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All comments by Scott Needham
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Just how horrible is my hand? or how horrible are the lead choices?
Jan. 9, 2014
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“You impose a mighty strain cost if you insist that an inverted minor denies a 4cM. You lose a simple way of distinguishing relative length. Another common sequence:

1 – 1

1NT – 2 (NMF, possibly 2-way if you like)

2NT – 3

And opener has no idea about responder’s relative - length.”

As between XYZ and 2-Way Checkback, I generally push 2-Way over 1X-1Y/1N because I think it is useful to know O's Y support at the 2 level. The point you raise, however, argues for straight XYZ, the flavor in which R's 2N rebid puppets to 3. Now, R may pass with , or use succeeding calls to clarify X and Y holdings. One such is

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.

Gumperz has published (somewhere) methods to distinguish X & Y holdings using both the 2 and 2 R rebids:

1m-1M/1N-2N/3-3X = 4M, 5+ m, stiff X
1m-1M/1N-2N/3-3N = 4M, 5+ m, 2-2
1m-1M/1N-2/2M or 2OM-3m = 5M, 4 m, GF
1m-1M/1N-2/2M or 2OM-3om = 5M, 4 om, GF


Jan. 8, 2014
Scott Needham edited this comment Jan. 8, 2014
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I remember a splimit as possibly 3-card limit raise values including a stiff, and I think these hands were sometimes called a “flower bid”? or is that something else entirely….
Jan. 7, 2014
ATB
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Ms. Hasin: NOte that, as compared to the 3M+1 ask, the inv+ spl has the further benefit that, e.g., Jxxx AKx xxx Axx immediately knows that 3N is lookin' good.
Jan. 1, 2014
ATB
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Jan. 1, 2014
ATB
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When your value call depends upon shortness, you had better have a way to find out what it is. 3-level inv+ splinter is a winner IMHO, on very many auctions, but maybe it doesn't fit the rest of your stuff?
Dec. 31, 2013
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I find that opening bid style really influences many of these problems. If partner can open junky 11s, that's one thing; if the opener is sound, I feel chicken not to commit to playing 4N.
Dec. 26, 2013
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I think of it as a 4 loser hand.
Nov. 23, 2013
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I think Marshall Miles advocated either 6+ solid, can be min, or 6+ one loser opposite small stiff, K+ above min.
Nov. 5, 2013
Scott Needham edited this comment Nov. 5, 2013
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It seems to me that, if one has decided that 2N in competition is never to play, and has not adopted Robson-Segal stuff, there are also many Intervener-Advancer auctions where it might apply, especially in a world of aggressive openings/responses: 1X-DBL-P-1Y(2Y)/2X-?; 1X-DBL-1Y-2Z/2Y-?;
1X-2Y-2X-?; 1M-2m-2M-?; 1M-DBL-2M-?; 1X-P-2X-DBL/P-?; 1X-P-1Y-2Z/2Y-?. There is overlap with 2N scrambling, and lots to discuss, but the principle of distinguishing “to play” bids from competitive bids, and competitive bids from invitational bids, could apply.
Oct. 29, 2013
ATB
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I agree about Nagy-Kokish tries, and prefer them, but as N, playing HSGTs, I think I would've treated as the ‘need help’ suit (but if playing HSGTs, I prefer HCP evaluations). Also, as S, I agree with Heitzman's evaluation.
Sept. 13, 2013
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Gotcha as to hand #1 reflecting R's failure to call 4 over 4; my failure to follow the syntax.

I hoped to say that discussion is difficult here without more structure in place. Also, we all tend to adopt some shorthand thinking, leaving out the middle steps. Re: your #2, were you asking what call after 1-1/1-3N or after 1-1/1-3N/4?

Edit: I suppose there is also the question whether the 3N = 15-17 balanced, where 12-14ish would bid 4thSF then NT. Many gaps.
Sept. 6, 2013
Scott Needham edited this comment Sept. 6, 2013
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Methods matter: 4thSF? Walsh? I'd like to be playing XYZ; continuations will differ; after O's support, if given, with your second hand, 3N and O will bid again. Would R bid this way with 3-3-4-3 or 3-2-4-4? Is 4 a slam inv opposite a min game force (apparently not if given hand 2; for me it would be)?. Unfortunately, lots of possibilities and little info as to methods, so necessarily a vague situation. But:

Aside from the point that you've now changed your assessment of P's hand (to which I was responding), then I personally would avoid 3NT in the first instance and bid the concentration b/c I'd expect some 4-(3-1)-5, 4-(2-1)-6, or 4-2-2-5 (failure, noted above to bid NT), so with all those primes I'd want to see whether I get the raise. O should invite slam opposite any responding minimum game force, and if R holds your second hand, we're still odds on for 6N. I think your first hand is a good candidate for the 3N rebid, softish with H cards; many would bid 3N with your 2nd hand, and I still think 4N is appropriate.

Sept. 6, 2013
Scott Needham edited this comment Sept. 6, 2013
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Why didn't I call 4N insted of 4 just in case paartner holds xx KJxx AKxxx Kx?
Sept. 6, 2013
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What action if the major holdings were reversed?
Aug. 30, 2013
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What is your favorite mystery sub-genre (noir/private eye, police procedural, whodunnit, courtroom, historical, etc);

Who is your favorite mystery author;

Who is your favorite protagonist's sidekick?

Also, from reading all of the comments onsite regarding complex ethical issues, it seems to me that the bridge legal structure would benefit most from establishing some firm meta-rules, such as your recent insistence that ‘those who create the problem should bear the burden’, in order to constrain interpretation. What do you think?
Aug. 23, 2013
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It's difficult to find the cheese on this auction type. Most developed stuff I've seen is on Pavlicek's site, where 3 is always “bid 3N if you have a stopper in the overcall suit,” else natch, but systems on to the extent they can be on following the intervening call.

EDIT: Should have said he also advocates negX, important piece.
July 28, 2013
Scott Needham edited this comment July 29, 2013
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“And is there some simple rule that partnerships can use to define when 2N is good-bad?”

Anyone want to start another topic? I would like to see some analysis, having once set out to catalog seqs in which one could play GB and realizing that it is a truly huge set.
July 17, 2013
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Because some “above 3N” calls are alertable when either R's first or O's 2nd bid, one of our local directors likes to state this rule as ‘when you are in a power auction, calls above 3N are not alertable, but require explanation at the end of the auction.’
July 9, 2013
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Seems to me that the distinction has to do with expectations – JTs have become “universal” conventions and folks expect transfers in an uncontested auction and in contested auctions over 1N-(X) or 1N-(2 artificial). A conventional treatment, however, such as Leb or transfer Leb, is not nearly as universal and should require the alert procedure. And range should be part of the explanation. Similarly, didn't ACBL recently require 2 and 2N as part of 4-Way “Transfers” to be alerted as “ suit” or “ suit” b/c of the proliferation of using the in-between step as either “like” or “don't like”?
July 7, 2013
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