Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Tony Rolfe
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Thanks to everyone who responded. There is a lot of good thinking up there.

The hand which triggered this question involved pard with 5 spades and 6 diamonds to the QJT9 opening 1 and the bidding continued (p) - 2 - (3). Instead of taking our top in 3x we went 1 too high into 4 for an almost bottom.

I'm going to have a word with pard. That's the second time she has opened 1M with a 5M/6m hand
Oct. 18
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Michael

I agree that your proposal has merit. You would probably have to do away with penalty cards as well. I wish you luck in your efforts to get them implemented in the 2027 laws.

We seem to agree that the existing laws are imperfect. The main area in which we differ is that I don't like having two sets of laws simultaneously in the same game; where one set is applied most of the time and the other is randomly applied at the whim of one or two players.

The laws are what they are and if we are playing bridge then we should follow those laws. If we are playing not-bridge then, by all means, do whatever you want to the laws.

The other area we differ on is that I am averse to different Laws for different levels of play. I have enough trouble remembering one set of laws. If I have to think about different laws for club games, state-level games, National-level games then I'll give up.
Oct. 16
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Michael

“Meanwhile, I guess you hope somebody ‘catches’ me and I (eventually) get suspended or expelled from bridge. I'm not sure what else you would think should be done to ‘deal’ with me.”

If I have written anything which suggests that I think you are doing anything which needs ‘catching’ or otherwise sanctioning, then I apologise. That was never my intention. I don't think any less of you for making the offer. I do think less of the player who accepts the offer.

“Presumably, then, you Would be ok if the Law were changed so that this could not happen. Because then THAT would be the Law.
Also, presumably, you would be ok if the Law were changed so that my suggestion becomes the Law. Because thewn THAT would be the Law.

Presumably you're ok with my lobbying to change this Law.”

Absolutely! I would be perfectly happy if the laws were changed so that silly results could be eliminated and I would be happy for you to lobby for any such change. If you get up a petition, let me know - I'll probably be happy to sign it.

“Every horrible bid or play at another table affects your table. You have no control over all those things. Yet you want to ‘control’ this one thing - the ‘irrelevant’ illegal play that creates a swing.”

I'm not controlling anything. The laws control this. I will follow the laws whether or not they are to my benefit. It seems to me that it is you who are controlling this one thing. You have decided that if you think the law is wrong then you have the right to overrule it.

You may have misread my last paragraph, or maybe I misunderstood your reply. You did not take any action. You were at another table. It was a Swiss and your team had already played against the leading team. The players who decided to give back the revoke tricks were a third team who happened to be playing against the leading team. It was their action which lost you the contest.
Oct. 16
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Michael

If my opponents were careless enough to bid a grand slam missing the Ace of trumps and I was on lead holding the Ace, I would probably double and then lead the Ace, expecting to take them one off. If my partner revoked on that trick and we lost the trick, I would accept the loss. Not because I think he law is a good one, but because that is the law. Yes, it is a real bridge outcome because it complies with the laws of bridge.

You say that you would never fail to follow the law if that was to your advantage. I believe that such an attitude is admirable, but irrelevant. The fact that you choose to not follow the law under some circumstances has an effect on every other table. Henry's post upthread explains that perfectly.

Yes, the laws as they stand sometimes lead to results which you (and I) believe are wrong. However they are the laws under which this game is played. Not following the laws leads to non-bridge outcomes. Following the laws leads to real bridge outcomes - which may be illogical.

If I felt strongly enough that a particular law was bad and if I had a better wording for that law, I would suggest it to the Australian L&E committee and ask that the change be considered for inclusion in the 2027 laws. Until then, I will follow the laws as they stand.

Imagine your team is in second place in a major Swiss teams event and trailing by 1VP with one board to go. On that board, both teams bid to 4. Both get the same lead and both play identically for the first 10 tricks and need the last 3 for the contract. Then the OP scenario occurs. Your declarer wins a club and claims the last two tricks. The other declarer revokes, but their opponents let them get away with it. You lose. Happy?
Oct. 16
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But, Michael, you aren't preventing illegal actions. The illegal action has happened. What you are preventing is the law from taking its course.

Could the laws be better? Yes, of course they could. However, they are what they are and if we don't follow them then we are playing a game called something-vaguely-resembling-bridge.

Your ‘non-bridge’ outcomes are not ‘non-bridge’ outcomes. They are real bridge outcomes according to the laws of the game. The outcomes you are trying to achieve by condoning errors and mistakes are the real ‘non-bridge’ outcomes. Allowing someone who has thrown away an unbeatable contract by making a mistake is not a real bridge outcome, it is a ‘non-bridge’ outcome.
Oct. 15
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Michael R: I can understand your logic about always accepting the outcome of a legal play - not giving back tricks lost by a legal mistake.

But how does that translate into giving back tricks lost by a mistake which leads to an illegal action? In most jurisdictions illegal acts are treated more severely that legal ones. Your approach seems to be the opposite.
Oct. 15
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wrong place
Oct. 15
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If I understand what you are saying, you would give tricks back when declarer makes an illegal play, but not when he makes a legal play?
Oct. 15
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If you feel that, in the OP example, declarer should make all the tricks because there is no way he could have lost any had he not pulled the wrong card, what do you feel about these situations:

1. Two tricks to play. Dummy has two small hearts, you have KJ, declarer has AQ and partner showed out when declarer finessed the 10 earlier. Declarer plays a card from dummy, you play the Jack and declarer pulls the wrong card (the Ace instead of the Queen)

2. 4 tricks to go in a NT contract, declarer needs all 4. Dummy has KJxx in a suit, you have singleton Queen and three random cards in another suit, declarer has AT98 and partner the remaining small cards. Declarer, an expert, has a perfect count of the hand. She knows you have one card and partner has 4. She intends to lead the Ace from hand, but plays a small one instead. Now she goes with the odds and finesses, losing the last 4 tricks.

In both these cases declarer could not have lost any of the remaining tricks had he not played the wrong card. Are these different from declarer pulling the wrong card and revoking?
Oct. 15
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The question should be irrelevant because declarer should have called the director already.

I was taught, a long time ago, that condoning a mistake at your table penalised all those at the other tables who didn't make that mistake.

Edit to add that I've just seen Henry's post upthread, which encapsulates the point perfectly.
Oct. 13
Tony Rolfe edited this comment Oct. 13
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I was South and partner passed 5!

If I find a heart lead from KJxxxx then it goes off since spades break 2-2. I preferred a diamond from Tx and we got a dead bottom.

Even if you know that diamonds are Qxx on side and singleton Ace over, 5 goes off because there isn't an entry to my hand for the second round finesse.

5 can make if you untangle the diamonds.

Thanks to all who voted. I now have something solid to talk about with partner.
Oct. 13
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I did say “suggesting”, rather than “promising”. I agree that it can't guarantee 4+/4+.
Oct. 13
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I bid 3 for the first half, but even the strongest hand shown would not qualify for 4. I'd need AKxx or AQJx rather than AQTx,

Like Hamish, my preferred system has transfer responses to 1, but our strong raise is 1, showing 4+ support and a raise to at least 2 1/2. So we start

1 - 1
1

With the hand shown, we would continue

- 1NT
2 - 2
2NT - 3
and then keycard to 6

1NT is 10+ HCP with no shortage
2 asks about the diamond suit
2 shows A or AK, but not AKQ, with at least one smaller card
2NT asks
3 shows AK and at least one smaller card.
Oct. 9
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I'm in the minority who agree. Definitely should have been an option. None of the given options are on my radar at all.
Oct. 9
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Thanks to everyone who responded, you have all helped my clarify my ideas.

We have made the 1 opening as nebulous as possible so we try to make opener declarer without them describing their hand. Responder tells opener what they have and opener makes the decision.

Our current method after 2 above has opener describing their hand, but that is against our usual approach. I was looking for a way to get responder to do the telling and I think I'm now getting there. I tried to make 2 by opener a relay, but that makes responder's life just too hard. Opener has to give something away, but not a lot.

I'm coming round to using 2 and 2 as opener's only responses to 2. This gives a bit more room for responder. Combined with some of the other ideas I think we can get there.

Thanks again to all who responded

Tony
Oct. 6
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That sounds an interesting approach. I can definitely use some of those ideas.
Oct. 6
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For completion, over 1,

3 shows 7+ diamonds, at least two of the top three, no first round control and no significant outside values.

2 is either a WJS in diamonds or no 4CM, 4+ diamonds and values for at least 2NT. Balanced hands need 12+, given that we open a lot of RO19 hands. One question is what unbalanced hands fit here. A hand suitable for 3 but with a side Ace (even KQxxxxx and an Ace) would fit as would one with enough side values. But KQxxxxx and a void just isn't enough.
Oct. 5
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The bidding so far is 1 - 1 - 1NT - 2 - 2NT

1 is the “my hand doesn't fit any other bid” bid, which might be too weak to respond or might have only diamonds and not be suitable for 2 or 3 transfers.

1NT is 15 - 20

2 is at least invitational for the 15 HCP end of the range, limited by failure to bid 2 earlier

2NT declines the invitation, so 15 - 16. Opener's only other response is 2, accepting the invitation.
Oct. 5
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In theory it would be good. In practice I think anything that distributional would have taken a different route. To get into this area, responder has denied a few things, including a GF, a WJS and a 7+ suit with 2 of the top 3. I can't think of many 8 card suits which miss all 3 of those except hands with a void.

I'm not planning to try to get that specific on freak, once in a blue moon hands.
Oct. 5
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I am a playing director and I almost always pop into the office after each round to check for suspicious contracts. That way I can go to the table where the hand occurred while the players are still there.

If my table is slow and I miss a round then having the lead helps a lot.
Oct. 5
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