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All comments by Craig Zastera
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2NT then 3 over 3 should not be forcing (raising 2 to 3 directly would be the force).
Oct. 31
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North could consider 4 (fit jump) instead of actual 3.

I'm not sure the fit jump is clear as the suit is a trifle thin *and* North has two significant high card values in the other two suits. Clear or not, it would certainly make it easy to bid the slam this time as South would know his holding was gold.
Oct. 31
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Barry,
You must be looking at a different hand than I am.

All poor West did was make a non-vul 1 overcall, and now he finds his partner issuing an explicit slam try.
And West sits with two aces, the K, and a promsing 4 card suit.

Since it seems quite likely on the bidding that East has a stiff , West knows his A covers that. The “thin” suit isn't too big a deal since partner is making a slam try in the suit. And East has a secondary potential trick source in the suit (he has no reason to suspect that East is short in that suit).

To me, I think it would be very conservative (for West) to merely issue a FP and then accept defending should East double in response (which OP East would not).
To my way of thinking, I would find it hard to imagine what sort of “slam try” East has where OP West hand wouldn't offer at least a reasonable play for 6.

As West, I might be expecting East to produce something like Axx-Axxxx-x-KQxx which would make 6 pretty excellent.
Oct. 30
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You keep saying “min opening hand”, but West did NOT open the bidding. He merely made a 1 overcall which promises considerably less than an opening bid, much less one with 3 keycards, and nothing wasted in their suit.
Oct. 30
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A double by West in FP situation would indicate offensively wasted (but defensively useful) values, e.g. secondary honors.

West has nothing like that, so double would be highly inappropriate as that call is a strong suggestion to East NOT to bid on. West's hand is far from that–his values are all offensively useful *and* he has more of them than he might for his previous bidding.

Thus a (forcing) Pass inviting East to bid on seems appropriate. To me, the issue for west would be after passing (5) (inviting East to bid on) whether or not he should accept a DOUBLE from East (i.e. pass such a double).

Of course, that question is moot on OP deal since East would not double in response to a FP from West since his hand has very high ODR.
Oct. 30
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If West doesn't (at least) make a forcing pass over (5) with OP hand, then this pair shouldn't bother playing FP (or , better, have a long discussion about it).

West has significantly more than a minimum for his 1 overcall *and* NO WASTED VALUES (i.e. secondary honors).

Every card in his hand is “slam useful” with *3* keycards.

Therefore, he should at the very least make a forcing pass, probably planning to “pull” partner's “double” (OP East wouldn't actually double with his hand) to 5 to show a “slam invite”.

His actual 5 choice describes a hand NOTHING LIKE his actual one. That should be a very high ODR hand (i.e. extra long s, big shape) without much extras in HCPs.
Actual hand has rather pedestrian shape but with a lot of slam-useful high cards.
Oct. 30
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I actually do not see why attitude would be helpful on this deal (if available). I think OP “count” actually worked better.
Now, if 3rd hand could signal *suit preference* (between the other two non-trump suits) then *that* might be the most useful on OP problem, but would be an unusual agreement indeed.
Oct. 30
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No–weightings among 22, 23, and 24 are as they occur naturally in the context of the OP hand opposite.
Obviously, the 24s are much less common than the 22s, etc.
Oct. 30
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It would be particularly easy for East to play the Q on the 2nd round of the suit if West had led a lower .
Oct. 29
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1000 deal simulations:
1. Opener : balanced, 2-3 s, 2-3 s, 3+ s,
8+ controls, 22 HCPs

6D made on 705 / 1000 deals

2. Opener : balanced, 2-3 s, 2-3 s, 3+ s
8+ controls, 22-24 HCPs

6D made on 755 / 1000 deals

All 6 contracts played by the weak hand (2 bidder)
Oct. 29
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In your description of North constraints, you say s >=2
but in your description you say North will co-operate with 3 s but not with 2. These two seem inconsistent.
I would assume North needs 3+ s to co-operate as well as 8+ controls (since he knows we have at most 2 controls).
Oct. 29
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It might be of some interest to know how many tricks North can make in s “on average.”

I did a 5000 deal simulation with this North hand and completely random placement of the remaining 39 cards.

Here are the (double dummy) trick frequencies for North playing in s:

#tricks: 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
#deals: 5 42 387 692 1148 1496 1008 222
cum%: 100 100 99 91 77 55 25 4

So, since 5 makes over half the time (55%) and 6 only 25%, it would seem to me that 5 is a reasonable opening at matchpoints just from the perspective of best level to play in s.
Of course, the fact that opponents will sometimes be able to make high contracts themselves (e.g. games) gives the 5 pre-empt even more ways to win in real life.
Oct. 28
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Mike,
I'm surprised at your comment.

There are degrees of slam interest, ranging from “slam might be possible if you have all the right cards” on up to “I want to be in slam for sure unless two keycards are missing.”

So using 4 as “reverse Baze” after a 2M response to Stayman, opener can have a horrible hand for slam, an averagish sort of hand, or a maximum with all slammish values (and various steps in between).

He (opener) has no idea how “serious” a slam try partner (responder) has.
If he has a *great* hand for slam, he pushes on and bids slam (perhaps after checking for keycards).

If he has a non-slammish minimum, he bids 4M to show his lack of enthusiasm.

But with many “in-between” hands, he wants to let his partner know is hand is OK for slam if responder has a “big” (or “serious”) slam try, but is well below maximum perfecto level, so if responder was just showing mild slam interest, *he* (responder) can quit at 4M.
Oct. 28
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I don't think many play that 3 is a transfer after a 2NT opener (or after 2-2-2N).

For most, 3 would be some sort of minor suit Stayman or other device for showing both minors.
For example, in “Bridge World Standard”:
"E. After Our Two-Notrump-Family Opening:
(c) 3: showing both minors;"

Further, over 1N-2, if 2 is played as a transfer (e.g. “4-suit transfers”), most would play that responder's 3M continuation over opener's 3 would be *shortness* in the bid major (although it would be possible to play such 3M as a second suit, probably would be played as 4=6 though).
Again from Bridge World Standard:
"F. After Our One-Notrump Opening:
(e) modified four-suit transfers with
2 = either a range inquiry (opener bids 2NT
with a minimum) or s (simple new-suit
rebid by responder shows shortness),
2NT = s (simple new-suit rebid by responder
shows shortness),"
Oct. 27
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You could reverse the meanings of 3 and 3 on this auction, although I doubt there is much theoretical gain.
Oct. 27
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Keep 3 as mixed raise, just as it would have been without the (2) response.
Use 3 as LR+ with 3 trump (keep 2NT as LR+ with 4 trump).
Oct. 27
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This is “reverse Baze”, i.e. a slam try in opener's major without shortness (3OM would be a slam try in opener's major with unspecified shortness).

No need to waste 4 as keycard ask in opener's major as there are several other ways to do that (4 would be one way, 4OM would be another way, 4 followed by 4<M+1> yet another).
Oct. 27
Craig Zastera edited this comment Oct. 27
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close. (between 4 and pass).
Oct. 27
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I think I might prefer 2NT if it were forcing. I picked 3 because I do not think 2NT is forcing unless special agreement (which might well be a good one).
Oct. 27
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About the only drawback of opening 1, planning to reverse into s (and perhaps show fragment later, particularly if partner responds 1), is the possibility of 1 being passed out.

I judge that the probability of the auction going 1-all pass is *far lower* than the probability that the auction will become awkward and we fail to reach our best spot if I start this hand with a 2 opener.
Oct. 26
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