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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Would not consider 1.

In practice, I'd probably open 2, but I can definitely understand a PASS at IMPs and this vulnerability because this hand doesn't have a very high “ODR”–two aces are good for defense (particularly when pard has a stiff ), and the suit is full of secondary holes that could spell a huge disaster if, say, RHO doubles and LHO leave it in.

My philosophy at IMPs is to do everything possible to avoid going for a number on partscore deals, and opening 2 with this hand could result in a big minus score without their side having a game.
June 9, 2018
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Although (as I stated) I would raise only to 2 with this North hand, I do not think 3 is ridiculous.
Give responder a minimum hand with his honors better placed, say:
xx-AQTx-T9xx-xxx

and 4 has some play. And certainly responder, even though a PH, could have considerably more than this, say:
xx-AQTx-KT9x-xxx
which makes 4 quite good, yet he won't move after P-1-1-2.
June 9, 2018
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I surprised myself by voting for “scramble” here because I'm a big fan of “good/bad” in many competitive auctions.

I tried to figure out a good reason for my vote (perhaps I'm just being inconsistent–I wonder if my partner would read this 2NT by me as “scrambling”, knowing what a big “good/bad” fan I am ?).

Perhaps my feeling favoring “scramble” is based on thinking that if partner had a good enough hand for a “good” 3 or 3 now, he likely would have acted over (2), probably with a negative double since 3m directly would be GF.

“Scramble” could be valuable when responder is 4=4 in the minors (and too weak for a negative double) to maximize chances of finding a 4=4 minor fit when opener is 5=1=4=3 or 5=1=3=4).

Nevertheless, I will acknowledge that there are probably hands responder could have up to, maybe, 9 HCPs that would have no convenient bid directly over (2) that would dearly love to be able to show some (perhaps surprise) values now by having “good/bad” available, thus avoiding having his 3 or 3 be totally ambiguous as to hand strength.

I should note that my competitive bidding guru, Robson, in his “Partnership Bidding….” clearly defines 2NT by responder on this auction type as “good/bad” (so that 3m is “good”), so I'm starting to think perhaps I should adopt this view, particularly as it will help in avoiding driving my partner completely mad when he has to guess what my competitive 2NTs mean.
June 9, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 9, 2018
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This wasn't a real deal for me–it arose from a discussion in another thread where this hand passed over (1), and LHO bid 3NT on a flat 11 count.
Only a lead would have beaten the contract (dummy had :Kx, and partner had S:87xx-:T-:Kxxxxx-:Qx and led a ).

On that thread, at least one respondant commented that a 1 overcall was clear with this hand. That seemed odd to me, since it is not even our longest suit.
Anyway, I'm glad to see from the results of this poll that his is not a popular view.

I have no strong feelings between Pass, 1, DOUBLE, and a slightly off-shape Michaels bid (if the hand were a tad stronger, say :AJ, I would like the Michaels bid more).

I'd probably have doubled, but think the Michaels call has more merit than the vote suggests. I know Mike Lawrence has advocated “weird Michaels” on hands with 4=5 majors, around opening bid strength, and lacking the unbid minor (making a DOUBLE less attractive), but also seem to recall that his advocacy of that call did not receive a lot of support either.
June 9, 2018
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Let's see- West has a 9 loser hand, no suit, slow winners in their suit.
East has a 7 loser hand with ideal shape for a double of (2).
And we're talking about how much blame West should get?

Only the unfavorable vulnerability gives any justification for East's pass over (2). If NV, DOUBLE would be clear. As it is, passing is quite conservative, but may be justified against opponents who are quick to double for that magic +200 (which is in fact available here).

As either West or East, I wouldn't criticize my partner's decisions on this deal even though they worked out poorly.

If I held the North hand, I would consider it strong enough for an invitational splinter if such could be shown (e.g. interchange North's minors, then 1-1-3 to show an invitational splinter raise of s with short s).

With the actual hand, I would probably content myself with the simple raise to 2, but only after considering 3.
June 9, 2018
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We use transfers starting with 1NT after 1M-(DBL) (but not after 1-(1)) *EXCEPT* when the 1M opening is in 3rd seat. In that situation, the value of Drury is so great that it is better to retain that convention.
June 9, 2018
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For some reason, I'm having difficulty keeping the N/S hands straight. You are right, of course–fine opening bid, dubious 3NT response.
June 9, 2018
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I believe the idea for light 3rd chair 1 promising playability comes from Mike Lawrence's book on “Passed Hand Bidding.”
June 8, 2018
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For game, 3NT is the safest contract, although 5 is quite safe and only slightly behind 3NT.
4NT will usually make, but it is noticeably riskier than 5.

So if you want to give up on slam, bidding 3NT is the best choice.

I think this hand is marginal for trying for 6.
A simulation using the parameters you specify for partner had 6 making 62% of the time, although that is using double dummy analysis. Real world results, particularly for slam, are often significantly lower. Still, that result may suggest that we ought to show some slam interest, but be quite willing to settle for 5.

Often on deals that made 12-13 tricks in s at least a successful finesse was needed, particularly if they find the best opening lead.

Sometimes, though slam is excellent, e.g. when partner held:
Kxx-x-KJ9xx-KTxx
That requires only picking up trumps to make a grand!
or: xx-Kxx-KQTxx-Kxx (6 cold unless 0=4 offside break).

So I think the best approach is to start with a 3 cue-bid and see what happens, being willing to continue cue-bidding through the 4 level. Probably, though, in the end we will still need to guess between 5 and 6.
June 8, 2018
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Dave,
I'm not quite sure whether your remarks are meant to be about 3rd seat 1M openers, or opening bids in general.

And I see nothing in OP about weak 1NT openers, so I always assume 15-17 (or thereabouts) unless another range is explicitly specified, as that is the overwhelming majority where I play.

Anyway, just because a 3rd seat 1M opener *could* be light (although the Drury raise usually delivers 10+ HCPs), that does not mean that it *is* light –often it will be a perfectly normal (even strong) opening hand.

Anyway, I said that opening suit bids are usually 7 losers (or fewer), yet some openers might have more, e.g.:
AKJxx-Axx-xxx-xx
(I don't really think much about LTC, particularly for opening bids).

But I was questioning your comment about 1 level overcalls:
“the overcall is almost always in the 5-6 loser range”

In my view, a simple overcall at the 1 level is rarely in this range (certainly not 5 losers!).

The “minimum 1 level overcall” of AKJxx and out actually counts to *9* losers. I would guess that if one looked at all 1 level overcalls, 7-8 losers would be the norm.
A hand like AKJxx-Axx-AJx-xx is a near max for a 1 overcall and is still 7 losers (I know, there are some modified LTC schemes that upgrade aces over queens where this example would count a bit lower).
June 8, 2018
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It would be a very rare day when I made a mixed raise on 4333 shape.
I believe that a “mixed raise” implies some shape–a stiff is common, but at least a likely useful doubleton (with max HCPs) I think.
June 8, 2018
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These are often called “cue-bid doubles”.
I think they may have been invented long ago by Jeff Rubens (of Bridge World fame).
At least he wrote an article advocating them (as an alternative to “responsive doubles after partner overcalls”) way back (perhaps early 70s).

They generally apply when partner has made a 2 level overcall and RHO has raised opener's suit such that we no longer have a “cue-bid to the 3 level” available to show a good (i.e. game invitational) raise of partner's suit without going beyond the three level in his suit.

One could play them, I suppose, when RHO raises LHO's suit even after partner has made just a 1 level overcall, but they seem less useful then as in such cases we still have a cue-bid below 3 of partner's suit available (as well as 2NT if the partnership uses that to show a good 4 card raise).

I actually like these. One reason is that I find many partners abuse “responsive doubles” after I overcall.
In my view, these are very dangerous calls because opportunities for their use often herald a misfit.
For that reason, I think RD after overcalls should promise 5=5 (certainly when advancer's suit has to be bid at the 3 level) and sound HCP values. I find that partners rarely have both of these.
And I understand the tempatation for abuse since hands that are really ideal for a responsive double advance of an overcall occur rarely (and even then, a misfit may make this choice a loser).

At least if we agree “cue-bid doubles” instead, we have a treatment which has very clear benefits when it occurs (ability to differentiate a good raise from a competitive one without going beyond the 3 level) and is not likely to be abused or lead to a bad result when it occurs (always much safer to bid with a fit than without one!).

The downside is that on the rare occasions when advancer has a really ideal hand for a “responsive double”, he will gnash his teeth and wonder why he let himself be talked into playing “cue-bid doubles” instead.

BTW, if the partnership plays “transfer advances of overcalls” and RHO raises LHO's opening bid over partner's overcall (1 or 2 level), one can use “double” as kind of “stolen bid double” to show whatever (cue)bidding LHO's suit would have shown had RHO passed.
That is:
(1)-1-(2)-DOUBLE
shows s (just as if RHO had passed), while 2 is the strong raise.

But over:
(1)-1-(2)-DOUBLE
this double would be a true “cue-bid double” (strong raise) because it substitutes for meaning of 2 had RHO passed.
June 8, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 8, 2018
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Had to abstain again, although not for precisely the same reasons as in your similar question.

A light 3rd seat 1 makes no promises about support for any other suit (unlike light 1), but nevertheless with all my points concentrated in a good 5 card suit, for all your examples, I would either open 2 or pass (2 with all the stronger suits–down to KQJTx probably).
June 8, 2018
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I had to abstain here even though I'm a strong advocate of light 1M 3rd seat openings.

The reason is that I believe that a “light” 3rd seat 1 opening must promise playability in s (usually at least 3 small) so that opener can pass a 1 response.

All your examples include only : xx, so do not qualify.

However, I would open some of your example hands with 2 in 3rd seat–certainly the first three, and (depending on vulnerability), perhaps 4, 5 (definitely if the s are AQJTx or KQJTx), and even 6 (:AJTxx).

BTW, I regard :AQJTx as quite different (better for 2) than AKTxx, and similarly :KQJTx (better) from AQTxx, so I think it was an error for you to lump these together.
June 8, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment June 8, 2018
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On this lay-out, only a lead will beat 3NT.
On a lead, declarer can make 10 tricks.

Still not much of a hand for opener if they play normal methods.
June 8, 2018
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I do not understand your “5-6 loser range”.
For a 1 level non-vul overcall? Minimum opening bids are typically 7 losers (sometimes more) and a 1 level overcall doesn't promise as much as an opening bid in most methods.

I think typical minimum requirements for a 1 level overcall (particularly NV) is something like
:AKJxx and out.

Of course, overcaller could have more (up to perhaps 16-17 HCPs with only a 5 card suit), but such hands would be relatively rare (particularly with both opponents ostensibly showing good hands).
June 8, 2018
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It does solve the problem because I am saying that the range is not all that wide as I presumably promise more with the 3 (“pre-emptive”) jump raise, so my lower limit for a 3 “mixed raise” is higher than it seems to be for you.

For me, making a “mixed raise” on as few as 6 HCPs would be very unusual–7-9 HCPs being the “normal” range with 4 card support and some shape expected. This does not strike me as an excessively wide range.
June 7, 2018
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I disagree. We are a passed hand, so 3 cannot be natural unless it implies a fit. In fact, Robson's book on partnership bidding explicitly cites this auction type as a “fit non-jump” advance.
June 7, 2018
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My favorite time to play is week between Xmas and New Years.

Never used to miss the regional in Reno (a short flight from Seattle).
Too bad that tournament has become extinct as the few remaining regionals during that week are too far away.
June 7, 2018
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That would sound like 3 s and 5-6 s (change one of the to a small , for example).
June 7, 2018
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