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All comments by Rosalind Hengeveld
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Not weird at all: many people (where I live) play ‘jump invites’ at the three level, bids like 1-3 as natural and invitational but not forcing with a six+ card suit. Some play them even at the two level. (I personally play weak jump shifts at the two level, Bergen raises 3/, and 1-3 splinter.)
Aug. 28, 2015
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Yes, the (really) weak jump shift has a fourfold advantage:
* works preemptive when opener is minimum;
* allows you to stay low when opener is maximum with misfit;
* lets you bid game or even slam on minimal values when opener has a good fit;
* makes responding one and then two constructive so that opener can feel free to raise.
Aug. 27, 2015
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Gaining ground in the Netherlands is 1/-2NT as either a limit raise or a minimum game raise, say 10–14 or 10-13 HCP or equivalent. This makes for often rebidding 4/, not ‘misguided’. Stronger hands with prime support go via 2.
Aug. 27, 2015
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Transfer preempts, especially at the three level (also known as ‘Verdi’).

2 opening bid showing either a weak hand with both majors or a (near) game force: fair when you have the weak variety, ruinous on strong two-suiters with a major. (Legal in all competition where I live.)

3NT ‘nosplinter’: a more or less balanced forcing game raise of 1/.

Any defense to a 1NT opening bid wherein a bid shows two suits, usually 5-4, with no way of finding out at the two level which is the longer (Cappelletti 2, DONT 2//).

MUD: middle card lead from three low cards.

Count signals to all or most opening leads.
Aug. 27, 2015
Rosalind Hengeveld edited this comment Aug. 27, 2015
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After partner has preempted, we play penalty doubles because we are unlikely to want to compete in a strain other from the one(s) partner has shown. Not so after partner has opened 1NT.
Aug. 26, 2015
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A few years ago I conducted an investigation on what the (then) world top plays, based on the convention cards of the qualifiers for the play-offs in the open and women's departments of the 2011 world championships. Results on this particular issue: 42 out of 48 pairs or 88% play negative doubles after two-level (and higher) intervention of their 1NT opening bid. Some convention cards leave this point unclear rather than explicitly stating penalty doubles. Only ten pairs play a mini-NT in some positions. I have not cross-related playing a mini-NT to the nature of doubles.
Aug. 25, 2015
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Google Translate gives (me) a very poor translation into broken English or even worse Dutch.
Aug. 24, 2015
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If that is true at all, it is insufficient evidence of cheating. One thing even worse than playing against cheaters is playing in an atmosphere where one would be obliged to take a certain ‘percentage play’ one does not believe will work, or else risk being falsely accused of cheating.

In previous cheating cases considered confirmed, usually either the code was cracked (Reese-Shapiro, Elinescu-Wladow) or else at least a method of transferring (unknown) information was found (Facchini-Zucchelli).
Aug. 24, 2015
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There was an appeal case in The Netherlands lately after a player opened a natural 14–16 ‘singleton possible’ 1NT, not alerted, on:

Q A864 KQ853 QJ4

The national appeal committee decided that such a 1NT opening bid is not unusual, is not alertable, and does not require mention on the convention card.

My own conventions cards state that our 1NT opening bids are ‘(semi-)balanced’ and leave it at that.

I must say we don't have a General Convention Chart or equivalent; only Highly Unusual Methods and Brown Sticker Conventions are illegal in most competitions.
Aug. 21, 2015
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Note that ‘unnecessarily’ leaving the table before the end of the round is an infringement (Rules 74C8). What would count as ‘unnecessarily’ remains uncertain. And of course this rule is widely violated and never leads to punishment. However, it goes to show that a player cannot just summon an opponent to leave the table.
Aug. 20, 2015
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The WBF Alerting Policy contains two clauses that say: “Where screens are in use, …” and “If screens are not in use, …”, so is not exclusively tailored to bridge behind screens.
Aug. 20, 2015
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My favorite for a simple and all but unequivocal alert rule: Conventional bids should be alerted, non-conventional bids should not. That happens to be rule #1 of the WBF Alerting Policy.

With at most a very small number of exceptions either way, such as weak notrump opening bids alertable, any call at the four level or higher, with the exception of conventional calls on the first round of the auction, not alertable.
Aug. 20, 2015
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There are two versions of these transfer responses (known as ‘transfer-Walsh’ where I live). Acceptance at the one level either (1) shows exactly three cards and is unlimited or nearly so; or (2) shows a minimum and usually balanced hand with two or three cards, while 1NT shows about 18–20 balanced. Either is quite playable. Lately, #2 appears to be gaining ground.

Where I live (Netherlands), this ‘transfer-Walsh’ is legal in any and all competition sanctioned by the bridge league. The only things that are illegal in most – not even all – competition are Highly Unusual Methods (strong pass systems et cetera) and Brown Sticker Conventions (such as weak two or three level opening bids without a known anchor suit). The definitions of these HUM and BSC are close to those by the World Bridge Federation.
Aug. 20, 2015
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Whether a call was alerted is immaterial. Article 20 sub F of the Rules states that a player may request an explanation of a call (under certain conditions, such as that it is their turn). It says nothing about a right to be explained in private without intervention of the director or without specifics from the regulating authority. Therefore, I voted ‘No, you may not’ (in general).
Aug. 20, 2015
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I think, for the benefit of our game, we should refrain from using the loaded term ‘cheating’ for just anything that goes against the ethics or the standards of conduct of the game. Without pretending a precise definition, I think cheating implies at least (1) deliberate, voluntary action (not, for example, unauthorized information accidentally acquired); (2) positively intended to gain an unfair advantage; and of course (3) going against the laws, ethics or standards of conduct of the game.

And as to #12: No, I would not be willing to lower the standard of proof required to ‘convict’ someone of cheating, at the cost of catching a few ‘false positives’ as a result. Just like I would rather acquit a murderer for lack of proof than convict an innocent person on mere suspicion.

Cheating is one of the worst things to threaten the game of bridge. However, a ‘witch hunt’ against mostly illusory cheating could maybe damage our game even more.
Aug. 19, 2015
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Yes, screens come a long way towards a solution for the problems of ethics and even cheating. Obviously, wide application of screens poses logistic problems. But those are not insurmountable. Many if not most sports pose logistic challenges such as need for specific playing ground or equipment. Bridge should get used to joining the club. The collapsible tables with screens that the European Bridge League uses for its championships, such as recently in Tromsø, provide an excellent example.
Aug. 18, 2015
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Let members decide for themselves whether to further participate in this discussion. Some, but not all of it is unfortunate.
Aug. 18, 2015
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Did the Daily Bulletin's editors have any choice as to publication or wording?
Aug. 18, 2015
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The ‘bridgewise’ is debatable, but beside the point. Of course that 1 is at least a semi-psyche. Who has ever seen a system wherein it is normal to open a non-alertable 1 on 842, AQJ10? Whether the action is ethically correct is another matter and would depend on whether this is a (semi-)habit or really a one-time thing.
Aug. 18, 2015
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This is unfortunate, but fortunately not standard. In Tromsø, this year's Open European, we had to start a round late because opponents were late. With one minute on the clock we had another board to play. A (Dutch) director had watched the proceedings, came without being called, canceled the board for the table and allotted us 60% and opponents 40%. Adequate and fair.
Aug. 18, 2015
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