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All comments by Ed Freeman
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Not understanding all of the love for 3N. A very final contract that is unlikely to be best – unless partner has some values. Let's start with 3H showing our uncertainty and strong playing strength. This allows partner to show values with 3N, but also bid 5C, 4C or 3S, 4S on proper hands. On a 4-1-4-4 zero count, 5C has play and you'll have those same 8 tricks you started with at NT. Note that on the auction, partner should avoid bidding 4D at ALL costs; since with a big minors hand you could start with a double and correct spades to clubs.
Sept. 10
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One of my favorite sessions was a Midnight Zip at a New York NABC. The director OKd us playing “anything we wanted.” That made filling out the convention card easy. In EVERY bidding section we just put the word SUCTION. ALL opening bids, doubles and overcalls other than 1C and 3N were SUCTION bids. .

The auctions were ridiculously challenging, especially after a few adult beverages. But by the finals all prior opponents had stayed to kibbitz us … By the end we had a dozen kibbitzers drinking, laughing and sitting on every nearby table to watch us SUCTION a win in a midnight Zip.


…. completely agree that the midnights should be a staple for every tourney.
July 20
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I am in the 1NT camp, would like better spots but partner will have a good sense of what to do at every point after an initial 1NT by me. If there was an extra J in the hand, everyone would bid it and the TC seems like a good card early in the auction.

This is an unclear decision now because we didn't make it easy on the first round of bidding.
Dec. 30, 2017
Ed Freeman edited this comment Dec. 30, 2017
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Answer depends completely on methods: How did you define the double?

If takeout, 4N seems clear and the only issue is whether to try for slam.

If penalty, Pass with fear that your down 3 or 4 won't recompense for your possible 6N.

If “convertible values” you have a tough call. But the possibility that partner has a bad shape for you or that you can't reach your correct contract, makes Pass the favorite.
Dec. 1, 2017
Ed Freeman edited this comment Dec. 1, 2017
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A double at the 3 level in direct seat needs to be significantly better than a double at the 1 level. This hand is not much above the minimum partner should expect. There are 5 losers, while you usually have six or can possibly have 7 with lots of points; but that club void when LHO doesn't raise is less valuable than it looks.

Their failure to raise clubs implies that partner has both club length AND club values. He could have something like: xxx KQxx Jx Axxx where 4 is unsafe. Remember, partner must bid 3 on NOTHING; so 4 does not show that strong a hand.

If you missed slam, my guess is that partner undervalued his hand in context and should have made a 4C bid.

=====


if the hand posted is the responder's hand; that is MUCH too good to bid 4H. I do like the 5H bid as a general slam try; while 4C would be my second choice.

The auction would be more fun if you choose 4C, since the doubler should now bid 5C and this hand would jump to 6H.
Dec. 1, 2017
Ed Freeman edited this comment Dec. 1, 2017
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Thought about this hand for a bit and most likely shapes.

Declarer is at best: 4-1-5-3; but much more likely at least 6 diamonds. No matter what, zero or one heart. I would consider 4-0-6-3 declarer's most likely shape with 5-0-6-2 a close second.

Opener has at least 3 hearts and at most 2 diamonds. Most likely shape: 4-3-2-4. Could be 4-4-1-4 or 4-3-1-5.

But the bad news is: Any diamond cards they need to be onside ARE onside. The implication of all of this? My club tricks can easily go away by setting up dummy's possible heart K. My heart trick is much less likely to exist or to go away. So, club it is.

Given the implied diamond position, I am not playing to beat this, just to get whatever tricks I can.
Nov. 27, 2017
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Perfect hand for some sort of Fit Showing Jump, but barring that it looks like I have 3 offensive tricks for partner when diamonds are trump, so a simple 2 inverted minor seems the best lie.

Give me one less diamond, one more club and the 1 lie seems best.
Nov. 27, 2017
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Makes little sense to play this as penalties at IMPs. Is partner really expecting to beat this more than one? and how about a RDBL by the opponents getting them a game bonus?

The reasoning for this double being penalties because the double of 1 is penalties misses the history of that first double. The double as penalty is to expose the very common psyche of 1 in this situation.


I would expect partner to be 4- 2/3 - 4 with 8-11 HCP. Wants to compete and doesn't know where.

If you want to be clever, you can try 2. But at teams, given the likely bad spade break, 3 seems the clear action.
Nov. 27, 2017
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Novices? Bid 4 or 3NT so that they will either bid 4 or mis-defend.

But this is definitely a Limit Raise from a Cover Card viewpoint, you have 3 clear tricks on offense.

Given the hands shown, using modern methods this problem disappears:

1H 2N*
3C# 3H
???

* Limit or better
# 7+ loser hand

??? The big decision is opener's as to whether to bid 3N with extras opposite a LR. Against novices, who I assume are weaker than the average in the field, you need above average results. 3N seems correct.
Nov. 27, 2017
Ed Freeman edited this comment Nov. 27, 2017
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and 6 or 7 are better contracts than 6N.

We need partner's opinion on this hand and there are many constructs that make 6N poor and a diamond slam excellent: K QJTxx AKJ AQxx or – AKJxx AKJ QJxxx or x Axxxx AKJ AQJx or K AJTxx KJx AQJT for examples.

As for 4N bidders, won't partner bid a wonderful 6N holding K AKQJx KJx QJxx? … you do have 16 or 17 tricks, after the opponents take their 2 aces.
Nov. 18, 2017
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This hand is a poster child for Invitational Jump Shifts. 3 – invitational with a good suit and no fit seems about perfect.
Nov. 17, 2017
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Double allows for two contracts that 2N doesn't: 2 and 2 doubled. I am pretty happy if partner choses either of those.
Nov. 16, 2017
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Partner is likely 1-5-3-4 and 6 or 7 diamonds is your best contract. Unless partner has KS, not clear where your 12 tricks are coming from in 6NT.

I like to play 4D as “qualitative Key Card” on this auction, so partner's response will tell you whether he has 2 or 3 diamonds.
Nov. 16, 2017
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Even more, I am happily competing to the 5 level. So under the worst case if it comes to me after something like: 1 2 P 4; I am bidding 4N and then correctiig clubs to diamonds to show a big diamond / heart two suiter.

A primary reason to use a big artificial opening bid is fear of being passed out and missing game. Here, with 15 HCP and a spade void, that is not a concern.
Nov. 15, 2017
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We need to prepare partner to make a decision over 4 and 5. Starting with a diamond call helps partner with that decision.

This is assuming an expert partner who understands that as a passed hand I am not introducing a new suit at the three level without serious support for his clubs
Nov. 14, 2017
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Apologies if I deeply offended anyone by putting a bidding poll in the wrong section. I looked at bidding polls first and it didn't appear to provide the format I desired. This is my first poll posted, so I was likely wrong.

Meanwhile, I neither posted a relevant solution. The 1D/2C K/S variant was clearly stated as something I prefer in serious partnership – obviously not relevant to the situation posed. Nor did I mention who partner was or what action he actually took.

I have already found this discussion exceedingly helpful. It likely changed the way that I would bid this hand in MPs; plus helped me discover a hole in my preferred non-serious partnership system: I have no escape hatch to play 4m after a Jump Shift.

Unfortunately this comment distracts from the valuable.

Are rants like this common here? They seem anathema to what I hope these polls/forums are about.

I would think that a private message would be much more effective if helping to make these forums better was the goal.
Oct. 28, 2017
Ed Freeman edited this comment Oct. 28, 2017
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Because, as stated, this solution is only relevant in “serious partnerships,” so completely irrelevant in the situation portrayed.
Oct. 28, 2017
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Years ago our team mates figured out that declarer had badly mis-claimed after we had already turned in our results for that round of a Swiss. Declarer had claimed Down Three, but after much discussion our team mates realized that given the lie of their cards, there was no reasonable way he could go down more than one.

They showed the opponents the error before the next round began. The opps and director were thrilled to get the Victory Points moved to the other team.


Later that day we were playing the team competing with us for the event. Over our weak two, one of the opponents forgot that they were playing Transfer McCabe. When his partner alerted, it “woke him up.” His body language then and for the rest of the auction gave that away completely.

The one who'd forgotten, just kept repeating his suit; which unfortunately always had another possible interpretation within their structure.

His professional partner didn't let him off the hook until the six level. He just kept bidding his hand as though his partner had remembered correctly. That pro's active ethics cost them that match… and probably gave us the event.

Karma and Active Ethics both rock!
Oct. 28, 2017
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I never said what partner or I actually DID bid…
Oct. 28, 2017
Ed Freeman edited this comment Oct. 28, 2017
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It is not JUST a spade lead you are worried about. To make 3NT ; you require the J to drop. Even if spades are 4-4 or they don't lead them; when they get their diamond trick they will then take their 4+ spades.

This makes it a very poor MP contract.
Oct. 28, 2017
Ed Freeman edited this comment Oct. 28, 2017
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