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All comments by David Parsons
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Strange comment. The OP says “BWS” (Bridge World Standard), so given this is “Playing standard” your response should be “1.” Is
the point of your comment that you would like to say that the 21% that voted for Pass have “no idea how to play bridge”?
14 hours ago
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There are some 12HCP hands that should only invite to game. So, 5-12 is the explanation? Perhaps not.
April 23
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I discussed this with my partners, and we all agreed to put on my convention card the blurb: “We use New Losing Trick Count to evaluate hands with fits for purposes of inviting game or slam. This method gives significant weight to shape and not just HCPs. Please ask.”

Nevertheless, I have an uneasiness about the lack of rigidity (lack of enforceability) of the whole “active ethics” guidance. I play lots of games at top competitive levels, and the rules for practically all of them are rigid and enforceable. In this lack of rigidity, bridge is an outlier…which is unfortunate, in my opinion.

I might add that another area of lack of rigidity is game timers. While many of my other games (Chess, Go, Othello) use “chess clocks” for rigid enforcement of game timing, Bridge is pretty lax in that area (Magic the Gathering tournaments are also lax in this area). I've had plenty of sessions (as I'm sure others have) in which I get started late for a round only because I'm waiting for the table in front of me to finish, and subsequently I'm rushed by the director, in a hand where deep thought is required.
April 23
David Parsons edited this comment April 23
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The reply was quite unsatisfactory. It was basically a (paraphrasing) “we encourage you to explain as much as possible” with a “we can't think of where not explaining your evaluation method would result in damages.” So, they're basically promoting over-explaining as “active ethics” rather than as a rule of the game, the avoidance of which could result in damages. I wrote back to them telling them that their explanation wasn't that helpful and asking specifically whether Kit Woolsey's quote was correct or not…they replied that they thought they “answered the question” without actually giving me an answer. I know you're a lawyer, Ray, so don't take this wrong…but the answer really did sound like a lawyer was writing it…no Black and White, only Grey.
April 23
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Thanks a bunch, Craig.

I think you're absolutely right about 1 being game invitational rather than game forcing, even if we don't play XYZ…and thanks for the Hardy reference. I was clearly confused as to this point. The 1 bidder with a four-card heart suit promises only invitational values…but 1-1-1-2 is forcing to 3.

So, if you don't play XYZ, then the options are:
(d) 2NT: natural, invitational
(e) 3NT: natural
(f) 2: artificial, GF.

Anyway, thanks for your lengthy and informative comment, Craig!
April 21
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You understood my OP correctly, Paul, but evidently I was in error about the Walsh system for bidding 1. It doesn't require opening values, but does require “invitational to game” values.

See my response to Craig below. 1-1-1-2 is forcing to 3, but not game forcing. Sorry for the corrections.
April 21
David Parsons edited this comment April 21
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Sorry…corrected.
April 21
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We play 2-way Checkback over a major suit (not 1) response and 1NT rebid by opener.

2 here is fourth-suit game forcing.

2NT here would be a game invite in NT.
April 21
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Yes, he wouldn't have a problem opening 2 if one of the hearts was a small diamond. His thinking is that a vulnerable weak-two bid should promise exactly six cards in the suit.
April 20
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For those who would lead the CA or CK, the dummy looks like this:

T654
K54
K5
QJT6

Partner discards the 7. What do you next lead?
April 20
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I bid 2 at the table. Here was my rationale:

– Bidding 3 violates the “Rule of 2, 3, or 4” Red on White (and this is written into our partnership agreement). There's no question I'd bid 3 at any other vulnerability.

– The hand is “not good enough” to pass, and the concentration of HCPs calls for a preempt. 2 doesn't violate any of my partnership agreement rules.

After my bid, my partner was opposed to my 2 bid since he said it promised six hearts, and not seven, and his suggestion was that I pass. We really didn't get into trouble by my bid of 2, but it was a partnership discussion point.

I'd welcome any comments and suggestions to help us think this through. Thanks!
April 20
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Argh – Sorry…I messed up the bidding. Revised.
April 20
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I received a ruling from the ACBL on this – The forcing pass is alertable in ACBL-land, and the opponents of the 1NT bidders can claim damages if the pass is not alerted and as a result they pulled the penalty double when they otherwise would not have, had they known that the 1NT bidder was forced to pass. Thank you all.
April 10
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Partner's hand was:

A974
KT73
K75
64

and 4 made, but was not bid by any table.
April 10
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Ah, thanks for clarifying, Henry. I did misunderstand your point.

My thinking was that the alertable pass was exploitable by opener (not responder) in that he need not even think about pulling the double (with a weak hand and six-card suit, for example) if he knows that the pass is forcing.

Michael's point, which I misread, was that if opener and responder know that opponents are playing a system that never allows 1NTX for penalty to stand, then they can double to mean other things. But, if they have a system that doubles to mean other things (perhaps penalty OR something else) then that system would have to be alerted too, and that would call off the system that never allows 1NTX to stand. So, I'm not thinking *that* would be an exploit.

But the exploit by opener is a real exploit, and a weakness of the system, which is causing me to reconsider the whole system. It does seem like systems where redouble rather than pass as the forcing bid do have merit in that regard. However, they seem weaker than the other systems in terms of finding the right two-level contract.
April 8
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Henry, yes, I would assume that if the “pass” forces a bid (XX being the most common) by the 1NT bidder, then the “pass” would be alertable. Partner and I play a 1NT escape system and we alert the “pass” but find that not everyone does. And Michael's point that the alertable pass is exploitable is spot on, as an opponent who might pull the double after the pass is no longer in such a rush to do so. Based on the results of this poll, I'm thinking that partner and I should reconsider Escape conventions.
April 8
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I'm very surprised at the poll results.

Bridgebum has a list of a number of conventions under the “1NT Escape” class. Only one, “Moscow Escapes,” does not require the 1NT bidder to bid again.

http://www.bridgebum.com/bridge_bidding_conventions.php#

So, this poll says that practically no one plays (with their best partnership) the “1NT Escape” class of conventions listed by Bridgebum? Very surprising.
April 8
David Parsons edited this comment April 8
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Gene, you are so off-base it borders on being funny. I always alert the pass in this particular auction. The reason for the OP in this case was an opponent who didn't alert it, and my partner pulled the double. I was wondering whether we could claim damage. You claim to have insight into my motives that just isn't true, and you're very rude with respect to your claims.

What is legal and what isn't legal is fundamental to all games, and there are plenty of grey areas that need clarity. On the issue of whether opponents needed to alert the pass and whether we could claim damages because they didn't alert, I've written to rulings@acbl.org. I hadn't known that body existed or I would have written to them originally rather than asked the question in this forum.
April 6
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Thanks, Ray. I'll do that.
April 5
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I should have stated “(a) is it legally required in ACBL-land” because the question pertains to opponents who didn't alert it. Sorry.
April 5
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