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All comments by Marion Michielsen
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I don't think it is right to play double as penalty in a situation where the opponents have voluntarily supported each other to the 3 level. Especially from the west hand it has to be some sort of ‘keep the bidding going’.

And if west overrides the 5 response he should have 3 KC, right? So that's not an option, and I wouldn't show the void either. If you do that, you are basically driving to slam by yourself.

Easiest would just be if east had bid 4 the first time.
Sure, if west helds x xxx Kxxx AJTxx you might be heading for a poor matchpoint result, but give him the same hand with 6 clubs and 6 is not a bad contract on the likely spade lead. And thats not really a ton of extra's.
Dec. 10, 2016
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I never played Turbo and therefore I am not in a position to judge whether or not it is a good convention. It is more that I am used to good old Blackwood instead of any other reason not to try it.

Anyway, I don't think this hand is a good example.
You say that 5 shows
a) a decent hand with 10+ hcp
b) no diamond control
c) 0 or 1 keycard

Otherwise he would pass and then bid 5.

This is too much information in one bid, but surely fits the south hand nicely.
What will south do with xx KJTxxx x Axxx? Or x KJTxxx xx Axxx? Etc etc. You can have good hand with or without diamond control and with 0/1/2 (maybe even 3) KC. And less or more than 10 HCP.
Therefore I think you cannot make hard rules that when south only has 2 possible bids, one of the bids shows exactly one out of 12+ combinations.
BTW, if south already shows 10+ hcp and no diamond control, then north doesn't even need Turbo and can easily bid the grand himself.

This hand came from the Bermuda Bowl in Bali I think and the bidding often started 3-x-5-5. Many north players now tried 6, but no surprise, south couldn't bid the grand when north had all the keycards himself. A 7 bid by north should have been with the odds IMO.
Nov. 12, 2016
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You solve one problem you create another.

Does
1-1
2-2
3 show the extra strong reverse? And what does it say about shape exactly? Stopper in the 4th suit?
And what happens if partner is unbalanced and would like to bid something else over 2?

Maybe you have this all worked out much better , so there is no problem at all.

But my experience is that multi meaning bids cause problems when responder doesn't have a hand that wants to bid the relay, and that describing your hand at a higher level takes away a lot of flexibility in the auction.

For instance
1-1
2-2
2 now you have the advantage that you know the hand is limited, but
-responder cant bid 2 anymore to show his suit
- before you could bid 2 as 4th suit/2NT as lebensohl, or 2 as weak and 2NT as natural GF, and asking, depending on your agreements. now it is only 2NT+ that is left. Yes, you know the range but you lost 2 bids. After the 2 response you are still quite low but the higher you answer the less options responder has.

I'm not saying its wrong to play 2 as some kind of artificial bid, especially in a natural system where 2NT is 18-19 and you need a way to show a good hand with a long minor as well and then this should come in handy. But the higher the answers get, the more precisely defined they should be.
Oct. 27, 2016
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Yes there used to be a rule in the Netherlands, that if you forget first round conventions, then apparently you don't really play them. (and thus there is a misexplanation)
I havent played any bridge in the Netherlands for the last 4 years so I am not sure if anything has changed.

But I do quite like the rule.

Even if you try to explain as best as you can when saying (the bids means X but partner tends to forget and intend it as natural) this doesn't solve anything for the opponents, as their bids are often dependant on the explanation. Like here, west can see south has diamonds but he can't do much about it.
Oct. 26, 2016
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What about case 11 from the 2015 spring?

South has responded wrong to RKC, bidding 5 with 3 KC while they play 1430. Partner then thinks a long time and signs off in 5, and she is ruled not to be allowed to bid slam.

It is said that if south had 4 KC, it would be normal to raise 5 to 6. Also a 5 response (2+Q) would force the partnership to slam. If she had correctly bid 5, and north would have bid 5, the partnership agreement might well have been that she is supposed to bid on with 3.

But now that she misbid she is not allowed to raise? I'm not sure if the hesitation here means anything, partner can never be thinking about raising to slam if you only have 1 KC, as partner can at most have 2 himself.

The hesitation might have made her rethink about her number of aces, but even if you are under the impression that you answered right you might well raise to slam with 3.
Partner should have at least 1KC+Q to bid RKC as he otherwise can't stand the 5 response.

It seems like everyone didn't notice this reasoning and only focussed on the hesitation.

edit: partner can max have 2 KC, not 3
Oct. 25, 2016
Marion Michielsen edited this comment Oct. 26, 2016
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This analysis leaves out that when you bash 3NT it will be more difficult for the defence, since
A) they don't know if opener is min or max
B) it will be harder for them to come in to show their suit for the lead
C) they will likely lead aggressive since you have an (almost) unlimited hand, whereas they might lead passive if you invited to game. The lead might well cost a trick
D) depending on your methods defenders are more likely to know more about declarers shape after an inviting auction (e.g. if you play 3 ‘puppet stayman’ where declarer does not show if he has 4crd major compared to first bidding 2 and then 2NT)
Oct. 9, 2016
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Nice article.

I'm not a statistician but I predict that the 8ths will be the best leads in the long run.
Oct. 2, 2016
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At one of the last nationals one of my opponents told me
' I'm sure I recognize you of something.
….. Aren't you the wife or the girlfriend of a professional bridgeplayer?
Me: (a little confused) uhh, yes, that's correct
They: Yes that must be it! I knew I had seen you before!'

:)
Oct. 1, 2016
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Congratulations to all winners!

I like the WBF decision. Yes, the wording in the article should have been better but I think the fact that they allow joint winners means that they understand that they made a mistake.

Unfortunately it seems like the WBF just can't do it right in the eyes of many readers.
First, while they were discussing the matter and asking the HLPC (which has about 15 members) for advice. This is a delicate case and of course that takes some time. Meanwhile people translate this as that the WBF doesn't care and doesn't respond.

I've also read commends from people saying that the WBF will for sure make the outrageous decision not to do anything etc etc etc.

Now they decided to have co-winners, which I am sure was not an easy decision, and again this makes people lose all respect for the WBF.

Yes, they should have worded their statement better. But I think the conclusion itself means that they realised their mistakes, and they are trying to improve by asking the HLPC for advice on what to do (and there are already ongoing discussions about how to avoid this in the future).

So instead of always wanting something to complain about, I think we should be happy that the WBF took this decision, which IMO, was the most fair for everyone involved.

And lets just be happy for the winners.
Sept. 29, 2016
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Agree with Andy here. I think the charm of the open events are that they are open. This means that you will have a lot of Chinese pairs when the event is in China, Americans when its in the states, and Poles when its in Poland, etc.

Both for the entry fees and for the interest of the host nation I think it would not be smart to set a maximum to the nr of pairs from one country.

IIRC, when the BB/VC/SB was in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, half of the teams in the transnationals were Dutch. I can imagine not everyone enjoys playing against a Dutch team every other match, but I can assure you that these teams , especially the ones that dont have the opportunity to play at the USA nationals or in the national team, think its a great chance to play against the top players. And I'm sure the Dutch federation really enjoys giving this opportunity to its players, by organising the event again in 2019.

Lets keep the open events open, and have the closed events as the ones with a limited nr of pairs/teams for every country.
Sept. 26, 2016
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I've never stated that I think it is allowed that many people open 3rd hand on many really weak hands. But this hand is a poor example as there is no damage, and the bidding from the opponents clarifies the situation.

Anyway, it was maybe unfair to only reply to this point in your statement. I do feel for Spain that they feel ignored and unheard, and as I stated in the other thread, one can't complain about the fact that you want your opponents to follow the rules. (even though it would not be something I would call the director for myself)

From my own experience I have noticed that it can be difficult to get the WBF attention if you want to file a complaint. You have to be on it, and usually have to talk to the ‘right’ director, and even then usually nothing happens.

I still think that refusing to play is not the way to go. But I do understand your frustration and I hope that the WBF will take complaints from players in the future more seriously.
Sept. 21, 2016
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Yes , you can't call the director to force the opponents to double 3NT because they have to assume you cannot count your HCP.
Sept. 21, 2016
Marion Michielsen edited this comment Sept. 21, 2016
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I think this is very sad for both pairs involved, but probably nothing to do about anymore now.

I am sure Roy and Sabine did not check the scores, otherwise they would have been the first one to correct them. (the NS thing about the Howell makes it more difficult but here they scored 100% on the board and that certainly would have raised suspicion as they expected an about average board)

Yes, they should have checked the scores (as they probably have done all other sessions) but its easy to see how it happened that they didnt. They won, and many people came to them to congratulate them and to hug them, take pictures etc. In the joy of the moment they then forgot/didnt get an opportunity to print our their scores.

Roy and Sabine, as well as Bach-Cornell probably read the opening post with a shock. Again, very sad for both pairs , and more the fault of the WBF scoring system that didnt notice it, than anything else.

The people who are writing here that Roy and Sabine should act and resign their medal etc clearly have no idea what they are talking about and I think the comparison with what Roy wrote on previous occasions is way out of line, as that was about cheating scandals and this is clearly something very different.

In most other sports this happens all the time, I've read the comparison to the hand of God already, but an unjust penalty in soccer is something that everybody complains about for a couple of hours and then shrugs their shoulders about.

The most fair solution would of course be that Bach-Cornell would win the gold, but as I dont think the COC allow that, I think this result will stand forever.
Sept. 18, 2016
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FWIW : I don't think transfer bids can only be to the next suit (1NT-2NT as a diamond transfer comes to mind) (the alert chart also says that a transfer is a bid of a suit that shows another specific suit (as opposed to: that shows the next higher suit) )

But I'm neither an expert on the ACBL rules nor on the English language so I might be wrong.
(edit: I realise these are WBF events we are talking about but couldnt find anything there)

Transfers in competition are part of the general chart in ACBL so its not even a pre-alert (which I actually think is a little weird so we pre alert it anyway). So everyone better make sure to have their agreements sorted out because you might just run into someone playing this at the nationals.
Sept. 16, 2016
Marion Michielsen edited this comment Sept. 16, 2016
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Debbie, thank you for posting your side of the story. I now understand what happened back there, and I guess it would have been easier to talk it all out 5 years ago instead of having to do it on BW :)
Sept. 16, 2016
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Then about the director thing with the USA women: I dont want to hold this incident against Debbie (or her teammates) personally, but more as an example of what Boye refers to as the difference between the ‘spirit of the law’, and the ‘letter of the law’. (in which I think he is right that the European style is more to play by the spirit, and that in America it is more popular to follow the letter of the law)

Following the law, there is nothing wrong with the USA behaviour then, there were just trying to (make us) follow the rules.
The director also ruled that we had to file the supplementary sheets after that, which certainly means they had a case.

Does that mean I would have done the same in their situation? No, I would just have asked the opponents for a clarification if I needed to.

Of course it was outrageous that the Spaniards left the table and refused to play, even despite the directors instructions, and the decision of the WBF to only give them a 10 IMP penalty and let them play on is also a remarkable one. That being said, I do think they had the right to question Justin-Kevins opening style and whether or not it was a HUM.

Maybe my example about the USA women was a poor one, as their behaviour cannot be compared to that of the Spanish team, but I was trying to make a point that I don’t think it is fair that many people are saying that the Spaniards cannot question the legalness of the opening style of the Americans , because that's the same as calling them cheaters etc.

If you want to follow the rules all the time, then that is fine (in fact, it is to be praised), and you want your opponents to follow the rules , that's also fine, but then don't complain if someone else calls the director against you because they question your actions.

If you are allowed to call the director to complain about the opponents CC or their lack of disclosure, then so should they be allowed to do that.
Sept. 15, 2016
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David: I dont know the Spanish team at all so I dont know if there is some ill history or if this is a Europe-USA thing or neither of those.

But I do think Kevin and Justin just got really unlucky: this opening light thing has become standard expert practise and under the current WBF rules it was like a ticking timebomb, just waiting to explode and somebody calling the director.

Hopefully the good thing about this will be that we will have the rules sorted out about what is and is not allowed in 3rd seat.
Sept. 15, 2016
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Yes. Just want to clarify that i didnt mean that Bathurst or Lall have done anything similar, I was rather meaning people in general.
Sept. 15, 2016
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“We judge ourselves by our ideals, but judge others by their actions”
As Martin said above.

I think this is often true and also something that I sometimes realise that I do myself.

“You don't interrupt a match in progress because you think your opponents card is poorly filled out”

The American women team, coached by Kokish, once did something similar to us. 5 minutes before gametime they called the director because we hadn't filed any supplementary sheets to clarify ‘transfers in competition’. One of the American players had the previous tournament (2 months before?) asked me how we played this, because she was interested in the concept and wondered if she could adapt it herself.
When gametime started they didn't want us to play this, as they hadn't been able to prepare a defense. Her partner was even so rude to us that the director had to tell her to calm down.
Don't tell me Kokish doesnt know how to tell his pairs to play against transfers in competition if he hasn't seen exactly how they play, and dont tell me he didn't notice that we played this untill just before game time.

Don't get me wrong, I don't agree at all with the Spanish behaviour. But it's easy to forget our own actions when blaming others.
Sept. 15, 2016
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I see enough players xx to just show a maximum nr of HCP, regardless of their suit quality.

If I passed 2 to make a penalty pass of that then I will be pretty annoyed to find out I cant play 2xx here.

For me pass is 100% penalty here.
Sept. 14, 2016
Marion Michielsen edited this comment Sept. 15, 2016
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