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All comments by Craig Zastera
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I think the “standard” meaning of 5NT after a quantitative 4NT is “slam re-try”, i.e. not forcing.

I also think it is common over quantitative 4NT when willing to bid slam to bid *4* card minor suits up the line at the 5 level and 5 card suits at the 6 level. So 5 here would seem to be OK, although the weakness of the suit gives me some pause.
May 7
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If partner had AKQxx-AKxx-x-xxx, I would say that is well short of enough for the GF 3 jump shift.
Yet, 4 is still a good contract. So I don't think that passing partner's GF 3 bid would be a good idea.
May 7
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I do not think responder should bid 2 (in comp) with 3+ card support.

He should either raise s (probably via 2 cue-bid) or else make a “fit jump” at the appropriate level (probably 3 game invitational, or, if strong enough4–a GF fit jump).

Thus, I do not think delayed bids should show 3+ card support in general (sure, *maybe* you could construct some 10 point hand with :xxx and :AQJxxx, but that would be an exception).

Thus, I definitely think 2 shows a doubleton (honor doublteon would be nice) and is NF (less than an opening hand).

The delayed jump to 3 is an odd bird and would require prior agreement. Without “fit jumps”, perhaps it is 3 card support with good s and invitational.

With “fit jumps”, it probably should be a splinter in support of s: xxx-x-KQxx-AQJxx
May 6
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I like 3–would want a little more for “impossible 2”, but close and depends on agreements.
May 6
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Leonard,
I think it is the 4=3 major suit shape which makes this hand bad for double and better for 1NT.

If partner advances in your 3 card major without any enemy action, this hand is not good enough for a cue-bid–that would tend to suggest 3 card support with 19+ HCPs.
So you are in an awkward position.

Overcalling 1NT gets the HCP strength and general shape of the hand (balanced) described immediately.

Now if you changed the hand to AQ98-Kxxx-Ax-KJ9, then I would prefer DOUBLE because you can raise a 1M advance in either major to 2M (without competition) to show your strength and support (with competition, you would jump raise).
May 6
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4th seat weak 2 should be good 6 card suit with 10-13 HCPs, with the understanding that if 12-13 HCPs, they should be "soft points, e.g.:
AKJTxx-Qx-Qxx-Jx
NOT:
KQJTxx-xx-AKx-xx
May 5
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Kevin
Of course, a partnership can agree to any structure it likes after the 1M-2N strong raise.

However, here is an excerpt from the first source I found on the Internet after a search for “Jacoby 2NT” which supports my view that in *standard* Jacoby 2NT structure, a 3M rebid by opener is *very strong* (i.e. 17+)–much stronger than OP opener here.

This quote happens to be from “Bridgebum.com”, but I believe you will find similar wherever you look for the “standard” Jacoby 2NT structure. BTW, I use a different scheme than this myself after 1M-2N, something called Swedish Jacoby.

Anyway, here is what Bridgebum says about Jacoby 2NT:

"Opener's Rebids
After the auction begins 1 or 1 : 2NT,
opener's rebids are as follows.

Opener's Rebid Meaning
3: Singleton or void in clubs.
3: Singleton or void in diamonds.
3: If s are trumps, then this rebid shows 17+
points and interest in slam.
It asks responder to describe his hand further.
If are trumps, then this shows a singleton
or void in hearts.

3: If s are trumps, then this rebid shows 17+
points and interest in slam.
It asks responder to describe his hand further.

If s are trumps, then this shows a singleton
or void in spades.

3NT: Good 13-15 points, balanced, no singleton/void.

4: 5+ clubs.
4: 5+ diamonds.
4: If s are trumps, then this rebid shows a
minimum hand (11-14 points) and is a signoff bid.
If s are trumps, then this shows 5+ hearts.
4: If s are trumps, then this rebid shows a
minimum hand (11-14 points) and is a signoff bid.

Anyway, in your auction, after opener rebids 3 and responder cue-bids 3, I believe the following
are true if playing standard “non-serious 3NT”:
1. Responder's 3 merely shows a control.
It says nothing about whether responder has slam interest or not.
In fact, responder can't really know if the partnership is in the slam
zone or not since opener is essentially unlimited.
Thus, responder's 3 bid here says nothing about how strong he is.

2. Over responder's 3 cue-bid, it is now opener's responsibility to
indicate his “degree” of slam interest by either bidding “non-serious 3NT” or skipping 3NT to make a “serious” cue-bid (4m).

Which he chooses depends a lot on how good his hand is relative to what is
promised by his previous 3 rebid.

If opener's hand is minimum for the 3 rebid (and my view is that in
“standard Jacoby 2NT” structure, OP opener is well *below* minimum required for 3), then he definitely should show this by bidding “non-serious 3NT” over responder's 3.

If opener has “solid values”, at least a bit more than already shown by his
3 rebid, then he can skip over the non-serious 3NT and make a “serious” minor suit cue-bid.

A final point, though, is this:
If the partnership uses 3M, 3NT, and 4M rebids by opener to
differentiate various strength ranges for opener's hand (all without
shortness, e.g.:
11-14: 4M
15-16: 3N
17+: 3M

then is is not clear whether “non-serious 3NT” is needed after 1-2N-3-3 since opener has already defined his strength in one of three ranges.

If opener's 3 has already shown 17+ and responder 2NT was GF, then it seems opener necessarily has slam interest, so “non-serious 3NT” probably should not apply in this auction.

But if you are using opener's 3 rebid to include weaker hands (e.g. anything better
than a terrible minimum), *then* the “non-serious 3NT” would be useful in allowing opener to further clarify his degree of slam interest of responder's 3 cue-bid.
May 5
Craig Zastera edited this comment May 5
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No–“serious” or non-serious doesn't work that way when our suit is *s*.

In that case, after 3 level GF suit agreement (i.e. over 3), next to bid must bid 3 with a control whether he has serious slam interest or not.

That is, in order for up the line cue-bidding to work, the cue-bid (3) cannot be skipped over unless the skipper lacks a control. In that case, he can bid 3NT (non-serious) or make a serious cue-bid in a minor. But if he *has* a control, he must show it by bidding 3 regardless of his degree of slam interest.

After such a “strength ambiguous” 3 cue-bid, it falls to the other partner to indicate his degree of slam interest by either bidding 3NT (non-serious if that is the agreement) or making a 4m cue-bid if “serious.”.

The fact that over 3 there is a suit that must be cue-bid (or not) prior to reaching the “serious” or “non-serious” 3NT decision is a slight “glitch” in the structure as compared to when our suit is *s*, where the 3NT call is the first step above suit agreement.

For that reason, some partnerships play “serious” (or “non-serious”) *3* when s is the agreed trump suit.
That is *3* is used instead of 3NT to indicate degree of slam interest. In that scheme, a 3NT bid is a cue-bid.
That way, the “serious” or “non-serious” strength indication can be made immediately (first step) after 3M GF suit agreement regardless of which major suit is trump.
May 5
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I think this hand is too weak for 3 playing “standard Jacoby 2NT” where 3 shows a *big* hand (4 is weakest, then 3NT).

But if 3 is correct in your methods, it surely must be very minimal for that call. Therefore, over 3, it would seem to me to be 100% to continue with “non-serious” 3NT to indicate you are still willing to pursue slam if responder has a big hand, but that your hand is quite minimal for the 3 rebid.

Non-serious 3NT here does not deny any specific control.

If responder continues with 4, we bid 4, now comfortable because we have suggested not a lot for our 3 rebid.

If responder continues 4, we sign-off in 4 knowing our side has no control.

And if our NS 3NT serves to tell partner he doesn't have enough for slam, we are OK with passing his 4 continuation.
May 4
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1. Prefer 1NT by South rather than actual double.
But this choice probably not critical here.

2. South should have bid 3 instead of 2. In competition,
his 2 rebid shows little more than a TO double with
four s. So his hand way too strong.

3. North should certainly compete to 3 over (3) given
his 5 card suit (with known 4 card support) and stiff
.

So to me this looks like “both at fault.”
May 4
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I don't consider this hand good enough for 2.
Thus, for me, the choice is between 1 and 1NT (forcing).
Showing the 6 card suit seems like the better choice to me. I can preference back to later.
May 4
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If playing “good/bad 2NT” by North here over West's 2 as I recommend, I think a North hand appropriate for the “bad 2NT” could be much weaker than you suggest.
I would think something like:
xxx-Kxxx-x-Qxxxx
would be plenty for a “bad 2NT” showing s.
And I wouldn't even wait for the stiff :
xx-Kxxx-xx-Qxxxx
would be OK.

Of course those examples have 5 card support.
With only 4 s, I would expect a little more.
But as I said, I think the actual North hand:
Kxxx-QJTx-x-QJTx
borders on being *too good* for a “bad 2NT”. It might be enough for a “good” 3.

Whether it is better to use 2NT as the “bad” hand and 3 as the “good” or the other way around is a fine point about which I have no strong opinion. Since 3NT is a possible contract opposite a “good” hand when opener has a little extra and stoppers, it seems to me it might be better to have 3 show the “Good” (traditional “good/bad 2NT”) so that NT could be declared from the better side.

Using 2NT to show the “Good” hand would lead to responder always declaring in NT which might not be best.
But when responder has the “bad” hand, the final contract is less likely to be in NT, so it doesn't matter that responder bids NT (artificially).

In general, *every* use of “Lebensohl” or “Good/Bad 2NT” (the same convention, really) gives up alternative possible uses of the 2NT bid (whether that be “natural, ”scrambling“, or something else).

I believe just about every ”G/B 2NT“ situation is one where a natural 2NT *could* occur. So that is not really a good objection to deciding on ”Good/Bad“, because if it were, ”G/B“ would never be used.

It is always a trade-off. One must consider carefully whether the benefits of being able to show 2 different strength ranges over the opponent's 2 level competition outweighs the loss of the natural 2NT (or other use of 2NT).

My view is that the benefits of using 2NT for ”good/bad“ outweigh the loss of the natural 2NT in *many* competitive auctions of which the OP auction here is one.

In fact this OP auction is a particularly good one for ”G/B 2NT“ because it has two features that are not always present which make ”G/B 2NT“ more useful and less risky:

(1) there is no ambiguity in what suit is being shown
by the ”bad 2NT“. Here, it can only be s.
In many other auctions where ”G/B 2NT“ is used,
the suit being shown by the 2NT bidder is unclear.
For example: 1-(1)-DBL-(2)-*2NT*
opener could have s, s, or s.
This potential suit ambiguity is a disadvantage
for ”bad 2NT“ when it occurs.

(2) South (opener) is unlimited. Thus, he can have
extra values beyond his minimum opener.
The support XX shows only that he has 3 s but
says nothing about his strength.
Since South's strength is unknown, it becomes even
more imperative for North to try to show his
strength as closely as possible in case the
competition continues.

Playing ”G/B 2NT" is a powerful tool for defining
responder's strength more closely.

As my examples above show, North might want to
compete to 3 with many quite minimum responding
hands that have good support, so it is essential
for him to be able to differentiate weak competitive
hands from game invitational ones.

Finally, I do not believe a PASS by North over West's 2 is forcing to anything. South can certainly pass out 2 if he wishes.
May 3
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2, whatever it means, cannot logically be non-forcing.
Often, opener will not have support, so he will have to bid something at the 3 level (or perhaps 2NT if that is natural). Thus, responder, to bid 2, must be strong enough to support at least a 3 level contract opposite a minimum opening bid.

So 2 ought to promise at least invitational strength.
There could be an issue as to whether it promises four s or not. I would suggest “no” as responder has “double” available for those hands.
May 2
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Imtiaz,
I appreciate your thoughtful views. But I think I disagree with your choice of “natural invite” for 2NT instead of having “two ways” to show s via “Good/bad 2NT”.

First, keep in mind that South's “support redouble” says nothing about his strength. Just that he has 3 s. He could have minimum opener strength, or be very strong, or something in between.

Second, I think that a hand appropriate for a “natural invitational 2NT” by North over West's 2D is quite a rare and unlikely hand:
(a) only four s (otherwise, compete/invite in s)
(b) stoppers in both s and s. East's double has
shown both those suits, so I would think a natural
2NT ought to show stopper in each since nothing
about South's bidding suggests he holds a stopper
in either suit (or, if he has one stopped, which one
it is).
© a very narrow strength range (11 HCPs).

On the other hand, the ability for North to differentiate two strengths of raises can be very important.
As mentioned above, South can have any strength. Thus, it might be very important for him to know if North is “just competing” in clubs with less than game invitational strength *or* if North is showing not only a fit but also game invitational HCP strength.

That information might be crucial to South in assessing whether N/S has a game or not. Or, if E/W compete further, knowing (approximately) how much HCP strength to expect from North might help South in deciding whether to double them (for penalties), compete further, or just pass their (3).

Thus, I think over West's (2) using 2NT and 3 to differentiate two strength ranges (both with support) is likely to be useful more often than having a natural, invitational 2NT available.

BTW, I also believe that 2 by North over West's 2 should be forcing 1 round (not to game) and show stopper/values but not promise four s. It should be aimed towards possible 3NT if South has s stopped and some extra values.

Finally, I think the actual North hand (me!), should have DOUBLED West's 2. This would have been take-out AND BROUGHT SPADES INTO THE PICTURE as a possible trump suit for our side. So DOUBLE is way to show four s as well as playability in clubs (and with only four s).
May 2
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2NT shows the stopper, the shape, and lays the groundwork for 4NT next time to show the strength.
May 1
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I see nothing normal about 3 here.
May 1
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I strongly disagree with the 2 bid last round. That choice is the (main) source of the problem here.

This hand should have rebid 2NT, planning on a natural 4NT next round to show 18-19 points in a balanced (in the context of previous bidding) hand–a perfect description of this hand. I'm of course assuming that 2 was GF so that 2NT rebid by South is 100% forcing.

I see little point in the awkward introduction of the suit here. First, North is unlikely to hold four s. And if he happens to have them (would he bid like this with 4=5=4=0?), he will surely bid 3 over 2NT.

If it is 100% clear that North has only three s for this sequence, and that South doesn't have five (I'm not clear about either of these points, but presumably OP partnership should know), then I think 4NT now should be natural and slam invitational. With that assumption, I think that is the right choice now to try to salvage the auction.

In the unlikely event that South were 5=6 or more extreme in the black suits and wants to ask for key-cards, I would think he could first cue-bid something over 3 and then bid 4NT next time as RKCB.
May 1
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I believe my partner (South) should definitely choose a “support redouble” here rather than 1.

First, when you play “support” Xs and XX, failure to make one strongly suggests not holding 3 card support.
Now that is not a 100% rule. For example, with weakish 3 card support and good stopper(s) in “their” suit in a balanced hand, it might sometimes be more descriptive to choose a 1NT (or 2NT) rebid instead. Such a rebid would not 100% deny 3 card support.
But I doubt if I would ever “pass” with 3 card support.

A support XX on this (OP) South hand is clearly the right choice. The support is pretty good *and* the hand has a weak doubleton in one of their suits (s) (ruffing value), *and* it is a suit oriented hand (aces and spaces).

Further, in our methods, after 1m-1 (uncontested), with 3 card support, four s, a ruffing value, and a minimum hand, we tend to raise s immediately rather than rebidding 1. That way, a 1 rebid followed by bidding s later shows more than a minimum hand.

Such “3-step” sequences are wide ranging in our methods, but I'd say that maybe a great 14 HCPs would be dead minimum, and opener could be up to 17 or 18 to bid that way (enough bidding room to clarify strength later).

In my judgment, OP South hand here is slightly below the minimum for a 1 rebid to be followed by s later in an uncontested auction.

Given East's take-out double, I believe that the support double instead of a 1 rebid (which probably would not have been right in our methods even without the competition), is clear.
May 1
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JoAnn,
I agree with you and am now of the opinion that “Good/Bad 2NT” *should* apply to North over West's 2.
South's support double shows exactly 3 s, but does not limit his strength. Thus, game is theoretically still in the picture for N/S despite East's (PH) take-out double and West's “free” 2 advance.

Thus: 2NT = s with just competitive values
3 = s with game invitational values

With this understanding, I think the actual North hand is borderline between 2NT and 3–I'd probably view it as a max 2NT if choosing to show just s.

Another alternative for North over West's 2 would be DOUBLE (take-out) in an attempt to bring s (as well as s) into the picture, although given that East has shown s with his TO double, it was not apparent to me at the table that I should be trying to suggest a contract for our side. But since N/S can make 3 on the actual lay-out and that is our best strain, it is clear in hindsight that suggesting play in either black suit via a double would have been a good idea.
May 1
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When partner asks about 3rd round control, that generally means he wants to play a grand slam if we have it.

So actually using 6NT to show the Q is more of a matchpoint optimization in case partner is checking for the Q in order to play 6NT rather than 6.

At IMPs, that would not be a consideration, so it would suffice to bid at the 7 level when holding 3rd round control.
May 1
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