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All comments by Bas Van Der Hoek
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I agree, Deschapelles coup, sacrifice an honour to force an entry.
June 12
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I play that conventions are off after enemy overcalls. But the first option (same as without competition) is also very playable. Changing your agreements for something that is so infrequent would be too much of a memory strain for me.
June 12
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I do this nonvul. vs vul. Going for a number is unusual and going down for 800 or more vs a vulnerable game is even more infrequent.

I found that the biggest problem is missing a good game when partner has a heavy pass after a maximum preempt. A way to avoid this is playing constructive weak twos and garbage 2 Multi.

On the whole it is fun and occasionally bad for your heart when it goes 2-(pass)-pass-(double).
June 5
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In the past I used to play Rusinov with the idea that the ace lead then denied the king. This had the effect that we more often were leading from unsupported aces, with the usual effect of giving away a trick or a tempo. We decided to abolish this quickly.

With me an ace lead denies the king only after we both bid the suit. We then play ambiguous king when we have AK or KQ. Otherwise ambiguous king is totally unplayable in my view.
April 15
Bas Van Der Hoek edited this comment April 15
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I play that after double jumps of the opponents double=GF. Partner can then bid 4m also with strong hands. Partly for simplicity and also the bidding after such a double becomes easier.

After 1-(3)- a double is not GF.
Feb. 29
Bas Van Der Hoek edited this comment Feb. 29
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A cuebid direct after opponent´s overcall shows a fit. In my opinion that is a standard treatment.
Feb. 21
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At these colours partner will strain to find a bid after a negative double. The biggest danger is that partner passes when he has NO good bid, such as a 3=3=3=4 without diamond stop, or a 2=2=4=5 without diamond stop.

Still, bidding 4 immediately should work out well. It can go

4-4
4SA-5
5SA-7

Again a bit of guesswork but opener in spite of 13 points has a super fine hand for slam, and should not bid lazily 6 after the RKC response.
Feb. 21
Bas Van Der Hoek edited this comment Feb. 21
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If you play that double is game-forcing (as I do) you start with double, followed by 4 on partner´s expected 3 bid. Partner will surely cue 4. This obviously denies a fourcard . The most likely shape of partner is now a 3=4=1=5 or better. (On a bad day he can have a 3=4=3=3 15-17 NT)

Then it becomes a bit of guesswork. My guess is that we miss on average a queen or a jack outside diamonds. It would be very unlucky if a grand slam has no play at all. So I would gamble on 7. Not 7NT as we may need to ruff the fourth heart.
Feb. 21
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If Belladonna intended to bid only once, 2 seems the superior bid, as it allows him to retreat to 2 when doubled. And whenever partner shows game interest Belladonna will surely accept with his near-opening bid and he can introduce his diamonds as necessary. On first sight 2 appears weird, but not really suspicious once you think about it.

Frankly, the only suspicious bid occurred at the other table, where Forquet bid 3 (invitational?) on one working jack. Understandable when he “knew” that partner had a minimum with 5-5 in the majors. Perhaps the partnership played canape? Or perhaps Forquet concluded from West´s behaviour that he had a strong misfiting hand and Forquet was concerned that the opponents could make a game somewhere, especially as the south hand was limited by not opening a strong 1 club (I assume NS played Neapolitan).
Nov. 26, 2019
Bas Van Der Hoek edited this comment Nov. 26, 2019
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You have an invitational hand with support, and 2 seems obvious. I would bid 3 with a king less.

If my partner bids M in this situation I would expect 10+ and a poor 5-card not good enough to overcall.
Nov. 1, 2019
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2019: Opening 1NT with 5-card majors (a cardinal sin in the 90s)
2019: ultra-safe leads
2019: teams: bid game on every opportunity
2019: green vs red first/third hand: crazy preempts

Finally, bidding has improved even with the less talented pairs, but defending or declarer play has remained poor.
Oct. 12, 2019
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Vs a strong 1NT, there is no practical minimum in terms of HCP. Basically your courage, the vulnerability, your shape and whether you are in direct position or in the balancing seat determine your minimum. Quoting Larry Cohen in his article

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/lc-standard-defense-vs-nt/

“ We should go out of our way (way out!) to interfere. Don't worry about “having your values,” – your goal is just to disturb, not to convey your hand to partner so that he can bid a game or double them.”

Since your bid can be quite weak, partner should pass with any balanced hand without a fit, even when strong.
Sept. 5, 2019
Bas Van Der Hoek edited this comment Sept. 5, 2019
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The table below lists how often two balanced hands (any 5332, 4432, 4333) with 25+ HCP combined occur when the opponents open 1NT.

First column: opponents NT range
Second column: frequency of 25 or more HCP combined both hands balanced

15-17 0.1%
14-16 0.3%
12-14 1%
10-12 4%

Power games (both hands BAL and 25 HCP or more) are rare after opponent´s 15(14)-17NT, and surprisingly infrequent after a 12-14NT.

After a strong NT there is little risk that you miss 3NT on pure strength, and therefore many players pass with any balanced hand, and have various bids (including double) for one-suiters (sixcard) or twosuiters (5-4). After (1NT)-pass-(pass) even a very weak hand with shape (say, Qxxxxx xx xxx xx) can bid, partner must have the missing points and a balanced hand, so often some sort of fit. Strength requirements depend on shape and vulnerability, and bids can be very weak especially in the balancing seat or nonvul at matchpoints.

After a 12-14 NT I like the idea of Kaplan/Weinstein that double is 15+ (either BAL or a hand too strong to overcall). With a minimum BAL opening just pass and hope partner has an unbalanced hand and will bid something. And yes, you will miss a penalty or a game when partner and you both have a minimum balanced opening, but the frequency is only 0.3%.

Just curious: should balancing doubles vs weak NT be weaker than 15HCP? Against: weak notrumpers tend to run immediately with say 0-3 HCP, so righty has usually something, your points are under the opener and finally partner is on lead. In favour: righty has passed, so you will more often hold the balance of strength than after a double in the second hand.
Sept. 3, 2019
Bas Van Der Hoek edited this comment Sept. 3, 2019
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What is wrong with a 4 cuebid? Partner can then evaluate his hand and he will accept your slamtry with something extra. Even with a favourable lead you still will need a good dummy.
Aug. 29, 2019
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I voted other because none of the options concerned the leap to 6. This bid is the worst bid of the auction, why would partner have two of the 3 cards (A, K, A)?

The thought to bid 7 would have occurred to me (surely partner should have good trumps and the A and A), but I would have passed and be glad to table a fine dummy.
Aug. 29, 2019
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I can recommend the books. Yes, double dummy analysis has its weaknesses. One of these is that partner will know what to do. To give an example, the book recommends to lead high from KQxx vs NT. This means that you cannot play K lead asks for unblock or count. No problem in DD analysis, but in real life the partnership might not be able to cope with this on every hand.

But as also pointed out by others your thought process will be improved, as illustrated by your example. Before reading the book I would have led the jack without even thinking.
March 29, 2019
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Nice to have so many options. 3 seems to me the obvious start to find out whether we belong in 4, 4 or 3NT.
March 23, 2019
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“Yes, it is. If you want to bid with that hand and the only way to do it is to ”lie“, that is certainly part of the system”

Do we really want to accompany every explanation with caveats? Exceptions that happen very rarely (for a given situation perhaps a few times a year)? Frances Hinden´s example is just bridge. Systems very rarely cover each and every situation and from time to time you will have to improvise.
March 12, 2019
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Referring to Frances Hinden´s remarks, I am curious whether you should alert a 1NT rebid on a 1=4=4=4 after 1m-1. Especially if you would bid 1NT frequently with such a distribution. I have even seen people who bid 1NT with 15/16 1444 in a pairs game, gambling that game is not on.

And for those who do not rebid 1NT with a 1444, should they alert two clubs after

1-1
2 when this does not promise a 5-card but can be 4-4?

To me alerting all this is madness, but I frankly have no idea and would be interested to know.
March 12, 2019
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Unless your opponents have an agreement that 2 is either natural or GF with support I do not see a reason to alert. The game becomes unplayable if you have to alert bids that might have been improvised because no other bid describes the hand.
March 12, 2019
Bas Van Der Hoek edited this comment March 12, 2019
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