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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Richard,
That is why we have “fit jumps”, even “fit non-jumps”, as well as the Snapdragon convention (relevent on OP auction).

In my view 2 is 100% non-forcing and denies support.
Usually shows 6 s.
With “Snapdragon” available, I would say 2 denies as much as Hx in s and even :xx is unlikely unless the s are really good.

The difficult hand type to describe is about LR strength (say 10 HCPs) with a decent 5 card suit and Hx in s.

Because of the convenient (1) response, the “SnapDragon” convention gives advancer a way to show such a hand.

Had responder passed, advancer would have a problem with a hand like: Kxx-Qx-xxx-KQxxx as now no “Snapdragon” double is available, 2 is NF, and a 3 “fit-jump” would be a bit rich with only :Qx support.
Jan. 14
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Mike,
I think your point is valid. When opener's s are “short”, RHO is more likely to have a “real” overcall, and responder is more likely to have some length.

Still, defining this double by responder as penalty will make it harder for responder to show good (game invitational or better) hands needing help in selecting strain and possibly level as well.

Conversely, using the double of (2) here as a way to (partially) compensate for the loss of “2-way NMF” investigative calls strikes me as likely to be more useful in the long run.
Jan. 14
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The other day, our auction went (VUL vs. NOT)
me….LHO….pard….RHO
1….1….1….1
2….3….Pass….Pass
DBL….Pass…. ??

and partner, holding:
void-Q9876543-J92-J2

dared to pull my penalty double to 4.

I forgave him when he made it.
I think hand needs to be almost as extreme as his to justify pulling a penalty double!

My hand was:
AQJ7-2-K3-AKT653

(3X) would have been -2 (even though K was behind me).
+300 would have been all the matchpoints save 1, while 4 was a cold top.
Jan. 14
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I think the relevent question is “exactly what does partner's double show” (i.e. strength range and shape possibilities) rather than “how often should I pass this double.”
Jan. 14
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Steve,
I dont' think so.
After (1)-DBL-(2)-??, I would suppose that a responsive double by advancer could be made on at least slightly weaker hands than after (1)-DBL-(3).

With actual OP hand, I think it would be 100% clear-cut not to pass after (1)-DBL-(2), whereas after the actual raise to (3) passing enters my mind (but I choose to double anyway because I'm such an aggressive guy :-)).

There is another issue, though. When the raise is only to (2), I think 2 gains in appeal vs. a responsive double, whereas after the actual (3) raise I prefer double to 3.

I think that this is an example of a more general principle about competitive actions–as the level gets higher, you have to choose the more flexible call.

For example, over a (1) opening, with 4 s and 5 s (say 4=5=1=3 maybe), one would typically choose a 1 overcall rather than a TO double (of course, exact hand strength and honor dispersion is relevent).

But over a (3) opening, with the same shape, one would be much more likely to choose “double” to bring all suits into the picture before it is too late.
Jan. 14
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Once OP enters the “double” for South (which he has to in order to indicate the point), the hand diagram tool enters the “?” for West.

I suppose OP could specify “pass” for West in order to get the “?” to advance to North.
But that would suggest a problem with a specific hand given for North with OP interest in what call North would choose rather than his actual interest just in the meaning of South's double.
Jan. 14
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This hand seems about perfect for a natural, showing double of (3), inviting partner to bid on in s, but definitely *not* planning on bidding 4 on my own over their (4).

I guess an important issue is to what extent does the double here invite partner to bid 4 vs. just being a (almost) free lead-director vs. their contract without being particularly game-invitational for our side?

And, secondarily, to what extent (if any) does vulnerability affect the “serious bid” vs. “just a lead director” dichotomy?

My view is that pure “lead directors” are relatively less important. I've heard a rumour that a partner once found a good opening lead entirely on his own.

Thus, I would view the double of (3) as some hand that would be very happy to hear partner bid 4 over (4) even at this vulnerability (i.e. a hand with hopes of making 4).
Jan. 14
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First, I would not bid 3 here as I have no reason to think that is the correct strain.

Thus, if I'm going to act, I would *double* (responsive).
I would expect that a 3 bid from partner would promise both majors (4=4) and not much in the way of extra HCP strength.

With 4+ s and only one 4 card major, he should instead bid 3 (with minimum range strength). I would pass that rather than gambling on his holding 3=4=4=2 shape.

I think this hand is close between doubling (responsive) vs. passing and waiting for partner to double again if he has extra HCP strength (if not, we defend (3)).

We have a point more than the “7” partner typically assumes in these cases. And, we have those three beautiful 10s in the unbid suits and nothing wasted in their suit.

All that good stuff persuades me it is better to act immediately (responsive double) than to pass. As others have pointed out, if I pass now I will have another problem if partner re-opens with another double as I still have no idea what strain to play in *and* I am quite strong for my previous (in)action.
Jan. 14
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I think your treatment of 1 opening as “2+” is highly relevent here.

Most play that a 1 opening shows 4+ s (except in the rare case of 4=4=3=2 shape, which is not possible after the 1NT rebid).

If 1 was “normal” like that, I would think “double” here by responder would show interest in defending (2X).

But with 1 opening essentially artificial (i.e. this sequence is really no different than had the overcall been in the unbid minor), I think there is a good case for responder's double being played as take-out with at least game invitational strength.

With weaker hands, responder could bid 2 (NF) or 2 (NF), or (gasp) just pass.
Jan. 14
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I don't think there can be much question about PASS being a logical alternative. Partner has made a penalty double, so PASS is the normal action.

One would have a better case arguing whether 4 is a logical alternative. Partner's double here is in no way “co-operative”, so pulling a penalty double is always a somewhat unusual action.

I do believe the “pulling” a penalty double with an unusually poor defensive hand (based on previous bidding) is a “logical alternative”, albeit one that would be chosen relatively infrequently.

Here, the UI certainly bars you from pulling even if you might have without it.
Jan. 14
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This is not a close choice.
2 is much better than 2, and I would think this should be fairly obvious.
In 2s, we are known to have exactly a 5=2 fit.
In 2s, we have *at least* a 5=2 fit and may have a 5=3 fit.

On top of that, it usually tends to be better to make the weaker hand's suit trumps in close cases.

To confirm this, I did a 5000 deal simulation.
For opener:
1. always 5332 (5 s) with 12-14 HCPs.
2. all 2=5=3=3 are accepted.
3. 3=5=2=3 and 3=5=3=2 12-14 HCP hands are accepted if:
(a) the doubleton is headed by A or K
and
(b) the tripleton minor is headed by A, K, or Q

I actually think the above are very conservative criteria for accepting 3=5=2=3 and 3=5=3=2 hands for 1NT rebids (rather than 3 card raises to 2).

That is, I believe that most players would rebid 1NT with
3=5=3=2 and 3=5=2=3 12-14 HCP hands with even weaker requirements for the minors.

For example, I'd usually rebid 1NT as long as the minor suit doubleton was Qx or stronger. Usually, I wouldn't even worry about the strength of the 3 card minor.

Anyway, the results of the above simulation were:
2 outscored 2 on 3139 deals
2 tied 2 on 1538 deals
2 outscored 2 on 323 deals

This is an overwhelming victory for 2 vs. 2.
The conclusion would be valid at IMP scoring too:
2 outscored 2 by 7153 IMPs NV and 8408 IMPs VUL

The trick frequencies were:
in s:
12: 6; 11: 179; 10: 835; 9: 1648; 8: 1558; 7: 651; <7: 123
avg. tricks / deal in s: 8.5944

in s:
12: 1; 11: 25; 10: 112; 9: 870; 8: 2179; 7: 1484; <7: 329
avg tricks / deal in s: 7.8022
Jan. 14
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With no specific call for this hand type, I'd bid 4.

However, it is useful to have a response to show a “good” pre-emptive raise to 4M.

BWS uses a 3NT response for that purpose–probably the best choice if you don't need 3NT for something more important.

I currently use 1M-4 to show the “good pre-emptive raise to 4M.” That may not be as good as 3NT (because 3NT leaves opener more room to make some slam-interest noise below 4M), but at least I have something.

I do not think OP hand is good enough for a GF splinter response.
Jan. 14
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Michael,
Yes, on the auction you give, double would be penalty.
Responder has already denied 4 s or 4 s by responding 1NT, so we can't have a great fit in either major.

If opener has a very strong hand with 4=3=5=1 shape, he could simply rebid 2, or possibly 2N, 3N, or even 3.

But when opener has length in overcaller's suit and a good hand, if he can't make a penalty double, the opponents may escape.
Jan. 14
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I voted for pass because the UI suggests partner's penalty double was not clear-cut, hence pulling with my defensively deficient hand is more likely to be the winning action than it would had partner doubled “in tempo.”

Since both pass and 4 are logical alternatives, the rules forbid me from selecting the one that might be suggested by the UI.

However, I don't like the phrasing of the choices.
The UI DID NOT “make” pass a logical alternative.
Pass and 4 were always logical alternatives.
The UI just made it illegal to choose 4 because its chances of being correct were increased by the UI.
Jan. 14
Craig Zastera edited this comment Jan. 14
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My rule for the auction type:
1X-(P)-1NT-(2Y)
DBL

is that if “X” is a MAJOR, the double is take-out,
but if “X” is a MINOR, the double is penalties.
Jan. 14
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re: your answer to (8),
It is not clear to me that if s is our best trump suit, we will reach that strain if I bid 4.
Jan. 14
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On the “real deal”, 3NT was unbeatable and double-dummy declarer could actually always make 10 tricks on any lead by double-finessing opening leader in s
(dummy's S: AQ8x, declarer's s: K9x).

The best lead was probably Q (partner has :JTxxx). After that lead, real world declarer will likely make only 9 tricks.

After a lead, a skillful declarer may make 10 tricks without guessing the lay-out by eventually end-playing or squeezing opening leader.
Dummy's s are Txx, while declarer held :AQx.
If he plays low from dummy on a lead and 3rd hand produces the K (from :K98x), the end-play or squeeze cannot be avoided.

The worst lead is a honor, after which declarer can actually make *11* tricks, and should easily come to 10.
Partner holds the stiff J, while declarer/dummy are 4=4 in s with the T8 in dummy.

A simulation I did suggested that a major suit lead is best on average. It did rate a lead somewhat ahead of a though.
Jan. 14
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I have to abstain on this one because I find the redouble totally unacceptable.

My personal view is that a redouble should (almost) 100% deny 3+ card support for opener's major.

I've had some partners who believe a redouble should be permissable with exactly 4333 shape (3 card support) and just a bare 10 HCPs, planning to make a minimum bid in opener's suit next time.

Personally, I find even that (rare) exception dubious–I prefer a clear agreement that redouble denies 3+ card support.

But even those who might allow an occasional redouble with a flat 10 count would not contemplate that call with OP hand.

I play “Cappelletti over 1M/X” (i.e. transfers), so with OP hand I would have bid 2 to show a strong raise.

For this call, hands with 4 card support are limited to “constructive” strength (less than LR as LR+ would bid a Jordan 2NT), but hands with only *3 card* support are essentially unlimited.

If partner bid only 2 over this transfer 2, in my style I would raise to 4. If playing a very light opening style, I could imagine possibly raising to only 3, invitational.
Jan. 14
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I do not see why that would be “smart.”

After 1-1-1NT-2, partner has no reason to believe that we have 5 s, hence it would likely be a poor choice to pull from a known (at least) 5-2 fit into a possible 4-3 fit.

Further, responder for his sequence might have *3* card support in a hand too weak for a direct raise to 2.
Jan. 14
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At this point in the auction, it is clear to pass 3NT.

Partner's 3NT *should* show a stiff (maybe a void) in s, no more. I know some modern players “relax” that requirement, but nevertheless that is what he should have.

So picture partner with:
x-Ax-AKQJxxx-Axx

That would be essentially a text-book (maximum) hand for his bidding.
3NT is cold, while 4 will fail in the not unlikely event of two losers.
Jan. 14
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