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All comments by Leonard Helfgott
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Ed: among the many longstanding, easy and popular uses for 3C are:
1) good 6 card suit invit- often played as 2/3. Yes this can partly be covered by range check, (no one in my club plays range check) but not entirely. Also works for 3D.
2) 5-5 minors weak or invit. 3D=5/5m forcing
3) short club game forcing hands e.g. 4441,4351/3451.
Notbto say that a laborious structure using Puppet can’t be as or more effective, but 1) and 2) are much more common locally and require little memory or labor, while asking for 5 SEPARATELY. (3C) From asking for 4 (2C) seems counterproductive in comparison.
Sept. 22
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Doesn’t anyone else think that using 2C for Stayman AND 3C to ask for 5CM is partially redundant, that is, you are giving up the use of 3C for other reasons just to hunt for a 5CM instead of 2C asking for either 4CM or possibly 5CM. A good portion of the time the 5-3, if it exists, wont do any better than 3NT. Not to say it can’t get to the better 5-3,some of the time, but there are many other uses for 3C that could have more value, IMO. And if you really love 3C as Puppet, why not use 2C for something more esoteric that regular Stayman. I would note that Kit Woolsey prefers Puppet only at the 2-level.
Sept. 21
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I like the idea of other uses for Puppet at 2level that deemphasize the 5 card major angle, which I find relatively unimportant. While I do regularly open 1NT with 5CM, I would always be 5332 and almost always with some coverage in doubleton, and over 45 years this has worked very well. I have just never explored the entire structure and it’s advantages fully.
Since I play mostly at clubs, infrequently at tournaments, and with a variety of partners, the investment of time and inclination with one partner who was inclined to these complexities hadn’t occurred. For most it’s KISS.
Sept. 20
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If partner asks and you bid 2M, then invites elsewhere, you can rebid the major with a better than average hand (an acceptance). That natural style is good enuf for me. Also, after 1NT-2H-2S-2NT- you can bid 3H with 2S and a max, a natural treatment
Sept. 19
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My omission. This occurred at MAtchpoints in Allendale, NJ, Saturday morning.
Sept. 17
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Richard: If you choose not to open 1NT I certainly agree.
Sept. 17
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From Mike Ma:”The only thing I want to be able to do is distinguish a bad raise from a good raise. The rest of Bromad I have no need for.”
Yes. The idea is to bifurcate junk obstructive raises (2M) from constructive raises (2C, or you can use 2C for 3 and 2D for 4) but anything beyond that is unnecessarily complex and prone to disaster.
Sept. 17
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Yes. Forgot. But that seemed a stretch given the lack of diamond spots.
Sept. 17
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Because even to us “sound” openers, it’s an opening bid.
Sept. 13
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I somewhat recall this being analyzed by the reviewer in Bridge Wotld. I think the reviewer was either Edgar Kaplan or Jeff Rubens. In 7NT I think he suggested cashing AK diamonds AND spade Ace, in an effort to reach a Double Squeeze or Guard Squeeze ending which would have been successful., as above. I think he also suggested 7H as an even better contract. Long time ago, not sure. (If East holds the diamond and club guards and spades are split, it’s a guard squeeze.)
Sept. 10
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I think I may have had a 10 card suit once, but don’t recall specifics. However back in 1974 in Queens, NY I held a VERY SOUND perfecto RED VS WHITE 5C Opener: void, void, JT9x KQJT9xxxx. No defense, pure preempt, 9 tricks in hand.
Sept. 10
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“More East's dault: he failed to bid his hand on not bidding 5♥.”
This would be perfect, and include the above option, if the word “on” was replaced with “or”.
What was East waiting for after hearing max, 4 trumps, and 2 cues.? Give up on 7 already and bid a practical 6S.
Sept. 9
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I think 1S here is too wide range. I didn’t give much thought to2H, but it makes a lot of sense and argument is persuasive. Regarding the offsjape 2NT “overbid”, the AJTxx combo and fully working spade queen make this only a slight overbid, and less a distortion than 1S or 2S, IMO.
Sept. 9
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But I agree with Mike that he doesn’t have to bid 5H for slam, with AKxxx just bid 6S and be done with it.
Sept. 8
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Steve: I love it! However, I still play with old timers who have never heard of this and would take it as big 5-5! I prefer some kind of club raise, with these clubs, over a heart rebid on Axxxxx.
Sept. 8
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Martin: I have certainly played 1H-2C-2NT both ways (extra or not) as well as 1H-2C-2S. In the old days 2C was not an absolute GF so there were some different considerations. However, from the standpoint of s club/sectional/regional player with many different club partners of varying strengths and inclinations AND, not having hundreds of hours and hundreds of note pages like world contenders, I would note the following:1) since 2C is game forcing, 2NT is a convenient way to show a balanced and generally stoppered hand, without having yo introduced an artificial 2D bid without diamonds or a 2H rebid with 5 weak hearts. If you do rebid 2H there is always an inference that you might have 6, and that creates other problems for some responding hands.
That is, the value of 2NT as a NATURAL balanced minimum is not insignificant. And 2) similarly for 1H-2C-2S, yes there is good value to ask for extras here, but it is somewhat countered by artificial use of 2D (putting a natural 2D in doubt) and by the 2H rebid with unknown length. Note that I am strongly in the Mike Lawrence camp, where 1H-2D-3C shows extras (opposite the Larry Cohen camp) so I sometimes face 2H and 2NT rebid problems, but I am more ambivalent about extras for 2S, as it is at the same level. If I can “punt” with a decent 3 card diamond fragment when 2S shows extras (Qxxx KJxxx AQx x ) that might be my choice.
As far as the titled issue, I could see an argument for suppressing spades with weak spades strong clubs, GF, and a known 8 card heart fit (4=3=2=4) although ALL of my partners would think I came from Mars, but Almost always bid spades first with 4=2=3=4. That’s what I’m comfortable With anyway.:)
Sept. 8
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I recall reading something by Fred Gitelman about 20 years ago regarding “improving 2/1 auctions.” I think it recommended 1H-2S as a Jacoby type raise and 1S-3C similarly, so the natural 2NT gameforce could be maintained. While now not popular, the natural 2NT gameforce was a mainstay of bridge for many decades. I still prefer it forcing over a minor with partners who will acquiesce.
Sept. 6
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In earlier versions of Bridge world standard 2C was NOT game forcing. Unfortunately that has changed to game forcing with BWS 2017. I think the older way was superior.
Sept. 4
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I tend to agree with you Nick, although I do take the paltry 1S advance very seriously. Yes in competition, as hear, the requirements should probably drop by 2Hcp. Two points to note: first it is sometimes hard to judge whether a notorious underbidder is again failing to bid her values, forcing a guess by me and second, if partner held a more representative maximum like Jxxx xx AQxx Jxx instead of her actual Supermax, game would be poor. And even with her super max, game almost needs both black suits breaking 3-2, so game is probably less than 60%. BTW: her analysis was “I had 8 hcp.”
Sept. 3
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of Course North would declare and get a heart lead. I guess you are saying that Norths club losers go off on the two extra diamonds (after cashing club king and giving West the third diamond) AND the heart king on the endplay. (5S+4D+2C+1H) is that right? Both require West to hold only 1club, no exit. Quite a parlay!
Sept. 2
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