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All comments by Mike Bell
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Jxx/Ax = 10.2%
Axx/Jx = 10.2%
AJxx/x = 8.5%

The issue with winning the ace from Ax too often is that playing low to the king, low to the queen becomes profitable when the ace hasn't yet made an appearance. For that to be the case you'd have to be winning the ace from Ax over 83% of the time.

(10.2-8.5)/10.2 = 1/6
Aug. 22
Mike Bell edited this comment Aug. 22
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Agree that “good 14” probably means more like 14.2 in my system.

Yes, I do think of a true 15-17 range as being 14.5-17.5, indeed I struggled slightly with references to a “three-point range” before I came to that conclusion!
Aug. 22
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IMO -

“15-17” should imply that you don't upgrade much more than you downgrade, at least on balanced hands (hands with a six-card suit are different). It certainly doesn't mean that you count your points and don't engage your brain.

If you upgrade into 1NT a lot, and downgrade out of it very rarely, “good 14” is appropriate for the lower bound.

I've heard people describe their ranges as e.g. “14.5-17”. I suspect this is meant to mean the same as “good 14-17” above but I'm not actually sure. Once you start using decimals, I would think an average 15 was worth 15.0, in which case 14.5-17.0 would mean that you upgrade 14s about as often as you downgrade 15s, but that you upgrade lots of 17s. I considered starting this discussion at the table but decided it was better to use our eight minutes to play the board instead.
Aug. 22
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Bidding 2 with spades allows you to stop in 2 when partner is minimum.
Aug. 21
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No, I'm raising. With 4333 (or 4432 with queen-doubleton) I wouldn't stretch in the first place; other hands are usually improved by finding the fit, so are now definitely worth (at least) an invite even if they weren't really worth one before.
Aug. 21
Mike Bell edited this comment Aug. 21
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If you have agreed to go through 2 Stayman when holding a raise to 2NT with no four-card major - known as “non-promissory Stayman” - then it is normal to play that,

1N:2, 2:2 shows four spades
1N:2, 2:2N denies four spades

although I've often seen people forget to bid 2 at the table.

It doesn't make a huge amount of difference whether one does it that way, or your way, which is just inverting the 2 and 2NT rebids.


However, I would recommend steering clear of non-promissory Stayman altogether:

a) It tells oppo a lot about declarer's hand.
b) With a moderate 8 points and no four-card major, it's percentage to pass 1NT. With a moderate 8 points and a four-card major, it's usually worth bidding Stayman - you have “two ways to win”, either finding a fit or finding partner with a maximum. As such, 1N:2N (if you play it as natural) should be a sound invite, whereas Stayman then 2NT can be a little bit more speculative.
c) It prevents you from giving 1N:2, 2:2 a different meaning.

Most common now is to play 1N:2 shows either clubs or a 2NT bid. This isn't without its drawbacks but it is clearly better than either playing 1N:2N natural or 1N:2 non-promissory.
Aug. 21
Mike Bell edited this comment Aug. 21
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A better question would be how reasonable North's bidding was. How could anyone not blame South here?
Aug. 19
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I wouldn't bid 3 any time I had a 4-card major, let alone any time I had a 3-card major.
Aug. 13
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“Takeout of either major” could be interesting
Aug. 13
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I would bid Stayman and, if partner responded 2, I would bid 3 transfer to diamonds. I wouldn't assume these methods in a bidding poll, though.
Aug. 13
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Partner could have four diamonds. Axx or AJx with Kxx on declarer's right is of some interest too.
Aug. 13
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Joe - yes, it's pretty obvious who the individual is, I think - at least to the English contingent on here.
Aug. 10
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A weighted ruling is fine here, it's usually okay except for some aspects of UI cases (i.e. you can't “cheat” half the time).

A split ruling is something else - e.g. 3-2 for one side and 3-1 for the other.
Aug. 9
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Norman,

There's no reason a weighted score couldn't have been given - that it was not suggests that the TDs felt that, with the correct explanation of “no agreement”, the contract would almost always have gone two off. I've not looked at the hand carefully enough to comment, but it would certainly have been reasonable to appeal on this basis (with the caveat that ACs don't normally make small adjustments to percentages).

By the way, I assume it was an *adjustment* to the score, not a VP *penalty* (although they aren't mutually exclusive).
Aug. 8
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As I hinted at elsewhere, I suspect the actual auction was that, after the 2 bid, it proceeded pass-pass-2-pass-pass-3.

Even if it didn't, 3 is still available as a cuebid, so there's no need for 3 to do the same job.
Aug. 7
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My oppo have suggested in the past that I needed a “natural” card in my box, maybe this is what they meant?
Aug. 7
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Don't worry, Bernard already knows - that regulation wasn't one of the latest changes (which were all quite minor I think).
Aug. 7
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Dealing boards at the table is a security risk too.

The Spingold/Vanderbilt use a different pre-duplicated set for each match. Maybe this could be used here for at least the last few matches of the Swiss. Or, alternatively, have five lots of 10 identical sets in play, for example, so any wire could be from a board you're not playing. Doesn't solve the randomness of flat vs swingy boards but has plenty of other upsides.
Aug. 6
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Would love to see what happened if declarer said “actually we have no agreement about (unalerted club bid)” when they held clubs!
Aug. 6
Mike Bell edited this comment Aug. 6
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I agree with JH - “natural, I think” should be treated as equivalent to “no agreement (but I'm going to treat it as natural)”.
Aug. 6
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