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All comments by Craig Zastera
ATB
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I'm simply referring to the common agreement that bidding immediately to the (minimum) contract to which we are forced (by our previous bidding) in a competitive auction is the weakest action.

I commented elsewhere that in this particular auction, there may be good reason to adopt a different agreement (at the cost of perhaps creating excessive complexity by having to remember additional rules).
Aug. 7, 2018
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Passing is unthinkable, particularly at IMPs.

Partner could have up to 18 HCPs and might well have a good hand with 3 s (Bridge World death hand).

I suppose 2 is possible, but that usually shows 6 or at worst 5 with good intermediates.

2NT is not pleasant, but seems like the least bad choice.
Aug. 7, 2018
ATB
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Steve,
In my partnerships, we have a rule similar to what you describe–in a competitive auction bidding to the level to which we are forced immediately is the weakest action. Pass instead would be stronger.

But this auction makes me wonder if that is the best agreement in this case (although without discussion, I think it would have to apply by default).

Here, it is undesirable to bid or double (3) unless it conveys some relatively unusual message which justifies giving the opponents more options than they would have if opener just passed.

So having a “fit” for partner's s along with a stiff and good s would be such a reason–we just might be able to make 4 opposite some hands with which partner would not ordinarily bid it (picture AQTxxxx-x-Qxx-xxx opposite, say, Kxx-xxxx-AKxxx-x which likely will make *5* s).

With a hand like that, opener's bidding 3 over (3) would be justified because of the potential gain (bidding and making an unexpected game).

But most normal 2 openers should just pass in order to minimize the enemy bidding options.

So in this case, I do not think it is best to play that opener's pass over (3) shows a better hand than bidding 3. Pass should just be opener's normal action with nothing unusual to show beyond his original 2 opener.
Aug. 7, 2018
ATB
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With proper agreements, 3 might be good with one fewer (and the golden Q, this good suit, perhaps a third ).

The agreement might be “my hand became offensively significantly better after your 3 McCabe so that, depending on your hand, we might want to compete to 4 (perhaps making).” Sort of a () fit-showing 3.

But actual hand with the doubleton I think is not quite special enough to send a “special” message like this.

Besides, OP said that they had no special agreement about 3, hence bidding it is not a good idea.
Aug. 6, 2018
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If you pass (1) and the bidding continues:
(1NT)-P-(P)-? to you, if your agreements are such that DBL by you now shows a stack with opening values (as is apparently quite common from results of a recent bidding poll I did on that auction), you will be stuck.

Therefore, you might have to anticipate this and make a call directly over (1), whether it be 1 or double.
Aug. 6, 2018
ATB
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Then I think it is a really bad idea to make a bid that can only torture partner into wondering what special hand you are trying to show that is different from what it would have meant had you just passed.

Ideally, the partnership should have a specific agreement about pass vs. 3 vs. double (if that is possible). Then, North can choose the call that best fits his hand.

Otherwise, not only is sticking in a gratuitous undefined 3 bid a bad idea because it tortures partner, it is also bad because it gives the opposition several more options which they would not have had had North just passed (3).

If they are a well-tuned partnership, they may be able to use those extra options to good effect.
Aug. 6, 2018
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I don't understand your cute options.
My choice is 3.

Logically, this must show some values and probably a 6 card suit. It is definitely not forcing. But if partner has a great hand for playing s, he is not required to pass.

I think a double here would not be a “maximal overcall game invite.” Rather, it would be a penalty suggestion, but pullable if partner prefers playing s to defending s.
Aug. 6, 2018
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My pass is also influenced by by the fact that we play new suit advances FORCING. This is part of the “transfer advance” structure.

When overcall is in the suit directly above opener's, there actually are no TAs, but new suits below the cue-bid are still played as forcing. The cue-bid is therefore an unambiguous strong raise of overcaller's suit.
Aug. 6, 2018
ATB
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However one feels N/S (mostly South) should judge the relative offensive vs. defensive potential of their hands, South gets all the blame because his bidding is inconsistent.

His “McCabe” 3 suggests a hand that
(a) only wants to compete to 3
and
(b) wants to set up the defense (i.e. a lead) vs.
their 4 level contract.

Had South just bid 4 at his first turn, that would be OK even if it didn't turn out well.

Had South made his “funny” McCabe bid and then elected to defend (4), that would have been OK.

I do think North's 3 bid is goofy too. What is the point of that? Does it have some well-defined meaning in this partnership that this North hand fits perfectly? I doubt it.

The most logical meaning of 3, I suppose, would be to discourage South from bidding any higher (bidding to the level we're forced to immediately in competition is the weakest action).
But:
(a) North has no reason to think South is planning on
bidding 4 anyway (inconsistent with McCabe)
and
(b) Why would North want to send such a message given
he's got good s and a fitting card?
Aug. 6, 2018
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I debated between 6 and 6.

Went with 6 (the honest bid), but perhaps 6 would have been better.

Of course, if we had agreements such that 6 vs. 6 bids here suggested s vs. s respectively, that would certainly tip the balance to 6.

The argument against that interpretation is why not just 5m if that was the message I wanted to send?
Aug. 6, 2018
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I agree with this view.

Don't start out with 1 guaranteeing you will misdescribe your relative suit lengths.

Instead, bid your longest suit first like a normal person and hope the auction develops in a way that allows you to suggest s later.

There is a reasonable chance that you might get to bid some sort of competitive artificial 2NT later.
If not, just rebid your 6 card suit to show a minimum opener with 6 s–still not a lie–and await developments (if any).

I believe that with 5=6 shape a reverse can be made with considerably fewer HCPs than “usual”. But not this few.

If I couldn't stand to open 1, I would much rather pass this hand and back in later (extremely likely I will get a chance to describe my minor 2-suiter later in the auction).

But Leonard has carefully constructed this hand so that an initial PASS is not too appealing even to a “sound initial action” guy like me. So I go with 1.
Aug. 6, 2018
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Jyri,
It sounds like your style is similar to mine.

And I think a fair number of players would take my double on this auction type (where responder's 1NT has been passed around to me) as “penalties.”

But how about when responder raises opener's suit, whether it be a major or a minor–say (1)-P-(2)-P-(P)-DBL ??

Is double now still penalty? I have found by asking that the number of players who think that one is penalties is *MUCH* smaller–most interpret this balancing double after a raise as “take-out” with a hand that was too weak for a direct double of RHO's 1X opening but now in balancing seat wishes to compete.

How about if responder's bid was a *weak* jump raise to 3X:
(1)-P-(3)-P-(P)-DBL ??
Still a “light” Take out?
Or is it now the penalty type–maybe opener has :xxx or even a doubleton.
One could argue that a TO shape hand too light to double (1) originally can't be balancing for TO at the 3 level.

And how about if opener rebids his suit:
(1)-P-(1NT)-P-(2)-DBL ???

I actually think this one is still the “penalty” double hand type (i.e. same hand that would have doubled if opener had passed (1NT)). But I'm not sure support for that view would be as strong when opener rebids his suit.

Interested in everyones' views on these auction types.
Aug. 6, 2018
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Friday my partner, holding K-Q9x-AJxx-AKQxx rebid 2 (forcing and ostensibly natural) after 1-1.

My hand was: xx-AT-KTxxxx-xxx
and I continued with 3.

Partner raised to 4, and I bid a cowardly 5.

In retrospect, I think I should have bid 4NT ( cue-bid) and then 5 over partner's ensuing 5.
That *might* have been enough to get him to bid the excellent 6 which was found by no one.

Should I have alerted partner's 2 jump shift rebid just because it “might” have been manufactured? Immediately or after his raise to 4?

BTW, I thought his choice of 2 was excellent.
Aug. 6, 2018
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Passing a forcing bid, like any other bidding descision is a matter of probabilities.

If you judge that it is more likely that partner will have a “usual” hand for his LMs whence you will be lucky to make 4m (and may well already be too high), then it is a reasonable bridge decision to pass.

Sometimes (hopefully, rarely) he will have some rock crusher that can make game (slam) opposite your Yarborough. In that case, your decision will have been “wrong”, but it is not fundamentally different from any other decision you make in the bidding which might also be “wrong” but that you judged to give your side the best chance for a good result.

And I do think the case for such an action is stronger at matchpoints than it would be at IMPs both because you have two other team-mates to consider and also because missing a game/slam is a *big* loss at IMPs, whereas at matchpoints it is just another zero–no different from the one you got when you judged to compete to 3 over their 2 and got doubled for -200.
Aug. 6, 2018
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Thanks for replies.

I guess this problem was more about what you think partner's double means rather than your judgment of what to bid.

If you think (as I do) that partner's double is a strong penalty suggestion showing a hand with good s (4 or 5) and just short of a 1NT overcall strength (say 13-14 HCPs), then it would be pretty obvious to pass.
It would also be obvious that a 2 bid by you would be “for play” (and, hence, obviously not suitable with this hand).

But apparently that is not a universal interpretation.
A very excellent player to whom I posed this problem gave an answer suggesting he thought the double was for take-out.
When I brought up the alternative interpretation of penalty, he said “well, that is a matter of partnership agreement.”
But it was clear from his answer that “penalty” was not his usual style.

BTW, I held the opposite hand (the one that doubled).
My hand was:
: Q2 : KT6 : AQ3 : Q9754

My partner with the OP hand took my double out to 2.
He made 9 tricks for 56% of the matchpoints.

1NX would have been -3, +800 for us and all the matchpoints.
(The highest score our way was +200).
We can make 3NT, but of course no one bid it.
Aug. 6, 2018
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We define it as forcing. That way, Leaper can be arbitrarily strong and still have this handy shape-showing call available.

However, experience has shown that Leaper often has appropriate shape for LMs without a huge hand in HCPs. It seems to work better to show the shape even without “rock-crushing” HCP strength.

Thus, it would perhaps be excusable for advancer with a truly terrible hand, no support for the major, and only moderate for the minor to TAKE A VIEW and choose to pass 4m.

If this misses a cold game (or slam), it will be entirely advancer's fault for passing a forcing bid. That said, particularly at matchpoints, this might well be the winning view. In that event, advancer gets a “gold star.”
Aug. 4, 2018
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An extremely rare bid for an extremely rare pattern.

I don't understand the part about “using Michaels first.”
With minors, you'd have to use unusual 2NT first.

Problem with that (among others) is that I do not think a later double brings s into the picture–just says that the UNT was based on a strong hand.

If (3) had been passed around to doubler, I think some would play that a second double would guarantee four s.
Not sure that this would apply when the second double is of (4).
But I think 4NT clearly shows only three s.
Although 0=3=5=5 is ideal, might also try this with a strong enough 1=3=4=5.
Aug. 4, 2018
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No, I wouldn't because we would be playing Texas Transfers.
So if I wanted to play in 4, I would have bid 4.
Aug. 3, 2018
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Nice problem as all of Pass, Double, 1NT, and 2 are reasonable choices.

For me, not quite strong enough for free 1NT.

Don't like negative double with such minimum values (Q not likely useful in suit contract) and such weak s, but this could be the winner at matchpoints. Might be horrible if it induces partner to bid 2 with 3 not so great ones.

With such minimum values, great s, and some shape, I voted for the raise. One and done.
Aug. 2, 2018
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Still take-out but with emphasis on the minors.

0=3=5=5 (with appropriate HCP strength) would be ideal.
Aug. 2, 2018
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