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All comments by Kenneth Rexford
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FWIW, my “Really Unusual Notrump” carries a strong alternative. Thus, it is either weak (less than opening strength) or very strong (19+). That second possibility, while rare, does occur and makes the call different than traditional Baron.
May 23, 2018
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I skimmed through a lot because there's just too much to read. However, my thoughts:

1. 1 is an illegal variance. Don't ever open 1 in MICS with even a 9-count. Might be sound logically, but illegal is never sound.

2. This is clearly (if you want to psych) a 1 opening. When playing canapé, why would you give them more space with a 1 opening? 1 messes up their takeout double assumptions (odds that they have short diamonds decreases). With canapé, the fragment bid is always the more powerful psychic. If you are wanting lead direction and see this as a flaw, realize that partner will not be leading your heart suit against 3NT but will be striving to find your hidden gem. If you open 1, he likely will find the heart lead against 3NT, which is bad.

3. If for some bizarre reason you reject #1 and #2, then solve your problem by making a 3rd-seat 3 opening intermediate (11-15) with exactly 3316 or 7+ clubs (with 3226/2326 open 1NT). Then, all 1 openings feature diamonds naturally, such that a 1 opening with this hand is not a psychic (could be club one-suited with 3 diamonds). 3 after 3 asks for more (3NT = 3316/3307; 3 = 3/7, not 3; 3 = 3/7 not 3 OR no fragment 7222 or 8+ clubs with 3 checking back on hearts).
Jan. 29, 2017
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Curious aside. If the auction had been 1-P-2-3, then 3 would be a HEART-spade canape without expressing opinion about diamond stops (3 by Responder would then NOT set trumps but would still be a punt call), 3 would be 6+ spades with no diamond stop, and 3NT 6+ with a diamond stop.

The idea is that the highest option (3, whatever it means) ,eaves no room to probe, so 3NT shows THAT hand with diamonds stopper. The lower option (3, whatever it means) allows a probe (3), so that option is neutral as to diamonds, with the probe unwinding. The 3 retort to 3 is always the probe. When the opening was 1, this is obvious. When the opening was 1, this is counter-intuitive (and dangerous if not discussed).
Jan. 27, 2017
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FYI for those interested, the MICS opening bid structure:

1 = strong club 16+
1 = either (but not both) minor one-suiter (6+ clubs or 6+ diamonds) or 4+/5+major (either), always 11-15 (or so).
1M = 4M/longer second suit, or 6+M, or 11-12balanced 4-5 in major
1NT = (12?)13-15 balanced
2C = 11-15 any three suits (2 asks)
2D = 5+/4+, 13-15 usually, no 4-card major
2M = 5(6?)M/4+, 11-15
2NT = Both minors, less than 2, enough to not get shot by partner

MICS is NOT a tendency canapé but a pure canape, which helps with system integrity and consistency. The keys to unlocking consistent canape are (1) Roman Club 2M (as mentioned by others), a “Roman 2M” parallel for both minors – the 2 opening, (3) a “mini-Roman 2” without the preemptive 2NT unwind/ask (2 as the ask is SO much better), and (4) the funky one-minor-or-diamond-MAJOR-canape 1 opening. The funky 1 opening seems like a problem when thinking about it but is actually quite easy and not a weak spot in practice. There is somewhat of a learning curve on the 1 sequences, but once you stop resisting canape thought the issue vanishes. The problem is a remnant of thinking non-canape and hence a mirage problem.
Jan. 27, 2017
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If Opener bids 3, and if Responder has a heart misfit but no diamond stopper, Responder will have 3S available as a punt.
Jan. 26, 2017
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I sat back and waited for the conversation to develop. This is the correct analysis, IMO. With longer diamonds than hearts, you would double. With club length or extra hearts, your call is semi-obvious. With garbage, pass is obvious. Hence, 3 has to be longer spades (obviouslY0 but implies need for diamond help for 3NT (or 6S/4H) while 3NT seems axiomatic max with 5431 expected (and good diamonds).
Jan. 25, 2017
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Couple of thoughts:

1. If you want to play 3 as non-forcing, because you want to show a 5-5 invitational type of hand, there is a way to partially accomplish this goal. Play a sort of Minor Suit Smolen after transfers. Hence, 3 shows diamonds, 3 shows clubs. 3, then, is invitational+. This gives you the ability to handle two of the 5-5 invitational hands.

2. Barring the above, 3 is best, IMO, as a sort of parallel to a 2 response to a major opening as I play it. GF, with either real clubs or just a fit. Hence, with, say, 3532, transfer and then bid 3 if slammish, as this allows a heart fit to be found lower than some idiotic transfer then 4NT quantitative.

3. I also like 3 as tentatively agreeing clubs.
Sept. 26, 2016
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Sometimes there is no other option. Generally, it is true that people jump to 4NT too quickly, but obviously some auctions leave no choice.
Sept. 26, 2016
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I would add “there is no sequence to find out if partner has the hand that would make a grand slam good.”
Sept. 26, 2016
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3 = one or both majors. 3 by Advancer preferences spades.
3 = 3-suited takeout
3M = bid major and clubs
3NT = to play

or

3 = any two suits, without diamonds. 3 by Advancer preferences spades to hearts. Conversion to non-preferenced major means the other major and clubs.
3 = 3-suit TO
3M = natural
3N = to play
Aug. 30, 2016
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5 after 4 would be a slam invite in hearts. Sort of Last Train.
Aug. 26, 2016
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Not efficient.

Make for no-trump for the miners no problems with that.

4 as hearts plus a minor more effective. If Doubler prefers clubs to hearts and bids 5, correct to 5 with reds. If Doubler prefers diamonds to hearts, he bids 4NT, below a corrective 5.
Aug. 24, 2016
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Benoit, I agree completely, and in fact I think 4 should have been the standout bid anyway with the actual hand. I am not convinced that 4 instead is evidence that 4 would have been a stronger raise, because then 4 would also stand out. Hence, no matter what 4 should show, East cannot have the hand he actually has.

What, then, should 5 actually show if the actual hand is not the answer? I agree with those who understand 5 to be a club cue “primarily.” I would actually call 5 a club cue exclusively, saying absolutely nothing about hearts. Rather, 5 is contextually a cooperative club cue, period.

Because of this, West cannot plausibly pursue 6NT on his own. There is a substantial risk of the partnership collectively having the wood but lacking the club and heart Aces. I would expect, as West, that East might have more “stuff” in the minors than he actually held (good chance for example of diamond Queen) but would clearly have a lesser heart holding than AKQxxx. That holding either merits a 4 choice call (if doubleton spade) or a slam blast after 5.

This may be one where West should bid the slam after 5 but then have his eyes bug out seeing Dummy as not resembling the auction, but workable anyway. East, as well, should bid the slam after 5 directly because his hand does not resemble the auction.
Aug. 19, 2016
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I am rather amazed at the reluctance to even think about methods to unwind the possibility of a Singleton honor. That holding seems to come up for me more often than RKCB with a minor agreed, for example. There also seems to be little cost to having a simplified method for showing a Singleton. The need seems to be high because of the radical re-evaluation that occurs anytime partner transfers in this situation into a good suit.
Aug. 15, 2016
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A nice solution for this problem might to be to switch the meanings of 2NT and 3.

With both minors, bid 2NT in this sequence. If I have both minors, and you have both majors, I am not concerned about a Kx-xxx lead in clubs. So, the wrong-siding is resolved enough. This also gives more space to unwind those specific auctions.

Conversely, 3 as a general, non-committal punt is nice because that is a tighter bid. Typically 2-3-5-3. Now, we have the same time available to suggest majors (Opener can bid 3 or 3). Opener can grab 3NT if that makes sense, or Opener could bid 3 as a “false preference” in a one-option sequence either as real support or as a notrump probe.

This solves all problems, I think, without distortions, hedging nonsense, wrong-siding, and the like.

It also, by the way, allows 2 to actually show a spade fit rather than the hedgy 2+.
Aug. 11, 2016
Kenneth Rexford edited this comment Aug. 11, 2016
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2 as one or both majors. Opener bids 2N if he prefers diamonds.
July 28, 2016
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A completely different method, by the way, which I play in some sequences is to show preference and lead when they are different. For example, with xxx Kx xxxx xxxx, you want a heart lead against a spade contract but want to preference the minor otherwise.

Assuming that theme, a reasonable method after a double would be to have Pass, XX, and 2NT all ask for the minor, with each indicating a lead preference. E.g.:

P = what's your minor? I want a club lead.
XX = what's your minor? I want a diamond lead.
2NT = what's your minor? I want a heart lead.

The example I am used to occurs best after 1-P-1-1NT(sandwich)-P-?

2 = I want to play 2 but I want a spade lead.
2 = I want to play 2
2 = I want to play 2, but I want a diamond lead.
2 = I want to play 2
July 15, 2016
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If after the double pass asks for the minor, this allows a wise stop in 2NT. Redouble for clubs, 2N for diamonds, and then Responder can place the contract.

This also allows Advancer to pass with a long minor. No matter what partner does, you can pass and then bid your minor.

This, then, allows a direct 3min to have a different meaning.
July 14, 2016
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I had fun years ago blowing a team's mind with this.

1-bid shows the suit you bid, or the other three suits. For example, 1H shows something like 2632 or 4144. Advancer bids a sort of demented conditional. 2S, for example, is a conditional advance to 3H (opposite the heart one-suiter) or spade preference at the 2S level (opposite 4144).

2-bids are 2-suited, 2NT as strong majors.

1NT is 4-suited.
July 5, 2016
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Reminds me of a funny result I had, written up in a NABC daily bulletin. After my RHO responded 1, I bid 2 naturally, raised to 3 by Opener.

1-P-1-2
3-?

Partner decided I must have spades and a minor and thus bid 3, the final contract. Our 4-2 fit yielded 9 tricks, +140, on a finesse, cross ruff, and en passant somewhere, versus 2-1 for 100 at the other table.

Not at all helpful to the analysis, sure.
June 28, 2016
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