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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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As a minimum I would give a warning to the claimer to make sure there was a proper clarification.

If an opponent disputes the claim then there is a prima facie case that the claimer was not clear. At least one opponent thought there might be a presumably careless way for declarer to go wrong. Before ruling against such a claimer I would need to establish what was in their mind.

With a claim at trick one without a statement or action of needing to run the lead to hand the case is stronger that declarer did not consider that.

If there is no statement about the order of playing tricks then the director needs to judge what is careless or inferior. Crashing honours or leaving winners in an entryless dummy is, I think, more careless or inferior than presuming a suit will not break 5=0.

Where the line is is a matter of judgement and will depend on precisely what information is given about the claim.

“Running the lead to hand, then unblocking the queen of clubs. Making seven.”

A statement about entries is required to make the claim complete and sound.

Why should declarer not add I have a spade entry to get back to my clubs or a heart or a spade entry to get back to the diamonds?

“The Director shall not accept from claimer any successful line of play not embraced in the
original clarification statement if there is an alternative normal line of play that would be
less successful.”

“For the purposes of Laws 70 and 71, “normal” includes play that would be careless or inferior for the
class of player involved”

Leaving tricks stranded in dummy or hand is “careless”, for any class of player.

As a player I have done it. I imagine almost all players have done that.

Finally why should we assume a player who has just made a careless claim would not make a careless play?
April 12, 2018
Wayne Burrows edited this comment April 13, 2018
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The difference is that not putting a card flat on the table and not putting out a pass card will almost never require an adjusted score. A casual claim will always require an adjudication which is arguably an adjusted score - since no actual score was obtained (agreed upon) because of the casual claim.
April 12, 2018
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Personally I think you should be careful in all cases. I typically point out the obvious that I have entries, or if I make a claim like counting the tricks including the dAK opposite my void in the opening post I will say cashing the diamonds when I am in dummy. Or even a statement like I have plenty of entries in both hands.

At best it is lazy not to.

Also it is not up to the opponent whatever their skill to work out how you intend to play the hand even if it is obvious to you and even if you think it should be obvious to them.

I think I am being sloppy if I do not say more in all of your
examples.
April 11, 2018
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It is trivial to state running the lead to hand. That this was not stated begs the question that declarer appreciated the need for such a play.

Even a statement like “I have 13 tricks now” gives some indication that declarer appreciated the lead was favourable. No statement gives no suggestion that declarer even considered the problem on the hand.
April 11, 2018
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“If I am the one on hazy ground about the meaning of my call, I will say nothing if my actual holding matches his explanation. If it does not match his explanation, I will tell the opponents that the explanation is probably a correct explanation of our agreements but that is not what I meant my bid to show.”

I am unconvinced this is the correct approach.

By way of example say your understanding of the agreement overlaps with with partner's explanation and you happen to have the hand that overlaps. Say for example partner explains your 1NT as 12-14 but you play 14-16 in this position and you happen to have 14. Even though your hand matches the information from the explanations could easily materially effect the inferences that the opponents take in the play (or even bidding).

Bridge is a game of information. We need to make sure that our opponents have the correct information as far as legally possible even if it disadvantages our side.

Saying “I think our agreement is 14-16” at the appropriate time of course could prompt an opponent to seek further information from the card or even prompt partner to remember that the agreement had changed and then the opponent's get all of the information they are entitled to at least for the play if they are defending.

Also what if you defend so you cannot say anything until after the play. Do you still say nothing and the player who played you for 12 or 13 (on probability in a 12-14 range) and got stung when you had 14 but would have had a more successful play by playing you for the 14-16 you had really promised loses out and is none the wiser.
April 10, 2018
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The name procedural penalty suggests it is for a violation of procedure. I don't care whether the violation was done knowingly or not then it should be penalised.

In bridge we seem to have a strange culture where we do not want to penalise improper practice. To my mind this only serves to encourage further improper following of procedure.
April 10, 2018
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This depends on the auction.

If i get raised and doubled and pull this is not a two suiter.

If i get doubled without a raise this could be a two suiter.

The problem is that it is general knowledge that a player can psyche and a partner is allowed to take that general knowledge into account.

I agree there are some auctions where it is ok to pull but there are definitely others where it is not ok as it conveys the information that everyone knows that you have psyched. That is absurd.
March 27, 2018
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The definition of psychic control seems wrong to me.

“Psychic Control”: Any Bid that conveys that a prior Bid was a Psych.

By this definition if I psych and get doubled for my trouble then I am not allowed to pull to another suit.
March 26, 2018
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I do not see how eight tricks is equivalent to within a trick of game.

Your hand, for example

AKxxxxx A xxx xx (or with whatever permutations of the suits) is not within one trick of game.

If the suits you have no honours in break evenly and they lead the suit your ace is in then the defence could have three hearts, three diamonds and four clubs giving you three tricks in no trumps.
March 26, 2018
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Without diminishing at all some of the other excellent selections here are some of my favourites. I am trying to not replicate other's thoughts and to highlight some books other great books.

Mollo has many great books outside the Menagerie series. He was a great writer. Streamlined Bridge or Bidding without Tears, Card Play Technique or the Art of being Lucky with Nico Gardener come to mind.

Skid Simon's Design for Bidding is good.

Reese's Develop Your Bidding Judgement is good.

Lawrence's Play Bridge with Mike Lawrence and Dynamic Defence are excellent as is his How to Play Card Combinations.

Kelsey has some very good books on very many levels. Winning Card Play is a great book that is easily accessible and very instructive. His series on squeeze play is great.

Watson's Play of the Hand remains a classic.

Keith McNeill's book based on the Master Solvers problems in the Australian Bridge Magazine is excellent.

Sartaj Hans book battling the best is great.
Feb. 20, 2018
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I suspect Fantoni and Nunes could sue and likely be successful if the ruling was ignored.
Jan. 10, 2018
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Not necessarily a flaw Ed.

I think there is a serious problem with being allowed to delay the game by holding a card face up.
Nov. 11, 2017
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West's play of the K is not carefully avoiding taking any advantage from the UI.

While it turns out that in most cases the defence here does not matter. The switch to K is in the first instance seemingly based on the UI. I know there have been some other arguments above but I am not convinced they are watertight.
Nov. 2, 2017
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L73C
Player Receives Unauthorized Information from Partner
1. When a player has available to him unauthorized information from his partner, such as from
a remark, question, explanation, gesture, mannerism, undue emphasis, inflection, haste or
hesitation, an unexpected alert or failure to alert, he must carefully avoid taking any
advantage from that unauthorized information .
2. A penalty may be assessed against a player who violates C1, but if the opponents have been
damaged, see also Law 16B3.

These penalties should be applied more often. The word in the laws is “must” which means that a penalty should be applied more often than not for failure to observe this requirement in the laws.

From the introduction to the laws “…”shall” do (a violation
will incur a penalty more often than not) “must” do (the strongest word, a serious matter indeed). ”

Not penalising these sorts of infractions means that offenders get away with this sort of offending sometimes deliberately far too often.
Nov. 1, 2017
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“How do you bid a balanced slam-try after
1♠-2♥;3♦”

I have the specific agreement that over 4th suit any NT bid is quantitative and a NT bid by the fourth suit bidder is quantitative. I see no reason for this to vary on the particular auction you show just because 4th suit will be at the four level.

“(3♣) 3♠”

I suspect that few people have an agreement here about advancing a balanced hand without a spade fit.

Using 4 as choice of games primarily rather than a good raise is probably sensible and will help solve the problem. So directly over 3, 4NT is Blackwood (RKCB or whatever) and 4 followed by 4NT is natural.

The problem hand here is the one that needs a particular cue before you can bid Blackwood. However we only have that luxury here because 4 is so cheap. If the opening had been 3 there would be no cues available below 4.

In some competitive sequences where both majors have been bid I like the idea that 4m agrees partner's major. That can solve the problem mentioned above.
Oct. 31, 2017
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It seems to me that a hand suitable for key card is very unlikely by the weak hand in the second auction.
Oct. 29, 2017
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“until fairly recently, for example, 1 was considered prime.”

Not in my experience in my lifetime.
Oct. 27, 2017
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North dealer.

1 1
2 2 - fourth suit GF
4 7 - 4 is extra strength and distribution.

South dealer.

1 2
3 4
5 5 exclusion, 1 or 4
5NT 7
Oct. 16, 2017
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For many 2 is game forcing. I would be interested in hearing from those who play that way and what they would bid given that the majority vote so far is for 2 which some might have rejected immediately because it is game forcing.
Oct. 16, 2017
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Maybe in an ideal world. In the real world sometimes we play systems we are not familiar with or with partner's we are unfamiliar with. In those cases it may be necessary to judge what to do without firm agreement.

Many bidding problems are as you describe where the could have an obvious solution if you have a firm agreement decided in advance.
Oct. 16, 2017
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