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All comments by Monty Page
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I have been playing 11-14 NoTrump openers and transfers over a 1C opening for years now. We play that 1C could be as short as two, and could have as many as 5 diamonds. 1D is never opened on a balanced hand. We also play that 1C is not forcing, responder can pass, even without clubs.

After a 1C opening and a transfer to a major (4+ cards), opener accepts the transfer at the one level with 3 cards and an unbalanced hand, thus also a club suit. With 4 card support, opener rebids 2M, 3M, or 4M with min/medium/max opener. Opener can also splinter with 4 card support. With a balanced hand lacking 4 card support, opener rebids 1NT (15-17) or 2NT (18-19). Opener's rebid in a suit (either clubs or a new suit) shows an unbalanced hand (thus real clubs) AND denies 3 card support for responder's major suit.

After opener's 1NT rebid, we use Checkback Stayman (2C), and retransfers (2D/2H) as needed.
May 19
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The way I play, a control bid is optional. 4C was slam hunting, and 4H just said “I don't want to cooperate in the slam hunt”. 4S was still looking, and is likely begging for a diamond control.
May 15
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What about starting with 4C?
May 12
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Rajeev,

I'm one of the passables. For us, opener's rebids past 2M (other than 3m) are game forcing, so opener's rebid of 2NT is game forcing. The entire 3 level is still available to check stoppers.
May 11
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District 9 holds all flights simultaneously, so if one wanted to play in the open flight, one would have to abandon the possibility of qualifying in one's own flight.
May 8
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We play an approximation of SAYC. We play that a 2/1 responder promises a rebid UNLESS opener raises responder's suit to the 3 level. The idea is that there is little point in responder falling on his sword if he holds 10-11, and opener holds 12. As others said above, if opener bids beyond 2 of his opened suit (other that a raise of responder's suit), that establishes a game force, so opener's rebid of his own suit is the waiting bid.
May 7
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Peg Kapan polled a deal recently which revolved around whether doubler's raise showed extra values or simply any minimum double with 4 trumps. Opinions were divided, so this is clearly a matter for partnership discussion. Since we don't know what their understanding was (or indeed whether they had any understanding at all), criticism of South's actions seems wrong. I do think North had to bid 3S no matter what he thought South had.
May 5
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Your writing is getting darned good also.
May 3
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We used to have a similar problem with our Dealer4 machine, it sometimes sent a ten through thinking that it was a queen. It didn't happen often, so we lived with it Eventually a software uprgrade took care of the problem.

If I were you, I'd suggest the BridgeSorter folks do some testing with this particular brand of cards to see if they can replicate the problem. If they can, they should try to solve it. If they cannot replicate the problem, send your machine back for evaluation (maybe they'll send you a loaner).
May 2
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As North, I would downgrade my 4333 15 count out of the 1NT range, but opening 1NT is hardly a capital offense.
April 27
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If opener really wants to ask for aces, he can always fake the auto-splinter to set trumps, then bid Blackwood (or Kickback, or whatever they use).
April 27
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I have a book by Bergen in which he explains his methods for counting points for distribution. It takes him 80 pages to describe his methods. I quit trying to count points for distribution years ago.

I have found that counting losers is much simpler and at least as effective. Some judgement is required, but not much. Just remember that Qxx and Axx both have two losers, but we all know which is better. Sub 30 point slams and sub 24 point games require better than average fits. When teaching, the hardest part is to convince the students that counting losers is no good until AFTER a trump fit is found.

On your example hand, dummy has 7 losers, and declarer has 5 losers. Subtract 12 losers from 24, leaving room for 12 winners. Now use whatever methods you have to investigate slam.
April 26
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You don't play at clubs much, do you? At our club (better than average), most would not even play the 8 from 87 doubleton.
April 24
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It's time to give up jogging.
April 21
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David, Muppet Stayman solves the 5-4 M problem nicely, and always right sides the contracts. Barely more complicated than Puppet Stayman.

2N - 3C - 3D (same as Puppet, 1 or 2 4 card majors, no 5 card major)
2N - 3C - 3H (no 4 or 5 card major)
2N - 3C - 3S (5 spades)
2N - 3C - 3N (5 hearts, 4D by responder now transfers to hearts)

Note that the 3H and 3N respnses to Stayman are reversed from Puppet.

After a 3H response to Muppet, 3S relays to 3N, and 3N says spades are still possible (5 cards).
2N - 3C - 3H - 3S(relay, not 5 spades) - 3N
2N - 3C - 3H - 3N(5 spades)

Once you get used to the 3S relay, it comes up in other ways :
2N - 3D(tr to 3H) - 3H - 3S(relay to 3N)
2N - 3D(tr to 3H) - 3H - 3N(also has 4 spades)

2N - 3S(relay to 3N, reponder usually passes, but can show a single minor next)
2N - 3N (both minors)

We also do this, you might rearrange.
2N - 4C(Gerber)
2N - 4D(5-5 majors, this loses opener's super-accept)
2N - 4H/4S(5-5 minors, void M)

That still leaves :
2N - 3S(relay to 3N) - 3N - 4H/4S(5-5 minos, stiff M)
April 19
Monty Page edited this comment April 19
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N/S vul, E/W not. Board #15.
April 18
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Our club operates in a senior center. Rubber bridge (or party bridge) is played by another group, not much smaller than the duplicate group. Mike Ma's statement about the quality of play was a big underbid. The rubber bridgers at our center are worse than clueless about the game, I know because I have occasionally fielded questions from them. All of that is irrelevant though. The relevant fact is that they are so old that they make our duplicate group look like teen-agers. At least from my perspective, it looks like rubber bridge is dying even sooner than duplicate bridge.
April 17
Monty Page edited this comment April 17
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Yes, I have. I decided to try it this way first, because that's what Patty Tucker does, and she's been doing this for a long time, and I have not. Even so, I'm not convinced that including bidding is the way to go, neither am I convinced that it is not.

What I do know is that when I learned from friends in high school back in the Dark Ages, we bid and played right from the beginning. None of us had any idea what we were doing, but that didn't stop us from playing. I don't see why it should stop our current students either.
April 15
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No one's said this yet (I think), but as West, I'd be worried that a 6H call might push them into a making 7C. Of course, not this time, because South holds nothing like what he described in the bidding. JMO.
April 15
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Craig,

This is the way that I play also, but most around here think I'm nuts. On the other hand, maybe they're right …
April 15
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