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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Steve,
While I agree with you that playing “forcing” allows responder to start with 1NT on some (balanced) hands with fully GF values (probably should be some upper limit, though), thereby adding (some) more definition to the GF 2/1 responses, I omitted listing this as a “virtue” of the forcing approach because some may find this usage unappealing. It does have the drawback of further expanding the already wide range of the 1NT response and may leave responder awkwardly placed to find a suitable (forcing) continuation.
So I confined my arguments to extolling the advantages of 1NT forcing even when the partnership opts to limit that response to a maximum of 12 HCPs.

Personally, I allow foricng 1NT on up to soft 13 or even 14
HCPs that will be content to bid 3NT or 4M next time.
But with a goodish, even 4 card, minor suit and “hard” values, I think a 2/1 (in the 4 card suit) is preferable as there might be a slam, perhaps in a 4=4 minor fit which will not be biddable otherwise.

An alternative approach with GF balanced hands after partner opens 1M is to play *2NT* response as natural and GF (13-15 or 18-19). But that gives up on using 2NT as a GF 4+ card raise, a problem for me since I use responder's 3 level jump shifts as “natural, invitational” (hence, e.g. 1S-3C not available as an alternative GF raise).
Sept. 5, 2017
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There is nothing wrong with fit-jumps that force to game. In fact, I might even claim that those are the most common kind, e.g. 1-(2)-4 is a GF fit jump.
Sept. 5, 2017
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Playing 1NT forcing is really analagous to many popular conventions which sacrifice the ability to play in one particular (lower) contract in order to generate many more sequences to more accurately choose among other contracts.
Examples of similar conventions:
1. BART
give up possiblity of playing in 2D after
1-1N-2-2(F)
in order to more accurately investigate other
strains
2. Lebensohl (aka “good/bad”) 2NT
give up ability to play in 2NT in many competitive
auctions in order to differentiate two strength
ranges for more accurate game vs. partscore bidding
3. Stayman
give up ability to play in precisely 2 after
partner's 1NT opening in order to generate many
sequences to investigate other strains and levels.
4. Jacoby transfers
As in (3), give up ability to play in 2 in favor
of a richer bidding palette.

Forcing 1NT is really analagous to the above. We are sacrificing the ability to play in one specific contract (1NT) in order to create a much richer bidding structure allowing investigation of many strains and levels.

Particularly in conjunction with 2/1 GF where responder is forced to bid 1NT on many (often far from balanced) hands that have less than GF strength, giving up opener's option to unilateraly “guess” that 1NT is the best final contract (with insufficient justification since he knows little about responder's shape) is a small price to pay for creating a structure that allows many alternative (and likely superior) contracts to be explored.

Playing invitational 3 level jump shift responses takes *some* of the pressure off of the 1NT response, but those bids still leave many weaker 1-suiters and 2 suiters to start with the 1NT response which will benefit from its being forcing, not to mention allowing for more specificity with some below GF 3 card raise hand types.
Sept. 1, 2017
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I don't understand the recent surge in popularity for playing 1NT response as only “semi-forcing” by an UPH responder when playing 5 card majors and 2/1 game forcing.

One of the big advantages of 1N *forcing* is that responder can start with this call when holding very unbalanced less than GF (or less than game invitational in some cases) hands and thereafter be able to play a partscore in his long suit.

Strangely, the hands on which advocates of playing 1NT response as only semi-forcing will pass the 1NT response–12-13 HCP balanced hands–are exactly the ones which will make the most suitable dummys in 2, 2 (or 2 after a 1 opening) when responder has a weak hand with a long suit.

Playing 1NT as forcing also allows for responder's 2-step sequences to show “3 card limit raises” and to differentiate semi-constructive single raises (1M-2M) from really weak raises
(1M-1N-2x-2M)–additional benefits not available to those who play “semi-forcing.”

Also, opener can often utilize the 1NT forcing response to generate “3-step” auctions to describe otherwise awkward hand types. For example, hands with the strength for a 3M jump rebid containing a 6 card major not good enough for a 3M jump rebid (e.g. ATxxxx-Kx-Ax-AJx which be described via, 1S-1N(F)-2C-2S-3S).

Part of the original (K-S) argument for 1NT forcing was the claim that 1NT is rarely the best contract even when responder has only doubleton support for opener's major. The claim is that the 5=2 major suit fit will often play better than 1NT anyway.
Aug. 31, 2017
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I abstained because I wouldn't have doubled originally (hand too weak for a double in the midst of their forcing auction).
But had I doubled, I would now pull partner's double to 4, prepared to be the goat because of my earlier indiscretion. But this is better than allowing them to score a cheap game at IMPs.
I assume that partner's 3 shows around 10-12 “playing points” as his 2NT should be Lebensohl with around 7-9.

If direct doubles with this poor a hand are part of your style and partner is expected to know this, then I suppose one could argue that partner has doubled with his eyes wide open, hence we should not pull if our hand is fully up to partnership expectations.
Aug. 31, 2017
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switching meanings of 4 and 4 may benefit auctions when responder wants to agree spades, but it will be detrimental when responder wants to show clubs because showing them via 4 leaves little room to maneuver below 5. You have to decide whether the trade-off is worthwhile or not (plus the extra memory effort required).
Aug. 26, 2017
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Natural, forcing, 5+ card suit, slam interest, denies 3+ spades. With slam interest in spades, bid 4.
Aug. 25, 2017
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simple rule: negative doubles show limited hands (exception: doubler cue-bids at his next turn).
Therefore, these new suit jumps by opener should be invitational (extra values) but not forcing. They should promise 5=5 shape at least.
If opener's hand is so good that he knows we must have game values opposite a minimum double, but he needs to explore further for strain (i.e. can't just bid game), he must cue-bid to establish a force.
Aug. 25, 2017
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I don't think Michal was trying to discover your methods when holding 3=3 minors and a minimum opener.
I suspect he was trying to point out that your successful auction was a little bit lucky as you would have (presumably) bid the same way had you held, e.g.:
QJT-Axxx-KQ-Jxxx
Aug. 20, 2017
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Well, I must say that I don't understand the votes for 4 (which is what my partner actually bid with this hand).
To me, 4 says:
* I am 4-4 in the majors
(don't want to play 4-3 heart fit)
* I am weak–no slam interest

What can opener have for his bidding? We'll agree that
he shouldn't be bidding 2 with 4 card heart support.
He might possibly have only 3 spades (AKx-KQx-x-AKxxxx), but
most likely he is 4=3-0=6 or 4=3=1=5 with slam interest.
Give him, say, AKxx-KQx-void-AT9xxx, and 7 is cold!

Anyway, I could understand (but not agree with) a *pass* of
4 if one chose to take a dim view of this responding hand.
But with no wasted values opposite partner's implied diamond shortness, and an unexpected 6 card heart suit, I think this responding hand ought to make some co-operative move towards slam.
His choices:
4NT: 6 key card ask
probably too agressive and inappropriate with a void
5C: a cue-bid
OK, maybe, but I don't like to cue-bid shortness
in partner's primary suit
5H: seems perfect–denies a diamond control, agrees
hearts (hence promising 5+)

My actual hand was:
Axxx-Qxx-A-AKJTx
(a rather poor minimum for my bidding I think, as my majors are weak to be trying for slam).

Still, I made 12 tricks in spades (playing 4) and would
have made all 13 in hearts (LHO has H:Kxx and RHO S:KTx).
I'm not sure I would have raised 5 to 6 (but I probably would as partner might be concerned only about diamonds, in which case an argument could be made that I should continue with 6 in case he has grand slam aspirations).
Aug. 20, 2017
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book pass? Are you kidding me? I think this is about as routine a 3rd chair 1 opener as one could imagine.
I would not consider 2 both because of the quality of the heart suit (or lack thereof) *and* because I have good support for spades should partner choose to respond 1 (which I can happily pass). A 3rd chair 2 on a 5 card suit should mainly be chosen over a light 1 when opener can't pass a 1 response.
Aug. 19, 2017
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I play the Jump shifts in competition are fit showing.
So here, 3 would show a good 5 card spade suit along with heart support (at least 3 good) and GF values.
A jump in *overcaller's* suit is a splinter, but jumps in unbid suits are fit-showing.
No use at all for “weak jump shifts in competition.”
Aug. 15, 2017
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Playing “transfer advances” of overcalls, the transfer into partner's suit (here 2) is a substitute for advancer's cue-bid when not playing TAs (except that, if not playing TAs, advancer's cue-bid is occasionally based on a strong hand without support).
Thus, the transfer into overcaller's suit shows LR+ values. The given hand is clearly not strong enough for this action.

The confusion may arise because when playing “Cappeletti over 1M-(X)”, the transfer into opener's major promises only constructive raise values (but unlimited on the up side with only 3 card support, limited to less than 10 HCPs with 4+ card support because 2NT is available to show 4+ card LR+ hands).
Thus:
1-(X)-2 (transfer) has a minimum of 7-8 support points
but,
(1X)-1-(P)-2 (transfer) is 10+ point raise.
Aug. 13, 2017
Craig Zastera edited this comment Aug. 13, 2017
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rebid 1NT–not 1. 1 rebid should promise an unbalanced hand with 8+ black cards.
Aug. 11, 2017
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I prefer upside down attitude and standard count.
The advantage of standard count is that with UDC, partners seem unwilling to play their *highest* card from 3 (sometimes for a legitimate reason, usually just because they are too lazy to figure out that playing their highest card cannot cost a trick), so instead they play their middle card, thinking that will be “good enough.”
But, in general, it is not good enough, because if they play “M” from HML, then, logically, I cannot tell (at least not until they play a second card in the suit) whether they hold their actual HML tripleton, or just “HM” doubleton and are playing their lower card to show an even number.
But playing standard count eliminates this problem.
Aug. 9, 2017
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Is it? Seems to me that a partnership better have clear agreements both about what responder's 4 shows on this auction and what opener's subsequent removal to 4NT means.
Surely, 4NT as RKCB for spades would be a popular interpretation.
Aug. 2, 2017
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Bob,
You hit the nail on the head. It was my partner who held the hand given in this problem. And he in fact succumbed (succame?) to the temptation to double.
Opening bidder bid 2, and I held:
AQx-AKJx-xxx-Txx
and thought it clear to compete to 3.
That was passed around to opener who doubled, which was left in.
The best I could have done was -1 for -200 and *1* matchpoint (on a 15 top).
In practice, I tried to make the contract (which would have required my LHO to have been 3=3=5=2.
His actual hand was J87-Q9xx-T8xx-xx, so I was -500 for 0 matchpoints.
They would have been -1 in 2 (unless we misdefend).
They were cold for 1NT (so the Stayman call was an error in theory) or 2.
Opener's hand was Kxxx-T8-AKQ9-A9x
Aug. 1, 2017
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very thoughtful analysis!
July 31, 2017
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Regardless of the details of your agreements, bidding 5 directly must mean something different than passing (forcing) first, then pulling the double to 5.

I have no problem with reversing the meanings so that the direct 5 is the slam try while the delayed 5 is weaker.
My only point was that 4NT (direct or delayed) is not much needed as a club slam try as there are already two ways to show clubs.
Of course, if you really wanted to load your system very heavily towards showing club support, you could use more bids to differentiate slam tries with a spade control from ones that need a spade control from partner.
But that would seem to me like overkill for club hands when there are so many other hand types (other than primary club support) that opener might like to be able to show.
July 24, 2017
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but wouldn't a pass of (4) (forcing) followed by pulling responder's double to 5 show a good raise to 5 ?
Of course, if you pass (4) and responder does something other than double, you can just bid 6 (or higher).
July 24, 2017
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