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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Heading off to Vancouver (WA) regional, so I'll post the “real deal” now.

This was my partner's hand and he bid 4.
My hand was: A98-JT873-A86-92

I consider that a dead minimum for my 3 level negative double, so will pass anything partner bids (3, 4, 3N, 5).

As you can see, 3NT is cold for 10 tricks.
5 is a lucky make (if you believe in “restricted choice”)
as the 3 pre-emptor held:
Q-Q95-KQJT9752-7
(so dropping SQ and finessing against the SJ will bring in 5).

4 making 5 was worth (surprisingly?) 74% of the matchpoints.

Personally, I rather like the speculative 3NT choice as there is no other way to get there and there is an excellent chance it will be right (I think it will be rare when the opponents can run a bunch of diamonds off the top on this auction).
Feb. 19
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Although I would usually rebid 2 with 5+ diamonds, I answered that other rebids are possible because:
(a) I might bid 2NT with balanced hands, e.g.
3=3=5=2 and good positional stoppers in both majors
(b) I might jump rebid 3 with a completely
solid suit 6+ card suit and appropriate
strength (which, for me, would not require
more than a side king as a minimum)
Feb. 18
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I thought the assumption for these polls is that we are talking about “2/1 game forcing” methods.
Generally, this would imply that 1-2 is included as a GF auction. This is independent of whether or not we allow some 2/1 auctions to die in 4 of a minor when there is no playable major suit fit and 3NT is not viable (i.e. 2/1 GF can be 100% GF or allow some special cases where the auction can stop in 4m).

One could certainly play methods where only 1M (i.e. 1 or 1)) followed by a 2/1 response is game forcing, while 1-2 is allowed on less than GF hands, but that would not be what is ordinarily meant by “2/1 game forcing” methods.
There are reasonable arguments for adopting such methods since the lack of a forcing 1NT response to a 1 opening significantly reduces responder's options with game invitational hands lacking a 4+ card major. Still, permitting 1-2 on less than GF values will add a lot of complexity to the methods.
Feb. 18
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Responder has a (i.e. *one* only) heart stopper, minimal GF values, and exactly four spades.
Opener can leave 3NT in with either help in hearts or extra HCP values. Otherwise, he can consider pulling to 4.
Feb. 6
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On the first auction (1-2-2-??), in my view *3* would be a “picture bid” jump (good clubs and hearts, no control in spades, but OK to have a control in diamonds). 3, 4, and
4 are splinters in support of hearts (see comment below about the 3rd auction).
I would play the 4 jump as Kickback for diamonds.

The second should be a picture bid in support of hearts–good spades, good heart support, no minor suit control,
e.g. AKJxx-KQxx-xx-xx.

The 3rd should be a splinter in support of spades (opener's first suit) with a good 5+ card club suit. Could even be four card spade support, e.g. Kxxx-x-Kxx-AQJxx.
Responder planned this sequence, so his ability to follow through should not be messed up by opener's (unexpected) heart rebid.
Feb. 6
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why is this posted in the partnership desk forum?
Feb. 4
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Marshall Miles advocated that 1-2-2-2 should show *exactly* two card spade support (ideally, Hx), while with
three card spade support, responder bids 1-2-2-3.
That would leave 1-2-2-4 available as a picture bid raise.
I tried this style for awhile, but the two card 2 raise never seemed to work well for me, while having to jump to 3 to show “real” support wastes a level of bidding the could be profitably used for low-level slam exploration (e.g. cue-bidding).
Jan. 25
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The queen itself is distinctly negative. However, if the hand's *other* values are sufficient so that you would like your hand enough to encourage slam if the Qxx(x) were merely xxx(x), then you can still continue to pursue the higher contract.
Jan. 24
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I could almost have voted for option 4 (sets opener's suit, good support, good side suit), but I thought that option 5 was perhaps more specific to my preferred treatment in that in addition to the above requirements, it *denies a control in the unbid suit*. Thus, I would call it a “picture bid”.
For the specific given auction, something like:
KQxx-xx-Qx-AQJxx
would be fine.
I think (good) three card support for opener's suit is acceptable too as long as the other requirements are met.
It's also OK to have a control in opener's 2nd suit,
e.g. Kxxx-xx-Kx-AQJxx.
Jan. 24
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Kind of unusual these days to play 3 as pre-emptive with (just) diamonds. Nowadays, I think most would play this as a fit jump (i.e. 3+ spades with 5+ good diamond suit and game invitational values).

How does the partnership treat new suit advance of a (2 level) overcall without the 3rd hand interference?
How about if 3rd hand raises (e.g.(1)-2-(2)-3))?
If these are played NF, then it would seem strange to suddenly switch to play 3 forcing in the given auction.

OTOH, I think many play new suit advances in the simpler auctions as forcing, in which case I would imagine that the 3 here should still be forcing.
Jan. 21
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You can never have enough to bid over 4 as you have made a limited, descriptive bid (to say nothing about your non-super accept of the transfer which further limits your hand), and partner's bidding does not suggest any slam interest whatsoever.
But what you can do is bid 4, 4, or 4 which logically has to agree spades as trump and show a slammish maximum for your previous bidding. Just for the rare case where partner has a maximum for his bidding, and the new info might be enough to encourage him to re-evaluate and pursue a slam.
Jan. 19
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I probably would never bid this way.
But if I did (or if partner did), the sequence simply must promise four spades, else it makes no sense at all.
I agree that 2 was not forcing (but it is very strong).
I would suppose some strong 4=6 majors would be the only excuse for bidding this way.
Jan. 18
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An interesting general topic is when a “new suit” slam try should be cheapest cue-bid vs. when it should show a trick source (i.e. long suit).

In many auctions, “up the line” cue-bidding of controls (in my view, 1st or 2nd round, high card or shortness) makes sense. Then, if an uncontrolled suit is exposed, the partnership can stop in game. Or, if all suits are controlled, partnership can continue with e.g. RKCB.

But in other auctions, it makes more sense to make a “long suit” slam try even if this means skipping over controlled (or uncontrolled suits). An example of this would be:
2 2
2 3
???
Here, 4, 4 or 4 by opener should be a help (long) suit slam try. If this call skips over lower suit(s), this does not deny control in such suit(s).
If, instead, opener is interested in hearing cue-bids, he should continue with 3NT–forcing and requiring responder to cue-bid controls (up the line).

The Jacoby transfer auction of the OP seems like another example where it is clear that if opener wants to show an exceptionally slam suitable hand, cue-bidding a trick source makes more sense the simply cue-bidding his cheapest control.
The reasons here are fairly clear–opener's hand is relatively well defined (balanced 15-17) and responder has forced to game but not expressed any slam interest. So for opener to do other than pass 3NT or simply convert to 4 requires an exceptional hand. An unshown long, strong suit (together with a maximum, a fit, and good controls) would seem to be what would be required to justify a slam try on this auction.

Each partnership needs to discuss and establish rules for when cue-bidding is expected to be “up the line” (so that skipping a suit denies a control) vs. when a new suit slam try should be a long suit and neither promise or deny contol of anys suit “skipped over.”
Jan. 18
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Likely to be an 18-19 HCP balanced or near balanced hand without a spade stopper.
Jan. 16
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I play continuous range, and consider this hand very close between passing 3 and raising (invitational). Partner is supposed to bid 3 with any hand with game interest opposite an intermediate hand and he didn't do that. Is this hand more than intermediate? If it were only 5=5 reds with same honor structure, it would definitely be intermediate and would then be an easy pass of 3. But the 6th diamond and honor dispersion (likely no heart losers, partner's hoped for diamonds will/may fill in that suit) push it towards a 4 raise. Opponents' silence is ominous. At IMPs, definitely 4. At matchpoints, a guess and depends somewhat on how good partner is in visualizing when he should show “some game interest” opposite 2-suited bids.
Would he consider D:QJx and a black ace enough? Again, borderline.
Jan. 13
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Here's the real deal.
Partner held this hand and raised only to 3.
My hand was:
AK965-JT43-2-QJT
Seemed clear to pass 3, but 4 was an easy make.
A 5000 deal simulation had 4 making (double dummy) on 3341 of them (66.82%).

I suspect the real life make percentage would be even higher as the best defense (usually leading as many rounds of trump as possible) often won't be found.
Jan. 13
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A common alternative use for 2NT here (other than G/B) is to play that 2NT is a good raise of partner's (overcaller's) suit. This is a useful treatment whenever the auction is such that advancer no longer has a cue-bid (raise) available that does not go beyond 3 of overcaller's suit. So, typical scenario is (1X)-2Y-(2X) where “Y” is a lower ranking suit than X. Advancer would like to be able to show a good raise of “Y” without committing to the 4 level. Hence, 2NT to show the good raise and 3Y to show a more limited raise.
Jan. 11
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Richard,
Without commenting specifically on whether I think 2NT should be “good/bad” on this particular sequence, I will say that your objection, i.e. that the suit being shown by the “bad” 2NT may (will) be lost if next opponent raises his side's suit is true in pretty much all scenarios where G/B 2NT is employed. So that is not really a valid objection to the use of G/B 2NT on this particular auction.

Consider, as a standard example, the sequence:
1 (1) DBL (2)
2NT (3?)
Here, playing usual G/B 2NT, opener's 2NT shows (just) competitive values with any of three hand types:
(1) long diamonds
(2) diamond/club 2 suiter (5=5 or better)
(3) four card heart support without extras

When (if) overcaller boosts to 3, responder may have a
hand which would compete further opposite *some* (perhaps only one) of opener's possible hand types, but not other.
So he is stuck because of the ambiguity.

In fact, on my example auction, in one partnership we have
decided to *reverse* G/B (hence "Bad / Good) for the case
where opener has support for responder's suit (as this is
the case where responder would be most likely to bid further if only he knew). Thus, after 1-(1)-DBL-(2), we
play that 2NT is competitve with both minor or just long diamonds *or* invitational with four hearts. Conversely,
immediate 3 by opener is just competitive, but immediate 3 or 3 would be game invitational (or more).
Jan. 11
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Dave,
Yes, you are right–with my example hand 1-2-2-3 splinter is the perfect sequence. Still, you could modify the hand slightly to produce one where 2 followed by 3 would be correct with responder's holding four hearts:
Ax-Kxxx-AQJxx-xx
making 6 good opposite:
xxx-AQxxx-Kx-Kxx
Jan. 5
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I believe South can have more than three hearts.
It is often important in potential slam auctions to show a trick source that will run with one fitting card before raising. Thus, with something like x-KQxx-AQJxx-xxx, bidding 2 before raising hearts might allow a good slam to be reached opposite, e.g. xx-Axxxx-Kx-Axxx
that would be much harder to bid if responder instead merely offered an immediate splinter raise of hearts. On this hand, the key is the diamond suit trick source much more than the single extra trick available from a spade ruff.
(of course, the spade shortness will prove essential in 6 because of its *control* value).
Jan. 4
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