choice than 2N especially if partner can be on as little as 7 HCP. We should find our strain.
July 15, 2012
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If I recall the match correctly, Cohler sat North and opened 1. You might have the bidding rotated 180 degrees…East was on lead…
July 15, 2012
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Backstory: Cohler called the director about his partner's break in tempo over 5. I think this is good sportsmanship, don't you?

Was there an appeal? Would the eventual 5N call by D. Berkowitz have influenced Cohler to bid 7 if there were no hesitation?
July 15, 2012
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What level of support would cause you to accept your hypothesis?
July 15, 2012
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Thanks Phil! That might explain why I've had lots of practice playing really thin slams…. : )
July 15, 2012
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:)
July 15, 2012
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