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All comments by Ian Casselton
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A harsh judgement on de Fermat, David.

Given the effort it took to get to Wiles solution, I see where you are coming from, but surely mistaken (which at least in part, Wiles initial version was) is also possible?

Ian C
Aug. 19
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Hi Bill.

Even in normal Gazzilli, one has to play 3 sometimes in a 4-3.

But yes, to answer your question, we find the net effect beneficial.

Ian C
Aug. 6
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Hi Bill.

“Normal” (major suit) Gazzilli has similar downsides - or are you fearing a fewer than seven card fit?

As always, there is no free lunch, but I think it solves more problems than it gives, with more of the former being games or slams and more of the latter being part-scores.

Ian C
Aug. 5
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Hi Bill.

We do. In short:

{1} Cheapest unbid minor by opener is Gazzilli
{2} Cheapest unbid suit by responder is the ART, STR continuation

The rest is similar to normal Gazzilli. The key point is that most major suit rebids and raises remain normal.

Three further points to consider if you go down this route:

{3} We play that 1 1M 2 is always the strong variant (though artificial) - as we open 1 with minimum 4/5 in the minors and a rebid problem.

{4} Do you play Gazzilli after 1 1 ?. There is a case for not playing it here, or playing it and making 2 Gazzilli, or playing it and making 1 Gazzilli. I would recommend not playing it.

{5} If you play T-Walsh or similar, no problem - you can still play it - and that removes the diamond showing response to 1 problem.

Ian C
Aug. 5
Ian Casselton edited this comment Aug. 5
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Hi Richard.

To clarify, when we open (the equivalent of) 1 and rebid 2, on average, the diamonds will be longer.

To expand, there are the 4=5 cases* (and the MIN 5=6 case), but these are more than balanced by the matching 5=4 and 6=5 cases, then further outweighed by the 6+=4 and 1=4=5=3 cases. The 5=5 and 6=6's obviously don't weigh it one direction or the other.

Not sure where you got any other idea - perhaps from the Precision types.

Ian C

* not all though, as some we'd raise partners M and with many 2=2=4=5's rebid 1NT
Aug. 3
Ian Casselton edited this comment Aug. 3
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Understood, Richard.

For the avoidance of doubt, it was not an ad hominem attack on the messenger, you in this case, but the alleged playing regulations and their likely interpretation.

What I meant to consider in that previous post, but forgot to, was to consider the difference in methods where a canape is explicitly shown vs where a canape is one of a number of possibilities.

I think it is reasonable to alert a fundamentally canape style, e.g. Blue Club major suit openings or MAFIA style 1M openings, versus one where the possibility is almost incidental.

Stretching the example further, I would open 1 on most minimum 5=6 in the M's hands. This would ostensibly appear to be “as alertable” as 1 with 4=5 in the m's.

Ian C
Aug. 3
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Hi Richard et al.

Not for the first time, I find the apparent playing regulations (in this case, EBU ones) perverse.

I general, we alert* 1** 1M 2 as being 4+/4+ in the minors (either way) and rarely 5/3, but you appear to be saying we need to alert the 1 opening itself in this respect.

For the life of me, however, I would have no interest if the situation were reversed - it remains sufficient for me to know the opposition opener has diamonds (if only 3+) and that no other suit is excluded (the default assumption absent an alert).

I would only have an interest at point of putative 2 rebid.

Ian C

* or at the very least, explain post auction

** or in our case, the 1 opening, which shows the same thing (3+)
Aug. 3
Ian Casselton edited this comment Aug. 3
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Hi Craig.

I was being overly simplistic above, though the tenor of my response holds true.

Further down this article, Kit Woolsey says the overall choice of opening is dependent on a number of factors. I think that's more true for the second round of the auction than the first.

If responder has the kind of minimum that would pass or make an NF bid over any (say) 15-17 hcp showing continuation after a 2 preference, then it's relatively safer to pass 2 rather than give false preference. If not, then, in general, you want to keep the auction open - and the false preference is one tool to do that.

The other factors include partner possibly being 6+/4, whether or not the oppo have an 8+ card major fit (and whether they could have, or might, find it) etc.

I hesitate to say it's never been a problem, as my memory may fail me - but I can say with complete honesty I can't remember it being so. What that suggests to me is that any losses are likely to have been minor (no pun intended) if at all.

The “at all” bit above is relevant, as sometimes when we might have ended in a poor fit, the oppo have already overcalled in a major and the auction times out differently - our putative 5-3 club fit gets outbid.

What I can say is that I have seen people rebid 5 card suits in NF auctions (not just this type of one) for very poor results and I've seen auctions go 1m 1M 1NT 4M and similar catching partner with a singleton - sometimes getting away with it on power or a 3-3 trump break, sometimes not.

As alluded to earlier, some people have methods to avoid the 6-1 major suit fit problem (and similar) but most of these methods have the downside of information leakage.

There's no free lunch, but I prefer to take the pain in the relative minor suit length department and keep the rest as clean as practical.

Ian C
July 31
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Hi Craig.

Tell them not to overthink it - and just give preference/false preference as normal.

Ian C
July 31
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Hi Eduard.

I'm not sure if it's Larry Cohen style, but that's what I answered.

I open 1 with 4 and 5 when short of reversing strength if I would otherwise have a rebid problem. I really hate the idea of bidding 1 2 with only 5 and it's not my style to rebid 1NT with a singleton, though I can accept it from those who are prepared to handle the systemic repercussions.

I am also happy to open 1 and rebid 2 over 1 with 1=4=5=3, for what it's worth.

Ian C
July 31
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Hi Craig.

There are a bunch of ways to play ELCD's.

For me/us, simple conversion from the lowest unbid to the second lowest unbid suit, below game, is an ELCD - nothing else is.

We also overcall when the highest unbid suit is longer, so after a 1m opening by the oppo, when holding spades and hearts, we

DBL then ELCD with: 4/5, 5/5, 5/6, 6/6 etc, but
Overcall 1 with: 5/4, 6/4, 6/5 etc

So, after ELCD'ing, the second highest unbid suit is at least as long as the highest unbid suit.

Ian C
July 30
Ian Casselton edited this comment July 30
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Hi Phil.

Agree on showing both suits - I prefer Top'n'Bottom for the cue-bid and the top two going through Equal Level Conversion DBL's. Nothing's perfect though.

Don't like any range (bad enough with Michaels, really bad with UNT) as I regard it as unsound, but I know I am old school in this regard.

{Craig} Quite right, I think it was the same with Ghestem too. However, there are upsides and as I said above, nothing is perfect.

Ian C
July 30
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Hi Phil.

I'm not a fan of “giving up” a jump overcall per se.

However, there was an article in The Bridge World by Denis Lesage (quite possibly “Switched Michaels” from September 2011) where he advocated something like as follows

Cue-Bid: Pre-empt in a higher ranking suit
Jump Overcall(s): Further definition on Michaels-like hands (there is some discussion as to whether to use the extra bids for shape or strength definition).

There are of course many variations on the theme, e.g. you could play the cue-bid to show a pre-empt in any of the other three suits, the three WJO's to be the three two-suited combinations and 2NT so show a stronger version of overcall with the higher two suits.

I have never played any of these methods, but they are not without merit IMO, especially if one, as is the modern trend, likes a wide-ranging Michaels style.

Ian C
July 29
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Hi Richard.

For very regular partnerships of sufficient skill, perhaps.

For everyone else, I would suspect some form of alternate compromise would be more appropriate.

Ian C
July 21
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Hi Richard.

That's a reasonable take, but you need to say what you think is materially better, otherwise you're in practise simply noting a weak spot of the system as a whole (the 1 opening).

In context, I presume you would advocate bidding with the moderate hand types and (say) doubling with game force, or similar?

Ian C
July 21
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Seems OK to me, Jeff.

With the spade length, North is likely to be over-ruffing West if the hearts residuals are 2-4, 3-3 or 4-2 (as opposed to 5-1) in context.

Ian C
July 8
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Good point, Meike!

Ian C
July 7
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Hi Kit.

I confess I would probably have doubled 2 and partner may well have passed it - 3 (quite possibly doubled) is no panacea either.

However, I'm not convinced that's a bad approach in the long run - declarer is not always non-minimum, 6-4 with a semi-solid suit.

Que sera.

Ian C
July 7
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Hi Robert.

If I've learned nothing else from this site, psyches (and their fielding) are very much in the eye of the beholder, their local playing regulations and the interaction between these two.

For me the answers as to whether they are psyches or not is no, no, yes.

Ian C
July 2
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