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All comments by Will Roper
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Wasn't sure if we played better minor or short club ;)
Sept. 4, 2014
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Do I really want to play in 4 though? As it turns out double dummy I don't as on a passive defence (3) then it is impossible to make 4. Even looking at my hand I can put partner with 12-13HCP balanced a lot of the time and 4 goes 1/2 off when 3 also goes off….. Give me 3415 shape and I would be more tempted to bid 4
Sept. 4, 2014
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Richard,

I too play a modified variant of Fantunes and would prefer a Strong NT to a Weak NT (coming from a solid 2/1 base). However unfortunately switching them over does have a major repercussion on some of your other opening bids as well. Whilst 1 will not be affected 1/1 might be?

What do you open with:
AK10xx
Qxx
xxx
Kx

If the solution to this is 1 then this destroys one of the main principles Fantunes were built on:
- Dealing with competitive bidding with solid opening bids (13+ openers which you have adopted whilst reasonable are not as effective in my view).
- Colours first. If you open the above 1 then that is no longer in effect.


Solve this and I think you are onto a winner.

Regards,

Will
Sept. 4, 2014
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I held an odd hand (not one I would expect had I held the above cards):

xx
10xxx
xx
AKQxx

My feeling at the table was that partner had stated their hand and the auction would live or die with me. At teams it would be an easy pass but at pairs I didn't think taking 3D 1 or 2 off would score much NV (3 goes 2 off but you need to under lead you AKQ). I doubled thinking that partner would take it as a invite+ values double and convert often for penalties and/or bid game if they thought they had enough.

3 then confused me as partner knew I didn't have 4 (See John's comment above). I decided 4 was the best option now and partner found the pass card. On a slight misdefence this rolled in for all the match points.
Sept. 4, 2014
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Well partner knows you want to probably play in Diamonds/Spades/NTs after that. It depends who takes control with the Serious/Non Serious/RKCB options. If they take control you will always get to choose between Spades/NT which are likely to be better contracts than diamonds anyway based on your hand. If you take control then all 3 spots are open to you.

I like the 3 waiting option btw. I assumed all this is as you play 2 level xfers.
Sept. 4, 2014
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Did we consider bidding 3 over 3? I know we only have 2 but they are powerful and the subsequent auction will much more informative than after a denial? 4 is bound to play as well as 3NT and it gives more space for slam bidding/the methods over 3S are much better defined than after 3 I would expect?

General question: What do you play 3 as over 3. If 6, 5+ which seems logical, won't you wrong side some 3NT contracts with say AJ10xx, xx, KQJxx,x (1-2-3-3-3 - ?)
Sept. 2, 2014
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At the table 3 was chosen (which I don't think is a bad bid):

My hand was perfect:

AKxxx
AQ9x
Jxx
x

However holding 3, playing MPs I couldn't see any reason to bid the cold 4. As a result we got a rather undeserved 8%. At other tables South presumably doubled with their 18 count and it will have gone something like 1 - (X) - 2 - (p) - 3 - (p) - 4.

This has led me to look into alternative methods of showing mixed (7-9HCP) raises in these situations. I like Jack's method above as it is easy to remember. However the fact that it doesn't work in several situations complicates rules.

Yuan Shen previously posted an excellent article on 2NT as a good or bad raise to 3. As he pointed out the main problem lay with 2NT not preempting opponents enough. Opponents now have a chance to double 2NT saying they definitely want to penalise. Bid a NS at the 3 level or pass and double with competitive values. Also on this hand it will go 3 by partner as a mixed raise and it is still not clear to raise to 4 particularly at pairs.

The best method probably lies somewhere between these two methods. 2NT should be a good raise in my opinion as it obeys the stronger hands bid lower principle. If I was playing Jack's method it is debatable whether you should reverse the meanings of the 3 and 3 bid to something along these lines:

2NT = 10+HCP 4+ card support
3cue = 7-9HCP 4+card support
3suit below major = 10+HCP 3 card support

This has the advantage that in auctions such as this it will go:
1 - (2) - 3 and now we have space for 3 as a general invite asking how good is you mixed raise. Therefore which is which depends on when you will need to invite more. I don't know for certain (my mind is leaning slightly towards the 3 card support with 10+ but it is marginal).


Sept. 2, 2014
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How would one bid then if it had gone 1H - (2D) or 1S - (2H)?
Sept. 1, 2014
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I did propose this line on August 5th :)
Aug. 7, 2014
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It is normal to play the hand who has shown length in one suit with shortage in the one we intend to play. However East chose to bid 2H vuln on a hand with QJ10xx Hearts…..They didn’t double or bid 2/3. They chose 2.

This makes me suspicious & think they may have a diamond holding.

After winning the K I am going to play a club towards the K. Assuming East rises with the A and puts a heart back I win and now cash the last spade and the K watching what East throws.

I risk losing trump control but I also get more information about the hands before having to commit to a diamond guess or possibly a heart throw in.
Aug. 5, 2014
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I cannot systematically not bid 3 here as 3NT is artificial. However I would then deny a 4CM and bid 3NT due to the fact as previously stated that QJ doubleton is half my values.
May 29, 2014
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The interesting bid here is 4. Obviously it shows 5+ but what does it say about diamonds. Depending on your agreements I would bid as follows:

If 4 shows a second round control (presumably shortage) I would bid 4 to set Clubs as trumps.

If 4 denies a 1st/2nd round control 5 seems sensible

May 27, 2014
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Its worth noting what 3 here would be. Even after a pass I would expect it to be just short of a game force. I.e 9-11 with 6+ with 2 of the top 3 honours. Granted these hands will mainly be opening immediately but when we rebid 3 partner should be able to work out in any event that our honour quality isn't great.
May 27, 2014
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ruff…..
May 27, 2014
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Yep you may be right although LHO with those cards would be opening something in my book. Whether 2 or 3 I don't think that is a first round pass hand.

If 5 makes I will be surprised however. And the more shape you add into the equation the more likely 5 is going to be defeated. Yes you can take out insurance….however your premium may be very high :)
May 27, 2014
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3 for me generally shows a hand willing to go past 3NT more often than not. I think partners priorities will be:

1. Set Spades with 4 (then let cuebidding etc take over)
2. Set Diamonds with 4/3 reasonable ones
3. Bid 3 with 5 - now bid 3NT. Misfitting hands should stop early
4. Bid 3NT this would imply 3, 4, and 6 cards in the minors. If partner has the perfect minimum:

AJx
Axxx
KJ
Q8xx

Grand is not cold here so I shouldn't be too pushy for 6 and would probably sigh a lot and pass. Sometimes we will miss something if I bid 4NT but sometimes we will end up in hopeless 31 point small slams….

Will
May 26, 2014
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Life has taught me the hard way with these hands. Any hand making 5 will usually be able to get 500/800+ out of the opps. However often it is just simply right to take the money instead of gambling on what could be a cold off game.

Give partner a max for their bid:

AJ10xx
AKJxx
x
Ax

And whilst 5 look good. 5 looks to be going for 800/1100

Give partner KJ10xx in spades instead and now you may have problems with 5 when there is still 500/800 on the table usually
May 26, 2014
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Pass in tempo. Partner knows what we have and we have nothing to add to this. This is simply a matter of partnership trust….
May 26, 2014
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A good rule to live by:

IF partner can have a perfect minimum where 7 is cold you should be looking for 6. Here partner could hold Ax,xxx,AQxxx,xx and not even an opening bid with 7 cold. The K is a crucial card.

Will

As a side note with a lot of partners who promise 5+ with that bid I am tempted to set diamonds as trumps. Also Fantunes discriminates nicely here as to partners range. 1 = 14+, 2 = 10-13….. I imagine that would make all decisions easier systematically
May 26, 2014
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Hi,
1. I have played this for several years now and personally prefer it that partner and I have rules in place which hopefully cover all situations. One rule we quite like which whilst slightly restricting clarifies a lot of the “problem” sequences is that if we have not agreed the suit by the 4 level then KB does not apply. An exception to this is if we have implied a fit (e.g 1NT - 2S/2NT we have promised a 6-2 fit therefore KB applies even if the suit isn't agreed by both parties). It is definitely worth discussing some sequences as well: 1D - 2C - 3C - 3D (i.e when you have both minor suits set), 4m opening (do you play it here or do you prefer having 4H/4D as natural) & 2NT - 4m for example. I am not sure how well it will fit in with the strong club as I do not play it. However having played certain relay systems we have had to take KB out of the ones that get us to the 3 level without setting a suit at times.

2. Here I usually play simple Blue club style cues. XX = first round control, Cue = second, pass = neither. I sometimes invert the cue/pass and as such cannot remember the original way round!

3. Having quite big system files I used to use Word before moving to Pages (its Mac equivalent when I switched operating system). Eventually however the layout and constant moving of text to the wrong places got to me such that I have now switched to Keynote (Powerpoint on Windows). This is quite nice as it allows us to link appendices to parts of the text easily (as well as contents pages which are less fiddly then sections and tables of contents on Word/Pages). When I get the time I am also slowly working on an interactive bidding box such that you click out a sequence and it gives you the meaning of each bid as you go.

Keynote requires more work on it since you need to format each page yourself (text doesn't just start a new page which is a blessing and a curse) however that is why I switched to it in the first place.

Hope this helps,

Will
May 23, 2014
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