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All comments by David Caprera
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I am unaware of the ability to win a beer at trick one. I like the idea but is it really a thing?
Jan. 8, 2019
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Natural and a slam try? 4N quant in context. 5N pick a slam. If replier pulls to a suit and asker rebids 4N, that is regressive. If replier pulls to a suit and asker bids a different suit, that is a control bid in support of replier's suit and replier's next step is KCB (“rolling keycard.”) This is an example of Compton not going from economy directly to first class.
Jan. 8, 2019
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I don't think you understand sleeping on the couch. There is nothing like “optionality.” It is a judgment totally based on the results. Bid a grand on a hook and sleep on the couch half the time; don't bid it (and it would be reasonable to do so), and it is “sofa time baby” the other 50%.

But I never have said, “sleeping on the couch” is a bad thing. It is like camping out with a refrigerator and a flush toilet. When Annie and I were younger, we did a lot of hiking and camping. Backpacking a refrigerator was always a challenge. How many things can you think of that improve when you age? (No, not the wine and cheese, you as a human.) Getting old, as most of us are in the process of learning, sucks.
Jan. 7, 2019
ATB
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It is probably a little better than 50%. Kyle can do the math. You might ruff out honor third in a red suit and there are numerous squeeze options. On the other hand, bad breaks will beat you.

Annie and I could bid 1D-1H-2C-2S-2N-3C-3S, a little bit of artificially in there with 2S and 3C relays, but opener shows 14-15hcp and 3=1=4=5. (So, don't blame the 1D opener; you just need some tools.) Now responder has to guess. Make the DJ the SJ and slam is very good. Then take away the CJ and not quite as good.

In these situations, you bid slam if it isn't worse than ~50% and may be better. I think I would say “yes” but it is close. (It is also possible on this auction the opponents lead a spade (the unbid suit) and slam becomes better.)

I think I would close my eyes and bid 4H, KCB in clubs (Mulberry for us), and when I catch “2 with” hope partner can make 6C. If it then goes SA, SK, S ruff (ok, no ruff), I am reminded of the opinion of JLall who once uttered the immortal words, “Mulberry sucks.”
Jan. 7, 2019
David Caprera edited this comment Jan. 7, 2019
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We mark our card “1 attitude, 2 count, 3 suit pref.” This is attitude. We also play upside down. As I want partner to continue, I play the 2. If partner guesses I have J2, too bad. They might have guessed I had J7 if I had played the 7.
Jan. 7, 2019
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Thankfully, the days when 1N showed real values are past me now. More so perhaps after (1m)-DBL-(P), but after (1M)-DBL-(P), waiting for the 8 count is just losing bridge.
Jan. 6, 2019
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It might be useful to know what 1S-3D is in this partnership.
Jan. 6, 2019
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In Hawaii at the fall nationals, I had effectively this diamond layout in 3NT. My LHO, Cedric Lorenzini, ducked the DJ with the expression of someone who was bored of watching paint dry. Yes it is “standard expert play.”
Jan. 6, 2019
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Partner's 3D bid is nothing like help suit. It is the only bid he has between 3C and 3H. It is a “punt.” Don't look at your diamonds, look at your hand. No spots, only three trump, side cards of specualitive value. I am closer to raising initially to 2H than I am to contemplating bidding anything more than 3H.
Jan. 6, 2019
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Alan, the issue is not 1S versus 2H but whether, given the knowlege of a double fit, the hand is better than a simple raise. No strong opinion but I think it is closer than your posting suggests.
Jan. 6, 2019
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A bad bid.
Jan. 6, 2019
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1H-(DBL)-4H (wide ranging)-(4S)-DBL perhaps. Kit and I are in agreement on that one. It was 1H-(P)-4H-(4S)-DBL that was the issue.
Jan. 6, 2019
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A cooperative double should not have shortness, I would expect, on average, 2.5 cards in the opponent's suit. Partner can convert it with 3+ pieces, but only if she is expecting the decision to be a “law abiding one”. (Partner should not expect our side to have an eight card fit.) For example, opener could choose to defend 2S doubled with KTx, KQxx, Ax, JTxx. Opposite a 2=3=5=3 or 3=3=4=3 ten count, I think 2S is a big underdog.

But the cooperative double is not all about turning +50 into +100 or +100 into +300 (and yes, but hopefully not very often, -110 into -470). It is intended as informative. It invites opener back into the auction. With a minimum opening bid and a 6 card suit or a 4-5 two-suiter (2N is scrambling), our side can effectively compete to the 3 level. Playing standard methods, partner opens 1C on xx, KQx, xx, AQxxxx and hears (1S)-P-(2S). Bidding 3C now shows more than this hand so, reluctantly, she passes. But if partner makes a cooperative double, now opener can comfortably and lawfully rebid her 6 card suit.

If you prefer to call this “optional takeout”, perhaps to be distinguished from “pure takeout” (where shortness in the opponents' suit is expected), I am ok with that. “Cooperative” was just the word Martin used in his poll.
Jan. 6, 2019
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What do I think “cooperative” means? Probably something looking most like a stopperless notrump without 4 hearts. Perhaps Qx, KQx, Jxxxx, Qxx or Jxx, Axx, KQxx, xxx. It has enough values that it should be our hand and not wanting to sell to 2S but with no convenient bid.
Jan. 6, 2019
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Kit, you state that had the auction gone 1H-4H, East might have stepped in and that would have been a bloodbath. We have recently switched to playing that DBL by opener says, “Partner, I have an offensive oriented hand. Please bid 5 unless you want to defend.” In this case, I think opener would pass and responder would double.

Would you care to comment on our agreement?
Jan. 6, 2019
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After a Q denial, we play new suits as natural and offers to play. Yes, I have “faked” the Q ask to give choice of suits. We have no agreement on 5N but “do you have 4 trump?” (more precisely, “do you have more trump than you have previously shown?”) would appear to have a lot of merit.
Jan. 6, 2019
David Caprera edited this comment Jan. 6, 2019
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Ok. Here are my thoughts on all of this.
1. I intended the post as a bit of a happy joke which I thought Bridgewinners needed. “Kill the cheaters”, “Disband the ACBL”, “Boycott the host hotels”. And once a week somebody dies. Even “Assess the blame, what is the worst bid?” is all about negativity. Why not, “Assess the credit?”
2. No, it isn't a great grand. I know that. Somewhere around 50% and you were probably ahead of the field just getting to six. But it was fun to bid and I thought it presented several interesting issues.
3. Annie was North. I did not have to sleep on the couch last night.
4. Some observations on our methods. It is possible to upgrade the North hand and open a strong club but, just because you can doesn't mean you should. We play a variation of Meck Lite. It has some bells and whistles but it is not as sophisticated as RM precision or relay methods. Had Annie opened 1C, our auction would have started 1C-2D(12+hcp, 5+D's)-3C. That is a terrible start to an auction. We are at the three level with no fit establshed (4C would now set trump) and no idea what direction we should be going. So, I like 2C even if it may be overstrength.
Yes, 2C promises 6 clubs. We would open 1D (2+), 1N or 2D (short D, 3 suited) with 5. IMO, opening 2C with 5 is unplayable - preempts partner and impossible to untrack.
3S did not show length. In theory, opener could have had 4 hearts rather than 4 spades (Mike suggested AK, xxxx), but with that hand she never would have bid 5N. South was willing to play 3N and had denied a four card major (would have relayed with 2S over 2H), yet North was still inviting a grand. North had to have the proverbial nuts. In fact, I announced that her hand was AKxx and AKxxxx before I bid 7C. I think this is truly a “trust your partner” situation.
4D was KCB and 5C was “two with”. A 5D continuation would have asked for K's up the line. That Annie did not do so suggests her spades were not AQJx.
2C-2D-3S is the 5-6. After 2C-2D-2H (4 card major, not necessarily hearts), 2S is a relay and the responses are 2N+: 4H min, 4S min, 4H max, 4S max. We can still stop in 3C opposite min, after a max we are GF.
Jan. 6, 2019
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But North was known to be 4-6 from the 2H response. Bidding 5N, North was exactly this hand (maybe not the CJ.) North's 5NT bid gave South the ability to show he could take his shoes off and count to a percentage contract.

(I guess the “he” pronoun spoiled the suspense of who held which. No sofa tonight! Woo hoo.)
Jan. 5, 2019
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Tom, you missed your big moment. “The best defense against a strong club is to open before they do.” (Tom plays Dinkin's “tiny major” system, 1M=4+M, 8-11hcp, may be canape.)
Jan. 5, 2019
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Tom, my main man, go with the flow. I think the real issue is, “The auction isn't over”, I expect to hear 3C by the opponents and I have set myself up for a comfortable 3D. I am not sure what bid you were proposing, but I bet if you knew you had two bids to describe your hand, this would be your choice.
Jan. 5, 2019
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