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DW: In fact, when I looked into it, I found that most who use the 2N SI relay in XYZ only do it with 4M and big m fit–the 5M-4+m slammish hands take care of themselves with R's 3m rebid (provided 4cd support is enough for the p'ship). And yes, in the OP layout the limited rebid takes S from behind the wheel.

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SB: Using the 2♦ GF instead of the 2N SI relay, N will not show the ♣ short unless S provokes a cue bid auction. Several possible auctions, e.g.

1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/3♦ (deny 3cd♠, 4cd♥)-3♥/3N or 1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/3♦-3♠/4♠ or 1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/3♦-3♥/3N-4♦/5♦ or 1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/2N-3♦/3♠-4♠ or 1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/2N-3♦ (helps to have agreement to ‘untangle 3♦’)/3N or 1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/2N-3N….

depending upon style and where the air conditioning vents are aimed.

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Fair point, but yes and no, I think. The question is whether and how to get started. Systems take over after that. Your answer, rebidding ♦s naturally, commits to slam exploration, so IMHO that answers the question. I agree that the continuation questions could simply have said that, whether 1♠-2♣ or 1♣-1♠/2N.

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Obviously, I meant this as an evaluation problem, and I confess that it is somewhat trivial. Rule of 20ers will knee-jerk open. Rule of 22ers can't quite make it unless deciding upon some compromise valuation of two stiff Qs. Obviously, much can go wrong when choosing to open these things, but it seems to me very clear that even after P-1♣/1♠-2N, we have to look at slam. In fact, perhaps more so than after 1♠-2♣, b/c in the first sequence it is East who ought to be able to see the slammish values, both Qs should be pulling their weight, while West will be driving the auction in the second sequence. But, I should say, with some confidence.

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Hat tip to Mr. Fleet: Some of these auctions can be dedicated to showing very good as opposed to “normal” holdings, e.g.:

1♣-1♥/1♠-2♣/2♦-3♠ with very good ♠; 1♣-1♥/1♠-2♣/2♦-2♠ not so much.

1♣-1♦/Z-2♣/2♦-3♦ = normal suit, inv values; 1♣-1♦/Z-2N (relay to 3♣)/3♣-3♦ = very good suit, inv values. (Many have other uses for the 2N–>3♣-3♦ sequence.)

X-Y/Z-3Z = GF+ with very good Z; X-Y/Z-2♦ then Z support = GF+ with normal Z.

X-Y/Z-3Y = SI, very good one-suiter; X-Y/Z-2♦/bid-3!Y = GF+, not-so-good one-suiter (One can always catch up after using 2♦.)

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I've worked out a solution that I like, thought I'd take it for a test ride.

The other problem implicated in this issue (and omitted from the OP) is that I've always used 1N-2♣/2♦-3♦ to show 4-4 majors. Obviously incompatible with using that sequence to show the 6♦-3M varieties. So how about this:

1N-2♣/2♦-2♥ shows 4♠ or natural 2N invite: Lots of room to get to the right spot. 1N-2♣/2♦-2N = the problem 6♣-3M. Now opener can deny fit, cue, etc. 1N-2♣/2♦-3♣ = same for 6♦-3M 1N-2♣/2♦-3♦ = responder's 4-4 majors

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Should have mentioned that this is in a 4Way Transfer context as well. So the issue is: Which way to go?

My tendency is to give up the 5cd Stayman toy in favor of the 4Way Transfer toy on these 6m-3-3-1s – long m is the primary feature of the hand – but to do so gives up any chance of finding the 8cd major fit. It does not seem a good move, after, e.g., 1N-2♠ (♣)/3♣ (fit)-3X (short) to allow O's 3M to show a 5cd major. Perhaps 4M could do so, but then we lose a level and it is much too late to figure out whether R's 4N is now asking in m or M or to play. That seems unplayable.

OTOH, an auction like 1N-2♣/2♦-3m or 1N-2♣/2M-3m is clear, I suppose, but we've lost R's ability to show shortness at the 3 level. On game-before-slam principles, O's 3-level calls could be the 4cd major (not fond of this: why advertise?) or stoppers or weak suit, to give R some idea how 3N might play. Regardless, R's 4m over 3N or any other 3-level call by O should indicate slammish values, but we don't know O's degree of fit either (O's new suits are cues, and 4N by O over 4m is intended to play.) Perhaps a jump to the 4 level when available should show shortness and slammish. Perhaps I've persuaded myself: This option does no worse than put us back into a pre-4Way context.

Please, no suggestions to play strong 1C. I've recently agreed to learn one with a partner who has played it for 15 years or more – and that is a whole other story. (For real, now, how can someone who plays a huge number of totally arbitrary sequences mostly unrelated to natural bidding and requiring mucho rote memorization claim that tricked-out 2/1 is hard to remember?)

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You've said that this hand, with AKQxxx, qualifies for this sequence in your p'ship. It might even be canonical. So how can 3♥ be wrong?

And if not AKQ, then there is some kind of entry, right? So, to me, E seems to be gambling big time, mainly hoping for a ♠ lead to set up the 9th trick. Hoping for 7cd ♥, AKQJxx, AKQTxx and a 3-3 break without a ♣ or ♦ lead, or a ♣ or ♦ honor onside if ♥ are good for 6 tricks. Too much of a trifecta by a long shot.

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Why would not 3♣ over 2NT suggest forward-going ♣? and 3♥ = ♥?

EDIT: Ooooooops. If 2♦ is fixed as a ♣ raise, so that 3♣ next is LR, I think I'm overbidding (yes, again) by bidding 3♥ as opener on my second turn.: How do you like me now?

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/3♦ (deny 3cd♠, 4cd♥)-3♥/3N or

1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/3♦-3♠/4♠ or

1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/3♦-3♥/3N-4♦/5♦ or

1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/2N-3♦/3♠-4♠ or

1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/2N-3♦ (helps to have agreement to ‘untangle 3♦’)/3N or

1♦-1♠/1N-2♦ (GF)/2N-3N….

depending upon style and where the air conditioning vents are aimed.

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

1♠-2♣

2♦-2♠

would you intend to develop the auction by rebidding ♦ or bidding 4♠ or some other action?

Scott Needham

1♣-1♥/1♠-2♣/2♦-3♠ with very good ♠; 1♣-1♥/1♠-2♣/2♦-2♠ not so much.

1♣-1♦/Z-2♣/2♦-3♦ = normal suit, inv values; 1♣-1♦/Z-2N (relay to 3♣)/3♣-3♦ = very good suit, inv values. (Many have other uses for the 2N–>3♣-3♦ sequence.)

X-Y/Z-3Z = GF+ with very good Z; X-Y/Z-2♦ then Z support = GF+ with normal Z.

X-Y/Z-3Y = SI, very good one-suiter; X-Y/Z-2♦/bid-3!Y = GF+, not-so-good one-suiter (One can always catch up after using 2♦.)

Scott Needham

The other problem implicated in this issue (and omitted from the OP) is that I've always used 1N-2♣/2♦-3♦ to show 4-4 majors. Obviously incompatible with using that sequence to show the 6♦-3M varieties. So how about this:

1N-2♣/2♦-2♥ shows 4♠ or natural 2N invite: Lots of room to get to the right spot.

1N-2♣/2♦-2N = the problem 6♣-3M. Now opener can deny fit, cue, etc.

1N-2♣/2♦-3♣ = same for 6♦-3M

1N-2♣/2♦-3♦ = responder's 4-4 majors

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

My tendency is to give up the 5cd Stayman toy in favor of the 4Way Transfer toy on these 6m-3-3-1s – long m is the primary feature of the hand – but to do so gives up any chance of finding the 8cd major fit. It does not seem a good move, after, e.g., 1N-2♠ (♣)/3♣ (fit)-3X (short) to allow O's 3M to show a 5cd major. Perhaps 4M could do so, but then we lose a level and it is much too late to figure out whether R's 4N is now asking in m or M or to play. That seems unplayable.

OTOH, an auction like 1N-2♣/2♦-3m or 1N-2♣/2M-3m is clear, I suppose, but we've lost R's ability to show shortness at the 3 level. On game-before-slam principles, O's 3-level calls could be the 4cd major (not fond of this: why advertise?) or stoppers or weak suit, to give R some idea how 3N might play. Regardless, R's 4m over 3N or any other 3-level call by O should indicate slammish values, but we don't know O's degree of fit either (O's new suits are cues, and 4N by O over 4m is intended to play.) Perhaps a jump to the 4 level when available should show shortness and slammish. Perhaps I've persuaded myself: This option does no worse than put us back into a pre-4Way context.

Please, no suggestions to play strong 1C. I've recently agreed to learn one with a partner who has played it for 15 years or more – and that is a whole other story. (For real, now, how can someone who plays a huge number of totally arbitrary

sequences mostly unrelated to natural bidding and requiring mucho rote memorization claim that tricked-out 2/1 is hard to remember?)

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

And if not AKQ, then there is some kind of entry, right? So, to me, E seems to be gambling big time, mainly hoping for a ♠ lead to set up the 9th trick. Hoping for 7cd ♥, AKQJxx, AKQTxx and a 3-3 break without a ♣ or ♦ lead, or a ♣ or ♦ honor onside if ♥ are good for 6 tricks. Too much of a trifecta by a long shot.

I'd pass 3♥.

Scott Needham

Scott Needham

EDIT: Ooooooops. If 2♦ is fixed as a ♣ raise, so that 3♣ next is LR, I think I'm overbidding (yes, again) by bidding 3♥ as opener on my second turn.: How do you like me now?

Scott Needham

3,4N = 5S-4H

I like Muppetish things, but few want to do even this small amount to memory tweaking.

Scott Needham

Scott Needham