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All comments by Craig Zastera
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I would have bid 3 over (2).
July 5
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Grand?
I'm amazed at you guys.
I think bidding 6 here is very aggressive (but I'm going to do it because I'm a crazy guy!).

To make *6* partner needs:
* AKx of s
* a stiff
* a minor suit king

That would give us 7 s, 3 minor suit tops, A and a ruff for 12 tricks.
Can partner have all that as a passed hand?
Yes, but that would certainly be a maximum perfecto PH.
July 5
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I voted to hold my nose and open 1 even though I really think pass is fine.

I was trying to get with the “light openings” program a little bit even though this hand doesn't really quite qualify for an opening bid using “rule of 22” (which I generally like but am not a slave to it).

That stiff K counts as “0” quick tricks and is a big flaw.
The isolated J is also not a thing of beauty.

I'm actually quite surprised to find (at this point in time) that actually slightly more respondents passed than opened 1, as I'm usually in there with my pass on border-line openers when nearly everyone else is opening.
July 5
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Seems perfect for 2 to me.
If partner bids Ogust (we use 2 for that), we have a bid reserved specifically to show our solid suit (that would be 3 for us so as not to wrong-side 3NT).

If you moved the J into s, I would open 1.
That is because with e.g. 3 aces and a stiff (and nothing else, say 4=1=4=4) partner would not move over a 2 opener
July 5
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I'm not a big fan of 2 level overcalls on 5 card suits–especially at IMPs.

But this hand seems fine for 2.
(a) the suit has great texture
(b) hand has solid HCP values
and
© 2 over their (1) often causes them problems untangling their majors when it is their hand (because a negative double tends to be vague about responder's major suit lengths).
July 5
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Also relevent is whether we have “ELC” (equal level conversion) available.

That is, if we double and partner advances 4, can we remove to 4 to show and with < 3 s?

I know that ELC is not perfect with OP hand because the ELC sequence suggests 4=6 (or maybe 4=5) red suits–i.e. partner would not expect 5 s.
July 5
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Not having an 8 card fit would be a good thing for our chances of defeating (3X) by LOTT.
Unless, of course, we have a 9 card fit :-).
July 5
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Seems perfect for a cue bid showing a strong hand with 3 card support.
July 5
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A good example (of the vast number possible) of how it is impossible to bid intelligently if the overcall does not have some reasonable lower and upper bounds.

On your example, partner is arguably too strong for a mere 2, yet opposite this hand, our side probably can manage only 6 tricks in s.

Meanwhile, on another problem a majority advocated a simple 1 overcall of (1) with AKT852-A6-K-AT52.

I dunno, but I think we may need our partner to be The Great Kreskin when our 1 overcall could be
AKxxx-xxx-xx-xxx or AKT852-A6-K-AT52.
July 5
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We tried the 2-2-3M method to show 4M, long s, and very strong hand after partner discovered this in some article in a British bridge magazine.

I didn't much like it because (a) suitable hands rarely come up and (b) it usurps a much better (IMO) meaning for 2-2-3M, namely (standard?) setting “M” as trumps and demanding cue-bid of any ace or 3NT=some king or 4M = no ace or king.
This actually comes up and adds good definitions to responder's rebids.
July 4
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I think it is important to play that redouble denies a (3+ card) fit.

If I were going to make an exception to that (and I really don't think that is necessary), it would be with a
3=(433) soft 10 HCP hand, where one might re-double and then bid s at the minimum level so as to perhaps avoid getting higher than 2 when that could be the limit.

But as we play “Cappelletti over 1M/X” (i.e. transfer responses), we have a very rich responding palette available.

We have ways to show various sub-species of “3 card limit raises”, most of which start with 1NT (transfer to 2).
The generic way would be 1N, then 3 over 2, but there are more specialized ways to show a long side suit, e.g. 1NT then 3 over 2.

I'm not sure I'd choose the latter with OP hand because it has the values scattered (and it is possible that s should be trump, although *that* would be hard to discover).

Something like KTx-xx-AQJxx-xxx would be much more suitable for 1NT then 3 in our methods.

With the weak s, no aces, and dubious stiff K, I do not think it would be a crime to treat this hand as “just” a constructive raise.
Playing transfers, we do that by bidding 2, although that call is normally limited to 9 HCPs unless planning to do something “special” next round (not applicable with OP hand).

I voted for 2 using your methods (constructive raise), even though in my methods that would be shown with a 2 transfer which is probably what I would choose (yes, slightly overstrength).
July 4
Craig Zastera edited this comment July 4
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Since e.g. Kxxxx-Ax-xxx-Axx has play for 7, I think I need to make some effort to explore slam possibilities.

You say nothing about methods, so it is hard to know the best way to proceed, but it certainly is not by bidding 4.

If 4 is a (forcing) fit-showing bid, that might be a possibility.

If 4 is a splinter (not the way we play it), that would be possible.

Without direction from OP, I guess I'll have to start with 2 cue-bid (does this even promise support in OP methods?) and try to figure out how to proceed as the auction progresses.
July 4
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The downgrade seems pretty clear to me.
The QJ might be no better than “xx”, and we have nothing at all in s.
Final proof that downgrade is warranted is simulation results, but at the table you have to rely on judgment and then check later with simulations.
July 4
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If I wanted to play in 5, wouldn’t I have bid that instead of X?
I think X then 5 is forward going.
A super strong 1-suiter (too good for direct 5) would start with 4NT, then remove 5m to 5.
July 4
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Optimism might pay off.

Personally, if I wanted to be optimistic, I would favor 5 rather than 5.

5 must be (intended as) forcing since we have shown both red suits and partner has “chosen” s.

5 (perhaps) suggests our (unexpected?) 6=5 red suit shape, hints at our very strong honor structure, and certainly indicates a super strong hand willing to play at least 6 with likely interest in a grand.

It is true that it doesn't promise our void, but partner has various options over 5 if he thinks his hand warrants pursuing a grand.

Finally, if partner has a truly hopeless hand like Kxxxx-xx-xx-Qxxx, maybe he will pass 5.
July 4
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I can tell you what *we* play w.r.t 3rd (and 4th) seat openings, but others may have different agreements.

We sometimes open *very* light 1M in 3rd chair (partially, because our 1st/2nd seat openings are “sound”).

Therefore, we rely heavily on “Drury” 2 by responder after a 3rd seat 1M opening.

Drury is incompatible with the “transfer” response structure. Perhaps with a lot of work, they could be integrated somehow, but we have not attempted to do that.

So for us, after *3rd* chair 1M, followed by (DBL), we use 2 as Drury and do not attempt to use transfer responses for other responses.

But after *4th seat* 1M openers and a (double) (by an opponent who had passed initially, so he's not too strong), we *do* use our transfer response structure.
This is because 4th seat opener's, while occasionally a bit “light” w.r.t 1st/2nd chair opener's, are never really light as they might be in 3rd seat.

But after 4th seat opener, if PH opponent passes our 1M (or doubles or bids 1NT), then we do still use 2 as Drury.

So that's what we do.
But I think it would be a reasonable alternative, especially if you don't open as “super light” in 3rd chair as we do, to use the transfers after 1M-(DOUBLE)-?? even when the 1M opening is in 3rd chair.
July 4
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I don't understand your comment.
We may well already be “in trouble” in 5.

Surely a 5 bid which forces us to at least the 6 level could easily be a disaster.
July 4
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That is correct and is part of “Cappelletti over 1M/X” (i.e. transfers after 1M-(X)) as documented in his pamphlet describing that convention.

The 1NT response has many meanings.
Two of them are (a) weak with long s and (b) invitational with long s.

But there are many other possibilities that do not (necessarily) have any significant length.

For example “good K/S raises” that don't have a 6 card red suit all start with 1NT.
“K/S raise” means a 2 card (usually honor doubleton) raise.
“Good” in this context means ~8-10 points.

So 1NT followed by removing 2 to 2M (opener's major) show such “good K/S raises”, except for ones with a 5 or 6 card red suit (s only if 1 was the opening). These could have a 5+ card suit, but need not (i.e. they could be balanced or flat).

With a 6 card red suit in a “good” K/S raise, transfer to the red suit, then rebid 2M over partner's 2.

With a 5 card red suit in a “good K/S raise, start with 1NT, then rebid the red suit over partner's 2.

So what happens after 1M-(DBL)-1N-(BID) ?
The Cappelletti document offers (only) this help:
* if advancer bids at the two level, then DOUBLE
by opener is ”responsive“ (or perhaps could be
thought of as a sort of ”support double“) asking
responder to clarify his hand type.
So (assuming doubler passes opener's double),
then responder, having first bid 1NT, now bids
s with s, but raises partner's major or bids
a ”sandwich" suit with a K-S raise.

As with any tools used in competitive auctions, if the opponents persist with further competition (particularly above the 2-level), we may have difficulty fully describing our hands below our safety level.
Too bad–that is just the nature of things.
July 4
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You make very good points.
You are even generous IMO. Given that the opponents are at favorable VUL, I would guess they don't have even a 9 card fit (else a raise from East).

Further, most play that “2-suited” bids e.g. the “leaping Michaels” 4 here tend to show two suits either of equal length or with the lower suit 1 card longer.

Thus, partner likely expects 5=6 reds rather than 6=5 if we have unequal length.

The upshot of the above is that it would not be a huge surprise to find partner with a shape as ugly (for slam purposes) as: 5=2=2=4 (or even worse, e.g. 5=1=2=5, seems possible).

Such thoughts do make the pursuit of a slam seem perhaps excessive if we assume that partner's 5 bid is the weakest call he is allowed to make whenever he doesn't have more s than s.
July 4
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Maybe that won't work so well if partner lacks the Q and doesn't have real length in the suit either.
July 4
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