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All comments by Craig Zastera
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If you want to go nuts with “substitutions” after
2-2-2(Kokish)-2, then in addition
to the
3 = heart one-suiter and 3 = /, you can add:
(a) 3 = primary hearts, secondary *spades*
(b) 3 = primary hearts, secondary *diamonds*
This follows the scheme of the 3 and 3 interchange
whereby the suit opener bids is two steps below his
actual suit (i.e. 3 shows just hearts, while 3 shows
hearts and *clubs*–clubs being 2 steps above hearts).
The advantage of these additional interchanges are:
(a) 3 to show primary hearts & secondary spades allows
responder to agree either major at the 3 level,
leaving max room for slam investigation
(b) 3 to show /, like 3 showing / both
allow responder to agree opener's minor
at 4 level naturally, leaving opener in control
to continue with e.g. Kickback or whatever.
In each case, there is also an idle step
(4 over 3 and 3 over 3) which can be
profitably defined by each partnership to add
further descriptive capabilities.
March 24
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I know I have to pick an answer within the context of the agreements you've specified, but I would like to comment:
(a) I like 2NT response to 2 to show 8-10 HCPs balanced
This hand would be quite suitable. This treatment
has worked very well for me in practice (with suitable
follow-up agreements, e.g. 3 by opener is “transfer
checkback Stayman”).

(b) After Kokish Relay, I think (as has been suggested by
others), that 3 should show heart one-suiter while
3 should show hearts and clubs. This allows for
a 3 “2nd negative” over 3, after which 3 can
be passed (and, if responder bids 3 over 3, that
agrees hearts and is forcing, leaving room for slam
investigation).

BTW, my choice within the context of your agreements, 4NT, is intended as natural. Would be
an even harder problem if natural 4NT were not available!
March 24
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I agree with you all that “3” is a bit better than “4” because the two 10s in the long suits (especially that HT in H:KJT) are more valuable than the doubleton CJ in “4”.
Does that make me want to change my answer to “open 3” or “open 3 and 4”?
Actually, no. In my style I think I'd prefer passing all of these.
In my experience, a slightly higher requirement for balanced openers helps in various ways:
(1) minimum requirements for 2/1 GF response don't
have to be as high (I will make 2/1 on most good
12 counts that don't look like big misfits)
(2) we can double the opponents more aggressively
if we can count on opener to have values.
This is particularly effective at matchpoints
in competitive (usually partscore) auctions.
(3)Conversely, we can compete for the partscore a
little bit harder if we can count on opener for
sound values.

Obviously, there are (other) benefits that come from a style of “light initial action” and one can design a system based on that style. I think, though, that 2/1 GF with strong 1NT opener's, etc. is *not* a style that lends itself well to light opening bids. If I wanted to try super aggressive opener's, I would definitely do so in the context of a strong club system where the upper strength level of opening 1 of a suit bids is limited to 15 or so.
March 24
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I answered “just 4”, and, for me, even that one is marginal (because of the weak C:Jx). If the jack were in one of the pointed suits instead, then I'd be totally comfortable with 1.
March 23
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I think this is an excellent question and a well chosen example hand.

My only problem in answering is that I think you use a somewhat lighter opening style than I do (I definitely do *not* open most 11s).

In my style, I think this hand is in the 6-7 range for NS3NT.
But in your stated (lighter) opening style, it must therefore be further above minimum opener, hence probably deserves 7-8.
I compromised on “7”, but maybe a full appreciation of your lighter opening style should have pushed me to an “8” (in your style).
March 22
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I'm making a move towards (but not committing to) slam.
Whether this should be 5 or 5 depends on partnership
style. In my style, bidding 5 would suggest lack of a club control–not the message I want to send. Hence, 5.
I don't play 1 “could be short”, so I'm not quite sure what all that implies. If clubs were known to be a real suit, I would bid 5 as 5 would suggest a high (A, K, or Q) club honor. But with 1 possibly a non-suit, I don't think that applies.
March 20
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5 = SQ + HK (could have a minor K too)
5 = no SQ
5N = SQ + no side king(s)
6 = SQ + CK (no HK)
6 = SQ + DK (no HK, no CK)
6 = SQ + trick source to support 7 if all keys are held
March 20
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Over 2 showing both majors, we adapt the defense we use when 2 or 2 (or double) shows both majors by making one adjustment:
* use the double of 2 as two way, either:
(a) GF with clubs (i.e. “stolen bid” as 2
over their 2m showing both majors would be
GF with clubs)
or
(b) whatever “double” would mean over 2m showing
both majors. We use this as “negative double”
showing both minors with competitive (+) values.

There is plenty of room to sort which of the alternatives
is held. Opener should assume the weaker (e.g. competitive
with both minors). If responder has the stronger (GF with
clubs), he can clarify. The club GF seems to be much less common, BTW.

Then, other calls after 1N-(2 both majors), remain the
same as over 1N-(2m both majors):
2: GF with diamonds
3/3: invitational with minor shown
2N: Lebensohl, then, over 3:
* pass to play 3 or 3 to play
* 3: hearts stopped but not spades,
* 3: spades stopped but not hearts
* 3NT: values for 3NT, both majors stopped
Immediate 3N over (2) shows values for 3N with neither
major stopped.

BTW, to give credit, this defense is based on Larry Cohen's recommended defense (see his website) when the opponent overcalls our 1NT with 2 or 2 to show both majors. We just added the wrinkle of using
“double” of (2) when they use (2) to show both majors as “stolen bid”. Also, I think Larry
recommends using “double” as “interest in penalizing” rather than “negative–desire to compete with both minors.”
March 19
Craig Zastera edited this comment March 19
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quick trick deficiency pushes me towards passing this borderline hand.
March 19
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Overall cost is by far most important consideration.
This largely means room rates. Choosing locations with cheaper accomodations and easier access also helps.
I think having nationals in expensive, remote locales (like Hawaii) is ridiculous.
March 18
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Natural and definitely not forcing playing standard methods.
I could understand having an agreement to play this forcing, but would never presume that without a specific agreement to that effect.

Otherwise, why would this be different from e.g.
1-2 (inverted)-2NT which I think most play as natural and non-forcing (but I know there are some who play it forcing).

Particularly playing matchpoints, I think it is quite reasonable to play these non-forcing as 2NT may be the best scoring spot.
March 17
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Voted “other” because none of your choices quite capture my opinion. I think advancer has to have four spades. He therefore has to have more than four clubs–5 or 6 possible.
I therefore think his spades are weakish, his clubs strong and his 8-11 “points” might lean heavily on distribution.
Something like Jxxx-xx-x-AQxxxx seems quite possible.
March 17
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Well, I voted for 2 like (almost) everyone else, but I am still surprised to see the tallies. I consider both 2 and 2 to be “logical alternatives” (to 2), but neither of those choices has received any votes at all as of this posting!
March 16
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I don't play weak NT, but I do play 2-way NMF over (12-14) 1NT rebids, so 2 followed by 2 would be invitational with 5 (+) spades in my methods too.

2NT follow-up by opener would be an unexpected and highly unusual bid without a clear definition (we should have one, I suppose, but that would just encourage the sequence).
If the bid did occur, I would assume the bid was “corrective” with a stiff spade (a stiff spade would be highly unusual for a 1NT rebid in my methods, but such a hand could occur once in a blue moon). It would not be clear to me whether this bid says a lot about values within the range previously shown, but I wouldn't expect a maximum (else, perhaps he would have tried 3NT).

With the given hand, assuming my interpretation, I would certainly not consider passing 2NT. Re-correcting to 3
(for play) would seem obvious to me, pretty much the only logical alternative. I expect partner to be 1=4=4=4.
March 15
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I play 3 advance as a transfer to diamonds when partner has overcalled (2) or (2) with 2NT. A cue-bid of opener's major would be Stayman, while a bid of the suit below opener's suit would be a transfer to the suit above his suit (e.g. (2)-2N-(P)-3 would be a transfer to spades).
March 12
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Leonard,
the jump to 4 (over natural JS) is definitely not fast arrival–it is showing extra values (3 card limit raise).
The 3 preference is needed to show mundane mediocre hands with a doubleton spade (i.e. those that would have merely preferenced back to 2 had opener rebid 2m).

I guess you could call the jump to 4 over the Eisenberg 3 jump shift “fast arrival” as it shows a very weak hand with 3 card support (a hand too weak to have made a single raise to 2 the first time). Because responder's “usual” rebid over the Eisenberg JS is the artificial 3 inquiry (which would include poor hands with a doubleton spade), this frees up 3 rebid by responder to be used for the 3 card limit raise (saving potentially valuable bidding room for slam investigation).
March 8
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The answer to this might depend on whether the partnership uses opener's 3 rebid as an (possibly) artificial GF bid (i.e. “Eisenberg jump shifts”). With that agreement, opener's 3 (after 1-1NT) shows one of several types of GF hand. Usually, responder rebids 3 (artificial) to ask for opener's hand type. Then opener replies:
3: 5+ spades, exactly 4 hearts
3: very strong hand with long (6+), strong spades
3NT: 4 clubs, not extreme 2-suiter, passable
4: extreme 2 suiter, typically 6-5 or more
With this treatment, opener's 3 rebid promises 5+=5 majors.
With certain hand types, responder need not make the 3 inquiry. In particular:
3: a 3 card LR of spades
4: a very weak hand with 3 spades (too weak for 2)
and perhaps 3: long (6+) hearts, weak, no spade fit.

But if opener makes a fully natural jump shift (i.e. 3 or 3 after 1-1N), then the meanings of responder's spade
bids are reversed:
3: merely a preference for spades. Could be 2
(or 3 in a weak hand)
4: a 3 card limit raise of spades.
This would apply after 1-1NT-3 also if 3 is simply a natural, GF jump shift.
March 7
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Don't understand why it makes a lot of difference whether the 1M and partner's GF fit jump are generated by the opening side or the overcalling side. In both cases, responder/advancer has shown a fit with GF values and a good second suit.

Thus, whether FP applies or not should, IMO, be the same whether fit-jumper is opener's partner (i.e. responder) or overcaller's partner (i.e. advancer).

I have adopted this view from Robson's book on partnership bidding:
“Forcing passes opposite overcalls
We suggest you adopt exactly the same methods
with respect to setting up a forcing pass
opposite an overcall as you do opposite an
opening bid (see previous section).”


They say that a GF fit-jump (or splinter jump) does *not* create a FP situation over opponents' bids at any level unless we are VUL and they are not.

LR+ type artificial raises set up forcing passes at the 5 level or higher.

GF cue-bid raises (i.e. those that force us to the game level) set up FP over any additional interference.
March 4
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Doesn't the meaning of double here depend on whether a pass of their 4 would be forcing or not?

If pass would be forcing, then double shows a minimum, likely without a fit for partner's diamonds, and discourages partner from bidding on (of course, he can decide his hand merits further competition anyway if he chooses), whereas a pass would invite partner to bid more (but he can, of course, with a minimum choose to double instead).

But if pass would be non-forcing, then double would show convertible extra values while a PASS would show minimum values (and, presumably no great fit for partner's diamonds).

I play that GF fit-jumps create FP if the opponents compete at the 5 level *or* if we are VUL and they are not. Otherwise, we are not in a force (as in the given auction, assuming not VUL vs. not).
March 3
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2NT by South directly over 2 would have been “good/bad” (this is a classic G/B auction if the partnership plays this).
But delayed 2NT by South would definitely not be “G/B”–rule: you only get one chance (per auction) to bid G/B 2NT, so if you had one and didn't, a later 2NT is something else.

Normally, a competitive 2NT that is not G/B would be “scrambling”. I suppose that makes some sense here if South were e.g. 1=3=4=5 with a minimum.
But this is based on the assumption that a player with a “natural” 2NT would simply pass the double.
On this auction, that choice is not so clear, so I have sympathy for the idea that this 2NT ought to be natural (in my view, a very rare meaning in competitive auctions).

I have a real problem with North's 2nd bid (double).
It seems to me that when responder makes a responsive double with four card support for opener's suit, if he is going to bid again he ought to show that (unexpected) support.
Hence, I think 3 is clear for responder's second bid.
March 1
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