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All comments by Craig Zastera
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I don't know the OP methods at all, but although I can certainly pass anything partner bids, I'm not sure why I wouldn't want to excercise that option a round earlier.

If partner rebids e.g. 2, 2, 2, we are likely playing in a 7 card fit. I'm not sure why that should be better than playing 1NT.

Meanwhile, (unless I misunderstand OP methods), a 2 rebid could be a much stronger hand, hence might motivate partner to bid again (e.g. 3 or 2NT), getting us even higher for no good reason.
Sept. 2
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Hard to imagine anything other than 3.

How could our hand be better for our previous bidding?
An absolute max in high cards with nothing wasted in their suit, two huge honors in partner's second suit and 1st round control of the unbid suit.

3 might be misleading. Partner might think we are trying to get him to bid 3NT with e.g. :Qx.
3 is unmistakeable.
Sept. 2
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I think this is a classic hand type for trying hard to play in 3NT rather than 4.

One way would be just to bid 3NT.

A slightly less extreme version is 2 Stayman, planning to play s only if partner shows 4.
That also gives the option of making a slam try in s if he does show four (e.g. via 4 “reverse Baze” rebid).

I think I'll go the Stayman route.
At matchpoints, I've had great results with this hand type playing 3NT with 5-3 major fits. It could even be right to play NT with a 5-4 fit.

What I don't want to do is start with a Jacoby transfer.
Sept. 2
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I probably would have bid 4 (Texas) last round.

Having not done so is clear evidence that I have decided to evaluate this hand as only worth inviting game in , so I have to follow through now and raise only to 3.

Bidding 4 after 2-2 would be a slam try (generally without shortness, else 2-2-, then jump in my short suit).

I suppose I should try some simulations where partner has
a hand that would bid as in OP and then pass my invitational raise to 3 to see whether 4 is good enough to want to be in in such cases.
Sept. 2
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Passing 2 here is what is sometimes called “masterminding.”

Just make your normal 2 “preference” and let partner bid again if he happens to have the hand for it.

For example, he might hold: KQxxxx-KQxxx-x-x
Sept. 2
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But the problem with the 4 jump is that it puts all the burden on partner to bid beyond 4 with a very modest hand (e.g. a couple of queens).

Unless it is “clear” that our 4 jump promises a hand good enough for slam opposite such modest values, partner likely will not be up to committing to the five level.

Now if *we* plan to bid again after partner's mere 4 continuation, then 4 would be fine. Of course, the problem with our doing that is that the 5 level may easily be too high when partner has “nothing.”

It would be nice if parternship had some clear distinction between the jump to 4 vs. 3 and later bids.
It does seem clear that the “strong hand with only 3 s” is handled by doubling (2) so that both 3 and 4 must carry some other message.
Sept. 2
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After 3rd seat 1M, PH responder should generally respond 1NT with (almost) all hands which would have made that response after a 1st/2nd seat 1M opening even though that 1NT is FORCING in the latter case but not in the former.

The exception, of course, would be “3 card LR” hand types.
They start with (forcing) 1NT after a 1st/2nd seat 1M, but after a 3rd/4th seat opener they must use 2 Drury.

But 10-11 HCP hands that are not LR should just respond 1NT.
The upper HCP limit for that response is “up to just short of an opening bid” just as it would be after a 1st/2nd seat 1M opening.

Opener SHOULD NOT PASS a PH 1NT response with a hand good enough for game opposite a maximum passed hand. In such cases, he just rebids as he would have had he opened in 1st/2nd seat.

I see no good reason to make “funny” PH 2/1 response on a mere 5 card suit instead of just making the “normal” 1NT response.
Sept. 2
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Adam,
I like your approach to this analysis, but disagree with your specific conclusion.

The only time “G/B” definitely loses on OP auction is when 2NT is the correct FINAL CONTRACT. One would have to admit that is *always* true for any artificial use of 2NT.

But a big part of the arguments for artificial 2NT (of whatever ilk) in competition is that 2NT is rarely a good resting spot. One more trick, and we should be in game. One less trick and we're minus.

So we give up our option of playing in an (allegedly) unlikely-to-be-best spot (2NT) in order to multiply our ways of describing other hand types.

On OP auction, that is not quite the only way “G/B” 2NT might lose.

Clearly, when opener has a minimum range balanced hand, his choices will be limited if 2NT is defined as “G/B”.

Sometimes he might risk a penalty pass and defend (2X) with hands that might have chosen a natural 2NT had that been available. But clearly that choice will often not appeal for fear they might make (2X) (although in such cases, 2NT may not be so good for our side either).

Three level suit bids are out since they all show “good” hands when playing “G/B”.

That means that minimum balanced openers without a fit will often be “forced” into rebidding a “bad” 2NT even though they do not have a long suit (or suits) in which they wish to “compete.”

When the bidding has been 1-(2)-DBL-(P)-2N, opener will get some guidance from partner who will choose 3 only if he prefers s to s (catering to the possibility that opener has a minor 2-suiter). That distinction may help opener reach a playable 3m contract.

The situation is a bit worse when the auction has gone
1-(2)-DBL-(P)-2NT. Then, responder's 3 continuation doesn't say much at all about his shape, so opener has more of a guess about what to do.

If opener has 3 s, he might sometimes choose to continue with 3 (bad with s), at worst playing a 4=3 fit (and it might be 5=3).

Clearly, choosing to play “G/B 2NT” can lead to awkwardness when one of the above scenarios occurs.

One final point. Robson tends to lump the auction types:
(1) 1m-(2)-DBL-(P)-??
and
(2) 1m-(1)-DBL-(2)-??

together in his analysis. He suggests that the hand types
responder might hold aren't much different in either case.
Thus, he recommends “G/B 2NT” for opener in both.

My view is that are at least two possibly significant
differences between auctions (1) and (2):
(a) I think responder needs a bit better a hand to
double (2) (i.e. auction (1)) then to double
(1) (auction (2)). Therefore, our side is more
likely to be able to survive a 3 level contract
in a 4=3 fit if that is the best we can find.

Also, opener will be able to risk a penalty
pass of (2X) more often (say with 4=2=(43))
because of the extra strength suggested by
partner's negative double of (2) (as compared
to his minimum for a double of (1)).

(b) In auction (2), when opener has some “weak NT” hand
type without four s, he can simply PASS (2).
But in auction (1), he either has to risk
defending (2X) or commit to some 3 level contract.

As to point (a), it appears that Robson believes that the
minimum for a double of (2) is not much more than what
would be required for doubling (1).
In fact, he gives the following (minimum) example of a responding hand that should double after 1-(2)-? :
A5 QT764 T72 J65

Seems a bit scary to force to the 3 level with that weak a hand, although clearly passing with such can lead to having the auction stolen from our side.
Sure, that 5th is a nice feature, but will we be able
to find our way into 3 when opener has a “weak NT” hand type with three s? Certainly will require some “good” guess-work.

Contemplating how weak a hand responder *might* have for his double of (2), though, is actually an argument in favor of using opener's 2NT as “G/B” because the partnership is trying to cope with a very wide strength range for responder's negative double.

Good/Bad 2NT is a tool designed to improve bidding accuracy when responder's hand might be anything from the above 7 HCP example on up.
Sept. 2
Craig Zastera edited this comment Sept. 2
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Kiernan,
I think you are right! Once opener rebids his s, DOUBLE replaces the cue-bid for showing a good hand with only 3 card support.

Thus 3 here shows something else. Given that, it is probably a better choice than a space-wasting jump to 4.
Perhaps the extra level of bidding can be used profitably to inspire partner with only a couple of black queens to show some enthusiasm which he would be afraid to do over a jump to 4 because that would require him to bid beyond game.
Sept. 2
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I don't think I should be choosing my calls on the assumption that partner has bid his cards badly. On OP auction, partner's bidding is screaming “stop” despite my showing a good hand for playing a high level contract.
I do not think that my hand is so great that I should continue despite his stop sign.
Sept. 2
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3NT “unusual” for the minors would be perfect.

Unfortunately, unless you happened to have that agreement with your partner du jour, I do not believe that is what 3NT means on this auction. Instead, I believe it would be interpreted as ….. (gasp) “to play.”
Sept. 2
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Further, Kit said “you will make if the king of s is onside DOUBLETON OR TRIPLETON.”

So perhaps the king of s is onside 4th or 5th (as it was).
That would be another way for the “if not,..” part of Kit's statement to apply, hence, you then need the A onside, which is perfectly consistent with East's 2 (he can have KQ and A).
Sept. 1
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Why wouldn't 4 *then* 5 (over, say, partner's 4) be at least a bit more descriptive?
Sept. 1
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The problem with 3 is that it strongly suggests fewer than four s (usually 3). That may not be a 100% absolute rule, but it is certainly how partner will take it. Perhaps after 3 we can do something later to try to correct the impression of fewer than four s, but that might not be easy.
Sept. 1
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When I bid 4 last round, I was thinking I might continue (probably with 5) over partner's 4.

But now I think that my 4 has already sent my message of slam interest in s opposite an advancer who could only bid 1 last time.

Therefore, I think that if partner had enough for slam, it would have been his responsibility to have shown some life over my 4.

So now I will respect his lack of enthusiasm and interpret his 4 as a “plea for mercy” which I will honor by passing.
Sept. 1
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I want to try for slam in s.
5 now might suggest lack of control.
So I'll try 4 first.

If partner bids only 4, I'll have to think again. Maybe I'll chicken out and pass. Or, I might raise to 5.
Sept. 1
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6 appears to be better (although 6 not hopeless) on your very extreme example. I suspect my scenario of a ruff playing in s with 6 cold is more likely.
Sept. 1
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Kiernan,
You are right that the section I recommended to you was all about using “good/bad” in auctions like the one in this OP and did not actually discuss the “issue” of how to handle the loss of a “natural” 2NT call.

However, Robson does discuss that issue at great length in an earlier section of his book, although it is primarily in the context of another of his recommendations for using 2NT in an “unnatural” way, namely as a 4 card LR+ of partner's 1M opening or overcall in competition.

You will find that discussion on pages 34-37 of the source I referenced above.

But anytime one assigns a conventional meaning to any call, be it a “take-out” interpretation of DOUBLE (e.g. “negative” or “responsive” doubles or just take-out doubles of their openings), or “unusual NT” or other 2-suited overcalls, or even a Jacoby transfer, you are giving up the natural meaning of that call (as well as alternative artificial meanings) in favor of the chosen conventional definition.

For many of these (e.g. negative doubles), long familiarity, experiencing the obvious benefits of the “conventional” treatment, and the frequency of occurence of suitable hands, has mostly eliminated the “but what if I have a hand where the natural meaning would be perfect?” worries.

But for other, newer conventional treatments, e.g. “good/bad” 2NT and 2NT used as a strong raise in competition, those same feelings of loss of the older “natural” meanings will only be reduced and eliminated by experience with the new alternative definitions which will
prove their worth in terms of frequency of occurrence and contributions to achieving better results.

As someone who has played these artificial competitive 2NT bids for some time and consider them almost essential for effective competitive bidding, I now feel that the argument against them based on “loss of the natural 2NT” is almost as silly as similar arguments about the loss of “penalty doubles” incurred by adopting alternative artificial uses for that call.
Sept. 1
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Kieran,
This OP auction is a “classic” for “good/bad 2NT”.

In discussion I've seen of that convention, this exact auction is generally a prototype.

Here is an on-line reference that you can peruse for lengthy discussion of good/bad 2NT and its value on this auction type and similar ones:
http://www.bridge.is/files/Partnership%20Bidding%20at%20Bridge_2054397795.pdf

See in particular pages 189 - 201.
Sept. 1
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Why would partner expect 3NT to be good with that hand?
I am a PH. For 3NT to be good, I'd need the A, A, and a stopper, probably A. That seems like too much to hope for.
No, I think partner is looking for 5.
Sept. 1
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