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All comments by Scott Needham
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Welcome to Acol, Yuan.

Steven, I had to chuckle: I have a Brit friend with whom I play a WNT 2/1 card, who is constantly informing me as to Acol sequences. I have to say, to most Americans, a system with so many ways to say “partner, I'm just not sure I like my hand” seems very – well – foreign.

This is why I belatedly asked about the 3 call – if I had known it could be “probing” force, I'd have concluded I needed to make some call other than 4. Not sure I would've found 5 ATT – probably would've just gone keycards – but it seems right.
Feb. 28, 2013
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Will +50 be good enough? or do we need +100 or +110? This is the kind of prebalancing 1NTF auction that makes me want to stretch a bit. If I don't take a call – and I think 3 would claim a better hand – I risk that partner will not hold 4 and will not balance. If I double, I risk that partner will take me for a GF 5-4 b/c W passed originally. I hope we have the agreement that with the GF hand I would call 2, so I double. If opps are the only prebalancers in the room, it's either a top or a bottom, and I like to bet on our defense.

EDIT: Thinking too much: Would I like to have a Lebish/Good-Bad agreement here? Hm-m-m-m-m, why yes, yes I think I would….. Now, with , I double, with I bid 'em, with a better 1D hand I bid 3, and with this one I bid 2N–>3 then 3. WE ROCK.
Feb. 28, 2013
Scott Needham edited this comment Feb. 28, 2013
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In my world, partner denies as much as QTx, so will have to have the same hand to make 3N that will give a shot at 5C: red As. 4 might be the spot, but I'm trying with 3 to see whether there's a Qxx lurking.
Feb. 27, 2013
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I'm betting partner is 4-1-4-4, so going low.
Feb. 27, 2013
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I think he meant 1S-1N/2C-3D, but 1M-1N/2D-4C would seem to be undefined.
Feb. 27, 2013
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Similar to Heitzman: I would prefer delaybensohl in this position, so wouldn't seek to penalize until their suit was named. XX directly would be screaming “weak” as part of whatever runouts We use, in case 4th hand, the dastard, would be positioned to pass; X after the suit is named would be penalty.
Feb. 27, 2013
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IMO, it simplifies the three level if the IJS is always short in partner's major. With a 2-3-6-2, go through 1NTF and rebid 2N–keeping the major in focus. Also, with a side 4-carder, R might do better to go through 1NTF: We are not likely to lose Our 4-4 side fit when partner is strong enough to go forward over 3mIJS, but We might lose a game that _depends_ on the fit when one or both of Us is on the cusp.

If I could get anyone around here to bite, I'd prefer IJS with 1M-3M mixed and 1M-2C either C or inv+ raise, and 1M-2N natch. Sigh….
Feb. 27, 2013
Scott Needham edited this comment Feb. 28, 2013
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Partner opens 1. Playing as you describe, with 1NTF, would you treat x Qxx AQTxxx Kxx differently than xx Qxx AQTxxx Kx? (I'm assuming these are both IJS hand-types; if not, knock off a HCP.)
Feb. 26, 2013
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In my ideal non-2/1 partnership (!!??), 3D would be either minimum or strong with spread out values; bidding this way is strong and pure, so like AKQxx A AJTxx xx or AKQxx Ax AJTxx x or one of these with the K instead of A. Since my 3 has identified a GF hand, and partner will be looking for slam with any hint of a fit, I'm bidding 4 instead of a where-I-live 5 b/c I'd rather sound like 3-4-1-5 instead of possibly 2-4-1-6 or 2-3-2-6. Now s/he keycards and we keep 7 in the picture. (Playing 2/1, I don't have the shape problem created by the 3 call, so likely 1-2/2-2/4-5, and partner can figure out the situation.)

EDIT: Did 3 mean GF? or 1RF?
Feb. 26, 2013
Scott Needham edited this comment Feb. 26, 2013
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You asked what 1H-3m would've been….
Feb. 26, 2013
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In reference to your comment: “The only hard bid is what if partner bids 4?? Does he have a bad-preference, or a limit raise? An understanding partner knows to bid 5? here to show the limit raise (which I will raise to 6).”

Bergen is on. But consider the 1N response: Assume that this partner would've raised to 5H with the 3-card LR, but there are other good (but poorish) hands that she could hold, aren't there? Suppose it goes 1H-(P)-1N-(3S)//4C-(P)-4H or 1H-(P)-1N-(3S)//X-(P)-4H: Now what? Do you make a try or doncha?
Feb. 25, 2013
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For a flexible approach to weak 2s, look for “Trent weak two-bids.” Granovetters gave this structure some legs in their conventions book.
Feb. 21, 2013
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For the 3S bidders: I'm curious whether there is any 5-card suit you would not overcall here. Or do you feel it is just to dangerous not to mention the Ss? There have been several of these higher-level unfav vul/bad suit/overcall problems, and the overcallers are usually as numerous as the passers.
Feb. 12, 2013
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Kit: What do you think of some version of Mohan in terms of versatility?
Feb. 8, 2013
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I think partner was weak, so bid 1N, but with 6-7 Ds and couldn't help him/herself.
Feb. 7, 2013
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1D followed by 3 K-S D. I just like K-S minor structures….
Feb. 7, 2013
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I play WNT whenever possible, so I understand that a “value showing” double is integral to a defense. I'm hoping someone can persuasively clear up one issue: the size of the doubling hand. Most authority says 15; significant authority says “top of range”; I always thought “good exemplar of same hand” was best, since it comes up more frequently. I'm told that Meckwell, at least at some point, played the latter. What's the skinny?
Feb. 7, 2013
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1H-1S/2S-4C*/4D-4H/4N-5N**/6S. 1S response b/c “go slow” looks right. 4C spl for S b/c responder knows about the double fit and any H bid is murky, without a gadget, after the 1S response. (** = 2+void)
Feb. 6, 2013
Scott Needham edited this comment Feb. 6, 2013
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Greg: OK, this feature solves the problem of how to follow comments to a bidding problem. But how do I pare the lists of favorites? Must I go to the article and then “unlike” it? Seems it would be better if there were an icon opposite each topic on the favorites list that could be chosen for “unlike” (equivalent to “unhearting”)?
Feb. 4, 2013
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Is there a way to allow the user to do away with “recent activity” that's not so recent? that has been viewed already? I'd like “recent activity” when I log on to be limited to stuff that I haven't had the opportunity to see before–at minimum, maybe a ‘date stamp’ on each entry would help?

All in all, very nice job and delighted to see that, indeed, the monkeys never rest.
Feb. 2, 2013
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