Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Michael Rosenberg
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Marty H: “The ”no alerts above 3NT“ (in ACBL) has an exception if the Opponents are still in the auction.”

It has an even bigger exception: it doesn't apply at all if screens are being used - and they were.
April 23
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Ed: “Takeout” to me is not a name (such as “Drury”). I think “takeout” is fine. If asked to elaborate, I would say something like (if I know this about my partner) ‘Shows at least opening values. If minimum, then normally support for all unbid suits.’
The exact wording is not too important - and is actually quite quite difficult for something this basic.
April 23
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Alan F: Maybe they “should” know - but if they ask, I think it's irrelevant. AS an extreme example, if the bidding goes 1(Dbl) everybody “should” know that it's TO. But if they actually ask what the double is, you should answer ‘Takeout’ (assuming you have better reason than your opponent to know this about your particular partner).
April 23
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The failure to alert is one thing, and I can understand that. But, when South goes out of his way to actually ask the question, the response of “Penalty” loks like a deliberate attempt at prevarication.
April 23
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That argument sounds as phony to me as “ATB” does.
April 23
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Which is why hands such as this (only one player's actions open to question) should be posted as a bidding poll. When I see it posted as an “ATB” it strikes me as totally phony.
April 22
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No fault unless East posted the OP. Then 100% East to blame.
April 22
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“We had no agreement that cue then 3 was a suit”

You don't need an agreement, just logic. If 2 is NF, then cue then 3 must be forcing.

You need an agreement for a bid NOT to be natural. Natural is always the assumption, where logical.
April 21
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“..2S=clubs, 3C=good raise. A marginal gain.”

You've gained on the rarer club hands, but clearly lost on the far more likely cue-bid hands, since overcaller cannot try 2N, (as I already exponded.) Overall, I'd say this is a clear loss - not a marginal gain.

…in an auction like (1C) 1S-pass-? the transfers get you forcing and non-forcing bids in red suits and loses only a little in the higher constructive raise.“

I disagree with ”only a little". I and other experts believe that overcaller ‘needs’ the ability to show interest below 2 of their suit. So much so, that some experts (Pepsi and Zia to name at least two) believe in playing that over (say) (1)1-(P) that two CLUBS becomes the good raise. They have differing treatments for 2 - but the point (which I think has validity) is to always give the 1M overcaller at least one step (two after 1) below 2M.
April 21
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I thought of the ‘safety play’ with KJ8x, but didn't mention it because declarer, unless he has strong reason to suspect 4-card (not just “length”) with LHO, will likely play to drop the Q after the 10 appears. Still, I guess it is accurate to define KJ8x as a single-dummy “risk”.
April 21
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To blame North for not continuing over 4, with a minimu JS and missing 3 aces (where partner could easily have none), rather than blaming South for not doing more, with two KEY aces AND a 5th trump is ridiculous. South is far closer to 6 than 4.
April 21
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David M: “However overcaller went seriously insane with his last two calls”

Agreed. 4 was ridiculous. If not willing to bid 3N, I'm surprised that I haven't seen anybody suggest 3 as a ‘Last Train’ bid. Overcaller will almost never bid 2N with 4-card . (Note: this is not true if you play transfer advances.)
April 21
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Lynn J: “In your methods…advancer bid his hand correctly…”

I'd say that adsvancer's 4N was pretty far from “correct”.
April 21
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Kieran: On some auctions, transfers don't work smoothly. Take (1S)2-(P).
Where transfers DO work ‘smoothly’, like the OP auction, the main flaw is shown in the 2 ‘cuebid’. Overcaller has no way to show a major below 3 - and that could easily be advancer's main hope. Also, if the ‘cuebid’ is above 2N, you lose overcaller's ability to bid 2N.
Even with that, perhaps transfers is better overall. I don't know. As I said, my experience is that natural NF has done OK (and better than F1). I don't have any personal data comparing to transfers. Of course, with every artificiality comes the danger of a ‘forget’.
April 21
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Lynn: Pretty shocked by your challenge. My comment was not even supposed to (yet) say I think NF is better - it was merely a ‘devil’s adsvocate' answer to Kit's comment.

However, since I DO prefer NF…
Over the last 40+ years I've seen multiple cases in practice where either:

a) A player bid 2 which was the best contract (even facing a stiff), but now had to pass partner's 3 rebid.
b) Same as above, except 3 now gets doubled - had you bid NF 2, partner would have passed
c) A player passed 2 because, while he would have liked to ‘try’ 2, the forcing nature of it scared him off. Here, partner had a heart fit and the wrong strain was played (sometimes game missed)
d) Again, a player passed on a borderline hand. Here, overvcaller had a big hand (or another tale to tell) and game was missed.

I've even played in a 5-1 fit and gained imps because the other room got too high.

In addition, the forcing nature of 2 can create a huge headache for the overcaller. What does she do with a doubleton heart, no stopper, and a minimum?

In addition, overcaller's rebid has less meaning when 2 is forcing. It's clearly ‘purer’ over 2 NF.

I'm not trying to say NF is a panacea. Far from it - and I have seen problems there also. But not as many. I think the reason for this is, after they open, you rarely see a 2-level overcall facing a strong hand. Hands in the 8HCP region are far more common.

When does NF lose? Well, a strong 1-suiter loses almost nothing. True, advancer must jump to 3 - but that might end up being more descriptive than starting with 2 anyway.

Where advancer clearly loses is 5-card (or not strong/flexible 6-card ) and a hand where he can't stand (or even is scared) that 2 might be passed. Having to start with 2 might result in being ‘a step behind’.

My own experience is NF is both a ‘winner’ and more ‘relaxing’ - I can bid what I feel like bidding on the weaker hands and figure out what I think is best on the (rarer) stronger hands.
Obviously, your experience is very different.

But you did ask for a hand. How about KJx, KJxxxx, xxx, x? Or Jxxx, AQJ9x, xxx, x? I'm comfortable with a NF 2 on either of those. But, if it's F1, I'm not sure I want to risk it.
If you don't like those examples, I'm sure I can come up with others.
April 21
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Paul B: “East may play the 10 from 10x, Q10, or K10 (the last of these is risky at single dummy).”

I would say that the 10 from 10x is much “riskier” single-dummy than the 10 from K10.
If you play it from 10x, you may find declarer with Q8x. He was just about to play to the Q - now you divert him into the winning line.
Or Qxx.
Or he may have J7x and figures out to make 3 tricks - where the question before was one or two.
Or Jxx.
Also, he may have Qxxx and now guess the suit.
Also, on some holdings where, in a vacuum, he would play ace first, he may lead low to queen because he suspects your partner has the length.

10 from K10 seems to only cost when declarer has QJxx - or Q fifth and led low because he suspects your partner has the length.
April 21
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A different problem would illustrate why playing new suits forcing opposite 2-level overcalls is a questionable approach.
April 20
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You really ARE well read…
April 20
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Obviously, covering the spade is irrelevant - since you can transpose to your 1B lines in any case.

You are still missing the main point of the hand.
April 20
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I thought it should have been ‘no, yes, no, no and no’. Feels more in accordance with ‘normal’ bridge…
April 20
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