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All comments by Helene Thygesen
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Yes, 2NT shows four spades
March 26
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Yes but you could miss a spade fit
March 18
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I agree that stopping in 2 of a minor is an illusion. But 3 as weak is not always safe. Partner could have 3334 and IMO also 3325 (although the latter might not apply if you play 5533). Even if partner is 2344 I am not sure if I want to play 3.
March 14
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The number of “something else” votes is interesting. I thought I had provided a fair number of alternatives but apparently not enough :)

A few (Damian, Rosalind, Hamish) have described artificial meanings of 2. John plays it as wide-ranging and possibly balanced, an option I didn't include.

What Frances and Mike describe seems to me to be covered by the poll options but maybe I misunderstood and/or didn't describe the options clearly enough.
March 12
Helene Thygesen edited this comment March 12
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This obviously takes a lot of pressure off other rebids, but I am concerned about the playability. With a 3343 6-count I would really like to be allowed to pass the 2 rebid. But I suppose 3 is LoTT-compliant as opps will have a major suit fit.
March 12
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Kieran, which hands will rebid 2, then? If you rebid 1NT with balanced hands, hands without diamonds would have a singleton diamonds. Is responder meant to cater to this?
March 12
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Interesting idea, but I think it's a too high price to pay not to have the transfer accept available when responder has spades.
March 11
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I assume that all 5332 always open the 5 card suit. This may not be the optimal agreement.
After a 1nt rebid, responder can sign off in 2. But not with only four of them. Opener could easily have a doubleton diamonds and 4414 is also possible.
March 11
Helene Thygesen edited this comment March 11
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Small heart. Diamonds probably are 3-6-3-1 while the black suits are less friendly for declarer. So we need to attack dummy's entries.

Small club could work if partner has the jack. Big club could work if dummy has jack singleton but that is a bit speculative
March 11
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If you play multi as in the SC long time ago published by Jansma/Verhees, this a 2 opening an a 3NT rebid. The same hand with clubs would open 2 and rebid 3NT. I think the IMP25 system uses the same treatment, maybe someone can confirm.
March 6
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Even if playing forcing freebids and weak notrump, opener would still have to rebid 2NT with x-AJxx-AQx-Jxxxx so presumably 2NT would still be natural and nonforcing.
Feb. 24
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4 must be an error. If he was aware what 3 means, he would never bid 4. The way to show a super hearts fit is 4. He isn't going to confuse us even if he found he has six spades and/or 28 points.

So I think he either forgot the system or made a mechanical error.
Feb. 18
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Well, it should be, of course, it's just my impression that most people consider take-out doubles to be “natural”. No particular logic to it.
Feb. 11
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In practice, it is often used somewhere between the two options given in the poll, with some natural or quasi-natural agreements called “conventions” if they are non-standard, whatever that means. But the word “artificial” is often used the same way. So therefore I think it's reasonable to say it's just another word for an artificial call.

- All artificial calls (maybe except for negative doubles?) are conventions
- “Purely” natural calls such as a 1nt opening showing a balanced hand in a particular range, or jumps showing just length in the named suit and an agreed range, are not conventions, even if non-standard. But not everyone agrees with this: many call Inverted Minors a convention. OTOH, I don't think many would call WJS or the non-forcing shifts in Vienna “conventions”.
- Natural calls that provide some inference other than strength and length in the named suit, are a bit murky. A 1NT response to a minor suit, showing club length but not necessarily balanced, is never called a “convention”, but Muiderberg is. I think the criterion is something like “it is not a convention if the extra inference is negative inference”, but I am not sure if this is well defined enough for legal purposes. For example, the agreement that a reverse shows 5+ in the opening suit even if the opening suit could in first instance be 3+, could be either positive or negative inference depending on how it is described.

So Walsh and Inverted Minors are not conventions. Majors-always-first openings are not but I am not sure about Canape openings.
Feb. 11
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A direct 2 as natural is ok. You can probably live without Michaels. The problem is if you can live without an unassuming cuebid. If you like transfer responses to overcalls, after (1)-1 you could play
1NT: natural, could have a 6 clubs or a modest 5 diamonds
2/: transfer
2: good hand, ostensibly spade tollerance
3: natural, invitational
Jan. 20
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Without the 2 bid, 2 would be NF since you play XYZ so invitational hands go through 2.

After the intervention, 2 is weak. 3 is any GF, and some invitational hands could double. 3 is 5-5 and could be played as either invitational or forcing. I think my preference is forcing since it is awkward to have to bid 3 followed by 4 both with mild and serious slam interest.
Dec. 9, 2018
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