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All comments by Rosalind Hengeveld
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I always used to play ‘one ask, two show’ but recently switched to ‘always ask’. Reasons are: (1) not always clear whether a second suit counts as opponents'; (2) as explained by Gábor Szőts and Stefan Olausson.
May 21
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Except in the first round of bidding (counting from the opening bid). But this 5 is not first round.
May 21
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If double is penalty (and doubler has not gone berserk) then redouble must be SOS. Not kidding.
May 18
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With a strong hand unsuitable for any other action, west could (and presumably would) double 1. On the other hand, many if not most play a direct 2 as artificial, usually some two-suiter. Hence, 2 and 3 must be natural.
May 18
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As I would play, 4NT shows any two places to play, not necessarily including hearts.
May 17
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They overreacted. However, I hate opponents who gloat and become talkative after getting an above average score. I’d much rather play against a sore loser. Best, of course, is to talk as little as possible, as some commented.
May 17
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And redouble is business (I presume).
May 15
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Agreements and convention cards may matter (and were not given). However, the combination of a possible erroneous artificial bid plus lack of alert makes a weak case for EW.
May 14
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Pass is traditional. Is it becoming old-fashioned? Good problem.
May 10
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In the absence of methods stated, I use my own, where 2NT shows 10–14 with four+ trump support, i.e., a limit raise or minimum game raise.
May 10
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Correct. And Love's book is from 1959. However, a Dutch squeeze is not just any pseudosqueeze but one involving an apparent ‘threat’ to which declarer has no entry. Other – if not most – pseudosqueezes involve ‘threats’ in which declarer has no genuine threat card in hand, but gives the impression they do.
May 10
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‘Polish Bath Coup’, I’ll surely add that to the bridge terminology (along with ‘Dutch squeeze’ et cetera).
May 9
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The popular K is not as safe as many people think. How often haven’t you seen Jxx+ appear in dummy and declarer grabbing the ace?
May 6
Rosalind Hengeveld edited this comment May 6
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Whenever partner makes a slam try and I have AKQ+ of trumps (so that partner is looking at bad trumps), I always accept.
May 6
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I can think of a number of things that are needed for successful bridge – or the lack of which is responsible for disappointing bridge results:
* talent
* intelligence
* knowledge
* devotion
* focus
* equanimity
* stamina
* team spirit

Of these, my guess would be that ‘talent’ is certainly a factor but is somewhat overrated.

Likewise, ‘intelligence’ is not as important as one may think: some very intelligent people play abominable bridge. However, intelligence keeps a player from assigning illogical meanings to bids and signals, or from adopting zero chance plays. Also, intelligent people are more likely to be steadfast on their bidding and carding systems.

‘Knowledge’ is harder to come by than would be desirable. Bridge books are often written by excellent players but poor writers (barring exceptions such as Hugh Kelsey). Bridge books typically deal with aspects of the game that are didactically easy to explain. Other, more difficult aspects tend to remain within a ‘cabal’ of experts who are unable or unwilling to explain them to a wider audience. Also, the level of bridge writing is often poor: full of an author's ‘hobby horses’, no mention of competing ideas, no references, et cetera. The idea that the ‘merit’ of an agreement can be ‘proven’ by a small set of deals where it would gain while competing treatments would lose, is still widespread.

‘Devotion’ means that playing once a week at a club will not cut the mustard. Think of the famous rule about ‘ten thousand hours’ one must spend on an activity to be good at it.

The importance of ‘focus’ and how to improve it is nicely explained by Michael Hargreaves above.

‘Equanimity’ is most of all the ability not to dwell on past results during subsequent boards. As Kelsey once remarked, good results can be as dangerous as bad ones.

‘Stamina’ is getting more of a factor as one gets older. What helps is focusing on just what can make a difference in scores, not on anything else that may seem ‘interesting’ (except for fire in the play area). Also, do not forget to drink water when playing. When you begin to feel thirsty, it is already too late.

‘Team spirit’ is important as bridge is a team game, with a partnership also counting as a ‘team’. Some bridge players would probably be better off playing a solo game like chess.

So much for my thoughts. Feel free to add.
May 6
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Experienced bridge players are likely to know by heart the most common partitions of thirteen cards into four suits or four hands (4432, 5332, 5431, 5422, 4333 et cetera). This makes it easy and effortless to count the deal without actually computing. I think it makes for an argument in favor of showing original count.
May 5
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With (as of this writing) nine different votes, this must be a good problem.
May 3
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If anyone could have done more, I think it is South, who knows about nine trumps (assuming 2 shows six of a major). EW are sure to have a fit and if NS go down in 3, EW can probably make three something.
May 2
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Fit jumps make a good convention, more often useful than splinter in contested auctions. However, they are prone to misunderstandings.
April 27
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2NT for good-bad if agreed; else 3, which should then be to play.
April 11
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