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All comments by Mike Bell
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Rainer - yes, that is the argument that I made.

Most of the simulations I've seen comparing 2M in a 5-2 fit with 1NT have been after 1:1N when opener holds a weak NT. This situation is very different. And you do get to look at your hand before rebidding 2. I would be shocked to find that, say, xx KJT9x Qxxx xx fares better in 1NT than 2 in the 5-2 fit.

Finally, you can choose to agree for opener to rebid 1 with 42(43) but 1NT with 43(42). Then the point about poor 5-2 fits becomes irrelevant.
Oct. 10, 2018
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IMO the biggest upside to rebidding 1NT with four spades is that responder can freely rebid five-card heart suits opposite a 1NT rebid. Doing so opposite a 1 rebid leads to playing in a lot of 5-1 fits.
Oct. 9, 2018
Mike Bell edited this comment Oct. 9, 2018
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Debbie - a few years ago, a friend playing the top English event was amused to be seeded 63 out of 55 teams entered. He started to suspect a fix when the next year he was again seeded 63, this time out of just 50 teams.
Sept. 24, 2018
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I'd been quite pleased with my 1440 :(
Sept. 12, 2018
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As are we all.
Sept. 5, 2018
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The upside to bidding 2 with this hand comes when you can show your 5th spade by bidding 1:1, 2:3NT
Sept. 4, 2018
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Not Michael (well, technically I am I suppose) but 1:1, 1N as diamonds is one way to go. You can put some other hand-types in there too.
Sept. 4, 2018
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Not saying it's completely equivalent, just that it's not massively different.
Sept. 4, 2018
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Ron - Michael suggested a problem with bidding 1:2, 2:3 is that responder hasn't shown or denied long clubs. If you find a fix for that then you are ahead on all the hands that would bid this way, as well as the the ones that might bid this way on 4(32)4 shape.
Sept. 4, 2018
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Ron - you are right that there is an advantage to 1:2, 2 showing extras. However, there would also be an advantage to 1:2, 2 showing extras, and no-one actually suggests playing that way.
Sept. 4, 2018
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- Not sure I agree that 1:2 takes an order of magnitude more work to fix than 1:1.
- If you do fix 2/1 auctions you benefit on a lot of hands other than just the ones that might have responded 1.
- More relevant on a practical level given the work ethic of most bridge players is that, if you don't do any fixing, the problems after a 2 response are less/fewer than after a 1 response.
Sept. 4, 2018
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Pretty sure that in future the Mixed Euros will be held alongside the O/W/S events. The mixed worlds were only announced in March this year, too late to add another event to the program in Ostend.
Aug. 25, 2018
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I, for one, think it is disgraceful that Mark is being pilloried in this way when he should instead be praised for generously sharing his work on Wikipedia.
July 25, 2018
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4 RKCB for diamonds
4 NF
4N to play
5 PMKC for spades
5 encouraging

Maybe better to play 4 transfer, 4 PMKC for diamonds
July 20, 2018
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Is there an 814?
July 1, 2018
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In the case of a teams trial, I can see a good case for any ‘possibles’ playing off against each other to determine who gets to challenge the ‘probables’. I think the seniors trials have used this format before, albeit for a Euros, not the D'Orsi.
June 29, 2018
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“If not, I suggest that one pair in each of the teams has done enough, both in this European and in other events, whether recently or in the past, to justify retaining their place (Andrew and Tony; Fiona and Sally).”

Richard - if the selectors felt (as I do) that two pairs on one team had done enough to retain their place, would you propose a pairs trial for the third spot?
June 27, 2018
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Let's start with the simplest possible structure -

1:1 = spades, now a 1 rebid = hearts
1:1 = hearts

The benefit of this versus natural methods comes when responder is 5-5 in the majors. You can bid 1, showing spades, intending to pass a 2 rebid from partner, without risk of missing a 5-4 heart fit.

In the context of 1 = natural or 11-13 NT, I played -

1:1 = spades, now 1 = 11-13 NT, 1NT = + unbalanced

Compared with the above, this gives gains on the weak NTs (primarily that you can try to stop in 1 in a 5-2 fit), but does have losses on + unbalanced (responder can't bid 1NT now, which also prevents opener from bidding three suits on (41)44; and 1NT on an unbalanced hand has a tendency to wrong-side no-trumps).

Other schemes exist, obviously. I suspect that most of them are basically equivalent to playing natural responses to 1 but playing 1:1, 1 as artificial.

So far, I've ignored the implications of opener becoming declarer in major suit contracts. The conventional wisdom is that getting opener to declare is an advantage, but actually I've found the opposite. The problem comes when the auction starts something like -

1 (P) 1 (2)
2

You've now put the partner of the overcaller on lead to play the suit through dummy's holding at trick one. Bidding naturally is better from this perspective, as if 4th seat overcalls then they are already on lead if you play in the major.
June 22, 2018
Mike Bell edited this comment June 22, 2018
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Our best young pair (30 and 27 years old at the time, I think) weren't given one of the ten places in the open trial. It seems unlikely that the selection committee were thinking about the Bermuda Bowl (two years hence) when they made that decision, as opposed to the trials in two months' time or the Europeans in seven months' time.
June 22, 2018
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21 months if you count from the date of the Europeans Trials, David.
June 22, 2018
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