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All comments by Rosalind Hengeveld
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As I play Exclusion, a repeat of the Exclusion suit (in the void) asks for the trump queen. Assuming the Exclusion ask is below five of the trump suit, and that responses are 03,14 (so that only the first two responses leave the queen unknown), this bid will always be available below six of the trump suit. Also, it is a ‘wake up’ type of bid that will not easily be forgotten or misunderstood.

Asking for the queen below five of the trump suit would be possible only if (1) the Exclusion ask is three steps lower than the trump suit (e.g., 5 if spades are trumps); (2) the response is the first step (e.g., 5 over 5, presumably zero or three aces outside the void); (3) asker would nevertheless still be interested; (4) the queen ask would be the next step. This would be too rare if Exclusion is always above ace-asking level, which in turn is a useful criterion to avoid the misunderstandings for which Exclusion is infamous.
July 22, 2015
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3NT over a preempt has an extremely wide range of some 15–25 HCP. There is simply no sensible alternative.
July 20, 2015
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I play a form of mini-Michaels whereby the cue-bid of a minor shows five or more hearts and four or more spades. Five spades, four hearts and overcall strength is biddable by overcalling 1 and following up with 2.
July 20, 2015
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As to the ‘consolation’ nature of semifinals B: in the European open in Tromsø Sandra Rimstedt & Emma Sjöberg ended up winning the final of the women pairs via the semifinal B.
July 20, 2015
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Apart from the players – I have not played against a single clear exception – I thought the Norwegian residents in Tromsø were very polite, friendly and helpful.
July 19, 2015
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Every system has holes. The challenge in designing a system is to keep the holes as rarely occurring and as manageable as possible. Also, if a pair has a system overview (not a convention card), it makes sense to explicitly mention the (known) holes and to provide guidelines on how to deal with them.

For example, in my own system 1-2 is game forcing, 1-3 is a mixed raise in diamonds, 1-2NT is natural and non-forcing. (You may or may not like these methods, but that is not the point here.) Now, an unpassed invitational hand of some eleven HCP with long clubs is a hole. Such a hand turns up much more rarely than a game force with clubs or a mixed raise in diamonds; hence this choice. And this hole is explicitly stated in our system overview (which has the form of a website) with a ‘hole’ icon.
July 17, 2015
Rosalind Hengeveld edited this comment July 17, 2015
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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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