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All comments by Craig Zastera
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This is a support double but it promises extra HCP values.
Probably at least 16-18 points with decent 3 card support,
but could be 18-19 balanced with 3 s and no stopper.
A minimum opener with 3 s would have to pass.
6 hours ago
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We play:
Double: roughly a strong NT, maybe slightly off shape
“system on” for advancing as if 1NT opening
2: majors, limited
2: transfer to s. Could have another suit
2: transfer to s. Could have another suit
2: transfer to s, good hand
2N: roughly, like a 2NT opener (e.g. 19-21).
2NT opening “system on” for advancing.
3: natural, pre-emptive.
3: a overall (decent hand)

After a transfer to a major, overcaller can bid a second suit (natural) with a strong hand. Thus transfer to one major and bid other major is strong with both, while 2 (majors) is more limited hand with both.

We *used* to play that 2 was *either* both majors (as above) *OR* just a overcall (decent hand).
That way, both 3 and 3 could be pre-emptive.

But, we found on several occasions that the ambiguity proved to be awkward when the opponents competed further.

That is why we changed 2 to “just majors” (somewhat limited as very strong hands can transfer to one major then bid the other).

However, since “suction” (a popular NT defense) uses 2 overcall as “diamonds or majors”, perhaps our learned anxiety about the ambiguity is excessive. So you can consider trying the “2-way” 2 (diamonds or majors) to see if it works for you.
13 hours ago
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If you believe that, then why did you vote to pass (4)?
14 hours ago
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(a) East will not rebid 4 over a 4 cue-bid.
He might bid 4, but he might judge his hand too strong for that and try 5.

(b) A cue-bid by West followed by 4 shows a hand too strong for a (already strength showing) jump advance of 4.

© If you judge the West hand as being too strong even for
a 4 cue-bid followed by 4 over 4 (not unreasonable IMO), then after 4-4-?, jump to 5.
17 hours ago
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I agree with West's pass over (3)–this hand and suit is not enough for a direct 3 overcall.

However, after East doubles, West (with clearly an absolute max for his PASS *and* a nice 5 card suit) *must* do more than just jump to 4. I think a 4 cue-bid is clear.

I certainly would not open 3 with the South hand, so I marked that choice too, but of course on OP deal, that (poor?) call apparently was effective.
18 hours ago
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It now seems to me that if North is known to have (at least?) 2 s, this becomes a simple “Law” problem where there are known to be (at most?) 16 total trump.

That would seem to suggest DOUBLEing (4) as they are a couple of tricks above their LAWful level.

I tried another 200 deal simulation, this time I specified:

North: BALANCED with 2 s (any), 3 s, 10-12 HCPs

East: 8+ HCPs, 5 s and either
* 5 very good s (3+/4 top honors) or
* any 6 s (i.e. 5=6 minors)

West: #s <= #s

Results:
1. South playing in ♠s:
#tricks: <7 7 8 9 10 11
#deals: 8 31 75 68 16 2
cum: 200 192 161 86 18 2
cum %: 96 81 43 9 1

2. West playing in ♣s
#tricks: 7 8 9 10 11
#deals: 29 75 75 18 3
cum: 200 171 96 21 3
cum %: 100 86 48 11 2

#deals where 4 makes: 18 (9%)
#deals where 4 -1 and 4 makes: 4 (2%)
These results seem to support the LAW analysis that DOUBLE stands out since 4 rarely makes (9%) or is -1 with 4 making (2%) while (4) is down on 89.5% of the deals and goes down more than one trick on 52% of the deals.

Based on my new understanding that North must have 2 s and the results of the simulation based on this, I have changed my vote from PASS to DOUBLE.
18 hours ago
Craig Zastera edited this comment 18 hours ago
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It seems to me that for purposes of analysis the play of the opponents' *spot* cards (9,8,7) should be ignored as they are all “equals”.

Ignoring the silly statement that East will “always” play the king from KQ (I don't believe it), the relevent holdings where it is possible to make 4 tricks in the suit are:
West: Qxx East: Kx (3 cases)
West: Kxx East: Qx (3 cases)
West: xxx East: KQ (1 case)

Therefore, after leading low to the Jack and losing to *an honor*, the second round finesse is a 6 to 1 favorite vs. playing East for KQ doubleton to bring in 4 tricks.

What East would do with KQx seems irrelevent as you can never make 4 tricks if he has one of those holdings.
18 hours ago
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Ideally, I would suppose 0=5=4=4 with at least some extras, asking partner to pick a minor (he could leave it in with, 4 nice s, e.g. QJ97).

Opener might be just 1=5=4=3 or 1=5=3=4 too, I suppose, but then I'd expect more HCPs.
19 hours ago
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Eric,
I overlooked the *balanced* 3-card LR in your description, probably because I don't have separate bids for unbalanced vs. balanced 3 card raises.

But given that North is balanced (i.e. 2 clubs) and that you play a limited opening system, I would suspect that a “balanced limit raise” ought to be 11-12 HCPs as I do not think making such a bid with a 10 count (unless perhaps an exceptional one) is sound.

If I get time, I might try again with North 11-12 HCPs, 3 s, *2* s and no 6+ card red suit (to be “balanced”).

It seems to me that East ought to have 6 s to justify his raise to 4, particularly if West might have only a doubleton.

I specified “no honor” for North as such a card would necessarily be devalued. However, if it were the A, that would be OK. So if I redo the simulation, I will allow North to have A or 12 HCPs with J as well as “no honor” (I'm not consider the T as an honor here–North can have that card).
19 hours ago
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I use 3 as a split-range splinter (either just game invite or “super-strong”) while 4 is “just GF” splinter.

I consider OP hand slightly too strong for 3 game invite splinter, although that could be the winning call if partner has a misfitting minimum, hence chose 4.

If my black suits were reversed, then 4 would be “clear” IMO.
June 18
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Agree that 1 advance should be forcing here.
If not, how could one possibly respond 1 with OP hand since partner could (and likely would IMO) pass 1 with a doubleton and a minimum range overcall?
June 18
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On what do you base that opinion?

I tried some 1000 deal simulations with OP hand opposite random hands with 12-13 HCPs, 5 s, and 2-3 cards in each of the other suits.

I found that 4 made on 47% of those deals (double dummy play and defense).
If I required the 12 point hands to have at least 4 controls (A=2, K=1), the 4 percentage went up to 54%.

On that basis, I believe that it is reasonable to consider the OP hand worth a GF.
June 18
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 18
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This is entirely North's fault.

Assuming that he judges his hand worth only a “3 card Limit Raise” (dubious evaluation IMO), after his 1NT and South's 2 reverse, North *MUST* make the call that shows unambiguously that he has a 3 card LR of s.

What that call is depends on details of partnership agreements.
If his 2NT is “Lebensohl over Reverses”, then immediate 3 might be defined as a 3-card LR.

Without that agreement, perhaps North would need to jump to 4 over 2 to show the 3-card LR.

But the partnership must have some way for North to show his “3 card limit raise” hand type over 2 (and over opener's jump shifts also) unambiguously, and that is what North should have done.
June 17
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Another example involves “pass/double inversions” in forcing pass situations.

The idea is to make the “pass and pull” SLAM TRY (strongest action) as far removed from the more frequent meaning of pass as possible to avoid allegations that partner's slow double influenced your decision to pull.

With “pass/double inversion”:
1. Pass is the weakest action (suggests partner double)
2. Double invites partner to bid on (hence stronger)
3. Pass & pull partner's double is a slam try (strongest)

With traditional FP semantics:
1. Double is weakest action (suggests partner pass)
2. Pass invites partner to bid (stronger)
3. Pass & pull partner's double is slam try (strongest)

Thus, with traditional FP sementics, there is less of a strength difference between the two meanings of pass. Hence, more room for UI allegations if partner's double is slow.

With “pass/double inversion”, PASS is either weakest hand (in context) or strongest (slam try) making it easier to argue that you were always going to pull partner's double with a slam try strength hand.
June 17
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This seemed like a(nother) good problem for a simulation.

So I simulated with the following reasonable constraints:
South: actual OP hand
North: 10-11 HCPs, 3 s, 0-1 (no honor), < 7 s.
East: 8+ HCPs, 5 s, 5-6 s

I generated 200 deals matching the above. This took a long time as such deals (even with explicit South hand) are quite rare.
Anyway here are the results:

1. South playing in s:
#tricks: 7 8 9 10 11 12
#deals: 5 30 96 56 12 1
cum: 200 195 165 69 13 1
cum %: 100 98 83 35 7 1

2. West playing in s
#tricks: 7 8 9 10 11 12
#deals: 3 29 101 59 7 1
cum: 200 197 168 67 8 1
cum %: 100 99 84 34 4 1
As you can see, West makes 4 just about as often as South makes 4 (34%-35%).
That and the fact that 4 goes down more than 1 trick on only 16% of the deals suggests that doubling 4 is probably a bad idea.

Comparing the wisdom of bidding 4 vs. passing 4, I found:
1. 4 makes on 69 deals
2. 4 -1 with 4 making on 37 deals

That means that on 106 (53%) of the deals, bidding 4 gains over passing 4 *IF THEY NEVER DOUBLE 4*.
That would be a slight win for bidding 4.
But I suspect that in real life, they will double 4 fairly frequently when it is -1, as scoring +200 will be a near top while +100 may lose to those making 4 for +130.

Thus I judge that bidding 4 is probably a losing decision unless the opponents are very timid doublers.

So it appears to me that the data supports PASSING 4 as the percentage action here.
June 17
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I'm liking this GB-X more and more.

We added it to our agreements (only the responsive double replacement version) for the Penticton Regional. It (or the direct invitational 3-suit) came up several times and the ability to distinguish invites from competes seemed very useful (of course, we're already big “GB-2NT” fans).
Never had a case where we missed not having a 3 level traditional responsive double available.

Your idea of using X the 3N to ask for a stopper (with a place to play at the 4 level when partner doesn't have one) seems like a good extension.
June 17
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I bid 3NT but consider 3 (to play) a reasonable alternative.

What I do not consider a reasonable alternative is PASS.

One of my strong views (I have many) is that I do not want to play 2NT in competitive auctions where one of us has shown a long suit.
I view that as too small a target to be likely to be the correct choice. So always either 3NT or back to 3 of our long suit.
June 17
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Playing standard methods, I'd bid 5 unless I had the (perfect for this deal) agreement that DOUBLE showed GF values with 5 s plus support and was “Choice Of Games” double between game in my suit and game in partner's suit.

But I don't think we have that agreement (maybe we should).
So I think double would just be “significant extra values, they can't make this.”

But playing OPer's methods where partner doesn't promise s, I would think bidding 5 now would be too risky, hence I chose DOUBLE.

But I have no experience playing “fake 1” openings, so perhaps on OP auction one can infer partner has s (he can't have many s, and presmably < 4 s too), making 5 more reasonable.
June 17
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Just back from Penticton regional.
Shortly before leaving, I learned a new idea that appealed to me from (one of) Kit Woolsey's recent BWs articles.

He suggested that in certain competitive auctions when the opponents had raised to the 3 level, a DOUBLE might profitably be defined as a relay to the next higher strain, i.e. as a surrogate for a “bad 2NT” playing the “good/bad 2NT” convention (since 2NT is not available, the auction being already at the 3 level).

After the relay, doubler either passes or corrects to 3 of a higher suit to show a hand that “just wanted to compete”.

That way, an immediate suit bid at the 3 level (instead of DOUBLE) would always be a true game invitation (i.e. offensively stronger than doubling first).

He had several examples. One was:
(1m)-DBL-(3m)-DOUBLE
Here, the 2nd double is a relay to (3m+1) to show a competitive hand with a suit (either (3m+1) or higher ranking). In this example the “good/bad double” agreement usurps the tradtional “responsive double” agreement.

He had another example where the “G/B DOUBLE” replaced a tradtional negative double, e.g.:
1-(3)-DBL
This double would relay to 3, whence responder could bid 3 (not game invitational) or 3 (not forcing).
That “solves” the problem of what resonder is to do with a pretty good hand with great s but not strong enough for a GF direct 3 response as well as differentiating between a competitive 3 vs. an invitational one.

Anyway, my partner and I agreed to adopt the first kind of “G/B DOUBLE” (i.e. responsive double replacement), but decided not to embrace (yet) the 2nd type (negative double replacement), feeling that tradtional negative doubles to show the other suit(s) have considerable utility.

I must say that even that limited use of “G/B DOUBLE” came up quite a few times and seemed to be quite useful. There were no cases where we missed having a traditional “responsive double” at the 3 level.

Now look at OP problem here.
Might the “G/B DOUBLE” be a useful agreement for opener on OP auction?

That way, opener's 3 would be defined as truly inviting partner to bid game (so responder with OP hand would have an easy raise to 4), while if opener wanted to show a more minimum hand with s (i.e. mainly just competing), he would start by doubling (3) as a relay to 3, then correct to 3. After that auction, OP responder would probably should pass.

Obviously (as in all potential “G/B DOUBLE” situations), this treatment usurps whatever meaning would have been ascribed to opener's double of (3) previously.
June 17
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Many have a way to show a “good pre-emptive raise to 4M”.

Bridge World Standard uses 3NT response for that, although I'll admit that BWS definition of that call doesn't really match OP hand:

" G. After Our Major-Suit Opening
Responder is unpassed except where otherwise stated.

Responses:
(g) 3NT or a triple raise is a weak preemptive raise,
the former showing some defensive strength;"

We use 4 (3N is probably a better choice as it leaves more room for opener to show slam interest below 4M), but our defintion is “enough high cards and shape that there might be a slam if opener has a good hand with the right cards.”

But I readily acknowledge that OP hand is so unusual that even 3N/4 “good pre-emptive raise” could easily not be enough to inspire partner to bid a good slam, since the right 8 count in his hand could be enough.

The alternative is starting with a GF 2 to try to focus partner's attention in the right places.
June 11
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 11
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