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All comments by Jim Perkins
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Thanks. I was looking for the equivalent to 1NT 2 2 4 showing mild slam interest without going past game.

I decided with the unanimous verdict here, but wondered if someone had a gadget. Had I manufactured a 3 call over 2 we would have reached a 50% slam, that depends on the finesse for 5, 5 and two aces.
3 hours ago
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Maybe that's why I say I don't believe here, Max. Anyone thinking, even a little bit, about slam, would see that slam is nearly certain and a grand is more than possible.

Or maybe I am just looking at this through my not 199'er eyes.
Dec. 15
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To me the most important thing newer players need to learn about slam bidding is realizing when slam may be possible, when slam is a near certainty, when slam is highly unlikely. South claimed she thought there might be a slam here but didn't know what to do. This may not be the best path for someone asked to play the role of temporary teacher, but I don't believe her. I tend to put more weight on her initial statement that she didn't think 3 was forcing and didn't know what to do after 3.

There are a lot of paths to either partner realizing that slam is in the air, but even opposite a minimum misfitting opening, S should have at least hopes and more likely visions of slam. Once N jumps, the expectation should be upgraded to a highly possible grand.

I know of no faster way to get newer players to realize these possibilities than losing trick count. No, it is not the answer for everything. But it is fast, relatively easy to learn, does not depend at all on partnership agreement and a is generally a good starting point for evaluating the possible trick taking potential of fitting hands or hands with a self sufficient trump suit.
Dec. 15
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Regardless of the positive or negative qualities of PFA, that is the curriculum that is being taught to these players and I am not in a position to change that. (Or perhaps more accurately, to want to take on everything that would go with wanting to change that.)
Dec. 15
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I did not review the materials presented in the series. I did walk through the club one day overhearing, “When you want to know WHICH Aces (emphasis hers), you cue bid. When you want to know HOW MANY Aces . . . .”

By the way, attending class does not necessarily mean absorbing material. Has taken me a while to realize this about bridge players.
Dec. 15
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They play RKC. This particular club has one primary teacher and I joke that the players all play “Elizabeth Standard” (name changed to protect the . . . ).

2/1 gf, Bergen raises, WJS, Inv Minors, 2 immediate double negative over 2, modified Hamilton over OPP NT, 2 and 4 level transfers and stayman over our NT, RKC. The players in question had attended a 3 session special class on slam bidding within the past 2 months.
Dec. 15
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So it was on the fly for me (I was running games in two rooms, although this was the last table to finish out of both). The points I raised were:

1) Both of these hands, especially the S hand, are WAY stronger than your typical point count evaluation will indicate.

2) The aforementioned point that, with 16 tricks on top, you need to hold yourselves to a standard of bidding to a 7 level contract.

3) Do you play strong jump shifts? (No)

4) 3 is an underbid because of the running suit. We discussed 2, 2NT, 3 and 3NT. N was under the impression that 3 showed 15-17 and a good 6 card suit and thus was an underbid on point count alone. We corrected the range while again noting that this hand was significantly over strength due to Aces and backing honors.

5) 4 is an underbid because it sounds like you just want to close out the auction and your 7 guaranteed tricks plus an outside control honor card are too much for that.

6) Even with the 4 bid, N should start counting tricks (5 or more s, possibly 5 or 6 s and 3 top tricks outside = 13 minimum), be thinking about the grand and try Blackwood. It may come to disaster as Ken points out above, but the likelihood of gain demands that you at least try.

7) N is the hand with controls in all suits and should make the move toward slam. S, of course, should cooperate (and more) after N makes any try toward slam. (The discussion here has led me to think that S can afford to just push these hands into the slam zone after 3, but I didn't see that immediately.)

8) We sometimes have to manufacture bids in new suits to keep forcing the auction even at the risk of misdescribing our shape.
Dec. 15
Jim Perkins edited this comment Dec. 15
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No need to apologize about teacher's fault part. I am not their teacher. I just run the game. And occasionally get asked about hands.
Dec. 15
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Switch anyone for you. I listen to no argument about who is to blame. The players know its me. And that to be late in my game is not pardonable.

Which makes my choice of marital partner somewhat hilarious. But that's for another forum.
Dec. 14
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S, one presumes, has been taught not to wheel out ole Black with two losers in one suit. I would not wish to be the authority that changes her view on that.
Dec. 14
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That should rattle the “All S” voters, David. But it makes sense.

Now, can we expect a 199er N to decipher that?
Dec. 14
Jim Perkins edited this comment Dec. 14
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They play WJS unfortunately. Else, S is radically out of line. Or even more radically out of line.
Dec. 14
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I have a simple rule. If you are late >2 times in one session, I don't care. It's you. If it happens >1 session/month, you are on double secret probation.
Dec. 14
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I am with you John. If semi-forcing or pretty much ever passable I have to hold my nose and bid 2 followed by 4.

I had to abstain.
Dec. 14
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Not sure what your agreements are, but I tend not to be in the “improve the contract” camp, even when the contract is 2NT. R bid NT naturally and O raised NT. I tend not to think that now R wants to play in s.

Although I see that better minds than mine are nearly unanimous against me on this point.
Dec. 14
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Well, if you are willing to forgo all but the most obvious slams (and even some of those – I had 199'ers asking me for bidding suggestions on how they should get to any slam with only 16 top tricks after the game yesterday), then 1M - 2m - 2M = 6+ will work just fine.

However, I think 1M - 2m - 2M = any minimum and any 1M 2m >2M = extra values is just as easy/useful and definitely works better for me once more sophisticated slam auctions become part of the repertoire.
Dec. 14
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@ Marc: For these purposes, Larry is, I believe, thinking of what would be particularly difficult for (almost) anyone with 1000 mps.
Dec. 14
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There is a club here that specifically states that hovering is a zero tolerance penalty.
Dec. 14
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As my hair has greyed, I am finding PASS a more and more alluring alternative.
Dec. 13
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and 1 more (4) against expert OPPs.

But I confess admiration for Kieran's ploy.
Dec. 13
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