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All comments by Ian Casselton
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Hi Christopher.

My apology if I misunderstood - I may have been focusing on your desire for a delayed T/O rather than the call to do it with.

Ian C
Feb. 12
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Hi Robert.

As our agreements stand, yes.

As it happens, I've more recently held a STR-NT type with something like QJTxx of spades on that auction (he says, scrambling for the hand records) than a hand I would like to have made a belated take-out DBL - see earlier comments about straining to act directly.

However, I understand the intent of the question and would have no particular issue with a partnership who has broadly the same worldview as me on this making a general exception to the rule for all bid and raised suits (especially if they like to keep their direct actions classic or sound).

The partnership rules need to be kept clear though, lest auctions like the following pop up

(1) P (1) P (1) P (2) P (P) ? - this would not meet the rule, as I don't regard 2 as a “raise”, but some might.

Ian C
Feb. 11
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Hi Christopher.

For what it's worth, my philosophy is in complete alignment with Kit's here - if you've had a prior opportunity to double a given strain (or strains) for T/O, then that option is no longer on the table - DBL of that strain now becomes penalty oriented.

With the right shape, one strains to get in first time round, even if on the light side - if anything, I'm even more extreme on this, e.g. playing (1NT) P (2red{=TRF}) DBL or (1) P (1red{=TRF}) DBL as T/O of the shown suit as opposed to any alternate treatment. Having a T/O bid available and making it immediately, if at all, is my No 1 defensive tool requirement.

As an aside, a 1 overcall would have been in the direct seat, rather than sandwich seat.

What I found interesting is formalising the idea that a delayed overcall of a natural opposition 1NT being two-suited. Once you rule other things out, it seems to make sense - something for me to formalise, along other rules like the one above, in the partnership armoury.

Ian C
Feb. 11
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Hi Ian G.

Not by design per se, but yes.

Spades are “for playing” - you can outbid the oppo with them (so in that sense, I like the idea of showing them as much as possible, especially if via a two-suiter - but less so using a DBL and/or showing a single-suiter).

Single-suiters are often lethal in defence and balanced hands often might as well defend as anything else. Hence, that is the focus of the DBL.

2, 2 and 2 show two-suiters a la DONT, 2 is NAT.

There is only one “odd” sequence

(1NT) DBL (P) 2{=PoC} (P) 2{=}

This is because 2 in that sequence is needed to show a “penalty DBL”. Everything else is pretty much as you would expect.
Feb. 6
Ian Casselton edited this comment Feb. 6
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Hi David.

As a long time 14-16 1NT opener (playing against many WK and V.WK NT ranges) and a relatively recent convert to WK NT's (mostly 11-13, sometimes 12-14), I just don't get this line of argument.

There is perhaps some theoretic strength level where pure penalty doubles of 1NT make sense (actually, more likely a matrix of opening strengths and penalty DBL strengths, if balanced), but for it to make sense in the real world …

(1) You have to be able to get them in theory, then
(2) You have to be able to get them in practise, and ideally
(3) You don't have a better contract yourself

So yes, you can make game sometimes when they open a WK NT but the equation isn't that simple - you have to trade the above, taking into account (1), (2) & (3) versus the alternate use for the DBL, which on a frequency basis, if nothing else, will typically go considerably against the penalty DBL.

For what it's worth, we play a hybrid approach where DBL is either a penalty DBL or an overcall that's single-suited not spades. It has it's own pluses and minuses, most of which you can likely figure out - happy to go into more detail if desired.

Ian C
Feb. 6
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Hi Chris.

I think Lionel would turn over in his grave if he were identified as coming from Australia - he was instead from the wrong side of the Tasman ;) We had some fun and tough matches back in the day.

After we had separately both moved to the UK (London) - he used to run TGRs until his untimely death - he was always friendly and a great personality.

Ian C
Jan. 30
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Hi Christopher.

For run-outs, I am happy with anything sensible that ALLOWS me to play 1NTX, i.e. no method that forces opener to RDBL after 1NT (X) P (P) ?.

Specifically, we play 2/2/2 as NAT, 2 as clubs and at least one other, RDBL forces 2 which can be passed or corrected to show that suit and at least one higher suit. 1NT (X) XX (P) 2 (P) 2 is not defined, but probably should be :)

Hence, I sense, we are in broad agreement.

Ian C
Jan. 27
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Hi Paul.

For the avoidance of doubt, I wouldn't advocate playing the negative DBL as limited - except at the bottom end - so opener is free to convert to penalty with an appropriate four (or five) card holding.

Once in a while, they'll make the DBL'd contract - but there are the +300's and similar out of nothing as well.

Ian C
Jan. 27
Ian Casselton edited this comment Jan. 27
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Hi Paul.

Some interesting replies to you above. Two key questions: are you asking what is optimal or what is practical, and are you asking about overcalls only, or DBL's as well.

I will answer what I think is practical and will ignore DBL's (as they are worth a topic on their own). For what it's worth, we play an 11-13 1NT which allows 5332 if MIN.

In simple terms, I think DBL should be T/O if at all possible in any* competitive auction, of the known suit (even if not bid) in the direct seat**. If there are two known suits, play what you do normally (e.g. Unusual over Unusual). In the unlikely event there are no known suits, figure something out. This will usually be an either/or scenario, e.g. CRASH, once again the topic of a larger and separate discussion - but my preferred is next suit T/O of the option with that suit, and DBL as T/O of the the other one.

For the avoidance of doubt, I would advocate opener's DBL as T/O as well, near mandatory with 4432 if the known suit is the doubleton, and perhaps some other shapes as well, e.g. 4333 after 1NT (2) P (P) ? I would very likely DBL.

Once you have your T/O arrangements sorted, what to round out the defensive method with? Same as you (hopefully) play everywhere else, e.g. some form of Lebensohl/Rubensohl or similar. My preference:
-> Indirect (i.e. via 2NT) WK in context with or STR without
-> Direct: Opposite to the above
I think there is a slight merit in methods where the direct response is WK if partner is not known to be strong - this achieves that 3 times in 4.

I agree with the sentiment expressed by some above about having direct (cue-bid or 3NT) shows, but that is a commonsense/memory thing - not specifically to do with the opening being a WK NT.

Ian C

* i.e. After any opening, or even if the oppo open

**i.e. I don't like any method where I have to wait a round to make a T/O DBL - at risk of the auction getting bounced
Jan. 27
Ian Casselton edited this comment Jan. 27
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Hi Andy.

From Bergen?

Ian C
Jan. 22
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PS Just thinking further, it is possible 4 and 4 were the other way around (as 3 and 3 were in the original). That said, I believe what I wrote above is likely better for the reason outlined.
Jan. 22
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Hi Marion.

I can't remember for certain, but I would have thought it was, in rough terms …

1M 4: 5 card “limit raise” (allowing 4 as a sort of Last Train Slam Try)
1M 4: 5 card “constructive raise” (defined, in this context, as roughly the strength of a normal single raise, or alternately, based on defensive tricks if desired)
1M 4M: 5 card “pre-emptive raise”
1 4: natural, to play

Ian C
Jan. 22
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Cheers, David

Ian C
Jan. 18
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Hi again, David.

I'm perhaps missing something, but if you super-accept with 2NT after 1NT 2 with

QJx AKxx Axxx Kx, as per your example

but not

Qxx AKxxx Axx Kx, as in Richard's question

and making the delayed noise (if at all) with the latter - partner may Pass your 2 transfer completion - aren't you putting slam before game, which feels wrong?

Back to your suggestion, which is clearly workable, you have plenty of space, so possibly …

2NT: as you suggest
3: 4, great hand
3: 4, medium hand
3M: 4, poor hand
3OM*: as per 2NT, but additionally NAT, 4+
?

Losing the WK super-accept in spades is less of an issue than losing the WK super accept in hearts, i.e. 1NT 2 3 - which may have been implied in what you wrote above.

Ian C

* i.e. 2/3 over 2/2 respectively
Jan. 18
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Thanks, David.

That makes sense.

If I could try and summarise - if one has had a previous chance to show a generally good hand (in this specific case, via a super-accept) then making a try later shows a source of tricks based try?

We couldn't implement as we currently play (as the super-accept shows 4) but worth considering.

Ian C
Jan. 18
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Hi David,

What you say is almost certainly superior to that which, I suspect, most people play by default (control bid according to the partnership style) - me included.

It is fairly easy to define a narrow usage of this principle (e.g. a strong 2 opener does not cue-bid opposite a non-positive) but clearly defining a wide-ranging application of the principle is more problematic.

In that light, have you and your partnership(s) considered a rule for its application, or do you just “know” in scenarios such as this?

Ian C
Jan. 18
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Gents,

Notwithstanding the relative success of Regres to its nearest brethren, do you really want to play a system with five (very) weak notrump openings?

Ian C
Jan. 15
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Hi Stefan.

Full detail immediately below.

To reiterate, (2) DBL = T/O of

Ian C
Jan. 11
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Hi Stefan.

If I understand you correctly, you are positing (2) 2 (P) P as an advantage as it avoids the three level.

In what I am advocating, (2) DBL (P) 2 achieves the same.

Ian C
Jan. 11
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Hi Stefan,

If you play (say) 2 as T/O of , you can't both {1} allow advancer a NF 2 advance (by passing) and {2} overcaller a forcing sequence if very strong with short(ish) hearts.

Ian C
Jan. 11
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