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All comments by Karen (Kate) McCallum
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That's true, of course. And relevant. I like to be able to do a bit more if I can. There are some ways to do both, by letting responder control what information you give away, but all methods will tell the opponents something. Your auction tells them about four spades in dummy, and maay point the way to a fatal diamond lead. You have to judge the trade-off.

I like to use responder's 3C as a 3-cd raise of opener's major, GF, with some interest in playing the major-suit fit, even if it's a 4-3. So, we find the 5/3 fit and the 4-4 and the 4-3 when it's right. But we do tell the opponents that we have a 7-cd fit in a major sometimes when it might be better if we hadn't. The flipside is that responder hasn't shown or denied four spades when he shows 3-cd heart support.

On this deal I'd be happy to have that tool available - I can bid 3C over 2H, showing a 3-cd heart raise with some reason to think we should play somewhere other than 3NT. But it's still a tough call - a bit of a guessing game.
8 hours ago
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It's hard to pass with 5/4 majors after a preempt. But a 3rd seat preempt can be anything at all, so the risk is not small. If you open light in first seat, and if you have opening bids to cover all hands with a 5-cd major, there's less pressure on South to act over 3C.

I think North should pass the double of 3C. It seems like the most likely plus score. I wouldn't expect them to make it.
Nov. 15
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You cross your fingers! I hate the double also, but I'd double.
Nov. 15
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I think that it works better if you pair count & unblock, instead of attitude & unblock. Then there is no confusion. If you don't unblock an honor, when requested to do so, your card is count. If partner leads the other honor (not asking for an unblock) your card is always attitude. It's nearly always readable.

In this case, say that the King asks for unblock or count. You'd lead the Queen to ask for attitude, and partner's card will be readable.

Of course, there is a good reason to lead low from KQTx in certain situations… you'd lead low if you have good reason to suspect that either
* partner has a doubleton, or
* RHO holds four
Nov. 15
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Stephen: Do you not have methods to do both? Look for either 8-card major fit?
Nov. 15
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Andy, do you also use double as an artificial call? I do something similar to what you do (both 4C and 4D are cue-bids in support of hearts), but I combine it with a thrump doube: “Partner, please bid 3NT if you can.” Double followed by 4m is a forcing 4m call. Of course, it doesn't come up much, as you say. I've been playing this for nearly 20 years and only seen it two or three times.
Nov. 8
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You have a much harder problem over 3S. Your thoughts on 4H are correct, IMO. But 5H is out of the question. You'll be sad to hear 4NT from LHO, but you can't do much about it without great risk when you don't even know that there's a game for EW-
Nov. 8
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Stephen, I don't think 5H alerts them to the slam possibility nearly as often as it gets in the way of their slam investigation when you're at favorable. Perhaps true against weak opposition, but strong opponents are already well-placed. In this case, West has a slam drive over 4S IMO. Not close. I'd be very unhappy to hear 5H from RHO - now I can't use RKC to find 7S.

The underlying point here is that East should be strong - not weak - at unfavorable. Why overcall 4S at unfavorable if you expect to go -500 or more?
Nov. 8
Karen (Kate) McCallum edited this comment Nov. 8
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Jodi's 6S looks right to me. A red vs white 4S is a strong hand - roughly a 3-4 loser hand, IMO. West has 4 losers. That's no many. I think 6S clear and I'd be peeved to have lost my chance at Blackwood since we may even have a grand.
Nov. 8
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Yes, that works perfectly here. A good agreement to have when your spade length is not known to be five. It's fairly normal, I think, in a straightforward auction (1m-1M; 1NT), or even after 1m-1H; 1S, but I've never seen it used in competition. No reason why it shouldn't apply.
Nov. 8
Karen (Kate) McCallum edited this comment Nov. 8
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Best to continue with Jack from KQJ, of course - continuing with the Queen should be KQx, trying to find partner's suit. But even this precaution fails when North has Ax.

Strong King lead (for unblock) solves this problem - then it's always right to overtake the Queen on the second round, since partner would have led the Queen from KQx or any holding where it's wrong for North to play an honor.

Rusinow leads are useful vs NT (underleads) since strong King is slightly superior to Ace or Queen for unblock. If you underlead all you never have any confusion about the lead of a Queen (or Jack).
Nov. 8
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Some partnerships have the agreement that they are in a force when they bid a game at unfavorable vulnerability. The merits of that agreement have been argued for decades and I'm not sure who's right.

Without that agreement, I'd be a bit uneasy also. I think I might double with the West hand on the basis that partner didn't bid 5H to go down, and I have an Ace. Similarly, East bid 5H to make and has a score to protect, so I think she has to “put her money down,” and double or save. The odds that 5S is going down are high, so double looks right to me.
Nov. 8
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Actually I don't like to go quite that far with the negative inference Sometimes you have more important things to say. Sometimes you have the wrong spot cards. Along the same lines, “High is high.” i.e., a high signal is to be believed, a low one is suspect.
Nov. 8
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That's a good point, I think. Your 2S bid shouldn't have too wide a range - otherwise partner will misevaluate. I use the 78 guideling (7-8 losers, 7-8 hcp's). This hand is too far outside that range to me.
Nov. 8
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If 4D is forcing, then the argument is simple: You have two places to play, so why insist upon spades. Partner can suggest spades itwh a doubleton. I normally play it forcing in a constructive auction and NF in comp. Since South is forced to bid over 3HX I play it NF, but not sure I'm right.

If 4D is NF, then 4S looks right to me. North's double is at least game-invitational values and you surely want to be in game. Suppose partner is 1435? Or 2335? How will you feel about 4D?

But what about 3NT? That may very well be the winner? Certainly worthy of consideration.

FWIW, I think I'd bid 4S. Partner is a favorite to be balanced when he chooses to double rather than bid 4m. If he has a singleton it can be an honor. Even if partner has a small singleton spade and a diamond suit, 4S may still be our best game.
Nov. 8
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My own rule is that Smith applies by both hands at T2 or T3, unless
a) count in declarer's suit is essential
b) honor location in our suit is known

If you have a singleton in the Smith suit, then the next card you play is Smith.
Nov. 8
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I don't know of anything written on Smith echo. It's certainly useful… although suit-preference is probably just as good. One or the other is essential, IMO. A Google search turned up https://www.bridgebum.com › smith_echo
Nov. 8
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Your 3D didn't show a strong hand, so it's possible that North isn't quite good enough to take control. But I'd probably do it anyway… It's a pretty good playing hand facing a red 2-suiter.

South doesn't have the hand to take control over 4D, with Tx in clubs. She needs to be aware of the potential need to protect the club King so should temporize with 4H, which is now clearly a cue-bid denying club control (we're not playing in hearts at this point).
Nov. 8
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If South has the hand you suggest, Andy (xx AKQT9x AJTxx, or the like) then RKC over 3D is going to work out just fine. He won't have a 3-card diamond suit when he shows a club void, so of course I'll play in diamonds, not spades or notrumps.

I'm wondering about the 3-card jumpshift you suggest. Is that commonplace for Australian players? Is it a serious concern?
It's pretty much verboten in my world…
Nov. 8
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I certainly wouldn't advocate jumping and guessing in slam bidding. But North has a pretty easy hand after 1H-1S; 3D. What's wrong with RKC at this point? I don't think anything will go wrong. I have a fistful of tricks. If we're not off an Ace I'll be looking for 7 and I have plenty of room. If we're missing an Ace I think I'd try 6S, since I may need to ruff a heart.
Nov. 8
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