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All comments by Craig Zastera
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I would like 5 a lot except that I think partner will believe (as I would) that it is asking him to bid 6 if he has a control.
Hence, I settle for 4, planning 5 next time (hopefully over partner's 4).
July 17
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I think 2NT here is Lebensohl.

It has a secondary benefit here in that partner might rebid 3 with an “ELC” hand type. Whichever minor he bids at the 3 level, I pass.

If you made my hand stronger, say xxx-Ax-Qxxx-Kxxx, I would have to “guess” a minor as this hand would be too strong for 2NT. I'd bid 3 I think.
July 17
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I think it is pretty standard to respond 4 card majors “up the line”.

Or are you suggesting a 2 response to establish the GF immediately? I never considered that, although I often respond 2 rather than 1 to a 1 opening with GF values and 4 cards in each black suit.

That would likely lead to 1-2-2-2-2-3
I don't necessarily see an advantage to that.
July 17
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As given, I guess this is just a double squeeze since West has the sole guard in s.

However, you could, say, give East the J in exchange for one of his small s. In that lay-out, *both* defenders guard s *and* both defenders guard s.
Yet the squeeze still operates for 13 tricks in NT by South on the same lead.
July 17
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For this problem, I deliberately did not specify whether our partnership plays that 1 rebid by opener followed by a minimum bid next round promises “extra values” or not (and, if it does, the related problem of “how much ”extra“ is needed to bid that way?”).

I should state for the record, since I often quote Bridge World Standard agreements, that in BWS, a 1 rebid followed by s next time does NOT promise any extra values and (in BWS) would be the normal way for opener to bid with even a dead minimum and e.g. 4=3=5=1 shape. BWS says:

"I. After Any Suit One-Bid Opening
(Responder is UPH except where otherwise stated)
....
b) with 4=3=5=1 or 4=3=1=5 distribution,
opener should rebid in s after a 1
response.
[After 1m — 1 — 1 — 1NT — ?,
opener may bid 2 with 4=3 in the majors,
shortness in the unbid suit, and any
strength consistent with the 1 rebid.]"
However, *our* partnership plays that opener's 1 rebid followed by a minimum bid next round *does* promise extras. So for us, with e.g. 4=3=5=1 shape and a minimum opener, it would be “normal” in our partnership for opener to raise to 2 at his second turn (we have “spiral” over that to allow responder to discover the 3 card raise when he is strong enough to bid again).

Yes, this does risk occasionally playing a 4=3 fit when a 4=4 fit exists and responder is too weak to bid a second time. But the advantage is in allowing a way for opener to show good hands with e.g. 4=3=5=1 shape at a low level (usually 2). Opener's 3rd round 2 bid (1m-1-1-<any>-2) can deliver a *very* strong hand, perhaps up to 18 HCPs (i.e. just short of enough for a GF 2 jump shift rebid).

But what is the *minimum* required for opener to bid this way rather than raising to 2 at his second turn?
My view is that the OP hand here is just short of being strong enough for the “3-step” sequence. This feeling is re-enforced by my distaste for bidding “xxxx” as if it were a real suit if avoidable.
So, for me:
(a) AJ87-Kxx-AQ98x-x
(b) KJ87-Kxx-AKxxx-x
© even: J87x-AKx-AQ98x-x (minimum)
would be good examples of *minimums* for 1 then 2 sequence.
But the OP hand, although close, I think is better described as a “maximum 3 card raise to 2”. The very strong s, very weak s, minimum HCPs (for “extras”) including the dubious stiff J make this hand, for me, not quite good enough for an “extra values” 3-step sequence.
This view is also influenced by the fact that we play relatively “sound” minimum opening bids. A partnership that plays “light initial actions” might well consider this OP hand sufficiently far above a minimum opener to justify an “extra value showing” 1 then 2 sequence.

I will conclude by saying that our actual terrible result on this board was not directly related to the issues above.

My (responder) hand was: AKJT-J953-5-KQ83.
Over my partner's 1 rebid, I bid 2 (XYZ relay to 2), followed by a jump to 4.
Our notes clearly indicate my sequence is a GF splinter raise of partner's s with short s.
Partner apparently “forgot” this. He continued with 4 which I took as “Last Train” interest in a slam (not necessarily saying much if anything about his s).
Feeling I had fully described my values, I continued with a natural, passable, 4.
Had the auction ended there (as it should have I think were we on the same page), our result would have been fine as 4 (making 5) is the best spot (NT and s make only 10 tricks).
But partner, still confused, continued with 5 over 4.
Naturally, I took this as continued slam interest in the face of my passable 4, so we reached a poor (but not completely hopeless) 6 (-1, the best partner could do).
July 16
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How would partner bid with e.g. Axxxx-KJxx-Qx-Ax ?
July 16
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I think your point about “upside” vs. “downside” at IMPs is very well taken.

Perhaps my (and others) choice of 2 is too much influenced by playing mostly matchpoints where the case for a 2 overcall is much better (frequent small gains outweigh occasional large losses when playing matchpoints).

One of the keys to playing IMPs is not to go for a number on part-score deals. A 2 overcall here does risk exactly that.

However, I will note that not all “IMP” events are created equal. Here, OPer specifies a 20 VP Swiss Team type event.
That means we are playing perhaps a 6 or 7 board match.

In a short IMP match like that, it could also be fatal to suffer an adverse double partscore swing. That is, slightly more risk is justified under OP conditions than would be in a long (e.g. K/O) IMP match.
July 16
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I think this one is close. VUL at IMPs suggests caution, as does the poor shape and soft side suit values.

Still, if we don't act now, it's likely not going to get easier next round (e.g. (2)-P-(P)-?).

So I choose the very risky 2 overcall.
July 16
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I think normal “ELC” agreement is that doubler is supposed to convert a advance to s at the same level when his take-out double was an OM/s 2-suiter (i.e. an ELC hand).

So removing 6 here to 6 is just following ELC protocol.
That is, doing what partner expects.

In the (unlikely?) event that partner really wants to play a slam opposite a void, I think he would give us a chance to get our “ELC” off our chest at a lower level, then continue with 6 to make it clear that he *knows* we don't have s but wants to play that strain anyway.
July 16
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Partner's PH 3 promises a fit (and s of course). This is a “fit non jump.”

I believe that pure bridge logic tells us that a PH cannot be introducing a new suit at the 3 level without a fit for our suit.

Andrew Robson explains in “Partnership Bidding At Bridge”:

"Fit non-jumps by a passed hand:

Another use for FNJs, that is obvious when you
think about it, is by a passed hand at the
three level or beyond.
Consider the auction
West North East South
- - - pass
pass 1 2 3

What does 3♣ show?
A good single-suited hand, strong enough to
introduce at the three level opposite a
third-in-hand opening without a fit for partner,
but not good enough to open?!
That hand just doesn’t exist - or shouldn’t."
You may observe that the Robson example above has the FNJ
occuring in response to partner's opening bid, whereas the
OP problem has the 3 bid being an advance of partner's
overcall.
Is this *still* a “FNJ” in Robson's view?

Not only is the answer “yes”, but in this latter case Robson does not even require advancer to be a PH for the FNJ interpretation to apply:

" Also, FNJs apply at the three level, just as over a
negative double - including auctions like
West North East South
1 1 2 3/
or
1 1 2 3/3
3/3 = FNJ; 3 in 2nd example: fit jump"
July 16
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This hand is not good enough for a responsive double.
Everything here is wrong:
1. no tolerance (e.g. doubleton) for partner's suit
2. VUL vs. not
3. both our suits must bid at the *3* level (too high)
4. not 5=5 (it is too much to hope for more than 3 card
support from overcalling partner–on a bad day, he
won't even have that)
5. Too few HCPs. Partner's 1 level overcall could be
as few as 8 HCPs, so we might be heavily out-gunned
6. Offensively wasted :KTx

For a responsive double on this auction and vulnerability,
we'd want something like:
xx-x-KQTxx-AJTxx
July 16
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Have to start with a cue-bid (2) as this hand is way too strong for a mere jump to 2.
After all, may make slam opposite A9xx-Axxx-x-Axxx
July 16
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3: Fit Non-Jump.

As Andrew Robson explains in his “Partnership Bidding At Bridge”:

"h) One-major - cue-bid (Michaels): ‘fit non-jumps’
....
We should like at this point to introduce a new
concept to help solve this now-familiar problem.
It is really nothing more than an extension of the
logic behind fit-showing jumps, and it will be very
useful when we are the overcalling side.
Consider:
you hold 64 KJ5 T64 AQT73
At ‘red’, your partner opens 1 (5 card suit)
and RHO overcalls 2, Michaels.
You are not strong enough offensively for 4,
so you bid 2 to show a high-card raise.
LHO bids 4, and your partner holds:
75 AQ642 A5 KJ82
Recognize the problem?
If he doubles (as likely), he might well swing
-1240! and will certainly swing -550.
Of course, if he bids 5 blindly, the gods
will ‘reward’ him much more often with:
64 KJ5 KQT64 T73
as a dummy. Yuck!

The solution is (on grounds of frequency) that
you must use 3 and 3 as fit-showing bids,
just as though they were jumps.

Rather uninventively we shall refer to such bids
as ‘Fit Non-Jumps’ (FNJs).
They show an offensive raise to the three-level
(although they can be made at higher levels) with
the suit bid.

And what do you do with a good hand, no fit and a
or suit?
The answer is either to double, or to use 2NT as
an artificial bid showing a single-suited
or hand."
July 15
Craig Zastera edited this comment July 15
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If the partnership has agreed ELC, then partner expects me to “correct” s to s if I don't have s and has bid 6 with that expectation (hence, he is prepared for a possible correction). So I correct.

If partner really had a hand that wanted to play in 6 opposite a void, he would/could have bid that hand differently, e.g. perhaps starting with a 4 cue-bid and then bidding 6 over my 5.
July 15
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I would think upgrading the s to AKQJ9x would result in a marginal 2 then 3. Add a 7th (one fewer card in either major), and it would be perfect.
July 15
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I think partner is 5=1=6=1 with not a very strong hand in HCPs.
Perhaps QTxxx-x-KJTxxx-x
July 15
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Thanks.
If 2NT NF, then I would think that 3 and 3 rebids by opener ought to be NF since it would seem foolish to languish in 2NT when opener has a minimum minor 1 or 2 suiter.

I suppose that playing 3M rebid by opener as shortness with GF values would be reasonable.
July 15
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Slightly too strong for 2 overcall IMO. So start with double and bid s next.
July 15
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That would be my usual assumption, but I noticed the author was Australian, hence thought perhaps 15-17 might not be quite so standard there as in U.S.

Also, the defense vs. their NT he mentions ( penalty doubles and natural overcalls) is not one that is popular vs. strong NT, although perhaps has more merit vs. weak NTs.
July 15
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We play that a 4 overcall of their (3M) opening shows a 2-suited hand–s and OM (here s and s) at least 5=5.

So whatever the merits of a 4 overcall here were it natural, I do not have that call available.

So the choices for me would seem to be Pass, double, and perhaps 5.
July 15
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