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All comments by Amnon Harel
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> Do you really expect partner to raise to game with a flat hand and minimum for his bidding, thinking you have a stiff club?

Did you mean “a stiff spade”?

And yes, I expect partner to have enough spades to work out my spade length to within a card, so I do expect him to bid expecting a singleton spade in my hand. So with xxx, KQx, Qxx, Axxx I think there's a good change he'll bid on.

So I'm not sure I want to be in game opposite most hands that'll pass 4. A boring, flat minimum with about average spade wastage is something like Kxx, KJx, QTx, Qxxx and I want to be in 4.
So clearly, it's possible to miss game after 4. But it's also possible that 5 is too high.

I guess you're right and 5 is a better bid. But I don't think 4 is “horrible”.
June 21
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@Dominic: I got it from Paul's comment. You know, the one I responded to. Still, I admit my comment came out a bit muddled :-(
June 20
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@Brian:
An example from last month -
1 (dbl) 3 from partner.
Due to our other agreements it was clear to me that this is either a splinter in support of clubs or weak and natural (to play). Both options are alertable. I alerted, and we had wildly differing opinions around the table if I was right to do so…
June 20
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What's the problem with alerting and saying
“We have no agreement on what 3 means here, but we do have an agreement that my partner's previous 2 bid denied as many as 4 spades.”?

Maybe this is against the ACBL rules. But EBU rules 2D2 and 4A5 quoted by Richard above seem to require this.
June 20
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Or that declarer has some unexpected holding which leads him to a problem, or an inference, that the defender could not identify in time.
June 19
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So you have it as a failure to alert before North's bid.
The key question this raises is whether West would really have bid 2D meaning it as s/s (sort of a “Red Multi” convention). On his actually hand, that seems sensible and he did do it.
On the other hand, he explained that he bid it a transfer, pure and simple.
So which is it? What are the relevant rules?
June 18
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3NT.
South knows West's suit is hearts, and West is on lead.
North bid hearts naturally, not knowing this fact, so North really has hearts and probably something else as well (it is possible West's hearts are very weak and North's very strong, but >80% of the time, North will have outside strength). South has 8 likely tricks in his hand, plus partner's heart stopper, plus whatever side extras partner brings.
Since they bid only one suit, and it is under control, bidding 3NT is clear and obvious. We may have a spade stopper, it appears no one has 5 spades (weak NT often denies a 5-card major, but even if it doesn't), and how often will West find the spade lead anyway?

And it's matchpoints.

And Hamman's rule.
June 18
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Cute. But this isn't matchpoints, it's teams.
And 3C doubled and made is very much in play.
June 18
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I don't know about “should” but my guess is:
1 - 1 - 2 - 3
4 - p - 5

3 seems high enough with the flat shape and the vulnerability.
4 is bid due to the shape, despite the minimal HCP.
North is also minimal, but with Aces in trumps and partner's first suit, he's worth a raise to game. Maybe even more, but on this bidding you don't really want to be in slam opposite x, AQJx, KJxx, KJTx or so.

On second thought, North should bid 4 (Redwood) in his second bid, since he can survive the void-showing responses. The plan is to stop after a 1 Key Card response, bid slam opposite two key cards (this will be marginal, and passing is also fine if planned in advance but I think the odds favour bidding), and bid 6 (forced) after a 5 response (2 key cards + useful void, as here, where slam is ~80%) and 5 response (1 key card + spade void, where slam is again ~50%). With these two hands, it would work out perfectly.
June 18
Amnon Harel edited this comment June 19
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I am barely capable of holding one deal and all its possibilities in mind. I think almost no one can simultaneously analyze 16 boards. So the mental processes required in your game are completely different. Even if we restrict your suggestion to the bidding (and lead? And the 1st trick?), this turns the game into something more similar to answering a series of bidding polls on BW.

Not to mention that you've thrown out the element of seeing your opponents tempo and mannerisms.
June 15
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I voted for the last option, as it came closest. But North is only expected to pass with Qxx or better. This is the same as how we play after 1x (dbl) rdbl - a fairly similar situation where we're looking to penalize them, one partner promised a defensive hand, yet they may have a good fit where we must avoid doubling.
June 15
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Could be an interesting game. But it won't be Bridge.
In bridge, you gradually build up a picture of the deal as it progresses, from bidding to card play. It's a process.

Note that this is a bigger difference than between chess and simultaneous chess, as in chess once a move has been played, most of previous analysis is discarded and one starts nearly a-new. So having to start completely a-new as in simultaneous chess is not a drastic change. Not so in Bridge.
June 14
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Missing information in the OP:
- which style of cue bids? Aces only below game? Italian? First cue-bid cannot be shortness?
- Serious / Courtesy 3NT? If not, what would 3NT instead of 4C show?
- What does cue-bidding directly over the double show?
- Was 4D last train?
- What is West's explanation as to why he bid 4S? (This explanation may well have to be discarded as possibly self-serving, but perhaps it will help understand their system).

As Marty noted above, East's bidding is strange. Perhaps one of these questions has a surprising answer that'll help make (some) sense of East's bidding.
June 10
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Might as well give the story up front - I'm the one who sprung this on his partner without any previous agreements. It did not end well. My partner had a firm understanding of what my double meant, which unfortunately was not what I had in mind. All seemed to go well as they run to a bad 5D instead of easily making 3NTX+1. But since my partner “knew” what my bid meant, he had an easy double and a clear defensive plan, which due to the previous misunderstanding was completely wrong and gave away the contract.

Proving for the millionth time that the most important thing about any agreement is that both partners actually agree on it.
June 7
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Bruce, I think your method sounds great. Let's see if I can explain it in my own words.

Looking at 2nd-hand's holdings, we have 5 cases
1) constructive/invitational bids - these are bid directly
2) not willing to defend
3) don't want to defend, but willing if you insist
4) no opinion on whether to defend
5) I want to defend (no way to force partner to cooperate)

Natural pass-and-pull-is-weak style is the you pass with 2,3 & 4. Options 2-4 are similar and so any UI is problematic.
Standard pass-and-pull-is-strong style is you pass with 1, and bid 2 directly. Options 3-4 still have the same problem.
Your trick is to double with 3, putting 2,4 & 5 into the pass. Thus you break the sequence of cases 2-4. This basically takes away all meaningful UI from 2nd-hands bid.

But you still have UI from fast vs. slow reopenings, if 2nd-hand's original pass was on the border between 4 & 5, the tempo of the reopening may help him decide. This sounds less common than the having problematic UI with current methods, especially as 4th hand has more time to prepare his bid in tempo.

Am I missing something here?
Who invented this? (It seems similar to pass-double inversion)
Should we all be playing “Evans Doubles”?
May 25
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LOL. You may want to look at this old thread: https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/wolff-sign-off-a-simpler-time/

Quoting Ron Steele's comment from that page:
“Amazing! 15 comments and 13 different ways to play including don't play the convention at all. None of these included the way I or my expert partner at the time played.”
May 22
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@Michal - you are too kind. Playing for an H-D simple squeeze I would've discarded the from dummy, and West is no longer squeezed. Seeing only the simple and double squeeze, I would've discarded the 2. Daniel's suggested play is cool not only because of the Guard Squeeze, but because discarding the T keeps all options open - including the simple squeeze and Bernard's double squeeze.
May 19
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Well, Steve's line doesn't have to assume K with the preemptor.
East is non-vulnerable opposite a passed partner. Without some additional information on the opponents bidding style, I think the odds (5%?) of East not having the KH are higher than the odds of him having 5 clubs and finding the duck, and his partner failed to support with three trumps and a side void (<1%?).
May 19
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Cool hand, indeed.

I would've gone down, playing for a simple H-D squeeze on East. Seems about as likely a-priori (need QJ with East and Q with West instead of J9 and Q with East and West getting up to 6 HCP with the Q) but is perhaps more consistent with East's T return. Not that this is why I would choose it - I simply wouldn't see the guard squeeze :-)

Any particular reason to suspect the Guard Squeeze line is superior here?
May 19
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Agreed.
May 18
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