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For me it looks like 2 is a natural call intending to play 2, i.e. natural and does not have any special meaning, thus does not require an alert. The alert suggests that it is something else.
North thought that he undersood the alert and was tired or lazy to ask a bid that probably was not agreed anyway.
April 8, 2016
Csaba Czimer edited this comment April 8, 2016
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The hand was played in Hungary, not under ACBL.
We don't have such detailed guide for alerting, but in brief we alert artificial or unusual bids and treamtments.

I don't know why East alerted, they did not have any agreeement on this specific situation (delayed cuebid). Seeing his singleton spade and knowing that N-S has at most 5-2 spades he could guess that his partner had spades. But that was based on his hand, thus he did not share it.

The interesting thing is that lacking the careless alert by East North would have no problem passing 2, i.e. East was careless (first) and as a consequence N-S scored a zero. Funny, isn't it?

No alert: West may have a good hand, they play on level 2 and the seating order is good for E-W.
Alert (if 2-suiter): the seating order is good for N-S and E-W will play on level 3 in a 7 or 8-cards fit.
In both cases: about 20-20 HCP
April 8, 2016
Csaba Czimer edited this comment April 8, 2016
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Respect, they are great players, but wasn't the last BB won by Poland?
March 23, 2016
Csaba Czimer edited this comment March 24, 2016
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I think that 1, 3 and 4 are all possible (for some people 2 too), however…

If you open 1, what will you do when they bid some number of hearts? I suppose you'll bid the same number of spades. The problem is that partner will play you for a better hand. Even worse, he may play you for more defence and can double them. Will you pass that double? Won't be an easy decision.

This problem can be prevented if you open a higher spade bid. Your hand is mostly worth something in offense and this is expressed by some number of spades. We have a little bit more than 6 playing tricks, so 3 is a somewhat conservative but normal opening, while 4 is a bit stretchy. In similar cases the question is whether we want to play in 4 doubled. If you do then you should open 4. They rarely choose to declare against a 4 opening. If they strong enough they may double you, but sometimes you will escape undoubled. I don't think that you want this with this hand, because 3 can cause more problem for them. They may choose to declare wrongly. They may let you play undoubled, and even iy you get doubled, it won't be too expensive. So I prefer 3.

In general: if you have a borderline hand between a 3 and a 4 opening, I think 3 should be preferred, more good thing can happen that way. But if you must choose between 3 and 4 then 4 is more often successful.
Feb. 20, 2016
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so you say, that 2 or 3 is not an option for anybody
Feb. 20, 2016
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Noone said that you have to ask opener's shape. As I see, this idea points just in this direction, compared with traditional 2 GF ask.

If you have a shortness, you can show it without revealing opener's shape.

If you were interested only in major support, you simply bid 2 and then 3N, showing your 5-card major and offering a choice. This does not tell anything about opener's shape either.
Feb. 11, 2016
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Feb. 11, 2016
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2 and further relays can discover 8 different shapes below 3N if you are interested in strength too, or 13 if you don't.
How many different shapes can opener have in that 2? (when you bid something else with singleton major)

Supposing better minor (1 with 3-3, 1 with 4-4 minors):

1-1-…
2 - 4333 (3-4-3-3, 3-3-3-4)
3 - 5-332
2 - 4-4-32
2 - 5422 (2-2-4-5 and 2-4-2-5)
========
9

1-1-…
1 - 3-3-4-3
3 - 5-332
4 - 4432 (2x 4-4, 2x 4-4)
1 - 2-4-5-2
========
9

Almost enough if you want to ask range too, and more than enough if not.
We only have to give up range ask of 2 shapes (let's say immediate 3 and 3n). Easy choice after 1, we are not really interested in 4333s. Not that easy after 1.

Even simpler if you bid 2N (instead of 2) with 4m-333, then the rest is cleaner and range can be asked.
Feb. 11, 2016
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Feb. 11, 2016
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I probably love splinters even more than you :)

x, AKQxxxx, KJx, Axx
xxx, xx, AQxxx, xxx

laydown 6

x, AKQxxxx, KJx, Axx
Axx, xx, AQxxx, xxx

laydown 7N

Both open 1 and repond 1NT
Feb. 7, 2016
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Slam try, for sure. Lacking that you bid 3 or 4.
Feb. 7, 2016
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1 can be played as forcing, in fact we play that way when playing standard (I know, it has some disadvantage too). In that case 2 is never a 4-card suit.
Feb. 7, 2016
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Feb. 8, 2016
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OK, I admit, “absolutely” may be an exaggeration. However later I meant that even if they had those agreements that you quoted, it's still not clear which one should be preferred. But anyway Michael, does your (written) system mention anywhere what is a jump to six in a new suit? I doubt that many partnerships have agreement on this one.
Feb. 6, 2016
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Of course I don't exactly know what happened, I just guess then H-H made the same careless mistake that many of us do in similar situations: thay told what they thought their bids meant.

It happens often that two competent players find different general rules or analogies in an unclear situation, thus they misunderstand each other. I think that mostly it is bad enough for them and they should not be punished in the lucky ones just because they happened to play with screens and were not careful enough to give a legally correct answer.
The same thing happened here:
- North thought that after agreeing a suit a jump in a new suit is exclusion.
- South thought that a jump to six is an offer to play
Two general rules that can be applied to a specific situation. It can happen if you don't assign clear precedence to your rules.

I sometimes offer my opponents that I leave the table and they can ask my partner what he meant.

Anyway, it's a good reason to play relay systems, your bids are better defined, there are less possible bidding sequences, there are fewer occasions to misunderstand each other (well, if you both remember the system).
Feb. 6, 2016
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Feb. 6, 2016
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(moved comment)
Feb. 6, 2016
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Partner doubled with the above hand.
I had 64, K9, J107432, KQ5.
It went like this:

P - P - 1 - DBL
1 - 2* - P - 2
P - 3 - P - P
P

*: we play that in this situation any jump in a new suit is preemptive, with good hands we cubid their suit first

My 3 went down 2, we scored 37%. Most N-S pairs played in 2. Partner was convinced that his double was a good bid and I should have bid 1N.
Feb. 5, 2016
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Feb. 5, 2016
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I hate the thing that playing with screens you practically can't score well if you had a misunderstanding, because in that case your hyena opponents always try to prove that they were misinformed in one side of the screen and try to improve their score with the help of the director. Mostly successfully. I used to have very detailed convention cards but it rarely helped in such cases. (our weekly chamionship rounds are all played with screens)

I sometimes tell my partners that if a bid is not explicitely written in our system but they have an (even strong) opinion what it should be, then not to tell the opponents that it means what they think, but rather tell first that it is not explicitely agreed, however they guess so and so. I do the same. It might help.

One thing is sure: Levy won't get a sportsmanship award. I would have ruled against them and would have withheld the deposit too, because it's absolutely unrealistic that H-H had an agreement on this 6. Lot of people play splinters, even exclusion, but I have never heard one on level 6.

Volcker's double was simply a bad bid. If north has diamonds then pass will be an excellent score. If north has a void then doubling is simply bad.
Feb. 5, 2016
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many players open 1 with 4-4 minors
Jan. 29, 2016
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South's last good bid was 4. Then should have redoubled to show the A, it's easy 4 for North (who already showed some interest and learns that partner's ace is useless).
Let's say we accept 4. Then South really has to retreat to 5 hearing partner's diamond void at 5. (4 already showed good raise to game and 4 showed further extra - I don't think that 4 should be bid with minimal hands, because it' more important to limit one's strength than to show a specific control).

I agree that North was the first to misbid, but IMO South overbid more.
Jan. 29, 2016
Csaba Czimer edited this comment Jan. 29, 2016
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Nowadays vulnerable preempts have absolutely nothing to do with rule 2 and 3. Look at this one: about 1.5 tricks in defence, about 6 tricks in offence. That is, you can easily go down 800 (or 1100) against their 450. If partner has the diamond ace, it's still -500 and they may not have any game.
Jan. 29, 2016
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I would have opened 1NT playing standard. At least my strength is correctly announced.
A nice example why I prefer strong club :)
Jan. 18, 2016
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I agree
Jan. 12, 2016
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