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All comments by David Caprera
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Ed, you lost me a bit at the end there. But I ask, “How do you do better in standard”? Mind you, this is not the poster child for my methods. The 6-4 is difficult. I posted the hand because it created a problem. Our poster child is clearly 1S-2C-2D (H's)-2H.
July 7
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There are few who are more religious about 1X-1M-2M promising 4 trump than I am but the 3=4=5=1 is the exception that has no alternative.

Playing precision, we are able to accommodate this hand type, however I doesn't work in standard methods. We play 1D-1S-2H is either 5=6 or,if 3451, a good (14-15hcp, we are limited to 15 when we open 1D) 2S bid. 2N is then a relay with 3C showing this hand, 3D showing the 5=6, 3H is a 2.5 raise, 4 trump low short, 3S is four trump high shortness. Courtesy of Curtis Cheek.

Make the CQ the deuce and we raise to to 2S, again 2N is a relay with 3C the 3=4=5=1 (3D NF), 3D is 4=2=5=2, 3H is 4=2=2=5, 3S is 4 trump and a weak notrump.
July 7
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I have just been told by someone I had come to respect that my method is “hopeless.” I had already acknowledged that this was a soft spot in the methods. For auctions like 1S-2C-2D-2H I know that I am light years better than standard methods. But when I ask, “Does someone have something better?”, even the relayists don't get these hands resolved at a lower level than I do. What you do after you resolve pattern is a different question. I come from the “set trump if you can school.” I tell my juniors, “bridge is not a science.” Sometimes a hand is too hard.

(As an aside, I believe David Grainger has a copyright on the term “hopeless.”)
July 7
David Caprera edited this comment July 7
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One of my mentors and a good friend, Walter “Big Train” Johnson preached “A singleton K is a balanced hand.” I have taken this lesson to heart. And whenever I bid 1N on a hand like this, I think of Walter.
July 7
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For the record, opener was Axx, AJTxxxx, -, xxxx. 4H was the limit (5C also makes). Tom, does you relay catch the void?
July 7
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I want to be able to set trump in order to cuebid and bid keycard. If 3H is the only relay, then you should probably play Mulberry but you have lost the cuebid option.
July 7
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We are allowed to upgrade and downgrade. Even with the DQ, we might not open this dog of a hand.
July 7
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I will same the same as I did to David. Other than relay, how are you worse off than standard? As for “clubs are trump”, that is our rule for keycard purposes. We can obviously still play in hearts.
July 7
David Caprera edited this comment July 7
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In answer to the diamond fit, 1M-2C-2S shows 4 diamonds. Now responder can support by bidding 3D.

As to David Burns' comment, David, I am curious how your methods would do better if opener held
x, AQJxxx, x, QJxx
opposite the given responder hand. OR ANY OTHER 6-4 FOR THAT MATTER. These are difficult hands. Playing standard methods, the auction would go 1H (assuming you open this hand which you may not)-2C-? I assume in standard methods 2C showed clubs so certainly you must raise. 3C? 3D splinter? How in either case are you in a better position than I am? Responder now bids 3H? Is that two trump or three? Standard auctions are a mess here. BOSCO isn't perfect but, to me, it is an improvement. (Yes, a pure relay system would likely do better.) And an auction such as 1S-2C-2D (4 hearts)-2H where you are the two level having established a 4-4 trump fit and a game force (next bid pattern) has 4 more steps to explore than the standard 1S-2C-2H-3H.
July 7
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I tell my juniors, “There is a little man who sits on your shoulder and pokes you at the appropriate time when it is a slam, a vul game or a doubled contract. Take an extra minute and think.” (He can't poke you all the time.) I agree that this was a little man situation.
July 6
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UMJOODO (aka reverse Flannery) makes this and many other auctions trivial. 3C is GF and promises 5-5. Thank Rodwell.
July 6
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It should be standard practice to self-alert your bid by flagging it before submitting it.
July 6
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True but you may not have enough tickets to make it a viable contract, it may not play well as a misfit and is one that is easily “ripped.” With the 2=4=5=2, which is the real problem hand, I am guessing that in most cases it is better to bid 3C where you are likely to rest in peace.
July 6
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I understand the reluctance at higher levels but (2M)-DBL with 4oM and 6D is, in my experience, a clear winner.
July 6
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I have come to know Norman well enough that I am not surprised he said that.
July 6
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We don't have an upper boundary although we have never been tested but I would think x, AKxx, AKxxxxx, x could double 4S. If we had a fifth heart, we would bid 4N (2P2P).
July 6
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I agree with Josh about a pre 2D opener rebidding 2S over 2H on a 4=3=1=5. It loses when responder was 2=4=5=2, breaks even when you go from one 4-3 to the other, and might stumble in to an equal or better 5-3 club fit.

I would love if someone more skilled in statistics than I am (or someone writing a sim) to come up with an answer. I don't thinks this is a double dummy sim problem, I am happy just trusting the law of total tricks. Based on probability distributions (note opener and responder are not independent) or randomly generated deals, “How high did we get and how many trump do we have?”
July 5
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Wow. I hit a nerve. After (1H)-DBL-(2H), 2N is not best played as natural. Whether it is a transfer, minors, invite with 4 spades or leb is up to you, but 11-12 balanced with 1.5 heart stoppers is just not one of your likely choices
July 5
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After the alternative of (1H)-DBL-(2H weaker raise), east would do very well to meekly bid 3C. If 2N is a true lebensohl and not “better minor”, 3C is probably enough but otherwise I think I would feel cowardly bidding only 3C in competition.
July 5
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Will players be allowed to refer to their system notes?
July 5
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