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All comments by Craig Zastera
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!hs
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But referring to 2 after 1-1-2 as “NMF” emphasizes the fact that it is not necessarily natural.
Sure, it would be forcing without “NMF”, but it would show a real suit.

With “NMF”, it can (and often is) be some invitational or better hand with both majors not suitable for a jump to 3 (however the partnership defines *that* call).
6 hours ago
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Good hand for special agreements.
With none, I guess I just have to bid 2.

Agreements I like after 1M-(1NT) are as in Robson's book on competitive bidding:
* 2: both majors. At least 5 OM, at least Hx in M.
* 2: good raise of partner's major
* 2OM: natural, NF, no fit for partner
* 2M: weakish competitive raise with 3.

With those agreements, one could consider either 2 or 2.
With weakish s and *3* nice s, I would go with 2 “good raise of partner's suit.”
6 hours ago
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Invitational jump to 3 seems best to me.

The only thing wrong with this is the playability in s.
These invitational jumps are not supposed to have another 4+ card suit.

But this hand is clearly not worth a GF opposite a likely misfit.

The wrinkle about being able to stop in 4m *sometimes* after a quasi-GF 2 start (which I also play) might tempt me into trying 2, but to generate an auction where we can stop in 4, I would likely have to bid in a way that sounds like I am denying a stopper.
7 hours ago
!hs
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I don't get the question.

If you don't play immediate 2 response as some sort of weak / 2-suiter, then I think OP sequence is NF and shows 5 s and 4-5 s with not more than 9 HCPs.

With a stronger hand and same shapes, responder would indeed rebid 2 NMF.

With 5=5 majors and invitational or GF values, partnership agreement is needed. Some play that 1-1-2-3 shows 5-5 invitational, while other play this sequence as GF.
8 hours ago
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Well, 2 was still natural when opening was 1 if playing ordinary NMF, but not with “Checkback Stayman” wherein 2 is always used as the artificial checkback bid regardless of which minor is opened.

But when the bidding goes 1-1M-1N, opener always as at least 4 s (assuming only open 1 with 3 when exactly 4=4=3=2 shape). Thus, 2-2-3 is OK as invitational bid with 4+ support.

But 1-1M-1N might be only 3 s. I like to play that if responder continues 2-2-2N (invitational with s), opener is expected to remove 2NT to 3 whenver he is not accepting the invite to 3NT *and has more than three s*.

When responder wants to invite 3NT and is content to play 2NT when opener is not accepting, he can suppress his s (or s after 1-1M-1N) by just raising 1NT to 2NT directly. Thus, using the 2-2-2N route is a strong suggestion that responder really wants to play in 3 if not 3NT. Sure, opener can over-ride this and pass 2NT with four s, but he had better be right if he makes that choice!.

The issue of how to sign off in s is not quite as clear.
Since we use 2 -> 2 to sign off in s (pass 2), it seems reasonable to use 2 -> 2, then 3 to sign off in s.
The alternative would be for responder to jump to 3 over opener's 1NT rebid to sign off. But we like to preserve the integrity of using all 3 level jumps by responder to show game-forcing “pure” hands.

1m-1M-1N-3 to show (at least) 5=5 with GF (or more) strength can be helpful when responder is strong and shapely.
Aug. 18
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Experience suggests it is better to use the 2-2-2N sequence to show specifically *s* rather than “opener's minor.”
No difference when opening is 1.
But after 1-1M-1N, responder can invite with s via 2-2-3, but has no way to bring s into the picture (with invitational values) if the 2-2-2N is not defined to show them.
The logic is that using 2 as an artificial relay introduces a “glitch” (compared to natural bidding) around the suit. So other details of the system structure are designed to mitigate the loss of the natural 2.
Aug. 18
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I probably would have bid 1 the first time.
Perhaps the actual auction worked out better as 1 now must suggest only four with long s.
Aug. 18
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It is not necessary to play 2NT as puppet to 3.

We play that 2NT directly after opener's rebid is invitational *without support*, while 2NT after the
2-2 relay is invitational with support.

The idea of the latter is to suggest responder would prefer to play in 3 rather than 2NT if opener doesn't want to bid game. It even allows reaching 3 after 1-1M-1N-2-2-2N when opener has 4=4 minors and a minimum in addition to the more obvious use of playing 3 after 1-1M-1N.

To sign off in either minor, use the 2 relay, then either pass the forced 2 or correct to 3 to play.

All 3 level jumps at responder's 2nd turn (including 3) are natural and GF.
Aug. 18
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I do not belive that in XYZ the 2 artificial GF by responder is primarily asking opener to relay so that responder can describe *his* hand. If responder wanted to do that, he could just have bid 2 relay to 2. Or, if responder has GF strength, any 3-level bid by him (directly over opener's 1) is natural and game forcing.

Rather, the 2 artifiical GF asks opener to make a descriptive rebid if he has one. When opener's 2nd bid (first rebid) was 1NT, there is a very well defined heirarchy for his replies to 2. When opener's first rebid was 1M, there seems to be less unanimity about what opener's priorities should be, but presumably each partnership has discussed this and has rules. My main point is that opener is supposed to make a descriptive rebid if possible.
Aug. 17
Craig Zastera edited this comment Aug. 17
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A 2NT rebid over responder's GF 2 would be terrible.
What that call shows, above all else, is a full stopper–exactly what this opener does not have.

Now if you wanted to advocate that opener should bid 3 over 2 rather than his actual 3, *that* would be reasonable. 3 would suggest something in s that might support NT if responder has help in that suit.

Another alternative over 2 would be 2, which might be used as just a cheap denial of any more descriptive bid.

So I think any of 2, 3, or actual 3 might be reasonable choices for opener over 2, depending on partnership agreements and style.

But definitely not 2NT.
Aug. 16
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Ray,
I appreciate your comment, but I seem to have a lot of trouble formatting posts on BridgeWinners.

The main problem seems to be that BWs eliminates white space.
I find this quite annoying, as I use white space (blanks or even tabs) in order to format my posts for readability. When the post contains numbered points and/or is in outline form, and/or contains a bridge hand or deal, eliminating the white space often converts my original well layed-out post into something that is difficult to read.
I do use the bridge hand lay-out tool whenever possible, but that does not seem to be available when replying to posts.

I've tried various techniques to mitigate these problems. One is to insert “hard” line breaks at reasonable points in my text, hopefully before BWs inserts a “soft” break invisibly to me.

I've found that this does often improve readability, but because I have no way of knowing how wide each “line” will be when displayed on BWs (perhaps it even varies for different readers depending on their devices ?), the result is often that my lines are significantly shorter (narrower) than then need to be.

It seems to me that it would be better if BWs retained any explict white space put in by posters in order to preserve often essential formatting.

My current reply here is an example. I see when I look at it now (after it has been posted) that the lines are considerably narrower (due to my hard line breaks) than they need to be.
But when I *made* the post, it was not apparent on the “reply” screen where I was entering it that the final displayed lines would be so wide. So I put in line breaks at points that appeared to be “near” the natural end of the line but such that they would avoid “soft” breaks being put in awkward spots.

Despite the final product having lines that are (unfortunately) shorter than they need to be, at least what I entered appears to be reasonably readable, even though what would have been useful white-space in the form of indentations to better delineate the outline structure of the post has been eliminated.
Aug. 16
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Here is an excerpt from my system notes covering “2-way NMF” after the auction starts 1-1-1NT.

Note, my system is based on 5 card majors, 15-17 1NT openers, and modified Walsh style (i.e. responder with 5+ s and a four card major needs at least game invitational strength to respond 1 to a 1 opener–with less he responds in the major).

Anyway, it is up to you to decide how much of this can be used/re-purposed to fit with your system.

————————————————

III. Auction: 1-1-1N
This auction has some special features because responder will not have a four card major unless he has at least an invitational strength hand (with less, he skips even a longer diamond suit to respond instead in his four card major). In traditional Walsh, responder is required to skip over a longer diamond suit in favor of a four card major unless he has FULL GF (game-forcing) strength. However, as you will soon see, 2-way Checkback has sufficient power to allow us to relax this traditional Walsh-style requirement and allow responder to show a longer diamond suit first when holding a four card major with invitational or better strength.
Responder’s continuations (any not mentioned are the same as described previously):
A. 2
Still a relay to 2
After the 2 relay, the following responder’s
continuations are re-defined:
1. 2/2
These rebids show *INVITATIONAL* values with
four cards in the major and five+ s.
It is the availability of this sequence which
allows us to relax the traditional
Walsh requirement that responder must have
full GF values in order to respond 1 when
holding a four card major.
Responder’s ability to show his
5(s)-4 (major) shape when he holds
invitational values is an advantage for
these methods as this information will
help opener to evaluate game prospects.
Note that opener might have four cards in
a major for his 1NT rebid after 1C-1D start.
With four card support, he will raise to
3M with a minimum (passable) or 4M with a
maximum.
Otherwise, he will choose between 2N (to play),
3D (to play), 3N, or perhaps pass 2M and play
a 4-3 fit.

2. 2NT: invitational with five s and four s.
Opener can pass or correct to 3 or 3 if
he doesn’t want to play game.

3. 3: invitational with 5-5 minors.
Note:
There is no need to play this sequence weak
as in auctions where responder starts
with 1M because with a weak 5-5 (or 4-5) in
the minors, responder just raises clubs
(!2C or 3 pre-emptive) directly, while with
a weak 5-4, responder passes 1NT or
puppets to 2 to play since opener migh
have only three s and/or two s so
committing to a 3 level minor suit contract
would not be justified.

4. 3/3: splinters in support of s—
more details later.

5. Responder’s continuations above 3 after
1-1-1N-2-2 are undefined.

B. 2
Still a GF check-back type bid.
Often responder will have a hand with both minors.
He will not have a four card major (with such and
GF values he would rebid 2M, see below),
but on rare occasions he might have a five card
major with six+ s.

Opener responds as follows (order or preference)
3: good five+ card suit
3: four or strong three card support
2M: values in bid major, weak in the other
2N: “default”, none of the above applies

C. 2/
After 1-1-1N, 2M IS NOT A SIGN-OFF.
Instead, we follow traditional Walsh system methods
and use these rebids to show GF values with four
cards in the major and five+ s.
Although this definition seems inconsistent with
our 2-way checkback structure which typically uses
2M rebids as sign-offs, the circumstances are
different when responder has started with 1.
After 1-1, opener will rebid 1N on all
balanced hands, even those with four card major(s).
After responder’s (GF) 2M rebid, opener should
raise to 3M (forcing) with four card support.

D. 3 and 3 are natural GF “pure” hands as before.
3 shows 5-5 minors with concentrated values.
3 shows 6+ good s.

E. 3/3 are auto-splinters—more details later.
Note:
Since these jumps (above 3 of responder’s suit)
are defined as splinters, responder does not
have a direct way to show GF “pure” hands with
6 s and a 5 card major.
With such (rare) hands, he must start with the
2 GF “checkback” bid and then show his major
at the 3 level (e.g. 1-1-1N-2-2N-3).
If responder had GF values with only a 4 card
major and 5+ s, he would show his major at the
two level (GF) over opener’s 1N rebid.

F. 3N: natural, to play
Aug. 16
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Range Stayman is most useful when the 1NT balance is over their (1M) opener because over (1m), with a NT hand stronger than normal balancing 1NT strength, balancer can start with a double and (usually) be able to rebid 1NT after partner's advance.

After (1M)-P-(P)-1NT-2-??
the cue-bid reply is not needed to show that suit, hence can be re-purposed productively.

For example, with 11-16 range for the 1NT balance over (1M), 2 and 2OM replies to 2 “range Stayman” show 11-12 without and with 4 cards in OM, respectively.

2M reply shows 13-14 with 4 cards in OM, while 2N shows 13-14 without 4 cards in OM.

3 level replies can all show 15-16 with appropriate shape definitions.
Aug. 16
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But why can't he have the long solid hand looking for a * stop? I think the two black suits should be treated symmetrically here since both can be bid below 3NT.

In such cases, it seems normal to me to bid the suit you've got and await partner's 3NT if/when he's got the other one stopped.
Aug. 15
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I play “Walsh” style and I believe in that style it is normal for responder with *GF* strength, 5+ s and a four card major to respond *2*, NOT 1M.

This is very important as it establishes the GF immediately and, thus leads to smoother auctions. There is plenty of time to discover a 4=4 major suit later in the relaxed auction that ensues.

In fact, I believe this principle is so important that I (and many I think) extend it to responding to 1 opening with four s, *four* card minor, and GF values. It is probably better to start with 2m to establish the game force (especially if the minor is s since 2 response doesn't necessarily promise even four s but does establish the GF).

This idea could be extended to 1-2 with *four* s, a four card major, and GF values. I have not yet adopted this idea (I still respond 1M over 1 with four in the major and only four s, even with GF strength), but I think it has merit for the same reasons described above.
Aug. 15
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So I normally play all these Leaping and non-Leaping Michaels as GF, and in general that seems best.

But my inference is that OP here is suggesting that if you reverse which minor is shown by these calls (at least in the Leaping case over (2M)), when overcaller has s & OM he will overcall 4 instead of 4.

That opens up the possibility of advancer's being able to get out (or suggest getting out) in 4 with little loss.
If overcaller's hand is GF, he can always raise to 5 (or make some other call to show a really great hand).

Of course, when overcaller has s and OM, he will have to overcall 4. In that case, it will not be possible to stop in a minor suit part-score if LMs is played as forcing (as I and I think most do).
But that is no worse than current situation with 4m showing bid minor and OM.

Just because the interchange doesn't solve all problems, that doesn't mean it can't be used to solve *some* problems if it doesn't create others.

So over (2M) where both of advancer's suits are known, I don't see much downside to OP interchange suggestion. And it gains the ability to play 4 after (2M)-4 (s & OM).

I'm less enthusiastic about extending the same idea to
4 overcall of (3) (s & a major). Although that is the definition we use for 4 overcall, I prefer advancer's 4 to ask for overcaller's major.

If, instead, 4 were natural and passable, advancer would have to use 4 as “pass or correct” which could sometimes cause a problem.
Aug. 15
Craig Zastera edited this comment Aug. 15
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We play exactly this way:
4 / (3m) = om & a major
4 / (3m) = majors
4m / (3M) = m & OM

When 4 shows an unknown major, we use 4 to ask for the major.

The idea is that these overcalls are GF just as “Leaping Michaels” overcalls of (2M) are, so playing in 4 is not on the menu.
Aug. 15
Craig Zastera edited this comment Aug. 16
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Then what hand type does 3 show in this Precision context?
Aug. 15
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“Trend”s are irrelevent.
Each partnership has its own agreements about minimum opening bid strength.

Mine is that opening bids in 1st and 2nd seat should be relatively sound. I sometimes pass balanced 12 counts, particularly if they are 4333 and deficient in quick tricks.

It matters little to me that “sound initial action” may not be “trendy” currently.
I believe that style can be effective if the partnership extracts all value from it (e.g. more aggressive penalty doubles when the opponents interfere and more accurate game and slam bidding).

Part of that style is that 3rd/4th chair openings must include some hands that would not be opened in 1st/2nd.

Possibly partnerships that open very “light” in 1st/2nd seat do not need to open any lighter in 3rd/4th. I don't know for sure if that is true as I don't play that style.

I do not think opening a 4 card major is “much more likely” in 3rd chair than in 4th. It may be done in either.
If opening a “light” hand, there is more pre-emptive value in opening a major. We certainly don't want to open in 4th and have the opponents successfully oubid us.
Aug. 15
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Strongly prefer Ogust after 2M (feature over 2 is good).
Then, I'd know for sure that 3NT will be making if partner shows “good” suit (2/3 top honors).

Here with “feature ask”, in my style of sound weak 2's, if he doesn't have an outside feature, he most likely does have :AQxxxx. So 3NT seems like a good shot.
Aug. 14
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