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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Hand not strong enough for immediate 2S. If the DJ were the DK, then 2S would be correct.

As to what to do over partner's 3C, 3D is better than 3H because:
(a) it shows the partial stopper in diamonds, angling towards 3NT if partner can bid it.
(b) 3H might suggest nothing in diamonds and, say, H:Jx or H:Qx.
© 3D is a cheaper bid. When choice is close, opt for the lower bid.
If partner has nothing in diamonds and hearts that can play opposite “xx”, he
will bid 3H over 3D.
Aug. 10, 2016
Craig Zastera edited this comment Aug. 10, 2016
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Nice problem, Leonard, as I think this hand is very close to the 3-way cusp between DBL, 1NT, and 2C.

As to 2C, I think this hand is a counter-example to the idea of “straining” to overcall 1D with 2C because of the pressure it puts on their auction. Here, with 3=3 majors, you know that if 2C jockeys them into a 4=3 major suit fit, their trump suit is splitting 3=3. Hence, 2C / (1D) is more tactically indicated with, say, 4-2 majors rather than 3-3.

As to double vs. 1NT, with only 3 cards in both majors, it would seem that asking partner to bid a 4 card major might be misguided. If he has 5, he will bid it over 1NT. Further, 1NT gives a more narrowly delineated description of our hand's strength and shape all in one bid, putting partner in the best position to know what to do.
Aug. 10, 2016
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I am generally known for advocating “sounder” minimum standards for opening 1 bids, hence higher upper limits for weak 2s, then most today.

Yet even I consider this hand a clear-cut 1S opener and, therefore, too strong for 2S. Check the “suggestion of 22”–this hand not only counts to 22 (10 + 6 + 4 + 2), but it is very “pure” to boot (i.e. all HCP values in the long suits, plus powerful spots (S:T9) in the 6 card major.

It is a much closer question as to whether this hand merits a “non-serious 3NT” over partner's 3S or would be better described by a “weakness” raise to 4S. I actually don't mind the 3NT as the 6th spade and concentrated 6=4 shape make this hand quite offensively powerful despite its minimum HCP values.
Aug. 9, 2016
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Lynn:
Interesting comment. I bid 4H with this hand.
Partner held: A54-43-QT765-AQ5
3S bidder had: QJT8732-5-A-JT93

It took careful play to make even 4H (I had to unblock my DK under RHO's DA and later finesse dummy's DT to make).
Meanwhile, 10 tricks are cold in NT and only an unlikely
club lead (from C:Kxx) prevents a NT contract from making
11 tricks.

They can make 8 tricks in spades, so a 4S (or even 5S if necessary over 4NT) sacrifice would be successful.
But out of 21 times this board was played, only twice was
it played in 4S (neither doubled) and three times in 3S.
A bit surprising to me as I don't think a 4S opening is too unreasonable at favorable colors.

But I actually posted this problem to see if anyone would
PASS with my hand. My partner seemed surprised/amused
that 4H was so much of a struggle with his “moose” of a dummy. It seemed he might have thought my 4H overcall was a bit of a stretch if I could barely make it opposite his
huge hand.
Aug. 9, 2016
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I generally open 1D with 4-4 minors.
Here the relative quality of the minor suits argues for making an exception.
However, the stiff spade argues for *not* making an exception.
I despise 1NT rebids with a small stiff in responder's suit.
So, here, I open 1D (ugh!) so as to have a prepared rebid
(2C) over partner's likely 1S response.

I think the hand is close between 2H and 3H rebid.
I go low (2H), but if you improved the hearts to KJxx, I would bid 3H.
Reasons for choosing to go low:
* weakish hearts–if partner's hearts are weak too,
a borderline strength game will not be good

* partner may well have wasted spade values opposite
my stiff.

* we may have a lot of fast side-suit losers before
my powerful club suit can come into play.
Aug. 8, 2016
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A natural, invitational jump to 3C would be perfect.
That is how I play 3C without the interference.

But, alas, after the double I use 3C as a strong (LR+), unbalanced diamond raise.

2C is non-forcing, but I bid it anyway in preference to a redouble which suggests interest in defending. I think
it is highly unlikely that it will go “all pass” after my 2C.

Redouble would be fine if the auction developed such that I could bid 3C next round. But what if it is higher when it is next my turn? Awkward.
Aug. 8, 2016
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Whether hand was worth a non-serious 3NT is matter of partnership agreement.
But once you bid it and partner shows *serious* slam interest by cue-bidding despite your warning, it would be criminal not to bid 4D now. Kxx-AKxxx-Qxx-Ax makes 6S cold and that surely is not a lot for someone showing continuing slam interest over a “non-serious” 3NT.
If you instead bid 4S (or 4H), why won't partner place you
with AQJTxx-Qx-xx-KQx or some such?
Aug. 8, 2016
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I play XYZ in this sequence.
My preference:
1. 1C-1D-1H-1S
is artificial, forcing one round, denies 4+ spades.
Typical hand is one that would like to bid NT
(1, 2, or 3), but lacks a spade stopper.
If opener has a spade stopper, he bids NT (usually 1)
and responder can pass or raise to appropriate level.

2. 1C-1D-1H-2S
is natural, GF, showing 5+ diamonds and 4 spades
(I suppose in rare case, could be 6 diamonds with
4 or 5 spades).

3. 1C-1D-1H-2C-2D-2S
2C is artificial relay to 2D.
Responder's 2S followup then shows exactly game
invitational strength with 4 spades and 5+ diamonds.

4. 1C-1D-1M-2M
shows exactly *3* card “M” support
and is game invitational (standard Walsh treatment)

5. 1C-1D-1M-3M
GF with four card “M” support and 5+ diamonds.

6. 1C-1D-1M-2C-2D-2M
2C is relay to 2D.
Responder's delayed 2M shows 4 card support for “M”
with 5+ diamonds and game invitational strength
Aug. 8, 2016
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Standard methods (BWS, Mike Lawrence) is that new suit advance is non-forcing. Even a new suit *jump* is not forcing (but highly invitational) in these methods. Only a cue-bid is forcing.

Personally, I play transfer advances. These (transfers)
start with the cue-bid. New suit advances below the cue-bid
(when such exist) are played as forcing (BUPH) if using Ruben's transfer advance methods, but could alternatively be defined as non-forcing.
I opt to go with Ruben's forcing treatment for new suits below the cue-bid (even though hands where NF would be preferable are common) because of two advantages:
1. Now, new suit jumps can be played as “fit showing”
rather than “natural, invitational.”
2. When our suit is immediately above theirs
(i.e. (1C)-1D, (1D)-1H, (1H)-1S, (1S)-2C),
the cue-bid advance becomes unambiguously a
(strong) raise of overcaller's suit, since
advancer never needs to cue-bid with other
strong hand types (because his new suit
advances are forcing).
Aug. 7, 2016
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4S definitely shows a 3 card limit raise while 3S is expected to show either just a doubleton spade (6-9) *or*
a very weak hand with three spades (too weak for a 2S raise of 1S).

If you somehow think this hand is now suddenly “too good” to merely show a 3 card limit raise because of the presumed club fit, I suppose “manufacturing” an ostensibly weak 3S call is OK if you are planning to continue with 5C over 4S.

Many play that opener's 3C JS is not necessarily natural (“Eisenberg jump shifts”). That's how I play. Could be
5+=4 majors with GF values, or a really big spade single suiter, or a hand with real clubs (4+). Usually, responder relays with 3D and opener completes his description
(3H = four hearts; 3S= big spade 1 suiter;
3N = real clubs, usually 4, passable
4C = extreme black 2-suiter)
This way, 3H JS guarantees at least 5=5 majors, but
3D jump shift is still ambiguous w.r.t diamond length.
Works even better to use opener's *2NT* rebid as an artificial GF (with responder's 3C as artificial relay).
That way, 3D JS also promises 5+=5 shape.
This gives up natural NF 2NT rebid by opener, but that isn't
too important (jump to 3NT with 19. with 18, rebid 2m then
2NT if responder gives you a third bid).
Aug. 7, 2016
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Choices are poorly defined.

I suspect many votes for “intermediate” are based more on
uncertainty about the definition of “intermediate” vs. “strong” rather than being reflective of a genuine
difference of view of what hand type is shown by the 3S jump.

A 3S overcall is stronger than a 2S overcall but not as strong as a 4S overcall. 3S is highly invitational but definitely not forcing. 3S would nearly always be a 6+ card suit, whereas 2S might be only 5 (but could also be 6+).

A double followed by spades tends to be a more flexible hand rather than a spade 1-suiter, although a super strong spade 1 suiter might be forced to start with double (then bid spades up to at least the 4 level) in order to avoid missing a slam.
Aug. 7, 2016
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My partnerships also have this agreement–2C over their 1D has a “relaxed” standard compared to other 2 level overcalls. Still, *some* restraint is required.
Aug. 5, 2016
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oops.
Aug. 2, 2016
Craig Zastera edited this comment Aug. 2, 2016
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I would probably bid 2D if NV, but this is below my minimum strength requirement for a VUL Michaels call. I play continuous range Michaels, which style I think argues against using with extremely light hands.

I want partner to be aggressive in competing to our LOTT level whenever I overcall.
Here, provoking partner into overcompeting for the dread -200 (or -500 vs. their game) will not only be a zero on this hand but, worse, encourage timidity on future hands–something I definitely do not want to do.
Aug. 2, 2016
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I prefer 1NT over (1D) rather than actual double.
Anyway, partner can't have much since he didn't bid 2C over (1H).
What can I do now? I'm surely not going to bid 3C with Qxx when partner couldn't act over (1H). And doubling 2D (co-operative penalty?) seems too aggressive when they appear to have a good diamond fit.
July 29, 2016
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As to opener's 2S “reverse” after a 2/1 response, I think many (I haven't done a poll, so I won't claim “most”) 2/1 GF players would say that this does not promise extras.

The idea is that since we are in a GF, bids should describe shape without reference to strength.

This idea could be carried further, e.g. does 1S-2D-3C show extras? On this one, I think more 2/1 players would say that it *does* show extras, but I think that a significant number (but probably a minority) would say that such 3 level non-jump rebids are also just “shape showing.”

Similarly, how about a raise of responder's suit:
1S-2C-3C
1S-2H-3H
Do these show extras? Perhaps surprisingly, I think a majority play the raise of the minor as showing extras but not the heart raise.

The problem with the style where “nothing promises extras” is that the partnership may find itself uncertain whether it possesses slam level strength or not. That is one of the reasons for conventions like “serious” (or non-serious) 3NT.

The problem with the style where all rebids above 2M (except perhaps 2NT) show extras is that opener is forever rebidding 2M with all sorts of minimum hands that may be two (or three) suiters.
A 2H rebid with AQxx-xxxxx-void-KQxx after a 2D response may not appeal to everyone.
July 25, 2016
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Most 2/1 players would interpret such a jump to 3S as a splinter raise of partner's diamonds.
July 24, 2016
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Results of simulations are not “opinions”–they are facts.
July 22, 2016
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I picked 2C with “13+”, but the real criteria is whether you consider the hand a GF or not. So the exact HCP strength required will depend on your minimum requirements for opening bids and your exact shape (e.g. a partial diamond fit is better than diamond shortness).
Given that I play relatively sound openings, I might consider some responding hands sufficient to GF with only 12 HCPs.
QJTx-x-QTx-AKxxx would be fine for 2C even though only 12 HCPs.
July 22, 2016
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Steve,

Here is how your two example hands perform
in 2NT and 3NT contracts opposite
7 and 8 HCP balanced hands.

You can seen that the 3334 hand with three
tens does significantly better than the
3235 with poor spots for GAME PURPOSES

I then tested these hands in 6NT with
14 HCP balanced hands opposite.
You can see that the results are different–
now the effect of the 5 card club suit causes
that hand to actually perform slightly better
(in 6NT) than the 3334 hand with the three tens

Each result is based on a 5000 deal simulation.
All deals played from the strong hand side.
No constraints on the EW hands.

Test Hand 1: A32-J2-K32-AKQ43

7HCP: 2NT 3NT
70.34% 28.64%

8 HCP: 2NT 3NT
84.12% 48.64%

14 HCP: 4NT 5NT 6NT 7NT
98.40% 92.42% 57.56% 9.94%


Test Hand 2: AT6-JT5-KT7-AKQ3

7 HCP: 2NT 3NT
84.86% 35.46%

8 HCP: 2NT 3NT
94.64% 63.70%

14 HCP: 4NT 5NT 6NT 7NT
99.82% 96.56% 55.12% 5.06%
July 22, 2016
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