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All comments by Craig Zastera
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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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I answered “5”, but I really mean “5+” as I think he could have 6 weakish s. 5 is the minimum number I think he could have.
July 27, 2018
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Because I have a two-suiter in the reds.

One could actually make a case that this 4 (after rebidding 3) should be 6 key-card ask for both red suits, but I didn't want to go there.
July 27, 2018
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The 4 jump cannot be natural since 3 would be 100% game forcing (and natural).

With a bad hand (less than GF) and support, responder would bid 2NT Lebensohl and then correct 3 to 3.
Note:
opener does not HAVE to bid 3 over this Lebensohl 2NT
if he has either 19+ HCPs or 6+ s and very short s.

If he bids 3 instead, that is passable and shows
6+ s and very short s.

If he has enough to GF over a minimum response, he bids
anything higher than 3.
July 27, 2018
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Whether a competitive 2NT should be “scrambling” or “good/bad” in various specific auctions is an unresolvable controversy.

In my partnerships, we favor the “good/bad” interpretation whenever it seems that game might still be possible our way
(which is most of the time, I think).

We have specifically agreed that “good/bad” can still apply when responder has not taken a call, particularly in situations where he could still have fair values with no good way to show them. This OP auction is, I think, an example of such, since without a stopper or 4+ s, responder might have as much as, say, 6-8 points with no good call available over the 1 overcall.

As I said earlier, though, in situations like this the “threshhold” for a “good” 3 level bid vs. a “bad” 2NT is higher than it would be in auctions where responder has promised some values (e.g. with a negative double).

So in this auction type, even a “bad” 2NT (planning to compete to 3m) ought to show something close to a 3m jump rebid in an uncontested auction, while a “good” 3m should show 18-19+ or the equivalent in playing strength.

In this exact OP auction, I think the alternate interpretation you suggest (6 s and 4 s or some such) has some merit as it could be critical to find the right minor at the 3 level when responder is e.g. 3=3=5=2.

However, as Leonard suggested, had the opening bid been 1, the case for “6=4 minors” would be much weaker.

Anyway, with all the possible meanings for competitive 2NT, if the agreements get too esoteric, madness may ensue.
So we stick to “Good/bad”, unless the answer to the question “does it seem that game could still be possible our way” is a definite “No.” Only in that case do we allow the 2NT to be scrambling.
July 27, 2018
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Well, I am happy to report that today before the start of the morning club game at ESBC I casually asked my regular partner (who is not a BW reader):

“What do you think this sequence shows:
1-2-3-3-3NT-4 ???”

With scarcely a pause for thought, he replied:
“Has to be Kickback for s.”

“Right”, I said happily.

“What else could it be?”, he said, “if you had s, you would have bid them the previous round.”

“Of course”, I said. “Sorry to bother you with such an obvious question.”
July 27, 2018
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Michael,
There are degrees of goodness.

“Good/Bad” 2NT (by opener) still applies on auctions like this even though responder has passed over the (1) overcall.

However, I will agree that the minimum required for “good” in a situation where partner is expected to be fairly weak should be higher than in situations where partner has shown some values (e.g. he made a negative double) and, correspondingly, what is needed for opener to bid again at all when partner is likely weak (as here) is higher (in terms of either HCPs strength, playing strength, or both) is also higher.

With that in mind, perhaps the actual South hand should be content with a “bad” 2NT, planning just to compete to 3, even with 16 HCPs. Probably a “good” 3 here should show more, i.e. enough to think that game might still be possible even though responder could not find a call over the (1) overcall.
July 26, 2018
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Oh, I see. Sorry.
July 26, 2018
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That could work, but gives up on other meanings for 4NT that could be useful in some auctions, e.g. 1-2-2N-4N or 1-2-3N-4N, etc.

Not saying your suggestion is no good. I'm only saying that
Kickback partnerships must discuss these things.

A default Kickback agreement that I believe Larry Cohen advocated (and I think played) was that “if it could be Kickback, then it is Kickback”, i.e. deciding all ambiguous, undiscussed cases in favor of Kickback whenever that was a possible interpretation.

One possible problem with your idea is that I currently do not use 4NT as a keycard ask except in s in any auction.
This would then have to be an exception.

That is not fatal–I've encountered other auctions (hard to define just what they are, but they do occur)–where the auction is beyond the Kickback bid (typically in a minor) when I first realize that keycard ask would be useful.

In such cases, it might be good to have 4NT defined as a fallback keycard ask. Haven't done that because it is hard to define exactly what the auction has to look like in order for this “fallback keycard asking” 4NT to apply.
July 26, 2018
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You need Kickback because you need to find out about the K and/or Q. So you need to ask for keycards in s.

One possible agreement (different from above) would be:
* If responder makes a 2/1 and then AT HIS NEXT TURN
* makes the Kickback call in his suit, then his bid
* is Kickback.

With this agreement, 1-2-any-4 would be Kickback for s.
But that agreement makes it impossible to show, say, a “picture bid” raise with s (or whatever other natural definition you might want to assign to such a delayed 4).

So the other way to get to bid Kickback for s after partner's 1 opening would be to start with 2 and then not show support at your second turn either.
But this could run afoul of auctions where partner shows 6+ s, whence you might reasonably want to bid 4 natural with a doubleton, e.g. 1-2-2-any-3-4 (natural?)
July 26, 2018
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So my comments below were meant to complement your logic by suggesting a possible meaning for partner's sequence.

I agree that responder cannot bid this way with 3+ card support (must show that support earlier).

And I also agree that it makes no sense for responder to be pulling 3NT to 4 naturally with a doubleton .

Didn't Sherlock Holmes say something along the lines of “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”?
July 26, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment July 26, 2018
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