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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Konrad Ciborowski | 20 Oct 10:24 2014

Does not knowing your system invalidate an agreement?

Hi gang,

Let's say I agree to play a bidding system / a convention / a lead system with my partner.
For the sake of argument let's say my first time French partner offers me to play "Majeure Cinquième"
and I say "OK", and we have our CC filled.

Let's say that I then open 1NT on 12 points. Let's say that the opponents end up with a poor score
because they expect me to hold a stronger hand (for example they misdefend).

You are called to the table and after a few questions you discover that I opened 1NT because
I genuinely, truly believed that the weak NT is an integral part of the French standard
(which is of course not the case). Our CC says "1NT 15-17".

Your ruling? The question that bothers me is:

What is our agreement in the light of L40? I see two options:

1° Our agreement is Majeure Cinquième (and thus strong NT) and I just don't know
the system I have agreed to play but this is purely my problem, no MI
2° De facto we have no agreement at all as to the meaning of the 1NT call (because
one of us is convinced 1NT = 15-17 and the other 1NT = 12-14) 
and thus the opponents were misinformed.

Your thoughts?

Best regards,
Kraków, Poland
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Robert Frick | 20 Oct 02:53 2014

Play (play what?)

It's come up twice in the last month. Declarer said "play". Dummy was  
following suit.

In one case declarer's "play" was accompanied by a wave of the hand, the  
second time it was not. In both cases, it was obvious that declarer should  
want to play the high card.

Of course, this could be treated as equivalent to saying just the suit. Or  
it could be a truly ambiguous call, to which dummy is supposed to answer  
"play what?".

I suppose it depends on whether, in that region, the word "play" is  
typically used to designate a small card.

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Robert Geller | 11 Oct 16:18 2014

Mispull or 36B?

North DLR
-	1H	X	X

The director is called. South claims a mispull of XX.

Should the director approve this claim, or should L36 be applied?
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Steve Willner | 8 Oct 15:51 2014

Re: passing over an unalerted artifical bid

On 2014-10-07 7:34 AM, Herman De Wael wrote:
> Because he DOESN'T FIND out that partner would not have doubled.

This is where we disagree.  In my view, once the MI is corrected, the TD 
explains that the NOS should _assume_ that the auction would be 
unchanged.  If the auction would have changed, of course the NOS are 
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Robert Frick | 8 Oct 03:50 2014

Re: passing over an unalerted artifical bid

On Tue, 07 Oct 2014 02:30:56 -0400, Konrad Ciborowski <Cibor <at>>  

>> It seems to me that once opening leader knows his partner wouldn't have
>> doubled (2H in this case) for the lead, he is in the same position
>> regardless of whether he finds this out during the auction or during the
>> correction period.
> No, he isn't. If the 2H is alerted in time then partner's pass over 2H
> means "I don't have a clear preference for the heart lead".
> For example partner cannot have KQJxx in hearts for instance or else he  
> would have
> doubled the artificial 2H.
> That's why there is a slight preference for selecting a diamond.
> As it went the pass over 2H is meaningless. As the opening leader
> I appreciate the late correction but now my partner _can_ have
> KQJxx in hearts or the like (he couldn't have doubled 2H because he  
> thought
> that 2H was natural). So on the bidding there is no preference for
> leading either suit.

To perhaps paraphrase Steve's position, a pass is a pass. Had the bid been  
alerted the player would have done the same thing -- passed.

You and Herman are arguing that a pass over a natural bid is not the same  
as a pass over an artificial bid. When I take this player who passed aside  
and ask if he would have done something different, does he say, "Yes, I  
would have passed to deny a strong interest in a heart lead"?

Konrad, the practical difficulties with your answer, technically correct  
or not, seem really large. Right now, if someone forgets to alert  
new-minor-forcing (common), I look if the hand behind the artificial bid  
and see if they might have doubled instead of passed. Usually not and I go  
back to all my other tasks.

You are suggesting that I always have to do a lot more work than this. I  
doubt directors do this. I am not fond of the idea.

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Robert Frick | 3 Oct 02:58 2014

passing over an unalerted artifical bid

2C   P   2H(1)   P
3C   P   3S        P
3NT  P    P       P

2H was not alerted but before opening lead was explained as a double  
negative. The player on lead had


Having a choice between hearts and diamonds, he chose to lead a heart.  
This did not work out well and a diamond lead would have set the contract.

He argued that if 2H had been properly alerted, his partner would have not  
doubled, suggesting not to lead a heart and he was more likely to lead a  
diamond. Which is all true.

It's already a difficult ruling, but in our normal way. Assume for the  
sake of argument that you buy into this.

The interesting thing is this. Suppose partner might have doubled 2  
Hearts, had he known it was artificial, and this lead would have worked  
well. Then the player can safely lead a diamond, as an unsuccessful  
diamond lead will be changed to a heart lead.

Therefore, the opening leader can safely assume that partner would not  
have doubled the 2 Heart bid.

Hence, if the opening leader has worked all of this out in his head, he  
should lead whatever he thinks is best assuming partner would have passed  
the 2 Heart bid.  (And, ironically, since partner did pass the 2H call,  
there are a lot of simple ways to arrive at this position, including not  
thinking about anything at all.)

If this latter consideration is correct, there is perhaps no reason to  
roll back play.
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Magyar Ádám | 1 Oct 12:06 2014

multi and counter-multi

Teams, screens are in use (North and East on one side)
Board 28, NS vuln, East dealer

AKxxx		Qxx
xx		A9xxxx
K9xx		Qx
xx		xx

East	South	West	North (explanations below)
2d	2s	x	4h
P	p	4s	p
5h	x	p	p

Table result: 5h* -4, +800

The facts:
2d: Multi, weak 2 in a major, or 20-22 BAL
2s: According to south, counter-multi (take-out double of spades) Indeed,
this is NS's agreement. However, north forgets this, and does not alert,
treating (and explaining) it as a natural overcall in spades
x: according to west, shows spades. According to east, pass with spades, bid
3h with hearts
4h: according to north, splinter, agreeing spades. According to south,
natural, to play.
4s: west thought they have spades, and wanted to save. At the other side of
the screen, they realize that something went wrong, since passing a splinter
and than not letting it play is more than unusual. 
5h: He thought they are in trouble, had no idea what 4s was, and bid his
suit, intended as natural
x: now the other side also sees that something went wrong

Supposing that NS's agreement is that 2s is a take-out double of spades,
what is your decision?

Adam Magyar

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Jerry Fusselman | 26 Sep 03:25 2014

Law 16C ruling

[jerry Fusselman]
What a huge amount of unauthorized information the presence or absence
of a "switch off" would provide!  Partner is not interested in the
meaning of the auction?---okay, he is not interested in action by our
side.  Or if, surprise, he does take some action, he was going to act
regardless of meanings.

Partner *is* interested in the meaning of the auction?---okay, I
should be more inclined to take action.

Sometimes, when I am declarer, I start to explain our auction but my
RHO will try to stop me---perhaps hoping for a particular lead that my
explanation could ruin.

Sorry, giving players options to stop explanations is a terrible idea.

Players already have those options.  Under current local alert regulations,
you have the power to switch explanation on or off, by asking (or not
asking) about each individual alert!  Even worse: the way you ask each
question may give UI.
Under the proposed protocol, the default would be that you explain partner's
call, unprompted.  Opponents would have the power to switch off explanations
for the remainder of that auction.  You could still ask for an explanation
*of the whole auction* before the opening lead.


Saying "I don't care to ask about this call at this time" conveys a lot less information than "I don't care to hear which of your calls are alertable or even what any of them mean until, possibly, after the auction is complete, for whatever they mean and no matter how the auction goes, I'm not going to be interested."

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