Richard Hills | 17 May 01:23 2015

Fourth suit farce

A while ago I was partnering an intelligent but inexperienced friend against two expert opponents. Using the Aussie version of the Acol system I opened 1C. Partner correctly announced my call as showing four or more clubs. LHO overcalled 1D, pard responded 1H, RHO passed and I rebid 1S. Now partner incorrectly alerted and explained this as fourth suit forcing.

Was this a misexplanation infraction? My expert opponents knew me well and knew Aussie Acol well, so therefore also knew that pard's explanation could not be true.

Best wishes,

Richard Hills
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Steve Willner | 7 May 02:54 2015

Adjusted score after penalty card?

Here's another I haven't seen before, though I think I know the answer.

At matchpoints, a defender has a penalty card (from an unestablished 
revoke, if it matters).  Declarer thinks of a clever play, which has a 
95% chance of working, to take advantage.  (Let's say the play fails if 
a suit breaks 4-0 offside; isn't that about 5%?)  If it works, this play 
will give a cosmic top; in the unlikely event it fails, a cosmic zero. 
Declarer executes this play, and
A: it works, as expected, or

B: today is declarer's unlucky day, and the play fails.

Is there an adjusted score, possibly split, in either case?  Relevant 
Laws seem to be 12A1, 12B2, and 12C1b, but I may be missing something.
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Steve Willner | 11 Apr 21:04 2015

screen problem

Here's one I haven't seen before.  Do the screen regulations cover the 
situation?  Or what?  This question is at least partly about practical 
directing, but of course the Laws and screen regulations are relevant. 
If jurisdiction matters for those, please mention.

Playing with screens, there has been some bidding, and the tray comes 
back to the SW side after a two-minute pause.  South calls the Director 
and wants to know whether he is under UI restrictions.  How should the 
Director proceed?

If the Director asks South, South will say it is likely but not certain 
that North caused the delay.  If pressed, South will estimate a 2/3-3/4 
chance it was North, but it could have been East.  Or very remotely 
possible is some irrelevant delay, and there's no information.  Assume 
West doesn't dispute South's estimate of the chances.

If North really caused the delay, it must be unfair for South to "use 
the UI," but it seems equally unfair to restrict South's actions if 
North didn't act slowly.
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Łukasz Kalbarczyk | 27 Mar 15:28 2015

Re: Unintended but insufficient

W dniu 2015-03-27 o 13:00, ton pisze:
> There is a lot of stupid things happening not covered in my commentary, I simply lack the necessary creativity.
> The answer on your question is 'no', LHO should not get the opportunity to accept this bid. The possibility
for the unintender (still some creativity) to substitute his call gets priority. Even when he has called
over the unintended bid the unintender gets the possibility to substitute his call (and LHO also).
> ton
Big Thanks.


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Łukasz Kalbarczyk | 26 Mar 22:38 2015

Unintended but insufficient

Let consider an example of bidding:

1NT - pass - 2H - pass

The opener has the 3244 shape.
2H was an unintended call, but also insufficient.
Could his LHO accept this bid?

Law 27 says, that each insufficient bid can be accepted by LHO.
But the unintended call should not have been made in the "real" auction...

There is nothing about this situation in the Ton's Kooijman commentary.


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Herman De Wael | 18 Feb 09:54 2015


Let me tell you a story about my club tournament yesterday.

The bidding starts 1Cl-pass-1Sp. This is alerted.

My partner asks, and the answer is "we play Walsh, not transfer Walsh".

My partner bids 2Sp. "NOT Transfer Walsh" says the opponent.

"Oh, I understood you did play T-Walsh" (both systems are alertable in 

"In that case, I will pass", says my partner. The opponents don't object.

RHO bids 3NT and I'm on lead.
I wish to not-use the UI I have, so I prepare a diamond lead. But I 
decide to complete the ruling and offer declarer the chance to refuse or 
demand a spade lead. He asks for the spade lead, takes the first trick 
with the Spade Ace and proceeds to make 9 tricks.
On a diamond lead we would have taken the first 5 tricks.

Morale: even if the opponents don't want to punish the change of call, 
it's best to follow the rules (and I did check afterwards, L26 seems 
applicable even after an accepted change of call).

We managed to win the tournament even after than.

And before you comment on us accepting such a blatant change of call, my 
partner is 82 and suffering from terminal cancer (hopefully progressing 
very slowly).

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David Grabiner | 17 Feb 17:00 2015

How do you determine whether an insufficient bid is conventional?

Under what circumstances is an insufficient bid conventional?  Does it depend on 
the bidder's state of mind (that is, the same insufficient bid may be 
conventional if intended as conventional, and natural if intended as natural?)

For example:

N   E   S
1S  4H  3C

If South thought the overcall was a pass, then 3C was conventional because this 
N-S pair plays Bergen raises (7-9 points with four spades).  If South thought 
the overcall was 2H, then 3C was natural.  If you ask South, or look at South's 
hand, and rule accordingly, you give North UI.

And you need to know whether the bid was conventional even if South chooses not 
to correct to 5C.  What happened at the table is that South bid 4S, and West 
went on to 5H.  Now, if 3C showed clubs, North is subject to a lead penalty in 
clubs; if 3C showed spades, there is no lead penalty since 4S also showed 
spades.  (And without looking at South's hand, you can't tell; South might have 
bid 3C and corrected the insufficient bid to 4S on something like Kxx xx Kxx 
AQTxx on which he intended to bid a natural 3C and then 4S.) 

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Robert Frick | 8 Feb 15:21 2015

predictable system violations

1. An expert house player is playing with a beginner. They agree to play odd-even discards; the house player
knows the beginner doesn't know what those mean. What should the opponents be told about discards when
they ask?

2. Someone (my parter, actually), agrees to play that a weak two bids show 2 of the top 3 honors, even though
this is not good bridge. Then, when she realizes it is not good bridge, she opens a weak two with only one of
the top three honors. Is it okay that the opps are told she has two of the top three?

3. Their card says 10+ for overcalls. He overcalls with 8 HCP, and has no explanation except that he wanted
to. Can he fill out his card this way?

4. They agree to play 5-card majors, an opening 1 Diamond shows 4, and an opening 1 Club shows 3. Then, in the
face of 4-4-3-2, they open 1 Club and the opponents are told this shows 3. Is that fair?

5. Playing opening 15-17 HCP no trumps opens 1 NT with only 14 HCP. If he miscounted points, fine. If he forgot
his agreement, fine. If he has a good hand that really has the strength of 15 HCP (for example, all of the
tens), fine. If he decided to psyche? Fine. But if he did it because he likes to open 1NT with 14 HCP? I have a
problem with that.

There is a common theme here, of course. The current laws require only that players describe their
agreement. It does not require them to follow their agreement or explain what they actually play.
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Richard Hills | 22 Dec 02:45 2014

Silent Psyche, Holy Psyche

Dlr: West
Vul: Nil
The bidding has gone:
1H(1)     Pass     3H(2)   ?
(1) 5-card major
(2) limit raise, 4-card support
You, South, hold:
What call do you make?
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Herman De Wael | 28 Nov 10:17 2014

not being quiet

For those of you missing the regular banter, here's my best story from 
Sanya (World Championships)
All the tournaments are being played with screens.
I get called for an insufficient bid. North 1H - East 1D.
"Just change it" I say.
"But they've seen it" says North. South confirms.
"who pushed the tray?". general wonder.
"I never touch the tray" says East.
"I did not push it" says North.
There is a kibitzer to North's right; "what did you see?"
"I saw nothing, I was talking to North".
So I make my decision.
"In all likelihood, North pushed without noticing that the bid was 
I go to South.
"The bid has been accepted by your partner - you just bid on".
South takes out a 1Sp bid, but says "but wait a minute, it was West who 
opened the screen in order to check the bridgemate!"
West confirms this.
So I change my ruling. The tray was pushed, if such is the word, by 
West, so the insufficient bid has to be ruled upon. I start:
"You have the right to accept this bid ..."
"that's what I'll do then" says South and he puts the 1Sp which he was 
holding already, on the tray.

Morale of the story:
The writers of the regulations need to write "if the tray has been 
_moved_ to the other side by the offending _side_" in order to vover all 


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bmeadows666 | 27 Nov 20:53 2014

All gone quiet

Apologies for the test message, but I've seen no messages on this list
for more than a month. 

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