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All comments by Randy Thompson
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I prefer not to play Minorwood, but rather play Kickback or Redwood. Then the kickback suit (5m+1) asks for kings; 4N is to play if diamonds are trumps (with 5 the queen ask) but 4N should ask for the queen if clubs are trumps and 5 would have to be the king ask in that case. Minorwood is right up there with Stolen Doubles and Drury as my least favorite conventions.
Oct. 16
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Another problem caused by a “Tom” bid (Two other minor). The lesson here is to be the one bidding 2 over their 1 opener or 2 over their 1 opener as often as possible. We do that, alert the Tom bids and say that they are natural but very undisciplined, might be weaker than expected and might have major suit length (of up to 5 spades in the case of the 2 bid). In my weak NT partnership, we play transfers over their Tom bids. That gets us back to about even but I have come up with no way to get back to even playing a strong NT. Tried negative free bids, considered transfers, and came down to just making looser negative doubles and being more willing to leave those doubles in (like here).
Oct. 16
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In my weak NT methods, I'd start with 2, size-ask or clubs, weak or strong. Over partner's answer (2N w a min, 3 w a max), I would bid 3 showing 5+ clubs and exactly 4 diamonds (5-5's would start with 2N instead of 2) and forcing to game. I don't know what pard's hand is, but I would be pretty far along the track of describing this one. Partner (at least at imps) should raise one of the minors with four card support and should bid 3M to show concern about OM for 3N and should bid 3N with both majors well stopped. If we miss a minor suit slam after that start, we won't be the only ones missing it. We don't have a power-based slam; we may well have a fit-and-control-based slam, but we need pard to have a four-card minor for that.
Oct. 14
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Kit made the best argument against 3 in the article: “Also, you may lose any chance to bid RKC for clubs…” 4 kickback right now can make this an easy auction to a grand. 3 now can turn this into fodder for a myriad of subsequent bidding polls. Nothing is ever “free” – and the cost of 3 here to our slam exploration seems far too steep to me to risk it.
Oct. 13
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Bid 3.
Oct. 13
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I would bid 3 if the bid was 2.
Oct. 12
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MIke: I think my partner has bid a 3-card major a couple of times and I have done it once in the 5 years or so we have been playing Meckwell Lite. I don't think that requires any disclosure – partner is going to be a lot more surprised than the opponents when it happens. Rounded to the nearest 1/10th of 1%, we do it 0% of the time. Support doubles would have to be of a bid lower ranking than 2. If that bid is 1 or 1N or redouble, we can bid 2; if that bid is 2, we can pass the support double. In my KS partnership, we do alert our 1 response to (a 2+) 1 and explain that it shows 3+ diamonds. That is less risky though, because diamonds isn't one of those suits that excites partner when he has a fit.
Oct. 12
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Mike: When vul, passing 11 rather than opening with only 2 diamonds might be an option, and probably advisable at matchpoints. But it can still be there with 12. I think the way that some top pairs deal with the hand you describe is to respond 1. I would normally rather gargle razorblades than bid a 3 card major, but a version of the old Al Roth maxim may apply here: “If I can get by this round w/o partner raising…..” If pard does raise, you may (or may not) have improved the contract from 1 to 2 and heaven preserve you from when pard has a super max hand with hearts and bids 2N or 3, whichever your partnership allows. If there is no raise, you should usually land on your feet. I can't believe that I just advised bidding a 3-card major – and in public no less! Luckily, opponents who can overcall 2 naturally sometimes will save you from experiencing this dilemma. Others may save you by balancing with 1N or 2 natural. But sometimes you just have to pay up for all those good results with a bad one! To quote Bobby McFarin, “Don't worry; Be happy!” :)
Oct. 12
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Let's say you have all the queens and jacks in flat hand with no 5 card suit. Now, what type of points can partner have? Nada but aces and kings! Your quacks will look better when combined with some aces and kings in pard's hand. This isn't rocket science – everything has to be somewhere and if you have the stuffers, then pard either is broke or has several of the tops for your quacky suits. You have to get us into the auction first and then partner has to avoid assuming you have a hand that all of planet earth would open. You can't open light but then assume partner doesn't! All the discussion here of opening bid discipline (mostly by those who don't play big club) is misplaced; the disciplined partner in a trash-opening Precision context needs to be responder.
Oct. 12
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When playing Precision, I have been advised, “Don't look for excuses to pass; look for reasons to bid.” If you wrap yourself in LT or QT requirements you brought with you from your 2/1 or KS experience, you won't open flat 11 counts, even though you might claim that you do. Add a jack and you will start passing flat 12 counts. Opening light in a big club context you don't promise very much at all (no LT or QT promises make sense at the go). Save LT analysis for after a fit is found and someone is trying for game or slam. Save QT analysis for deciding whether to make a penalty double or convert a take-out double to penalties.
Oct. 12
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I think your pard is right when playing Precision. IMO, those who aren't comfortable with opening bad flat hands in the 11-12 range probably aren't used to playing Precision. Go with the flow and open trash and allow pard to open trash and see if you don't like it (and prosper with it)! If you need affirmation, go to the BBO vugraph archives and watch Greco Hampson and Bathhurst Lall Woolsey Bramley or Woolsey Stewart and their opening bid choices. I tend to ascribe more weight to their approach than the approach of folks who don't even play Precision but have strong opinions anyway.
Oct. 11
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“Bridge the Generations?”
Oct. 11
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Not all pairs of people are meant to play together.
Oct. 11
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Bidding when they make a “Tom” bid (two-of-the-other minor) over our 1m opener can be tough. In my most established partnership, we play Transfers over two of the other minor (“ToTom”). So, we would bid 2 here, transfer to spades with either 6+ spades and 4+ points or else 4+ spades and invite+ values. West could bid 3 showing a club fit (forcing to 4) in my methods. Now North could overbid 4 and South could gamble 5 over 5, not knowing who might make. But, not finding a vul 5/5 save at matchpoints is a long ways south of anyone losing their mind. IMO, only if you start with the premise that you always have to be perfect on every hand can you be critical of any of the choices made at the table. I didn't vote because there was no option that said “such things happen in the best of families.”
Oct. 11
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Do you play Precision, Neal?
Oct. 11
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With David's carve out about vul at matchpoints, where too many -200s will sink your game, I think you should open all 11's and all shapely 10's, as your partner wants. You are used to putting discipline on the opening bidder; if you open bad 11 counts, the discipline has to be on responder. It takes a good 13 to force game (if we are looking at 3N, with distribution you can shift to support points and LT count for help in deciding). I once did a Deal Master Pro sim on the Precision 1 openers and found that 62% of the time it was a flat 11-13, with 11 more common than 13. A GOOD 13 (typically with a 5-card suit) would upgrade to a 14-16 1N opener, so think of that 1N rebid by a 1 opener as showing 11 to 13-.

Firing the first shot gives you a tremendous advantage in competitive auctions, even if that first shot is the amorphous 1 opener. One huge advantage of Big Club systems is that it lets you fire that shot on some pretty bad hands without fear of what CHO can do to you. If you open a lot more hands than your opponents, competitive auctions will be ones played on YOUR turf. If you open 1M/2/2, you are light years ahead of the other table(s) and partner can really make good decisions. If you open 1, you will become accustomed to the fog of war involved in both sides having to guess – start with assuming opener has 11-12 flat until told otherwise and you'll guess better than they. Nothing like a Swiss match starting with 3 light 1 openers in a row to get your opponents' teeth grinding! Even if they do well, their nerves will be shot, while you will just bounce happily in your chair like the rabbit, as the same thing happened a couple of matches ago and you are used to it! You must accept that you will get a few very bad boards out of that 1 opener, remembering all the more-than-offsetting good ones. No grousing at partner when you get a bad result for doing something your side always does, like opening an 11 the world would pass.

When playing this style, if partner passes in first seat, that is one LOUD pass! You can get a big edge in competition and on defense when you can cap partner's HCP at 10, or even 9 if he turns out to be shapely. Your example hand has an extra jack! You open 1 and call it a minimum, despite its full 12 count! If you don't want to open that 1, consider going back to 2/1 or KS! :)
Oct. 11
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Deleted pre-coffee comment.
Oct. 6
Randy Thompson edited this comment Oct. 6
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IMO, there are several considerations here. You have focused only one – trying to steal the pot in a 1N contract (that may not make when opening leader notices that he has the majors and leads one) by making it harder for him to balance. I think there are two bigger reasons to bid 2 (that is the only possible minimum hand rebid, as 2 would be a reverse). One reason to bid over 1N is to reach a contract that makes instead of playing one that goes down. A second is that if they DO compete over 1N, as they likely will in this day and age, rebidding 2m lets partner make more rational bidding decisions later. If he knows you have 4+ support for his 6 card club suit, for example, he might not want to sell to even 3M. If Responder is 3-3-3-4, he might not even consider bidding 3 over their 2M if you pass 1N, so you could wind up -110 instead of +50/100 if you push them to 3M.
Oct. 4
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John: The degree of fit for m can matter if using Rev Flan over a standard 3+ 1m opener (where 1 is usually 4+). If you have as many as three of opener's minor, passing 1m with the 0-4 HCP hands should be a serious option. Over a 2+ Precision 1, you can't really have enough of a fit that passing makes sense unless you are specifically 5-4-4-0 and pard can't have enough to try for game over 2 w/o a super fit and some shortness and a max HCP hand – and maybe you will need to compete to 3 anyway when he has that hand. IF you are going to bid over 1m, surely it is right to bid 2 instead of 1, which could fetch a 3 jump shift or a 2N rebid.
Oct. 4
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Always glad to be doing something the way Rodwell does it. I just learned that sequence as the way to invite with 4-4 when taught the method in 2006.
Oct. 4
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