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All comments by Roland Voigt
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Although I am no longer playing strong jump shifts myself, I have a lot of sympathy for 2S. Sometimes, especially when holding a hand that is difficult to describe in any case, following a straightforward plan is more important than making the most accurate call at every opportunity.

I also believe that 3S shows a self-sufficient suit. In this sequence, North would not repeat his spades with a lousy suit just because he has no other convenient call (if that were the case, he wouldn't have a strong jump shift in the first place). So I think 3S sets spades as trumps for all practical purposes.

South should not bother showing some shape that partner isn't interested in anyway. He has a club control and a good hand for slam, despite the spade void. Imho, 4C over 3S stands out a mile. Instead South bids like he is holding - AQxxxx KQxxx xx, in which case North is perfectly right to abandon any further slam tries.
July 14, 2015
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Come on. Obviously this is a matter of style, so you are welcome to trade one of the spade honors for the king, until you have what you consider a limit raise.

My point is: If responder is not allowed to describe his hand (if his side suit holdings are suitable/unsuitable for slam) unless he hold specifically an ace, the slam bidding must automatically suffer. Partner will either get us frequently too high if he bids on over 4H with questionable values, or we will miss many good slams if he stays quiet.

There should be a way to distinguish good and bad hands without aces as well - otherwise opener can stop wasting my time with his 3S bid and start asking for aces immediately.
June 29, 2015
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Bidding only first round controls in this situation has serious flaws. It may work for the unlimited hand, but the limited hand sometimes simply has no first round control and still wants to cooperate in slam bidding. So yes, partner might realize that.

Given that my limit raise might be based on a completely unsuitable hand like QJxx AJxx xx JTx, there shold be a way to distinguish what I am holding even if neither hand contains an ace.
June 29, 2015
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Yes, I would bid 4D, and I don't feel particularly bad about it. I can think of many hands where partner cannot afford to go beyond 4H on his own, but which offer good chances in 6H.
June 28, 2015
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I don't think so. Partner will stop making slam tries if I don't cooperate soon.
June 28, 2015
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A simple raise to game doesn't do this hand justice. Partner's 3H bid suggests at least 10 red cards, more likely 11, and slam might well be in the picture.
He knows the strength of our hand, and he can make an educated guess about our shape. What he doesn't know is that every single point is working in a suit contract (as opposed to KQxx xxx xx KQxx).
June 28, 2015
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I guess the fun is yours if partner has Qx xx Qxxx Axxxx…
June 28, 2015
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There are many hands where we belong in (at least) 5m, and partner isn't strong enough to act a second time on his own. If we belong in 4S, so be it.
June 28, 2015
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I agree - originally I voted for 7S, but then I changed my mind. Even if we have all the the controls in the world, there may be an unavoidable third round loser in clubs or something alike.
June 28, 2015
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My hand is barely worth 10 points without spade support in partner's hand. In 3NT I don't see 9 tricks anywhere after a club lead if RHO has AKxxx(x).

The 2S bid promises not only 5+ spades and 10+ HCP, but also a decent rebid after a normal continuation from partner (I consider 3D 100% forcing here). Since I wouldn't feel comfortable after any other bid over 2S from partner either (except maybe a spade raise), 2S seems wrong.
June 28, 2015
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Unless I overlooked some part, there wasn't really any attempt to “get something back”. The article says that after the misinformation was revealed, “the director was summoned and told us to play out the hand”.

This sounds to me that East was protecting his rights in the first place, and I see no fault in that. Only when he starts arguing about some fancy damage, filing a protest etc, we can discuss how East's actions should be handled.

(Of course I might be misinterpreting the original post.)
June 21, 2015
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2H would be my clear choice if we had angreed on NFBs, but I guess 2H will be understood as 11+, forcing. As I see it, the alternatives are Pass, 2H (anyway), 2S or X.

2H is an overbid, and the danger of 2S is that partner will raise to game when we don't actually belong in spades. The problem with X is that partner will often bid 3C with 5-2-2-4 shape, and I am not prepared for that.

I am not comfortable with Pass if I have full response strength and an unbalanced hand unless I am prepared to pass partner's reopening double (which I am clearly not). Still, I would pass here; if partner doubles, at least I will make a move forward, probably 3H.


June 21, 2015
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Imho, partner's XX said that he doesn't want to go beyond 4H, but that he wants me to double myself with the slightest excuse, just in case I get the chance first.

I am not happy at all with the bidding up to 4H, but I see no reason whatsoever to pull now. He could have bid differently if he was interested in my opinion.
June 21, 2015
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Even a tendency (derived from the meaning of a bid in similar auctions) is an agreement, and the opponents have to be informed about it. Ignoring the tendency can lead to MI just as well, so just saying “no agreement” might be considered a little lazy.

On the other hand, if this information is given, then it is equally important to let them know that a particular sequence (or the respective type of sequence) is undiscussed.

The crucial point is whether the auctions for which an explicit agreement exists qualify as “similar”. For example, if I play Unusual NT over 1M and the bidding goes (1H)-p-(1S)-2NT* instead, I might volunteer that “this particular sequence is not discussed, but in similar auctions 2NT shows the minors”. But there are many other low-level sequences with a 2NT interference where I wouldn't do it.

In the given situation, the question about similarity between “weak jumps in competition” and the actual bidding is difficult. I think Bill's explanation is best - it gives the opponents everything they are entitled to, and they have as much chance of getting it right as I have.
June 21, 2015
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First, there may not be a game anywhere. -300 is not great if they could make no more than 140 on their own.

Second, who said anything about the 2-level? Let's say partner has QJxxx in clubs instead of the 11 red cards he actually holds. He may be tempted to bit his suit over 2S (and with some more shape over 3S or even 4S) on the assumption he would find some support in our hand - there you go.

I respect your views about doubles (and I have no doubt they are consistent), but I find your view about not doubling far too extreme. That's all I'm saying.

June 19, 2015
Roland Voigt edited this comment June 19, 2015
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Criminal? That's a strong word.

Of course there are arguments in favor of DBL, but there are downsides as well. It always amazes me how often people say that the most important thing is to show a 4-card length in an unbid major and everything else is pretty much irrelevant (no offense, but they appear more convincing when all four hands are shown and partner has a fit).

I wonder how often the same people find no 4-card support in partner's hand, end up in a 5-2 fit or worse in a minor, go for a big number and claim that they have just been playing “winning bridge”.
June 19, 2015
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I wouldn't use the word “show” in this context. Certainly arguments can be made for what South might hold, although it is easy to - subconsciously - make the argument fit the actual hand. South may have one of several reasons (heart suit, bad trumps, whatever) for bidding the way he did.

The only thing 3D did definitely show are diamonds. Having said that, it's very dangerous to conceal a huge fit and make a penalty double when partner has not promised any defense. If one is willing to take that risk, one must also be ready to take the fall - this is on North alone.
June 19, 2015
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There is a difference between partner's and West's actions. Twice we have asked partner to cooperate, and he made no move forward at all. In contrast, West knew that his side had no game after the 2H opening, so he had no reason to act, even with 10+ points.
June 19, 2015
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Blackwood? Partner has chosen the weakest action three times in a row. He can have xxxx xxxx xx xxx (in fact I don't what else he could do with 3-4-3-3). Bidding game is the most I can do at this point.
June 18, 2015
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Basically, I made the decision to pass now when I bid 4D.

It said: I'm not sure. Then partner said: If you're not sure, we don't belong in slam.
June 18, 2015
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