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All comments by Gabriel Fractman
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Let me share my thoughts. I do not think it is easy to know what is the best line, since in cases it may depend on how the defenders react and that is not always possible to quantify.

It is true that the Q in dummy help us in not being tapped and that is one key element in the hand. We can lose two trumps and a club, so if we lose the first trick to West it seems we are safe. But many things can happen.

For instance, we play a club to the Ace and a trump. East pops up with the A and plays a heart then if trumps are 3-1 and West can get in with a club we are down … even if East plays low and we misguess then the defenders can beat us by returning another trump to East who now plays a heart (maybe a not-so-easy defense to find).

Ruffing the three hearts seems good at first but then West can get in with a club and play a heart that will promote the 7 (again with trumps 3-1). Or we may promote it ourselves if clubs are 3-2 the unexpected way.

All this risks seem to be avoided if we take away West club entry first, by playing A and a low club (with the advantage that East may go up with the K and crash his partner Q). But this opens other risks and again East 7 may come into play …
Oct. 9, 2017
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Something does not add up. If partner had a hand like the one given above, then opponents would have a 9 card heart fit. And they are about to play 2?
Of course if you switch two small red cards the hand can still be a take-out double of hearts.
Oct. 8, 2017
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Alex, I do not think there is that much to disclose. A long suit trial bid means I have losers in that suit and I need partner to help me cover them. Whether I have AJxx or Jxx is my business and is just bridge. Of course when partner thinks his Qxx is golden, that is also my business.

As long as I explain the meaning of the bid, and the inferences from bids that were not made, there is no need to show my cards to the opponents. There are many similar situations where the range of possible hands behind a given bid is quite wide.

Going back to the hand, for me the driver is whether partner has 3 or 4 card support. I have four losers in the minors and can hope partner to cover two of them, but I still have work to do in the majors. That will change dramatically if partner has 4 cards, for instance: Qxx,xxx,Axx,Axxx has prime cards and a fitting honor in , but game is very poor. Change it to Qxx,xxxx,Axx,Axx and the odds are very much better.
Oct. 7, 2017
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If I plan to invite after 2, I would prefer to bid 3 instead of 2.
Not only I need help there but it may stop opponents to lead that suit. In even if pd has the worst possible holding (i.e. xxx) it is not the end of the world.
Oct. 7, 2017
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Having shown 24-26 the hand is not as good as it seems. Of course we want to play 4 but for slam to be good we need two red key cards. Partner should definitely make a move with that, so I think 4 is sufficient.
Oct. 6, 2017
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Thank you for your comments. You are right, pass over 5 should not necessarily be forcing (unless agreement) as the NS auction is basically 1-2-4.
I was influenced by the fact that South probably intended his pass to be forcing (as otherwise it seems reasonable for him to bid 5 with a 7 card suit and no losers in or ).
Sept. 25, 2017
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This hand could even try for slam opposite a 1 oppening. So starting with a weak 2 in seems a bit too one-sided even at MPs.
Sept. 13, 2017
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3 should be a favourite to make, as partner rates to have something like 2-1-3-7 distribution.
The point is whether we think we will be allowed to buy the contract and whether opponents can make a contract of their own (do we have too many HCP?). In that case 3NT as a save may have better chances than 4 which encourages the opponents to take some action. And some day it may even make!
Sept. 7, 2017
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Nice hand to try 5, “psychic” Exclusion Blackwood.
July 17, 2017
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I would like to “bite” something else when this dummy comes down ….
Partner still has the chance to bid if I pass, and I would be in much better position; for instance, I could now jump bid 3 with four trumps and an Ace if I had passed originally.
Now the only way to stop this is to rebid 3 which looks really awful on 4 rags.
June 26, 2017
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Well, by “reasonable” I meant that there could be some logic behind it. Fortunately for this game many times different players look at the same hand and see different things.

For the record, this hand was played in the USA2 trials (I think the final round) and I replayed it in BBO; my partner chose the “conservative” 1NT (which BTW I did not like as I later did not expect such unbalanced patter). But the american expert chose 2, so maybe it is not so silly …
May 22, 2017
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For me even thinking about doubling the opponents at the 2 level with only 3 trump when our side has a 9+ fit and I have a distributional hand is out of the question.

Switch your and and if double is played as penalty then it can be a good choice; but partner will normally pass the double (unless he has an undisclosed fit for ) without knowing which of the two hands I have. And the difference in outcome is huge.
May 16, 2017
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I think both proposed sequences so far are influenced by looking at the four hands. It is not always easy to abstract yourself from the fact that you know the other hand.
In this case: is it clear to rebid 4 bypassing 3NT level without knowing partner has such a powerhouse? And if the rebid is just 3, is it clear to support with only two cards (even if one is the A)?
For me, none of the two options is so clear (although both are reasonable alternatives); which shows that at the table it may not be as easy as it seems to reach 7.
May 3, 2017
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Sorry to spoil the party, but what would you rebid with ATxxAKTxxxxxx? Is not that a clear 4 rebid? Then how would parter know?
March 25, 2017
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Of course the bidding by North can be “sligthly improved”, but if I am there and partner has 2 Aces and 2 Kings the only reasonable try is 7NT (7 could be better but since we got so much information I am not sure).
Feb. 28, 2017
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There is no much South can do in the club suit; if he plays J or 9 North may well think he has only two left and that declarer started with 5 clubs.

But as already mentioned it is very unlikely that South will have an entry knowing that the two key finesses will work; the only relevant card he could have is the J but even then declarer would make 9 tricks.

At Imps the only change to beat the contract is to bang down the K; even at MPs if you do not beat the contract the third defensive trick may give you a good score.
Feb. 25, 2017
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Correct. I meant 1-2-Pass-2NT.
I think this makes more sense as natural rather than as a cue-bid.
Feb. 17, 2017
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Thank you for all the feedback; it turned out to be an interesting question after all.

One thing to take into account is that unless you play in a very established partnership (or if you are a professional) sometimes it is not easy to extend your agreements like “if they play this we play that and if they play the other we play this other one and so on ….”.

For that reason I very much like Kit's comment: if we overcall their suit, let us pretend they opened the other minor; makes sense and it is easy to remember.

Just to add my opinion to the discussion, I think that 2NT as natural does make sense since after all the most probable game when overcalling a minor suit may be 3NT.
Feb. 17, 2017
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I think West can make a move after 2 before South is given a chance to bid 3. He is willing to compete to the three level and knows East is not completely broke, so he can invite on the way either by 3 or 3 depending on the agreements about those sequences; then East may judge to bid game if he realizes he is maximum for his bidding and has a golden 5th trump.
Feb. 13, 2017
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Daniel, it is true that 4NT by partner is for take-out (normally two-suiter) but it forces partner to bid; so you need a more extreme distribution.
Direct Double is also take-out, in the sense that it promises some support for all other suits, but allows partner to pass if he has good trumps (unlikely) or just a balanced hand with 2 or 3 trumps and no long suit. So the double of 4SP is somewhat collaborative, but not penalty by itself (if you have something like xx,AKx,AKxx,Axxx you will be happy with whatever partner does as loon as he only pulls the double with a distributional hand).
Jan. 10, 2017
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