Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Craig Zastera
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I also originally answered “often 5 but not a terrible suit” because I thought/think that with a terrible suit there will usually be an alternative rebid (probably 2NT).
But since I play that 2NT promises stoppers in the unbid suits, it is possible to construct hands where I would rebid my major even with a terrible 5 card suit, e.g.:
xxxxx-KQ-xxx-AKJ
after 1-2.
So I changed my answer to “even a terrible suit”
Dec. 12, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
One might consider why PH West chose to advance with a 3 cue-bid. Clearly, the only explanation is that he is looking for a 4-4 major suit (hence, since he is 4=3=3=3, spade) fit.
Otherwise, given that he judged his hand good enough to force to game (which the 3 cue bid surely does), he would have just bid 3NT.
I believe the reason West (correctly in my view) chose to explore for a possible spade fit with 3 rather than just bidding 3NT was that my at the table explanation of my partner's 2 bid emphasized that his bid did not promise length in spades, but rather only suggested a spade lead in the event I was on lead vs. a suit contract.

The problem with the E/W auction was East's failure to make his normal 3 reply to his partner's cue-bid (I wonder what he would have bid if I had passed West's 3 rather than doubling it?). By passing my double, he suggested to West
that he held 3=3=1=6 (or possibly 3=3=2=5 if West isn't willing to credit our side with a guaranteed 9 card diamond fit in light of 3rd seat weak 2).

Although I don't know East's intentions, I would speculate that he intended to start with 3 cue bid, and then over the likely 3 reply by partner, to continue with 3NT, thus implying four spades as well as diamond stopper(s) and offering partner a choice of game.
If West had simply shown his four card spade suit while denying four hearts by bidding 3, East would have to raise to 4 (in that case, he couldn't show the diamond stopper as that would suggest to West that East held four *hearts* and a diamond stopper without four spades).

So the misinformation of my explanation was not really the cause of E/W bad results. Rather, it was East's poor choice to pass my double of the 3 cue-bid instead of making his normal 3 reply.
Dec. 11, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Aviv,
What you describe may be one way of playing McCabe, but it is not ours. In theory, partner could even be *void* in spades and show a raise to 3 with a preference for a spade lead via either 2 (ordinary McCabe) or 2 (transfer McCabe).
True, a void would be unusual, but something like AQ (tight) would not be.
Dec. 11, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The explanation given in no way suggested that South had spade *length*. Thus, failure to investigate a spade fit by E/W was not caused by the explanation that South's 2 bid suggested that he might prefer a spade lead to a diamond lead.
Dec. 11, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I was North on this deal.
The OP explanation is incorrect in several ways (perhaps he shouldn't be posting if he doesn't know what he is talking about).

First, the auction given is not what actually occurred.

The real auction was:
No. Est So. Wst
—- —- Pass Pass
2 DBL 2 3
DBL Pass Pass 3NT
Pass Pass Pass Pass

Second, the explanation of 2 was not what OP states.
I believed that we were playing “transfer McCabe.”
That is that 2 was likely a raise to 3 (thus, showing *3* diamonds, *not* “tolerance”) with spade “lead directing” implications in the event that North wound up on lead and didn't have a good diamond holding to lead from.
It was made clear that the 2 bid did not promise length in spades (e.g. S:KQ or even S:A would be possibilities with D:xxx).
It was also mentioned that it was *possible* (but not probable) that South has a hand with just long spades and wants to play in spades. This possibility is quite unlikely given that South is a passed hand.
If West had passed the 2 response, North is expected to bid 2 (pretty much with any hand). Then, South will correct to 3 to show the (usual) raise with spade lead direction hand type or pass 2 to play (if he weren't a passed hand, he might even raise spades if very strong with long spades.)

Obviously, South had forgotten “transfer McCabe” and intended his 2 as just ordinary McCabe (a raise to 3 with *heart* lead directing implications). Playing “transfer McCabe”, he should have re-doubled to show this hand type (or one with just long hearts). If West passes the re-double, North removes to 2, etc.

On the actual auction, it seems to me perfectly normal for East to bid 3 (showing his cheapest 4 card suit) in reply to his partner's 3 cue-bid.
Thus, in my view, their bad result is due to his (Easts's) decision to suppress his four card spade suit and instead
pass the double of 3 and his partner's subsequent 3NT.

The defense was DK opening lead. Our agreement is that
King leads vs. NT ask for unblock or count. Thus South should have played D4 (standard count), but actually played D7. In any event, I presumed he lacked the DA and DJ (suggested by the bidding also) and therefore shifted to the safe H8. Partner won and returned a diamond to declarer's Jack and my Queen. I then cleared diamonds.
Declarer crossed to dummy in clubs and led a spade to his ST and my SA, resulting in -3.

I think it was generous (I don't understand the justification actually) for director to change the result to 3NT -2 (on the grounds that declarer could have cashed out for 7 tricks).

It seems to me that E/W complaints that it was the explanation of 2 rather than their own bad bidding that caused them to miss 4 (which can be made but might go down) was a blatant attempt at “double dipping.”

BTW, at the table my slight hesitation before explaining partner's 2 was due to the fact that without East's double, South's 2 would have been an artificial “feature ask” (we use the cheapest response to our weak twos as Ogust over 2M and feature ask over 2).
I was slightly worried that partner might have forgotten that this changes when the weak two is doubled. In that case, “transfer McCabe” applies and the transfer to 2NT (in this case, 2) becomes the Ogust/feature ask call.
It never occurred to me that partner might actually have forgotten that we had agreed transfer McCabe rather than ordinary McCabe.
It is also true that he had just “McCabe” (not “transfer
McCabe”) written on his card, although he later did recall that we had previously discussed playing transfer McCabe but was unsure that we had agreed to play it.
Dec. 10, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Disappointing that so many are willing to call this “bad luck”. I call it “lazy bidding.” A good bidding pair should
avoid 3NT (at IMPs anyway).

If 3NT had made, I would call that “good luck” (although then 6 probably makes also), but still bad bidding.

I think South should bid 3 (4SF), but not clear to me that he should remove 3NT if North bids it.
Actual North should probably bid 4 over 3, then South should remove to 5.
Dec. 2, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I voted 50-50 as I think both players' rebids are awful.
As North, I would have started with 1 and then rebid *2NT* over 2. Some seem to like 1NT then 2 which I view as better than passing but somewhat eccentric with a stiff heart (albeit the HJ) and four decent spades.

With the South hand, over 1NT I think the choices are 3, 4, and 3 (GF).
The way I play, 3 guarantees 5+-5+ (else semi-artificial GF 3) and is GF, hence perhaps an overbid if North has a weakish black misfit, but might hit a home-run if North has something like Axx-x-KQxx-xxxxx
Dec. 2, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I've had good luck playing 2NT as 8-10 HCPs, balanced (probably no 5 card major, ideally no 5 card suit).
Over this, 3 by opener can be “transfer checkback Stayman”, i.e. responder replies:
3: four hearts
3: four spades
3: no four card major, min
3NT: no four card major, max
4: 4=4 majors, min
4: 4=4 majors, max
(or could reverse 3 <=> 3NT and 4 <=> 4)

2 and 2 responses are natural positives, good 5 card suit (but not 6+ solid or semi-solid) with more than just
KQxxx (or AQxxx) and out.
Nov. 23, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I am probably a bigger fan of playing Lebensohl (aka “good/bad 2NT”) in a large variety of competitive auctions than most.

However, in this particular auction, I think using 2NT as “scrambling” is more important than having a way for advancer to diffentiate two strength ranges.

This auction is generally an attempt to compete for a partscore (perhaps even going down for less than they would have scored for making 2). Thus, it is imperative that we use every available tool to find our best fit. That means using 2NT to “scramble” when advancer has two possible (equal length) trump suits.

Sure, it is conceivable (but rare) that our side will have enough strength to be in the potential game zone, whence “good/bad” 2NT would be valuable for differentiating two ranges of strength. But with one opponent showing 15-17 HCPs, this seems like a far less likely scenario than one in which we had better “scramble” to our best fit to maximize our chances that our intervention will prove successful.

Of course, using competitive 2NT as often “good/bad”, but sometimes “scrambling”, and perhaps, occasionally even as
(horror!) *natural* will require either a partner whose idea of bridge “logic” is a match to yours (good luck finding such), or else a very long list of rules and sequences to be discussed and memorized.

(a) (1)-DBL-(2)-2NT ??
(obviously, Lebensohl)
(b) (1)-DBL-(2)-P-(P)-DBL-(P)-2NT
(obviously, scrambling)
© (1)-2-(2)-2NT
(obviously, natural, unless part of some
agreed transfer advance structure)

If anyone out there actually agrees with all three of these, I'm sure I can add a few more equally obvious
competitive 2NT auctions until I'm the only left who gets them all “right.” :-)
Nov. 23, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The issue of the potential conflict between 4NT as the queen ask vs. 4NT as an attempt to play in a contract that might score some matchpoints when the partnership with a minor suit fit discovers it has too few keycards for slam is a serious one.
Playing Kickback and 1430, this problem arises in only two
cases:
(1) our suit is diamonds, 4 is Kicback and the reply
is 4 (1/4 keycards).
This problem is easily solved:
4NT is “to play”
5 is the queen ask

(2) our suit is clubs, 4 is Kickback, and the reply
is 4 (0/3 keycards)
This is a real problem. If 4NT is queen ask, then
we have to play 5 when two keys are missing, which
might be OK at IMPs, but is often a disaster playing
matchpoints.
If 4NT is “To play”, then there is no way to ask for
the queen without committing to playing above 5
even when she is missing.
I do not see a good solution to this problem. We
usually play 4NT is Queen ask for sure at IMPs and
agonize over whether to play this way at matchpoints
too.

But would playing 3014 replies really help solve this
problem? I do not see how.
Now, a 4 reply to 4 Kickback would show 1/4 instead of 0/3, but the issue of insufficient room to ask about the queen without going past 4NT still arises.
Nov. 22, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Currently actually play this as spade cue-bid with level of slam interest undefined (partner then can continue with a non-serious 3NT or a serious 4m cue-bid). If opener instead bids 3NT, that is “non-serious” *and* denies a spade control.

However, I think it would be better instead to play opener's 3 as “non-serious 3” (when hearts have been agreed in a GF auction), with opener's 3NT then becoming a “serious” spade cue-bid.
Nov. 21, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
John,
Transfers followed by a second suit (e.g. 1N-2D-2H-3C) is fine with game forcing strength. But what about 5=5 hands with only invitational strength (e.g. about Kxxxx-Kxxxx)?
These hands can make a lot of tricks when opener fits both suits well, but otherwise want to stop in 3 of a suit.
To show these hands as well as GF 2-suiters, it is necessary to have different methods for each type.
Nov. 19, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm not a “light opener”, so I'm not sure if this hand is enough for 3NT in your style (as it surely would be in mine). If not, then 2NT invitational.
Nov. 19, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
And, yes, with 5 hearts plus a 5 card minor with “light invite” strength, one bids:
1N-2-2-2 (forcing 2NT)-2N-3m
Nov. 19, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
with invitational or better 4=5 majors hands:
1N-2-2-2
showing 5+ hearts & 4(+) spades (hearts longer than spades)
with invitational or better strength. Opener replies:
2N: minimum (reject invite) with only 2 hearts
3N: maximum (accept invite) with 2 hearts
3H: minimum with 3 hearts
4H (or other 4 level): maximum with 3 hearts
3C/3D: 3 hearts, game re-try

So this structure is a variant of “2 level Smolen” except
that after 1N-2-2-?, 2 by responder forces opener
to bid 2 regardless of his spade length (or hand strength) to allow for responder's weak (less than invitational)
5=4 hands and also for responder to show light invites
with 5 spades and a second 5 card suit.
Nov. 19, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I play this (1N-2-2-2) as a relay to 2. Opener must bid 2 regardless of his shape or strength.
Responder may then:
* pass 2 with a weak 5=4
* bid 2NT with 5=4 game invitational
* bid 3NT with 5=4 game force
* bid 3 or 3 with 5 spades & 5 in bid minor with
“light invite” strength (e.g. Kxxxx & Kxxxx)
* bid 3 with 5=5 majors and “light invite”.
* bid 3 with 6=4 majors, light invite.
Nov. 18, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Lebensohl does not apply when the doubler is a passed hand.
It is not important whether or not the double is in balancing seat or not.
So:
(a) (2H)-P-(P)-DBL-(P)-2N/3m
Lebensohl does apply here even though double is
in balancing seat because doubler is not a PH.

(b) P-(P)-P-(2H)-DBL-(P)-3m
No Lebensohl here even though double is direct
because it is by a passed hand.
Nov. 15, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
My partner held the given hand and raised to 3 (not invitational). I find that bid hard to justify as it can never find a game (as 2NT might do), nor is 3 necessarily
safe. Further, the spade holding makes it unlikely that opponents can/will outbid us successfully.

FWIW, my actual hand was: x-QJTxxx-Kxx-xxx giving 3 little play (and, in fact, it cannot be made as the cards like and I was duly -1).

The opponents can make 2 but would never have bid it as my LHO, who has the hand most likely to risk a spade bid, had already passed my 2. I seriously doubt my RHO would have balanced after (P)-2-(P)-P-?? holding:
T74-84-J963-KQT8

-50 was worth 29% of the matchpoints, whereas +100 would have been about 70%.
Oct. 30, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I don't think given hand is a super maximum. Just a normal near maximum (could have the HJ as well).

That doesn't mean I'm advocating 2NT–just agreeing that it is possible for partner to have a good enough hand for game to be reasonable. It is also possible for him to have a bad enough hand that 3 will be too high. Hard to estimate relative probabilities.

Of course, 2NT has some extra potential benefits such as discouraging opponents from entering the auction.
Oct. 30, 2017
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I play both 3 and 4 as natural (promising 3+, not uncommonly 4) after 1-2-3.
The difference is that the jump to 4 is a “picture bid” promising strong hearts and spades (now very often four) with no minor suit control, whereas 3 is a more flexible (GF) spade raise.
If responder wants to make a *spade cue-bid* in pursuit of a *heart slam*, after 1-2-3, he bids *3NT*. This promises SA, SK, or/and SQ but does not promise spade length (he could have 3 spades, but 3NT is just a spade cue pursuing a heart slam).

This method does give up “serious” (or non-serious) 3NT on this one auction. True, that is a loss, but this sacrifice allow complete clarity w.r.t spade *cue-bid for hearts* vs. showing genuine spade support.
Oct. 26, 2017
.

Bottom Home Top