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All comments by Craig Zastera
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I see no excuse for responding 1 rather than 1.
After 1-1, I think the West hand is just sufficient for a 2 reverse.

Now East raises to 3, game-forcing. He might like to instead bid a GSF (for hearts) 5NT immediately, but there is serious risk partner wouldn't interpret it that way (although perhaps that is what 5NT here should mean), hence 3 to clarify intentions.

Over 3, clearly 4 by West as his hand couldn't be more minimum.
Now East has to worry again about how partner will interpret his continuation. It would be nice if 5 were an Exclusion key card ask, but I strongly doubt partner would read it that way.
In days of old 5NT now would clearly be GSF (perfect!), but in the modern game GSF is so rare and “pick a slam” so common that I would fear partner might not read 5NT as GSF.
Still, I think I would risk it as I will be well placed in the post-mortem if partner gets it wrong.
April 16
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I might have answered “1”, but I think it is more than just a control bid with hearts agreed. I think it specifically shows 2/3 top honors in spades (so that responder will know the other honor will fill in the suit).
I suppose North might bid 3 with all three top honors also.
But my point is tht he would not do it with just S:Axxxx or some such, which is why I didn't answer “1”.

In some partnerships, we use 3 as “non-serious” when hearts have been agreed in a GF auction. In such cases, 3NT would substitute as the spade cue-bid (showing serious slam interest and with spades as described above).
April 16
Craig Zastera edited this comment April 16
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I guess I'm a bit late to the party with my simulation results. But it did take over 6 hours of computer time for a complete analysis of a 5000 deal simulation, calculating the number of tricks available in , , and NT.

As far as which game makes most often (and to quash any thoughts that a part-score might be best):
4 made on 2455 deals (49%)
4 made on 2802 deals (56%)
3NT made on 3870 deals (77%)

But I then noticed that 3NT made overtricks on
only 1252 deals (10: 1223; 11: 29)
whereas 4 is making (10: 2704; 11: 98)
and 4 is making (10: 1921; 11: 533; 12: 1).

This gave me some hope that one of the major suit games might turn out to be better at matchpoints. But alas, a head-to-head BAM comparison gave:
(a) 4 vs. 3NT (3NT wins with 57.19%)
4 wins on 1852 deals
3NT/4 tie 577 deals
3NT wins on 2571 deals

(b) 4 vs. 3NT (3NT wins with 57.46%)
4 wins on 1891 deals
3NT/4 tie 472 deals
3NT wins on 2637 deals
April 16
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Well, you know that we Americans like to be gentle when we criticize.
April 16
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I haven't (yet) adopted using the 2 response as some sort of catch-all GF (of course, with e.g. 3=4=3=3 and a GF, it would be standard to respond 2 to 1 since 2 response requires 5).
But if I did decide to use a semi-artificial 2 GF response in more cases, I still do not understand why I would choose to bid that instead of 2 when I have a reasonable four card diamond suit (and fewer than four clubs).
Responding 2 with such hands would seem to me to make it harder to discover a diamond fit, particularly if opener's 2 rebid is defined as a relay.
April 16
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I think this hand is totally unsuitable for Namyats.

A Namyats 4 or 4 opening is a *pre-empt*. The purpose of Namyats is to divide 4M pre-emptive openings into 2 classes–weaker and stronger. But they are all sub-species of 4M pre-emptive openings.
Thus, a Namyats 4m should show 8-8.5 playing tricks *nearly all in the long major*. So 8 solid and out would be a normal minimum. Or 8 solid and a side king a normal maximum. One might go so far as to have only 7 solid with an outside ace.

But in no event does a Namyats opening show anything like this hand with 4.5 quick tricks (and 3.5 of them outside the long suit).
April 15
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you might change your view if partner's diamonds are Jxx.
April 15
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But the heart losers can go on the spades in 6.
So even with a heart lead, if you can pick up the diamonds, you will probably make 6.

BTW, some (I suspect *most*, at least in US) would interpret 1-2-2-3 as a splinter in support of diamonds.
April 15
Craig Zastera edited this comment April 15
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If it were absolutely clear that double is for take-out with a longer minor, that might be better (than 5).
The gain would be when partner has 3 spades (perhaps with only 1 or 2 clubs). We might be able to make 4 but not 5.
I don't think that partner with a very poor hand including three spades necessarily would have had to do something (e.g. double) over West's 2 cue-bid, so 5 incurs some real risk of being the wrong strain.
April 15
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North should respond 2 *not* 2. I'll agree that there are hands that have to respond 2 with only 3, but this isn't one of them.

Second, after 1-2-2-2, in my view the South hand would be a reasonable one for 4 as a “picture bid.”
The requirements are:
* no heart control (crucial)
* no high card club control (or even CQ probably)
* good spades and diamonds
* probably not more than 15 or so HCPs

I don't play “fast arrival”, but the South hand would seem to be reasonable for that treatment also if that's what 4 is agreed to mean.

I think it would be reasonable for North to go on given that he not only has high card controls in all suits, but a big fit for opener's 2nd suit as well (critical).
Probably his best continuation is 5 (showing a control).

Finally, 6 isn't all that great a contract. After the spades split 3-2 (I've heard that sometimes they don't), you still have to play the diamond suit for no losers (less than a 50% shot).
April 15
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Seems clear to pass 2NT with that hand.
April 15
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I suspect you don't mean Lebensohl as that involves bidding 2NT and it's too late for that.

But perhaps you mean “Lall” which is widely used on auctions like 1-1NT(F)-2-2NT-??
now, 3 would be weak (pass or correct)
while 3 would relay to 3, then 3 would be forcing.
(some might reverse these).
It would also apply if opener had rebid 2 instead of
2. Then, 3 over 2NT would be to play while 3-3-3
would be forcing.

In the auction under consideration here (similar as it comes after a natural, invitational 2NT), one might play that
3 is weak while 3 is forcing with both reds. Of course, this gives up natural 3 (as does Lall in the other auctions above).
April 15
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I too appreciate it when the OP eventually reveals the “real deal.”
On this one, passing the double seems so obvious that one could almost guess that it wasn't going to be right this time :-).
April 15
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Can't answer what an “on-line B player” would think (I thought most on-line players were “experts” and the remaining few were “advanced.” :-)).
So I answered what it would mean if I bid it–good hand for diamonds.
April 15
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I think the 5th diamond is worth an extra point, so answer on this one should move one step “down”–either from 4 to 3 or from 3 to 2 (close between these options).

I also disagree with the assertion that the minimum for the 3m response is typically defined as 6-7.
Originally, I think 9-11 (the same range as what would be required for a 3m jump advance after a double of 1M) was what was expected for a direct 3m (instead of Lebensohl 2NT).
But it appears that this requirement has eroded a bit over the years so that I think now *8* is considered a minimum for the 3m advance.

To some extent, this figure might depend on how one counts “advancer points” after a take-out double. I tend to add one for each card over 4 in my suit (also add for shortness in suits other than opener's).
This is based on the recommendations of an ancient (but still valuable) book by Edgar Kaplan, “Competitive Bidding in Modern Bridge”.
BTW, that book also advised a 9-11 (high card) point range for a 1NT advance of a take-out double of a 1 bid, contending that the 1NT advance should show roughly the same strength as a jump suit advance. I'm sure the standard for this advance has weakened (and paerhaps widened) so that 7-10 HCPs or so would now be norm–and I've seen MSC problems which indicate that many/most experts would go even lower on problem hands (not sure quite how low, but surely 6, maybe even lower in emergencies).
April 15
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I picked 3, but considered 4. Happy to see I'm right near the mainstream views as this convention is much less useful when partners have different views about the strength required, yet I suspect this topic would not come up until a partnership had played together quite a lot (but “Lebensohl over doubles of weak 2s” would likely be agreed in the first discussion of methods).
April 15
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Dave,
All true. That is why a meaningful simulation might be difficult–would need to specify exactly what sorts of shapes (and strength) opener can have for his 2 rebid as opposed to other options. Hard enough to do just for my own partnerships, but others will no doubt have significantly different views. I suspect most will usually rebid 2 with 6 clubs and 3 spades. And certainly opener can have even as many as four hearts for his 2 rebid (1=4=2=6, too weak to reverse).
April 15
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Upon reflection, I have one further comment about this auction:
If opener is going to accept responder's 3 heart invite,
then I think he should generally cue-bid rather than
simply bidding 4. For all he knows, responder can have
more than mere game invitational values, so cue-bidding
uses valuable bidding space to show a control in addition
to committing to 4 when responder is only invitational.
This might be important if responder has any slam
interest.
On the actual deal, if RHO had not bid (3), I think
that would be opener's correct call (cheapest cue-bid
to show good hand in support of hearts). Given the
(3) enemy call, unless opener's DOUBLE has been agreed
to be used as a substitute for a 3 cue (i.e. good hand
in support of hearts with SA), I suppose 4 is his
best option.
My point is that I don't think 4 necessarily shows
any more than just enough to accept a game invitation
in hearts, since responder is unlimited.
April 15
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I have to agree with Michael here. Perhaps I should do some simulations to confirm, but I believe that statistically with 5=5=2=1 (not to mention even more shape, e.g. 6=5) and a weak hand, the deal will likely play better in 2M than in 2.
Keep in mind that partner won't always even have 6 clubs for his 2 rebid.
April 15
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I agree. I seek and relish opportunities to make “anti-field” calls whenever I think the odds favor them. My goal is to win in the auction (Lord knows I'm not likely to win in the play), and the way to do that is certainly not to “follow the sheep.”

If you *believe* opening light is the way to win, then by all means do so (but be sure partner knows what to expect).

But if you think a hand is not really good enough to open, then back your judgment by passing. But keep track of your results from these decisions, and if it appears that you are losing more than you are winning, then perhaps it would be wise to re-define your standards for opening bids.
April 15
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