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All comments by Marshall Lewis
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You could make the case even more strongly by alluding to 75 shape
Nov. 6
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In what circumstances exactly do you envision getting to this “hopeless game”? Your hand is certainly not going to be bullish after 1S and partner is not very often going to insist on game without any consultation. It is true that he might have a hand where he deems it appropriate to bid 4S as a save and that turns out to be a phantom – but that is a FAR more likely outcome after a pre-empt on these cards than after a simple one-level overcall, since the latter has such a wide range.
Nov. 6
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We may not always be better off, but that mis-represents the appropriate criteria – what really matters are the answers to these questions: (1) “Do we rate to be significantly WORSE off in the particular auction you cite?” (2) “Do we rate to be better off in assorted OTHER sequences that start with 1H (2S)?”

If the answer to the first is deemed to be “NO” and the answer to the second is deemed to be “YES”, then the method is quite viable. That is how I would answer those two questions, but it would hardly surprise me if some folks disagree.

With a serious raise to 3H, you just bid it directly. If instead you have some half-assed raise to 3H, you just X – and either you get a chance to bid 3H later or you don't. If you do, all well and good, while if you don't it will be relatively rare that your side will come to grief on that account.
Nov. 6
Marshall Lewis edited this comment Nov. 6
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They have a max of 22 HCP and probably no fit. “How high” could you seriously expect them to get?
Nov. 6
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How are you “snookered” by the opponents?
How well do you think 1S would have worked out here?
Maybe their bidding has saved you.
Are you suggesting there is NO number of HCP you could have with which you would X instead of overcalling on this shape?
Nov. 6
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It probably has a name but dunno
Nov. 5
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If we carry that sort of reasoning farther, the reduction ad absurdum would allow us – as defenders facing a thorny problem – to ask dummy whether in his experience declarer is capable of Double Squeezes With Malice Aforethought, or tends to notice the small cards played by opponents, or relies heavily on the Theory of Restricted Choice, etc.
Nov. 5
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Yes in a club game that has a good chance of working. At a higher level, many opponents will be playing that a negative X is either the unbid suits OR some sort of raise to 3H, whereas a direct 3H is the other sort of raise to 3H.
Nov. 5
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sensible at IMPs
Nov. 5
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Agree overall, but the way you have cast the issues – talking exclusively in terms of game and slam – looks like you may have thought this was IMP scoring. The general points you are making, however, apply mutatis mutandis to MPs (i.e. partscores) as well.
Nov. 5
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It might not be a great thing to be able to answer these questions correctly.
Nov. 5
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Good question. I don't think so, though, for several reasons:
(a) What matters here is your PARTNERSHIP history, not the full gamut of your non-partnership experience of the player in question.
(b) In order to have a “CLEAR view of partner's lead tendencies” (emphasis added) based entirely on observation as opponent (or for that matter, kibitzee), you would need a database of substantial proportions, which is statistically very unlikely to be the case.
© Even if you have one, it would be a gratuitous assumption to suppose that whatever pattern you may associate with him when he is playing with XYZ can confidently generalize to other partnerships that include him.
(d) Whatever experience you might have of players' tendencies based on their performance in some other partnership(s) is not PROPRIETARY information to which your personal cognitive fund has privileged access. In principle that information has been equally available to your inquisitive table opponent – just as it is to any other member of the Public At Large. In other words, it is not the case that you know something that he is not (apriori & ceteris paribus) equally eligible to know, and that is the criterion for what has to be disclosed.
Nov. 5
Marshall Lewis edited this comment Nov. 5
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Have the rules changed then? Do spades no longer outrank hearts? Why am I always the last one to find these things out?
Nov. 5
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If responder has a 2H response, he isn't going to Pass – he is going to Double, and if partner has spades he is likely going to bid 3S either sooner or later, and that may convert a plus into a minus. Bidding 2S does have the upside of being more likely than 1S to jockey the opponents into an inferior contract, but it also runs the grave risk that partner will over-compete. Ya pays ya money and ya takes ya choice.
Nov. 5
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Majors tend to have a way of getting found regardless of what suit the opening bid has mentioned. Meanwhile, spades still rank higher than hearts – and the primary reason for acting here should be the possibility of effectively outbidding the opponents for a plus score our way (reaching a successful partial or pushing them too high), not blocking their discovery of a fit in a lower-ranking suit than we have.
Nov. 5
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I personally would rate the chance that partner will be on opening lead as relatively low – and a fair amount of that time a spade lead will be no worse than anything else (or at least, anything else partner is at all likely to find).
Nov. 5
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What fun to play in games where that works.
Nov. 5
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1S – Bridge is a partnership game. Partner expects me to set the stage for competitive bidding when we are likely to have a spade fit, especially at this vulnerability and form of scoring. I would hate to let him, and the partnership, down.

2S – Bridge is a partnership game. Partner expects me to put pressure on the opponents when I have a viable reason to do so, especially at this vulnerability and form of scoring. I would hate to let him, and the partnership, down.
Nov. 5
Marshall Lewis edited this comment Nov. 5
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At this vulnerability and form of scoring, partner's idea of “adequate trumps” may be different from yours, even after your strenuous attempts to housebreak him.
Nov. 5
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Oops – I wrote all that under the impression that the opening bid had been in second seat. Then when I read further in the thread it belatedly became apparent to me that this was not necessarily the case. In fact it now seems likely that Barry meant that WE are in second seat holding this hand, as initial modifying prepositional phrases (like participial phrases) are canonically associated with the subject of the ensuing clause. In that case some parts of what I wrote above would be obviated.

But that doesn't change my call – 1S in any seat (except first).
Nov. 5
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