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All comments by Craig Zastera
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My simulations gave the same results (not surprising) as long as you are talking about MATCHPOINTS.

When I looked at results for IMPS where only the deals where 3NT was beatable (13% for you–about what I got too) are relevent, THEN the small lead was the clear favorite.

So the upshot is, when the contract can be beaten (not too often), a lead is the best chance to beat it.

But over all deals, a lead will (on average) give the defense the highest expected number of tricks, hence best at matchpoints where holding down the overtricks on the (majority) of the deals where 3NT is always makeable becomes the major concern.
Jan. 30, 2019
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I think all the terror of playing 2N-3N as a relay to 4 (or perhaps something else) is unfounded.

My partners and I have been playing this way for *years* and have had a “forget” exactly once–the first time it occurred.

So we use 2N-3 as a relay to 3NT:
(a) for play in 3NT
(b) to show GF (slam interest) minor 2-suiters
i. 2N-3-3N-4/4/4N show:
3=1=4=5/1=3=4=5/2=2=4=5
ii. 3N-3-3N-4-4-4/4/4N show:
3=1=5=4/1=3=5=4/2=2=5=4
iii. 3N-3-3N-4 shows x=y=5=5

© to play 4 or 5 with a weak hand, long s
(after 2N-3-3N-, 4 relays to 4)

We use 2N-3N as a relay to 4:
(a) to play 4 (or raise to 5 for play): wk, long
(b) 3-suited (usually 4441) slam tries:
after 2N-3N-4, bid short suit (4N=short s)

So my advice is that if you want to design a scientific structure for responding to 2NT and find using a 3NT response as some artificial relay, do not let fear of forgetting stop you–it won't take much practice before this becomes 2nd nature.
Jan. 30, 2019
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natural and forcing.
Jan. 30, 2019
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It is possible to continue to play transfer advances when responder makes any call up to and including a single raise of opener's suit.

If his bid is lower than the raise, the TAs still just start with the cue-bid as usual and end with a simple raise of overcaller's suit.

When responder's bid is a single raise (most common), then DOUBLE is “stolen bid”, i.e. means whatever the cue-bid in the TA scheme would have meant. Then other calls by advancer above 2 of their suit up through the single raise of overcaller's suit retain their normal TA meaning.

We modify this slightly in one specific auction (not necessary, but we like it):
(1)-2-(2)-??
Here, we use double to show both minors (i.e. “responsive”), 2NT to show s (normally in TA schemes, NT advances are natural), 3 to show s, and 3 to show a good raise (as usual), and 3 as less than a LR.
Jan. 28, 2019
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The ideal holding for a help suit try is Axxx.
The ideal holding for accepting a HSGT is Kx.

The value of shortness (stiff or especially doubleton) is dependent on trump length/strength.

A small doubleton is the HS isn't that good when responder has only 3 trump (particularly if not strong).

But with 4 trump, particularly if including A or K, a small doubleton in HS isn't too bad at all.

Any honors in the HS (particularly secondary honors) are good.

Obviously, opener can't always have Axxx.
So Axx, Kxx(x), Qxxx, even JTxx in a pinch are OK holdings.
Some 2 honor holdings like AJxx or KJxx are OK, but of course they leave fewer honors for partner to hold.

But “xxx” is definitely NOT acceptable for a help suit try.
There is another convention called “weak suit game tries” (played by few I think) where “xxx(x)” would be ideal.

Opposite a “weak suit” try, shortness (especially a stiff) is good, but any honors (particularly non-ace) are *bad*, so very different from a “help suit” try.
Jan. 28, 2019
Craig Zastera edited this comment Jan. 28, 2019
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I do not think it is “standard” for a cue-bid by advancer to promise “support for partner.”

To make that work (assuming advancer is not a PH), one would need either:
(a) new suit advances are forcing
or
(b) some transfer advance scheme into unbid suits so
that the bid of the suit immediately below over-
caller's suit can be an unambiguous strong raise.

Even (b), as transfer advances are usually played (Rubens), involves new suit advances in suits that occur below the cue-bid to be played as forcing because the TAs usually start with the cue-bid. If these new suit advances were non-forcing, you'd have no way to show strong hands with that suit (I suppose a jump shift advance could be forcing, but even that agreement would not solve the problem since often the suit won't be long/strong enough to support a jump-shift advance).
Jan. 27, 2019
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I'd like to answer, but the phrasing and options are too vague for that to be possible.

What does “outside of your 1NT overcall range” mean?
Does that include hands that are too strong for 1NT or just those that are too weak?

And among those that are too weak (say 14 HCPs or a flat 15),
what is my honor dispersion?

If I have none (or very few) of my points in s with just short of a 1NT overcall, that would make a “double” with some flat hand (say 4=3=3=3) more appealing that it would be with the same shape but some secondary values in s. Also, 11-12 HCP hands are a lot different from 14-15 HCP hands.

It would be better to give some (say 8) specific hands and ask on which of these hands would you double a Precision (1) opening.
Jan. 27, 2019
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I either
(a) don't bid 1NT the first time
or
(b) pass 3 the second time

IMO, 6-11 is too wide a range. If it makes you think you should bid 3NT after partner says he wants to play 3, that suggests that you must think it is too wide a range too.

Why not just an invitational 2NT the first time? (or some conventional device to show a balanced NT invite).

That would be my choice.

But if somehow a 1NT response was dicated by my system with this hand, I would stay consistent and pass 3.
Jan. 27, 2019
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I believe that in balancing seat, favorable vul, matchpoints, that balancer with 5=5 majors ought to make the partnership call showing “both majors” with almost any hand regardless of HCPs.

Who cares how few HCPs he has? The fewer he has, the more partner will have.

The opponents have stopped in 1NT. So they have AT MOST 24 HCPs, and will usually have fewer.

So as long as balancer has good shape, he should act.
With both majors, we have reasonable hope of outbidding the opponents, and even if we DONT, we may push them into a lower scoring minor suit contract.

I play DONT over strong 1NT, so our side does not have a strong (“penalty”) double.
Thus, partner (directly over their 1NT opener) can have a very strong balanced hand and still pass.

Perhaps my thinking would be somewhat more conservative if playing methods where partner would be expected to double anytime he has 15+ (or whatever) HCPs in a balanced hand.
But nowadays, I think few players play DOUBLE as “strong and penalty oriented” over their strong 1NT
(over their weak 1NT openers, it is a different story–in that case DOUBLE needs to be strong).
Jan. 27, 2019
Craig Zastera edited this comment Jan. 27, 2019
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Bridge World Standard:

"Forcing vs. nonforcing:
When a call could logically be interpreted as either
forcing or nonforcing, and there is no explicit
agreement:
In a competitive situation, treat as nonforcing;
in a noncompetitive situation, treat as forcing or
nonforcing by which seems more sensible to the
observer."

Note: this is the default for undefined situations.
In BWS, new suit advances of simple overcalls of 1 level openings
are explicitly defined as non-forcing.
Jan. 27, 2019
Craig Zastera edited this comment Jan. 27, 2019
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Bridge World Standard:

"A direct-position one-notrump overcall shows a
strong 15 to 18 HCP, regardless of the suit opened."
Jan. 27, 2019
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Amazed at so few high bids.

We're at favorable VUL and our “LAW” level is (at least) 5 (so that is what I bid).

Passing would be a tactical choice, but if I'm instead going to bid s, 4 is just not enough.
Jan. 26, 2019
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No, because that wouldn't show his 6 card suit.

This delayed 3 promises 6 (I suppose 7 is possible, but 6 is expected), happy to play 3 opposite a doubleton.

But it is also suggesting playability in the majors in case responder is very short in s (as here).
Jan. 26, 2019
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I'm wondering if “pass” is really a logical alternative on OP hand.

To me, saying that “pass” is a logical alternative for North with this hand on this auction is tantamount to saying that “double” does not exist.

That is, North here has made a favorable vulnerability pre-emptive jump in s.
Typically, such bids deliver KQJxxx(x) and out or some such.

Now, the opponents are in (5) and the pre-emptor holds AQx of trumps, an unexpected side suit void with his partner on lead, and no desire for a lead.

I ask:
If this North hand does not merit a “penalty” double on
this auction, what hand would he need to justify one?
Jan. 26, 2019
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Around here anyway, 15-18 HCPs is pretty standard for 1NT overcalls.

And this OP hand is a terrible 18 (4333, no spots). How many tricks does it have?
Even if my “official” 1NT range stopped at 17, I'd overcall 1NT with this hand.
Jan. 26, 2019
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I do not think I would have shown “majors” the first time with the 2 card disparity (we use 2om to show majors BTW).

I make 1st call a choice between PASS and 2 (I'd probably Pass).

The big issue is why partner didn't bid 3 the first time.
My view is that he doesn't have a “great” 3 bid and he has tolerance for the majors. I do expect 6 s, but *at least* a doubleton in both majors (in my dreams: 3=3=6=1).
Jan. 26, 2019
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3 by North could be a LOTT violation if South has only four s (and there is no reason why he shouldn't).

Why bid “3 over 3” with an 8 card fit (particularly if not pushed into doing so)?

Meanwhile, 4 would be just as cold if the North hand were:
Qxxx-xx-xx-xxxxx
which indicates to me that South's pass of 2 is beyond just conservative.
Jan. 26, 2019
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Don't understand criticism of North's 2 bid.

“Landy” does not promise 5 cards in both majors.
Particularly in balancing seat, it might not even have five cards in either major.

And, it does not have to be particularly strong.
With 5=5, I think a “Landy” balance could be made on a near Yarborough.

Thus, North's 2 seems clear:
(a) LOTT:
he has no reason to expect more than an 8 card fit.

(b) HCP strength and location:
Of his modest 9 HCPs, *7* of them (minors) are likely
to be of little or no value.

Suppose South had something like:
Kxxxx-KQxxx-xx-x
IMO, that would be more than plenty for his balancing “Landy”. Yet 2 is the limit and even that is not cold.

On the other hand, this South has a “whale”.
Not just 5=5 majors, but way more HCPs than his NV matchpoint balance promises.
So it is *South* that clearly must do something to indicate that his hand is way beyond what is initial call has promised.

I suppose without agreements, 3 would be the least he ought to do.
Jan. 26, 2019
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How to play new suit advances of partner's overcall has been debated forever.

That is a good sign that there really isn't any satisfactory solution.

Bridge World Standard treats these as *not forcing*.
In fact, they don't even play jump-shift advances as forcing (these are desribed as “invitational”).
So in that style, only a cue-bid is forcing.

However, if partner overcalls their *pre-emptive* (i.e. not at the one level) opening, new suit advances are generally played as forcing.

Here is the excerpt from “Bridge World Standard” describing
advancer's actions after partner overcalls:

"C. After Our Suit Overcall of a One-Bid
After our simple overcall of a one-bid:
(a) A new-suit bid by an unpassed advancer is
natural and nonforcing, constructive if an
advance of a two-level overcall.
(Then: a cue-bid by intervenor is artificial
and neither shows nor denies a primary fit
for advancer's suit.)

A new-suit jump is invitational.

(b) A cue-bid may be either a strong raise or a
prelude to a forcing bid in a new suit (but a
passed-hand cue-bid guarantees a fit for
intervenor's suit).

A jump cue-bid is a mixed (i.e., semipreemptive)
raise that shows at least one defensive trick.

(c) Over a bid by responder, a jump, below-game,
new-suit advance is a fit-jump.

(d) A single raise is similar to single raise of
major-suit one-bid;

direct jump-raises are preemptive.

(e) A one-notrump advance shows 8-11 points and a
stopper in opener's suit, regardless of
vulnerability and suit opened;
two notrump is similar, 12-13 HCP (less after
a two-level overcall).
After a one-notrump advance, a cue-bid by
intervenor is artificial and forcing.
After a two-notrump advance of a two-level
overcall, intervenor's nonreverse, three-level
new-suit bid is forcing.

If intervenor overcalls and then shows a lower-ranking
suit, indicating length in two suits that could have
been shown directly with a two-suited action,
intervenor shows only 4 cards in the lower-ranking
suit.

Among advancer's actions when responder bids a new suit:
(a) a double shows length in the unbid suit plus a
tolerance for overcaller's suit;

(b) a cue-bid in opener's suit is similar to one had
responder passed;

(c) a cue-bid in responder's suit is a strong raise
of overcaller's suit;

(d) a simple bid in the unbid suit is nonforcing.

Among advancer's actions after a response of 1NT:
(a) a double shows interest in the unbid suits;
(b) a cue-bid shows a strong raise.

Among advancer's actions when responder raises opener:
a double is not for penalty (for takeout or showing
general values, depending on level).

After (suit opening) — simple overcall — (single raise)
— single raise — (same-suit rebid) — ?:

a double is a game-try when (and only when) there is
no new-suit bid available below three of the
overcalled suit.

Among advancer's actions after responder's negative
double:
a redouble shows strength."
Jan. 26, 2019
Craig Zastera edited this comment Jan. 26, 2019
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Answering this as a bridge bidding problem (not a UI issue), I thought the choice was between DBL vs. 3.

I did choose “DBL” like the majority, but I consider “pass” a distant 3rd choice.
Jan. 26, 2019
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