Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Christopher Monsour
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In most systems most problems with the 1-2 sequence can be solved by having opener rebid 2 with any minimum, regardless of length, and forcing him to rebid something else otherwise. There are of course more complex solutions, like Kokish's (which has the principal advantage of allowing opener to make an immediate raise with a minimum, but the drawback of less clarity on reversing auctions), but this solution has the advantage of being very simple. If you play weak NT, responder can even pass 2. If you play strong NT, you probably want responder rebidding a non-forcing 2NT or 3 with a minimum.

As for 1-3, I have been playing that as a mixed raise for 20 years when partners will agree to it…i.e. it's a preemptive raise of diamonds that is willing to be in 3NT opposite 18 balanced. I have never once wished I had this bid available as an intermediate jump. 2 is just fine.

Of course, if your client insists that 1-2 has to be absolutely game-forcing, this is tricky. But I wouldn't blame that on the completely innocent 1-2 sequence.
Oct. 16, 2015
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What about the new player whom he acts this way in front of who decides to avoid this club–or avoid bridge altogether–in the future because of this boorish behavior? Or the new players who learn from this sort of behavior that “real bridge players are jerks at the table” and adopt the same persona?
Oct. 16, 2015
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I would like to bid 3 fit-showing, but that doesn't block a 3 raise.
Oct. 16, 2015
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Major one-suiters this strong should be opened 2. That way when you jump shift partner knows your second suit is real.
Oct. 16, 2015
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If they are playing this double as penalty, nothing would surprise me.
Oct. 16, 2015
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At these colors, against certain opponents, I would have bid 4 Texas followed by 5 Exclusion. Now I hope they decide that with 9+ hearts between them they would like to make a favorable sacrifice against our slam.
Oct. 16, 2015
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Your conclusion that responder was coffee-housing just because he knew 4 has no play simply doesn't follow. There are perfectly good reasons for raising a preempt apart from making game. One wonders whether Mr. Rigal is about to tell us the “rest of the story”. I might guess that in that story the holder of these cards doubles, and it transpires that responder was void in hearts, and balancer claims that the hesitation persuaded him NOT to pass because it made it more likely that responder had a fit for opener….
Oct. 16, 2015
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I guess you chose this area of practice before patent trolls existed?
Oct. 16, 2015
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By the way, I really dislike natural “intermediate” jump shifts. Opener sometimes needs his 3M rebid to be forcing and sometimes non-forcing, so a good portion of the time responder has preempted him out of showing his sixth trump.
Oct. 15, 2015
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My preference in “natural” five-card major systems is:

2M+1 = balanced and forcing (almost always 2 or 3 cards in partner's suit), 12+-15 or 18+ HCP
2NT/1 = Strong Jump Shift in s
3 = 4+ support, game forcing raise
3/1 = Strong Jump Shift in s
3M-1 = Limit Raise (though I am also happy to use 3M as the limit raise and put 3M-1 to some other use…either as a flavor of raise or as an awkwardly shaped 16-17 balanced hand)


By a passed hand in such a system, I like fit-showing jumps, though playing Drury I prefer 3 be natural and 2NT show a fit with s on the side.

My preference in my favorite Precision-like system is:
2M+1 = consolidated mini-splinter, GF void splinter, or GF+extras splinter (2M+2 asks)
2M+2 = forcing raise
2M+3 = constructive raise
2M+4 = limit raise

In such a system, by a passed hand, I like 2M+1 consolidated mini-splinter, with everything a fit jump, and 2NT/1 showing a fit-jump with spades. (In Precision, almost no passed hand should want to make a natural 3 bid. Such a hand should have opened 2, so 3 need not be natural.)
Oct. 15, 2015
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I'll give a very common example (without screens) where UI exists but awareness of it does not: Partner's facial expressions. Ethical players studiously avoid looking at partner's face during a hand, but opponents sometimes notice obvious joy or disappointment, and since it's something that partner could have seen even if he didn't (i.e., was “available” for Law 16 purposes), it's UI. I believe one of the reasons the Laws are written so that the Regulating Authority may require the opponents to call the Director in this situation–so that the person who otherwise would have been unaware of the UI will be aware that Law 16 might be applies before he chooses his action.
Oct. 15, 2015
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If he had been addressing you as “honey”, there would have been a comma before the word and not merely after it.
Oct. 15, 2015
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I suspect it's simply more likely that over the years more chess experts have some practical experience with bridge than vice versa. It's easy to have contempt for what you've never tried. If this is true, then I would expect the trend to reverse as bridge becomes less popular–there will be more chess champions contemptuous of bridge because there will be more who have never experienced it.
Oct. 15, 2015
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I don't think you can do that if it was EW who appealed….
Oct. 15, 2015
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That last part is a really dangerous assumption. A few years back in a national event, partner and I bid 2-P-4-P-P- and balancing opponent having the contract easily set in hand thought he was safe making a penalty double because his partner would have to be short enough in trumps to read it. But his partner, with a near-yarborough, was not short enough in trumps and bid 4: Partner had opened a 5-bagger and I had bid on doubleton support 4 to make opposite what I hoped was a more typical 2 bid.

(Either the 4 bidder's ethics were very good or his table presence was very poor, because everyone else knew his partner's double was penalty.)
Oct. 13, 2015
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I think you mean that transfer overcalls of STRONG notrump are a mistake. Transfer overcalls of weak notrump, where overcaller's side an make better use of the space, are a different story.
Oct. 13, 2015
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It would help to know what agreements are in force…
Oct. 13, 2015
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One item (primary decomposition) that is still recognized as of lasting value over a century later is nonetheless an outstanding record as a mathematician.
Oct. 13, 2015
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It will certainly be an awkward hand if you don't pass.
Oct. 12, 2015
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Was one of the choices supposed to be “Pass and let the director sort out my gutless misbid?”
Oct. 12, 2015
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