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All comments by Helene Thygesen
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
Helene Thygesen edited this comment July 3, 2019
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Yes you are right.
July 2, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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Sorry, I should have been more specific about Toine's claim: He is not disputing that the hand layout and the leave-in of the double was authentic. What he says is that the most plausible explanation is that the vugraph operator missed the first round of the auction so instead of
3-x-a.p.
it went
p-1-p-2H
3-x-a.p.

But I will stop now, Toine can speak for himself if he wants.
March 27, 2019
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Yes, I think 2 as non-forcing with four spades has little merits. If responder has an unbalanced hand he might want to be in game opposite a minimum with four spades, and to sign off in 3m rather than 2 if opener has three spades.
March 26, 2019
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Yes, 2NT shows four spades
March 26, 2019
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Standard in North America appears to be NF with four spades, at least that's the traditional meaning. In the Netherlands, it uses to be standard to play it as ostensibly an invite without for spades, but could also contain some other hand types. I am not sure how common that treatment is at the moment.

In my regular partnership I play it as weak with four spades and longer diamonds.
March 25, 2019
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There's an apparently well-researched article by Toine van Hoof in the most recent issue of the Dutch magazine “IMP”. His conclusion is that the accusations have little substance. A big part of the article is devoted to the famous conversion of a take-out double of 3 with four small diamonds and seven hearts. After very elaborate research, drawing from every conceivable source that could possible have first-hand knowledge of the infamous hand, he ends with the conclusion that most likely the hand was simply incorrectly recorded.
March 25, 2019
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Yes, that certainly makes the system easy to remember.

How do you bid the hand in the OP, though, assuming that the heart suit is too good for 1NT? It would seem logical that 2 shows this hand. Then you need a way to show the weak hand without spades. I would think that 1, then 2, should show the weak hand with hearts only. Then 1 followed by 2, shows an invitational hand with hearts only. I don't think you need to distinguish between 5 and 6 hearts at this stage.
March 19, 2019
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Showing this hand via 2 rather than 2 will make opener declare. Not that this matters a lot but maybe it makes things easier to remember if the general principle is that responder tries to avoid bidding suits that are likely to become trump.
March 18, 2019
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