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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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“So Partner doubles 2♥ for penalty, 2♠ for penalty, but suddenly the double of 3♣ is not penalty? Nah, I think it's the tempo that tells us the double was cards.”

You want east to believe that north south are in a 5-1 club fit as that is pretty much what is needed to believe that west doubled for penalties under the 2 bidder.

I don't buy it.
Dec. 8
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“I only want to add that with 5 alerts in a row, I need a few seconds to gather the hand.”

I think this is a valid point. One might expect a one step bid in this auction was going to be alerted. Then when it is not alerted you need to take stock.

The descriptions of the bids in the write up are not particularly helpful “Asks for further descriptions”. If these were asked about I would hope that a better explanation was given at the table. In particular how far the bids are forcing.

It is probably also relevant what the minimum strength is for the double of 2 and the 2 bid and with particular details about what the implication is for club support or no club support when not game forcing.
Dec. 8
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“On the other hand, XX+X normally sets up a forcing sequence, so Pass should be forcing and X for penalty, no matter the hand you have.”

You are imposing your methods on to the players. You can't do that.

The only value of a poll is if you first determine the players' methods.
Dec. 8
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Sure it might go 1 P P P but the odds are small against that happening and we have missed game.
Dec. 8
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Dec. 8
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“Every effort is made to ensure that these reports are accurate and complete. ”

Assuming the report is accurate and complete, the ruling is poor in my view.

There seems to be no attempt to establish or confirm the methods of the east west partnership. Despite the appellants saying “ E-W argued that the double was just cards, not explicitly penalty …” there seems to be no cognizance of this in the ruling and no justification for not accepting this evidence. If you are going to discount what the players say are their methods then you need to give a valid reason at the very least.

When you conduct a poll for the results to be meaningful you must tell the pollees what the meaning of the double is in the partnership. If you poll people and they are free to choose how to interpret the double then you just getting meaningless nonsense.

The meaning of the double is also needed to determine the result. If double is not penalties that increases considerably the chance that declarer will not drop the K.

“All of them felt that the slow double expressed doubt about defending, which made 3♦ more attractive than pass.”

This statement seems to confirm that those polled were not told the double was not penalties. If double is not penalties then obviously a slow double shows doubt about defending but it also shows doubt about partner bidding on. That does not make 3 more attractive than pass.

East's lack of values make 3 more attractive than pass. Again though the information about the 2 is missing from the report. Ideally we need to know what the minimum partnership expectation is for 2 before judging whether 3 is light or within range. If there was UI then the style for 2 would be crucial information in determining the logical alternatives.
Dec. 8
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Dec. 8
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Certainly, when playing a weak no trump and when very weak and when not vulnerable passing is very attractive. It seems much easier for the opponents to get to their game if we transfer and allow them to make takeout doubles than it is to come in over 1NT with moderate (11-14/5) balanced hands.

As my partner commented once, perhaps with some impropriety, when he put down his 2 count in the dummy “I don't mean to coach but the outstanding values are probably evenly divided.”

Passing 1NT is even better against the admittedly minority of opponents who choose to play with a value showing double in their bag. I once passed 1NT with a 6-4 3 count and caught the fourth seat with 19 hcp and no penalty double. He passed and won a few 50s.
Dec. 8
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From 10000 hands, with the usual double dummy disclaimers:

1NT was 15-17 hcp with 4333, 4432, 5332, or 5422 but not with 54 or 45 in the majors.

Responder was 5332 with five spades.

If you transfer opener superaccepted with four spades and 17 hcp and not 4333 shape, or five spades and 16 or 17 hcp.

Transfering gained 1.1909 IMPs per board vulnerable and 1.0296 IMPs per board not vulnerable.

At MPs transferring was worth 68.815% vulnerable and 68.535% not vulnerable.

Less than 8% of hands were superaccepts and less than 4% of those (0.3% overall) where after the superaccept we could not make at least 9 tricks. I didn't investigate but I would imagine that some of those the opponents would have a partscore that they could make. So really getting to 3S and going down is an almost non-existent problem.
Dec. 8
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1 1NT
3 4
4NT 5 key card; 1 or 4
5 6 trump queen ask; no
Dec. 7
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To be fair to the Secretary Bird he or others may have a legitimate dilemma. The dilemma is if someone seeing the regulation follows it to the letter and refuses to open 2 on nonconforming hands then another player who deliberately or through ignorance of the letter of the law opens the hand 2 may get an advantage of doing so.

This creates a two tier environment in which some players are able to use methods because they don't care what the detail of the law says and other players cannot use the same methods because they have an ethical problem violating the letter of the law.

The underlying problem in my view is not the Secretary Bird or those that adhere to the letter of the law and nor is it those that ignore what they consider nonsensical laws and regulations but those that make such ridiculous laws.

Any regulation that restricts judgement will potentially at least create a problem when the particular players that the regulation is applied to uses some other form of judgement.
Dec. 7
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I think you might be right if the order is based on something that has happened in the bidding or play. If the order is spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs always then there is no visual aid.

I had a previous partner who insisted on the rank order of the suits. I have continued that practice since then. If it is done consistently then there can be no suggestion of impropriety.
Dec. 7
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How do you define a call based on one instance? For example, if I open 1NT with 14 hcp how do you know if my range is 12-14 or 14-17 or some other range including 14 hcp?
Dec. 5
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Precisely Gonzalo. We are being asked to commit for an event that we do not know whether we can play because the location has not been confirmed.
Dec. 5
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Dec. 5
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Seems left field when the previous options have been China and Turkey.
Dec. 5
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I would like to extend Michael Rosenberg's characterisation:

Any Law (or regulation) that is based on judgement, and particularly judgement metrics, is a poor Law (or regulation).

I want my opponent's to exercise their poor judgement. I do not want the lawmakers to prevent them from making mistakes.
Dec. 4
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I am not convinced the purpose of an announcement is to provide water tight disclosure of precise hands on which one would open, in this case, 1NT. I believe it is intended to provide ball park information so that a person who, for example, might act over a weak no trump but not over a strong no trump can act without an unnecessary question. It also prevents players asking inane and or unnecessary questions to just convey information to their partner by asking those questions.

General knowledge and experience tells me that players will not always have their precise point count. If I want to know about the vagaries of that then I can ask at the relevant time.
Dec. 4
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The negation of “should be not alertable” is not “should be alertable”.

I was questioning the problem of not alerting a bid that despite not having been discussed you know it not a natural bid or whatever else is the normal not alertable meaning of the bid. Undiscussed might mean that you do not know the meaning but you might know that it is not the unalertable meaning.
Dec. 4
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And it would be so easy to abuse.

We have announcement for 1NT and 1 openings.

The announcement for 1NT openings is for range but some players in various ways add in distributional requirements: “can be off shape” or “may have a five-card major” or “may have a singleton”.

The announcement for 1 openings is:

a/ minimum length if a natural or pseudo-natural (my term) opening, for example, “two plus”;

b/ “Strong …” and the minimum point count for strong 1 systems;

or c/ “Unusual” for other systems.

But people say

“At least two clubs”

“Strong 16+ any distribution”

etc.

It is trivial to invent a code for any embellishment to the prescribed announcement. It is very annoying when players take it on themselves to invent and justify these embellishments.

Literally, no one* keeps records of the variant announcements and the consistency of those that use them. In a pairs tournament when you do not play many boards against the same opponents it would be all but impossible to detect a cheating pair.

* Well I would be very surprised if there is anyone.
Dec. 4
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Kieran why should undiscussed be not alertable?
Dec. 3
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I think this is worse than either 15-17 or 15-18.

If you allow announcements to vary from the regulatory requirement then you allow players to use the variation to send additional messages. Most people are trying to be helpful when they add words into an announcement but an unscrupulous person can use the additional information to send a coded message to partner.

In my view it is best to adhere to strictly the requirement of giving the high card range and not add any qualification to the announcement.
Dec. 3
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Dec. 4
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Then I ask the question what does a non-alerted 3 mean?
Dec. 2
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