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There was a disappointing deal recently where our minor suits were

Axx AKxx
QJxxxx Qxxx

And dummy had two low in both, declarer The diamond K.
With the A AK on lead we didn't manage to find the club underlead.

I pondered afterwards whether this problem was solvable (declare had 10 tricks the moment he gets on lead).
16 hours ago
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Really? A 4333 with a badly placed DK opposite a non vul overall, at pairs? 2H seems enough to me.
16 hours ago
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I think I'd want partner's 4SX/4H to not be a disaster.

With a side singleton, I don't think I'd need any honours here.
July 16
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We found that with transfers it was hard to determine strength, and some sequences became doubtful as to forcing or non forcing. I also like a Gazzilli variant best.

It doesn't have to be too complex:

1D 1M
1N = strong or just diamonds, (2C positive, as are jumps)

2C = limited natural
2D = 3cM NF
2M guarantees 4

Note with 3/1-4-5 having opened 1D, it is up to you whether you want to show 3c support, possibly being dropped in 2D.
July 12
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I think it depends slightly on your follow ups to 1D what you want to do with 1C.

At a really basic level, I would open 1D when I don't mind partner bumping to 3D on 4.

So never on hands that are 4333 (3-3-AKQJ-3 in third set might be an exception).

Sometimes on 4/3-4-2 since I have the majors covered. With 3/2-4-4 I've just found that 1C works better since negative double say nothing about minors anyway.

Note that 1C Dbl 2N should show both minors.
July 9
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I think 2NT-then-3M should be a good 4-card invite.

(1) 2 - 2
……..2 - 3
……..Pass.
June 30
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I don't play many additional methods here, but I think the opening hand should bid 4 (a typical 3 bid is a 6-card suit with moderate values).
June 29
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I think you're right. Sometimes partner might have bid 5 for the lead.
June 29
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A general principle is that after they balance, our double is penalty, particularly in no-fit auctions. Opener can have 13/14 here, and responder 10/11.
June 28
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In this particular auction 3 should be natural, the 5-3 fit is still on (partner can easily be 5233). Well maybe not for Craig, but due many of us.
June 27
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It depends on context, but Leaping Michaels is fairly common, hence 4 = both minors (equal/longer/prefer clubs), and so 4NT = both minors (prefer diamonds).
June 26
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I'm not sure I would have offered 3 the previous round.

I do however agree with Eric that 3 shows club support.
I reckon with five-or-more clubs, partner might still pick clubs.
June 26
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Thanks Eric. In that case, general principles says that the more doubles there are in an auction, the more likely the last one is penalty.

So I'm pulling this one.
June 25
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Craig, I agree (wrote an article on it at some point on BW). It's logical to me that the GB2NT should be described as “Bad-my-suit-or-Good-your-suit”, because the bad-hand-with-support needs to bid immediately, while the good-hand-with-support can double later in competition.

1 (1) Dbl (2)
2NT (3) Pass (Pass)
Dbl = had a good raise to 3, and well, uh, … fingers crossed.
June 25
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Eric, what would partner's double of 2 have been in this auction?

- clubs?
- general values?
- setting up a later penalty (some play double-then-double = pen)?

I'd like to be able to bid a Woolsey-2NT (showing preference for diamonds, in a competitive-only-situation) here in case partner has something like xx 10xxx Kx QJ10xx and so didn't want to bid 2 or double 2 without really wanting the lead.
June 25
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@ Richard: Maybe.

Response 1: I think an initial force of 2 allows opener to describe in competition (in a force through 3), certainly enough to bid if permitted by East: 3 (showing real clubs), or bid 2 (finding the spade fit).

If the opponents pre-empt in hearts, North is certainly still strong enough to bid 3 or 4 and not worry too much if it's passed (he can have at most 4-of-them and has guaranteed club support).

Response 2: After Double, 2 by North keeps the auction relatively low, and it shows the power of the North hand. If you think about the auction (no forcing 1 or 2 response), it probably is based on club support in a game-forcing hand.

Double-then-Double sounds more balanced (values), and probably don't have primary club support.

@ Marc, in the context of the OP, since opener didn't make a support double, I assumed that the first double shows 4 spades. Hence later unsupported-spade bids are forcing (likely with club support).
June 25
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Since 3 is already a jump, and should hardly mean ‘bid 3NT with a heart stop’, I think 4 is more like:

AKxx — Axxx Q10xxx
June 25
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How about 2 at North's second turn? Double (promising 4 spades) then 2 (on finding no fit) is strong and forcing.

It's similar to an auction like
1 (1) Dbl (3)
Pass (Pass) 3 = forcing

Alternatively, I also like 2 at the first go (in the 3+ club context). North's hand is so strong that he might be able to bid spades later.
June 25
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Hand 6 is almost worth a mild invite to 3: I'd do so if the club honor were in hearts.

It's unclear in standard whether 1 - 1 ; 2 - 2 ought to be mildly invitational (after all opener could have up to a bad 16). It probably should be, but then I worry about hands like QJ10xxx — xxx xxxx

One of the scenarios where 6M Gazzilli can help is after 1 - 1, where opener can discover if responder has 8+ (and then decide whether their 6-card major and 16 HCP is ‘strong’ or weak).
June 25
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Or Gazzilli the first time, so that

1 - 1NT
3 = 5/5 intermediate.

1 - 1NT
2 = start of all strong

1 - 1NT
2 - 2NT
3 = must be the remaining option.

Gazzilli seems to get a bad rap for being memory intensive, but I've played a low-memory version for several years now and it works pretty well.
June 25
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