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All comments by Christopher Monsour
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Incidentally, this is why I hate intermediate jump shifts (in uncontested auctions). Opener has the same dilemma with a six-card major, but no cue-bid to fall back on!
Sept. 2
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Suggestion: Next time play an all natural system. No alerts for them to complain about. You'll still score 67%. A few weeks of that and at least when you revert to your usual, they won't think that strange bids are the reason you win.

Slight variant: Use four-card majors, so that you “out-old-fashion” them.
Sept. 2
Christopher Monsour edited this comment Sept. 2
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I don't think that's quite true. The club can't literally say that a particular call (say, redouble) is a special partnership understanding and ban it. Perhaps you meant an understanding about a call?
Sept. 2
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Informing someone what “American Standard” is and that it is not the same thing as “Standard American” is not rude. It is saving them further embarrassment. What would be rude would be a response like “I'll bow to that quickly if I eat your cooking”.

Also, I thought the whole idea of ZT was that it was supposed to be used in situations like this. Threatening to leave because you lose to a certain class of player is not exactly acceptable behavior. It seems to me the only alternative is to treat the comment as a joke and respond with a joke like “well, then, if you take any finesses against me, you'll have to pay *my* entry fee”.
Sept. 2
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So was the driving factor really the extra two steps over 2NT on the raise? Or was it wrong-siding NT when responder had GF clubs?
Sept. 2
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Frances, I agree on the usefulness of having another heart raise, but playing transfers aren't both 3 and 3 heart raises/
Sept. 2
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I prefer 1 to 2 because if the opponents bid, but not spades, partner will never know which major to lead if I start with 2.
Sept. 2
Christopher Monsour edited this comment Sept. 2
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1. I have never had any trouble with 12-15 NT playing Precision. I pass crummy 12s and open good 15s 1. While balanced hands aren't great in terms of playing strength, they also don't result in misfits, so I don't find any reason to downgrade them out of 1 openings. For what it's worth, I do downgrade crummy 8 counts to a 1 response, but I'd still give a positive response with a hand like AKxxx xxxx xxx x or AQ10xxx xxx xx xx. The advantage of this style is that a 1 opening promises at least 3 diamonds. And if you have a balanced hand with 3+ diamonds and one or two four-card majors you have the option of opening 1 without misleading partner about your strength. This gets you back some of the major-suit fits that weak NT openings lose. Also, you can often afford to open 1 slightly lighter.

I should add that, to cope with the wide-range of openers balanced hands after 1-1, I do recommend using opener's 1 rebid as Kokish.

In 3rd and 4th I do play 14-16 (well, 13-16, but I probably open the same hands that people who say they play 14-16 open), but that's because I increase the point-count requirement for everything by 1 when partner has passed, since I open 1 and 1 very light in 1st/2nd. I once passed in a 14 count in the 2nd day of a national event (and I got a 90% board).

2. Transfers are definitely a good idea…the thought of not playing transfers would make me sick. One nice thing is the extra room after 1 with balanced hands makes it easy to cram the 4441 hands in there, too. If you play straight transfers to everything, I would suggest using 2 and 2 responses to take some of the pressure off the transfers to diamonds and to hearts, which get the auction kind of high. 5-5s that don't include spades are good candidates, for example. Finally, you might consider putting two suits through 1, so that 1NT can show hearts and 2 the leftover suit, freeing 2 up for other uses (more 5-5s?). One possibility is for 1 to show either black suit. Opener bids 1 and responder bids 1NT with spades and higher (and naturally) if he has clubs. This has the advantage of always having opener play spades when responder shows them. Another possibility is for 1 to show a positive response in a minor. The advantage here is that opener can bid either 1 or 1NT to ask, so that he can always grab the NT when responder has a long minor.

3. Using transfers, 8-21 for 1 works just fine. (I think I'd just jump to 7NT with 22.)

4. For opener these aren't a big problem first round. If strong enough for 1, open 1. Otherwise 1 if you have four of them and 2 with 4=4=1=4. When you open 1 and get a positive response, that's easy to handle, too. After 1-1, you can use a bid like 2 to show 19+ 4441 hands, and 2 can ask range and shape. (If 1 is Kokish, you don't need 2 to show a strong heart hand since 1 is forcing.) With 16-18, you probably aren't going to game anyway and I usually just rebid 1 or 1NT, whichever seems closest, and don't worry about it.

5. You really have to rearrange Precision to have 2 (like having 1 promise 0 diamonds instead of 2–or even 3 in my preferred methods) deny a four-card major. I assume the question is really about whether you promise six clubs. I think you absolutely should promise six clubs. The 1, 1NT, and 2 openings adequately handle all shapes with five clubs and a four-card major. The promise of the sixth club both helps responder better judge the auction and makes it much safer look for the four-card major on borderline hands that could produce game if there is a major-suit fit.

6. Start without asking bids. I think it's much better to focus on cooperative bidding at first. Once you know what you will be giving up, you have a three-way choice of primary method: (1) really fancy cooperative bidding; (2) relays; (3) lots of asking bids. I personally dislike (3) since some hands require cooperative bidding, and it's easier to bid cooperatively when only the cheapest bid is an ask than when most bids are asks.
Aug. 30
Christopher Monsour edited this comment Aug. 30
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There's also the situation of the partner who has promised to stop deviating and holds to that promise about as well as his promise to stop drinking.
Aug. 30
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In the US, too.
Aug. 29
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They didn't teach American history at your high school? In 1797 Talleyrand solicited bribes from diplomats from the Adams administration, provoking the response from Pinckney “Millions for defense and not one cent for tribute” and nearly leading to official (as opposed to merely undeclared) war with France. This became known as the “XYZ affair” as public versions of events released in the US replaced the identities of French officials with letters.
Aug. 28
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Unfortunately, the rules are different for opening with less than the legal minimum agreed HCP…. (e.g., opening a 10-12 1NT with 9).

Why is that?
Aug. 28
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Nick, what do you think of systems that use Pass as 0-7 OR 16+? Much less subject to preemption, I would think.
Aug. 28
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John, let's face it, if XYZ was supposed to catch on, it wouldn't have been named after an international bribery solicitation scandal.
Aug. 28
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Somehow I doubt Kipling knew what that would sound like in the 21st century!
Aug. 26
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After 1NT is doubled, that is no longer one of the possible ways of making 150.
Aug. 26
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Chris, what will you do with that hand if the opponents' defense to 1NT is described on their convention card as “highly unusual, please ask”?
Aug. 25
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I don't think that's the same as the situation where they only alert after partner's call, or change their explanation after partner's call, or have an incorrect explanation on their convention card.
Aug. 23
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2NT is natural. I've seen Zia make this bid and it was natural for him. Besides, it isn't just for 19-21 balanced. It's also for strong semibalanced hands with a six-card minor and a stopper. So, while it is rare, it's not quite as rare as some people are thinking.
Aug. 23
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Not with any hand at RHO's turn to call. ;)
Aug. 23
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