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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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To me the game is much less attractive if I and my opponents have to play a prescribed bidding system.

The reality is there are 635013559600 bridge hands (13 cards) and there are 36 opening calls. How I assign those hands to the available calls and then how I assign the hands to responding to partner's or the opponent's calls etc are important skills.

Historically there was nothing in the laws of (contract) bridge that required bids to mean anything in particular. A partnership just had to use the available bids to get to a good contract - whatever good means in context.

The early days saw battles of not just players against players in their partnerships but system against system. A range of incredibly artificial uses of bids developed - strong 2, strong 1, Stayman, Blackwood, to name a few. As time went on more and more artificial uses evolved. At some point someone or a group of people had what I consider a weird idea to restrict this innovation arbitrarily. So now some highly artificial bids were permissible and others were frowned upon.

As long as the bid can be understood by players I do not see anything wrong with allowing it. By understood I suppose it needs to be able to be disclosed in some reasonable time. This is what is in the law. I am not really sure what “anticipated” means in this context. Anticipation seems to be a function of communication. I don't anticipate something I have never heard of but as soon as I am made aware of that thing and learn that it might be used I no longer do not anticipate it. That seems to be a diminishing circle which results in me anticipating everything that is actually being used because I hear about it being used.
Jan. 23
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I would say that L74A2 applies

“A player should carefully avoid any remark or extraneous action that might cause annoyance or embarrassment to another player or might interfere with the enjoyment of the game.”

Curiously, Avon's example of not giving an answer I do not think would violate this law.

However, I think it is pretty reasonable that someone would be annoyed by being told that a suit was breaking when in fact it was not and the player knew it was not.

It is possible that the question would also be subject to such a sanction although I think there are innocent motives for asking the question but not for lying about the layout.
Jan. 23
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Jan. 23
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It is not my position. That is what the law says. It is quite clear that the meaning of the special partnership understanding may not be readily understood…

If I stand up and announce to the room at the beginning of the tournament that my 1NT might contain a void then it would be hard for anyone to claim that they could not anticipated. Of course I do not have to shout out to the room, I can write it on my system card or perhaps just not have the RA write in their system regulations that 1NT can't have a void.

There is a circular argument going on here if you say the players might not anticipate a void because the regulations prohibit a void but the regulations cannot prohibit a void unless the players might not anticipate the void.

Essentially, for most people, being told once that 1NT might have a void would be enough for them to anticipate that 1NT might have a void. Only the most ardent skeptic and the most irrational fool would not anticipate the void under such conditions.
Jan. 23
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It is the partnership understanding's meaning that needs to be “understood”. The definition of “special partnership understanding” is based on its meaning. It is “one whose meaning …” complies with the following phrase.

The meaning “may have a void”, you know Ray that means a suit with no cards in it.

I think it is self evident that that meaning is readily understood by the vast majority of bridge players in any tournament. Indeed I have not met yet a tournament bridge player who has demonstrated their lack of understanding of what a void is.
Jan. 23
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… by twisting the meaning of special partnership understanding.
Jan. 22
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Firstly, I am not saying that 1NT is the right bid but rather that it should be allowed if that is how a player judges to bid.

Secondly, while I accept your five trick argument that is not the only consideration when you bid a suit. Partner might end up on lead with Kx and then you will quickly see how weak your suit is.
Jan. 22
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We must see all four hands before making a ruling. We can't just give EW 4 because it makes. We need to be convinced they will bid to 4 and that they will make it.
Jan. 22
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There is something seriously wrong when the laws force a player who is dealt a bad long suit to open in that suit. 1NT is not a psyche it is an attempt to not have to rebid a poor suit. I would rather the score table determined whether this was a good or bad action than the regulations.
Jan. 22
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I am pretty sure that having an opinion that people cannot readily understand that the understanding that 1NT could have a small singleton is really quite a tenuous position for the ACBL to hold.

The ACBL has a long history of ignoring the laws and making whatever regulations they see fit.
Jan. 22
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The irony when the regulation to make something illegal is illegal.
Jan. 21
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I pretty much agree with Richard Fleet.

In addition I cannot see how a 1NT opening with a small singleton meets the defintion of special partnership understanding and therefore on what basis it can be restricted.
Jan. 20
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Certainly some play negative free bids only at the two level. In my most serious partnership that played negative free bids we played them at the two and three level. My view is that they are very valuable but you do need to do some work so that you know how you are expected to bid with stronger hands.

Here on reasonable expectations our hand is worth five or six tricks. It seems crazy that we are not able to make a bid with such a hand in many standard systems.
Jan. 19
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An advertisement for negative free bids. I want to bid 3C with this hand and I want this to be reasonably middle of the road for the bid.
Jan. 19
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Unless 1 shows clubs, I do not understand why 1NT would promise a stopper.
Jan. 16
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I would rather punish the offenders than the non-offenders.
Jan. 16
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And the use of “must” in Law 73C.
Jan. 15
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1. Is the double of 3 Bergen really clubs or is it takeout of spades. Many play the latter. The director needs to determine this before making a ruling. If north new the agreement and misbid then there is no damage from the failure to alert but the damage comes from the double.

2. In addition to what Michael says I wonder why south bid only 3. With five hearts and nine points and a singleton spade I would bid 4 here if forced by partner's takeout double. I too think something more was going on at the table.

3. What is east's pass of the double? If it shows extra values it might also need an alert.
Jan. 15
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Andy the problem with expectation is that someone else's subjective estimation of weights is not the player's actual probabilities of the various outcomes.

Every time the subjective estimation of the weights is wrong and less favourable than reality for the non-offenders you punish them for being non-offenders. That is not fair.

The solution is to not give misinformation.

Telling someone they will get a score or a weight that they know they would never get is unfair. This happens frequently in adjusted score situations.
Jan. 15
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I agree that the award should be independent of the other table.

However, I also think that an adjusted score that causes a loss for the non-offenders in the same contract that was played at the other table is wrong barring some exceptional circumstances.

That is I prefer “for a non-offending side, the most favourable result that was likely had the irregularity not occurred”. As was the case under older versions of the laws rather than at times forcing the non-offenders to have a losing score when they had a reasonable and likely chance of tieing or better the other table.
Jan. 15
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I would not expect a WC LHO to be coffeehousing.
Jan. 14
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