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All comments by Helene Thygesen
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Also: what would 1NT show now?
Aug. 13
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Take-out of hearts is the agreement I have with the only p with whom I have discussed it.

Reasons why it is more interesting to suggest spades than hearts as a possible strain:
- Opener has exactly four spades. Responder could easily have 5+ hearts.
- If it's a total misfit, partner can sometimes leave the double in and it is opps rather than us who is in troubles. OTOH, partner can almost never convert a double that is t/o of spades, so it will force us to play on a board where nobody wants to play.
- Defending spades at the 1-level requires 7 tricks. 2 requires 8.
- We might want to compete to 2 over 2. We are unlikely to want to compete to 3 over 2
- Partner has little so if my hearts are in front of responder's hearts, we don't want to get involved in this auction. With four decent spades behind opener's suit, OTOH, the board might belong to us.
Aug. 12
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I voted 3 to get partner to show a club stopper or a 4-card major. But maybe 2NT is better. If partner has J9xx and lefty KQTx(x), the contract is better played in my hand.

2 is also OK. I am a bit concerned that 3NT maybe be better even with a 5-3 fit in spades, or that partner may raise on a doubleton. But neither of those are likely to happen.
Aug. 11
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I think 2 is worse than all the options listed. It doesn't describe the hand very well and doesn't disturb the opps much either. If a Ghestem bid was available so I could at least tell partner about the clubs it would be better, but even then I prefer just bidding spades.

Opposite a passed partner and not vulnerable, I don't like 1 much either. It's too toothless. I suppose 3 is normal but 4 could easily work better. West may have an easy 4 bid over 3 but have a problem over 4.
Aug. 1
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Interesting, my first thought was that 7 when p might have only second round heart control is a bit optimistic. But he is probably right - 6 with no better than Kxxxxx must mean he also has A
July 18
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I just made up a gadget: 4 is a transfer to hearts, while 4 shows four hearts and another place to play, ostensibly four spades.

Alternatively, discuss with p what the difference is between a fast 5 and a slow one (going through 4, or maybe 4NT if that isn't natural).

Without specific partnership agreements I will assume that 4NT is natural, the slow 5 is a general slam try with doubt about the strain (could be 5 5, maybe?), so 5 it is. Unfortunately it doesn't show or ask for anything specific but at least I have transfered the blame :)
July 16
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I think the differences between MP and IMP are overrated. The main differences are in bidding judgment (for example more aggressive game bidding at IMP when vulnerable, and more aggressive penalty doubles at MP) but those kind of things don't require partnership discussion as it is just about individual decisions.

It may be reasonable to discuss some style issues, such as less disciplined preempts w/r at IMP, more aggressive leads at IMP and more aggressive overcalls at MP. But those kind of things don't necessarily require different systems.

If you play primarily IMP with one p and primarily MP with another, and you are a system geek, it may be useful to have that in mind when discussion system. The Nightmare system, for example, which has very few invites and plays most auctions as either sign-off or GF, is presumably optimized to IMP. The agreement that “2NT is never natural” is also something you might want to play at IMP.

But those are rather extreme examples. Popular systems and conventions are all approximately as suitable for IMP as for MP.

You might prioritize your system development effort differently, though. If you primarily play IMP, you should put a lot of effort in slam bidding agreements. If you mostly play MP, you might decide to keep the slam agreements basic and devote more time to discussing scrambling or Lebensohl in competitive auctions.
July 15
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IMO 3 should be NF. There are plenty of bids available for stronger hands. And I don't want to have to pass 2NT with a 2155 10-count.

With a 2254 and a small doubleton I think you just bid 3NT or 4 depending on strength. 4 might actually suggest that specific hand type if you could have shown shortness at the 3-level. Or, if your method is to show stoppers at the 3-level, you can bid a strong doubleton.

Usually partner will have stoppers in the majors. With AKx-xx-Jxx-QJxxx I am not sure that 2NT is the right response.

With this hand I bid 3 or 3, depending on agreements.
July 14
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I prefer 2 to dbl.

I am not sure about 4, I suppose it depends on style.

4 is clearly wrong. I am not sure what the correct call is (pass, 4 or 5 are possible depending on the meaning of 4 and whether you want to cater to 2 being a psyche).

5 is fine IMO.
July 7
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I would explain your full agreements, as you did here. Opps will also have noticed that partner didn't ask. The only exception I would make is if I knew that partner had studied their convention card already - in that case I would just say what it means given that partner understands the meaning.

Partner already knows that he has misbid (assuming he has - you don't know that for sure, of course) so I don't think there are any ethical problems for him. You obviously have to bid as if he had bid correctly.
July 3
Helene Thygesen edited this comment July 3
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Yes you are right.
July 2
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Just noticed that my final comment about trowing West in with a club isn't correct. I would have to discard a club honour on his heart return to unblock the suit, but then I would make East's J good.
July 2
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Wow, we are w/w at matchpoints and we have a good five card suit and 14 HCPs. How on Earth can pass even be an LA?
June 11
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I just realize that “t/o” maybe isn't clear. I meant it as “short spades”. Does anyone play it as short hearts?
May 10
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Some fifteen years ago there were a few Dutch and Belgian pairs that played Lorenzo when nonvulnerable and some more normal system when vulnerable.

Lorenzo means that all 2-openings are 0-7 HCPs and can be a 4-card suit. Hence, pass in 1st/2nd seat shows 8-11 points.

The advantage of that system is that it is one of the more crazy definitions of pass which are not HUM.

Other than that I don't think it has many advantages, haven't heard about anyone playing it for about a decade so it probably went out of fashion.
April 9
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Yes, opps once had an accident when I opened 1NT, partner's rho doubled to show a t/o of diamonds but his partner thought it showed a generic strong hand, so I played 2NTx+3.
March 28
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People rarely bid game against strong notrump so there isn't much need to preempt. If playing against pairs which are good at finding games against strong nt, I might try stayman and then hopefully it will be possible to correct 2 to 3 if it gets doubled.

Btw, I am not convinced that a transfer is more effective at keeping them out of game than pass. My LHO likely has a good hand and if they play artificial doubles he might have to pass with a strong balanced hand, while he would probably double the 2NT bid and/or double 3.
March 28
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This reminds me of one of the beginners at my local club who raised her partner's 1NT to 3NT on a yarb. When her p asked why she did it, she said she had been taught that 1NT is the most difficult contract to play so she didn't want to leave partner in 1NT with such a weak hand :)
March 28
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If you construct the optimal “hcp” scale by fitting the regression model 3nt_makes ~ #aces + #kings + #queens #jacks to DD data sets, you find that a queen is only 1.7 points or such, less than two jacks. This is probably because for a DD declarer, it's not so essential to have the queen since you can often finesse against it otherwise.
March 28
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If you want to explore a very specific hand type that comes up once in a thousand boards or less, and maybe analyse the effect of bidding and lead methods which are rarely used in practice, while at the same time have sample size in the thousands, there's really no alternative to simulations.

Of course this doesn't mean you should have blind faith in DD sims:
- You can do sometimes do the same analysis of a smaller and/or broader set of real world hands
- You can maybe calibrate the DD results to adjust for declarer's advantage (partscores) or handicap (slams). Maybe you can do something more sophisticated here than simply reducing it to partscore/game/slam
- You can simulate SD using Jack, or use DD-play-with-SD-leads
- You can be aware of the specific biases which DD analysis is likely to produce, rather than the not very helpful reservation that “DD isn't the same as real expert bridge(duh!)”
March 27
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