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All comments by William Campbell
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Andrea, Ted and I are currently planning to play pairs Thursday, but are available if you find a partner.

I'm looking for a pair to play in the Monday Swiss too.

Bill
Aug. 12
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I'm very interested, and sent my email and mobile numbers in a private message.
Dec. 10, 2018
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I have to disagree that 2 is game forcing, and should be treated as a reverse as it gives Responder a chance to limit his hand with a 2NT bid. Responder can respond with as little as 4 HCP holding a balanced hand with an ace.

I had a hand in a strong Open Pairs game several year ago AKJT KQJ x Axxxx, and with quiet opponents the bidding started 1 1. Partner could respond 1 with something like xxx Axxx xxx xxx in which case even game is doubtful. I chose to bid 2 planning to bid 3 had partner made an Ingberman 2NT, leaving it up to him whether to pass or go to game with some extra values. In this case he bid 3 which was game forcing, and bidding proceded 3, 4 Kickback 1430, 5 0 or 3 keycards, 5 Queen Ask, 5 showing the Q and the K, 7.

Thus in this week's hand, after I bid 2NT showing fewer than 7HCP, I took partner's 3 bid as 4=x-x=5+ with a minimum of 16 HCP, and it looked like a serious misfit. I suppose I could have bid 3, but many experts say to stop bidding when there's no fit.

We play XYZ so had partner bid 1, I would have had to either pass or bid 2 as 2 would be game forcing, and 2 planning to pass Opener's 2 response.

Given this, what do you bid with partner's hand, AKT5 AJ 9 AKQ986, after my 2NT response? Would 4 be Minorwood? I think 3 is probably best asking for a diamond stop. FWIW, this was board 17 in Tuesday evening's common game.

http://thecommongame.com/NiteResults/20180102Rank.html?acblno=2987538
Jan. 6, 2018
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Donald, I agree that it should be easy, but when this hand came up last month in an Open Pairs game in a Sectional most didn't find a slam. 4 were in 6, 3 in 6, 1 in 3NT, and 15 in either 4 or 5. My guess is that South bid 4 over North's 3 bid. Do you make a slam try then with North's hand then with 3 quick losers possible?

The lesson here is that Opener needs to keep the bidding low to allow Responder to explore further. The Non-Serious 3NT limits Opener's hand allowing maximum room for Responder to go on or to sign off in 4 without giving the opponents more information about our hands.

In this case, if Opener doesn't bid 4, I will sign off in 4 knowing hearts are open. Opener's 4 bid also tells me that Opener has at least 2 diamonds as he didn't show a 1st or 2nd round control by bidding 4. Had South bid 4, I would have had to sign off in 4 as we could have 3 quick losers in hearts and clubs.
Jan. 3, 2018
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David, a 4 bid by opener after 3 would show a 1-loser spade suit with no 1st or 2nd round controls outside the spade suit.
Dec. 29, 2017
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Usually 6, but 5 is possible if Opener doesn't have a reasonable suit or notrump bid. On this hand, if one of the small spades were a club, I would bid 2 with five spades.
Dec. 28, 2017
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A splinter gives Captaincy to the Opener, and as Brad says, Opener is likely to sign off in 4 with this hand.

By bidding 3, Responder maintains control leaving room for Opener to further describe his hand. In this case, Opener's 3NT shows minimal values with no slam interest, and Responder's 4 control bid shows slam interest opposite a minimum. With extra values, Opener could have made a 4 control bid.
Dec. 28, 2017
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The Non-Serious 3NT bid is saying “I have no interest in slam Partner, but I'm willing to co-operate if you do”. Responder's hand is still unlimited after the 3 bid setting trump.

If Responder has no slam interest, he can sign off in game without making control bids without giving extra information to the opponents.

If opener made a Fast Arrival bid of 4, I would have to pass even with the monster hand I had as I'm afraid we have 3 quick losers in hearts and clubs.

I'm a firm believer in taking things slowly when slam is possible.
Dec. 28, 2017
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Steve, when playing Non-Serious 3NT, a 4 level control bid by Opener after trump is set by the 3-level shows extra values.
Dec. 27, 2017
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Michael, I didn't say I didn't have slam interest, but was pleased by Pard's 3NT bid (first time it came up since we started playing Non-Serious 3NT :-). Had Pard, bid 4 over my 3 bid instead of 3NT, the results would have been the same.

I think South's hand is a great example of the utility of the Non-Serious 3NT.
Dec. 27, 2017
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When playing non-serious 3NT, and agreement on a major at the 3-level, Opener will never use a Fast Arrival bid of 4 when Responder's hand isn't limited.

Here's a good article on this.

http://www.bridgewebs.com/brunton/page47.html

IIRC, Rodwell and Mecksroth originally used the 3NT bid as a serious slam try. This article discusses the pros and cons of non-serious vs serious 3NT bids:

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/fast-arrival-and-seriousfrivolous-3nt/

On this hand, I chose to explore slam after partner's 3NT bid based on an excellent 7-card suit, at least an 8-card fit, and nice shape. Had Pard not bid 4 after my 4 control bid, we stop at 4. As it was, things looked pretty after Pard showed 2 keycards and the trump queen.

Finally neither opponent asked about our control bids nor looked at our Convention Card, and West's opening lead was the T from his doubleton so we made 7.
Dec. 27, 2017
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The Non-Serious 3NT bid isn't an offer to play 3NT, but says, “Partner, I have no interest in slam, but if you do, start making control bids.”
Dec. 27, 2017
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That's what my partner did allowing us to get to 6 with 25HCP between us. The bidding continued 3NT 4 4 4NT 5 6.

My hand, K96 75 AKQJ975 8.

In a field of 23, 4 bid 6, 3 bid 6, 1 bid 3NT, the rest 4 or 5 .
Dec. 27, 2017
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I play step controls with many of my partners where 2NT shows 3 kings (I know it's deprecated but we found two cold 7NT slams in last weekend's sectional where the field was in 7. The theory being that having the lead come up to the kings is probably a good thing. I've had many occasions where I could count 12 or 13 tricks off the top, regardless of who was declarer.

Opener bids naturally after the 2 response, usually setting the contract knowing the total controls held by the partnership.
Nov. 4, 2017
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A great argument for Rusinow leads against suits. The initial lead would be the K promising the A so the Q is easy.
Oct. 20, 2017
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Monty, I play Rubensohl slightly differently than you. Our direct 3 asks for a stopper, and 3NT is natural with a stopper.

After Opponent's 2 Overcall, 3 denies spades and asks for a heart stopper. Opener may bid 3NT with hearts stopped or bid 4 without looking for a minor suit fit. With 4 spades, Responder can bid 3 transferring into hearts which is Ask/Stayman, and Opener will bid 3 with a heart stopper even with 4 spades, or bid 3 without a heart stopper. The same Ask/Stayman logic applies over opponent's 2 overcall.

All direct transfers, 2NT, 3, and 3 may be made with invitational values and Opener MUST accept the transfer so the only bid that promises invitational values is 3 as Responder may bid a direct 2 with less than invitational values.
Oct. 5, 2017
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Frank, as Monty says, it's easy with Rubensohl (assuming pard remembers :-).

I find Rubensohl much more logical and easier to remember than your alternative, even when using Rubensohl's Ask/Staymen transfers into Overcaller's suit.
Oct. 1, 2017
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Let's talk at Mercercrest Kevin. I don't play much on line, but am looking for partners for local tournaments and club games.
June 19, 2017
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The issue isn't making a HSGT when playing Kokish, but asking Responder for the cheapest suit in which he would accept a HSGT. As Responder, I interpret that as a suit where we wouldn't have 3 quick losers. To me, this is probably the most important reason to use Kokish as playing regular HSGTs gives the opponents too much useful information.

Playing in a board-a-match team game, my LHO had made a HSGT in clubs which was accepted. Having KQxx in clubs behind dummies AJTx, I had an easy lead after the second finesse lost.
May 20, 2016
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Jeff, could you expand on this from your page “After short suit tries, a repeat of the short suit try is a void suit slam try. A different suit beyond 3M is a cue bid and shows a short suit slam try with a singleton.”

Thanks
May 19, 2016
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