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All comments by Ed Shapiro
1 2
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As east, I bid 3, because it's natural bridge, absent lengthy discussions about follow-ups to many investigatory conventions. It's a test for me, an opponent, to be polite and avoid a major case of the giggles as EW try to untie the knot into which they've tied themselves.

1 is iffy, and pass seems better to avoid many uncomfortable auctions with these minimum high cards for an opening bid

The idea that a second heart bid by west (and east in some auctions) shows four is similar to the style of the LOLs who bid Gerber then follow with 4NT, Blackwood, “just to make sure.”

My naive auction, assuming the opponents don't put their necks on the block with interference: P - 1 - 2 - 2 -4.
Oct. 22, 2018
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For partner to have that hand, you must play 1 P 4 as some kind of conventional bid. If our style is to set traps for ourselves, I guess we'd have agreed that this type of auction is not forcing. But isn't it normal that when you voluntarily bid game, a later pass by either partner is forcing?
Oct. 15, 2018
ATB
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For years – my regular partner and I played this long before it had a name – a jump response, even 4 on this auction, was forcing. With less, we'd bid 2N, then bid game. Perhaps not most efficient, but very difficult to confuse, and I don't recall a terrible result with it.
March 29, 2018
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See also: http://www.philly.com/philly/food/Craig-LaBans-favorites-in-Phillys-Chinatown.html

LaBan is the Inquirer's restaurant critic and usually is spot on with recommendations.
March 10, 2018
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Wastefully, perhaps, extended strong NT values in a hand with tricks, likely a decent suit somewhere, as opposed to a more amorphous hand of similar high card strength, that doubles.
March 2, 2018
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I'm naïve about Good-Bad auctions, but why is it necessary here, after south has passed over 2? Assume it's not a psychic or semi-psychic control.

And why not 3 at North's second turn? Given north's hand, on this auction, south will have 4 or 4 almost all of the time.
Feb. 27, 2018
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For casual partnerships, after 1 - 1N - 2: Raise to 3 is better than an immediate simple raise with 3 trumps; 2 has similar high card values with 2 trumps. Mnemonic is 3 shows 3-card length.
Feb. 18, 2018
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2 is natural, 2N shows 5+ controls, forcing to slam. Doesn't come up very frequently, but have had easy auctions when it has.
Nov. 23, 2017
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Seems right to me. But, if I'm to agree play them, they do not absolutely deny 3-card support – only show 3-card support in a hand worth a raise. Thus, it denies a flat, minimum opening with poor honor distribution.
Oct. 15, 2017
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The first auction has two different cases, one where doubler's partner has not shown values (leb 2N or 3 of a suit when you're not playing lebensohl;) the other, where partner has shown values, such as a non-leb 2N or an encouraging 3 of a new suit. In the first sub-case, you're showing a very good hand with 5+ spades. This bid is non-forcing. In the second, after partner has shown values, you're making a forcing bid (so you need a decent hand) usually with five, or maybe six iffy spades.

In the second auction, you're making a non-forcing bid with a very good hand, with a good, long suit where partner will raise to game with less than what would have been required to raise a simple 2S overcall to 3S. Whether you're playing lebensohl is irrelevant here.

You can come up with a lot more sophisticated leb-like structure, but my approach is what I'd suggest to a new partner when we don't have time to get into fine details.
July 10, 2017
Ed Shapiro edited this comment July 10, 2017
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For over 50 years in my natural methods partnerships, game-forcing and willing to go past 3N in the interest of seeking other contracts. Not a strong slam try per se.
March 25, 2017
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Abstaining because – rightly or wrongly – opener can pass a preference to the suit opened, a general “get out,” which also denies 5 or more cards in responder's major.
Jan. 19, 2017
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I learned this the hard way, in a GNOT district-level match, where we had had a pretty good set. Of course, we reported it to the director, who advised us of the rule. That (plus some embarrassingly bad play in other matches) kept us from making it to the next level.

Nowadays, in any Swiss event, I insist that we sit in the same direction for all matches. Conceding seating rights is a small price to pay.
Jan. 18, 2017
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Might position matter? I personally am reticent in first or second seat to open a maximum point count, off-shape 1N, unless it feels it should be downgraded for an additional flaw. Maximums may play too well in a suit opposite an unpassed hand, and good slams may never be considered.

This morning, partnered by Jimmy Cayne in an IMP match on BBO, the great Dano De Falco opened 1N in fourth seat with a good 17 count: Kx KQxx AKQTx 98. Although they do allow 1N openings on certain 18 counts, I wonder if he would have opened 1N in first or second seat.
Dec. 27, 2016
Ed Shapiro edited this comment Dec. 28, 2016
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I met Mark at a tournament in Atlantic City in 1962 and played with him now and then, into this century's first decade. But he was more important to me than that – when we played a secondary game at the 1996 Philly Nationals he set me up to meet a woman he had never met himself, the housemate of a friend who was putting him up for the tournament. As usual, Mark's instinct was right on target and we married about a year later.

Fare thee well, Mark!

(corrected a minor omission)
Sept. 14, 2016
Ed Shapiro edited this comment Sept. 14, 2016
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Something else:

Natural and non-forcing with 6-5 hands. This let us bid the suits in natural (longest first) order, in a minimum hand. When I played standard with a frequent partner (many years ago), we had lots of good results with this, and few bad ones, as silly and atheoretical as it might seem.

July 24, 2015
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I, too, felt that the 100 percent north option came closest to my opinion – 98.5 to 01.5 percent, respectively. Is there a chance that north took a while to pass 2 and we're backing into a logical alternative question, argued by someone who maintains the deluded idea that, when playing negative doubles, opener MUST reopen with a double holding shortness in overcaller's suit?
March 7, 2015
Ed Shapiro edited this comment March 7, 2015
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I abstained because “always” is too strong a description of my preference to open 1. I prefer to look at my hand first, to see if suit quality would change my choice, which it will about 20 percent of the time. This is consistent with my partnerships' tendency to upgrade *or (unfashionably) downgrade* high card count.

Jan. 20, 2015
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For what little it's worth:
Recently, I was cleaning out some lists of old passwords and found I had an ID and password for Our Game, I think from a couple of years ago when they webcast some World Championship matches that were not on BBO. So I didn't ditch them and tonight went to the Our Game website, entered them, and got right in.
Maybe things have changed since I signed up, whenever it was, but if you called me merely digitally inept, you'd be kind, so if I could sign up, it should be relatively easy for anyone.



Oct. 7, 2014
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I had to abstain, since my preference, weak only, wasn't a choice. Among other things, it makes the cue-bid non-forcing – you can pass 1 -2 with, say, xx, x, QJx, QJ109xxx without risking missing a slam opposite partner's AKQxxx, AKQxxx, –, x.

By the way, players who use unlimited Michaels should be drawn and quartered if they hesitate before making a rebid over partner's simple choice of suits.
Jan. 27, 2014
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