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  #301  
Old 11-02-2017, 10:35 AM
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In the first case, 4NT isn't ordinarily quantitative in that situation but Blackwood. It would be quantitative if you'd bid it immediately after partner's 2NT. And IMO it would be a very foolish bid indeed with a void in your hand and no guarantee of any heart honours in partner's hand. Partner could have SKQx Hxxx DKJx CKxxx and raise you to 6NT and the opponent with HAKQJxxx is going to pass and now be on lead and take you well down. But you shouldn't be making a quantitative bid in the first place: partner passed originally so doesn't have opening points. With 12 HCP, partner would have opened 1NT. But partner is also in the wrong: with that hand, he should responded 3C over a natural 1C, not 2N, showing 4 card support, 10-12 points, and denying 4 cards in any other suit. You can then splinter / Exclusion RKCB to 4H and proceed from there. To me, 6C looks more robust than 6S.

But perhaps there's a better way? You have a massive hand, so could open 2C. There's a convention called the Devalued 2 Clubs, which is essentially a strong 2 in clubs. You open 2C and repeat the club suit. In this case you open 2C, partner responds 3C and you're away.

In the second case, partner should definitely be shot because your 2H overcall is unlimited. I don't like doubling because it's denying a 5 card suit and your partner is going to respond in clubs. I also don't like a direct raise by partner to 3H as that could be made on zero points and he's better than that. I'd like to see 2H-3C-3N-4H (3C being forcing, and you're allowed to bid NT if your singleton is an honour in partner's suit). With a weak hand your rebid would be 3H, not 3N, which partner would leave.
  #302  
Old 11-02-2017, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
(1) In the first case, 4NT isn't ordinarily quantitative in that situation but Blackwood. It would be quantitative if you'd bid it immediately after partner's 2NT.
(2) And IMO it would be a very foolish bid indeed with a void in your hand and no guarantee of any heart honours in partner's hand. Partner could have SKQx Hxxx DKJx CKxxx and raise you to 6NT and the opponent with HAKQJxxx is going to pass and now be on lead and take you well down. But you shouldn't be making a quantitative bid in the first place:
(3) partner passed originally so doesn't have opening points.
(4) With 12 HCP, partner would have opened 1NT.
(5) But partner is also in the wrong: with that hand, he should responded 3C over a natural 1C, not 2N, showing 4 card support, 10-12 points, and denying 4 cards in any other suit. You can then splinter / Exclusion RKCB to 4H and proceed from there. To me, 6C looks more robust than 6S.

(6) But perhaps there's a better way? You have a massive hand, so could open 2C. There's a convention called the Devalued 2 Clubs, which is essentially a strong 2 in clubs. You open 2C and repeat the club suit. In this case you open 2C, partner responds 3C and you're away.

(7) In the second case, partner should definitely be shot because your 2H overcall is unlimited.
(8) I don't like doubling because it's denying a 5 card suit and your partner is going to respond in clubs.
(9) I also don't like a direct raise by partner to 3H as that could be made on zero points and he's better than that. I'd like to see 2H-3C-3N-4H (3C being forcing, and you're allowed to bid NT if your singleton is an honour in partner's suit). With a weak hand your rebid would be 3H, not 3N, which partner would leave.
Thanks for your response! I've added numbers to your post to make it easier to comment.

(1) I am rather averse to Blackwood, and would definitely think this quantitative. I'll be interested in other Dopers' opinions on this.
(2) I did feel very foolish bidding NT with a void. I considered 4C, 4D, 4S, (or even 5H if that shows a void!) but finally decided 4NT would be best to avoid confusion.
However, I think partner MUST have a heart stopper! He has rebid NT after I expressed disinterest in NT — he MUST have the two red suits stopped.
(3) Partner did NOT pass. ("Vul against not in 2nd seat I hold")
(4) We play SAYC 15-17. (Though partner sometimes forgets and thinks 16-18 — I put up with him because he defends and plays the dummy with superb expertise.)
(5) We play Inverted Minors, so Two Clubs would be the alternative. I'm curious which is preferable, but with stoppers in all suits, 2 NT seems most descriptive and straightforward.
(6) I make strong forces only with the absolute nuts! I would jump-shift to 2S over 1D; would probably bid just 1S over 1H.
(7) Double does NOT deny five hearts; and two hearts is limited by my failure to Double.
(8) But yes, the probability that partner will respond in clubs, and perhaps even rebid clubs, makes Double less attractive.
(9) Perhaps my overcalls tend to be lighter than yours. I consider 3H to be clearcut. My distant 2nd choice would be Pass, I guess. (* - Partner's defense for his Pass — which shows he's thoughtful — is that he expected too many minor-suit losers; he didn't know I had 4 spades.)

Last edited by septimus; 11-02-2017 at 12:49 PM.
  #303  
Old 11-02-2017, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Vul against not in 2nd seat I hold
♠ AJ632
-
AQ5
♣ AQ965
My partner doesn't like it, but I usually open 1 Club with 5-5 blacks. Perhaps 1 Spade is preferable here since I have plenty strength to bid 1S, 3C and then 4C but I still opened 1 Club. (What do other Dopers do with 5-5 blacks?)
In my first bridge life, 40 - 30 years ago, I used to open 1C. It was quite common then. Now I open 1S, which is now the normal action. Bidding has become so competitive that if you hold the boss suit, get it out there before opponents take away your opportunity. Consider 1C - (2H) - P - (4H) - ? You have not had a chance to mention spades, but you might have an 8-card fit. Or you might not.

Quote:
Partner responded 2 NT with
♠ Q87
A43
K64
♣ K732
Perhaps 2NT here almost guarantees 3-3-3-4 specifically, but he's jumped in NT with livelier hands. The entire auction was
- - - Pass
1♣ Pass 2NT Pass
3♠ Pass 3NT Pass
4NT Pass 5♦ Pass
6♦ Pass 6♠ Pass
Pass Pass

I decided 4NT quantitative raise, but please bid a suit if you accept was the simplest way to proceed, especially since partner and I often disagree about bid's meanings. (I imagine there's a better bid in a well-practiced partnership.) When he bid 5D I thought he might have something like Qx - Axx - KJxxx - Kxx with 6D our best slam. Instead, his approach is to show Aces when he accepts. (He even said "why would I bid a new suit when we've already bid two suits?" Is that valid?) Six spades was a good result with 15 out of 20 pairs stopping in game.
I think he has a valid point about not showing another suit on this auction. I don't think he can have the example you give because that is too strong to bid 2NT (unless you play it as forcing, which is not standard SAYC).

Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
With nobody vulnerable, I'm in 4th chair and the auction starts Pass Pass 1 Spade. I overcall Two Hearts with
♠ J874
AJ432
KQ5
♣ A
That ends the auction since partner passes with
♠ A5
KT76
J62
♣ T853
We made three overtricks. (Lost only 2.5 imps since most pairs missed the game.) Partner volunteered that he was to blame; and I agree that the "Law of Total Tricks" suggests a 3H bid with his hand if we don't make 3H then (from his p.o.v.) the opponents probably make 3S.

But I have enough to Double first and then show Hearts, and would probably have done so if I had a doubleton in the unbid clubs instead of a singleton.

Dopers comments?
Your partner should certainly raise you. King fourth support, an ace and a ruffing value is a great hand. I disagree that you have enough to double first. I would want 17+ points and a better suit. When the bidding comes back to you, it might be quite high and introducing that suit could be very risky. Consider 1S - X - 3S - P - P to you. Are you going to bid 4H now? If you don't want to bid 2H, I quite like 1NT. At least it shows your point count, and you have a stop in every suit.
  #304  
Old 11-02-2017, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Thanks for your response! I've added numbers to your post to make it easier to comment.

(1) I am rather averse to Blackwood, and would definitely think this quantitative. I'll be interested in other Dopers' opinions on this.
A raise of 3NT to 4NT is quantitative in any system I have played (Acol, SAYC, 2 over 1). I take it further and play that 4NT is only RKCB if we have agreed a suit first.

Quote:
(2) I did feel very foolish bidding NT with a void. I considered 4C, 4D, 4S, (or even 5H if that shows a void!) but finally decided 4NT would be best to avoid confusion.
However, I think partner MUST have a heart stopper! He has rebid NT after I expressed disinterest in NT he MUST have the two red suits stopped.
I agree he must have a heart stop on this auction. In fact, he should have one for the 2NT bid. He has either 4 diamonds or 4 clubs. With no heart stop he should bid 1D or 2C (as you play inverted raises), respectively.

Quote:
(5) We play Inverted Minors, so Two Clubs would be the alternative. I'm curious which is preferable, but with stoppers in all suits, 2 NT seems most descriptive and straightforward.
I agree. Inverted minor continuations are designed for hands with some suits stopped, but not all.

Quote:
(9) Perhaps my overcalls tend to be lighter than yours. I consider 3H to be clearcut. My distant 2nd choice would be Pass, I guess. (* - Partner's defense for his Pass which shows he's thoughtful is that he expected too many minor-suit losers; he didn't know I had 4 spades.)
My second choice would be 2S! I think partner's hand is so good it may merit a cue of 2S to show a sound raise to 3H.
  #305  
Old 11-03-2017, 12:39 AM
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Thank you for your excellent comments, amarone !
Quote:
Originally Posted by amarone View Post
I think he has a valid point about not showing another suit on this auction. I don't think he can have the example you give because that is too strong to bid 2NT (unless you play it as forcing, which is not standard SAYC).
One nitpick:
According to an online ACBL SAYC System Booklet, 2NT on this auction is "13-15 (game forcing)" ... although partner and I haven't explicitly discussed it. But a similar 12-point hand can be constructed where 6 diamonds is the best contract. (In fact I think this can be done with partner 3-3-4-3 !) Don't forget your own post two months ago where "Andrew Robson and David Gold ... bid and made 7D on a 4-3 fit [when] diamonds were first bid naturally at the 7-level."

Yes, I thought partner would have bid 1D with five; and yes, I figured his 5D bid just showed an Ace. But my 6D bid seemed harmless.
  #306  
Old 11-03-2017, 05:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
One nitpick:
According to an online ACBL SAYC System Booklet, 2NT on this auction is "13-15 (game forcing)" .
Interesting. The booklet also says that there is no forcing minor suit raise, i.e. no inverted minors. I wonder what partner is supposed to bid with that hand under SAYC. 3C would risk playing in a 4-3 fit when NT is the obvious place to play.
  #307  
Old 11-06-2017, 05:46 PM
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Not really a problem, but the sort of bidding sequence you don't hear every day:

Second in hand, all vul, I picked up S AKQJTxxx H x D Kxx C x and was wondering whether to open 1S or 4S when the bidding was opened in front of me with 3C. I bid 4S straight off, and LHO pulls out 5H without missing a beat.

I'd have bid 5S if partner hadn't done it for me and opponents showed good judgement in doubling rather than shooting for a slam. 5S one down was still a cheap save against a stone-cold 5H.
  #308  
Old 11-06-2017, 10:06 PM
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Merrick, nobody pushes around an 8-card spade suit!!
  #309  
Old 11-08-2017, 03:07 AM
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K364 - Well, yes, but it's only 8 tricks and it's not at all clear who's sacrificing.

So what do you do after 3C - 4S - 5H - 5S - 6H? Bid 6S with (at least) two Aces to lose off the top, or gamble they've got too high?

Which leads to a defense question. Partner leads the obvious Spade against 6H and dummy goes down with: S x H xxx D Jx C AKJTxxx
Declarer follows suit on your SA. What do you do next?
  #310  
Old 11-08-2017, 05:46 AM
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Partner would have led her Diamond Ace if she had it so declarer must have it. The bidding suggests that declarer's Spade is singleton so you need to guess from the lead if partner (and thus declarer) has a doubleton. The bidding also suggests a lack of a fit in Clubs. If declarer has a singleton Spade and a singleton Club then you can cut her off from those tricks in dummy by playing a club now.
  #311  
Old 11-08-2017, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
Which leads to a defense question. Partner leads the obvious Spade against 6H and dummy goes down with: S x H xxx D Jx C AKJTxxx
Declarer follows suit on your SA. What do you do next?
Partner does not have AD because earlier you said 5H was cold . If declarer has a singleton or doubleton club, say xx AKQJxxx AQ(x) x(x), he can draw trumps in two rounds, ruff out the clubs, and dummy's third heart will be an entry either via a spade ruff or by being able to overtake the third round of hearts. I return a spade to force dummy to ruff and kill the entry back to clubs. This could be a ruff and discard, but that might not be fatal, e.g. declarer is 1741 or 1732. As long as he cannot get back to dummy, he still has a diamond loser. This needs partner's highest heart to be bigger than dummy's highest, assuming partner has at least 2.
  #312  
Old 11-08-2017, 05:52 PM
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The trouble with that analysis is that partner could easily have 3 Hearts so declarer will not get any trump entries. Declarer could be S x H AKQJxx D AQTxx C Q.
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  #313  
Old 11-08-2017, 08:00 PM
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The trouble with that analysis is that partner could easily have 3 Hearts so declarer will not get any trump entries. Declarer could be S x H AKQJxx D AQTxx C Q.
We can each provide hands on which different defences will work (and even finding out what worked at the table would not tell us what is best overall). It is a question of which works in the most cases.

On the 1651 distribution you give, my defence only fails when the singleton is the queen. On all others, 80% of the singletons, my defence still works. Ignoring cases where nothing works, playing a club at trick two will work when declarer has a singleton club. Playing a spade will work when declarer has a singleton (that is not the queen) or doubleton club and needs the third heart as an entry. I think the latter case is more likely, but don't have the brainpower to calculate it. Knowing the xxx in dummy would help a little. If 9xx, that supports you a bit more; if 432, it supports my line more.
  #314  
Old 11-09-2017, 03:20 AM
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It's embarrassing to post deals like this and then realise after looking at it for several days that you've mis-analyzed the hand.

My analysis was the same as Quartz's - if declarer has two Clubs, even without CQ then there's no chance because he can always set the suit up with a simple finesse. So you play for him to have a singleton and return a Club at trick 2, killing the entry to the Clubs.
But it's not good enough - Declarer wins in dummy and plays back a low Club. You can ruff if you want to, but declarer overruffs, draws trumps and gets back to dummy with a trump to run the Clubs.
(At the table, "declarer" had S x H AKQxxxx D ATxx C x and partner S xxx H Jx D Qxxx C Qxxx. Dummy's trumps were something like 743 - high enough for a 3rd-round entry)

amarone - the problem with your analysis is that if declarer has a singleton Spade he doesn't have to take the ruff in dummy - he can ruff in hand, set up the Clubs and get back to them with dummy's preserved third trump. (In fact, as the cards lie, he can ruff in hand, throwing one of dummy's Diamonds, then DA and a Diamond ruff, buck to HA, ruff a second Diamond and throw the last Diamond on CK without setting up Clubs at all.)

So it looks like 6H was making after all and opponents were very generous to let us play it in 5S. But amarone's defence at least puts declarer to a guess in Clubs if he's something like 2731 or 2722, so it's got more hope than mine and Quartz's.

((Incidentally, in the example hand Quartz gave, 6H is cold against any defence, since declarer can run DJ and pick up the whole suit. In fact, I think you need to rely on partner for DQ in any distribution, since otherwise declarer can finesse the DK and ruff a third Diamond in dummy.)
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Old 11-09-2017, 04:52 AM
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For some reason I analyzed the hand thinking dummy was on my left, and hence no minor suit finesses were working.
  #316  
Old 11-15-2017, 06:34 PM
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Played a cup game last night against a national-level side in the UK and, unsurprisingly, got absolutely annihilated. Nearly 100 down after 24 boards (out of 32) so called it a day.
Don't mind the walloping so much as the way we played - psychologically was really tough to concentrate on playing solid bridge when the opps are a couple of levels above, make very few mistakes, AND have all the cards their way. Type of game where you really need a gritty temperament, which wasn't much in evidence on our team I have to say.
  #317  
Old 11-21-2017, 05:15 PM
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It's been quiet round here lately

Busy Scissors, I fell your pain. Staying grounded and maintaining your standard of play when the Gods are against you and even limiting the damage seems hopeless is one of the toughest asks in any game/sport (and something that I, personally, am very bad at).

All I have to offer is a bidding problem:
First in hand, no-one vulnerable, you pick up S A9xx H x D J9xxxxxx C -
What do you do?

If you pass (partner might have Spades), the bidding goes 1C - 1H - 1S back to you. Now what?
  #318  
Old 11-21-2017, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrick View Post
First in hand, no-one vulnerable, you pick up S A9xx H x D J9xxxxxx C -
What do you do?

If you pass (partner might have Spades), the bidding goes 1C - 1H - 1S back to you. Now what?
I do pass initially. When it comes back to me I hope I am playing Snapdragon doubles in which a double shows the 4th suit, i.e. diamonds, and tolerance for partner's suit. Then, when I bid 2D, it shows diamonds without tolerance for partner's suit.
  #319  
Old 11-22-2017, 11:13 AM
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Looks like an interesting hand. What happened?
  #320  
Old 11-23-2017, 03:16 AM
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I messed it up

I passed initially, then bid 2D over 1C - 1H -1S. For the next round of bidding, everyone repeated themselves louder: 3C - 3H - 3S.
At this point, I ought to have applied the old rule "When in a total misfit, pass now!" - or even doubled 3S and hoped opponents had a misfit too and partner had enough to beat 4C. But it's an 8-card suit with minimal defence against Clubs, so I pushed on to 4D, partly hoping to end up defending 4S.
Partner pulled to 4H on S Kx H AQJTxxx D - C Jxxxx, was inevitably doubled and did well to get out for one down. Of course with KH onside 3S is 3 off on the defensive cross-ruff and 4C is harder to analyse but is probably 2 off on normal play.
Of course, if I'd known that RHO had cheerfully bid his 3S on S QJTxx H xx D KQTx C xx, I'd probably have been keener to double him.
  #321  
Old 11-23-2017, 07:53 AM
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What's wrong with opening 3D as a pre-empt? You don't need any points to do that. Of course, it does rather give away your shape and (lack of) points, but obviously the point is to use up bidding space. If LHO now wants to start with clubs he has to do so at the 4-level, which probably makes defending a spade contract the most likely outcome - one you would seem to have a reasonable chance of defeating, even without knowing the other hands. The only problems seem to be that you might miss a spade fit yourself, but if partner has the points to bid on over 3D, you can probably end up in spades. On partner's hand as dealt, he will presumably be itching to switch to hearts and it probably doesn't matter too much if he does or not, as long as (like you said) he is sensible enough to shut up as soon as the misfit becomes obvious.

Last edited by Dead Cat; 11-23-2017 at 07:53 AM.
  #322  
Old 11-23-2017, 08:07 AM
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What's wrong with opening 3D as a pre-empt? You don't need any points to do that. Of course, it does rather give away your shape and (lack of) points, but obviously the point is to use up bidding space. If LHO now wants to start with clubs he has to do so at the 4-level, which probably makes defending a spade contract the most likely outcome - one you would seem to have a reasonable chance of defeating, even without knowing the other hands. The only problems seem to be that you might miss a spade fit yourself, but if partner has the points to bid on over 3D, you can probably end up in spades. On partner's hand as dealt, he will presumably be itching to switch to hearts and it probably doesn't matter too much if he does or not, as long as (like you said) he is sensible enough to shut up as soon as the misfit becomes obvious.
The danger of missing a spade contract is too great. If you open 3D there is no way you will find a 4-4 spade fit. Partner will only bid a 5-card suit if it is very good, and your having the ace makes that unlikely.

I am not totally averse to preempting with a 4-card outside major, but this hand has two flaws: bad diamonds and good spades. I would open 5432 x KQJxxxx x with 3D.
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:12 AM
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Fair enough, that makes sense - thanks.
  #324  
Old 11-23-2017, 07:04 PM
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Preempt with a hand containing 1 flaw, but not 2 (or more), is a good bridge maxim IME. If you choose to only bid very pure wk 2s or 3s that is playable and great for constructive / competitive auctions, as partner knows where they stand - but it's unacceptably passive for disrupting their auction, you need to open it out a bit. The hand posted actually has three flaws - terrible suit quality, outside 4cM, and a void - doubt you'd get many good players going 3 with that.

Similar with weak jump overcalls - sticking your oar in with an horrific suit is OK if pard knows what to expect. If they take the save in 5m expecting 1 or 2 off and it's more like 3 or 4 then you'll get hammered in club bridge, because 'keeping them out of slam' won't apply to most tables.

Last edited by Busy Scissors; 11-23-2017 at 07:06 PM.
  #325  
Old 11-23-2017, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarone View Post
The danger of missing a spade contract is too great. If you open 3D there is no way you will find a 4-4 spade fit. Partner will only bid a 5-card suit if it is very good, and your having the ace makes that unlikely.

I am not totally averse to preempting with a 4-card outside major, but this hand has two flaws: bad diamonds and good spades. I would open 5432 x KQJxxxx x with 3D.
My tournament experience is almost a half-century in the past, but I'm not certain I can fully endorse this.

You have 8 diamonds, not just 7. And their very weakness calls out for them to be trump!

If partner has Qxxx - xxxx - Ax - AKx (a hand I wrote down almost at random, NOT cherrypicking), ten tricks in diamonds are probable, but eight tricks in spades may be difficult. Even if partner has four spades and a diamond void, you'll probably have at least as many tricks with diamonds trump as with spades trump, no?

Besides, won't 3D 3H P 4H 4S show an 8-4 ?

Last edited by septimus; 11-23-2017 at 11:17 PM.
  #326  
Old 11-25-2017, 03:46 PM
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Here's a distributional hand that just came up in a pick-up game. We played Four Spades.
Code:
              ♠ A853
               2
               76
              ♣ KQ8742
	
♠ -                          ♠ K764
 KT9754                      AJ86
 QJT985                      -
♣ 5                          ♣ JT963


              ♠ QJT92
               Q3
               AK432
              ♣ A
With N-S vulnerable, West deals. Compared with some tables, our auction was very tame: P P P 1S 2H 4S P P P.
The Diamond Queen was led and ruffed in East. Back came a small Club to the Ace; Spade Queen was led and overtaken with Ace. Then two Clubs were cashed, pitching hearts.
Code:
              ♠ 853
               2
               7
              ♣ 874
	
♠ -                          ♠ K7
 KT97                        AJ86
 JT98                        -
♣ -                          ♣ JT                       


              ♠ JT92
               -
               AK43
              ♣ -
The lead is in dummy. You need six more tricks (though a 7th trick might be nice for an extra imp fraction.)

How do you play?
(I do NOT think this is difficult. I'm posting partly to check my sanity.)
  #327  
Old 11-25-2017, 07:56 PM
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To save everybody time, I think you get six more tricks almost regardless of what you do. It just seemed like an interesting freak, especially looking at the wild auctions at various tables. I led a diamond from the dummy at trick 6, letting East waste his small trump on my diamond loser. That seemed the most straightforward way to get the hand over with.

What made the hand somewhat memorable was that my pick-up partner began cursing me, accusing me of miscounting trumps.

Help! Please join us over at PlayOK.com. I have only one real partner there an excellent card player who, like me, played tournaments back in the Jurassic Era. And he only has me. Things get horrible when one of us takes a week off, as he just did for Thanksgiving. Won't one of you Dopers log in and join us?
  #328  
Old 11-26-2017, 06:28 AM
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Do you play on BBO septimus? That is the centre of gravity of online bridge, largest player base, and gives you the most options for a game that suits you. There's a fair amount of wading though idiots to be done in the first instance as you figure out the site, but it's great once you're familiar with things. I tend to use it more for card play practice [robot games] nowadays, but there are loads of options for a good human game.

If you're comfy with another site then obv you'd want to continue with it, but if you're saying it's tough to get a good partner then BBO is worth a look.
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:23 AM
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I tried BBO, but found it difficult even to log-in perhaps its interface couldn't tolerate my sluggish Internet. Once in, I found I preferred the elegance of the PlayOK interface enormously.

As just one example, consider looking at the last trick. On PlayOK the previous trick is available for view in a corner of the screen until the current trick is complete. IOW, you can get distracted after playing a card, knowing the trick will remain on view until after you play to the next trick. On BBO, IIRC, there's some unnecessary clicking protocol to view or fold the just-completed trick.

I do have the one regular partner at PlayOK; we play enough to satisfy each other's needs! I just thought it might be fun having a trio of Americans bidding la American: we'd have a "spare" player! Most of the PlayOK'ers use the Polish Club system (if they have any system at all).
  #330  
Old 12-30-2017, 12:29 PM
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How would you open SAQJTxxx HAK DAxx Cx? My partner opened 1S on this. I, having a singleton SK and nothing else passed. Of course 4S is cold. I did consider bidding 1N and passing whatever rebid partner made but we were playing 5-card majors so I knew we had a least a 5-1 fit. When I saw the hand I suggested she should have opened 2C, the bidding going 2C-2D-2S-2N-4S. She objected because she only had 18 points; I pointed out that she had a game-going hand. How say you?
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
How would you open SAQJTxxx HAK DAxx Cx? My partner opened 1S on this. I, having a singleton SK and nothing else passed. Of course 4S is cold. I did consider bidding 1N and passing whatever rebid partner made but we were playing 5-card majors so I knew we had a least a 5-1 fit. When I saw the hand I suggested she should have opened 2C, the bidding going 2C-2D-2S-2N-4S. She objected because she only had 18 points; I pointed out that she had a game-going hand. How say you?
Points, schmoints. 2C all the way. 9 playing tricks in a major in a strong hand, as opposed to a preemptive hand, is a 2C opening. This assumes you are playing weak 2s. Playing Acol 2s, opening 2S is fine.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:54 PM
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Yes, we were play 3x Weak Twos.
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:40 PM
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How would you open SAQJTxxx HAK DAxx Cx?

Assuming you play weak twos, this is a hand to open 2 Clubs on. After that it depends how you play responses. If 2Ds is weak showing a K (or perhaps 2Ks) or less, jump to 4 S.
If you happen to play control responses (There are 5 possible 3K's and an ace.) If partner shows 3 you very likely want to be in slam you have at most two losers.

Last edited by OldGuy; 12-31-2017 at 10:40 PM.
  #334  
Old 01-03-2018, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
How would you open SAQJTxxx HAK DAxx Cx?

Assuming you play weak twos, this is a hand to open 2 Clubs on. After that it depends how you play responses. If 2Ds is weak showing a K (or perhaps 2Ks) or less, jump to 4 S.
2D would show less than AK.
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:51 AM
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This kind of hand is on the cusp.

Yes, it's a strong playing hand for spades, only 4 losers in a self-sufficient suit that can expect to lose only one trick opposite a void, and thus one trick short of game in hand, which meets one common definition of a strong 2C opener: "would you feel sick if partner passed your opening 1 bid?"

On the other hand, as you say, it only has 18 HCPs and not a lot of defense. If you open 2C and it goes 2NT for the minors on your left, pass by partner, and 5C on your right, should you bid 5S? But if you don't, how can partner evaluate what kind of hand you have?

I would prefer to open "all but one in hand" hands in a single suited major with a 4 level opening bid. To distinguish the more purely preemptive type 4 bids to avoid missing slams, you can play Namyats - open 4C and 4D for the highly constructive "8.5 to 9.5 playing tricks" major suit hands in hearts and spades respectively, leaving the 4H and 4S as purely preemptive, and the 2C openers for the true Game In Hand No Question type hands.
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:55 AM
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BTW absent a Namyats agreement I would prefer to shoot out 4S there than 2C. You might miss some close slams but you won't miss a game, and guess what's more likely? And you can't get into trouble with partner assuming you have a ton of HCPs. Bid where you live. Or as I would say at the table, "Me caveman. See game, bid game."
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:30 PM
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I think that if you're playing 3 weak 2s and no other system (like Namyats) to show a strong single-suited hand you have to open hands like this 2C, otherwise the risk of getting passed out is too high. Effectively, the 2C opening becomes "a hand that can make game opposite a hand that would pass a one-level opening". You do need to make sure partner is aware of this, otherwise sooner or later he'll be putting you in a doomed 6NT.

4S might work in the short run, but if you'd also open 4S on (say) 8 Spades to the AK and nothing else, partner will never know whether to stick or twist when someone competes over your 4-bid. Or what strength he needs to investigate slam.

Or you could play something like Namyats or Benj-Acol, have a separate bid for the 8-9 playing tricks single-suiter and keep 2C for the genuine 23+ HCP rock crushers. But then you give up at least one of your weak pre-empts. Swings, meet roundabouts
  #338  
Old 01-03-2018, 06:39 PM
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I think that if you're playing 3 weak 2s and no other system (like Namyats) to show a strong single-suited hand you have to open hands like this 2C, otherwise the risk of getting passed out is too high. Effectively, the 2C opening becomes "a hand that can make game opposite a hand that would pass a one-level opening".

That's what I meant by it being better to miss some corner case slams than corner case games. These "just one trick short of game" hands should be treated as "not going to stop below game" - I think we're in agreement - but better to overload a 4S opener on the strong side and miss a possible slam when partner has the right fitting cards, than to open 2C when you don't actually have game in hand.

That's my opinion, based on 25+ years of playing, you can choose a different style, of course. But picture partner holding

K
xxxx
xxxx
Axxx

If you open 2C and opponents overcall 2NT for the minors, this hand should double to show interest in penalty doubling at least one of the minor suits.

Now over 3C, 4C or even 5C, if the 2C opener rebids 4S or 5S showing the strong single suited spade hand, this hand can see 10+2 tricks and go to slam... But not if you'd open 2C on 9 tricks.

AQJTxxx
AK
Axx
x

Isn't good enough, but make an x of diamonds the King of diamonds or the Queen of Hearts and you've got a fine 2C opener.
  #339  
Old 01-03-2018, 06:41 PM
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TL,DR version would boil it down like this:

Open 2C on tricks in a single suit in you have game in hand.

Open 1 of the suit otherwise, unless you're too good to open on the 1 level and can't stand it getting passed out.

If 2 and 3 level bids are weak, and you have no systemic way to distinguish them, you're left with opening 4 on one to 1.5 more winners than your minimum... Or opening 2C with less than game.

When would opening 2C light ever gain you, versus when would opening 4S heavy hurt you?
  #340  
Old 01-03-2018, 10:03 PM
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You don't need game in your own hand to open 2C. See Larry Cohen's view:

Quote:
If unbalanced, the HCP range is a matter of judgement. I do need some aces and kings--I wouldn't open 2C with, say 10 spades to the AKQJ and no other high cards. I would open 2C with this "18" point hand: A K Q 10 8 7 6 A Q 3 2 K 2 --
That is not even as good as the hand we have been discussing.
  #341  
Old 01-04-2018, 03:28 AM
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Plus, even the true rock-crushers can rarely make game by themselves - I think everyone agrees that AKx AKx AKx Axxx (25 HCPs!) is a 2C opener, but give partner a balanced Yarborough and it will make a whole 7 tricks.

The classic Acol 2C is explicitly not a game-force: 2C - 2D - 2NT is passable and most people would treat 2C - 2D - 2H - 3H and 2C - 2D - 2S - 3S as non-forcing as well.

The downside of opening 4S heavy comes the next time you open a "normal" 4S and partner puts you to slam on a balanced 9-count. Or doubles opponents' overcall on an ace and a prayer because he expects you to have defensive values.

And this may be a difference between your opponents and mine, but I think you overrate the risk of opponents competing over a 2C opener, because that is where the four-digit penalties live.

Suppose RHO opens 2C and I bid 2NT for the minors on x x KQTxxx AQxxx (and realistically, how much better a hand could I have?). Next player doubles, partner gulps and comes out with 3C. This is doubled. Now what? If partner has 4 Clubs and a bust (it could even be 3 Clubs and a bust), 3C* is going for a packet and opponents probably cannot make slam.
  #342  
Old 01-04-2018, 08:14 AM
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You don't need game in your own hand to open 2C. See Larry Cohen's view:

That is not even as good as the hand we have been discussing.
By some measures, it's a far BETTER hand:

AKQT876
AQ32
K2
(void)

Is a hand with 2.5 losers, versus the hand under discussion,

AQJTxxx
AK
Axx
x

which has four losers.

Plus, Cohen's example hand has another thing going for it as a 2C opener - the AQxx heart suit. It's not at all impossible that the right place to play is in hearts. So it passes the primary test, as he states - "I couldn't stand it if it went 1S, all pass" - but it's also wrong to say, "this hand belongs in spades". So, you (could) open 2C.

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The downside of opening 4S heavy comes the next time you open a "normal" 4S and partner puts you to slam on a balanced 9-count. Or doubles opponents' overcall on an ace and a prayer because he expects you to have defensive values.
But that's the point of my comment. Absent a Namyats agreement to show the "heavy 4S" hand, IMHO it remains just that - a heavy 4S hand. Which is still a 4S hand. I do not see a virtue in opening a 2C bid "light", because that just stretches the meaning of the unlimited opener versus the limited one.

Partner is not supposed to adjust by going to slam on a 9 count opposite a 4S opener. He bids as normal opposite a 4S opener, and if a slam is missed, you say, "sorry, I took a view on the hand to open in 4S instead of 1S or 2C".

I admitted these types of hands are "cuspy" - a good 9, especially "...and a half if I squint", trick hand could not be criticized for being opened 2C. It's a judgment call. But my preferred style would be to default to opening a "heavy preempt" - where, mind you, we're talking about opening in GAME, which is the purest form of a game forcing auction - in preference to a "light game forcing bid" that is ARTIFICIAL.

And, I feel that that hand under discussion is just a tad under what I would consider good enough to bridge the gap.

Maybe I should paraphrase my earlier summary as "I'd rather miss a close slam by opening a heavy 4S and shutting partner out, than reach a confidently bid bad slam by opening 2C", how's that?

(It's also why I prefer to play Namyats / 3NT Gambling, so as not to have this scenario.)


Quote:
And this may be a difference between your opponents and mine, but I think you overrate the risk of opponents competing over a 2C opener, because that is where the four-digit penalties live.

Suppose RHO opens 2C and I bid 2NT for the minors on x x KQTxxx AQxxx (and realistically, how much better a hand could I have?). Next player doubles, partner gulps and comes out with 3C. This is doubled. Now what? If partner has 4 Clubs and a bust (it could even be 3 Clubs and a bust), 3C* is going for a packet and opponents probably cannot make slam.
Well the thing is, the more "shapely with light HCP" your 2C opener is, the more shapely and HCP rich your opponents hands tend to be. That's the nature of dealing out all 52 cards to four people. And yes, bidding aggressively over an artificial strong club opener is fairly common in the game I play, especially if the opener is vulnerable and the overcaller is not.

Per your example, I would bid 2NT over 2C with that hand every time. Wouldn't you?

If partner actually has a hand with 4 clubs and a zero count, how are the opponents not good for at least game in a major? Even if partner were 3-3-3-4 in shape, the opponents have TWO nine card major suit fits, and I have a four loser hand for partner and a double fit in the minors. At the THREE level!

Last edited by robardin; 01-04-2018 at 08:18 AM.
  #343  
Old 01-04-2018, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by robardin View Post
If you open 2C and opponents overcall 2NT for the minors, this hand should double to show interest in penalty doubling at least one of the minor suits.
I would take such a double as take-out for the majors, expecting at least 4-4 in the majors, rather than a penalty double.
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  #344  
Old 01-04-2018, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by robardin View Post
That's what I meant by it being better to miss some corner case slams than corner case games. These "just one trick short of game" hands should be treated as "not going to stop below game" - I think we're in agreement - but better to overload a 4S opener on the strong side and miss a possible slam when partner has the right fitting cards, than to open 2C when you don't actually have game in hand.

That's my opinion, based on 25+ years of playing, you can choose a different style, of course. But picture partner holding

K
xxxx
xxxx
Axxx

If you open 2C and opponents overcall 2NT for the minors, this hand should double to show interest in penalty doubling at least one of the minor suits.

Now over 3C, 4C or even 5C, if the 2C opener rebids 4S or 5S showing the strong single suited spade hand, this hand can see 10+2 tricks and go to slam... But not if you'd open 2C on 9 tricks.

AQJTxxx
AK
Axx
x

Isn't good enough, but make an x of diamonds the King of diamonds or the Queen of Hearts and you've got a fine 2C opener.
I would say a pass is a replacement for the negative response and double shows some points. With the hand in question (K,xxxx,xxxx,Axxx) I would que-bid 3C.

And as for opening 4S with the powerhouse hand... definitely not. How can partner make reasonable decisions at the 5 and 6 level when on some preempts you have AK, Axx, x in the other suits, and in others you have x,xx,xx

Also, the strong 2C is slightly preemptive and may deter competitive bidding by the opponents.

Last edited by K364; 01-04-2018 at 12:31 PM.
  #345  
Old 01-04-2018, 02:46 PM
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But my preferred style would be to default to opening a "heavy preempt" - where, mind you, we're talking about opening in GAME, which is the purest form of a game forcing auction - in preference to a "light game forcing bid" that is ARTIFICIAL.
I think we're talking past each other here - I've already said that if you're going to open 2C on this sort of hand you cannot treat the 2C opener as a game forcing bid. But even a strict Acol 2C is not a game force, so that's not a huge sacrifice.

An advantage of opening this sort of hand 2C is that as well as more space to explore if partner has support you have option of stopping short of game if partner has nothing. And if opponents want to buy the hand at the 3-4 level, it may well be right to let them do it. Holding AQJxxxx Axx AK x, with no help from partner, I'd far rather try to take 4 tricks against 4C than make 10 tricks in 4S!
And of course if you don't want to let opponents buy the hand, you can always bid 4S on the 2nd or 3rd round, by which time partner will have a better idea of your holding and hopefully can make a better decision at the 4 or 5 level. Of course, opponents will also have more information and sometimes this will let them find a sacrifice (or double) that they would not have bid over a straight 4S. Them's the breaks.

(Put another way, the point of pre-empting is to remove bidding space and it only makes sense to do so if the hand belongs to opponents. Holding a strong 18-count - with spades! - you have no reason to think the hand belongs to opponents and hence no real reason to pre-empt)


Quote:
Per your example, I would bid 2NT over 2C with that hand every time. Wouldn't you?
Well, yes, at least non-vulnerable, but I was giving it as an example of a good 2NT hand to show that intervening on the rare "textbook" hand could be a gamble. I wouldn't do it if the hand was a King weaker, which is a much more likely hand for an opponent to hold.
Vulnerable, I'd at least give serious thought to shutting up and letting opponents sail into game with every suit breaking badly. (And non-vul vs vul, at least, I'd also bid over 4S with that hand, so...).

Quote:
If partner actually has a hand with 4 clubs and a zero count, how are the opponents not good for at least game in a major? Even if partner were 3-3-3-4 in shape, the opponents have TWO nine card major suit fits, and I have a four loser hand for partner and a double fit in the minors. At the THREE level!
You're right, I was careless. I agree that if partner really has a 3-3-3-4 0-count, opponents showed poor judgement in doubling you rather than bidding their major suit game.

But in practice, depending on opponents system the double of 2NT is likely either to show a penalty double of the minors (and hence a decent club holding) or a take-out for the majors (and opener's decision to double 3C shows something like a 2-3-4-4 shape). Either way, partner is more likely to be 4-4-2-3 than 3-3-3-4 and it could easily be something really ugly like 5-4-2-2. If partner has S xxxx H Axxxx D xx C xx (possible if opener is light), you've taken a big penalty to save opponents from going down in 4S.
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:20 PM
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We had some really disastrous bidding tonight.

Three in particular.

On the first, I initially passed, my partner bid 1S (showing 5 cards in the suit), and I splintered to 4C, having a void in Clubs and good 4 card support and sufficient points. My partner then bid 4NT (Blackwood), to which I responded 5C - no Aces - which was passed round leaving me in a 2-0 fit. A rout ensued.

On the second, I made a weak jump overcall and my partner took it to be a strong overcall.

On the third, my RHO opponent opened 2D, showing both majors. I was 4-4 in the minors with 16 points so doubled for take-out. My partner bid Spades having Txxxx, so, having cover in Hearts (AJx), I bid NTs and we missed the huge Diamond fit that we had.
  #347  
Old 01-05-2018, 02:38 AM
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From your posts you are evidently a much better player than I am, so it is heartening to hear of disasters such as the first hand above - that could easily have happened to me! Perhaps your partner is more my level...

On the third, did you miss a diamond slam? If not, was NTs such a disaster?
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:19 AM
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On the third, we missed a game in diamonds and went off in NTs, losing SAKQJ off the top.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:47 PM
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Quartz - ouch. Regular partner or pick-up? If it was a pick-up, it sounds like you didn't fully discuss a system beforehand - or someone forgot what had been agreed.
If it was your regular partner, I'd ask if he had something on his mind, because it seems like his head just wasn't in the game.
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:04 PM
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Regular partner. Probably too much New Year Cheer.
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