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All comments by Ian Casselton
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Understood, David.

There is no free lunch - you can't do everything.

But there is no objection to having a good hand via the T/O DBL route (as per a T/O DBL of a 1 suit opening) - and, if the utility is sufficient, one can define DBL of the completed transfer as strong BAL or semi-BAL.

Whichever though, the one tool I always want in my armoury and to be able to use immediately if possible is the T/O DBL. It's even better when you can do so if they haven't bid the suit they've shown!

Ian C
Sept. 7, 2019
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Hi Nick.

Whilst I answered “East West did fine. These things happen.”, I actually strongly object to the methods - notwithstanding they are standard for the majority.

I have the strong view that all defensive methods should be oriented to T/O DBL's where a T/O DBL is plausible. So, I prefer

DBL of transfer bid = T/O of shown suit
DBL of completed transfer bid = something else (often penalty and/or strong BAL)

I'm not convinced of the relative utility of low level lead directing DBL's - whereas convenient and (usually) safe auction entry for the far more common hand type is a big boon IMO.

Not that this would have necessarily saved things here - you might still end up in 2X or even 2XX, but this requires organisation and trust from the opponents - North may not have stood matters.

Ian C
Sept. 7, 2019
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Hi David W.

No, I stand by those questions being unhelpful in the context I described. Any time unhelpful questions get asked, it risks wasting time, UI and other sins - so they should be avoided where possible.

If you continue to disagree, that is of course fine.

Ian C
Sept. 3, 2019
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Hi Richard.

On the other thread (re 1NT openings) there were two main views, as far as I could tell. These were most vociferously advocated by Richard Fleet and David Burn, so let's call them the Fleet and Burn views.

Ignoring the many ad hominem posts by various posters, I find myself considerably closer to what appears to me the pragmatic Fleet view, though it is hard to argue cogently against the more literal Burn view, often summed up by “tell ‘em what you play”. I could argue both sides if I had to.

At a practical level, I’m just going to write/quote the expected range and convey an appropriate perspective about range “permeability” front-of-card. That will cause issues against few, if any, expert opponents - if it gets me into trouble once in a while against lesser opponents, perhaps with a litigious bent, so be it. The alternative, IMO, is impractical and the side-effects quite possibly undesirable - even if well intended.

I would turn this question around slightly as well. If we alert on what basis partner makes their (usually bidding) decision, I think my proposed approach holds up well. That is, if I announce 15-17 where some might prefer I announced 14-18 or similar, partner will still base their decisions expecting me to hold, on average, a little less than a 16 count. In this context, I think alerting as 15-17 is more understandable: 14-18 might solicit unhelpful follow up questions about am I playing a Blue Club like 1NT opening, or do we sometimes upgrade 13 counts, or do we have a range ask to cater for the exceptionally wide range etc.

When style considerations become relevant on play or defence, even if front-of-card weren't to indicate proclivities, it is fairly straightforward to ask (I already often need to do this to find out styles re the inclusion or otherwise of 5 card M's). To this, when being on the receiving end of such a question, I might say we upgrade into and out of the 15-17 range, with the former being slightly more common.

In general, I would apply the same principles were I to be playing MOSCITO.

Ian C
Sept. 2, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Sept. 2, 2019
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Hi Bill.

It's not definitive, but I polled a very similar question a couple of days ago

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/showing-a-single-suited-minor-when-using-woolseymulti-landy/

Ian C
Aug. 28, 2019
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Hi Martin.

Same thing I have observed over many years of 2 overcalls of 1 and similar. In short, the oppo can't always sort out major suit lengths when they need to.

I'm not saying (1NT) 3m is a silver bullet, but it does have upside (and they haven't got Lebensohl or similar to help them).

Ian C
Aug. 26, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Aug. 26, 2019
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No sure I entirely agree, Rosalind.

Mainly because 3m, in particular, can give the oppo problems in sorting relative major suit lengths out, in particular when responder is not equal length.

Ian C
Aug. 26, 2019
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Hi Michael.

I wondered whether Frances meant that (which would mean losing the pre-emptive 3, a priori) or just losing both m's completely and play 2NT (say) as “intermediate” in a minor (sort of a minor Multi).

If nothing else, the latter would be in keeping with the name of the convention :)

Ian C
Aug. 26, 2019
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Hi Steve.

If I've understood you correctly, how you propose to play would roughly be my preference too.

Do you allow clubs via the DBL when relevant (perhaps being forced to 3 to show them) or just diamonds?

Ian C
Aug. 26, 2019
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That seems plausible, Rosalind.

But it's not without cost/complication - presumably you are going to continue 3NT or above with the strong minor hand after (1NT) 2 (P) 2NT (P) ?

Ian C
Aug. 26, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Aug. 26, 2019
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Hi Michael.

I don't see the need for any confusion.

You answer to STR NT is, as far as I can tell, a wide-ranging 3m overcall. Maybe I could have written i.e. rather than e.g. but it appears to be there or thereabouts.

Your answer to WK NT is “Other” - with some form of clarification, e.g. INT or some other similar definition.

Ian C
Aug. 26, 2019
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Hi Kenton.

I assume you mean in a STR NT context (I initially misread, so have altered this comment)?

Also, direct seat or pass out seat (what you suggest has more relative merit in the direct seat, where you can lead your own minor suit if needed)?

Finally, how do you untangle the various possibilities when the opponents don't Pass. I'm not suggesting it can't be done (with another partner, I play DONK, so have a similar issue) but it needs work.

Ian C
Aug. 26, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Aug. 26, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Aug. 5, 2019
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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, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Aug. 3, 2019
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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, 2019
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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, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Aug. 3, 2019
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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, 2019
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