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All comments by Sabrina Miles
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I think an open of 1 here and a rebid of 2 would remove any ambiguity about the subsequent 3 bid being forcing. Besides, I think opening and rebidding in this manner better describes this particular hand. At minimum, p will bid 3NT following the reverse. OTOH, p may reevaluate his hand and seek additional information about mine. It is not inconceivable that a minor slam might be on here.

Sure this particular bidding might not work if there were 6 and 5, but with equal length (and strength) and 16HCP plus a doubleton and a singleton, the opening of 1 makes the bidding much easier for all involved.
Sept. 18, 2015
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Where did the bidding go off the rails?

I am tempted to say that the bidding went off the rails with p’s 1NT bid. Why? Because there were other, more descriptive bids available, e.g., 2. Such a bid would have immediately put the bidding in a game force situation, conveyed to me his game going values and would have allowed the partnership to advance slowly and surely to an easily reachable slam.

But I won't say the bidding went off the rails at the 1NT bid, because although it is not the bid that I would have chosen, it is an acceptable bid; it is a forcing bid. It basically asks partner to describe her hand more. (Personally, I prefer a show and tell bidding model — not one in which one partner decides to hide his hand and simply seeks to solicit information).

In any event, from my perspective, the contract went off the rails with partner’s 3NT bid. The 3NT is not forcing. Generally when one player bids 3NT, he is saying his hand is more suitable for NT than for suit play. He has secondary values, a double stop in some worrisome suit, no fit but some power. I see the 3NT as a slam depressant for suit play. I distinguish this 3NT bid from an agreed upon suit and then a 3NT bid which, to me, says I have a hand strong enough to cooperate with a slam search if partner has extras but only willing to play game opposite a minimum. Again, this latter 3NT requires an agreed upon trump suit.

Further, I see the 3NT bid here as limiting partner’s hand. (Although some might reasonably think that the hand was limited by the 1NT bid). When partner limited his hand, I saw my role then as the captain of the auction. Thus, I pulled the non-forcing 3NT bid to 4 saying as captain I think this board plays better here.

Thereafter came the 4NT. Now, to me, it is internally inconsistent for a hand that wanted to stop at game — and there is no other reason to bid 3NT but to stop at game — to now seek to determine if slam is in the cards. I took into consideration not only what partner did bid, but also what he did not bid. A hand looking to search for slam does not sign off at 3NT without showing support for or making a forcing bid. To the contrary of some opinions expressed above, my pass of 4NT, I think said partner, I heard you, you only want to play in NT; I cede my captaincy to you.
Sept. 17, 2015
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All my cc say 20-21. With 22+ HCP, I open 2. I have never opened 2NT with 22. However, it has happened more than a few times that I have opened 2NT with 19 HCP because it was the most descriptive bid of my hand.
Sept. 15, 2015
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What exactly leads you to believe it is a slam try. And if it is a slam try, where is the slam try, in NT,in ? I believe my p, but when goes off the rails, I find it difficult to follow.
Sept. 15, 2015
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@Nick, I don't see 6 (or anything approaching that) here. Simply stated, S made a poor bid and the opponents (both bots) were wise to stay out of the way of a VERY poor bid. Now if there are any excuses to be made, I dare say it would not be on behalf of the human player (who seems to be very much over matched in this hand)
Sept. 10, 2015
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Given the numerous abstentions on this poll, obviously folks did not agree with the 1 - 3 bid. Want is/are the alternatives?
Sept. 10, 2015
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I think it is quite presumptuous to think that the TD know his audience. The TD must rely on external indica, MP or seeing the player at the club. In reality, with the on-line world playing a much larger role than ever before neither the f2f indicia or MP is an accurate indicia is accurate.. As more and more folks come from the on-line play to live play – the TD's will learn to take the experience level (rather than the MP level of the player) into consideration.
Sept. 10, 2015
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Actually, @Bonnet's argument sounds very similar to those who complained that automobiles were inferior to horse drawn carriages. I still remember my grandparents complaining about rock and roll. My opinion is that those who have the least experience with the complained about action are those who complain the loudest.
Sept. 10, 2015
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I understand your query completely! Indeed, I remember listening to my p complain to the TD that “you have not explained to my partner the ramifications of her choices.” I guess most TD start from the assumption that many have heard the explanation several times before (even though many have not).

I have gone over hands post mortem with my partner when the TD gave me choices and I have said that I did not realize that is what the TD was saying. I know for sure that when you have more than minimal MP, the TD will believe that you understand the explanation. I don't think there is a “correct” answer to this question other than live and learn. If you happen to have a partner who has not played regularly at the club or at tournament level, you might explain to partner the most likely challenges {e.g., there is no insufficient bid in on-line play; BIT means nothing when most BIT on-line means the oven timer has gone off} to at least give a heads up. And give the TD a break. Sometimes they find it hard to believe that someone with 1000+MP does not understand how things really work at live F2F bridge.
Sept. 10, 2015
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I would have opened 2NT and over partners 3 transfer to would have bid 3NT
Sept. 10, 2015
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I am confused; why would you think 3NT is preferable to 4? Ummm….seems your bid would go down with humans as well as bots. Personally, I find that bots are much tougher opponents than those faced at the club or sectionals…and perhaps equivalent to most of those found at Regionals.
Sept. 10, 2015
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I would not say P wore punisher T-shirt. His hand was 63 A653 A52 AT73. Since I had already said my piece about the hand, I passed out his 4NT. He insisted that 4NT was RCKB…even though no trump suit had been agreed upon! In hindsight, if I could change my bid…I would still open 1 and perhaps change my rebid to 2…but given the vulnerability,I liked the pushing 3 bid a bit more. I'd be interested to hear how others would bid the hand.

BTW, 7NT, 7 and 7 are all on in this hand. I posted the query because I wondered if anyone else would see his bid as RCKB ask. I think slam is off with the 3NT bid. Thus I read the 4NT bid as saying: “I heard you, and this is where we play.”
Sept. 10, 2015
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You think that W will sit for the double? E has already indicated that he has no preference in the majors. If p does pull the X for 2, 2NT or 3NT are both viable alternative contracts.

Edited to add, did not see that 2 was natural. In any event, not a bad double….and still alternatives should p enter the auction.
Sept. 8, 2015
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3X went for -800 at 4 tables in my section. S, sitting with 16 HCP and KJxx, just passed and N then doubles. (Luckily, my N does not). While N-S can make 5NT and 4 on this hand, the best N-S can do is hope that E-W bids. I thought it was reasonable bid – guess most folks do.
Sept. 8, 2015
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I prefer a 2NT response to show . When partner pre-accepts (indicating at least 1of top 3 honors and at least 3 pieces) by bidding 3, the problem becomes a bit more difficult – whether to sign off in 3NT or to look for the minor slam.
Sept. 8, 2015
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The hand does not meet the Rule of 15; why open in the 4th seat at all? Unless you use Cohen's rule of CRIFS- “Cohen's Rule In Fourth Seat.” Any time the opening is borderline (here 8 HCP and a void – with 5c) evaluate your opponents! With very strong opponents pass it out and get a middlish score/result; if you look up at your opponents and see Schlemiel and Schlimazel (the worst pair), then open the bidding. You can push them around in the auction and will get an extra trick or two in the play/defense.
Sept. 7, 2015
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I'm assuming the South did not neglect to alert the 2 bid.
Sept. 7, 2015
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@Roland, thanks for your comments. I was puzzled why (and how) 6 pairs ended in a 4 contract. Perhaps many holding W cards opened 2 and thought that a 4 response was forcing and asking for a description opposite a yarborough. I must admit, that I did not think of this possibility. I doubt that most casual partnerships have discussed it. It is now something to put on my discuss list.
Sept. 5, 2015
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This hand was played recently at a Regional pairs event. P’s hand was:

2 83 AKQJ742 AKT

(N.B. opponents have a 9 card and fit)

In any event, the hand was played at 38 tables. Five pairs found 6 — in 4 cases it was played in the W, of course I played it in the E; 14 pairs played 5 (W) and 1 played 5 (E); 5 played 4(W) and 2 played 4 (E); 6 played 3NT (E) and 1 played 3NT (W); 1 pair played in 4NT (E); 1 pair played 7 (W); 1 pair played 5 (S); and 1 pair played 4X (N, making)

In the post mortem, p indicated that she bid 5 to keep opponents from finding their potential fit and because she thought it a reasonably makable contract with little support. I bid 6 because this p has very VERY rarely overbid her hand; if she thought 5 was reasonable with nothing from me, then I thought that 6 had a reasonable shot too — I envisioned p having a 8 card solid suit, 1 outside ace doubleton, a void and a 3 card suit.

My concern is whether I am bidding my cards or bidding based on who my partner is for the event. Had p bid 3 asking me to describe my hand, I most likely would bid 3NT — although I do think 4 showing 3 pieces is also an accurate description. I note that when the hand was played in the E, it was mainly played in 3NT. I posted the query to determine whether folks thought 6, based on the cards held, was a reasonable bid.

BTW, I posted the actual results from the table not to be resulting, but to satisfy some folks curiosity.
Sept. 5, 2015
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@Roland, 2 opener shows 8.5 quick tricks or 22+ HCP. It is game forcing opposite a 3 HCP responder. 3 would have shown declarer's suit and asked for a description of responder's hand – here that response would most likely be 3NT or 4.
Sept. 5, 2015
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