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All comments by Craig Zastera
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I agree with this view.

Don't start out with 1 guaranteeing you will misdescribe your relative suit lengths.

Instead, bid your longest suit first like a normal person and hope the auction develops in a way that allows you to suggest s later.

There is a reasonable chance that you might get to bid some sort of competitive artificial 2NT later.
If not, just rebid your 6 card suit to show a minimum opener with 6 s–still not a lie–and await developments (if any).

I believe that with 5=6 shape a reverse can be made with considerably fewer HCPs than “usual”. But not this few.

If I couldn't stand to open 1, I would much rather pass this hand and back in later (extremely likely I will get a chance to describe my minor 2-suiter later in the auction).

But Leonard has carefully constructed this hand so that an initial PASS is not too appealing even to a “sound initial action” guy like me. So I go with 1.
Aug. 6, 2018
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Jyri,
It sounds like your style is similar to mine.

And I think a fair number of players would take my double on this auction type (where responder's 1NT has been passed around to me) as “penalties.”

But how about when responder raises opener's suit, whether it be a major or a minor–say (1)-P-(2)-P-(P)-DBL ??

Is double now still penalty? I have found by asking that the number of players who think that one is penalties is *MUCH* smaller–most interpret this balancing double after a raise as “take-out” with a hand that was too weak for a direct double of RHO's 1X opening but now in balancing seat wishes to compete.

How about if responder's bid was a *weak* jump raise to 3X:
(1)-P-(3)-P-(P)-DBL ??
Still a “light” Take out?
Or is it now the penalty type–maybe opener has :xxx or even a doubleton.
One could argue that a TO shape hand too light to double (1) originally can't be balancing for TO at the 3 level.

And how about if opener rebids his suit:
(1)-P-(1NT)-P-(2)-DBL ???

I actually think this one is still the “penalty” double hand type (i.e. same hand that would have doubled if opener had passed (1NT)). But I'm not sure support for that view would be as strong when opener rebids his suit.

Interested in everyones' views on these auction types.
Aug. 6, 2018
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Friday my partner, holding K-Q9x-AJxx-AKQxx rebid 2 (forcing and ostensibly natural) after 1-1.

My hand was: xx-AT-KTxxxx-xxx
and I continued with 3.

Partner raised to 4, and I bid a cowardly 5.

In retrospect, I think I should have bid 4NT ( cue-bid) and then 5 over partner's ensuing 5.
That *might* have been enough to get him to bid the excellent 6 which was found by no one.

Should I have alerted partner's 2 jump shift rebid just because it “might” have been manufactured? Immediately or after his raise to 4?

BTW, I thought his choice of 2 was excellent.
Aug. 6, 2018
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Passing a forcing bid, like any other bidding descision is a matter of probabilities.

If you judge that it is more likely that partner will have a “usual” hand for his LMs whence you will be lucky to make 4m (and may well already be too high), then it is a reasonable bridge decision to pass.

Sometimes (hopefully, rarely) he will have some rock crusher that can make game (slam) opposite your Yarborough. In that case, your decision will have been “wrong”, but it is not fundamentally different from any other decision you make in the bidding which might also be “wrong” but that you judged to give your side the best chance for a good result.

And I do think the case for such an action is stronger at matchpoints than it would be at IMPs both because you have two other team-mates to consider and also because missing a game/slam is a *big* loss at IMPs, whereas at matchpoints it is just another zero–no different from the one you got when you judged to compete to 3 over their 2 and got doubled for -200.
Aug. 6, 2018
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Thanks for replies.

I guess this problem was more about what you think partner's double means rather than your judgment of what to bid.

If you think (as I do) that partner's double is a strong penalty suggestion showing a hand with good s (4 or 5) and just short of a 1NT overcall strength (say 13-14 HCPs), then it would be pretty obvious to pass.
It would also be obvious that a 2 bid by you would be “for play” (and, hence, obviously not suitable with this hand).

But apparently that is not a universal interpretation.
A very excellent player to whom I posed this problem gave an answer suggesting he thought the double was for take-out.
When I brought up the alternative interpretation of penalty, he said “well, that is a matter of partnership agreement.”
But it was clear from his answer that “penalty” was not his usual style.

BTW, I held the opposite hand (the one that doubled).
My hand was:
: Q2 : KT6 : AQ3 : Q9754

My partner with the OP hand took my double out to 2.
He made 9 tricks for 56% of the matchpoints.

1NX would have been -3, +800 for us and all the matchpoints.
(The highest score our way was +200).
We can make 3NT, but of course no one bid it.
Aug. 6, 2018
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We define it as forcing. That way, Leaper can be arbitrarily strong and still have this handy shape-showing call available.

However, experience has shown that Leaper often has appropriate shape for LMs without a huge hand in HCPs. It seems to work better to show the shape even without “rock-crushing” HCP strength.

Thus, it would perhaps be excusable for advancer with a truly terrible hand, no support for the major, and only moderate for the minor to TAKE A VIEW and choose to pass 4m.

If this misses a cold game (or slam), it will be entirely advancer's fault for passing a forcing bid. That said, particularly at matchpoints, this might well be the winning view. In that event, advancer gets a “gold star.”
Aug. 4, 2018
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An extremely rare bid for an extremely rare pattern.

I don't understand the part about “using Michaels first.”
With minors, you'd have to use unusual 2NT first.

Problem with that (among others) is that I do not think a later double brings s into the picture–just says that the UNT was based on a strong hand.

If (3) had been passed around to doubler, I think some would play that a second double would guarantee four s.
Not sure that this would apply when the second double is of (4).
But I think 4NT clearly shows only three s.
Although 0=3=5=5 is ideal, might also try this with a strong enough 1=3=4=5.
Aug. 4, 2018
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No, I wouldn't because we would be playing Texas Transfers.
So if I wanted to play in 4, I would have bid 4.
Aug. 3, 2018
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Nice problem as all of Pass, Double, 1NT, and 2 are reasonable choices.

For me, not quite strong enough for free 1NT.

Don't like negative double with such minimum values (Q not likely useful in suit contract) and such weak s, but this could be the winner at matchpoints. Might be horrible if it induces partner to bid 2 with 3 not so great ones.

With such minimum values, great s, and some shape, I voted for the raise. One and done.
Aug. 2, 2018
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Still take-out but with emphasis on the minors.

0=3=5=5 (with appropriate HCP strength) would be ideal.
Aug. 2, 2018
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The adage about “taking out take-out doubles” does not apply so much over doubles of (4).

The usual adage for that one is to leave the double in unless you have big shape (e.g. a 6 card suit) and good values such that you expect to be making your 5 level contract. Doubler is supposed to have enough defense that (4X) can generally be expected to go down. I don't think that is the case here.
Aug. 2, 2018
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I think this one is much closer between 2 and 2NT than the vote suggests.

Experience has taught me that 2NT with only 12 HCPs is not usually a good idea (rather at least 13, better 14).

But here the hand is otherwise so perfect for 2NT that I will allow my goodish minor suit spot cards to persuade me to choose that overbid.

After partner raises to 3NT and I go down, my post-mortem position will be that I might have jumped to 3NT had I been strong enough to make game opposite his 11 :-).
Aug. 2, 2018
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This one is tough.

4 = majors (5+=5+) for me, and most I suspect.

However, it is supposed to show a significantly better hand.

But, I have found that “stretching” the HCP values downwards when holding appropriate shape seems to work out most of the time.

But how far can I “stretch” without trapping partner into getting us too high (or making him too wary about going beyond game next time when he has a good hand)??

I think this one is just a little too thin for 4, although that call surely could work out best.

Usually in these cases, I content myself with 3 overcall.
But here the suit (both suits actually) is so thin that I can't bring myself to do that either (although my partner regularly makes high level overcalls of pre-empts on horrible suits like this–sometimes it even works out well!!).

So I “compromise” with double, even though that has obvious drawbacks of its own (3NT or 4 advances come to mind).
Aug. 2, 2018
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Your methods are so different from mine that it is hard to answer in your context.

I don't open light hands, so for me this hand is pretty minimum (although it does have a couple of good spot cards to push it above the absolute floor).

Also, your “2-way” 1 opener seems to create ambiguity w.r.t “good” vs. “bad.”.
For an 11-13 balanced hand, this one is fairly good.
But for an 11-15 unbalanced hand, this one is mediocre. Partner doesn't know which type you have, so it is not clear to me which “context” you are supposed to use in choosing “bad” vs. “good.”

Finally, you do not seem to be using all the space available in responding to the 2NT “spiral”, an error I think is particularly acute because of the above ambiguity.

Surely all “good” opener's with 4 card support can afford to reply above 3 (using various such bids to further describe the hands–details up to you).

That would give you at least one extra step without going beyond 3. Perhaps you could use 3 to show “doubt” between “bad” vs. “good” (with 4 trump of course) while 3 would be “very minimum” with 4 trump (or the other way around).

You could do even better, as with the four step responses that don't go beyond 3 (3/3/3/3), you could actually encode *5* different hand types. That would be in addition to all the “4 and good” which would still be shown above 3.

The idea is that 3 would show one of two possibilities.
3 relay would ask which, then 3/3 to distinguish.

In more standard methods using “spiral”, being able to play in 3 might be important, but for you that would seem to be less an issue since opener may not have length.
Aug. 2, 2018
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It seems to me that the probability that partner has at least one minor suit ace should be around 75% (I'm assuming that East won't have one).

If he has one, I want to be in slam.
Thus, both 4 and double seem like they risk missing a good slam.

4NT Blackwood would be perfect, but if that's not what that call would mean, I think I'd try 4, then 5 over partner's 5m.
Aug. 2, 2018
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Too bad.
It occured to me that 4 might be used to show the minors, as using it for s & a minor goes beyond the likely 4, hence wouldn't frequently be useful (but I guess one could have a /m 2-suiter so strong that we *want* to force to the 5 level).
Aug. 2, 2018
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Actually, it is not passive on this lay-out.
A lead would be passive, and that doesn't work.

The lead begins the attack on declarer's entries to break up the squeeze. To complete the destruction, a second round of s (from East when in with a ) and then a from West (when he is in with Q) are required.
Aug. 2, 2018
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Is 4NT Blackwood? If so, that is my choice.
Aug. 1, 2018
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Correction:
In my analysis, I was always playing the 1st round of s by leading low from hand to dummy's J. If I do that, the line of cashing the A (when LHO reduces to 2 s) will not work (but the alernative line of the simple squeeze with “late” rectification works fine).

But if you run the T from hand (or arrange to win an early in dummy and lead a low from there), this will retain the :AJ in dummy so that later endplay against East will in fact work.

Sorry!
Aug. 1, 2018
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David,
I think I finally figured out what confused me about your analysis and, therefore, the part with which I disagree (when something does not compute, it usually registers with me as confusion).

It is the part where you talk about declarer's being able to succeed with the “counter-intuitive move of cashing the A followed by winning s” in the variation where West keeps a small and reduces to only two s.

I do not believe that will work. When declarer leads to his A, if he leads low from dummy, East must play 9 to force declarer's A.
Then, on the 3rd , East just woodenly keeps his K (throwing it will allow 11 tricks for declarer).

Now, there is no endplay. A to East's K and he can exit with either K (winning the last trick with his 8) or with his 8 (allowing declarer to choose between winning his T and losing the last trick to West's Q or overtaking with dummy's A and losing the last trick to East's K).

However, your less flashy play of cashing s instead of playing the A does in fact succeed as that is just a variation of the simple major suit squeeze I described except that you have delayed rectifying the count by losing a trick to West until almost the end instead of doing it early as I suggested.

Proving once again that “flash is trash.” :-).
Aug. 1, 2018
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