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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Actually, the jump to 4 as an attempt at recovery might be a good try. I'd like 4 even better, except that might sound like a (big) raise.

It seems quite possible for opener to be 5=6 for his bidding (that is one reason for introducing a suit in which responder has denied holding more than 3 cards).

If opener holds as little as AKxxx-KQxxxx-xx-void (and that's not much for his bidding), then 6 is excellent.
Dec. 15, 2018
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Time to reveal the actual deal.

The posted hand was mine, and I elected to open 2.

Obviously, a weak 2 with a side 5 card suit is “unusual” (or perhaps some more pejorative term from those who find this totally unpalatable).

I considered this “aggressive” in my style (for me 3 was not even on my radar at this vulnerability), because I like my red vs. white 2 bids to deliver 6 (Rule of 2/3/4) almost iron-clad tricks.

So, for me, a 7 card suit is not uncommon for an unfavorable vul weak 2 (e.g. KQJxxxx and out), else a very strong 6 bagger (AKQxxx and out or KQJTxx and a side ace).

On this actual hand, with only :KJTxxx, it is hard to estimate “playing tricks”.
The s are only 4 (or so) tricks.

What is the side :Kxxxx worth? Well, counting it as “2” is optimistic but not crazy, so I decided to risk a (to me) aggressive and unusual unfavorable 2.

For me, the alternative would be PASS. 1 would be a distant 3rd choice (I'm a sound opening bidder). 3 didn't even occur to me (but at favorable that would be my choice).

My partner's hand was:
AQ97-J876-A86-T8

For some reason, he chose to raise to 3
(non-invitational) with this hand.
My RHO doubled, and LHO removed to (4) ending the auction.

We beat this 1 trick (best we can do on defense) for 1.5 matchpoints (13 top).

We can make *11* tricks in s as s are 3=3 with the A onside (my RHO held: 8-AT954-QJT4-AJ6).

My view was that partner, understanding my views on weak 2 bids at unfavorable vulnerability, should have raised to 4 or at least bid Ogust 2NT rather than non-invite 3.

I think he should have been surprised that I've opened 2 at this vulnerability with a suit headed by (at best) KJT,
and should strongly suspect I have a 7 bagger with a side card as well to explain my (surprising) opening.

My partner's view was that I should have opened 3, which I simply cannot imagine doing at this vulnerability.
I could have passed, though. It is not clear what that would have led to.
Dec. 15, 2018
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The most valuable people (to me) on BWers are those who frequently disagree with my views but provide cogent arguments for their positions.

Both of you (usually) fall into that category, so keep up the good work!
Dec. 15, 2018
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So are you suggesting that here responder should jump to 4 even though 3 would be forcing in an attempt to convey that he has a stronger and “heartier” hand than opener can possibly imagine otherwise, i.e. that responder has probably misbid with his initial 1NT?
Dec. 15, 2018
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Seems likely to me that partner has :KT753.

But with that holding he could play a higher spot and we'd still “read” him for that holding when the A fell.

Thus, I think partner is additionally trying to signal value(s).

It is also possible that declarer has :AK, hence partner has :T753. No reason for him to put up a high in that case since he knows declarer has A and another. If declarer's “other ” were not the K, he would have played an honor from dummy.
Hence, again partner's 3 ought to point towards s.
Dec. 15, 2018
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In standard methods, after a reverse a 3 level suit bid by responder is GF, so 3 here. No need to jump to 4.

With a weak hand (less than GF), responder bids the the cheapest unbid strain at the 2 level if one exists, else 2NT.

I do think the initial 1NT response is dubious, particularly if NF. Why not just raise to 2? Isn't that why you play 5 card majors?
Dec. 15, 2018
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I only occasionally (and under duress from partner) agree to play weak (12-14) 1NT, so my comments here are likely even less valuable than usual.

However, it does seem to me that defining a 1NT resposne to 1 as “8-10” solves much of the problem here.
That way, if opener has an ordinary “strong NT” (15-17), he raises to 2NT invitational with 15-16, and probably just bids 3NT himself with 17 (as well as 18-19).

I've even had one extremely good player (and top-notch bidding theorist) tell me that 1-1NT should be defined as “8-10” (or possibly 9-11) even when playing strong NT openings.
His reason was that this is much more precise than playing 1-1NT as “6-10” as I do. Can't argue that 8-10 is likely to be more accurate than 6-10, but the former agreement does force a lot of “fake” 1 responses with 6-7(8) HCP hands which might also hurt bidding accuracy.

In OP problem, the 8-10 definition does not solve the analagous problem when opening bid is 1. What then?
Defining 1NT as 8-10 would lead to having to respond in a 3 card *major* with balanced 6-7 HCP hands which seems significantly worse (to me) than the “nebulous 1” response to 1.
Perhaps you just have to live with slightly “too wide” ranges, e.g. 1-1N is 6 to bad (10). Opener passes with 15, invites via 2NT with 16-17, and bids game with 18-19.
Perhaps the opening 2NT bid could be lowered to include 19.
Dec. 14, 2018
ATB
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Martin,
Sorry, I got the auction a bit confused.
I believe I meant North could cue-bid 3 over South's 3 as an alternative to just jumping to 5 immediately.

Your suggestion of a splinter jump to 4 would be good too if it is clear that is what that bid would mean.
Dec. 13, 2018
ATB
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South's double and (PH) North's 2 cue-bid were correct.
South's 3 is correct.

North's 4, if non-forcing, is HORRIBLE.
North should choose between 5 and 4.

4 would be my choice–could his hand be any better for a slam on this auction given he is a passed hand?
The answer is “no”, hence 4 certainly cannot hurt.
After that, I think partnership may well reach 6.

After North's actual NF 4, South has plenty to boost to 5.
He certainly has more than he has promised so far.
Dec. 12, 2018
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1NT forcing, then 2. An immediate raise to 2 should show a somewhat better hand.
Dec. 12, 2018
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This one is close and depends on partnership expectations.
I play in “sound openers” partnerships.

The 7th is very important and I find my partners often don't “add” enough for the value of the 7th card when making these “2 vs. 3” rebids.

Still, here the suit is not great.
Yes, it is “adequate” for a 3 rebid (I believe that a very excellent suit is the primary requirement for a 3 level jump same suit rebid) particularly with the extra length.

But couple that with the extremely minimal 14 HCPs (typically to make a jump rebid with only 14 I expect something like AKQJxxx and a side ace), and I think that 3 here is just a little too aggressive.

I don't often play weak NT, so I am not allowing for any systemic differences here based on that.
Should it make a difference on this hand whether partnership uses weak 1NT openers or strong ones? If so, I would appreciate enlightenment.

I absolutely would NOT criticize if partner chose 3 rebid with this hand, particularly because I find most of my partners err in the opposite directon of being too reluctant to make the jump rebid when they hold a 7 bagger and borderline strength.
So if one of my partners actually rebid 3 with this hand, I wouldn't want to discourage a more aggressive view of what is required for this bid.

I also think matchpoints vs. IMPs is relevent.
The more conservative 2 would have even more to reccomend it at matchpoints.
Dec. 12, 2018
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Jack,
Me too.
I would like it if problem setters, after waiting for the votes to come in, eventually revealed the actual lay-out to those who took the time to provide their considered opinions.

Sure, one deal doesn't “prove” anything, but it is a data point and always of interest.
Dec. 12, 2018
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Double might “win” (vs. 2NT) when partner is very weak and has exactly a *4 card* major if we prudently pass his 2M advance (which is what I would do with this hand).

But in all other cases (i.e. where partner is a bit stronger), the 2NT overcall is likely to work better for the reasons I've stated.
Dec. 12, 2018
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The methods described are very weird and flawed.
The 2NT rebid with the West hand strikes me as totally bizarre.
Depending on methods, the choice would seem to be between 2 (my choice) and 2. But 2NT makes no sense.

East's raise to 3NT with a 7 card suit and minimum HCP values is also odd. How about a 3 rebid?

West's 4NT over 3NT seems about right now that we've reached this point in a strange auction.

But East's raise to 6NT is clearly the “worst” bid of all in terms of hand evaluation. This hand is a minimum with a long but very broken suit.
I would think the choice now for East would be between passing 4NT and removing to 5.
Dec. 12, 2018
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Patrick
I do not understand either of your points.
First, if partner advances 2 or 2, he is showing a maximum of 7-8 points and could have (much) less.
Therefore, this 16 point hand is not worth an invitational raise to 3M.

On your second point, I do not understand your reference to “weak 4-6.” Any hand with 5+ card major will transfer to it.
Also, any hand with game invitational strength or more containing a 4 or 5 card major will use Stayman or a transfer to explore for a major suit game.

In my partnerships, we have plenty of tools for advancer to show 4=5, 5=4, 4=6, 6=4 majors over the 2NT overcall if he happens to be blessed with such a distribution.
Dec. 12, 2018
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I posted the companion hand as another BW bidding problem assuming the popular “PASS” over their (3) with this hand.

Pass is also what my partner chose holding this hand.

You can see the results by going to the other problem:
https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-2-yyg33r8z6i/
Dec. 12, 2018
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Thanks for all your votes.
I held this hand and, like everyone else, passed also.

You may be surprised to learn that this resulted in -150 defending (3) when we are cold for 11 tricks in s !!
We could have held them to 10 tricks in s, but that would not have improved our matchpoint score much.

I posted the companion hand as a BW bidding problem a week or so ago. Did any of you recognize that?

Here is a pointer to that problem:
https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-2-sp061hjhdz/

Partner passed (3) holding: AQT93-KJT3-T-KJT
Personally, I find that choice astonishing, but fully 60% of the respondents to that poll agreed with my partner's choice (37% doubled, and there was one vote each for 3 and 3).

Had partner bid 3, I would have raised to 4 with this hand. Had he doubled (3), I probably would have bid only 3, but 4 is not out of the question.
+200 playing 3 making 5 would have netted 5 matchpoints on a 7 top.

The East hand was: J64-void-A86532-AQ54
Dec. 12, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment Dec. 12, 2018
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I prefer 2NT.
You can't worry about esoterica like :Axx not being sufficiently nice a holding. It is a 100% stopper and better than many in that it can be held up until the 3rd round if appropriate.

A 2NT overcall of their weak 2 shows a balanced hand with 15-18 HCPs and (at least) one stopper in their suit.
That is exactly what this hand is, so 2NT has no “flaws” and is a much more precise description than double.

Double, on the other hand, is supposed to show a hand that is short in their suit (ideally, a stiff) with 3+ card support for all the unbid suits (ideally, 4 cards).
Strength is wide-ranging from a minimum opener on up.
Some super-strong hands lacking ideal take-out distribution might have to start with a double.

So this hand does not match the basic criteria for a double in that it lacks support for s and is not short in their suit.

We all know that sometimes we are dealt hands that do not match the criteria for any call exactly. In such cases we have to choose the “least bad” call, i.e. the smallest lie.

Fortunately, here we are blessed with a hand that matches the criteria for a 2NT overcall perfectly, so why choose a different call that is less accurate?

Another problem with “double” on this particular hand is that it's strength is awkward if partner makes a simple advance in a major.

It is not really quite strong enough for a raise to 3M, but it is close.
Thus, if we start with a double,we will have to take a position one way or the other– either passing partner's 2M with maximum values for that choice or by raising to 3M which is an overbid.

But if we start with 2NT instead, we will have perfectly described our strength to partner, who will therefore be in an ideal position to determine whether the partnership has sufficient strength for game or not.
And if he wants to look for a major suit fit, he has plenty of tools (Stayman and transfers) available with which to do so.
Dec. 12, 2018
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2NT with OP hand.

But make one of the small s a small instead and I would double instead.
Dec. 11, 2018
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The less shapely your partner is, the better the double.
It is all about “Total Trump”.

If your partner happens to have raised on 3 s and has only 5s, it is quite possible there are only *14* Total Trump.

Even if there are *15*, we have 2 making and (3) -2, which is the steller 300 we are hoping for.

We have 9 HCPs. Thus our side should have at least 21, probably more. Majority of the points for us and Total Trump likely 15 or fewer makes the double a stand-out.

Partner did hear us pass his 2, so he will understand what he is supposed to do.

Note even 16 trump may well mean 8 tricks the limit for both sides, and the double will still be the best we can do.
Of course, it would be nicer if their side were vul, though, because as it is many might be +110 in 2 while we collect only +100 vs. (3X).
Dec. 7, 2018
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