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All comments by Craig Zastera
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If you skip over 2H in order to rebid 2S, and then later bid hearts (e.g. 3H), that would not show a four card heart suit–it would simply suggest heart values and inability to bid NT, e.g. 1S-2D-2S-3D-3H might be bid with something
like AQJxx-AKx-xx-xxx
Aug. 21, 2016
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Very refreshing to hear someone suggest that this hand is not worth an opening bid. I used to think that way too, but the pressure of mass public opinion has crushed my spirit, so that nowadays I open this garbage, and soon probably won't even remember to feel disgusted.
Aug. 21, 2016
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2H here is automatic. 2S rebid doesn't promise 6 spades and, in fact, denies 4 hearts. Raising diamonds on 9xx is not a consideration.
Aug. 21, 2016
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I think double here shows “values” with a defensive orientation, inviting partner to pass with a suitable hand.
Second choice would be a natural 2NT, but I'd rather try for +200 when we have no game.
I suppose if I thought partner was just going to woodenly remove my double rather than seriously consider defending, I might pass.
Aug. 21, 2016
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But the new ACBL rule only permits 1NT openings with singleton A, K, or Q. Thus, you still can't use the Fantunes 1NT as that includes opening 1NT with 12-13 HCP
4441 hands with *any* singleton.
Aug. 21, 2016
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No, because opener's 2S rebid is essentially unlimited (and doesn't promise 6 spades in my style).
Your Kxx-Kxx-Axx-Kxxx is a fine control-rich hand with spade support. Express that by bidding 3S. Then, if partner has an extreme, non-slammish minimum, he can bid 4S.
With reasonable controls but only moderate strength, he can bid a non-serious 3NT (you will *then* bid 4S as you don't have independent slam interest).
If he has a good hand (say, 16+), he can cue-bid (or take over with RKCB), and you will then co-operate with a return cue-bid.

I would rebid 4S as responder (1S-2C-2S-4S) with something
like: KQxx-xx-xx-AKJxx (or AQx-xx-xxx-AQJxx). Key is
that the 4S jump denies a control in either red suit.
Aug. 19, 2016
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Chris,
What you say is not wrong–it is just a trade-off.
In the version I outlined (right out of Robson's book on
Partnership Bidding, actually), the jump to 4H is defined as “semi-premptive”. Stronger hands (starting with maximum
LR hands that need to “step up” and commit to game in the
face of the competition) start by cue-bidding.

Thus, responder initially has only 2 “strength ranges” for
raises (not counting “fit jumps” in new suits or splinter
jumps in opponent's suit):
3H: support, not strong enough to commit to game
(ranging from good single raise through minimum
LR strength, 3 or 4 trump)
3S: strong raise, ranging from good LR on up

4H: semi-preemptive, ideally 5 trump but might be
only 4. Less than 10 HCPs, perhaps quite a
bit less depending on vulnerability and heart
length.

In this style, there might be ambiguity when responder
is *very* strong, but the gain is in clearly defining
the 4H jump as pre-emptive.

The style you suggest defines the 4H jump as “intermediate” in (high card) strength–stronger than 3H, but not as strong as a 3S cue-bid, i.e. from a maximum LR up through a minimum range opening bid, so that the cue-bid becomes very strong(say 14 HCP+ at least).
The cost is that you have lost definition
for the 4H bid which must also be made on pre-emptive
type hands, hence opener will sometimes not know what
is going on after responder makes such an ambiguous jump to 4H.
Aug. 19, 2016
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Leonard,
Not a problem for 2 level Smolen to show game invitational OR STRONGER hand. Also, can handle more shapes than just 5=4 and 4=5 majors (e.g. 4=6, 6=4, 5=5).
There are a couple of variations of 2 level Smolen.

In one, after 1N-2C-2D-2H, opener assumes 5=4 invitational,
thus replies:
2S: non-max (15-16), 3 spades
* responder can pass with 5=4 min. invite,
“re-invite” with 3C/3D/3H (shape showing),
bid 4S with GF values, or bid above 3S
with slam interest. Details TBD by each
partnership

2N: minimum, 2 spades
* responder passes with 5=4 invitational
* bids 3NT with 5=4 GF
* re-transfers with 3D or 3H to show
5=5 or 6=4 respectively
* transfers at 4 level (4D or 4H) to show
5=5 or 6=4 slam tries
(1N-2C-2D-4H shows 6=4 with no slam interest,
1N-2C-2D-4C shows 5=5 with no slam interest)
3N: maximum, 2 spades
3S: maximum, 3 spades

When responder has more hearts than spades (e.g. 4=5),
he bids 1N-2C-2D-2S. Now, opener continues:
2N: minimum, 2 hearts
responder passes with 4=5 invite, raises to
3NT with 4=5 GF (4N with slam invite)
Or, responder can re-transfer with 3D or 4D
with 4=6 shape (4D is 4=6 slam try)
3N: maximum, 2 hearts
(with 4=6, responder can correct via transfer)
3H: minimum, 3 hearts
3C: intermediate (16), 3 hearts

Each partnership can supply more details as desired.

There is an alternate version of 2-level Smolen which
recovers 50% of the benefit of “Garbage Stayman” (note that 2-level Smolen as outlined above loses “Garbage
Stayman” when responder 5=4 or 4=5 majors with less than
game invite values).
In this alternative version, after 1N-2C-2D-2H, opener
is required to continue with 2S (regardless of how many spades he has or whether he is min or max). This way,
responder can bid like this with 5=4 majors and a hopeless (less than game invitational hand), passing the forced 2S.
If responder has a 5=4 game invite, he shows that by
bidding 2NT over 2S (opener can correct to 3S or 4S with
3 spades, raise to 3NT with 2 spades and a max, or pass
2NT with 2 spades and a min).
You will see that this version gives up some of the sophisticated continuations available in the original
version for the benefit of being able to play in 2S when
responder has a weak 5=4.
When responder has longer hearts (e.g. 4=5), the alternate
version works the same as the original. When responder
has a weak (less than game invitational) hand with
4=5 majors, he just has to transfer to 2H and pass (hence, 50% loss of garbage Stayman functionality).

I actually prefer the first version described, but with
partners who bemoan the “loss” of Garbage Stayman, I
often settle for the second version.
Of course, with either version responder can still bid
2C with a weak hand if he has enough diamonds to be willing to pass a 2D reply.
Aug. 19, 2016
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Playing 2 level Smolen (1N-2C-2D-<2H/2S> as invitational+ with 4+ in bid major and 5+ in other major), one can
EXCLUDE the 4=1=4=4 and 1=4=4=4 GF hands from 1N-3M auctions.
This is because these hands can now be shown via:
1N-2C-2D-<3H/3S>
as these sequences are no longer needed for Smolen.
Aug. 18, 2016
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I think with four hearts up to H:Jxxx I would open 2S
Aug. 12, 2016
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I dislike opening offshape 1NT when alternatives exist.
Here, with the easy 1S rebid, I would not consider a 1NT opening. Good way to miss a spade fit when partner is not strong enough to bid Stayman over 1NT.
Aug. 12, 2016
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2NT should show a heart stopper–you don't have that.

3H must logically show a partial heart stopper, since you
cannot have 4+ hearts (would have rebid 1H not 1S)
H: Jxx is suitable.

2S is just “catch-all” when nothing else fits–it does
not promise 5=6 black suits.
Something like, perhaps, AKJx-xx-Kx-Jxxxx

In my style (Walsh), this problem cannot arise
because opener would rebid 1NT, not 1S, with this hand.
A 1S rebid promises an unbalanced hand.
Also, I play XYZ after 1C-1D-1S, so 2H would be natural and GF for me.
Aug. 12, 2016
Craig Zastera edited this comment Aug. 12, 2016
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Really a silly problem if I'm supposed to guess whether agreed XYZ applies by PH. You're supposed to discuss that.

But as it seems clear to me that logically XYZ should still apply by PH (else, how does responder show game invitational hand with hearts, distinguish between invites with or without club support, or get to 2D?), I bid 2D “XYZ”.

A nice feature of my version of XYZ is that 2C (->2D) followed by 3C is the way responder gets out in clubs, so
I will have no ethical issues if partner should remove 2D to 3C–that's “to play” in XYZ as I play it.
Aug. 12, 2016
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I have the spades. Points are about even. So a plus score seems more likely than not if I open.
Aug. 12, 2016
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If you always intended to bid to 4S, then why wouldn't you have made a FSJ to *4H* directly over the double?
My understanding of FSJs is that a 3H FSJ is specifically *game invitational*, whereas a GF FJ type hand would bid 4H immediately.
So to my mind, bidding 3H originally certainly should preclude you from later bidding 4S if there is any possibility of UI.
Aug. 11, 2016
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This depends a lot on opening bid style.
I'm a sound opener and expect my partner to be too.
Thus, with 3 kings and a likely trump trick opposite an opening bid,
I believe it is our hand and certainly expected to make 3C.
Thus I think a “matchpoint double” is appropriate here.
Certainly no guarantees that they won't make it.
If we were a “light initial action” partnership, I suppose I'd pass out 3H
(but since I don't play that way, I'm only guessing).
I don't think I'd ever bid 4C.

BTW, I play that partner's *1S* (1D-(1H)-DBL-(P)-1S) shows *3 spades*–
with four and a (sound) minimum opener, he'd jump to 2S (LOTT).
So I have an inference here that partner doesn't have three spades.
Aug. 11, 2016
Craig Zastera edited this comment Aug. 11, 2016
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1C-1D-1M-2M showing invitational strength (say 8-11) with 3 card support is standard Walsh treatment.
Playing “XYZ” (as I do) does not change this as
1C-1D-1M-2C-2D-2M shows invitational with *4* card support
Different agreements are possible over 1M with GF and 4 card support (e.g. could just jump to 4M;
or go through 2D GF relay; or jump to 3M if that's not
otherwise defined).
Aug. 11, 2016
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Agree with those who say 3C doesn't promise a 4+ club suit.
Aug. 11, 2016
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Leonard,
I agree that partner is likely to have around 5 points.

If you *want* to get to a 4-3 major suit fit, then double
is definitely better.
My assumption is that I prefer to avoid 4-3 fits in general (there are exceptions, of course). Here, a 2M in a 4-3 could play poorly with a bad trump break while 1NT needs only the CK for 7 cold tricks (or any entry with, say, C:Txx)

Also, this hand's strength/shape is a bit awkward for double since I will have to pass over 1M (or even over an unlikely 2C) as I'm not strong enough for another bid. 1NT defines the hand's strength better.
Aug. 10, 2016
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4S, then 6NT in (probably vain) hope that partner might raise to 7 with the HK. This sequence as opposed to simply jumping to 6NT straight-away should at least tell him that I'm wanting him to consider bidding a grand. If he think the
*spade* king is what I need, maybe he'll have a minor suit
ten (or nine with enough length).
Aug. 10, 2016
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