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All comments by Marion Michielsen
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There is a carry over from the semi final to the final. (and before that from the qualifiers to the respective semifinals) There is a linneair carry over from the semi final A with the top qualifier having about 2 tops and the bottom pair having 0, and the qualifiers from the semi final B gets a set percentage from that (depending on which place you finished).
I dont think there were any drop ins to the final this year, only to the semi final A. I remember that in previous years drop ins to the finals gave serious issues as to how much carry over you have to give them.
July 10, 2015
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I've also seen a fair share of hands of the senior trials, and all of the hands that I saw that suction (or crash I think it was that they played) was involved, turned out bad for the pair that overcalled.

One hand they couldnt overcall a natural 1D, so ‘had’ to pass, and when partner then could overcall 2D natural they were way behind as opposed to where you can overcall 1D and partner can jump to 4D or 5D.

Another time they couldnt locate their huge double fit because the opponents bid too high and then they didnt know if partner had the black suits or the red suits. Responder also couldnt show his own KQJxxx because this would be pass or correct.

Of course those 2 hands dont prove anything but I totally agree with the people that say that its the preemptive raise that hurts the most. And thats exactly the thing you often lose when playing suction or the like.
June 27, 2015
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Hi Francis, nice article.

I think you are absolutely right on your conclusions. It might also be that they underestimate you because you are a woman. This will sound very harsh to some but that's the way it works. (every tournament I still get some ‘coochie coochie, how cute you two little girls are to play in a tournament like this’)

But I do think that declarer on the first hand should have gotten it right. Your partner was kind of forced to let go of 2 diamonds, but I do think that gave away the position.

Declarer only missed AQ4 of diamonds at that point. Now he played you to have discarded both your small diamonds from xx when you have 5 spades, or to have discarded 2 diamonds from Qxx and then after that a spade from Qxxx, or your partner to have discarded 2 diamonds from AQxx while he had nothing in spades. Or that you kept the stiff ace of diamonds and your partner Qx left when he only had small spades.
As it was, your partner would have done better to discard a spade. It then looks more like he started with xx Qxxx AQxx Qxx. But thats of course easier said than done :-)
June 10, 2015
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Yes but the disadvantage is that responder cannot show a weak hand with hearts anymore, something that would be more usefull if opener is 54 than if he has 6.
The other disadvantage (but thats a general Gazilli problem) is that if you respond 2 on 1 and a weak hand, opener wont always take another bid with a minimum 16+ hand.
That would also be a problem if you have xx Axxx xxx Qxxx where you might miss the superiour heart fit.

(btw I really like Gazilli, but as always some hands go better with it than others)
May 18, 2015
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So they won quite big against the superstar-filled teams of Diamond and Cayne in 2 day matches, but would have virtually no chance of winning the Bermuda Bowl? Who are you trying to talk down now? Paul Fireman? Or Greco-Hampson, Zia, etc?
May 18, 2015
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Just that double is a logical alternative with the south hand doesnt mean that you can force north to pass it with nothing in the minors and AKQx of hearts. IMO all roads lead to NS playing 4 hearts as I think that passing is absolutely no alternative.
April 29, 2015
Marion Michielsen edited this comment April 29, 2015
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I thought they took it away at the European and World championships, for security reasons. If you enter the wrong board number and enter -say- 3N making by NS and it scores 100% you already know your side cannot make game on that board.
April 14, 2015
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I basically never overcall 1N over a minor with 18 (especially non vul when I overcall most 15 counts 1N). I can understand you do it over a major because you are afraid you otherwise have to bid 2N next time but over a minor it has to be a verrry crappy 18 for me to overcall 1N.

Therefore it would not even be close to me to take a bid with responders hand.
April 13, 2015
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Do I understand it correctly that you think it is ok that opener doesn't bid slam with this supermax, because he might be confused, and then partner jumps to slam on a hand most experts wouldn't even have made a try with?

Anyway, over and out for me, I'm not gonna argue anymore. We are all entitled to our opinions.
March 2, 2015
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But Hanan, don't you think opener would always bid slam with this hand (or the one with Kxxxx clubs) himself? I mean, partner made a slam try and it is nowhere possible that you can have more than this. There is no reason for west to jump to slam himself with a 5422 9 count.

Remember also they were down 1 IMP! Even if Lothan is as brilliant as you say he will have a hard time figuring out that they are exactly 1 imp behind.
March 2, 2015
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It happened to be the case that the Italian pair on the table right next to them said loud enough for their table to hear (in Italian) ‘ the only slam making is 6C’
The Swedish pair did hear that they were discussing the board (obv the last board as they left the room) but didn't call the director right away because they didn't speak Italian and didn't know what was said.
When they saw declarers hand after the contract made they did call the director because it seems that he has bid extremely aggressively and the 1N opener had quite an unexpected strong hand.

EW probably didn't know whether they were ahead or behind as it was a very close match (they were down by 1 imp before this board)
Feb. 28, 2015
Marion Michielsen edited this comment Feb. 28, 2015
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It seems much better to lead a high spot card from Hxx than from Hxxx. Therefore I think one should play reversed Slawinsky :-)
Feb. 19, 2015
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I think another bad thing about this is that women events are more often played with screens, because of the fewer number of teams. (for instance today, the second day of the womens BAM is normally with screens, but not the open BAM). This would make it more expensive to play in the womens BAM than in the open BAM and I would not be surprised if this would drop the number of teams even more.
Dec. 1, 2014
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It's certainly difficult to win those rulings but it does seem that you should could the director when you feel they take advantage of UI. Even if you don't win the ruling the director could maybe explain the opponents that it is better to ask about the alert before you pass.

At the last national we had another situation with this. We pre alerted that we play transfer responses to our non forcing 1club opening. After that we bid 1C (p) 1S alert (p) // 1N (p) P and now the 4th hand doubled and everyone passed. Nobody asked about the meaning of the 1S bid, and I asked what the double meant. It was explained as asking for a spade lead (which he duly led) Now I was like, but uhh, 1sp doesn't show spades. It turned out that the one who doubled 1N remembered our pre alert and didn't feel like he had to ask again. His partner wasn't thinking about the pre alert and just thought the double asked for a spade lead when nobody asked.
The final result was making 2.

I did feel a bit bad for the opponents (or at least for one of them) but it seems that we usually get bad results when opponents do something like this, so this one was kind of a revenge for everyone who's not asking about alerts before bidding.
Aug. 7, 2014
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I once played against a pair that agreed at the table to play option one. This includes the 2H bid as take out of hearts.

When the multi came up the player didn't read the defense and bid 2H, which was obviously natural now. Partner then bid 2N with a stiff heart, and over partners 3H response, 3N.

We called the director but the director ruled that she “could see from her own hand that it was natural”.

In general I think a problem with the written defenses is that most players don't care to read the defense when they have less than 10 HCP. So there is often UI passed by just reading or not reading the defense. I realize that this is hard to prevent and don't know a clear solution for it. Forcing everyone to read the defense a little bit before passing is not going to work in practice.

Aug. 7, 2014
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I think this is a very interesting idea but not my kind of cookie.

It appears to me as the relay double works best if you don't expect any further preempts (like 2-x-3) and if you have something to tell instead of something to ask.

If it goes 1 (3) and I have a 2434 hand now without diamond stopper I would much prefer the normal take out double. Not that you can be sure there what to do over partners 3 answer, but at least you are in a better position.

I think lebensohl in general works better if you don't expect further raises/preempts from the opponents or if the opening hand showed a balanced hand, because opener is not so likely to want to compete further with that hand type. After a 1M opening and some kind of preempt to my left, it happens quite often that they raise or jump raise and there I think it is more important to show where your house lives instead of your exact strength. With Kit's 11 count I would just bid 4 over 1 (3). Might be wrong of course, but then again, they might bid 5 now and be wrong where they would otherwise have bid 4 instead.

Myself I prefer to know which suit or handtype to expect instead of being able to show invitational hands. I don't like lebensohl types like good/bad or lebensohl in live auctions either (but of course I understand the merits)

After 1M (3x) i play 4 as S/T in the M which I think works fine.
March 18, 2014
Marion Michielsen edited this comment March 18, 2014
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