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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Can't answer what an “on-line B player” would think (I thought most on-line players were “experts” and the remaining few were “advanced.” :-)).
So I answered what it would mean if I bid it–good hand for diamonds.
April 15, 2018
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I think the 5th diamond is worth an extra point, so answer on this one should move one step “down”–either from 4 to 3 or from 3 to 2 (close between these options).

I also disagree with the assertion that the minimum for the 3m response is typically defined as 6-7.
Originally, I think 9-11 (the same range as what would be required for a 3m jump advance after a double of 1M) was what was expected for a direct 3m (instead of Lebensohl 2NT).
But it appears that this requirement has eroded a bit over the years so that I think now *8* is considered a minimum for the 3m advance.

To some extent, this figure might depend on how one counts “advancer points” after a take-out double. I tend to add one for each card over 4 in my suit (also add for shortness in suits other than opener's).
This is based on the recommendations of an ancient (but still valuable) book by Edgar Kaplan, “Competitive Bidding in Modern Bridge”.
BTW, that book also advised a 9-11 (high card) point range for a 1NT advance of a take-out double of a 1 bid, contending that the 1NT advance should show roughly the same strength as a jump suit advance. I'm sure the standard for this advance has weakened (and paerhaps widened) so that 7-10 HCPs or so would now be norm–and I've seen MSC problems which indicate that many/most experts would go even lower on problem hands (not sure quite how low, but surely 6, maybe even lower in emergencies).
April 15, 2018
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I picked 3, but considered 4. Happy to see I'm right near the mainstream views as this convention is much less useful when partners have different views about the strength required, yet I suspect this topic would not come up until a partnership had played together quite a lot (but “Lebensohl over doubles of weak 2s” would likely be agreed in the first discussion of methods).
April 15, 2018
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Dave,
All true. That is why a meaningful simulation might be difficult–would need to specify exactly what sorts of shapes (and strength) opener can have for his 2 rebid as opposed to other options. Hard enough to do just for my own partnerships, but others will no doubt have significantly different views. I suspect most will usually rebid 2 with 6 clubs and 3 spades. And certainly opener can have even as many as four hearts for his 2 rebid (1=4=2=6, too weak to reverse).
April 15, 2018
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Upon reflection, I have one further comment about this auction:
If opener is going to accept responder's 3 heart invite,
then I think he should generally cue-bid rather than
simply bidding 4. For all he knows, responder can have
more than mere game invitational values, so cue-bidding
uses valuable bidding space to show a control in addition
to committing to 4 when responder is only invitational.
This might be important if responder has any slam
interest.
On the actual deal, if RHO had not bid (3), I think
that would be opener's correct call (cheapest cue-bid
to show good hand in support of hearts). Given the
(3) enemy call, unless opener's DOUBLE has been agreed
to be used as a substitute for a 3 cue (i.e. good hand
in support of hearts with SA), I suppose 4 is his
best option.
My point is that I don't think 4 necessarily shows
any more than just enough to accept a game invitation
in hearts, since responder is unlimited.
April 15, 2018
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I have to agree with Michael here. Perhaps I should do some simulations to confirm, but I believe that statistically with 5=5=2=1 (not to mention even more shape, e.g. 6=5) and a weak hand, the deal will likely play better in 2M than in 2.
Keep in mind that partner won't always even have 6 clubs for his 2 rebid.
April 15, 2018
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I agree. I seek and relish opportunities to make “anti-field” calls whenever I think the odds favor them. My goal is to win in the auction (Lord knows I'm not likely to win in the play), and the way to do that is certainly not to “follow the sheep.”

If you *believe* opening light is the way to win, then by all means do so (but be sure partner knows what to expect).

But if you think a hand is not really good enough to open, then back your judgment by passing. But keep track of your results from these decisions, and if it appears that you are losing more than you are winning, then perhaps it would be wise to re-define your standards for opening bids.
April 15, 2018
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Yes, this is the dilemma when playing Forcing Pass-sometimes you must choose between e.g. -790 and -800.

One could make an argument that PASS of (4) should *not* be forcing. I believe in Robson's book, he advocates that limit raise type bids should only establish FP at the *5 level*.
Partner's 3 was only game invitational, so it in of itself does not establish FP over (4) I think. But our 4 cue-bid not only accepts the invitation but shows we think we have a really great hand for hearts. Given that, it seems right (to me anyway) that pass over their (4) should be played as forcing.

Looking at all the hands, it might seem that the solution is to contend that partner should have bid 5 himself rather than pass (or double). But I'll admit that if I had held his hand on this auction, 5 would not have been obvious to me given no 6th heart or 5=5 shape, etc. I would probably imagine that 5 could easily be down while 4 would also not be making (hence, if I believed my pass would be forcing and inviting 5, I probably would have made the fatal double).
April 15, 2018
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I have no quarrel with this cute agreement (respond key cards if not signing off or asking keycards), but assuming this has not been agreed, I do not see too much of a problem with asking for keycards. If we happen to have them all (which I'm actually thinking is relatively unlikely as splinters with stiff ace are not wonderful), then we continue with 5NT which tells partner we have all the keys, so he will be just as well placed to know what to do as he would had we been able to respond key-cards directly over his 4.
BTW, I do not think it is all that unlikely that we might turn out to be off two keys or HA and SQ, in which case we probably do not want to bid slam.
In my world, splinter slam tries tend to be “light” in HCPs such that a good fit opposite the stiff (i.e. few or no wasted values) will be needed for slam.
Something like: KJxxxx-x-KQx-Kxx would be fine, opposite which slam is so-so.
April 15, 2018
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I'm glad to see my choice of 5 would have been “right”, but I will admit that I do not think partner's hand is appropriate for a forcing pass of (4)–I think it is too weak as I consider the FP to be a strong invitation for me to bid on.
If you changed his diamonds to KQTx, then I think the FP would be OK.
April 15, 2018
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Not just “not forcing”, 3 here says we positively are not playing in game. Responder either passes or bids 3.
April 15, 2018
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I voted for “jack” although even with that card it is a pretty pitiful opener in my view.
I applaud those who would require the queen to open, but I guess my standards have been eroded (some) by the pressure of ever lighter opening bids.
April 15, 2018
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You state that (and I certainly agree with) that partner's pass of (4) is *forcing*. That means he is inviting us to compete to 5 (at least–he may have a slam try). If he didn't want to suggest that we bid on, he would have doubled (4).

So for us to *double* here would be explicitly rejecting his
invite. To me, that hardly seems to be appropriate with spectacular trumps and the SA. A double would suggest likely something wasted in spades–not the SA opposite his likely
stiff. Everything in our hand seems to be working and our trumps are so good that we are proof even against a bad break in that suit.

I chose 5, but my alternative was 4NT which would be my choice if I could be confident that partner would interpret this as showing the SA (which is what I think it should mean).
April 14, 2018
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I'm not sure why the C9 <-> C3 interchange (along with, say, weakening declarer's heart spots so four tricks in that suit are not possible) would make a difference.
Isn't playing dummy's C8 at trick 1 still 100% for 13 tricks vs. any lie of the defensive cards?
April 14, 2018
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Why wouldn't I be enthusiastic about making a “support redouble” with this hand?
First, if I do anything else, partner will never believe I have three card support.
Second, after re-doubling I will likely get a chance to bid again, e.g. 2NT. This will complete a very accurate description of my hand–18-19 balanced with 3 card spade support and stopper in hearts.
April 14, 2018
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It seems that OP essentially answered her own question in her description of how advancer is supposed to act after her partner makes a “normal expert” double of (4).
That is, lacking a 6 card suit, 5-5 distribution, or (perhaps) a somewhat less distributional hand but with sufficient HCP strength to expect to make a 5 level contract advancer is expected to PASS.

BTW, I agree with OP's description of how one ought to react to such doubles by partner.
April 14, 2018
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A 1000 deal double-dummy simulation giving South just what he has explicitly shown in the auction(11-13 HCPs, balanced, 4 diamonds, 2-3 in each major, 3-4 clubs, the DKQ and the HK) shows that 7 makes on 60% of the deals and 6NT makes on over 90% (902). 6 makes on over 99% (994).

Given those statistics, there is no way I am going to play in 6 at matchpoints. The most conservative thing I would ever do is bid 6NT.

But I don't think that is enough. We should try for a grand slam, particularly since South's raise to 4 suggests that he has a good hand for a diamond slam (hence, expect better chances than the above simulation indicates).

We have the following grand slam tries:
(1) 5:
This asks partner to bid a grand (or at least above
6) with the SK or (without SK) to bid 6 with
the CK (which he can't have here).

(2) 6:
Asks partner to bid above 6 with club king.

(3) 5NT:
Shows interest in a grand slam but needs more than
just a black king.

So 5NT seems perfect to me. Partner will value CQ and SKQ
or H:KQ.
If partner can do no more than bid 6, I will convert to
6NT, but I'm really hoping he will take the hint and bid above 6, after which I will bid 7 (if he hasn't already).
No guarantees this will get us to every good grand and/or avoid all the bad ones, but it is our best shot.
April 14, 2018
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I really don't think the fall-back on the (this time) successful heart finesse and break is really relevent for most people who think the claim should be accepted.

I believe the reason the claim is accepted is because 13 tricks are 100% on any lie of the cards via an obvious line of play (i.e. playing C8 from dummy at trick 1 and thereby realizing 6 club tricks on any lie of that suit).

In fact, if declarer had actually called for the CQ from dummy and then claimed without stating a line of play, I do not believe he should be allowed to take a heart finesse even though that would be the “percentage” line for attempting to recover from his trick 1 blunder.
April 14, 2018
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You may be missing my point (as suggested by your other response on this thread).
If I considered my call uni-lateral and final, I would bid at the 5 level (probably 5 rather than 5 if I am acting unilaterally and not seeking partner's input).

But what I'm trying to do is involve partner in the final decision about how high we should compete. In my view, both 4 and 5 do that, but 5 is inviting partner to compete at the *6* level (or even higher if necessary), and I'm a bit too conservative to do that at the given (unfavorable) vulnerability.
April 14, 2018
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Chris,
I play “XYZ” over opener's 1 rebid and “2-way NMF” (essentially, the identical convention) over opener's 1NT rebid. So I have the exact same structure available after either rebid. The main difference is that over 1NT rebid, a weak (say less than 10-11 HCPs) responder with 4=4 majors will have to pass, whereas over 1 rebid the spade fit will be discovered.
April 13, 2018
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