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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Right. Although it seems obvious for West to keep a so he can lead it to establish East's s (after pitching a on the 2nd round of s), this is not really necessary.

Although non-intuitive, West can actually pitch all his s because North is squeezed when East still has *2* s remaining. So 1 can be used to reach East with a ruff (of a or a ) and lead a from there. The other remains in East as a re-entry to the good .
May 18
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My comment was meant to be amusing. Guess not.

In general, I consider “Kickback” much superior to using 4NT as my key card ask for suits other than s as Kickback always allows stopping at the 5 level after asking.
May 18
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We play double is minors (“responsive”) and 2NT is “bad” with one minor or good (game invitational) with s. Then 3 or 3 would be natural “good” and 3 would be competitive s.
May 18
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We use 2N-3-3-4 to show 5=5 majors.
Similarly, 2N-3-3-4 shows 4=6 majors and
2N-3-3-4 shows 6=4.

If, after 2N-3-3, responder just wants to show a minor suit (perhaps with 5+ minor, 4 , slam interest), he first bids 3 (relay to 3NT), then 4m (forcing, natural).

We also have, as you do, that after 2N-3-3-?, 3 by responder asks about opener's length (3 = 3 s,
3N = 2s, 4 level any = 4 s) but do not employ this for responder's 5=5 major suit hands.
May 18
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I'm wondering why in the long list of adjectives needed to properly name this squeeze the word “trump” is not included.

It is clearly necessary for East to have at least one trump left after the squeeze matures as an entry back to the established s (there are even variations where West throws all his s where East needs to have *2* trump left after the squeeze occurs).

Hence “triple trump squeeze without the count” or perhaps
“triple trump strip squeeze” ?
May 18
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Failure to make a double negative in no way implies a hand with slam potential strength. It merely says the partnership probably has enough for *game*.
May 18
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As usual, the main interest of this deal is in the bidding.

It demonstrates both the virtues of “1-under” transfer pre-empts and the folly of “Kickback.”

Whether or not North opens, East has an obvious 4 transfer pre-empt (s).

After that, West merely asks for Keycards via 4NT RKCB.
The 5 reply (2 keys + trump Q) tells West all he needs to know to place the contract in 6.

Note that “Kickback” would fail as the response would wrong-side the slam.
May 18
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I cannot comprehend how anyone who makes the slightest attempt to visualize some hands partner might hold for his bidding could ever suggest that PASSing 3NT here is a reasonable action.

You simply *must* give partner some clue that you hold enough values that slam is a possibility. So far, you've done nothing to tell him that.

Consider a hand like, oh say : AKQTxx-AK-xx-Axx
Now to me that looks like just about a dead minimum for partner's bidding. Yet 12 tricks in NT are 100%.

So at least give partner a tiny clue that we hold a hand where slam could be cold by doing *something* here.
A simple invitational raise to 4NT seems like about the least we owe him with this hand.
May 18
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I do not think the details of a pair's “Lebensohl over their 2 level overcalls of our 1NT openings” methods necessarily implies anything about the details of “Lebensohl after we double their weak 2 openings.”

So just because one plays (say) “slow shows” after it goes 1NT-(2!M), so that 3NT denies a stopper while 2N (Leb) then 3NT promises one, that does not mean that the same protocol need apply after (2M)-DBL-(P), i.e. 3NT denies a stopper while 2NT then 3NT shows one.

In fact, I think it is probably quite rare (and IMO illogical) to play that (2M)-DBL-(P)-3NT denies a stopper in opener's suit.
But it is quite common to play that 1NT-(2M)-3NT denies a stopper in their suit.
May 17
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Partner has a *maximum 2 jump* advance.
Jump advance shows 9-11 “support points”.
This North hand has 11, so maximum 2.
After that, it is easy to reach 4 after South raises to 3 and North accepts.

Advancing 1 with this North hand shows lack of knowledge about how one responds to t.o. doubles.
May 17
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I do not believe it is “standard” that Lebensohl followed by a cue-bid shows four cards in the unbid major WITH a stopper in opener's (weak 2) suit.

In the article “Lebensohl over Weak 2-Bids” from Karen Walker's bridge library
(http://kwbridge.com/leb.htm) it states:

"LHO Partner RHO You
2 DBL Pass 2NT
Pass 3 Pass 3 or 3NT

* Lebensohl, then a cuebid (3H) = 4 cards in
other major, but NO stopper in the opponent's suit.

* Lebensohl, then 3NT = 4 cards in other major
WITH a stopper."
So apparently it is common to play the OP sequence as denying a stopper in opener's suit (but showing 4 in the OM).

It seems to me E/W did everything they could to inform the opponents. West said “undiscussed”, while East prefaced his (correct) “guess” as to what West's sequence might show by saying “he wasn't sure”, indicating also that they had no agreement that he was aware of.
May 17
Craig Zastera edited this comment May 17
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auction (1) is a game invitational sequence.
auction (2) is a slam try, pure hand, sets s trump.

a related auction would be 1-1-1-2(GF)-any-minimum
this would be GF but suggest a less pure hand, probably less slam interest, possibly interest in other strain(s).
May 16
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I used to argue that way too, but I'm not sure it is entirely correct.

The problem with the argument is that you may not know which of the alternatives is true. Is 5 going down? Maybe, but you are not sure. Will 5 go down more than 5 making costs? Probably not, but perhaps we are not sure.

So I think that it is possible that even if one or the other of doubling 5 *or* bidding 5 will produce a better score for our side than passing out 5, the fact that we cannot determine which can be justification for not doing either (i.e. doubling 5 or bidding 5).
May 16
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Assuming Michaels, I would never overcall 1 (or 2).
So this is just a decision between 2 vs. PASS.

Perhaps my intuitions are warped from mainly playing matchpoints, but 2 seems right to me (more confident at matchpoints though).

Of course, real partnerships should have clear agreements about minimum strength required for 2-suited overcalls at various vulnerabilities and forms of scoring.

If this one doesn't violate those agreements (too weak?), then 2. I like the “purity” of the hand (all values in the long suits, and very nice spots).
May 16
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Jeff,
I agree that it is quite reasonable to play FP after our opening bid and LR+ *at the 5 level* (i.e. opponents have bid at the 5 level).

Somewhat less reasonable (although not crazy, particularly in a non-Precision context) to play FP in same auction type when the opponents are only at the 4 level.

I also agree with whoever said that “LR+” type agreements in competition are NOT best. It is much better to try to structure agreements so as to differentiate LR from GF raises immediately.
May 16
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In order to pursue a quantitative approach to answering this problem, it is first necessary to know the minimum requirements for partner’s sequence (i.e. T.O double followed by his 2 rebid).
Otherwise, any claim about what South should do (Pass, 3, 4) has no basis.

Obviously, partnerships may vary somewhat in their minimum requirements for North’s actions, but fortunately “Bridge World Standard” defines these quite closely. I will use their definitions, which represent mainstream US expert consensus, in my analysis.
BWS says the following:

“AKQTx-AKx-Qxxx-x is slightly too strong for a
1 overcall of (1) with neither side vul.”
Modifying that example to fit the OP problem here, I got the following two possible “minimal” hands for North’s sequence:
(a) AKQTx-x-AKx-Qxxx
(b) AKQTx-x-Kxxx-AQx

Performing a 1000 deal simulation for each of these hands opposite the OP South hand with constraints added to match the E/W bidding gave:
on (a) 4N made on 50% of the deals
on (b) 4N made on 60% of the deals

These results are both well above the minimum required “make percentage” for 4 to justify South’s simply raising to game (4).
The OP conditions are VUL and IMPs, so a 40% “make %age” would be plenty to justify such a game raise if these North example hands actually represent “minimums” for North’s bidding.

BWS goes on to say the following:

“The normal simple overcall maximum is 18 HCP with
5-3-3-2 distribution, or the equivalent after
trading off high cards for shape.”
I attempted to translate that statement into specific minimum requirements for “double then 2” for various likely possible shapes by adding 1 point to the simple overcall maximum and adjusting for better shapes.
My “minimum strength” estimates are:

(a) 19 HCPs with 5=2=3=3
(b) 18 HCPs with 5=2=4=2, 5=2=2=4, 5=1=4=3,
or 5=1=3=4
(c) 17 HCPs with 6=2=3=2, 6=2=2=3, or 6=1=3=3 shapes
I then performed 1000 deal simulations for each of the above categories with these “minimum” HCP requirements, and also (for each category) with *1 fewer* HCP, and counted how often 4N made in each simulation.

In order to avoid “wasted” points in the suit (which might make a minimal hand “too weak” for double then 2), I required:
(a) If North has a doubleton , it shouldn’t be Qx.
(b) If North has a stiff , it shouldn’t be K or Q.

I also disallowed doubleton :AK or :AQ, as such hands *might* rebid in NT rather than in s.

The results of these simulations were:
(a) 4 made 42.3% (28.7% with North = 18 HCPs)
(b) 4 made 52.5% (35.5% with North = 17 HCPs)
© 4 made 48.2% (30.2% with North = 16 HCPs)

These results strongly suggest that if the partnership uses BWS agreements for minimum promised by North’s bidding, then South should definitely raise to 4 with OP hand.

If the partnership’s agreements allow North’s sequence with one “point” fewer than BWS, then a raise to 3 would probably suffice (but not far below 4 when VUL at IMPs).

Of course, if partner is an inveterate “overbidder” who cannot be relied on to hold even the minimums for his bids, then it might be wise for South to settle for an invitational 3.
In such partnerships, these “invites” mean something like “if you actually have the values you have already promised, please raise to game.”
May 16
Craig Zastera edited this comment May 16
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With the agreement that a cue-bid in partner's primary suit (here 5) shows (at least) one of the top *three* honors, I would choose 5 here. That is the agreement I have.

But because I was unsure OPer has that understanding, I opted for 5 instead. Most important point is to show slam interest without a control.
May 16
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Richard,
I think I understand your view (maybe).
It reminds me of an approach advocated by S.J. Simon in an ancient book called “Why You Lose At Bridge”.

In that book, he advocated a sort of “co-operative penalty double” in auctions that started 1M-(2m)-??.

He claimed that playing responder's double to show something like:
(a) 3 trump to an honor
(b) shortness in opener's major
© around 10 HCPs
so that opener could pass for penalties with e.g.:
(a) 3 trump to an honor
(b) ace in his major (and a quick entry elsewhere)
© not enough “extras” to expect game to be cold

was a very profitable style as it frequently resulted in a two or three trick penalty vs. just a partscore for our side: Lead to partner's major suit ace, get a ruff, back to partner's entry, another ruff, and the defense is off to the races.

I recall using that approach “way back when” playing rubber bridge for money, and it did produce some nice penalties once in a while when the stars were in alignment.

Of course, that approach has been long abandoned (if it was ever popular) in favor of “negative doubles” which probably gain a lot more frequently by allowing the opening side to compete successfully.
May 16
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Richard,
I must confess that I don't understand your reasoning for “complementary” doubles.

It seems to me that if “double by opener has been agreed takeout”, then that would imply that when opener has a penalty double (i.e. length/strength in overcaller's suit, perhaps with extra values as well), he will have to pass.

In such cases, responder is likely to be short in overcaller's suit, so his shape will likely be suitable for a takeout double. So when he makes such a T.O double, opener, with the penalty double hand type, simply “passes for penalties.”

Conversely, when opener has a take-out double (i.e. short in overcaller's suit), he doubles (for take-out). Then, if responder has length in overcaller's suit (i.e. a penalty double), he can “pass for penalties”.

So it seems to me that playing “double” as take-out by both opener and responder allows for (or at least gives a chance for) catching overcaller when either opener or responder has length in overcaller's suit.

Of course, playing TO doubles will not succeed in achieving successful penalty doubles as often as playing doubles as “for penalties” by both opener and responder.
May 16
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I think it is inconsistent to open 3 and bid 3 now.

So *if* I had opened 3, I would remain consistent with my attempt to pre-empt the opponents and hope they have erred.

However, I would not open 3 with this hand, certainly not in 2nd seat, because there is too much chance that we might belong in s. So start with “pass” and hope to glean insight by listening.
May 15
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