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All comments by Mike Bell
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100% isn't legal. When I was systemically opening 1 on 11-13 NTs I was spoken to by the TD (the EBU chief TD, as it happens) after I “upgraded” a 4333 10-count.
March 31, 2019
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Ronald - if that was the case, it would say, “Any *hand* that satisfies the requirements for a natural 1NT opening”.
March 31, 2019
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Playing it face-down is selfish and slows the game down. If you play it face-up and then don't proceed to trick 2 until everyone is ready, you have lost nothing, but everyone gets to think with more information.

Additionally, as the laws stand, there is nothing to prevent one from playing a card face-down and then putting it back in their hand, which creates issues regarding UI to partner and misleading declarer.
March 25, 2019
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Agreed, playing cards face-down is incredibly annoying and has no upside.
March 25, 2019
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Regarding collecting table money from teams who have a bye: it is also a reasonable point of view that not receiving a bye in R1 shouldn't penalise you financially.
March 25, 2019
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I used to play with someone who, when asked to explain the meaning of my (penalty) double, would respond, “natural”.

I also played 14-16 NT and Better Major for half a session, with no conventions allowed after the 1M openings, until we realised that this (presumably) prohibited takeout doubles.
March 14, 2019
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Likewise, except with 2 forcing and wide-ranging. If oppo have a pulse you'll have to compete to 3m anyway.
March 12, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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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