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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Voted for 3 reflexively, but not sure it is best at given conditions.

If we pass, quite often I think 2 will be passed out.
If it is not, we can always compete to 3 over whatever the opponents bid.

Meanwhile, raising to 3 directly risks going down (VUL) possibly for no reason. This hand surely is not good enough to be confident that 3 will always make.

It would be different if partner's suit were s (and our majors were reversed), but holding the boss suit it might be better to try to play 2 if possible.
19 hours ago
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Assuming 2NT is natural and invitational (some would play it as a 4 card LR+ in s), this would seem like the hand for it.
If you're not going to bid a natural 2NT here, perhaps you ought to consider re-purposing that bid so that you will have occasion to use it.
19 hours ago
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But the problem is there is no invitational sequence.

If partner had opened 1NT (15-17), one could make a case that this hand should transfer to 2 then raise to 3, game invitational with 6 s.

But on OP auction, no such invitational sequence is available even though partner's 2NT balance promises no more than a 15-17 1NT opener.

Surely this hand is too strong to transfer to 3 (however you do that–we use 3 because 3, the cue-bid, is Stayman) and pass.
19 hours ago
Craig Zastera edited this comment 19 hours ago
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I would think the answer (even after eliminating the “always” which virtually guarantees that the answer is “no”) might depend on what strength the responding hand is.

Very weak vs. game invite vs. game force vs slam try (or slam force) strengths might have different answers.

Also, 4=4=0=5 vs. 4=4=5=0 might produce different answers for very weak (below game invite strength) hands.

Also, form of scoring might be relevent.
At IMPs, for example, with extra points beyond minimum GF but not enough for slam interest, 3NT might be a safer contract than 4M when a 4=4 major suit fit exists, while at matchpoints 4M might be favored to often produce an extra trick in such cases.
July 12
Craig Zastera edited this comment July 12
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Don't know, but I think partner's 3NT on this auction is somewhat analagous to 1m-1M-3NT where the *expectation* for opener is a small singleton in responder's suit.

Same here–I see no reason at all to suppose responder has Hx in s–with a hand like that he likely should be bidding more slowly and probing for the best strain rather than leaping to 3NT which IMO asks opener to pass unless he has a truly unusual distributional hand.
A 6th and a stiff do not IMO qualify as “truly unusual”.
July 12
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I don't see why he need have even a doubleton . He just says he thinks he can make 9 tricks in NT.
Maybe he holds AJTx-void-QJxxx-AQxx
July 12
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3 advance *is* the invitational call.
Pass is the non-invitational call.
July 11
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I would not have overcalled, or even seriously considered it.
July 11
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If I were going to bid, it would be 1NT, not double.
But given partner is a PH, and we're VUL vs. not, and this is IMPs, I think pass is prudent (i.e. chicken).

BTW, in our methods, over my 1NT overcall, partner can remove to 2 or 2 for play, which makes the overcall somewhat safer.
July 11
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I don't get the initial double at all.
I'll admit that call would not even occur to me.

The choice at first turn is between 3 (natural, NF) and Pass. I consider this hand to be slightly on the weak side for even 3, but might choose that.

Double suggests desire to penalize them in (2MX) doubled in at least one major, perhaps both.
Here, I have nothing in either major, only 7 HCPs, and a fit for partner's suit.
July 10
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Given that I'm not going to defend (1X), the choices are a quick but blunt jump to 3NT, or starting with a double to explore alternative strains.

If I double first, I likely will have to cue-bid next round as that is the only way to GF after starting with a double (negative doubles are designed primarily for less than GF hands, so with GF values, next round cue-bid will be necessary unless strain for game is clear).

Since I've got only one stopper and reasonable “tolerance” for s, as well as fringe possibilities of playing in a minor suit game, I think it is better to start with double just in case partner has something interesting to say that might cause me to choose a final contract other than 3NT.
July 10
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I chose pass, so the meanings of 2NT vs. 3 are not critical this time.

But FWIW, I play “good/bad 2NT” on this auction, so 3 would show values while 2NT would be a “bad” hand (necessarily with s on this exact auction since other suits could be shown at the 2 level).

So if I were going to bid, I would choose “value showing” 3 since I've got a pretty good hand in context (having passed twice already).
July 10
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But does it show this good a *hand*?

Although many methods and agreements are possible, one reasonable set might include:
redouble followed by jump to 3 shows
an invitational hand with a good long suit,
e.g.: xx-xx-xxx-AKQJxx

Certainly, it would be good to have some way to show that hand type. If playing transfers, just transfer to 2 (i.e. by bidding 1NT), then raise to 3.

But without transfers, XX followed by 3 jump seems reasonable to me.

With less narrowly constrained good hands with long s, XX but then only 2 (forcing) to leave room for exploration.

Further, this seems consistent with auctions without interference where 1-3 would be a natural invite (but passable) whie 1-2 would be GF and include a much wider range of possible hands (both in terms of length/strength and overall hand strength).
July 10
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No inconsistencies because I believe he is talking about 2 after first re-doubling. Forcing.

But 2 directly over 1-(DBL) is not forcing.
July 10
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This hand is a very marginal opener in 1st/2nd seat.
Depends on partnership style.

It does count to 22, but has a “weak quack” in each red suit.
Therefore, I would not open in 1st/2nd, but I suspect many/most would.

In 3rd or 4th chair, though, I would open.

But (1 level) overcall minimum requirements are not as high as for (1st/2nd chair) opening bids.

Here, with the boss suit, I think it is percentage to overcall as we might be able to outbid them at the same level for a + score.

Also, RHO's opening was in 3rd chair, so could easily be based on a worse hand than we have.
July 10
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But if we can't, I may not be there at all.
July 10
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The main consideration in deciding whether to pre-empt vs. overcall 1 is whether our side can have a game.

Here, the answer is obviously “yes”–we could easily have a game.
Axx-xxx-xxxx-Kxx for example would be enough for 4 to be excellent and that is far from an opening bid.

Therefore, overcall 1.
July 10
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Even after agreeing that partner's 2 is natural (and NF), this advancing hand is not easy to bid.

Suppose, even, that partner had opened 1 and we had the auction 1-1-2-? without competition.
It would not be clear how responder should continue.
On *that* auction, 2 would be 4SF (probably to game), so would not even be a possibility.
July 10
Craig Zastera edited this comment July 10
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s is hardly “their suit” since the (1) opening promised only 2 s.

Many (including me) play that a direct 2 overcall of their (1) opening is natural and NF.

It is also common after (1x)-P-(1Y)-2x/2y, to play both 2x and 2y as natural and NF.

After (1m)-DBL-(1M)-2M, advancer's 2M is generally played as natural and NF.

So I would disagree with your claim that “usually” bidding “their” suit is forcing.
July 10
Craig Zastera edited this comment July 10
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Assuming partner had no way to show minor 2-suiter with one bid at his first turn, I would suppose that is what his sequence shows. I consider his 2 NF.
July 10
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