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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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I would not dream of doubling on this auction with this hand unless I was playing against novices or idiots who regularly overbid.

In the normal scheme of things we are getting a good score if the opponents have overstretched without a double but I do not know they have overstretched.
Jan. 3
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The problem I see with this south hand is that it is worth an upgrade into a no trump range in excess of its 18 hcp but that is only half of the story as the hand is also unusually good for suit play rather than no trumps so the upgrade does not fully describe the potential.

On the other hand the north hand has the distribution that is suggestive of suit play but honour concentration that is not so suggestive.

If south knew north's distribution south would be keen and if north knew south's prime cards and diamond length north would be keen. In the limited vocabulary of an auction we can't always communicate all of those features.
Jan. 3
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In my view:

1. Regulating judgement is fundamentally flawed.

2. Tying regulations to hcp is regulating judgement.

3. Unless one is a Walrus it is impossible to give accurate hcp descriptions of bids. I do not even know what hands I will upgrade or downgrade, how is my partner supposed to accurately explain that to the opponents. I have neither seen every hand nor formulated algorithmic rules that precisely identify what bids I will make with every hand that I could be dealt.

4. A description like 14+-17 is next to useless when one person's plus is not a plus for someone else. It is however impossible to accurately quantify or qualify what each person's plus means. We both want players using good judgement so we can admire them and players using bad judgement so we can beat them. The multitude of variations make it impossible to precisely describe the parameters that a particular player or partnership will use to determine whether to upgrade (or downgrade).

5. On one level we should just accept that 15-17 means a player is free to upgrade and downgrade into that range and we need to take that into account.

6. On another level if the upgrades or downgrades become extreme then the description 15-17 becomes meaningless. And it is problematic to say the least if I misdefend or misplay by playing for an opponent to have a card that they can not have according to their style and method but I have not been informed of that.

7. Perhaps we should just accept that except that there are at least two major problems:

a/ There is no clear demarcation between acceptable upgrades and downgrades and extreme upgrades and downgrades.

b/ The partner of the player who upgrades is likely to know better the actual range and therefore better able to adapt or take the right inference in marginal cases if the agreement is not disclosed precisely.

8. Essentially, I cannot describe accurately my methods without enumerating every single possible hand which is impractical. But I cannot play fairly, without describing accurately my methods.

I am yet to see a good solution to this problem.
Jan. 3
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UI does not apply to giving explanations. It constrains the bids you can lawfully make.

If partner's explanation wakes you up to your agreement you do not have any obligation to tell the opponents that you misbid.

Only if you have doubt about whether or not you have misbid or rather it is your opinion that your bid means something else do you need to inform the opponents and call the director.
Jan. 2
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North's hand is bad and slam is great opposite a minimum. This suggests that 10 hcp with six-four should make a further move.

However, whether you can reasonably do that will depend in part on what methods you have over 4m here.
Jan. 2
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1. The east player was bullying the director and players.

2. In some circumstances it is required for south to call the director because the information provided is wrong “in his opinion.” This is based on Law 20F5b

“The player must call the Director and inform his opponents that, in his opinion, his partner’s explanation was erroneous (see Law 75B) but only at his first legal opportunity, which is:
(i) for a defender, at the end of the play.
(ii) for declarer or dummy, after the final pass of the auction.”

3. Bizarrely Law 20F5b does not then say what is to occur when a player has an opinion that their partner's explanation was erroneous other than to call the director and inform the opponents that the explanation is wrong. That is the law stops short of saying that the explanation must be corrected.

4. It seems to me that there are at least three possibilities:

a/ There is agreement and the explanation was wrong - correcting it seems normal.

b/ There is agreement and the explanation was not wrong - correcting it seems unnecessary.

c/ There is no agreement. It is not clear to me what explanation should be provided to the opponents.

Note: that Law20F5b applies only after east passes in the above auction.

5. Compare with Law20F4a where a player must correct his own wrong explanation. That is not a requirement in the law when partner makes the wrong explanation “in his opinion”.

“If a player realizes during the auction that his own explanation was erroneous or incomplete, he must summon the Director before the end of the Clarification Period and correct the misexplanation.”

6. That suggests to me that the director needs to do some investigation and determine whether or not the explanation is incorrect before providing additional information to the opponents.

7. Possibly this leads to

a/ no correction if the director determines the explanation was correct and there is an agreement.

b/ a correction if the director determines the explanation was not correct and there is an agreement.

c/ A correction to “no agreement” if the director determines that there is no agreement.
Jan. 1
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Jan. 2
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The problem is that while the description says the player claimed it does not say how many tricks were claimed. If declarer thought he only had three diamonds then he was only claiming three diamonds.

The defence on the other hand were also confused as to how many tricks declarer had. The statement that declarer only appeared to have three diamonds means that the defence were not conceding any more than three diamonds.

It seems that the fourth diamond was neither claimed nor conceded since no one realised or admitted to a fourth diamond existing.

The dispute came immediately - there was an objection raised about the possibility of a fourth diamond. It just happens that the director was not involved immediately.

I would characterise this as not a withdrawal of the acceptance of the claim but a dispute about how many tricks were claimed.

My view, based on an assumption of accuracy in the opening post, is declarer in showing three diamonds claimed only three diamonds and the defence in seeing three diamonds agreed only to those three diamonds being lost.

The disposition of the fourth diamonds was not part of the claim and that declarer was winning it was disputed immediately. I cannot see how we can give declarer a trick he did not claim and he might reasonably have lost.
Dec. 31, 2019
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Honestly, I am not completely sure where to draw the line. My thoughts are:

1. Tossing the ten prematurely is normally irrational so I would not force that.

2. Playing all of the trumps would make on a squeeze on some layouts so is not irrational. If there is Jxx offside this could result in two losers if declarer misguessed. That is a plausible line.
Dec. 30, 2019
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The fact that the opening post says “ok, you only have 3 diamonds” is some evidence that the player concealed his diamond holding. It is possible that declarer was himself confused as to how many diamonds he held. So it might not have been deliberate but if I was ruling I would want to know what declarer thought when it was pointed out erroneously that he had only three diamonds.
Dec. 30, 2019
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Mike I think there is a difference between claiming four diamond tricks and saying my diamonds are high. The former does not suggest how they are going to be played but the latter suggests from the top down.

Similarly, drawing trumps normally means cashing winning trumps to extract the opponents' smaller trumps and so suggests an order.
Dec. 30, 2019
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I understand the odds.

I do not know so much of the conventional wisdom. It seems local rather than global. I am interested in the wording in the law and how it should be applied.

“The Director shall not accept from claimer any unstated line of play the success of which depends upon finding one opponent rather than the other with a particular card, unless an
opponent failed to follow to the suit of that card before the claim was made, or would subsequently fail to follow to that suit on any normal line of play.”

I do not have any problem under that wording giving declarer the worst of it whenever there is a normal losing line. So I would be happy to allow declarer to win if there was Jxx or Jx or J onside but possibly allow declarer to lose a trick with Jxx, Jx or J offside. At least I would listen to the arguments.
Dec. 30, 2019
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I use non-serious here and have had discussions about how we do not have non-serious on the analogous auction 1NT 2 2 3 … and similarly on the slam try auctions 1NT 2 2 3 where there is much less room than 1NT 2 2 3.
Dec. 30, 2019
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Curious. It seems to me that using good technique on the third round of diamonds at the moment when east follows declarer has a choice to play east or west for the J and the laws expressly disallow the line that would be playing west rather than east for that card. So I would give one trick to the defenders when diamonds were 3=3 with the jack offside.
Dec. 30, 2019
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If diamonds are 3=3 with the J offside, do you allow the claim?

There is a losing line of a third round finesse.
Dec. 30, 2019
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How the hand was showed so that only three diamonds were seen becomes irrelevant when the statement “ok, you only have 3 diamonds” is made.

Now it is clear to declarer that only three diamonds were seen whether or not that was intentional. Declarer cannot accept the acquiescence in the claim on the basis that there are only three diamonds and therefore only three diamond tricks being claimed when declarer knows that he was claiming four diamond tricks.
Dec. 30, 2019
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“I asked declarer ”how are you getting rid of your last diamond“.”

This is an objection raised before the end of the round.

“Declarer showed me his hand in a way that I could only see the AKT of diamonds. I said ”ok, you only have 3 diamonds“ and accepted the claim at the table.”"

This does not negate that an objection was raised before the end of the round.

The objection has not been resolved satisfactorily by a failure by declarer to acknowledge that he had four diamonds or equivalently did not have three diamonds which was the only basis on which the objection was withdrawn.
Dec. 30, 2019
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I disagree see above and …

“Agreement is established when a side assents to an opponent’s claim or concession, and raises no objection to it before making a call on a subsequent board or before the round ends, whichever occurs first. The board is scored as though the tricks claimed or conceded had been won or lost in play.”

There was an objection before the end of the round. The agreement, if you can call it that, was based on a false assumption and representation that declarer had only three diamonds. There was no agreement about at the actual hand in which declarer held four diamonds.
Dec. 30, 2019
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I do not think agreement has been established when declarer misrepresented his hand as having only three diamonds. The agreement is at best conditional and the fact that he has four diamonds negates any agreement based on the assumption that he has only three diamonds.
Dec. 30, 2019
ATB
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I need to know more about their methods to determine the worst bid. That includes:

1. The expectation for a 1 opening - although despite other comments I suspect most partnerships would agree to open this hand.

2. The requirements for 2 over 2.

3. The requirements for 2.

4. The requirements for 3.

There many also be other questions dependent on the answers to those questions about the meanings of 3NT and higher.
Dec. 26, 2019
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The question should not be what the call suggests but what it suggests over some other action.

In particular if 5 cannot be to play for this partnership then the slow action cannot suggest something over pass as pass is not a possible logical alternative. On the other hand if 5 is a possible final contract then the slow 5 may suggest something over pass.

I do not think we can answer the question what is suggested by the slow 5 in a vacuum not knowing the partnership methods.

Personally i would not willingly play a method where I can cue bid for clubs and then partner can attempt to play in some other denomination below slam after Blackwood. Therefore 5 would be a normal Blackwood continuation and I would just answer the question partner has chosen to ask.
Dec. 25, 2019
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