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All comments by Mike Bell
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Those aren't his proposed leads, Yuan.

Slawinski called his leads “Combine”. Low from doubletons, 3/5 from honours, top without an honour, some irregular stuff from six-card suits.

What Fantoni-Nunes called “Slawinksi”, Slawinski called “Mixed”. He proposed them as a method of signals, and evaluated them as a method of leads (they came 3rd out of 13 methods).
March 6
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The quantitative analysis does ignore that, yes. In the first edition of the book he stated that there was no advantage to using non-standard ordering of pips, but revised that opinion for the second edition.
March 6
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I've played “odd from odd, even from even” leads in this way. I'm not sure it really helps much. If you only have one card you can afford to play, you have to play it regardless of meaning. If you have two cards you can afford to play, you hope that one of them does the job (kj32 may be misread playing standard; kj53 may be misread playing “odd from odd”).

I decided that the most frequently led problem holdings were J9x, T8x and the like, so switched to “low from odd”.
March 6
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Unfortunately, his work ignores the effect of destroying useful pips, which affects the results a fair bit. His proposed leads fare very badly in this area.
March 6
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Both my experiences and my theoretical analysis suggest that “high encouraging” is superior, but it's certainly not a proof. Then again, I can't prove that 2/1 is better than Acol either.
March 4
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In theory, it's a guess. The easiest way to think about it is to be blind to which of the J/T/9 have been played so far. Using this method, fourth hand to play could have started with KJ/KT/K9 or JT/J9/T9.
Jan. 24
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I'm not at all worried about being forced on this hand - it's not like we have any winners to take anyway!
Jan. 8
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Great tip, thanks
Dec. 26, 2018
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DD underrates a low one here as declarer gets to hop jack from J9x and similar. Would be interesting to see the stats with such positions accounted for.
Dec. 24, 2018
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Richard - given that they recommend leading the K, I suspect that is the thirteenth card!
Dec. 24, 2018
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The best solution to this problem is to realise that it's absurd to play 2 as natural.
Dec. 22, 2018
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If you have a reasonable bid to make in preference to rebidding your five-card major, you make it. If you don't, you're stuck rebidding your suit. This is true regardless of how many cards the opening bid showed.
Dec. 22, 2018
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Whether you play 4cM or 5cM has no bearing on whether 2 here (or, indeed, in most other auctions) shows six.
Dec. 22, 2018
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Definitely worth a bid - with a hand this pure, bidding will often be worth a part-score swing.
Dec. 20, 2018
Mike Bell edited this comment Dec. 20, 2018
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Some play that North would pass with a GF takeout double of a major, assume you don't play that or you'd have said…
Dec. 18, 2018
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Richard Probst wins at this I think. He played 5H-9 for -450 and a flat board, with teammates making the more normal 4H+1.
Dec. 17, 2018
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Partner's hand is Qx Ax Jxxxx Qxxx so 5 and 6 are better spots than 3NT.
Dec. 14, 2018
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In other words -

Self-funded teams are decided by teams (of six) trials.

Funded teams are, for 2020, being determined by pairs trials that are open to all. For 2018, the open team was decided by restricted pairs trials, the women's team by teams (of four) trials, each with one pair selected in addition. Prior to that, such teams were selected in their entirety.
Dec. 11, 2018
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I've never been convinced by the idea that, versus weak bids, one should act much lighter in 4th seat than in 2nd. In fact, in this case, I can see an argument the other way - if we have a balanced 14-count opposite an unbalanced 5-count, we may well go plus on defence when the unbalanced hand can lead its suit against 1NT. If the balanced hand is in direct seat, we are unlikely to go plus unless we hit partner's suit, while playing with that suit as trumps will give us the communications to take finesses through opener.
Dec. 10, 2018
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Mike Ma - you are right, “far too likely” was pretty vague. I just meant that the increased likelihood of our side having a (vul) game on was sufficient that I felt passing was an error.

Dominic - yes, LHO could have a weak NT. Bidding hasn't yet got us a bad board when that's the case, though, while passing when partner has a decent hand with no way into the auction will almost certainly be a disaster. Obviously, I would be much less inclined to bid if partnering David Burn.
Dec. 10, 2018
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