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All comments by Donald Lurie
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as i saw it, this hand was an issue of strategy. however, i'm not sure which of the 3 suggested bids would have been successful in keeping e/w out of the makable 4 contract. I opted for maximum pressure (knowing that I had outside honors that the opponents could, therefore, not have), but that didn't stop lho from bidding 4.
West's hand was: AJ97, AJ75, A, T832
East's hand was QT8543, 643, 43, A7
Would bidding less that 4 have stopped them from bidding game? very questionable

partner held 63, K982, 52, KJ954
5x was - 300 Should 5 be bid? net result lose 5.1 imps
Yes, I know that the opponents are entitled to a good result every once in a while, that it will happen, just not at my table, please!
thx
Jan. 18
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actually, isn't this a much different hand from the one referenced by GN which included a 5-card major, weak 5-card minor, and stiffleton Ace. Here we have a 6-card major, and sngltn K can be of value opposite the ace (as long as not stiff ace) as it will permit the ace to provide a discard for a minor suit card in opener's hand, and P will never play you for shortage if you don't show it.
Jan. 17
Donald Lurie edited this comment Jan. 17
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i'll be nice and provide the companion hand (the one that responded 1NT after p - p - 1C - X - p - ? 83, A8, 9652, QJ642. We can have another conversation regarding whether that hand should respond 1 or 1NT.
Interestingly, the partner of the 1 opener had 94, T96, T73, & AT753 and decided to not raise to 2 after the double. Then the 1NT bidder might have passed 2 and what would have occurred after that is anyone's guess but i suspect there might have been a 2nd double. But, alas, the hand passed, leaving the OP hand to find the more optimal bid over 1NT
Jan. 17
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steve:
exactly
however, my P has repeatedly disagreed with this and has insisted that the 2nd dbl is penalty-oriented at the 3-level. got me to thinking that my reasoning is all screwed up
but thx :)
Jan. 12
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i think i have already publicly acknowledged that my 5 bid was ill-advised and that taking a sure plus would have been a much better decision.
I don't believe that I have the credentials to disagree with those who would have initially doubled 3 as opposed to overcalling 3 with 3NT, and i agree that there are hands where doubling would have been the winning action and where 3N would have little play. I will say that, so far, the results of my bidding poll regarding the north hand has 20 out of 23 responders recommending a 3N overcall. That might have made my life much easier on this particular hand.
What i was reaching out for and hoping to elicit were some ideas or recommendations on when second doubles by the same hand might be made on more balanced hands too strong for a natural NT overcall as opposed to showing shortness in the bid suit, support for the others, and sufficient extra values. eg 1 - X - 3 - p - p ?. My partner and I are having difficulties on such auctions: i was hoping for some guidelines with the understanding that part of the decision making can vary from hand to hand and auction to auction.
Thx
Jan. 12
Donald Lurie edited this comment Jan. 13
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Thx for your feedback
fwiw, in this partnership, 4/ 3 would have been Michaels, so the rock crusher immediate cue that you mentioned wasn't available. Perhaps I am missing the point of your recommendation (it's late).
My personal problem on this hand (I was the south hand) was that the bidding got bounced up so high so quickly that I didn't know which type of shape partner's 2nd double showed. Yes, i am quite familiar with the 5-level belonging to the opps? I just didn't heed the advice and take the sure plus.
Perhaps I didn't explain myself very clearly when I referred to a“hidden theme”. We (our partnership) has had frequent misunderstandings / disagreements about the meaning of second doubles by the same hand in competition at lower levels than what was presented in this OP. I had been taught that the first 2 doubles by the same are takeout or takeout oriented while a 3rd one is penalty. My partner disagrees. I have found that such a problem arises most often when one of us has a balanced 18 - 20 hcp hand (Maybe more) and rho has has the audacity to open the bidding and then lho has bid/ raised over an initial takeout double.
For example, consider the auction 2 (weak) - double - 3 - pass - pass - Double, or even 1 - double - 2 - pass - pass - Double. When are such second doubles showing typical t/o dbl shape with extras, wanting partner to bid (or convert), and when do they show hands very strong, balanced hands that were too strong for a notrump overcalls. (Hope this clarifies the problem that I, personally, am having with this issue.)
Jan. 12
Donald Lurie edited this comment Jan. 12
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There seems to be a split over what the north hand's initial action should have been. Therefore, I am going to post the North hand as a bidding poll. However, please do not stop responding to this discussion.
There is a so-so-hidden theme or general issue represented by the north hand. Specifically, what is the meaning of a second double by a hand who's initial bid was a t/o double? (Especially at lower levels) How does advancer differentiate between partner having a balanced hand that was deemed to be too strong for an initial notrump overcall from a hand with prototypic t/o double shape (eg 4441) that has significantly more strength than a minimum double and wants partner to bid (or convert)?
Jan. 11
Donald Lurie edited this comment Jan. 11
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thx
i was wondering if someone was going to suggest 5 / 4.
Jan. 11
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steve:
i dont remember all of the e/w cards, but the west hand was 1-4-7-1 (KJ7th of s and either stiff J or T of s) while east was something like 5323 with Ax in s and A5th in s. He had his double of 6
Don't know for sure what east would do over a 3NT overcall.
Jan. 11
Donald Lurie edited this comment Jan. 11
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All four players know each other quite well, and both sets of partners are fairly regular partnerships. The 3/5 bidder is a well-known teacher on BBO.
Jan. 11
Donald Lurie edited this comment Jan. 11
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The results of this poll is consistent with what I anticipated. I interpret them as meaning that people are playing 2NT in such a situation as some form of scramble, most likely minors. The reason for this poll was to get a sense of the degree to which the more accomplished bridge community play 2NT on such an auction as being some form of takeout or scramble? (on this sequence, more likely minors).
As some might have suspected, this is the companion hand to Axx, Ax, AT9xx, AKx.

To refresh peoples' memories, the bidding had gone as follows: P - P - 1 by rho - Dbl - 2 by lho - P - P - at which point I made a second Dbl. (This 2nd dbl was also chosen by about 3/4 of the respondents of the previous poll). Partner then responded 3 instead of 2N with the KT, 98x, xxxx, Txxx hand (making +110 but missing the 9-card fit +130, still losing a few imps due to some larger plus scores our way due to ‘unusual’ results at a few other tables) and then proceeded to disapprove of my 2nd dbl. He has often disagreed with me on the meanings of “second doubles”, seeming to play them more penalty oriented.

I informed my partner of the results of these two polls. He seemed to accept the results but asked about what would I be doing with big balanced hands (“just don't have 20”).

Over time I have observed that I have been having difficulty handling strong, balanced hands either bal 18-19 after we open the bidding and the opponents interfere at the 2-level, or after the opponents open, i dbl, and the compete to the 2 or even 3-level. (We have good methods for when there is no interference as do most people) But a simple auction such as 1 - 1 - P - 2 - ? when i have a balanced strong hand has often created difficulty, and i have been unclear about the meaning of 2N here (Good-bad? 4-6 in minors good? what?) The concept of “I have the strength, I hope for you to have the shape” has been mentioned to me on a few occasions, especially in certain mp competitive situations.

I guess what I would appreciate is some discussion in general regarding the meanings of second doubles. I had always been taught that the 1st X is for takeout, the 2nd X is primarily for takeout, and the 3rd X is penalty oriented. I am aware that the meanings can depend to some degree on the bidding, but help on differentiating between 2nd doubles that mean you have significantly more than the minimum your initial double showed versus showing a strong, balanced hand would be very much appreciated. I wonder how much agreement there is on this subject among the more accomplished bridge community? If just a discussion is too diffuse, then i guess i will just continue to poll individual hands and accept the idea that strong, balanced hands can be a pain in competition. Perhaps that is one reason why some people are playing a 2 opener to show balanced 18-19/20 hands (Big Bang) similar to Mex 2.

anyway:
TIA (thx in advance)
DHL
Dec. 3, 2018
Donald Lurie edited this comment Dec. 3, 2018
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my wife says this question is a no-brainer: YES, always
Nov. 11, 2018
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This was an interesting board. It raised the obvious question about the differences between rebids of 2, 3, and 4s after partner's double negative. My partner and I had never discussed this (how many of you have?).
The companion hand was Txx, x, Jxxxx, Jxxx The hand made 4H only because the Q dropped dbltn. Do you want to be there? At imps? At match points? Is it better to play 2 followed by 3 as passable and an immediate 3 as forcing, or the other way around?
Nov. 10, 2018
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Thank you to everyone who has already or is yet to respond to this poll.
As mentioned in the OP, my bid over the opponent's bid of 3 elicited some disagreement.

Like about 3/4th of the respondents, I also doubled, thinking it still showed t/o dbl shape but with extras, perhaps a hand good enough for a game (or slam) try as partner could have been bidding 3 on shape to compete.
My partner advised me that it was a penalty double, only to reconsider (maybe) after I informed him/ her that 70 % (at the time) of the respondents to this poll disagreed with him. Fortunately, he/ she had a hand that could clearly convert the X to penalties: -1100 with declarer misplay.

But this disagreement on the meaning of a 2nd double after having initially made a takeout double continues.

I had been taught that as a default framework the 1st double is takeout, the 2nd is still takeout but with extras, but that the 3rd was penalty. Was I taught incorrectly? Or does it depend on the auction? I would appreciate feedback on this because this issue impacts on how to handle strong, balanced hands in competition (too strong or wrong shape for 1NT overcalls).
(ex: 1 - Dbl - p - 2 - 2 - Dbl: what is this dbl?)

TIA
DHL
Oct. 27, 2018
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To all those who voted that 3 is natural here (4 s): what is your punt bid? example 2254, 1345 with weak s or, some 1354 hand with a mediocre suit, none having an stopper? Does 3 promise 5+, does 3 promise 5-good or 6+ s? What are your agreements?
TIA
Oct. 23, 2018
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SAYC convention card is available on acbl site: acbl.org, Learn, Important Documents, Convention Cards, on lower right side is tab where TDs could go to print out multiple copies of SAYC CCs ahead of time to provide to those they are instructing to play SAYC. It's another PIA for the TD, but …………
Oct. 12, 2018
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Steve: the operant letter here is the “I”. It carries with it certain assumptions (or is it presumptions) that, for my personal experiences, often haven't been supported by reality. Anyway, as previously documented/ confessed elsewhere, it's always my fault, responsibility transfers in competition or not.
Oct. 7, 2018
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DSIP is an oxymoron.
Oct. 6, 2018
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I always get scolded or dissed: this is nothing new.
In fact, when I was born, the doctors spanked my father. It's taken over 65 years but I've gotten over it.
I'm now more interested in how to better evaluate such hands.
Sept. 24, 2018
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agreed
Sept. 24, 2018
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