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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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“Inferring a person's mental state from circumstantial evidence beyond a reasonable doubt is done by lay juries every day.”

Juries do not actually infer a person's mental state. To “infer” is to make a deduction about something that actually is true. Juries make a judgement about something that still might or might not be true after they make their judgement.
Sept. 19
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I am pretty sure the laws don't mention “stoning”.
Sept. 19
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What order are you playing them in?
Sept. 18
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68A defines a claim.

Any statement by declarer or a defender to the effect that a side will win a specific number of tricks is a claim of those tricks. A player also claims when he suggests that play be curtailed, or
when he shows his cards (unless he demonstrably did not intend to claim - for example, if declarer faces his cards after an opening lead out of turn Law 54, not this Law, will apply).

North clearly suggested play be curtailed therefore this is a claim.

East should not have played the 9. Playing on requires that all four players concur. There is no suggestion that anyone concurred before play continued. Declarer just took it on himself to play a card.

Given that the claim involved cards in his partner's hand there is reason to dispute the claim. The claim does need to be resolved as equitably as possible.

However I do not think that playing the ace is in itself conclusive. At the very least I think in the circumstances the director needs to ask why south played the ace.

I cannot see any basis in law for allowing play to continue and when all four players have not concurred. And therefore no basis to use the play that occurred as definitive.

There are issues whether south could discard badly on the run of the clubs. But there is evidence that might not have happened. The play of the dA is troublesome but in adjudicating a claim the laws require “normal” plays and this dA is not normal.
Sept. 17
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I think if a player tanks for a long time and then plays from the wrong hand then they are definitely not being “particularly careful.”
Sept. 17
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Neither did I.

Perhaps this is something that can only be self-policed. Only the player knows what they were thinking.

My only quibble with what you say is that there is a lawful obligation to try to play in tempo. When you do not play in tempo, even if you have something legitimate to think about, the laws say you need to be “particularly careful”. That is some sort of obligation.

As I read this, even if you have a legitimate reason to think you still need to be careful that you are not also inducing an unlawful advantage. The law does not seem to differentiate between reasons for the “variations” in tempo. If a variation “may work to benefit” your side then you have an obligation to be “particularly careful.”

I would go as far as to say that if a player was regularly varying tempo and gaining from reads of the opponent then there is a prima facie case that they are not being “particularly careful.”
Sept. 17
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Sorry I misrepresented the quote as from 73C it is from 73D.

73D1 says

“D. Variations in Tempo or Manner
1. It is desirable, though not always required, for players to maintain steady tempo and unvarying manner. However, players should be particularly careful when variations may work to the benefit of their side. Otherwise, unintentionally to vary the tempo or manner in which a call or play is made is not an infraction. Inferences from such variations are authorized only to the opponents, who may act upon the information at their own risk.”

If you vary your tempo to get a read then I submit this is precisely the sort of situation in which you may get a benefit and therefore is covered by this law.

For the removal of doubt it is not the only sort of situation that is covered by this law.
Sept. 17
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Why not?
Sept. 17
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The laws require you to be especially careful when a variation in tempo can work to your advantage.

“However, players should be particularly careful when variations may work to the benefit of their side.” from Law 73C (Edit sorry it is actually 73D).

Changing your tempo to gain an advantage is clearly wrong.
Sept. 17
Wayne Burrows edited this comment Sept. 17
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But if he does lead a diamond to the ace or the queen you do not know whether

1. He worked this out after the claim was rejected or

2. He just made a lucky play or

3. He really knows what he is doing.
Sept. 12
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I don't actually play that way. I just don't like having ambiguity about the major. What I play for no particular reason is to resolve the ambiguity in favour or spades and bid with hearts and a minor some other way.

There is a problem with bidding 4oM as sometimes partner's five-card major will be opener's suit. Over a natural 2D I would play 4H as natural and NF. It is less clear over a multi. After a simple overcall in a major we play that the oM is a cue and hope that partner guessed well to bid their major. We have never had the situation come up after multi and 4m where we wanted to bid 4oM for any reason. I suspect it would be treated as a cue.
Sept. 11
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I like to swap the range for minor suit overcalls. So we play X = Good weak no trump or a minimum minor suit overcall or various strong hands.

This means on the most common hands most of the time you can force the opponents to tell you which major they have.
Sept. 11
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I would rather play 4C = hearts and a minor and 4D = spades and a minor than 4C = clubs and a major and 4D = diamonds and a major.
Sept. 11
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These are the frequencies of partner's heart honours (not the ten i was too lazy) opposite the given hand with partner having four or more hearts and 12 or more points. I also excluded minimum splinters from the data.


AKQJ: 12.03%
AKQ: 18.66%
AKJ: 15.00%
AQJ: 11.63%
KQJ: 8.42%
AK: 9.76%
AQ: 7.22%
AJ: 5.00%
KQ: 4.95%
KJ: 3.23%
QJ: 2.00%
A: 0.98%
K: 0.62%
Q: 0.34%
J: 0.17%

We can see that the problematic cases are infrequent.

Moreover I took no account of partner needing extras to bid Blackwood. The problematic frequencies would be even lower if that information was taken into account.
Sept. 11
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Thanks I didn't know from either comment - yours or David's in the opening post - how specific you both were being.
Sept. 11
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If I could ever win seven tricks in a row I would want to play it out too ;-)
Sept. 11
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What precisely is the situation that David and you have not encountered before?
Sept. 11
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Didn't they get to a better than 50% slam?
Sept. 10
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If 2 starts with 22 and unless you play Kokish relay or similar then it seems 2NT will have to cater to 22-24/25. Even with Kokish the ranges might be 22-24 and 25+ both of which are wider ranges than 20-21. And 22-24 is already wide enough when we cannot invite. I am certainly extremely reluctant to upgrade from 20-21 into 22-24 or worse.
Sept. 10
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Certainly controls are important for slam hands and a 20 hcp has on average 7 controls so from that perspective it is not a remarkable 21 hcp hand.

In my view a more important issue is that it is bad practice to upgrade or downgrade out of a narrow hcp range into a wide hcp range. Presumably 2NT here is 20-21 so I would be more reluctant to upgrade out of that range into a wide range strong 2.
Sept. 10
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