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All comments by Bruce Rogoff
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double seems clear, simply shows (near) opening values and no clear direction. This time i happen to have an almost certain trump trick, as with shortness partner will usually pull. But change the king to the king (giving me 4432 shape) and I'd still double.

How can one justify pass? We have an ace and king more than we promised.
Nov. 9, 2012
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Hate the lead, several reasons to prefer a heart. Worst aspects of club lead are that I'll often present declarer an extra trick, and by the time my clubs are set up there's no entry.
Oct. 24, 2012
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3 is the normal value action red vs. white. We have absolutely no idea what the opponents can make, but I know for sure they'll be better placed to figure that out if I mastermind by slyly passing. Hey, for all I know it's our hand, and if it isn't 3 will severely crowd E-W's auction, giving them more ways to go wrong.

Yes, bidding 3 might help the opponents in the play, but sometimes they won't be able to overcome the bad breaks in the majors, or perhaps diamonds is the key side suit.
Oct. 16, 2012
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John, it's a bit unfair to “score” this problem since, as your initial poll indicates, almost nobody accepts the premise that partner can have a balanced minimum. Certainly no one would dream of bidding 4 if you started with full disclosure.

I see that you and Steve can handle the 4-3-1-5 17+ hands with a 2 rebid, though we don't know the followups. How do you propose to differentiate the 4-3-1-5 15-counts from the 4x3 minimums?? Swap the king for the jack in the original problem hand and we'd have no idea how to continue. For instance, how do you guys handle Axxx AQx x A108xx as opener?
Oct. 16, 2012
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Very close, but I pass due to the matchpoint conditions. 4 is a close second, and I'd bid that at IMP's. For game to be odds on, partner needs either a perfecta, or a hand many would jump to 3 with. I'll hope we can score 140 and beat the club contracts.

I see many votes for 3, but IMO that should be a bad hand, not this great fitter.
Oct. 15, 2012
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Should imply some extras, as with a minimum you can simply raise to 2. Almost all partnerships these days have the machinery to find spades later if they're in the invitational plus zone, and if not you've likely found the best part score.

Type 3 strikes me as almost unplayable, as you need to be able to differentiate AJxx Kxx x K10xxx from AJxx KJx x AQxxx. Please don't tell me we're supposed to jump to 3 with the second hand! That'll be delightful opposite Qx xxxxx KJx xxx, or other minimum responses.
Oct. 15, 2012
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3 is likely to be the most helpful bid to partner, and allows room for him to show interest below game. With TWO singletons, my hand is too good for the 4 fit jump, not to mention too space-consuming. Wouldn't you want to be in slam opposite Qxx AKxxx x Axxx ?? Partner won't be able to move over 4.

Using 4/ as huge fit jumps won't happen often enough to sacrifice the splinter bids.
Oct. 12, 2012
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Steve, you say “LHO is a passed hand, so that does make it less likely that they will get me”. I think you're risking more IMPs when they don't have a game, offering them an easy shot at 500 when they were scheduled for +110…would've happened on the actual hand if either opponent had found a double. And should RHO have only a doubleton spade, maybe 800 vs. a partscore opposite a not-unlikely 5=4=2=2.

When they HAVE a game, I'd expect -800 on average, which is less costly.
Oct. 12, 2012
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3NT is too likely to be the best contract, so must bid that now. We're a strong favorite to have a “stopper” when partner passes, as even a small singleton should be enough: LHO will almost never have 7 solid hearts, so expect a blockage.

Partner knows I bid under pressure, quite possibly with very short spades, so he shouldn't pull without very good spades, or a big hand, or a heart void.
Oct. 11, 2012
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Pass, fast! With middle honors in short suits, why do I want to get involved with this 7-loser hand vul at IMPS? Surely we have no game, and LHO has an easy double of 2NT with some values. The only upside I see is they bid 4, and I score my queen when they hold AJ10xx opposite K9x.
Good rule of thumb, don't step out to compete with middle honors in short suits: good for defense, bad for offense.
Oct. 11, 2012
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Well, any method that uses 2 of a minor to show one or both majors wouldn't be any better here, as you'd fear being passed there.
Oct. 4, 2012
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4 seems forced, as other bids scare me. Any bid sounds like support. 3 and 3 could easily be passed out. If i knew partner would treat 4 as natural I'd bid it, but he might think it's a splinter. Who knew West's simple overcall would be so preemptive!
Oct. 4, 2012
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Will bid 3's over partner's 3 bid in case he's short in both suits or minimum, should show this hand accurately. I'll cue 's over any other minor suit bid. 2 is okay, but 2NT has better preemptive value.
Oct. 4, 2012
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Bashing 4 is okay, and we're probably headed there anyway, but I see little harm in doubling first. My subsequent 4 bid will promise extras, which MIGHT get partner to move with an appropriate hand (like stiff and an ace). Double also allows for the possibility of LHO running to 's, after which I can show my power with a cue bid on the way to 4.

If double gets passed out (VERY unlikely), we'll take a LOT of tricks with my entry and partner's 10-count. The only possible downside is that the opponents find a profitable save at the 5-level. I'll take my chances on that!
Oct. 4, 2012
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Not quite good enough for 4, but would certainly splinter with AJxx and small . The fact that neither opponent bid 1 is another non-barking dog that would concern me on this hand, since we'll often need short spades opposite for slam.

Those who only invite should start anti-depressants immediately. That's a VERY gloomy outlook, considering we'll often make game opposite only 3 1h's.
Oct. 3, 2012
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James, you should mention your methods over the 1 opener. 4 would have a different meaning for Walsh-style players and up-the-line bidders.
As it is, partner could've bid 3 with slam interest, and while I wouldn't be shocked to find a perfect fitting minimum opposite (KJxx xxx AQ10xx x), I can't afford to move on with no 5-level safety.
Oct. 3, 2012
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3 will often show only three spades, we'd all bid it with Axx xx AKQx AKJx or the like. So I'd expect partner to bid 3 with king fourth and out, and many other 4-card holdings will produce game. Therefore pass is way too deep, just bid 4 and move on.
Sept. 27, 2012
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The overcall actually helped us, as I can now downgrade my hand. I'd have a bigger problem if LHO had passed.

Tempo could become a big problem on this hand. You'd better have a plan over partner's spade bid BEFORE you open.
Sept. 27, 2012
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In future, please include all relevant info on bidding methods…there are several structures where 2S = spades+minor, with different lengths promised. Partner's replies could also be significant: in this case I'm happier bidding if pard's 3C is an independent suit vs. Pass-or-Correct (though I'd bid anyway).
Sept. 27, 2012
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More upside to bidding than passing…we might have a spade game opposite a balanced 13 with minor suit finesses odds on. Bidding also avoids the almost-certain heart lead, which rates to help declarer.
Sept. 27, 2012
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