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All comments by Stephen Cooper
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This situation was addressed in an article in The Bridge World titled Domination and Submission. Here is an excerpt:

In the following structure, note that double is 18-19 balanced; with a “PENALTY” double, and less than GF hand, you pass, and see if partner can balance. If so strong that you cannot risk a missed game,force or bid game.

Submission

When they have spades and we have hearts, we are more restricted in our options.

1C (any) 1H* (2S)
???

*(Or however you show hearts, possibly through a transfer response, and including if they have doubled or overcalled before the heart-showing response)

Double Transfer to NT. A balanced hand. As a bonus, Responder may leave it in, perhaps with 4-4 in the majors, having a good general description of opener’s hand. Responder will rarely pass a “standard” support double, since opener’s strength and shape, particularly his length in the opponent’s suit, are largely unknown.

2NT A Support Double. 3 hearts, extras, or possibly 4 hearts, worth only a raise to 2H. The cue-bid is the only strong response.


3C natural nf

3D big club one-suiter, 0-2 hearts

3H Full value, 4 card support

3S Reverse into Diamonds, 0-2 hearts. Although this bid is a bit awkward, you do have other options: With 2245 you may double, and with 6+ clubs and 4 diamonds, you may choose to just show the clubs.

3NT Tricks and stopper(s)

4 level as without interference.
Oct. 14, 2013
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See the January 2001 Issue of The Bridge World for an article titled “Neutral Game Tries”. Similar to what is referred to as Kokish above,although I have never heard it attributed to him before. The main point is that after 1M-2M, that 2M+1 is the only game try. So far, nothing is revealed. Responder may reject all or accept all, by bidding 3M or 4M, and still, nothing has been revealed.He may make a return natural game try if unsure, revealing something about the dummy.
Oct. 2, 2013
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One more conventional option: I agree with using 4 as RKCB, with answers as you see fit. But you might also use 4 as a trump quality inquiry. In effect, it is approximately a standard raise to 5 of the trump suit, but without the need to get quite so high. Opener assumes you have a small stiff in support. He signs off with no slam interest.
Sept. 30, 2013
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This is a reprint of a letter to the Editor of the Bridge World, and reply:

TO THE EDITOR:
In a semifinal of the Canadian National
Team Championship, I was declarer here:
North dealer
Both sides vulnerable
NORTH
S 9 6 5
H Q J 4
D K 10 9 6 5
C A 2
SOUTH
S 7 3
H A 5 3
D A
C K 10 9 8 5 4 3
SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST
— — Pass 1 S
2C Double Redouble 2 S
3 C Pass 3 S Pass
4 C Pass Pass Pass

Trying to reach three notrump, we got
a little high. West led the jack of spades,
and East played the three top spades. After
some thought, I discarded a heart, hoping to
pick up the trumps after discarding another
heart on the king of diamonds. On this trick,
LHO ruffed with the queen of clubs! East,
my screenmate, told me that while I studied,
dummy had detached the board’s last
low spade and moved it to the played-card
pile. Clearly, West had been falsecarded
by the dummy. We called the director, who
ruled that West could replace his card—
which he did, with a discard.
When East shifted to a heart, I rose with
the ace, unblocked diamonds, and took
my discard while playing for West to hold
queen-jack-doubleton of clubs—because
if East had jack-third of clubs, he had had
a sure beat by leading a fourth round of
spades.
When West turned up with singleton
queen, I knew that I had been the victim of
an otherworldly Grovesnor gambit.
STEPHEN COOPER
Toronto
Knowledge of who holds the club
queen is authorized for East, unauthorized
for South. The Laws could make
clearer whether South’s knowledge of
East’s knowledge is also unauthorized;
that is, is South allowed to use the fact
that East knows that West has the club
queen (and apparently no low club).
The relevant sentence in the Laws is:
“For an offending side, information
arising from its own withdrawn action
and from withdrawn actions of the
non-offending side is unauthorized.”
Alternative definitions of “arise” leave
room for argument. Being explicit on
such points wouldn’t hurt.
*
Sept. 26, 2013
Stephen Cooper edited this comment Sept. 26, 2013
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I can see a couple of possibilities, although I agree that ALL PASS is fairly likely.

East might bid. The balanced defensive hand, along with a comfortable lead suggests passing. If one is loose/aggressive, and of the philosophy to interfere if there is any justification at all, then one might use a “2-suited bid” such as DONT to come in. The bid under that convention would be 2 showing clubs and another suit. The counter-argument against that is that even the authors of the bid suggest you should have at least 5/4 in your two suits (Vulnerable, it should be 5/5). Still, you are not vulnerable, and that gets you into the bidding.

AS ADVANCER, West will normally bid 2 over the 2 call, asking East to pass (with diamonds) or bid his major. That will lead to 2 (making 3?).

West can make a strong call by bidding 2NT either directly in response to the 2 (this is artificial, and asking for the second suit), or after the 2 reply (it would be natural then), but the DONT convention, spelled out, means DISTURB OPPONENTS NO TRUMP. It is a destructive convention, not a constructive convention. This hand is very rare, where the other side can make 3NT!

If East passes, West might balance and show a diamond one-suiter. This can be done naturally or conventionally, according to one's methods. However, for reasons stated above, it is still unlikely that this will move the partnership to game. East might try notrump over diamonds, but it is a lot more obvious when we see all the hands. And even then, who bids three?

As a general rule, in close cases, one leans towards bidding (over 1NT) with an unbalanced hand, and defending with a balanced hand.

One last chance: if E/W play DONT, and West balances Double to show a one-suiter, East might slurp and leave it in.
Sept. 13, 2013
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Darrell, there is no room to examine every option in the original feature. If West ruffs (with the King, otherwise we just over-ruff), we pitch a spade from dummy. If he comes back a club or a heart, we draw trump (and still have at least one left). Then we lead a low spade to the 8, and West can win it (making our hand high), or he can let the eight win and we get our 3rd spade trick that way. However, West might give his partner a spade ruff. In that case, we are later able to draw East's last trump while there is still one in dummy, and ruff our remaining losing spade. Really, the spade pitch itself is irrelevant, but we have to throw something! It plays the same either way.
Sept. 5, 2013
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Hey Darrell,

Note that when I get the hand records to write up, they include the “Deep Finesse” analysis that shows the maximum makable contract for each side in each suit. It is up to me to decide how that is possible. Sometimes, ridiculous heroics are required; sometimes only good guesses. I consider it a challenge to see how “The Computer” (i.e. Deep Finesse) makes a hand; it does not mean that it is probable.
Aug. 29, 2013
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6 takes some good guesses (or perhaps Ace of spades lead)to make. In practice, you got 99% of the matchpoints for +920. On the Queen of hearts lead, you can make by ducking this, and preventing the dangerous spade play. Later, you set up the heart suit. When the play goes Heart Queen, diamond shift, play a club at trick three.When they are 3-0, you know you must play on the hearts.
Aug. 29, 2013
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When I'm on vacation, you can write the analysis :). Note in my original analysis, I looked at the computer sheet which says that 4 can be made; since I was focusing on a couple of other points, and space is limited, I did not look closely how to actually make it.

It is good to see your thoughtful analysis; sometimes I wonder if anyone is looking at what I have written. Now I know I have to keep on my toes.
Aug. 28, 2013
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I learned it from Eric Kokish many years ago.
Aug. 28, 2013
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To make 4, it is necessary to duck the first diamond, and then later take a first round finesse of the ten of trumps. Maybe this is double-dummy, but that is how to make it. Presumably, 4 would be doubled; if not, there are still inferences available. If the auction goes as I have suggested, West will have shown 5-5 (at least). When you try the club finesse first, you see who has the King. It is not to remote to play East for at least 4 to the AJ.

After that start, (Diamond, diamond; club to queen, heart to the ten, spade to the queen, 2nd heart to the Queen, declarer reverts to clubs. East can ruff, but South is in control. A diamond back is ruffed in dummy, and the last club thrown from declarer. You are right that declarer cannot make it by leading hearts three times from dummy.
Aug. 28, 2013
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The auction should start 1 - 1, 2 - 3. This a sound foundation. The initial response is based on the principle of bidding the higher-ranking of two suits first. Opener's 2 rebid is a REVERSE. As such, it is forcing for one round, and shows at least 17 HCP (maybe a nice 16). How should responder continue? It is important to be able to distinguish between hands that are now ready to go to at least game, from those that are only bidding because it is forcing. A popular method is “Ingberman” which focuses on the use of an artificial 2NT call over a reverse.If you go through the 2NT bid, you have a weak hand, and may want to stop below game; if you bid directly, it is game forcing.

Thus, here, you can bid a forcing 3. After that start, opener can cue-bid 3 with the Ace. Responder can now cue, ask for aces, or just jump to slam.

In all honesty, if I had to make just one bid, I would just bid six hearts over 2H! What a great hand this is facing an opener with 17+ HCP.
Aug. 22, 2013
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I abhor perfection in anyone but myself. Good try.
Aug. 11, 2013
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The top Spingold seeds did better in the Swiss…original Spingold seeds 1st 2nd 4th 5th 8th…more or less intact teams
Aug. 11, 2013
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The 21st place team, Lloyd Arvedon and John McLaughlin would be doing better, but everyone else has the unfair advantage of having at least 4 players.
Aug. 11, 2013
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I am curious whether her opponents were professional players. In some cases, win at any price, perhaps through intimidation and “coffee-housing” tactics is part of that. It certainly is the case in other “pro” sports, where advantages are sought in various forms, some illegal, some merely questionable. This is not to imply that Pro players must act this way, but they feel more pressure to win than somebody playing for fun.
Aug. 9, 2013
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Jordan and I play 2 opening is 18-20 balanced, giving up whatever meaning you are now using for 2. In addition to a few more lower starting sequences, it allows opener's jump rebid of 2NT after starting 1 of a minor to be an artificial game force showing a one-suiter. Similarly, it frees up a 2NT rebid after a forcing NT to be the same (or as you wish).
Aug. 8, 2013
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One may want to restrict a 3 bid to Ace third, as opposed to 3 little.

Taking the bigger picture:

When partner has forced us to bid, there are generally two approaches: 1] All bids are in the category of “best bid available at the time”. This is the default approach. However, it casts doubt on every rebid that opener makes. 2] Nominate some bid (usually the cheapest) as a “waiting” bid. Although this one call becomes ambiguous, it imparts true meaning into every other call. Although it does not appear in this discussion, is there not an inference that 3 here shows extra values? You have bid Diamonds, Clubs, Diamonds - how else would you show a nice 64? Note with the “cheapest rebid is waiting”, I would bypass No-Trump without some half-stopper at least (perhaps using some partnership agreement as to minimum standard?), thus I would choose 3 here. We want to leave partner room to describe.

(As an aside, you may not want to have the cheapest bid always be the waiting bid. After a sequence 1 - 1 - 1 - 2 - , for example, one rarely needs to use the 2 rebid as natural (showing 65). That might be your waiting bid (and you will bid spades again later with 65, or jump to 3 now with a nice hand just short of a Jump Shift). If you want to get fancy, on that sequence, 2 can be waiting, to save space, and 2 can be the natural diamond rebid)

The situation is somewhat similar to rebidding after a 2/1 game force 1 - 2 - ?? where rebidding your suit is played as waiting.
Aug. 8, 2013
Stephen Cooper edited this comment Aug. 8, 2013
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Interesting problem. First, it is not advisable to bid Jacoby 2NT with a void. Be that as it may, there are two standard approaches (and a host of other refinements). In the original version, a jump would show a void. With a spade void, you might not do it as you would be going past the safety level of 4 (if the spade void does not make partner happy). The alternative is to bid 3 and then later decide whether to follow with 4 (perhaps passing a 4 signoff).

In the newer version of Jacoby, a 4 level bid shows a good 5-card suit. In that case, you could bid 4 and then have to decide what to do if partner bids 4. You might still bid 3, allowing partner room to cue-bid 4, which he would do here.

The takeaway point is that it is not enough to simply agree to play Jacoby 2NT (or any other convention); the partnership must discuss the basic continuations, at the very least.
Aug. 1, 2013
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West probably starts with 1. Inverted raises are fairly popular, which would give East a 2 response. West jumps to 3NT to show 18-19 balanced. East sees that 33 HCP are lacking, and may simply pass that; Note that playing in Notrump, twelve tricks are not easy to take (double dummy, it can be done). The easier route to slam is in diamonds, where the club ruff adds a trick. East might make one move over 3NT, and the simple course would be to invite with 4NT. West has a minimum in HCP, but very nice controls (3 Aces and 1 King); he may see the wisdom of accepting the try in diamonds for the very reason that he can see the need for a club ruff.
July 13, 2013
Stephen Cooper edited this comment July 13, 2013
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