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All comments by Brian Davies
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Yes, forgot that. Clearly only a one-round force.
Oct. 30, 2018
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“North had three choices over one spade - raise, 1NT, or 2♣.”

1NT systematically shows 6-9 in Acol. You could widen it to 6-10, but a non-forcing 1NT becomes a bit unmanageable with such a wide range (what values do you need to invite?).

A raise to the two-level is certainly possible on a three card suit. But most would prefer to have ruffing values to do this. Also a 10-count with two aces is a bit strong for a 2 raise. Raising to the three-level on a three card suit is inadvisable.

The 2 response is normal in Acol.

“South had two choices over two clubs, show hearts, then diamonds, or show diamonds, then hearts.”

It is difficult to bid both as a bid of the 4th suit would be artificial. If you choose to respond 2, you can raise a (4th suit forcing) 2 bid and not lose the heart suit. The usual rule in Acol is to bid four-card suits up the line and a 2 bid is standard.

Having said this, I don't want to risk burying the major in 4th-suit-forcing murkiness and I would also have chosen 2. But a subsequent 3 bid would then be 4SF, not natural.
Oct. 30, 2018
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Depends how you play the 4th suit forcing 2. It is surely too much if this is forcing to game opposite a minimum opening. Even if only a one-round force it is arguably on the light side.
Oct. 30, 2018
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This is not logically consistent. If South could have 4 spades then it would seem to me that the 3 bid is needed as a natural hand with a four-card spade suit, else how do you find a 4 contract when you have a 4-4 fit?
Oct. 30, 2018
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Oops, managed to construct a 14-card hand. (I have now edited and corrected).

I would treat 1, 2; 2, 2 as forcing for one round only and play that you only by-pass the four-card spade suit if worth another bid (a good 11+).

But given your methods, South might still have a 13 count with five clubs and four spades and we are agreed that 3 is then needed as Natural.
Oct. 30, 2018
Brian Davies edited this comment Oct. 30, 2018
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Why is 3 a cue bid? How would you bid:
A982 AKJ8 K83 82
opposite
KQJ6 Q73 4 K10974

I would bid this 1, 2; 2NT, 3; 3, 4

Or will you always show a four-card spade suit in preference to a longer minor?

(Edited to fix 14-card suit)
Oct. 30, 2018
Brian Davies edited this comment Oct. 30, 2018
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2 then 2 may be (is likely to be) false preference with two-card support only. But yes, openers 3rd round pass is a bit lame.
Oct. 29, 2018
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“3NT is a slam try in hearts” Really, why? I'm not sure that this is clear.

Given the four-card major context, 3 is simply offering a choice of game between 4 and 3NT. It looks to me like the follow-up 3NT bid is an attempt to play in 3NT… unless the 3 is a cue bid, confirming a five-card heart suit and setting hearts as trumps (and this is not clear from the opening post).
Oct. 29, 2018
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A few system questions:
(1) Given the weak NT / 4-card major context, I believe that 3 is simply a choice of game (bid 4 if you hold a five-card heart suit, bid 3NT if not holding a five-card heart suit)?
(2) Has responder denied a four-card spade suit? Is it possible that responder might hold five clubs, three hearts and four spades? If this is the case, is the 3 bid simply continuing the search for the correct game contract?
(3) Or is it impossible for responder to hold a four-card spade suit? In which case the 3 bid is surely a slam try suggesting a maximum hand in context (18-19 HCP) and setting the heart suit? And in this case, North has taken the stronger route to 4?
(4) What range is an opening 2NT? I would value the North hand as worth 20. If this hand is not worth a 2NT opening, then maybe the range of the 2NT rebid is too wide?
Oct. 29, 2018
Brian Davies edited this comment Oct. 29, 2018
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“i think this time N could have have 6 hcp” - 10+ per opening post.

I agree that North might bid 3 (it is close), but surely south is worth another try even after the 2 preference bid?
Oct. 29, 2018
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Matt, even the EBU rule needs some subjective judgement - at what point has the bidding card been “removed from the bidding box”? This question did lead to a disputed ruling at a County event last year.

But yes, I prefer the EBU regulation. The EBU Blue Book describes the regulation as “based on recommendations by the WBF”.
Oct. 15, 2018
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Similar in England.
Oct. 11, 2018
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At least you have access to dummy. The usual problem with these very strong hands is that you can't reach dummy.

We had a 31-point hand a few years back at our local club:
AK3 AK5 AKQJ AK10 opposite J652 1042 53 9643. 6NT has to go two off on almost all leads.

We were unlucky enough to be defending against the novice pair who had a misunderstanding and passed-out 2NT!
Oct. 9, 2018
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I'm surprised at the zero match points. Did no one go off in 3NT?
Oct. 3, 2018
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Just checking that pass is not a Logical Alternative.

Answer seems conclusive! :)
Oct. 2, 2018
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It is interesting that I, an average to mediocre club player in the UK, play a system that is too advanced for the great minds at Orlando to cope with except by consulting their notes.
Sept. 17, 2018
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An Acol sequence:
Pass, 1; 2, 4; 4, 6
Sept. 6, 2018
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I'm not sure why a natural over-call should have a maximum of 16?

How do you play pass, then double of the expected 2 when it comes back to you?
Aug. 31, 2018
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“Why does this rate an article when the Seniors and Open team selections don't”

The more relevant question is why none of the selections merit a news item on the EBU's own web-site?

Or am I missing something?
Aug. 24, 2018
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I like the principle that we should describe a the features of a hand, rather than using a bridge term which may have different meanings for different people. But is it practical?

Consider a simple bridge term such as “Balanced”. I could point you to any number of old texts, which describe this term as referring to hands with a 4333, 4432 or 5332 pattern and this is what I have always understood by term. But players have expanded the number of hand patterns that they include in their 1NT opening with 5422, 6322 and 4441 hands often opened 1NT and I now often find that when players use the term balanced, they are using it to include these patterns. The result is that players use the term balanced in the later auction in a fuzzy way and the answer is not always helpful.

Three possibilities come to mind:
(1) We have some accepted definition of these terms and players are considered to have provided mis-information if their hand does not conform to the “accepted definition”. I can see all sorts of regional problems as well as skill-level issues with this approach. But this is probably the correct approach with certain bridge terms - “forcing”, “game-forcing” and “take-out” probably do need to have accepted definitions.
(2) We take the Ed Reppert approach and not use a term such “balanced”, but precisely describe the possible hand types. I am inclined to agree with this approach for convention names (“Leaping Michaels”, “Ghestem”, “SWINE” are inadequate disclosures), as well as for terms such as “Weak” (what is the range?). But I see practical problems when we apply this logic to some common bridge terms such as “balanced”, “splinter” and “fragment”. An over-long explanation might sometimes make things less clear to the opponents.
(3) We take the Kit Woolsey approach and continue to use simple terms, such as “balanced”, accepting that this is a fuzzy explanation. The opponents can always ask for clarification if necessary. I think that this is the correct middle way for some common bridge terms such as “balanced”. I would include “fragment” in this category.
Aug. 24, 2018
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