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All comments by Craig Zastera
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Why wouldn't I be enthusiastic about making a “support redouble” with this hand?
First, if I do anything else, partner will never believe I have three card support.
Second, after re-doubling I will likely get a chance to bid again, e.g. 2NT. This will complete a very accurate description of my hand–18-19 balanced with 3 card spade support and stopper in hearts.
April 14, 2018
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It seems that OP essentially answered her own question in her description of how advancer is supposed to act after her partner makes a “normal expert” double of (4).
That is, lacking a 6 card suit, 5-5 distribution, or (perhaps) a somewhat less distributional hand but with sufficient HCP strength to expect to make a 5 level contract advancer is expected to PASS.

BTW, I agree with OP's description of how one ought to react to such doubles by partner.
April 14, 2018
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A 1000 deal double-dummy simulation giving South just what he has explicitly shown in the auction(11-13 HCPs, balanced, 4 diamonds, 2-3 in each major, 3-4 clubs, the DKQ and the HK) shows that 7 makes on 60% of the deals and 6NT makes on over 90% (902). 6 makes on over 99% (994).

Given those statistics, there is no way I am going to play in 6 at matchpoints. The most conservative thing I would ever do is bid 6NT.

But I don't think that is enough. We should try for a grand slam, particularly since South's raise to 4 suggests that he has a good hand for a diamond slam (hence, expect better chances than the above simulation indicates).

We have the following grand slam tries:
(1) 5:
This asks partner to bid a grand (or at least above
6) with the SK or (without SK) to bid 6 with
the CK (which he can't have here).

(2) 6:
Asks partner to bid above 6 with club king.

(3) 5NT:
Shows interest in a grand slam but needs more than
just a black king.

So 5NT seems perfect to me. Partner will value CQ and SKQ
or H:KQ.
If partner can do no more than bid 6, I will convert to
6NT, but I'm really hoping he will take the hint and bid above 6, after which I will bid 7 (if he hasn't already).
No guarantees this will get us to every good grand and/or avoid all the bad ones, but it is our best shot.
April 14, 2018
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I really don't think the fall-back on the (this time) successful heart finesse and break is really relevent for most people who think the claim should be accepted.

I believe the reason the claim is accepted is because 13 tricks are 100% on any lie of the cards via an obvious line of play (i.e. playing C8 from dummy at trick 1 and thereby realizing 6 club tricks on any lie of that suit).

In fact, if declarer had actually called for the CQ from dummy and then claimed without stating a line of play, I do not believe he should be allowed to take a heart finesse even though that would be the “percentage” line for attempting to recover from his trick 1 blunder.
April 14, 2018
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You may be missing my point (as suggested by your other response on this thread).
If I considered my call uni-lateral and final, I would bid at the 5 level (probably 5 rather than 5 if I am acting unilaterally and not seeking partner's input).

But what I'm trying to do is involve partner in the final decision about how high we should compete. In my view, both 4 and 5 do that, but 5 is inviting partner to compete at the *6* level (or even higher if necessary), and I'm a bit too conservative to do that at the given (unfavorable) vulnerability.
April 14, 2018
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Chris,
I play “XYZ” over opener's 1 rebid and “2-way NMF” (essentially, the identical convention) over opener's 1NT rebid. So I have the exact same structure available after either rebid. The main difference is that over 1NT rebid, a weak (say less than 10-11 HCPs) responder with 4=4 majors will have to pass, whereas over 1 rebid the spade fit will be discovered.
April 13, 2018
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Close between 4 and 5. Both are fit-showing (obviously?). The difference is that 5 says “I know it's right for us to bid to the 5 level, and I'm showing you my hand type so that *you* can decide whether to compete to the 6 (or 7?) level if necessary”, whereas 4 carries a similar message but one level lower (i.e. “I know it's right for us to bid to the 4 level, and I want you to consider going higher based on knowing my hand type.”).

At any other vulnerability, I'd go for 5 for sure, and perhaps it's still right. But imagine if partner *misfits* diamonds badly (as is not unlikely). Then, they may well not have a slam we might go down too much, so I pull back a notch.
April 13, 2018
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If one wants to miss major suit fits on part score deals in favor of pre-empting opponents and/or obscuring distribution, then perhaps one ought to play weak (e.g. 12-14) 1NT openers.

I believe Kokish said something like “The biggest advantage of weak NT is that it pre-empts the opponents. The biggest disadvantage of weak NTs is that it pre-empts your side.”

So (IMO) if a partnership decides to eschew pre-emption/obfuscation with balanced minimum openers by choosing to play 15-17 1NT openers and opening 1m with balanced minimums, then one ought to remain consistent with that philosophy by exploring for major suit fits at the 1-level. This would suggest typically rebidding 1 over partner's 1 response when holding four spades rather than 1NT. This allows for finding 4=4 spade fits when responder is too weak to bid again over opener's 1NT rebid.

Perhaps (I've not studied the issue enough to be sure), one might make an exception when opener is exactly 4=3=3=3 with 12-14 HCPs and go ahead and rebid 1NT instead of 1 in this one case.
April 13, 2018
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Another factor (well documented in Cohen's books) that adds to the trick total is when both sides have *two* 8+ card fits. Here, both sides have two *9* card fits. That ought to add two to the raw trick total, and so it does–18 total trump with both sides having two 9 card fits = 20 total tricks, the actual number (EW make 8 in either major, N/S make 12 in either minor).
April 13, 2018
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Thanks for posting the “real deal”.
I always like to hear actual details, even though I know that a single data point doesn't prove anything.
April 13, 2018
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One needs a partnership agreement.
In traditional “old fashioned” bidding, responder's 2 would be forcing (but not to game).

However, I believe that nowadays the vast majority plays 2 on this particular sequence (1-1-2-2) as non-forcing.
This allows responder to show a weak major 2-suiter without any real drawbacks because with a better hand he can instead rebid a (possibly artificial) forcing 2 instead. This is analgous to “new minor forcing” after a 1NT rebid.

However, consider some similar sounding sequences:
(a) 1-1-2-2
(b) 1-1-2-2

It would be possible to play 2 in “(a)” as non-forcing also, and I know at least one pair that does so–they use 3 rebid by responder as a possibly artificial forcing rebid.
But this (being almost a full level higher) does not work nearly as well as the semi-artificial 2 rebid by responder in the case where opener bids and rebids clubs.
So I believe that on auction “(a)” a large majority of pairs play that responder's 2 rebid is natural and a one round force.

In auction “(b)”, responder's 2 is “4th suit forcing”, may well not show hearts at all. Most play it forcing to game, but some allow the auction to stop below game.

An alternative to solving the problem of how responder is supposed to show weak major suit 2-suiters after partner opens 1m is to play that an immediate 2 response shows at least 5 spades, at least 4 hearts, and something like 5-8 HCPs.
April 13, 2018
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Your silly set of agreements leaves no good bid, so I choose 5 (inviting slam, asking for good trump I'm assuming).

With better agreements, I would just show a spade slam try with no shortness, for which I would use 4 “reverse Baze” as that saves a step vs. 4–you can use 4 for the spade key-card ask as that is plenty low enough (even 4 would be fine for keycard ask).

BTW, a 1000 deal simulation with this hand opposite random 15-17 HCP balanced hands with 4 or 5 spades and fewer than 4 hearts had 6 making (double dummy play and defense) on 600 of them.
This shows this hand is easily worth a slam try. In fact, one might simply try 4 (your keycard ask) and bid the slam if enough are held.
April 12, 2018
Craig Zastera edited this comment April 12, 2018
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I'll agree that 4 excludes a penalty pass of 3–that is one of the virtues of that call.
But I don't see why 4 excludes partner from bidding 4.
April 12, 2018
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Trying to achieve a result you don't deserve by calling the director and appealing to a technicality is disgusting.
Everyone can see that there are 13 cold, 100% tricks on the club lead.
Sure, claiming without comment or even calling a card from dummy is probably technically incorrect, but the contract is so obviously cold that the suggestion that this slight breach of protocol should actually result in losing the slam is insane.

And what kind of person would actually want to obtain an undeserved good result this way?
April 12, 2018
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I think South's choice of re-opening with a double was terrible. 4 seems like the obvious choice, and one could make a case for 4.
I like 4 after which 5 should be reached.
North's decision to pass the double is not so great either–I'd think he'd be choosing between a very conservative 4 or a slightly aggressive 5 (I like 5).
He might even have considered 4 over 3, but I think that is a bit too much.
April 12, 2018
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I wouldn't consider 2 with the West hand.
I would consider 3, an invitational fit jump, but would reject it because the hand and trump support are too weak
so that 3 may well be too high when overcaller is
minimum and doesn't fit clubs.
With a 4th spade and one less anything else, though, I would choose 3.

After the 2, I don't think I'd bid 2 with the East hand, although I do think I would consider it as there are a lot of potential red losers to get rid of, and West is entitled to (and often will) bid again over 2.

But I certainly wouldn't commit to game either (there are a lot of potential red losers to get rid of).
Thus, as East over partner's 2 (promising spade support), I would make some sort of game try with the East hand.
3 is the simplest though rather opaque for my tastes.
I think I like 3 (help suit), which would get our side to
3.
April 11, 2018
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This is the issue, isn't it? I think some (many?) play that this negative double does “guarantee” four spades. In that case, it seems clear that 5 must be some sort of move towards slam, possibly with long clubs (also).

But if the agreement is that 3 level negative doubles (or perhaps only of (3M)) do not “guarantee” four in unbid major, then 5 here must be natural, very long (6+) clubs, without four spades, that had hoped for 3NT.
But that style clearly makes it harder to explore for slam in the major as responder's options are more limited–i.e. only key-card ask or perhaps cue-bid of their suit.

It seems to me that at IMPs it must be better to play that the 5m bid here is a slam try with opener's major agreed because responder with the other hand type could simply have bid 4 the first time.
At matchpoints it is perhaps more debatable because of the big premium for playing 3NT when an overtrick would make that contract a big winner vs. 5m when both make.
April 11, 2018
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When my choice is between rebidding 1NT vs. raising to 2 with three card support, I definitely subscribe to making the choice based largely on whether my doubleton is weak (Jx or weaker) vs. strong (Qx or better). The quality of the 3 card heart support may also factor in.

However, when my choice is between rebidding 1 vs. raising to 2 on three (i.e. 4=3=4=2 or 4=3=2=4) with balanced hands, in my style the choice is based more on hand strength.
With very minimum hands, we raise immediately.
But with extras, we rebid 1, planning to show heart support next. This sequence requires 14 HCPs minimum but could be considerably stronger. The somewhat wide range is OK because:
(a) if we later (3rd call) bid 2, partner
still has a spare level with which to
re-invite (e.g. 3) so that we can then
narrow our range (pass with e.g. 14-15 or
bid4 with e.g. 16-7)
(b) with a very very good hand, we have the option
of jumping in hearts (to 3) at our 3rd turn
This would be probably 18 HCPs.

This style is useful in allowing opener to give more accurate description, but it does suffer from the problem of occassionally playing in a 4=3 heart fit when a 4=4 spade fit exists (i.e. opener raises to 2 with a minimum hand and 4=3=(2=4 or 4=2) shape, and opener with some minimum responding hand with 4=4 majors has to pass).
April 11, 2018
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After 1-1-?:
with 4=3=3=3: 1NT
with 4=2=3=4: generally 1
rarely 1NT (only if spades were very weak)
with 4=3=2=4:
2: minimum hand with 3 decent hearts
1: some extras (say 14 HCPs or better)
1NT: rare, perhaps xxxx-Qxx-AQ-AJTx or such

After 1-1:
with 4=2=4=3: 1
with 4=3=4=2: 1 or 2 (as above)
April 11, 2018
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Leonard,
Your points are all well taken. I suppose at matchpoints 2 could be a winning misbid–that is, if it doesn't work it is surely your fault as partner can never place you with this good a hand. Still, if the misfit you sense is real, you will be the hero.
April 10, 2018
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