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All comments by Christopher Monsour
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Of course, this is one reason some people say “15-18” even if they are opening 1NT on less than half of all 15s and less than half of all 18. They'll never have anyone complain that they opened 1NT outside their stated range. Whether that's the best way to disclose is a different question. (Note, I am assuming that one can say “good 15 to bad 18” if asked but that if there is no question the announcement is strictly prescribed to mention two numbers and no adjectives.)
May 4, 2016
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I don't wonder how they sleep at night, just why God lets them wake in the morning.
May 3, 2016
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Won't he also think something is wrong when his partner plays the 10 on one of the first two rounds of diamonds?
May 3, 2016
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You probably weren't going to be allowed to play 3m on such a hand. The real alternative may have been between -x00 in 1NT and -140. Occasionally, the opponents will even have game in the other major.
May 3, 2016
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I don't completely agree with Oren about 14-17. If the rest of your system is relatively standard, I think opponents should assume you are both frequently downgrading 14s and upgrading 17s, since everyone knows a full four-point range is silly. When partners force me to play strong NT, I often want to play 15-18. It's not because I like a wide range for the 1NT opening. Quite the reverse: I want a wider range for the 1NT rebid…a good 11 to a bad 15. And I would jump rebid 2NT with a good 18. Would you prefer I explain such a 1NT opening as 16-17???
May 3, 2016
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Andy and Michael, I agree your opponents are entitled to know that partner might have clubs instead of the majors. They're also entitled for you to bid as though you didn't know partner might have clubs, if clubs or the majors is an illegal agreement; otherwise there should be an adjusted score and a procedural penalty to the offenders for taking advantage of an illegal agreement. That's what makes it safe to use the same defense as though RHO really showed the majors. (The whole point of having club or the majors being illegal is that you don't have to have a defense prepared to that.)
May 3, 2016
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I chalk this up as another advantage of 1NT semiforcing. I really hate being preempted as opener after 1M-1NT-2m-, and then responder jumps to 3NT and I don't know whether he's gambling with a good balanced 12 or whether he thinks this bid shows 13-15, and I have extras with 5-5 and no idea whether to sit for 3NT (or on the same auction when he jumps to 4M, no idea whether to make a very unsafe slam try).
May 3, 2016
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Besides Ronald, responder will have an extra HCP to make up for the lack of a fourth trump. If you take your basic 8 HCP shapely four-card limit raise and move a trump somewhere else, you don't get a three-card limit raise, you get a single raise.
May 3, 2016
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Doesn't the ACBL apply 12C1(e) rather than 12C1©? Suppose we do not consider the play by North to be a serious error. Isn't the split score (+300 to N/S, -620 to E/W) the best ruling anyway? After all, E/W deserve the worst score at all probable (which is -620 since it's reasonable to think that N/S might have made 4) and N/S deserve +300 (since making 4, while not completely beyond the realm of probability, was certainly not likely).

Or did the ACBL change it's 12C1 election and I missed it? (Quite possible, as I don't play much these days.)

To be honest, if I were directing, I would probably give E/W -790 (or even -1080). After all, East, with J10x of trump and a bullet, having already preempted, might have doubled 4 based on his partner's hesitation!
May 2, 2016
Christopher Monsour edited this comment May 2, 2016
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There are other aspects to the case for a semi-forcing notrump. After all, opener doesn't know responder's hand-type. If opener wouldn't accept an invite and is 5332, why risk playing in a 6-card fit at the two-level (this can easily happen when responder has a singleton in opener's major) when one can settle in 1NT? Also, at matchpoints, it's often a matter of playing in notrump instead of a minor. Finally, 1M-1NT-P is a difficult contract to defend since the closed hand is known only very imprecisely. Contrast this with auctions where opener rebids 2 or 2 and ends up declaring–declarer's hand often becomes an open book too quickly.
May 2, 2016
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Considering standard expert practice seems to be that notrump ranges are always actually 1-2 points lighter than stated unless the hand is 4333, Oren's examples are all pretty standard “expert” 15-17 notrumps.
May 2, 2016
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Quite right. If “clubs or majors” would have been a legal convention with a pre-alert, but they didn't pre-alert, then it's not a legal convention for them.
May 2, 2016
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Arun, the problem is that you will also be congratulating them (or, worse, they will be “congratulating” you) when the K was onside all along.
May 2, 2016
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Kipling didn't play bridge, or he would have realized that disaster is no impostor.
May 2, 2016
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I think there's a simpler solution to the Ghestem forgets under the current laws. If a jump 3 overcall showing “clubs or the majors” isn't a legal convention in the event in question, explainer is bound to bid as though his partner remembered, as otherwise he has an illegal agreement. That means it's rather safe to defend as though the explanation of Ghestem was correct. If RHO forgot and intended his bid as natural, you will often get a chance to double LHO's “raise” for penalty, or a very compelling appeal if LHO fails to raise when he should have. On the other hand, if “clubs or the majors” is a legal convention, then you should have a defense to it, yes?

(Note that this has the advantage of treating LHO's allowances for his partner's misbid the same as a fielded psych, which feels right, since if a both meanings agreement isn't legal, it pretty much is fielding.)
May 2, 2016
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If some of these system forgets are really so effective, why DON'T people psych them deliberately more often?
May 2, 2016
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Even if it is an adequate description, you should add “he would bid this with almost any hand” so that the opponents know it's an adequate description.
May 2, 2016
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Indeed, David, many books suggest putting a diamond in with your hearts when making such a bid (though their intent is to have an explanation for partner in the post mortem, and they weren't contemplating a director call).
May 2, 2016
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This is also a nice approach when playing a standard system because it frees up opener's other rebids for slam tries.
May 1, 2016
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Ed, it's a matter of knowing your audience. I certainly wouldn't use asterisks in Jerry Pournelle's forum, but I suspect there are many Bridge Winners readers with somewhat different sensitivities….
May 1, 2016
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