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All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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It's not a question of “space”. The point is that partner might find it tough to balance against 2, and your 2 bid could be a make and/or push them to 3.
Having the spades means something.
7 hours ago
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I don't play 2 shows very much, and I stil play 3 as F1…
12 hours ago
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My favorite Master Solvers Club comment:

On one hand, a panelist went through a litany of possibilities and ended his comment with “Double is inconceivable”.

Another panelist went through the same bids. This provoked the Director (I think Jeff Rubens) to comment “I notice he didn't mention Double. Perhaps for him it was TRULY inconceivable.”
12 hours ago
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Let's say the opponents bid 4 after 3. How is doubler supposed to convey he has 4-card support? He can't. So 4 at that point would be COG. Thus, it's unsound to bid 3 with 4-card .
15 hours ago
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Phillip: “I think people are making too much of this being a ”free bid.“
The reason people are making ”too much" of it is that the agreeement is ‘Standard’ - and has been so for over 50 years.
Whether the Standard agreement is optimal I am not certain. However, I think it's reasonable to take the position that if you don't have enough to bid a forcing 3, and you have fewer than 4 spades, that you should have overcalled 2. (I can ‘see’ Kokish nodding his head - though I don't actually know if he agrees….)

3 is not GF. You can still get out in 3 or 4.
It would certainly be an annoyance if you wanted 3 to be forcing and it wasn't.
19 hours ago
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Dave C: “If we were sure 4H was a control, then 5S would ask for a club control”

Whether sure or not, wouldn't 5 ask for a control?
20 hours ago
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I think maybe the low spade CAN be reasoned as correct - with all the analysis you gave. If there is a flaw, maybe it's 109xx, AQ10, 10, AKJ10x…but low spade still seems percentage (assuming we believe that declarer would bid 2 with 10xx and 4-card ).

As a side note, let's say Q was led and declarer wins and loses a to East. Now, in this type of situation, when East returns a heart it should be the LOWER of two remaining.
This serves as a ‘wake-up-call’ to partner that something is ‘up’ - you made the unusual play because you don't want the ‘normal’ continuation. Your card is NOT suit preference in any way.
On this particular hand it probably shouldn't matter - West can see the dummy and can surmise a shift is necessary. But the idea behind the play is worth knowing.
July 14
Michael Rosenberg edited this comment July 14
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No need to alert. If the only reason you are bypassing spades is that you have a heart raise, you are not misinforming anybody.

The problem area is the lead against a NT contract. That's the need for an alert here.
July 12
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Ken R: When 10 loses to the J, 3-3 clubs is no longer relevant. All that matters is the majors. Except in the very unlikely event they can establish 3 spade tricks, you make if hearts are 4-4, or a hand with fewer than three hearts has A.

Fascinating problem. Makes a pretty big difference if you're playing against one of those pairs who give count at trick one, then Smith. (Hi Steve et al.)
July 12
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Kit: To be fair, Cornelia used the word “apparently”. It's a word I often have trouble with as I believe it is sometimes used to mean ‘obviously’, and sometimes used to mean ‘appears to be’. I gave Cornelia the benefit of the doubt and assumed she intended the latter meaning.
July 12
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Over 1 response, 2 allows you to show the shape when partner bids FSFG - you raise 2 to 3. There is a case for bidding 2 on hands which are willing to go past 3N when partner has a GF.

Over 1N response, there are reasons to go the other way. On the auction 1-1N, 2m-2N if you are going to employ 3om as artificial (I do), you want the ‘extra’ 0544 shape to be in a 3 bid. So it makes sense to bid 2 with 0544. Thus:

1-1N, 2-2N, 3 (artificial)-3 (usually) asks and now:

Pass = 5-5 weak (3 over 2N is 5-5 GF)
3 = NF (3 over 2N is GF)
3 = 0-5-4-4
3N = 1-5-4-3
July 12
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Cornelia: “those other 36 pairs who don't play Flannery have apparently realized it's not so valuable.”

I don't think that it is “apparent” that they “realized” that.
It could be that many of those pairs believe it would be valuable, but are unwilling to put in the work involved from changing from weak 2 (or whatever it is they currently play);
it could be that one member of the partnership wants to play it, but the other member does not and ‘no change’ defeats ‘change’; or
it could be that they have no strong opinion, and regard it as a random choice.
There are likely other possibilities.

I, for one, am in the category that has no strong opinion whether Flannery is valuable or not. (I play it when my partner wants to.) Perhaps that is rare, but I doubt I'm unique.
July 12
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Andy B: “It's a common agreement to bid 1-1;1NT holding four spades.”

I think that's true in some parts of the world but not in others. In US events, it's not alertable, and I usually don't alert it. In international events I alert it. (I don't know if it's alertable or not.)


The point of the alert procedure is (for me) to put the opponent(s) with same knowledge about our agreements that I and my partner have. I don't care what the rules actually are - with the proviso that I never want to violate them in my own self-interest.
July 12
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I was playing it in the Trials (with Roger Lee). I alert 1N. I don't care that it's not alertable. I also alert 1.
July 11
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Not leading from AK against a lower-level contract can make sense. I can't see thinking this way against a slam. Against a slam, you worry you have two tricks - one in the AK suit and one other. And if you don't lead the AK suit you will lose the trick there. (Not to mention the worry they have gambled slam with 2 quick losers.)
Exceptions would be if (a) they had shown a void (and you believe them!) or (b) They have shown length in the AK suit (so you try to set up a trick before it gets ruffed out).

Neither is the case here - so we're back to worrying about the trick going away.
July 11
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Trump ace at trick 2 is a mistake. If trumps are 3-1, you might ned the entry. Spade at trick 2 is correct.
July 10
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2 is far from “fine”. It shows 6-card . I'm not going to say what the the auction ‘should’ have been because West's actions were not correct.

I also take issue with the title of the OP. Getting to a fit after an opponent shows that suit is often not ‘simple’ The fact that it could be done here does not change that.
One of my great disasters with Zia was when we missed a NINE-card fit after 1-1(X) against Chagas (who had doubled with 5-3-0-5 shape. I submitted that hand to the Bridge World for “You Be The Judge” (a feature which no longer runs). I think in the 1990's.
July 4
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I seem to be having problems on this thread - I saw 10xxxx.
So, to respond properly to Stephen, if declarer ducks one, how do you tell if partner has the 10 or xxxx?
Also, the problem would arise if declarer wins the first one. If you get in first, then cash Q, how do you tell if partner has the 10 or xxxx? And if partner gets in first and returns the suit, how do you know to unblock?
July 1
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How did you know what to do after first 2 rounds scored? How did you know he didn't begin with xxx?
July 1
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I have the same agreement about “one-under” in my notes…
June 29
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