Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Craig Zastera
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This hand would be ideal (near max) for double followed by an “ELC” conversion of a advance to s at the same level had only the opening bid been 1.

I think “ELC” should apply only over MAJOR suit openings (can be 1M, 2M, even 3M) but not over minor suit openings.
July 21, 2018
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So you obviously have a very different idea of ELC than I (and most others) do.

An ELC double (of a major suit opening) is really an *overcall* in s with a “kicker” of 4 cards in the other major.

That is, such a double is ideally 4=6 in OM=. With a strong suit and a good hand, 4=5 may suffice.

But my poll hand was only 4=4. I think few would consider this shape suitable for an ELC double because there is no “safety” in running to s with only a 4 card suit.

Similar to why making a 2 overcall on a 4 card suit would not appeal to many.

On my referenced problem, although I prefer “pass”, I consider 1 far superior to DOUBLE with the intent of pulling s to s. I suppose one could double if willing to sit for partner's advance, but that is a gamble also.
July 21, 2018
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I agree.
Polls with poorly constructed choices are terrible.
Let's get rid of those.

But putting in a polling question (bidding or otherwise) to “prove a point” seems to me to be what polls are about.

I might phrase it slightly differently than “prove a point”, but the idea is that the poll is motivated by some actual occurence in which the OPer and presumably his partner strongly disagree.

The purpose of the post/poll is to find out what the concensus view of a large number of bridge players is on the issue in question (or if there is a concensus at all).

I don't think it is necessary to phrase the motivation pejoratively with “shame partner” or even “prove a point” (not that I think there is anything necessarily wrong with trying to prove a point if it is in fact provable).
July 21, 2018
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How can opener “double for take-out” even if that were what he wanted to do?

It would seem likely that partner might decide to leave it in, and perhaps opener doesn't want that.

I do not see why opener can't have a minimum HCP opener with both minors and simply wants to compete to 3m in whichever minor responder prefers.

This is consistent with his pass of the 1NT response as with both minors he can't risk bidding one and have it be the wrong choice.

But now the opponents have given him an easy way to show both minors in an offensively oriented hand.
July 21, 2018
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That seems like a poor policy to me.

So my partner and I have 20K points between us.
We're playing a pair with only 15K.
They get to know that we cannot be psyching, while they are free to psych against us?

Seems blatantly unfair to me.

I'm not sure that *any* legislation against psychs is warranted, but the one you've described certainly isn't.
July 20, 2018
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Boy, you sure made this easy with the choices you offered.

About the only thing that is obvious is that 2NT can't be natural and invitational.

Now exactly what that 2NT does show is perhaps a harder question.
July 20, 2018
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No. This hand looks more like a pre-empt than like a 4 level overcall.
July 20, 2018
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Why can't 3m be “OBAR”?
We play OBAR when our side is NV. Yes, it can result in some ambiguity about strength of 3m, but this is usually not an issue as the deal is generally a part-score battle since the other side has shown something close to half the deck.
July 20, 2018
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It seems to me that the key question is not so much about whether we can make 5 as it is about whether we can beat (5X) 800 or more.

We've agreed that (5) is not likely to be a common contract (not a “field” auction).

Thus, if we judge that we are unlikely to get them 800 or more, we virtually have to try 5. If it is -1, we will lose little vs. the “field” that is +620 if we were only going to be +300 or +500 defending (5X).

But if we bid on to 5, we will salvage our “average” if we can bring in 11 tricks.

So what makes the OP problem interesting is that we actually have a reasonable chance of getting them 800 (not too common in problems like this at the given VUL I think).

It is for *that* reason that I think doubling and defending here is a reasonable choice as we have a real shot at a “top”.
July 19, 2018
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“Always” is not necessary to make playing FP a winner.

Even if once in a great while the apparently weak, pre-empting opponnents can make their contract, while we will go down “too many” if we bid on, using FP may still be correct because it increases the accuracy of our decision making by explicitly asking for partner's input and also by allowing a way to make a slam try in crowded high-level auctions.

My view is that many people who seem to decry “forcing pass” in virtually every case are underappreciating the benefits in increasing bidding accuracy that technique offers.

The fact that agreeing that “FP” applies in some particular situation may occasionally result in a choice between, say, -790 and -800 is not in itself sufficient to conclude that FP should not apply.
July 19, 2018
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I agree with the not GF view, but I'm wondering about the auction where opener rebids 2 (most discouraging I would think), and then responder raises to 3.

Does that need to be FORCING as Steven implies?

I don't think so.
To me, that is just one last try to get to 4 while allowing 3 as a final contract if opener has a real “dog.”
July 19, 2018
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How much more obvious does it have to be that it is our hand?
One opponent opened a pre-empt and the other raised pre-emptively to the 4 level.

And we are VUL and they are not.

If you don't play FP on this auction, it hardly seems worthwhile to bother with that agreement at all.

Actual deal illustrates usefulness of FP here.
July 19, 2018
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My view is that Jacoby then 3NT implies 5332.
Of course responder is allowed to use his judgment and supress a 4 card suit if he wants opener to play him for 5332 as in your example.
July 19, 2018
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I simulated this hand and also a similar hand with the T replaced by the 6. 5000 deal simulations for each.

Here are the results:

1. South: AT-J83-AKQ75-Q52
North: 9-11 HCPs, 5 s, 332 (any order) in other suits
East: no opening bid or pre-empt
West: no obvious 2-suited or 1-suited overcall of 1NT

Matchpoints:
3N beats 4: 2259 deals
3N ties 4: 373 deals
4 beats 3N: 2368 deals
4 beats 3N (BAM): 51.09%
IMPs:
NV: 4 beats 3NT by 2845 IMPs
VUL: 4 beats 3NT by 3052 IMPs

2. South: A6-J83-AKQ75-Q52
N/E/W: same as above

Matchpoints:
3N beats 4: 2058 deals
3N ties 4: 386 deals
4 beats 3N: 2556 deals
4 beats 3N (BAM): 54.98%
IMPs:
NV: 4 beats 3NT by 5104 IMPs
VUL: 4 beats 3NT by 5776 IMPs
July 18, 2018
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Andy,
In sequences such as you describe, I think a second double when opener rebids his *same suit* does, in fact, suggest a strong hand with only 3 card support for advancer's suit.

But here (OP), opener has rebid in a different suit (3).
Now, I do not think that it would be expected that a second double would necessarily have this same meaning (as it would had opener rebid (3)), because doubler still has the 3 cue-bid available to show such a hand type.

It is not clear to me that there is a well-defined meaning for a double of (3). My vote would be that it should be game invitational in s so that a 3 bid could be played as just competitive (i.e. not particularly inviting game).
July 18, 2018
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Who says 11-14 is “standard”?

I think when the 1NT balance is over a major, particularly 1, the range is more like 12-16.

With 15-16 you cannot afford to double and then bid 2NT over partner's 2X.

Many play “range Stayman” after (1M)-P-(P)-1NT in an attempt to cope with this wide range.
July 17, 2018
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Not sure why you'd want to be in slam facing “Kxxxx and out.”
You have a sure loser and likely loser (K probably off with RHO bidding s and s).

Otherwise, I think your proposed agreements of 3 being 100% forcing and 100% denying 4 s, with 4 level bids over (3) promising 4 s (I assume 4 and 4 are fit bids while 4 would be a splinter) are good ones.
July 17, 2018
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I would think that 3 would be the one bid that would most strongly suggest only 3 (usual that double followed by a cue-bid shows a strong hand without 4 card support).

However, I can accept that 4 or 4, probably even 4, directly over (3) all should be “fit bids” promising 4 card support.
This of course depends critically on the agreement that 3 would be 100% forcing (hence no need to jump to 4 unless to show a “fit jump.”).
July 17, 2018
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The proposed trump suit is :AKxxx opposite :Qxx.
Try reading my post a little more carefully.
July 17, 2018
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