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All comments by Craig Zastera
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I'm wondering what the alternative(s) to 3 is(are)?

Pass seems out of the question to me since partner could have up to 18 points for his wide-ranging 2 rebid.

2NT with only 10 HCPs, no help for partner's s, and no stopper seems mis-directed and too aggressive.

Sure, if partner has a 5=3=3=2 12 count, he may struggle in the 4-3 fit. Too bad.
April 25
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Frances,
It is interesting that when I don't play all 2 level suit bids as natural, the one we choose as our “Stayman substitute” is the cue-bid of *opener's* suit.

I have encountered numerous cases where as advancer I wanted to bid 2 of responder's suit naturally.

Also, 2 of opener's suit, being cheaper, may sometimes be more convenient as the Stayman substitute.

That said, I acknowledge that wanting to play in 2 of opener's suit (particularly when it is s) also occurs, which is why I find it tempting to play all suits natural.
Our side rarely has game after (1X)-P-(1Y)-1NT, so the ability to play any suit at the 2 level can be useful–perhaps more useful than a 2-level Stayman cue-bid.

In those rare cases where advancer has game or near game values, it is possible for him to use something higher (2N and/or 3) for further exploration.
April 25
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The more interesting question IMO is how to play 2 level suit advances of (15-18) 1NT “sandwich position” overcalls.

I think there is a lot to be said for playing *all* of them as natural, save perhaps 2 in the auction (1)-P-(1)-1NT
April 25
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I chose 3 also. We have the agreement that a cue-bid in a primary suit shows 2/3 top honors. Not sure if that applies in our second bid suit as here, but perhaps it should.

At any rate, 3 certainly is a control showing cue-bid and shows interest in co-operating in pursuit of a slam, else 3NT.
April 24
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When partner makes a call or play that is objectively inconsistent with our partnership agreements, then I say something.

When partner makes a call or play that merely shows his (IMO) poor judgement or faulty reasoning, there is little point in commenting as I am not going to teach him better bidding judgment or bridge reasoning skills–when I accept him as a partner, I get what I get in those departments.
April 24
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From the ACBL “Bridge Terminology”
https://www.acbl.org/learn_page/bridge-terminology/#S

"SEMI-BALANCED.
A hand with 5-4-2-2 or 6-3-2-2 distribution."
April 24
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This is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of what words mean.

From “The Bridge World Official Bridge Dictionary”:

"semi-balanced hand:
a hand with suit distribution 5-4-2-2 or 6-3-2-2

balanced hand:
a hand with relatively even suit distribution;
hand with no void or singleton and at most one
doubleton, thus:
4-3-3-3, 4-4-3-2, or 5-3-3-2 suit distribution"
April 24
ATB
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Hard for me to understand “all or mostly East” given West's rather peculiar 1 opening on an 8 count with no tolerance.

A light 3rd seat 1 opening must guarantee tolerance for s so that opener can pass a 1 response.

This West hand should therefore either PASS (my choice) or open *2*.

Second, it is useful after 1M-(1NT) for responder to have a way to show tolerance for opener's major along with length/strength (5+) in the other major.
A common agreement is for 2 to show the “both majors” hand, while 2 is a good raise of opener's major (3+) and 2M is a weaker raise.

As the auction went, I do think East should have pulled 2X to 2. Opener is clearly expressing weakness by his pull, so East shouldn't risk 2 when 2 should be playable.

As to whether East should have doubled (1NT) opposite a 3rd seat opener (which presumably can be very light in this partnership) with a dead minimum for that call is another issue. Obviously risky, but if not, then E/W can miss lucrative penalties when West has a real opener and South is broke.
April 23
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Treating partner's pass of (7) here as non-forcing (i.e. believing that passing out (7) undoubled is an option) is really carrying an aversion to “forcing pass” semantics too far, IMO.
April 23
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1-DBL-2-3(values)-all pass seems like the “normal” auction to me (or perhaps South might compete to 3 based on his 6th and stiff ).
April 23
Craig Zastera edited this comment April 23
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The OP clearly states that the director *WAS* called back at the end of the hand:
“Result, down 2

Director called back, and Ed Schulte, W, commented that
he didn't know if he could make 4H if he couldn't get to
dummy, so we scored it up and went on to the next board.”

(from OP)
April 22
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Bidding here (5) seems too likely to turn a + score into a - score. Would be harder at matchpoints, but at IMPs, I just “take the money”.

Partner might have little more than a slow trick or two.
In 5, we can easily have a and two losers (for example) or more.
April 22
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Of course, it is not too difficult to defeat 5X by *3* tricks.

Requires a opening lead, but that would seem to be clear.
After West wins the , in theory he needs to shift to A or J to ensure 5 defensive tricks.
But the A continuation also suffices unless declarer finds the rather double dummy line of ruffing and continuing with specifically the Q. And after that is ducked (J falling), declarer must continue with specifically a low in order to come to 9 tricks.
April 22
Craig Zastera edited this comment April 22
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Well, those are standard methods.

Personally, I play transfer advances of overcalls.
So after (1)-2-(P), advancer with s bids 2, transfer. With OP hand, just accept the transfer with 2 (which doesn't show any great enthusiasim for s).
Now advancer can judge how to continue based on his hand, including passing 2, bidding a NF 3 (typically doubleton support with 10+ HCPs), etc.

Clearly, no style of advancing overcalls works well all the time. That's why there are so many alternative methods in use.
April 22
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I'm a fan of “sound” 2-level overcalls, but passing OP hand, particularly NV at matchpoints, would be going too far.

It is a full, sound opening bid (13 HCPs) with a reasonable 6 card suit. I don't think requiring more than this for a 2 overcall is winning bridge.
April 22
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Partner's 4 is 100% unambiguously pre-emptive.
With a good hand he cue-bids or makes a fit-jump or a splinter.

Still, there are hands he might hold where 6 would be good, e.g.: Axxxx-Jx-xx-xxxx
April 22
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Yes, that is exactly how it works when you play new suit advances of overcalls as non-forcing.

With a hand strong enough to require forcing, advancer must begin with a cue-bid.
Even a new suit jump shift advance in standard methods (e.g. Bridge World Standard) would only be *invitational*, not forcing.
Quoting BWS:

"After our simple overcall of a one-bid:
(a) A new-suit bid by an unpassed advancer is natural
and nonforcing, constructive if an advance of a
two-level overcall.

A new-suit jump is invitational.

(b) A cue-bid may be either a strong raise or a
prelude to a forcing bid in a new suit"
April 22
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I suspect that many (most?) play that 1-1-1-3 is natural.
Might be some variation as to just what it shows:
(a) 5=5 reds invitational
(b) 4=6 reds, weak
© 5=5 reds, GF
(so that 2 then 3 would be something else,
depending on details of methods)
April 21
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If you think that this hand is a useful () ace stronger than needed for a splinter (I actually do not, although I would agree it is more than a minimum), then you can make another slam try in the event partner simply rebids 4 (his least encouraging action).

For example, you could continue with 5 over 4 seeing if you could provoke any enthusiasm at all from partner.
Or, I suppose, you could even continue with 4NT RKCB.
April 21
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I want to make a splinter in support of partner's s showing short s, GF values, possible slam interest.

In my methods, we play “XYZ”, and splinters in support of opener's suits are made by going through the 2 ==> 2 relay. Thus:
1-1-1-2-2-<4/4>
would be splinters in support of s with short s/s respectively.
(BTW, after the same start, responder's <3/3N> would be splinters in support of opener's s with short / respectively).

But I suspect not everyone has these XYZ splinter sequences defined this way.

I would suppose that for many a jump to 4 directly over opener's 1 rebid would be defined as a splinter in support of s. It is with that assumption that I voted for 4.
April 20
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