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All comments by Scott Needham
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Feb. 13
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This is the reason I prefer to play 3 as Serious/Not when are trumps. It's less ambiguous, but partners don't like the extra memory wrinkle.

Without this agreement, and playing Not, I'd cue . Playing Serious, I've decided that 3N shouldn't deny a control and partner is asked to cooperate with anything at all to say, anticipating 5-level safety. I don't want the pressure/ambiguity created when one of us cues 3 and Serious reverts to partner's evaluation of his minimum. Is s/he supposed to cooperate regardless whether the 3 cue is made with either a Serious/Not? What does that tell the cue bidder?

EDIT: and I should say, I suppose, that my favorite is Not with 3=Not when are trumps.
Feb. 13
Scott Needham edited this comment Feb. 13
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Hat tip to ML above: “It's all about fit and the information previously imparted in the auction.” One could turn the OP on its head to focus on the same evaluation problem for the hand opposite any Serious try.
Recently, I held AT KQJ84 4 AQ543
Partner held 83 A75 AJ953 KT9
The bidding was
(P)-1-(P)-2
(P)-3-(P)-4
(P)-4-(P)-5
We weren't playing Serious/Not, and I assumed that, without discussion, partner's jump to 4 was a 2/1 “minimum.” He didn't recognize his hand as a “slam-positive minimum.”
Same evaluation issue playing Serious:
(P)-1-(P)-2
(P)-3-(P)-3
(P)-3N-(P)-?
If partner isn't going to recognize this hand as slam-positive after Serious, we aren't playing it correctly.
Feb. 11
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Nice hand, Oren. Cherry season much? ;-)

It's clear that the auctions are tougher for all of the usual reasons involving holdings, and that may be reason enough to adopt your structure. This is valuable input; we can probably agree that there are miracle hands and disaster hands for virtually any structure.

I enthusiastically agree with the “unbalanced describes” principle, as, I suspect, most who bother to post here do. I just don't find many stiffs opposite my Bluhmer suits on a frequency basis. Seems to me that most responders would get cold feet after opener's 2 and do whatever it is they do to ask for a stopper: 1-1/1N-2/2-3/3N. Many pairs would get the lead; winning boards for defenders on the lead.

If it is argued that responder loses nothing by trying, what if opener is Ax=KQxx=KJxx=xxx or Ax=Kxxx=KJxx=Jxx or any of the very many more likely opener's hands and, instead of reaching a miraculous slam, you've GFed into a very poor contract? 1-1/1N-2N/3-3/? – now, 3N on a wing and a prayer? 4? – when it could go 1-1/1N-2/2-3/3? Excellent judgment to pass now, but likely we play 4 since opener is min-min.

Always appreciate your posts.
Jan. 23
Scott Needham edited this comment Jan. 23
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In my view, the good things about XYZ are the ability to stop low with inv layouts and the ability to recover responder's strong jump shifts with the second round jumps to the three level. Thinking about all of the good stuff above made me realize that 4M-5m GF only kinds of layouts can be handled as outlined: 1m-1M/1N-2/2M-3m , and stoppers sorted out below 3N (maybe some unwinding after 3 when m = ). The three-level gadgets after 2N–>3C can then be reserved for SI layouts with safety to 4N, remembering that we are talking about 1/1/1 sequences. The GF/SI distinction is a “know ‘em when we see ’em” kind of thing, but there you have it. So I'm amending the ‘one possible’ structure above to make it SI rather than GF.
Jan. 22
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One possible:
R’s 2N relay –>3♣: R may pass with ♣, or

3♦ = GF, 5Y-4X with stiff, relay asks: 1st step = low, 2nd = high
3♥ = GF, 4Y-5X with stiff, relay asks: 1st step = low, 2nd = high
3♠ = GF, 4Y-5X-2-2
3N = GF, 5Y-4X-2-2

I'm aware many don't bother with the 5M-4m hands as per OK, above, to allow some stopper probing.
Jan. 21
Scott Needham edited this comment Jan. 21
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Steve, I'm guessing you meant to write “So, 1♣ - 1♥ - 1N - 2♦ -2 -3♣ should be either 2=5=2=4 or 4=2=2=5….”? or am I again missing something?
Jan. 21
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After my response above, I started to think about the first OP sequence and realized that, although it's never come up, for me it could show some 4x1 with and or 4-4-3-2, both with concentrated values in and , that wants to try 3N else 4/5. Other balanced GF hands with spread out values just bid NT; 1-1/1N-2/2-3N is the 5-3-3-2 COG hand. The fit, no control, no 2/3 in would also be possible. Both hand types seem pretty rare just b/c the concentrations suggest concentrated values in both hands, but the GF values have to be somewhere, now, don't they?

EDIT: Now have seen OK's post below, which makes the same kind of point.
Jan. 21
Scott Needham edited this comment Jan. 21
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IMHO, it's 2-Way if 2 doesn't force 2, and XYZ if it does. So it matters b/c 2-Way will bid 3 to show drop dead with 4cd & 6+cd. Assuming XYZ:
option 1: yes, but denies 2/3 honors and control
option 2: same
option 3: yes, slammish and pure
option 4: no
option 5: no
option 6: yes: with both 5/4 and 4/5
Jan. 20
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I'm trying to convince my devoted Pre partner, and maybe I have succeeded, that we should use a “real s” xyz after the 1 opener: 1-1M/1Z-2 = must bid 2 with 4+. Also have a way playing Neb 2 to make sure we have stoppers. Call me paranoid.
Dec. 30, 2019
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Hard to invite with any of the 2-level 3-suited calls: First you have to ask.
Dec. 30, 2019
ATB
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3
Dec. 27, 2019
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Bummer
Dec. 11, 2019
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If its just natural aftr the positive/waiting 2, no Kokish, what's wrong with 3 after 3, and 4 after 3? Then 4-4N/4 keys-Q ask/6 pass? W doesn't know E is 5-5; E could overbid.
Dec. 7, 2019
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Big, bal; GF with ; then throw in a big 4x1 for good measure
Nov. 29, 2019
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Waxing nostalgic for Vanessi"s
Nov. 29, 2019
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Thank you RR: My understanding of Lightner vs. slam has always been: Make an unusual lead. One of my partners insists it is dummy's first bid, to which I respond ‘then don’t call it Lightner.' He persists. Sigh.
Nov. 5, 2019
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This is SI. 3N by opener might mean 2-2 majors or 3=2 majors. In either case, responder's 4m shows the hand. Now, 4N by opener is offer to play, 4M sets trumps. In eithr case, responder can move.
Yes, responder will play any contract–not at all bad in slams, and only wrongsides , just as AK's method below wrongsides . If you want to invert 3 and 3N by responder, OK only so long as 3N is forcing–hmmmmmm.
Oct. 23, 2019
Scott Needham edited this comment Oct. 23, 2019
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The Buzzard: 2N-3/3-3: up to now its normally 5-4. Usual rebid here is 3N, 4 or 4 (maybe you play 4m as a cue for ). Any fit-showing bid is super duper, but over 3N, responder bids 4m stiff to show the 5-5 SI hand. In Billy Miller's version (Sept 2010 Bulletin), over 3 opener can bid 4 as a super-accept for , 4 for , but this auction seems to allow for 3cd; in any case 4 or 4 is simply an “ordinary” hand.
Oct. 23, 2019
Scott Needham edited this comment Oct. 23, 2019
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Really? Because I generally have no idea what other considerations might inform the choice….Maybe I should've added “No other discernible tendencies.” See Hank Meyer's, below.
Oct. 20, 2019
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