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All comments by Rosalind Hengeveld
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Drinking enough water (or tea or similar) is most important. Do not wait until you are thirsty, as then it is already too late. No beer or other alcohol until after play, of course. Eating not too much is important; however, I find that difficult when lunch break is as late as something like 14:30 (2:30 pm).
July 15, 2015
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Of these three ‘things which cause a slam to fail’, I would think that #3 is the one most often occurring and the one hardest to overcome by a lucky lead or poor defense. (Incidentally, there is a #4: too weak trumps.) #2, ‘Off a cashing AK’, offers best chances if opponents do not cash their AK immediately. This would make asking for aces holding a small doubleton acceptable in some cases.
July 15, 2015
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3 was presumably meant to play there and that makes sense.
July 13, 2015
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I play that – barring some exceptions – any free (not forced) 2NT bid directly over opponents' 2// is good/bad. The auction in question is a clear example: the 2NT bidder wants to compete with 3/ without inviting game.
July 3, 2015
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IMP pairs has been described as ‘like playing teams with bad teammates’.
July 2, 2015
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I voted ‘IMPs and MPs are two different games’ and there is nothing wrong with having different games within the same sport. In speed skating – specialty of my country – the 500 m and the 10 km are ‘different games’, and short track is even more ‘different’; in tennis, single and double are different games, et cetera. Nobody worries about that and few people even question which is ‘better’.

If or when you use IMP scoring for pairs, be sure to go for cross-imp, which is demonstrably a better scoring than butler (not a ‘different game’). The only reason butler ever came into use is that cross-imp is laborious to compute by hand, but of course the computer changed that.
July 2, 2015
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The question was not whether you would actually pass (with a given hand), but whether 4 is forcing.
June 29, 2015
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I play that the last suit supported below game is set as the trump suit. In the sample sequence, 3 sets hearts as trumps (for whatever reason, such as matchpoint scoring). If responder has prime heart support and was always going to set hearts as trumps, it cannot be right that 3 would double-cross this and the partnership be ‘doomed’ to play in diamonds. Good point to discuss in any serious partnership.
June 29, 2015
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It looks like neither side can make much, so what's the ‘imagined’ point?
June 28, 2015
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To my knowledge, the term ‘Lightner’ is reserved for a double of a freely bid slam contract, asking for an unusual lead, guided by principles different from those for a double of 3NT. The only name I have seen for a conventional double of 3NT is ‘Elwell’.
June 23, 2015
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This point was simulated by David Bird and Taf Anthias and explained in their book ‘Winning Suit Contract Leads’, Master Point Press, 2012 (ISBN 978-1-55494-769-0), page 52–57. They conclude (page 62): “Side-suit singletons are usually better leads than those from honor sequences such as KQJ or QJ10.”
June 19, 2015
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Two meters (six feet) of bookshelf with bridge books. (And still make mistakes.)
June 19, 2015
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If one ever bids at all on the South hand, the most convenient way would be ‘raptor’: a 1NT overcall showing a four-card major and a longer minor, both unbid. Dutch expert Maarten Schollaardt has famously stated that ‘players who at any moment start playing raptor, never want to get rid of it’, despite the loss of a natural 1NT overcall. Such is also my experience.

However, even when playing raptor, and even in this favorable position, I’m not sure it is winning to bid it on this hand.
June 19, 2015
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What 3 might have shown, white against red for matchpoints, is no more than a good five-card suit and a strong preference for a diamond lead.
June 19, 2015
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I voted ‘First Double by North’, as the North hand is tailor-made for Leaping Michaels (Dutch: ‘wereldconventie’): 4 showing a strong hand with five-card or longer suits in hearts and clubs. After that, reaching at least 6 should be duck soup.
June 15, 2015
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As I play, it depends on vulnerability: pass is forcing after we bid game vulnerable against not only.
June 6, 2015
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You bet it does!
June 6, 2015
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All this goes to show that card marks should be internationally standardized – not just in international events – at AKQJ10 through 2. This has nothing to do with language otherwise used.

For the record, Dutch ‘native’ marks are AHVB (aas, heer, vrouw, boer). Note that whereas the V is a Jack on French cards, it is a Queen on Dutch ones.
June 6, 2015
Rosalind Hengeveld edited this comment June 6, 2015
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Sure, a mixed raise is by definition exactly one trick weaker (or contains one more loser) than a limit raise, with enough trumps to play at the level to which one is forced. Bergen – normally the clearest of writers – does not actually say so, but that is no doubt what he means.
May 31, 2015
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The concept of the so-called mixed raise appears to be invented by Marty Bergen and presented in his book: ‘Better Bidding with Bergen, Volume I – Uncontested Auctions’, Max Hardy, 1985 (ISBN 0-939460-32-7). The term ‘mixed raise’ does not appear there yet. It does, however, appear in ‘Better Bidding with Bergen, Volume II – Competitive Bidding, Fit Bids & More’, Max Hardy, 1986 (ISBN 0-939460-33-5), page 12: “A mixed raise contains some offense and some defense – hence its name.”
May 30, 2015
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