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All comments by Will Roper
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I am not sure about this theory of deferred Q etc but assuming any average 11+ bids 2C then surely there are multiple hand combinations where it is worse than a finesse.
Off the top of my head for example
QJxx
xxx
KJ
KJxx

A hand with slam suitability means a hand with 12-16HCP approximately I imagine?
Could partner hold a hand such as:
KQxx
Kxx
Ax
KTxx

On which grand is excellent.

Based on these hands I do not like the randomisity in the leap to 6. Highly pragmatic but likely to lose as much as it gains for little reason. You have given your opps info via 3,3 and 3. Getting more info for yourself seems paramount here? Unless your methods won't help you…

W

Fyi It is part of the reason why I have returned back to the Serious 3N rather than Non Serious 3N. The former puts the right hand in control much more often.

April 30, 2015
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I don't think are fully set. I think they play that 2 would be natural and 4+ i.e still shape showing which is relatively standard.
April 30, 2015
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My brain wanders down some weird avenues…….

This was based around me worrying about a direct jump to 6 looking very murky. I knew that we had the definite agreement, rightly or wrongly, that the only way play in a different strain after a suit setter/single suit shown and agreed was after a 5N pick a slam bid.

We haven't discussed whether this would implicate a 4 or 5 card side suit. I would probably agree with you in retrospect that it is more likely to be looking for a 4 card suit. My thinking on this at the time was that partner would think that with & that I would be more happy to shape out with them than suit set. This was rather deep thinking….
April 15, 2015
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“stream of consciousness”: Is this a bridge disease? :)

Re the suit setter. Yes we do play that partner doesn't show shortages opposite a suit setter. Would it be worth having 3N as a negative denying any Aces here then?
April 15, 2015
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At the table, I briefly considered Hx with RHO opp before discarding it. Assuming LHO has lead from diamond length, this only leaves 0/1 with W. And with KJxxxx(x) RHO probably would open 2/3 in the 3rd position even vuln (He had opened 2 with less in 3rd on a previous hand).

1 is a definite alternative which was used at one of the other tables. However they wound up with a different problem after:

1 - 2
3 - 3
4 - 4

Now partner could have the K (And Q ftm!) such that it becomes an even tougher decision to stop. Also slam tries were in short supply/murky at this point. I believe they blasted 5N at this point and bid 6 over 6.

I knew when I opened 2 that the club suit may get hidden. However the spade suit is so powerful that I made my peace with this loss in the knowledge that at least if I had to set spades then we would still have a clear auction.

April 12, 2015
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Interesting comment :)

You are correct in saying that this is a very viable alternate line. However inexorable is the wrong word. You can still beat the squeeze by exiting a club as west on that scenario. This destroys the hands comms as a heart did on the given line

So now it comes down to the theory is LHO more likely to:

Exit a heart after the given line OR

Exit a club after you draw two extra trumps.
April 12, 2015
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There is no abstain button :)
March 7, 2015
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I know the hand (have voted what I would have led) and am curious what their opening NT range was. I.e did they choose to upgrade it?
March 6, 2015
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I think its actually an argument between a diamond and small spade. Dec likely has 4 and may need to ruff them (they have 5).
Jan. 27, 2015
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Maybe. Dummy is exposed but I would be curious to see if you could guess declarers hand.

As it is, only 3/42 people found the killing club lead.
Jan. 27, 2015
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Thanks Justin for coming on and giving a unique & interesting viewpoint on multiple aspects of the game.

If you could go back in time to the early days when Hamman started mentoring you, what would your advice to the younger you be?
Jan. 15, 2015
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@Yuan:
I am fairly certain partner doesn't have Hx. Why didn't he give preference to 2M playing pairs. That said what should 4 mean here I don't know. Stiff H perhaps?
4 is dicey at best.With a 3541 14-17 count I would have bid 2 over 1 and could merely now be showing the spades. Why not 3? As perhaps that is 14-15?

I don't like giving my partner, regardless of their skill level, a chance to misinterpret a superior bid if it is even a little murky. In retrospect 4 was more murky than I thought given that I have never played GT over 3m hence didn't think it was possible. However I did know 4 was forcing so that made me more convinced about it than the alternatives
Jan. 12, 2015
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Thanks all

Barry is actual very close to the hand I held:
-,
Q9864,
AKT53
AK5

I spent a long time debating what to do over 3. What drove me towards 4 (thinking it was a cuebid) was that partner could have xxxx spades and 3NT may very well be on the nose/off (it is in fact = due to a bad heart position).

Unfortunately partner and I then crossed wires. He bid 4 thinking he was declining a game try. I however thought this was an ongoing slam try (he could have signed off with 4NT/5).

I worked out that partner must have a spade control and probably both in his hand. Therefore the question was why had he not cued it. If he had a heart cuebid he would have bid 4 therefore he does not have the A/K. Since we play italian cue bids with AKxxx,xx,Qxxx,xx I would expect 4.

This led me to the belief that partner was trying to indicate a heart shortage to me. I could count 12 tricks and therefore leapt to 6.

Of the 158 MPS available:

6D - 1 scored 6.2
5D/3NT = scored 81.3
Several people made 3NT+1/3NTx= for 120-150 MPs
Several people didn't get to game for 20-40MPs
Jan. 11, 2015
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To put it mildly as an opponent of this pair - I was guessing :)
Nov. 25, 2014
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I am as much in the dark as you are Bob I am afraid (I am the opps in this situ). I personally would take 4M to be a cuebid since we could have bid 3M as forcing (2NT = forcing as you suggested). 4 is more debatable than 4 as with 6 c*ap** hearts we may bid 3
Nov. 24, 2014
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Which we can do also :)
Nov. 20, 2014
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“Being at the 2-level with 18-20 bal is not as good as it looks if you have a good way to play in 2M. It actually is if you have to play in 2N or higher…”

Can I have clarification please? This simply doesn't make sense as a quote (18-20/not as good as it looks) or as a POV. I.e Are you pro playing 2NT as 18-20 or something else entirely?
Nov. 19, 2014
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Hi Doug,

Nice to have some Fantunes questions. We went from a Jacobs base (been working on it for 18months now) to our more preferred style. The overall system currently has a 65%-35% (Jacobs-2/1) feel to it with the former shrinking over time as we believe more in the opening structure to Fantunes rather than the superiority of parts of its interior sequences.

The Nt rebids we play pretty much as prescribed in the book. We are currently considering a 13-15NT at teams in certain seats in which case the rebids may become 16-18, 19-20, 23+.

At the end of the day I don't think being at the 2 level with 19-20bal is as bad as it looks. Look at the italian world champions playing a 2m opening as specifically that. Moreover we have a level more space and in Jacobs version you have say 1C - 1H -2S as exactly 3S which is quite descriptive for a 19-20 balanced hand below the standard 2NT. We do this slightly differently but it equates to the same thing.

It is worth noting that although it is not Fantunes or Strong Club, you may like TriBal which is Mike Bells invention. As well as some very innovative transfer ideas it is based around the TRIple BALanced ranges for NTs. So 1C is only 17-19bal, 1D = 12-13bal hands (1NT=14-16).

Back to Fantunes is an overall system view rather than individual sequences which you either like or dislike. Strong Club gains from limited openings but struggles with shapely hands where all 4 sides are bidding. Fantunes is imho the best system made for competitive bidding hence why I play it since this is what causes most average pairs problems these days. You lose some accuracy (not always a bad thing against gd defenders) but gain so much in the competitive auctions it is worth the payoff. I play Strong Club with one partner as thats what he likes however even he sees the edge that Fantunes has on other systems atm.

Over 1 - 1 (Say)- ….- 2NT which is 1-2 19-20HCP we play the following:

3 = 5+
3 = Retransfer
3 = Transfer to Spades
3 = 5+

So we get the ability to show 5m and 4,4MM but lose the ability to play in 3M if 4, 5+. We think this is a better tradeoff.

Regards,

Will
Nov. 19, 2014
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I would also imagine that a player of his calibre has come across cuebidding jic you were not certain.
Nov. 18, 2014
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I would imagine if we splintered my partner would probably……be able to work it out ;)
Nov. 18, 2014
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