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All comments by Michael Kamil
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Neill…
I think it might very well be right to pass again in that situation. After all, if LHO has something like a minimum opening bid with 4 or 5 hearts and a stiff spade, could he really bid more than 4? That would make it nearly impossible for RHO to move on. Once again, if you bid some number of spades, you may pressure left hand opponent into a bid…now it will be clear to his partner that he has real values.
Feb. 22, 2011
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Bob -

Yes, they actually did bid to 4 at the other table after a 2 advance over 1.

Feb. 17, 2011
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Chris - You're absolutely right. It has an effect on the 2 of a major rebid hands. (I wouldn't say it changes much for the jump rebid though). For instance we could hold Kx AKJxxx xxx Jx and open 2. Thus, our minimum for a 1 level opening and rebid is necessarily higher than those not playing this system.

This takes a bit of getting used to for those using light preempts, but I've become a real fan over time.



Feb. 16, 2011
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An excellent piece as usual by Larry. Of course, that's easy to say because I'm in complete agreement. :)

I'm an old-fashioned preemptor at heart and find it difficult to guage the auctions when partner is on the wild side. Granted, the opponents have trouble too, but I still find the whole setup uncomfortable.

(Right now Bridgewinners has quite a bit of discussion on this topic.)

My present partner, however, prefers a more active style…so he's come up with an ingenious compromise. When allowed (and this applies mostly to knockouts), we open 2 Multi, showing a very bad weak 2 in either major - anywhere from 1(!) to 7 hcp depending on vulnerability. The corollary is that a 2 of a major opening is now “sound”, say 8-12.

Most interestingly, our experience over the last 2 years shows that the biggest gains come not from the wild Multi, but from the constructive weak 2's. The opponents are often in great danger when they step in. The partner of the preemptor can often double in competitive auctions when he wouldn't dream of it opposite a wide-range or lighter preempt.
Feb. 16, 2011
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If one is going to rebid 3 at his third turn with this North hand (to avoid missing the 8 card fit), wouldn't we languish in 3NT when responder holds x Ax AKTx KTxxxx? Six clubs, while not cold, is pretty darn good. To say nothing of the fact that the dummy would be rather a surprise in my opinion. I'm assuming that after 1-2-2-2N-3 this hand would bid 3N and North would pass.

I'm not great theoretically here, but it seems simple enough to get back to hearts after the 3 rebid at turn 3 if everyone is bidding naturally and not worrying about slam yet.
Feb. 15, 2011
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I must say that I'm a bit surprised at the easy dismissal of the value of narrow range preempts. While I'm not sure whether they're better or not in the long run, personally I find them more comforting both in the auction and the play. For one, the partner of the preemptor is actually a real part of the decision making process, as opposed to another “guesser”. He can compete effectively and with some assurance. Additionally, it might be useful if there's at least some lead directional value in the suit we've preempted in (yes, I'm being playfully sarcastic).

I've long been on the other side of the fence from Kit on this topic. I understand both sides of the argument…and I well know that Kit is a terrific theoretician - and certainly much better than I am. I would however, take issue with the fact that partnership morale is of little consequence. Maybe one should be mentally tougher, or perhaps one should be able to accept the fact that the ends justify the means (eg. a winning lead is more important than having my suit led), but I still find it uncomfortable when my partner is acting alone, making decisions for the partnership.
Feb. 15, 2011
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It seems that the key issue here is whether bids below game are in search of the best strain or are suggestive of higher aspirations. Without clear agreement it's hard to assess blame. Another side issue - must North rebid his hearts immediately to show 5-5 in the majors, or is he allowed to show “12 of his cards”. I'm a believer in showing the greater number of cards in your hand, so I too would have bid 3.

Thus, I agree with the auction through 3H call, but I don't understand 3 or 4. I would have thought 3S typically showed Qx xx AKxx Axxxx, but that of course follows if strain is the issue. I suppose the 4H bid was predicated on the belief that South had shown interest in hearts with his 3 bid.

I agree with Magnus that it's not an easy hand, but if the general principles regarding shape-showing and “game before slam” issues (or whatever way the partnership would like to operate) were agreed upon, the accident probably could have been avoided.
Feb. 14, 2011
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It's interesting to speculate on whether East could actually “know” the distribution as Kit suggests. Experts do often lead low from Jx in partner's suit in this type of situation. So, while not likely, it's possible that declarer is 3-4-4-2.

As an aside:

In an important match I once overcalled with AQxxxx of a suit. My LHO arrived at 3N and my partner led the deuce. Dummy on my right had 10xx. As I had only one side entry (the key card that declarer had to knock out) I won the ace and found an incredibly imaginative shift awaiting the applause of the kibitzers. Alas, declarer had Kx and partner had led from Jx. Making five when down two was normal.

We don't always “know” what we think we know. :)
Feb. 8, 2011
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Seems to me that everything was going according to Hoyle until the 5C bid. I think South correctly passed the 4S advance to partner. If partner does double that I'd be happy to defend. If partner holds x Axxx AQx Jxxxx for instance, we really don't want to play at the 5 level.

It's unclear to me whether 4N is takeout with 2 or 3 suits, but it's extremely unlikely (impossible?) that North can hold any hand with only 2 diamonds. Thus, the 5C call seems wrong. 5D must be just as good and often much better. The discussion would be really interesting if South had xxxx KQ Kxxx ATx. With that I could understand ending in 5C, although perhaps a double of 4S directly would have more to recommend it.
Feb. 7, 2011
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I have to agree with Barry on most of the points. I'm not sure about bidding 2N though. Without a specific agreement that it's scrambling I'd hate to make such a bid minus the stopper. I suppose 3D is alright vs. 3H…perhaps a matter of style.

I imagine at this point Jeff had wished he'd passed out 1S and was looking for the nearest exit!

I absolutely would have doubled 5C as north. Firstly, we just have to be in a force. Partner forced us to game and the opponents had passed it out at the 1 level. I don't have many forcing pass auctions in my arsenal, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Besides, the thought of partner bidding at the 5 level is not something I could stomach with this hand. I'll bet if you asked Jeff now, he'd say this was the worst bid in the auction. Not correcting to 5H is also quite strange.

Not much fault for Rodwell here. I think the 2S bid was smart, leaving open an avenue to possibly arrive at 3N. I suppose the only alternative is to leap to 4H, but that seems too one-dimensional. He “might” have doubled 5C, but it seems a bit unfair to ask that opposite a partner who (in my opinion) invited a bid.
Jan. 31, 2011
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