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All comments by Craig Zastera
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yup, definitely not worth 2NT after 1-1N.

2 rebid isn't so horrible.
The problem comes after partner preferences that back to 2.
Am I willing then to bid 2NT at my 3rd turn, which is what is systemically called for?? Could be turning a + into a -.

But if I'm not willing to bid 2NT at my 3rd turn, perhaps I *should* have opened 1NT although I rarely do that with 16 HCPs and a decent 5 card suit.
July 29, 2018
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1. Pass 2
July 29, 2018
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So, this is an informative problem:

This hand is about the worst possible opener (not even an opening for me).

The (2) bid really has not helped the hand much.
True, the A is likely “onside”, but unless s are specifically 6322, the K might not even be useful.
In any case, the KJ won't likely be “combining” with partner's honors.

The vulnerability is the worst for matchpoint competition, where -1 can be disastrous.

So to advocate a raise to 3 here seems to be saying that you would so so with any hand with 4 card support (as everything in this problem seems to be about as bad as it can be for competing).

I'm not saying that this is wrong. Just that it is interesting to hear an expert view that four card support apparently justifies direct competition to the 3 level “no matter what.”
July 29, 2018
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Why is opener limited to “a bad 18” ?
July 29, 2018
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If West follows to dummy's lead with his 8 and then ruffs partner's return with the 4, partner will know that West has a 3rd and will, therefore, give him another ruff, perhaps after cashing *1* high first so West will know what to return.

Whether or not East has cashed a high before giving West his 2nd ruff, West can cash the A and, noting East's discouraging signal, switch to a .
July 29, 2018
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I would definitely have opened 1 with this hand.

Now, I think I have to stay consistent with my original choice and Pass.
July 29, 2018
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Good problem.

First, methods are important.

I have “good/bad” 2NT available here, but with this wrinkle:
When opener is raising partner's suit (s here),
we use to “bad/good”, so that 3 is just competitive
with s. A game invitational hand with s would bid
2NT first.

So for me, 3 here would be unambiguously just competitive.
To consider competing with this hand, it is certainly important that it be clear to partner whether I am inviting game or just competing.

Second, I would not have opened this hand in the first place,
so this hand is, for me, “below minimum” in value.

Third, the (2) bid in front :KJ9 has perhaps slightly increased the value of my hand, although if either partner or LHO is short in s, my values may not be so useful.

Fourth, the vulnerability is “wrong”– down 1 vulnerable could be a disaster.

So, I reluctantly pass. If NV, I would have tried 3 (competitive).
Hopefully, if (2) is passed around to partner and he has enough that we should be competing further, he will find some call.
July 29, 2018
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Seems to me that playing 3 here as the mixed raise instead of the usual 3 is non-optimal.

Over a *3* mixed raise, overcaller has room for 3 or 3 to try for game without committing to playing higher than 3.
In that scheme, a 3 raise would show 4 trump with fewer values (perhaps 6 HCPs would be a max, often less with some shape, particularly NV).

With OP's methods, opener has a pure guess. Surely, there are “mixed raise” hands advancer might hold where 4 would be good (particularly given “enhanced” value of our minor suit kings behind opening bidder).

Also, exact partnership agreements about the upper and lower limits for the mixed raise (with vulnerability considerations included in those agreements) would be relevent to this decision.

Since this is matchpoints and favorable vul, my guess is that partner is less likely than not to have what is needed for 4 to be good, so I guess to Pass.
July 29, 2018
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Richard,
I was only trying to make the important point that it is normal to play that when advancing a TO double in competition, a single jump in a suit partner has suggested via his double retains the same meaning (i.e. 9-11 or so) even when the competition requires that jump to be a level higher than it would have been without 3rd hand's competitive bid (as in OP).

Bringing advancer's possible “double” into the picture would not have contributed to making this point.

In fact, exactly what “double” ought to mean in OP auction:
(1)-DBL-(1NT)-DBL ??
would, I'll bet, fetch various opinions among BW readers.

Certainly, such a double might be played as “penalty” (or is that “convention” entirely obsolete today?).

Alternatively, it might be played as wanting to compete but asking doubler to pick a suit. For example, advancer might be 4=4 in the majors but not strong enough for a 2 cue-bid.

Had 3rd hand raised opener's suit, double would be “responsive”, presumably showing both majors.
But this need not necessarily be played the same way after the (1NT) response.

Similarly, had partner overcalled 1M instead of doubling, many would play that advancer's double of the (1NT) response would be “extended responsive” showing the two unbid suits. But even this treatment is not universal and would need to have been agreed on in advance (we have this explicitly on our convention card).

But the actual auction fits neither of these patterns, so many pairs may not be too clear on what advancer's “double” means here.

In any event, I do not think this issue bears too much on my original point that advancer's single jump to 3 over the (1NT) response is “strength showing” and similar to what a single jump to 2 would have shown without the (1NT) response.
July 29, 2018
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I'm not sure what you mean by “we all wind up in situations like this ..”.

I'm also not 100% clear on the exact nature of OP's 3 transgression in his methods.

Was his call an out and out “psych” like responding to partner's 1 bid with a 2 count (or opening with one)??

In that case, the question is more like “can I pass partner's forcing bid if I have psyched my previous bid?”

In the case where you have responded with a 2 count (to “improve the contract”) and partner jump shifts or reverses, I think the answer is “yes”–the forcing nature of his rebid is dependent on the assumption that you had the values for your response. If you do not, then I think it is OK to guess to pass (although that action may still turn out to be wrong when partner has some massive 2-suiter and can make game anyway).

Or, has OP just “stretched” a bit to make a call for which he is slightly light in his methods?

If that is the case, then I think he has to stay consistent with the call he has chosen and respect partner's ensuing action (whether it be a penalty double or a forcing call).

So if I wind up with a situation where I have stretched a bit for my previous action, I live with my evaluation and pass partner's penalty double.

If my hand is so far from what I'm supposed to have (by agreement) for some action that I cannot live with partner's later choice, then I don't make that call.

I guess the exception would be if I've deliberately psyched (which I really do not do in my style).
Then, I guess I am free to do any weird thing later that I hope might extricate us from a hopeless situation.
July 29, 2018
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If North had passed the double of 1 (instead of bidding 1NT), then East's advances would have been:
1: weak, up to maybe 8 support points
2: invitational, 9-11 support points
3: pre-emptive, 6 s, not too many HCPs
4: also pre-emptive, long s, good shape
(with 12+ points, East would have to start with a cue)

But once North bids 1NT (or anything above 1) over West's double, the 1 advance is no longer available. So East's advances are now:
2: weakish, maybe 5-8 support points (pass with zip)
3: single jump still shows 9-11 support points,
even though it is a level higher.
So 3 when a single jump in comp has essentially
the same meaning as a 2 jump without North's bid.
4: pre-emptive, long (6+) s
July 29, 2018
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“Double to show a good hand” does not substitute for “good/bad 2NT” to differentiate competitive hands (this one) from good hands with a long suit (3m).

Suppose responder had held:
x-T9xx-Qx-AKxxxx
instead of his actual
x-T98x-Tx-KJxxxx

Now, 5 Ewould be pretty good contract opposite same West hand.
And the bidding would likely go the same way through 2.

But with my example (stronger) hand, East could bid 3 to show significant values with game interest.

With the actual East hand, he could bid a “bad” 2NT to show interest in competing at the 3 level (strain not known for certain at this point).
July 28, 2018
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A standard reference on pre-emptive openings is
“Pre-empts from A to Z” by Sabine Auken and Ron Anderson.

That book recommends that jump shift responses to pre-empts (with some exceptions, I don't quite remember exactly which–mostly 4M I think) be played as “CAB” (control asking bids) in the suit bid. The usual replies are:
* cheapest NT = guarded King
* otherwise: step 1 = no control; step 2 = stiff;
step 3 = 1st round control
(some may split out steps 3 & 4 to show void vs. ace)

That certainly works well over weak 2s.
I think it is fine over 3 and 3 also provided that it is understood that 3M response is forcing (so that responder can always get to 4M by that route when he knows he wants to play that contract).

I think that “Pre-empts A to Z..” recommends that 4m reponses to 3M pre-empts are also CAB (but I'm too lazy to go upstairs now to review my copy).

How about key card ask?
Over weak 2s, can start with 2NT (or whatever you use for feature ask or Ogust) and then Kickback over the reply.
Alternatively, could jump directly to Kickback (this never conflicts with CAB as Kickback is a level higher).

Over 3 bids, there are some potential conflicts between CAB treatment and Kickback: 3-4, 3-4, and 3-4.
For these cases, one could define these as Kickback and fall back on the rule (popular among Kickback players) that 4NT substitutes for whatever the Kickback call would have meant (here, CAB in suit above opener's) had it not been Kickback.

Obviously, the CAB treatment is incompatible with using 4 as always the key-card ask when responding to a pre-empt (except 4 over 3). But I don't really see that it is often going to be essential to be able to use 4 to ask for keys as opposed to the normal Kickback call, so I don't regard that as a huge negative.

I think the CAB treatment can be quite useful.

BTW, we also use CAB after Namyats 4 (s) and 4 (s) openers. But to do that, responder has to first bid the intermediate suit (4 / 4 or 4 / 4) to announce his intention to make a CAB next round.
Opener responds to this “intermediate step CAB pre-cursor” as follows:
* if his suit is not completely solid (AKQxxxx at least),
he bids his suit (4 or 4).
* if his suit is completely solid, he bids one step
above his suit (4 with s, 4NT with s).

In either case, responder can still make his CAB ask next if he wishes (sometimes have to use 4NT as a CAB when opener's suit is s and he replied 4 to 4).

However, he might alternatively decide to pass 4M when he learns opener's suit is not solid instead of CABing.

In case you are wondering why responder can't just make his CAB immediately by responding above 4M, the answers are:
1. immediate bids above 4M are defined as Kickback (1st
step above 4M) or Exclusion asks (higher steps)

2. The delayed CAB also gives responder a chance to
find out opener's suit quality (solid or not) below
4M.
July 28, 2018
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2 would be for play.
July 28, 2018
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100% East twice over.

First, East's 3 bid shows values. If he just wanted to compete to 3 with long s and a poor hand (as he holds), he should bid 2NT “good/bad.”

Second, after having represented values he doesn't hold, East should certainly pull West's “do something intelligent” double to 4.

West actually gets a gold star for not rebidding 1NT over the 1 overcall (as I likely would have done).
After all, he has a maximum (for 1NT rebid), s stopped (with a “hold-upable” stopper) and two s (Hence no support double).

That West passed 1 rather than bidding 1NT should have made it even easier for East to know to pull the double of 3.
July 28, 2018
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BWS is intended to be a system for casual/new partnerships in order to establish some framework quickly.

The meta-rule you cite (“if it can be natural, it is”) is also a part of BWS:
“ Interpretation priorities:
When a call is subject to different possible
interpretations and there is no explicit system
agreement, it should be considered as follows:
(a) natural rather than artificial; ”

But this rule does not apply to jumps in strong auctions because they are covered by the more specific rule I quoted above.
July 28, 2018
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First, I don't think AQJxx-Jxx-Qx-Qxx is an opening bid in standard methods (certainly not in mine).

Using “loser count”, it has 8.5.
Using “new LTC”, it has 9 (!)
Using “rule of 22” it is a poor 21.5 (poor because of the weak short Q and J).

Second, even opposite this non-opener, we are still pretty much cold for 11 tricks opposite KTx-KQxxx-AKJx-J unless they get a quick ruff.

Thus, bidding again by North seems clear-cut. Given that, I think a key-card ask is a reasonable way to proceed given that North has no uncontrolled suits.
July 28, 2018
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There are meta-rules to cover undiscussed bids.

One such rule is that a jump in a suit is a splinter when a non-jump bid in the same suit would be forcing.

Of course, there can be agreed exceptions to this rule, e.g. one might play strong jump shifs.

But when not an agreed exception, this is probably a pretty good rule. In fact, it is part of BWS which says:
“Jumps:
(a) the default interpretation of an
otherwise-undefined bid one level above a
strength-showing force
(e.g., 1 - 1 - 1 - 3) is a splinter;”
July 28, 2018
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3 seems like a strange response with this North hand whatever it means.
July 28, 2018
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Some rules would be helpful.
Here are some possible ones:
1. 4 is never Gerber over 3NT. A jump to 5 can be.

2. In a GF auction, if one player has shown 2-suits with
at least 9 cards (total) in them, his bid of one of
the remaining suits is shortness.

3. or (an alternative to 2):
In a GF auction, if one player has shown 2 suits with
at least 9 cards (total) in them, his bid of one of
the remaining suits is “patterning out” (i.e. 54*3*-1
or maybe 5440 showing a fragment (3+) in the bid suit.
July 27, 2018
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