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  #201  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by amarone View Post
There doesn't seem to be any rush to jump to game.
Yes, we discussed that in the post-mortem. I was contemplating just opening 6H, which is what happened at some other tables.
  #202  
Old 06-28-2017, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
I was contemplating just opening 6H, which is what happened at some other tables.
That can't be right on a 2-suited hand. Partner could have (say) S KJxx H x D Jxxxx C xxx, and 6H goes down while 7D is a make.

I saw an unusual bidding sequence the other day:

Playing Acol, you open 1H on the very nice-looking

S Axx
H KQJTxxx
D -
C Axx

And with opponents silent, the bidding goes:
1H - 1S (does not promise 5)
3H - 4NT (Blackwood)
5H (2 Aces) - 6D!

Now what? And what is partner holding?
  #203  
Old 06-28-2017, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
That can't be right on a 2-suited hand. Partner could have (say) S KJxx H x D Jxxxx C xxx, and 6H goes down while 7D is a make.

I saw an unusual bidding sequence the other day:

Playing Acol, you open 1H on the very nice-looking

S Axx
H KQJTxxx
D -
C Axx

And with opponents silent, the bidding goes:
1H - 1S (does not promise 5)
3H - 4NT (Blackwood)
5H (2 Aces) - 6D!

Now what? And what is partner holding?
I think you have to pass this. Partner sounds like a strong two-suiter with solid diamonds.
  #204  
Old 06-28-2017, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
And with opponents silent, the bidding goes:
1H - 1S (does not promise 5)
3H - 4NT (Blackwood)
5H (2 Aces) - 6D!
5H is an incorrect response here as you have a void. If you're playing proper Blackwood, you should jump to 5N to show 2 aces and useful void. The more usual convention is to jump a level (i.e. bid 6H here) to show two aces and a void.
  #205  
Old 06-28-2017, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
That can't be right on a 2-suited hand. Partner could have (say) S KJxx H x D Jxxxx C xxx, and 6H goes down while 7D is a make.

I saw an unusual bidding sequence the other day:

Playing Acol, you open 1H on the very nice-looking

S Axx
H KQJTxxx
D -
C Axx

And with opponents silent, the bidding goes:
1H - 1S (does not promise 5)
3H - 4NT (Blackwood)
5H (2 Aces) - 6D!

Now what? And what is partner holding?
I thought Acol players open strong twos with good playing strength (and pay less attention to point count)?

Anyway, partner must want to play in hearts and is showing good diamonds... fishing for 7:

S - QJxxxx
H - Ax
D - AKQx
C - x

Last edited by K364; 06-28-2017 at 06:27 PM.
  #206  
Old 06-29-2017, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
That can't be right on a 2-suited hand. Partner could have (say) S KJxx H x D Jxxxx C xxx, and 6H goes down while 7D is a make.

I saw an unusual bidding sequence the other day:

Playing Acol, you open 1H on the very nice-looking

S Axx
H KQJTxxx
D -
C Axx

And with opponents silent, the bidding goes:
1H - 1S (does not promise 5)
3H - 4NT (Blackwood)
5H (2 Aces) - 6D!

Now what? And what is partner holding?
Without wishing to disagree with the other responses from more experienced players, I would read this as 4NT is partner agreeing hearts as trumps (because you shouldn't go hunting for a slam if you haven't agreed a suit), and 6D must surely be a cue bid showing second round control of diamonds, but not clubs. This means you will probably have a club loser, so you correct to 6H which should end the auction and be a decent contract. I would suggest partner has something like S KQxx (hopefully!), H Axx, D AKx, C xxx - this looks like 6H makes, though they could of course have 4 clubs and you go down.
  #207  
Old 06-29-2017, 01:44 PM
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K364 - Sorry, I should have mentioned that opponents (because it was opponents who drew this one) were playing a modernised Acol with 3 weak 2s - and the hand, while nice, doesn't qualify for a full-on 2C.

At the table, opener tanked for a very long time and ultimately retreated to his 7-card suit - 6H, which became the final contract.

His partner put down:

S KJTxx
H x
D AKQxxx
C x

I think that's the first time I've seen someone introduce a genuine suit at the 6 level in an uncontested auction.
Biotop was closest, but I think if you read 6D as a two-suiter, your choice is between 6H & 6S, rather than passing partner out with a void in his suit!

Naturally, these being opponents, 6H turned out to be the only makeable slam (I had S Q9xx over the spade bidder and was hoping to double 6S)
  #208  
Old 06-29-2017, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
Naturally, these being opponents, 6H turned out to be the only makeable slam (I had S Q9xx over the spade bidder and was hoping to double 6S)
Doubling a slam is often a bad idea as opponents can often retreat into a less-expensive slam. Or even one that makes. Or use the double to place the cards. In that last case, your Spade holding could become worthless. OTOH against 6S, the killer lead is a club, removing the late entry to the Hearts, so a double from your partner - a Lightner double - might well be appropriate.
  #209  
Old 06-29-2017, 04:51 PM
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Wouldn't a Lightner double of 6S after the 1H opening call for a Heart lead? A club looks pretty natural, whether you read 6D as a control or a suit.

I agree that the rest of your comment is good advice in general (e.g. if the spades and hearts had been swapped it would be wrong to double 6H and potentially push them into 6s).
However on this particular hand they have no plausible safer slam to retreat to from 6S, my trump trick is safe unless dummy somehow shows up with AJT/KJT and the bidding makes it likely that they have a quick loser somewhere, so 6S is good odds-on to go down.
  #210  
Old 06-29-2017, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
Without wishing to disagree with the other responses from more experienced players, I would read this as 4NT is partner agreeing hearts as trumps (because you shouldn't go hunting for a slam if you haven't agreed a suit), and 6D must surely be a cue bid showing second round control of diamonds, but not clubs.
If you are interested in finding about second round control, you would probably ask for kings by bidding 5NT over 5H. Many experts play that 6D in this type of sequence asks for third-round control. I suspected that not to be the intent in this case, and my favored action was to bid 5S, assuming partner had a two-suiter.
  #211  
Old 06-29-2017, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
K364
His partner put down:

S KJTxx
H x
D AKQxxx
C x
Well, partner has bid this horribly, making it tough to get right. Why on earth has he bid 1S holding a strong hand with 6 diamonds and 5 spades? Better is to start with 2D, planning to bid spades twice, thereby showing the 5-6 distribution. The 3H bid puts the kibosh on this plan. I would still bid spades next (so we have 1H - 2D - 3H - 3S) and over partner's likely 4H bid raise to 5H.
  #212  
Old 06-29-2017, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by merrick View Post
Wouldn't a Lightner double of 6S after the 1H opening call for a Heart lead?
Yes
  #213  
Old 06-30-2017, 01:04 AM
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A Lightner double asks for an unusual lead. Not necessarily a trump lead. And it's common to lead through strength.
  #214  
Old 06-30-2017, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
A Lightner double asks for an unusual lead. Not necessarily a trump lead. And it's common to lead through strength.
It's not a trump lead - the contract we were talking about leading against was 6S. Yes, the double asks for an unusual lead, but that is most commonly dummy's first-bid suit.
  #215  
Old 06-30-2017, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by amarone View Post
Well, partner has bid this horribly, making it tough to get right. Why on earth has he bid 1S holding a strong hand with 6 diamonds and 5 spades? Better is to start with 2D, planning to bid spades twice, thereby showing the 5-6 distribution. The 3H bid puts the kibosh on this plan. I would still bid spades next (so we have 1H - 2D - 3H - 3S) and over partner's likely 4H bid raise to 5H.
Agreed - in Acol, you're supposed to bid naturally, so start with your longest suit and go from there. They were very lucky to get to the best contract.

I would suggest the bidding should have gone as follows:

1H
2D
2H (not much else to say about the hand yet, shows extra length and/or strength in hearts)
2S (showing at least 5-4 distribution in diamonds-spades)

But here I get a bit stuck. What should opener bid now? 3H doesn't seem very helpful and may lead to the auction stopping there, prematurely. But a suit hasn't been agreed yet - it could be hearts, spades, or possibly even diamonds. Clearly NT is to be avoided as neither side has a balanced hand. I don't know much about how it works, but is this an appropriate time to use fourth suit forcing and bid 3C? If that is interpreted as a cue bid showing first round control of clubs, that works out fine! Let's see where we get to:

3C
3S (to show 6-5 in diamonds-spades)

Opener now knows there is an 8-card fit in spades, and with his distribution could be thinking of a slam. I think he can bid 4NT (Blackwood) agreeing spades as trumps. But this isn't helpful because on the 5D response, he doesn't know if it is the heart ace or the diamond ace. So, try to cue bid or do we need to agree spades as trumps first? Opener only has 14 points so if I were them here, I would bid 4S and leave it to partner to decide whether to go on.

4S
4NT (Blackwood)
5H
6S (knowing there is at least one loser but expecting everything else to be covered)

Presumably this goes 1 down, losing a trump and the heart ace. Is there an error in my analysis above or is this just one of those things? If the latter, presumably you wouldn't generally get a deal like this in a competition because it seems unfair to reward people who luckily fall into 6H (making) instead of the correctly-bid 6S (down 1) - but I accept my analysis could well be wrong.
  #216  
Old 06-30-2017, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
Agreed - in Acol, you're supposed to bid naturally, so start with your longest suit and go from there. They were very lucky to get to the best contract.

I would suggest the bidding should have gone as follows:

1H
2D
2H (not much else to say about the hand yet, shows extra length and/or strength in hearts)
The problem with this is that 2H is non-forcing. If partner has enough to respond at the 2-level, we want to be in game. AD and a black king and 4H is a great contract. To force, you need to bid 3H (or even 4H - at this stage you are really not thinking about finding a spade fit). Playing 2 over 1 gives you more room to explore fits. 2D would be game forcing and then the auction can proceed 2S - 3H - 3S, as you say.
Quote:
2S (showing at least 5-4 distribution in diamonds-spades)

But here I get a bit stuck. What should opener bid now? 3H doesn't seem very helpful and may lead to the auction stopping there, prematurely. But a suit hasn't been agreed yet - it could be hearts, spades, or possibly even diamonds. Clearly NT is to be avoided as neither side has a balanced hand. I don't know much about how it works, but is this an appropriate time to use fourth suit forcing and bid 3C? If that is interpreted as a cue bid showing first round control of clubs, that works out fine!
Although you should not be at this point in the auction because of the non-forcing 2H bid, 3C as fourth suit forcing says nothing at all about clubs, and would be a reasonable choice with a similar but weaker hand.
Quote:

Let's see where we get to:

3C
3S (to show 6-5 in diamonds-spades)

Opener now knows there is an 8-card fit in spades, and with his distribution could be thinking of a slam. I think he can bid 4NT (Blackwood) agreeing spades as trumps. But this isn't helpful because on the 5D response, he doesn't know if it is the heart ace or the diamond ace. So, try to cue bid or do we need to agree spades as trumps first?
It's all getting murky. 4C should be taken as a cue bid, I think, but if you are not a regular partnership, partner might be starting to think a wheel has come off.

Quote:
Opener only has 14 points so if I were them here, I would bid 4S and leave it to partner to decide whether to go on.
Forget the point count. You have 8 tricks plus diamond ruffs in your own hand. This is a great slam opposite KQJxx - Qxxxxx Kx. Of course, it is terrible opposite Qxxxx - KQJxxx Kx. Maybe you can persuade partner to go ahead with the right sort of hand by bidding 5S - looking for him to bid 6 with good trumps.

Quote:
4S
4NT (Blackwood)
5H
6S (knowing there is at least one loser but expecting everything else to be covered)

Presumably this goes 1 down, losing a trump and the heart ace. Is there an error in my analysis above or is this just one of those things? If the latter, presumably you wouldn't generally get a deal like this in a competition because it seems unfair to reward people who luckily fall into 6H (making) instead of the correctly-bid 6S (down 1) - but I accept my analysis could well be wrong.
You get whatever is dealt (usually by a machine these days). Sometimes you will do the right thing but get a bad result. Or opponents will do the wrong thing and get a good result. The last time I played an opponent miscounted points and opened a 15-17 1NT holding 19 points. They were the only pair in the room to stay out of a game that went down. A complete bottom for us. That's why you play lots of boards (the higher the competition, the more are played, generally) - to reduce the effect of occasional unlucky boards.
  #217  
Old 06-30-2017, 11:04 AM
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Great analysis as usual and thanks for the answer to the last point - all much appreciated.
  #218  
Old 06-30-2017, 11:04 AM
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A simple repeat of the suit at the 2 level is the weakest possible rebid. One you could make having opened on 10 HCP and 6 cards in the suit.
  #219  
Old 07-01-2017, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
... I saw an unusual bidding sequence the other day:

Playing Acol, you open 1H on the very nice-looking

S Axx
H KQJTxxx
D -
C Axx

And with opponents silent, the bidding goes:
1H - 1S (does not promise 5)
3H - 4NT (Blackwood)
5H (2 Aces) - 6D!

Now what? And what is partner holding?
Quote:
Originally Posted by K364 View Post
... Anyway, partner must want to play in hearts and is showing good diamonds... fishing for 7:

S - QJxxxx
H - Ax
D - AKQx
C - x
Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
K364
... At the table, opener tanked for a very long time and ultimately retreated to his 7-card suit - 6H, which became the final contract.

His partner put down:

S KJTxx
H x
D AKQxxx
C x

I think that's the first time I've seen someone introduce a genuine suit at the 6 level in an uncontested auction.
Biotop was closest, but I think if you read 6D as a two-suiter, your choice is between 6H & 6S, rather than passing partner out with a void in his suit!

Naturally, these being opponents, 6H turned out to be the only makeable slam (I had S Q9xx over the spade bidder and was hoping to double 6S)
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarone View Post
Well, partner has bid this horribly, making it tough to get right. Why on earth has he bid 1S holding a strong hand with 6 diamonds and 5 spades? Better is to start with 2D, planning to bid spades twice, thereby showing the 5-6 distribution. The 3H bid puts the kibosh on this plan. I would still bid spades next (so we have 1H - 2D - 3H - 3S) and over partner's likely 4H bid raise to 5H.
Yeah, introducing your second suit at the 6 level after Blackwood is crazy. The Blackwood bidder should be able to place the contract after the Blackwood response.

But this is a good discussion to have with your partner - what is the meaning of these unusual cue bids after Blackwood?
  #220  
Old 07-02-2017, 05:02 PM
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Some nice analysis here and I agree with amarone that this hand is hard to bid in Acol.

I think it should go 1H - 2D 3H - 3S 4H - and then I'm not sure how responder investigates slam further.
4S can be passed and likely will be if opener has more Spades than Diamonds.
I don't think 4NT is Blackwood and if it is it agrees Hearts by implication.
5C is clearly a slam try, but how does it find out about opener's 3rd Spade or 2 Aces?

There's a case to be made for not trying to investigate slam - sure you have a nice hand, but it's worth a lot less without Spade or Diamond support from partner and all the indications are that you're facing a complete misfit.

The 1S response would have been motivated by the desire to show the strong major suit early, rather than struggle to show the 5th Spade after 1H - 2D. After the 3H rebid there's no way to get the auction back on track and 4NT just doubles down on the confusion. Presumably he was intending to pass a 5D Blackwood response!
  #221  
Old 07-02-2017, 08:32 PM
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I don't agree with a lot of this. After a 2D response, opener's hand has not improved and 2H is the proper bid not 3H. If partner can't make a second response, we don't likely have game.
  #222  
Old 08-04-2017, 12:22 PM
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Here's a hand I just held.
♠ AKT2
32
-
♣ AQJ9752
All vulnerable at IMPs and playing 5-card majors, partner deals and opens 1 Club.
RHO overcalls 2 Hearts. What call do you make?

I'm not even sure how to bid if RHO had passed, and now I'm really stumped!

Suppose you bid 2 Spades and partner bids 2 NT. Now what?
  #223  
Old 08-04-2017, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
All vulnerable at IMPs and playing 5-card majors, partner deals and opens 1 Club.
How many Clubs is this showing? 2H is a Weak Jump Overcall, right? Bid 3H over 2H as a one round force.

Quote:
Suppose you bid 2 Spades and partner bids 2 NT. Now what?
2NT showing 15-17 points and 3+ clubs? I'd take a punt at 6C.
  #224  
Old 08-04-2017, 01:46 PM
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1C shows three clubs or more. (If balanced it is probably NOT 15-17 -- he would have opened 1NT)
2H might be weakish or foolish. (We're playing at PlayOK. )
Over 2S, 2NT shows heart stopper but no extra values, IMO.

If you bid 3H over 2H, I think(*) partner bids 3NT.

(* - partner's hand is also difficult to bid. Maybe I should start two threads!)
  #225  
Old 08-04-2017, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
1C shows three clubs or more. (If balanced it is probably NOT 15-17 -- he would have opened 1NT)
So 12-14 then.

Quote:
Over 2S, 2NT shows heart stopper but no extra values, IMO.
That heart stopper is likely to only be a stopper if played from partner's side.

Quote:
If you bid 3H over 2H, I think(*) partner bids 3NT.
So how about cue-bidding 4D after 3NT? If partner bids 4H (showing AH) you can bid 6C. Otherwise partner will sign off in 5C.

Last edited by Quartz; 08-04-2017 at 03:17 PM.
  #226  
Old 08-04-2017, 08:16 PM
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What about a negative double showing 4 spades. If partner can bid 2 spades showing 4, you know you have at least 18 cards in the black suits. Then it depends on your methods. If 3 hearts is a general force, you could bid that. If it specifically asks for or shows a heart stopper for NT then don't bid that. Partner would need both red suits stopped. If you play splinters bid 4D (I want to be in game and I have a singleton or void in D, partner. You'd like to hear partner cue bid 4H in which case a slam is highly likely.
  #227  
Old 08-04-2017, 08:25 PM
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I'm with OldGuy and start with a negative double, showing four spades. I think bidding 2S immediately shows 5+ spades.
  #228  
Old 08-04-2017, 11:12 PM
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I (tried to) think long and hard about my call over 2H ... so long that the "play clock" almost ran out. (At PlayOK that would mean the hand is voided, counts as nothing for the other three players, while I lose 12 imps.)

What cards the other players held and what actually would have happened at the table may be completely irrelevant to this theoretical problem. And my bidding skill today is only a pale shadow of what it was when I played the game seriously 45 years ago. Nevertheless I'll venture some general comments.

This hand is absolutely huge when partner opens 1 Club. He might have only three clubs, but he might have more! If partner has Ace or King of Hearts I want to be in Six. If RHO had overcalled in diamonds instead of hearts, I think I'd have jumped directly to Six Clubs.

Negative double strikes me as wrong — it describes a very different type of hand. And do you want to risk partner passing? (BTW, first thing that partner said after the hand is that he would have passed a negative double. Against 2HX I think we take 8 tricks with perfect defense, 7 tricks more typically. Figure it out; RHO has Qxx - KJTxxx - Kxxx - (void).)

I was tempted to cue-bid 3H. But, although it doesn't promise a Heart control in this context I worried about subsequent inferences. I have no idea how to ask partner if he controls hearts(*), but an initial Heart Q might just muddy the waters. (* - A Five Spade bid might ask that question if Spades were the agreed suit, but any special meaning of a Five-raise is lost when trumps are a minor suit.)

If you do bid 3H and partner bids 3NT, it is far from clear to me that 4D would be recognized as a cue-bid. No suit has been agreed. I think partner would raise diamonds with his actual hand, which was
♠ -
AQ74
AT83
♣ K8643
Partner's Ace of Diamonds isn't wasted — it's the 13th trick: Seven Clubs is cold! I strongly disapprove of partner's NT bid over 2S with a spade void (though 3NT might be reasonable if I'd bid 3H instead of 2S.) If he had rebid clubs, I could Keycard-Blackwood into seven. (One pair did bid almost like this, though I'll guess their 4NT - 5S wasn't Keycard, but rather treating Spade void as Ace! The other auctions to Seven were much worse.)

We stopped in six and would have won 2.3 Imps ... except that LHO, possibly annoyed by my long hesitation in the bidding, quit the hand after a few tricks. He lost 12 imps, the deal was washed out for the rest of us.

Any Dopers want to play at PlayOK ? In some ways, the interface is much better than BBase's. Send me a PM with your PlayOK login name!

Last edited by septimus; 08-04-2017 at 11:14 PM.
  #229  
Old 08-05-2017, 05:18 AM
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Under no circumstances would I bid 3N on your partner's hand after a 3H force or 2N after a bid of 2S. I'd bid a reverse into 4D or 3D.

There's a convention called Voidwood which might be useful in this case. So the bidding would have gone 1C - 2H - 5D - 5S - 6C - 7C (partner corrects to 7C as he has DA and CK)

Last edited by Quartz; 08-05-2017 at 05:19 AM.
  #230  
Old 08-05-2017, 06:55 AM
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I agree that 2NT over 2S was bad. But 3NT over 3H seems plausible — the double heart stopper might be the most important feature of his hand. And "reversing" into diamonds seems questionable with a poor suit and minimal hand.

Would many experts have opened with 1 of a red-suit rather than 1 Club in order to avoid rebid problem?
  #231  
Old 08-05-2017, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
And "reversing" into diamonds seems questionable with a poor suit and minimal hand.
You need to consider the distributional strength of the hand. You are also telling partner that you are at least 5-4 in clubs and diamonds. Plus it's a safe bid as a one-round force.
  #232  
Old 08-05-2017, 02:27 PM
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There's a convention called Voidwood which might be useful in this case. So the bidding would have gone 1C - 2H - 5D - 5S - 6C - 7C (partner corrects to 7C as he has DA and CK)
You can play Key Card Exclusion/Voidwood, in which case the response is 5NT. However, the problem with bidding 5D on this hand is that you are forcing to slam no matter what partner has. xxx KJx KQx Kxxx for example.
  #233  
Old 08-05-2017, 03:04 PM
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True, but it illustrates the technique.
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Old 08-06-2017, 01:19 AM
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[Nitpicking and Didaction] Considering examples or counterexamples is a good way to evaluate a bidding plan. But the example hand for partner should be somewhere near the middle of his range (or bottom range when unlimited). For example, to prove that a slam try is justified you might look for a perfect-fitting minimum, not a perfect-fitting maximum.

This increases the chance that your example will be a useful proxy for partner's actual hand. Similarly, to prove via counterexample that a slam bid is too aggressive, look for a good-fitting minimum or a poor-fitting maximum.

Quote:
... you are forcing to slam no matter what partner has. xxx KJx KQx Kxxx for example.
So here you've gone too far! This counterexample is rock-minimum. (I'm in the "Always open with 12 hcp" crowd but I still might pass that aceless 4333 minimum.) And the honors fit poorly. It's harder to construct many 14-point hands with AH or KH which make 6C a bad bet.

Conclusion: I'd have simply jumped to Six Clubs if RHO overcalled in my void. I'd have jumped to Five Spades if our agreed suit was the major. As is, without any void-showing agreement, I still think my best shot may have been to encourage partner to bid NT, to play him for KH when he does rather than QJxx, and to just bid Six. Seven? Fugged aboutit!
  #235  
Old 08-06-2017, 06:14 AM
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[Nitpicking and Didaction] Considering examples or counterexamples is a good way to evaluate a bidding plan. But the example hand for partner should be somewhere near the middle of his range (or bottom range when unlimited). For example, to prove that a slam try is justified you might look for a perfect-fitting minimum, not a perfect-fitting maximum.

This increases the chance that your example will be a useful proxy for partner's actual hand. Similarly, to prove via counterexample that a slam bid is too aggressive, look for a good-fitting minimum or a poor-fitting maximum.



So here you've gone too far! This counterexample is rock-minimum. (I'm in the "Always open with 12 hcp" crowd but I still might pass that aceless 4333 minimum.) And the honors fit poorly. It's harder to construct many 14-point hands with AH or KH which make 6C a bad bet.

Conclusion: I'd have simply jumped to Six Clubs if RHO overcalled in my void. I'd have jumped to Five Spades if our agreed suit was the major. As is, without any void-showing agreement, I still think my best shot may have been to encourage partner to bid NT, to play him for KH when he does rather than QJxx, and to just bid Six. Seven? Fugged aboutit!
I agree that considering a perfect minimum is a good technique for evaluating whether to make a slam try. However, my example hand is only one of many where slam is no play yet bidding Blackwood would force you to it. Here is an 18-count on which even 5C will go down: QJ QJTx AKQ Kxxx. Having said that, I think your final paragraph is reasonable.

One possibility that might allow you to find out about the heart control is to start with 3H and when partner bids 3NT, bid 4D. I think someone earlier suggested that this would be natural, but I disagree. Bidding 3D over 2H would be forcing, so you do that with a diamond suit. If partner can now bid 4H to show a heart control, you will feel happier about bidding 6C.
  #236  
Old 08-06-2017, 06:15 AM
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I'm late to the party, but I'll stick my oar in anyway.

For responder's first bid, I think you have to force. The hand is so strong - even opposite a minimum with 3 Clubs, 5C should have chances. So 3H, unless 4C is forcing.
Besides, 2S shows the 5th Spade you don't have (what if partner goes 3S?) and double implies the Diamonds you don't have and denies the Clubs you do.

(Actually, the hand could be designed as an illustration of the downside of 5-card majors / strong NT. Responder has to decide whether to force at the 3 level without knowing opener's strength or his best suit, or even whether the Clubs are genuine)

After 1C - 2H - 3H, opener has a nasty problem. 4D effectively gives partner the option of 5D or 5C, which is mildly terrifying since he's not promised support for either. I suspect the 3NT, horrible though it is, is actually the Monte Carlo winner, in that it's most likely to turn out right. The double-stop in Hearts is huge, and if partner has the high-card strength to force, Spades are unlikely to be wide open (if partner has a very distributional hand with strength in the minors, he'll take you out of 3NT, so no harm done).

(I agree that over 2S, 2NT is a no-no. Personally, I'd just sign off in 3C - I have a minimum, with a weak suit, a void in partner's suit and HAQ under the Heart bidder)

And I'm with septimus that after hearing 3NT from opener, responder may as well punt 6C. Yes, sometimes it will go wrong, but the odds are with you, there's no real way to find out more about partner's Hearts and continuing to conceal your 7-card trump support is only going to confuse things.
So 1C - (2H) - 3H - 3NT - 6C for me. 7C is unlikely - you need partner with KC, AH, either AD or KH and a way to handle the 3rd Spade.

I'm not in favour of the bid-6C-straight plan, even over 2D, because the hand is so distributional.
Opposite S Qxx H Axx D Axx C Kxxx, you can put the hand down for 7.
Opposite S QJx H xxx D AKx C Kxxx, you want to stay out of 6.
You may as well force at lower level and give partner the chance to tell you which is more likely - if you get no information, you can always punt 6C later.
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:19 AM
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Would many experts have opened with 1 of a red-suit rather than 1 Club in order to avoid rebid problem?
Some would, for sure (as would many non-experts). Larry Cohen, for one, is a proponent of opening 1D with a (1/3)-4-5 hand and rebidding 2C. In a recent online vugraph he was discussing this with George Jacobs, who preferred to open 1C and rebid 1NT if partner responded in his singleton. I do not know what George would do with a 0-4-4-5, especially with weak clubs. With strong cubs you can open 1C and rebid 2C even though this would normally show 6 of them.
  #238  
Old 08-06-2017, 07:36 AM
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In a recent online vugraph he was discussing this with George Jacobs, who preferred to open 1C and rebid 1NT if partner responded in his singleton.
I have been taking lessons from a national-level player and he will bid NT if he has a singleton honour in partner's suit.
  #239  
Old 08-07-2017, 02:12 PM
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I'm not familiar with the system, but I don't see why the 2C rebid should show 6, given that 1C doesn't even promise 4. It seems like you trap yourself for a rebid for no clear reason.
What do the experts advise if you have 5 Clubs, 4 Hearts and not enough strength to reverse?

I ran into something similar today, playing Acol. I opened 1H on a 1-4-4-4, and the bidding went 1H - 1S - 2C - 3C. I was not amused to see my partner put down a 4 -1 - 5 - 3 distribution (trumps were 5-1, and it was only extreme generosity from opponents that let it get away for 1 down).
With hindsight, I was wondering if it would be better to open that distribution 1D and trust partner to show 4 Hearts if he has them.
  #240  
Old 08-07-2017, 03:08 PM
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I'm not familiar with the system, but I don't see why the 2C rebid should show 6, given that 1C doesn't even promise 4. It seems like you trap yourself for a rebid for no clear reason.
What do the experts advise if you have 5 Clubs, 4 Hearts and not enough strength to reverse?

I ran into something similar today, playing Acol. I opened 1H on a 1-4-4-4, and the bidding went 1H - 1S - 2C - 3C. I was not amused to see my partner put down a 4 -1 - 5 - 3 distribution (trumps were 5-1, and it was only extreme generosity from opponents that let it get away for 1 down).
With hindsight, I was wondering if it would be better to open that distribution 1D and trust partner to show 4 Hearts if he has them.
You don't show partner's hand so it's difficult to say. If he has 8 points, then he should have passed 2 clubs. If he has enough points to bid again, I'd think 2NT (or 3 depending on point count) is the best call. Even if he doesn't have a stopper in diamonds, he's got 5, so opponents are unlikely to have enough to run. It also allows you to rebid 3C if you have a very distributional hand to get out of NT. Surely he has support for one of your two suits after bidding NT. Introducing the fourth suit seems pointless here -- wouldn't even play it as a natural bid.

The trouble with opening 1 D, is that partner with 5S 4H will bid 1S and after you're 2C call will be in a similar trouble about introducing hearts. If you bid 1NT (which you shouldn't with the hand you held), he could bid 2H with 5-4 or 2C with four of those.
  #241  
Old 08-07-2017, 04:43 PM
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I ran into something similar today, playing Acol. I opened 1H
How about opening 1C on that hand? That gives the most options for finding a fit: you raise 1D to 1H and 1H to 2 or 3 as appropriate.
  #242  
Old 08-07-2017, 05:33 PM
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I'm not familiar with the system, but I don't see why the 2C rebid should show 6, given that 1C doesn't even promise 4. It seems like you trap yourself for a rebid for no clear reason.
What do the experts advise if you have 5 Clubs, 4 Hearts and not enough strength to reverse?
In 2 over 1 and Standard American, a rebid of 2 of a minor promises 6, except when it doesn't. Sometimes you might do it on 5 as being the least lie. I see from your post that you play Acol. I believe Acol is more tolerant of rebidding 5-card minors, especially if you play a weak no trump such that 1C - 1S - 1NT would be 15 - 16 points.

With 5 clubs and 4 hearts, it depends on the rest of your hand. Assuming the bidding starts 1C - 1S as the problem sequence: if 2-4-2-5, I bid 1NT (assuming I am 12 - 14. If I am 15-17, I would have opened 1NT in the first place). If 3-4-1-5, I raise partner to 2S. If 1-4-3-5, then judgment applies. With a small singleton but a very good diamond suit, I lie and bid 2D. Otherwise, I respond 1NT.

You asked about experts, not me, but I believe that the majority of experts play the same way.
  #243  
Old 08-07-2017, 05:39 PM
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I ran into something similar today, playing Acol. I opened 1H on a 1-4-4-4, and the bidding went 1H - 1S - 2C - 3C. I was not amused to see my partner put down a 4 -1 - 5 - 3 distribution (trumps were 5-1, and it was only extreme generosity from opponents that let it get away for 1 down).
With hindsight, I was wondering if it would be better to open that distribution 1D and trust partner to show 4 Hearts if he has them.
Opening the suit below the singleton is how I was first taught (and I played Acol in those days). However, it does work better to open 1D and rebid 2C as long as you have an agreement that this does not show 5-4 in the minors but can be 4-4. Or you open 1H and rebid 1NT.

Your partner should not have raised you to 3C on a 3-card suit. You do not say how many points they had, but I would think pass with 6-9 and 2NT with 10-12 are better options. i.e. what OldGuy said.
  #244  
Old 08-07-2017, 05:41 PM
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How about opening 1C on that hand? That gives the most options for finding a fit: you raise 1D to 1H and 1H to 2 or 3 as appropriate.
That works fine as long as you are prepared to rebid 1NT if partner responds 1S.
  #245  
Old 08-07-2017, 10:58 PM
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I was also taught to open the suit below the singleton (or void). Opening the middle suit may be good enough; the important thing is not to open the suit above the shortness as my partner did with 0-4-4-5.

But aren't five-card major openings almost universal now except in Britain? We used to check "Avoid" on the "4-card major" part of the convention card; have most of the Avoiders converted to Neverers?

For a while my regular partner and I played Canapé (Blue Team club). That adds spice to some auctions, e.g. when Opener says "Double" at his 2nd turn to show his main suit. Anyone play Canapé these days?
  #246  
Old 08-08-2017, 06:41 AM
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But aren't five-card major openings almost universal now except in Britain? We used to check "Avoid" on the "4-card major" part of the convention card; have most of the Avoiders converted to Neverers?
I think you are right, although there is some Acol played in Australia, I believe.

Quote:
For a while my regular partner and I played Canapé (Blue Team club). That adds spice to some auctions, e.g. when Opener says "Double" at his 2nd turn to show his main suit. Anyone play Canapé these days?
A couple of weeks ago I read a book by Sabine Auken written in 2006 in which she plays Canapé. However, she now plays 5-card majors with Roy Welland. When I searched for Canapé, only one pair came up - Verhees/Prooijen - so I guess Canapé has virtually died out.
  #247  
Old 08-08-2017, 07:08 AM
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But aren't five-card major openings almost universal now except in Britain?
The expert group with whom I play have pretty much dropped 5 card majors. I use 5 card majors there because my partner uses them and we've had some significant issues thereby.
  #248  
Old 08-08-2017, 04:09 PM
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I am in Britain, so that explains that.

And I haven't played often enough or at a high enough level for years to learn the strong NT / 5-card-major system, though I know most of the top pairs play it (I also suspect it's better suited to matchplay - where it's critical to find the slams - than duplicate)
  #249  
Old 08-08-2017, 04:36 PM
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(I also suspect it's better suited to matchplay - where it's critical to find the slams - than duplicate)
Do you mean teams? In teams, it's more critical to find the game contracts than get tops.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:10 AM
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Yes, teams (I don't know what I was thinking with 'matchplay').
At IMP scoring it's more important to get the big hands right.
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