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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Well, there is no telling how opponents might bid, particularly in a club game.

I certainly would not produce the given auction as either North or South. With the North hand I would have responded 1NT, while with the South hand I would have bid 2NT (Good/Bad) over (2) in order to compete to 3.

I will note that on your construction, South makes 3 (4 if A not led) and even 3, while E/W make 2 (but only if West picks up the trump).
July 25, 2018
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Seems unlikely to me that South with a pretty decent hand would have passed out 2 with a stiff .
July 25, 2018
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I agree with the point about the 4m jumps being natural (and slammish) *IF* you have some short-suit showing mechanism available at a lower level (otherwise, they are splinters).

A good example is auctions that start 1M-2M.

In some methods, including mine, some mechanism for making “short suit” tries is available. We use the cheapest bid as a relay showing a SS try in an unspecified suit.

While these “tries” are usually *game* tries, they can be slam tries.

Therefore, 4m jumps–1M-2M-4m–should be defined as natural, long suit slam tries (generally at least 5=5).

But when the auction has gone 1m-1M-2M, it is likely that opener does not have a low level SS try mechanism available because most play “spiral” or some similar mechanism to inquire about 3 vs. 4 card trump support and hand strength.

In that case, one loses the natural, slammish 4m jump rebids and reverts to the catch-all rule that suit jumps are splinters when a lower bid in the same suit would have been forcing.
July 25, 2018
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It seems to me that if your system is such that 3 promises some hand (e.g. more values) that you don't have, you should not have bid 3.

Partner is entitled to assume that your hand is among those consistent with your previous bidding according to your agreed methods.

I'm not commenting as to whether or not 3 is a good “tactical” call with your hand.

But I am saying that if you think it is, then your system ought not define this call as *guaranteeing* a better hand.

And, conversely, if your methods unequivocally define this 3 as promising more values than you have, then you simply have to forgo that call this time and perhaps discuss changing your systemic definition of what such a call promises to allow for a “light tactical bid.”

If you have somehow made a bid for which you know you don't have the minimum values partner has a right to expect, then there is really no solution to your present dilemma.

You can't tell whether partner's double is so solid that (3X) is down despite your lack of values, or whether he has based his double on the assumption that you have what you've promised.

So either action (passing partner's double or pulling to 4) is just a guess.
I guessed to pull, but I think the real answer is to make sure your calls don't grossly violate any explicit systemic agreements.
July 25, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment July 25, 2018
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I would have opened 1 rather than 1.

Opening 1 leaves opener with rebid problems after a 1 response. Neither 1NT nor 2 is very appealing–I'd choose 1NT but strongly dislike that choice with a stiff in partner's suit.
Better, IMO, to open 1 planning 2 over 1 response.

Anyway, I “abstained” on the actual problem because I don't think whether 1 opening promises 4, 3, 2, or fewer is really relevent to the splinter issue.

1m-1M-2M-4m is a splinter regardless. However, not a great choice on this hand IMO. 1-1-2-3 (forcing) seems like a better approach.
July 25, 2018
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4 here implies controls in *neither minor* and you have controls in both minors !!
July 24, 2018
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But the big flaw with using 3NT reply to Jacoby (and/or using 3 in reply to 3 Jacoby as someone else suggested) is that we can no longer play in 3 of responder's major.

I think that is a significant flaw. It is not that uncommon for responder to have a weak hand with a 5 card major who wants to bail in 3M.

In fact, there was a recent bidding problem on BW where responder held 98xxx-9xxx-KT-xx opposite a 2NT opener.
I did some simulations which showed that transferring to s and passing was a *huge* winner vs. passing 2NT.

I sure wouldn't want to lose the ability to play 3M just to have a way for opener to show specifically 2=5 or 5=2 majors. You're trading one functionality for another and I think the losses are more than the gains for this particular trade-off.
July 24, 2018
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There are some fancy responding structures that will allow all 5-3 major suit fits to be discovered—both when opener has 5 and when responder has 5, including the cases where responder has 5=3 or 3=5 majors–he can find out if an 8+ card fit exists in either major.

However, to do this successfully in all cases requires devoting quite a few sequences to this pursuit, which means appropriating some sequences that might possibly be better used for other purposes.

I am content as responder with 5=3 or 3=5 majors to simply transfer into my 5 card suit. Yes, I will sometimes miss an 8 card major suit fit when opener has 5 cards in the other major and only a doubleton in mine.
July 24, 2018
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I think the orthodox USA view with 4=5 majors over their (1m) opening is to overcall 1 rather than doubling unless there is some unusual disparity in honor dispersion or the hand is too strong for an overcall (e.g. 18+ HCPs).

I think there is less concensus about advancing 1 after partner's 1 overcall with only four s.
But if you play new suit advances by UPH as forcing (as I do), I think this works well.
July 24, 2018
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To answer both of you, I will just quote from the “bible” of competitive bidding, Robson's
“Partnership Bidding at Bridge: The Contested Auction”.

The following is almost verbatim quotes from that work, edited slightly by me for readability:

——start quote from Robson's book———–

Sequence type:
One-major - jump overcall

First, an example sequence:
West North East South
- ……. 1 …..3 ….. ?

Meaning of South's calls:
− 3: ‘natural’, usually guaranteeing an eight-card fit;
− 4: forcing, high-card raise (not promising a control);
− 4, 4: fit-jumps to 4♠ (plus);
− 4♠: semi-preemptive.

Not a great deal to say here. Obviously you are under severe pressure, and consequently your bids must be more flexible.
Still, you must not be lazy.
With a reasonable (high-card) raise to four-major you must not jump to game, which shows a semi-preemptive hand with a high ODR.
Such carelessness will not only result in your missing the occasional slam, but also in partner overcompeting the hand when the enemy bid again.

Instead you must cue-bid. You do not necessarily show any slam interest, though you do set up a forcing pass if relevant - more anon.

In the sequence 1-(3)-?, consider:
:Q964 :AQ53 :K6 :753

With this hand, you are too strong for 3 and must bid 4.

Another example:

Love all
you, South, hold: :AJ64 :53 :KT62 :QJ7

West North East South
- ….. 1 ….. 3 ….. ?

Answer:
4.
Of course, you might not make game, but it is too much to expect partner to raise 3 to game on a reasonable
13-count opposite what might be a good seven count.

4 by you would show a much more shapely, preemptive hand.

—– end quote from Robson's book——————
July 23, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment July 24, 2018
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I'm all for full disclosure (of course) but it surprises me that anyone would think that using “current count” when giving count needs some special alert.

In my case, I play standard count in all count situations.
We also play “odd/even” first discards.

So say I've discarded some spot as my first (odd/even) discard.

Now, I have my second chance to discard (or maybe I'm just following suit to declarer's lead) and play a low .

It would seem obvious that since I play standard count, this low indicates that I now have an odd # of s.

I find it hard to believe that an alert is required lest declarer be misled into thinking that this low means that I started with an odd # of s (and am now playing low from a current even number).

To me, that would just be weird and would, perhaps, be more deserving an alert than playing (as we do) that my first count signal should indicate my parity in the suit at the time I make the signal regardless of whether or not I have previously played a card in this suit with non-count implications.
July 23, 2018
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Gerben,
I do not understand the “logic” of your argument that you don't need 2NT as Lebensohl because “you don't need to bid a weak hand with s.”

Why not?
First, responder can easily have a hand with long s where he wants to compete to 3 rather than defend (2M).

Second, Lebensohl 2NT is useful for other hands besides those that want to compete with s:
1. competitive with s (remove 3 to 3 to play)
2. to show game values with vs. without major stopper(s)
* after 2N (Leb)-3, 3M by responder shows that
suit stopped but not the other major with values
enough for 3NT
* after 2N (Leb)-3-3N promises stoppers in both
majors
* Thus, immediate 3N shows values for 3N with
neither major stopped.

Third, using 2N as Lebensohl to cover hands that want to
compete in either minor but without game interest allows immediate 3 and 3 responses to show stronger hands with a minor.

I am not saying that one cannot concoct a satisfactory structure over their X, 2, or 2 showing both majors that doesn't include Lebensohl.
I am merely saying the Lebensohl can be quite useful in these auctions and can be effectively included in such a structure.
July 23, 2018
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Although I agree that the actual OP hand here gives a difficult choice, I was just trying to make the point that 4 response should be essentially pre-emptive, not an opening hand strength raise to game.

I do not think it matters that the overcall was a pre-empt. In fact, that is the case I'm discussing.

What matters is that pre-emptor's partner is not a PH, thus can be strong. So responder, when raising partner's s to game, must indicate whether his raise is based on HCP strength, or is more of a pre-emptive raise based on long s (usually 5) and less HCPs (generally, less than 10).

I will agree that the 4 raise in comp like this is perhaps not quite as narrowly defined as a non-competitive 1-4.

I can imagine hands with only 4 trumps (but never 3) that might try 4 in comp.
I can imagine hands with up to, perhaps, 10 HCPs that might also try 4.

I know that some (many?) play that this competitive 4 can be “various hand types”, i.e. they would bid it with a normal pre-emptive raise to the 4 level (5 trump, etc.), but they also might bid it with a minimum opening hand with 3 or 4 s.

I am trying to argue that this is a bad way to bid because the ambiguity will sometimes bite partner when he doesn't know what hand type you have.

Better to define 4 as pre-emptive and use the cue-bid for all game going raises that are too strong for 3.

Often, it may not matter, but sometimes it will be important for partner to know what type of hand you have for that raise to game.

The OP hand is tough because it seems (to me) a little too strong for just 3.
After all, 11 tricks are there opposite a good weak 2 (AKQxxx-xxx-x-xxx), and slam may make opposite the same hand with the A.

It is certainly *not* a 4 bid as that shows long trump.
Given the methods I am advocating, that says I should bid 4, even though this hand feels pretty scrawny for that–make the s Qxx instead of xxx, and 4 would be easy.

I suppose one could try a “weird” negative double, planning on 4 next time, but that strategy could lead to complications. A wise BWer recently advised not suppressing primary support for partner in a competitive auction. That seems like good advice here.
July 23, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment July 23, 2018
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In my view, 4 here is not like 3 only stronger.

Rather, 4 is more or less similar to 1-4 in a non-competitive auction.
That is, it is essentially pre-emptive with usually 5 s.

This applies because 4th hand is not a PH. He could be arbitarily strong.
Therefore, if we want to bid 4 with a strong (opening bid+) hand, we must tell our partner that it is our deal by cue-bidding 4.

Thus, if you judge this hand too strong for 3, the next stronger raise is 4, not 4.

If you are content with a non-forcing raise to 3, fine.
If you think this hand too strong, then 4.

This would be different if LHO were a passed hand–in that case it is OK to bid 4 with minimum GF strength (i.e. just a bit stronger than 3) and reserve the 4 cue-bid for hands that are at least a bit stronger than that.
July 23, 2018
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Michael,
Yes, replace the K with the A and the hand is a minimum (but clear) 1 opening.

Replace the K with the A but change the shape to
6=1=3=3 and the hand is borderline:
VUL vs. not, 2 is clear.
NV vs. VUL, 1 (partner won't expect this good of a
hand for 2 at favorable).
Equal VUL: close–I like 2.

But replacing K with A is a big change in my view.
Not just 1 more HCPs, but also another 1/2 quick trick.

When 6-4, this new hand counts to 22, so a 1 opener.
But KQJxxx-x-xx-Kxxx counts to only 20.5. That's a full
1.5 “points” short of minimum 1 bid requirements *and* greatly lacking in defense (i.e. quick tricks) for a 1 bid.

If KQJxxxx-x-xx-Kxxx is a routine 1 opener (1st/2nd) in this partnership, I believe that merits at least a “very light opening bids” check mark on the convention card.

Maybe even a “pre-alert.”

One partnership I know (playing a strong system) routinely open all 8 counts with a 5+ card major.

But they absolutely pre-alert this to the opponents.
Hand in question here is not much different from that.
July 22, 2018
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why not this alternative matchpoint line:
* after dummy 9 wins first trick, ruff a .
* then A and a to dummy's Q. Assume 3-2 split
* ruff a 2nd in hand, then pull last trump with K
* now Q to finesse
* when in dummy with A, AK pitching s.
* If s split or Q came down doubleton,
claim 13 tricks.
July 22, 2018
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Although I play ELC only after I double a MAJOR and partner advances in s, I would think there would be a significant difference between playing ELC after a (1) opening vs. after a (1) opening.

Over (1), if you double with 4=5 majors and minimum range double, you can remove partner's 1 advance economically to 1.

But over (1), if you double with 4=5 majors and partner advances 2, it seems to me that rebidding 2 as “ELC” with a minimum range double and 4=5 majors is clearly unsound since partner may have little or nothing and we are way too high.
July 22, 2018
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Jan,
I don't understand your second remark as it would appear to contradict your first comment where you said that you play upside-down count “normally”.

But that contradicts your second remark where you say you give current standard count no matter how many cards you have previously played in the suit, which would imply that you give standard count even when you haven't played any cards in the suit previoiusly. ?
July 22, 2018
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Another way to say that is that you give “current standard count” when you have previously played a non-count card in the suit.

I believe it is usual among those who play “UDCA” to give “current standard count” when the 1st count card is the second card played in the suit.

I play “standard count” all the time (but upside down attitude), so I play “current standard count” also when my first count card is the second card I've played in the suit.

Thus, “upside down count” players and standard count players mostly give count the same way when their first count card is the second card played in the suit, whether they choose to call it “current standard count” or “upside down original count”, it amounts to the same thing.
July 22, 2018
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To me that hand is a perfectly ordinary 2 opener.

I would think that any partnership that plays that that is a normal 1st/2nd seat 1 opener ought to let the opponents know somehow that that is their style.

I'm not claiming that opening 1 with such a hand should be illegal or anything, just that it is sufficiently out of the ordinary that fairness should require letting the opponents know that you bid that way.
July 22, 2018
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