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All comments by Peter Fordham
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1NT It is theoretically a tad strong for this bid, but (a) it is MP so urgency to bid game is less, and (b) this right sides NT should partner hold something like Jxx
July 20
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The collective of your agreements don't hold together, witness this hand. It depends what you value most, what has to give. I would change X to deny 4+ and play 1 as forcing.
July 20
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3 I'm getting old! Never 2
July 20
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Must be a UI poll!
July 20
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This hand is right on the cusp between 1 and 2 for me. I really dislike opening 2 with two suiters and my usual rule of thumb is ‘If two suiter has more than half the HCP and three losers or less then 2, otherwise one of a suit.’

Here, knowledge of my opponents propensity to bid might just push me into 1, and slightly better spades, best X=10, possibly 9 would tip me into 2.
July 20
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I made my bed with the earlier 4. Now I have to lie in it. Had I bid 5 earlier, I wouldn't have faced this.
July 19
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3 There is certainly downside to the splinter bid. There often is. The upside that most other choices don't have is that, if partner has a suitable hand, slam can be reached on minimal values. I don't think jumping to 4, for example, will keep West at bay if there is a good hand there. An easy takeout double is likely available. If partner has a good hand, the splinter will get us underway.
July 19
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@John W ‘Unclear to me why anyone would object to tracking psyches, unless they have something to hide.’

Boy! have I got bored hearing similar phrases time and time again this century by politicians determined to chip away at our freedoms. So many previously liberal western democracies are now bordering on police states.

Headquarters Big Brother neither needs to know, nor what to do with the information justly if it had it.

@Ed R ‘An allegation that a player psyched…’ just about sums it up. When did it become an allegation? Better still what is the offence?
July 18
ATB
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North's allocation of blame is playing with South, although, as it happens, I would have opened the bidding at North.
July 18
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In the modern world where immediate jump overcalls are weak, surely the double followed by the suit bid as here simply shows a traditional strong jump overcall, which negates the holding of the other major, but is nonetheless quite descriptive. I would expect that it is not forcing, but partner should be well placed to know whether to bid or not.

Having described 3 thus, I can't clearly say what 4 is as it is inconsistent with that description. 3 I would understand as showing three and prepared to play 4+ or 3+ I suppose 4 is ‘I fell in love with my hand and here we are. your guess now partner.’
July 15
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Second guessing partner's potential bidding stuffups is fraught with danger. Holding a 0661 pattern some years back, I transferred to hearts(bidding 3) and partner, wanting to get more information, simply accepted the transfer. When I continued with 4 (second suit) partner ‘got the gag’ and Passed. Score +130.

Teammates were unamused at score up when our 130 didn't quite match oppo. 1430. Partner's explanation that his six bagger in and short made my ‘stuff-up’ the value bet. Still what's the odd ‘4’ amongst friends?
July 15
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Repeat after me, and after that, write it out one hundred times -

'There is no such hand that is too strong for a weak two bid and too weak for a one bid.'

The ranges run seamlessly into one another.
July 13
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I accept the premise inthis particular situation that the opening lead would likely be a top were opening leader to have both honours, particularly since the actual lead appears to be an attacking lead from a King. However, by listening carefully and tuning in to auctions over the years, I have avoided such an honour lead to good effect on several occasions.

On this auction, were the opening lead to have been, say, a trump, I would be much more hesitant to draw the conclusion about the placement of honours. An astute defender might conclude that declarer might have control, in this case a shortage, if looking at AK and look elsewhere for an effective opening salvo.
July 11
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Since when did bidding low level NT over an opponent's opening show control in the suit? In the direct seat, as here, it shows a stopper and a defined range. In the balancing seat it doesn't even promise a stopper. I stand on my assertion that partner's bid asks for control. If it doesn't, tell me what the bid means in your view.
July 11
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Good luck doubling with the East cards as a penalty double on the second auction. Next time North and West's major suit honours will be switched in the same hand pattern and, yes, 4X is still one off, but 4 makes easily. Some partners get lucky because they're actually smarter than us, but I see no evidence of that here. I simply see a short run piece of good fortune.
July 6
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'One swallow doesn't a summer make', but switch the E-W pointy suit honours around, and now a lead by East is at least as attractive a lead as a and 4 by North will fail after an equivalent auction.
July 6
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If East stopped dreaming of better hands and just bid spades at the first or second opportunity here, the K as opening lead will do the job of defeating 4 simply enough.

If East is asleep at the wheel and fails to bid, when given two opportunities to do so,West will, in all likelihood lead a to poor effect (Lead length side suit with trump length.) There is no good reason for West to lead the after East's snooze during the bidding.
July 6
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@Craig B
I'm not sure your rebuttal stance about the five level holds water when you consider your South jumped to the six level in any event.

As to the seven level, IMO, that's a tertiary consideration compared to getting things right at 4,5 and 6 levels. Bidding inferential grands under heavy pre-emption is fraught with peril.


In the absence of canape methods, I have found that in two suiters, bidding longest suit first wins nearly all the time. Nothing like getting tapped off in a 5-3 or 5-2 fit when a ‘safe as houses’ 6-2 fit sat forlornly as a side suit.
July 6
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@Heinrik J

My commentary was in the context of IMP bidding, and I am referring to situations where minimum/featherweight opening bids opposite near opening bids have a habit of getting too high. These nearly always survive 1NT particularly with the sheer weight of HCP, but enough founder at the three level particularly when one partner tries for game and the other rejects the invitation. +90 in lieu of +110 is an IMP, but -100 instead of +90 is much more problematic.

Incidentally, I was not amongst the 1NT bidders as I am one who asserts that a 1NT rebid is for balanced hands. Although I recognise than modern check back mechanisms reduce the frequency of mishap, the major game in the 6-1 fit after opener rebids 1NT with a stiff in responder's suit has never been a pretty sight.
July 6
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@David B,

Irony is lost on most people!
July 6
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