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All comments by Randy Thompson
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Preemption works best when the opening bid is ambiguous about something – shape or power. Here, is the worst of all worlds for preemption – the opener has a 6+ card suit and has 10-15 HCP limits on his power. Think you'll do them in with your preempt?
June 28
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If playing my favorite methods here, I bid 2 (ASTRO), showing 4 hearts, 5+ clubs and opening values or better.

If not playing ASTRO, the bid that makes the most sense to me is 2, although 1N also beats passing – by a LOT. I don't think folks appreciate the risks entailed in passing here. Will this get easier after LHO raises to 2 or after partner balances with 2? Passing sets us up to miss a game bonus or give them a double-part-score swing. When a 6-loser. 3 Quick Trick 14 count with 17 support points for the unbid major starts out by passing, it's hard to recover. If you live life in fear of being doubled in 2, you sure will make the opponents' life easier.
June 27
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Mike Nelson: This works from any 4+ length, as partner can almost always work out that you have that length from the bidding (their and yours) and the dummy. I never find any switch “obvious” and can use all the help I can get. And, one unbid KJx in dummy is as obvious as the other, so at least as often there isn't an obvious shift as it isn't obvious whether signaler has length. He always has two tho and one is higher than the other. :)
June 23
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If not playing kickback or redwood or minorwood, abandon all hope of a risk-free keycard ask in a minor. I suppose here it would dictate NOT being the one to bid 4N, as our response to 4N will be 5 or 5 (depending on our agreements), while partner's response with 2 keycards could prove very embarrassing. if 4 is Kickback/Redwood, then it is clearcut to bid that right now, while 2-keycard responses don't blast us past 5.
June 23
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In the Meckwell Lite methods I play in one partnership, 1 is the mandatory rebid in this auction; in the K-S based methods I play in another, 1N is the mandatory rebid. IMO, both are right–in context.

In Precision, with a 2+ card diamond suit and 10-15 HCP, there is no payoff for showing the 11-13 range of the 1N rebid – partner knew when you didn't open 1N (14-16) you had 11-13 (if flat). In fact, sims show that 62% of the time, a Precision 1 opener is an 11-13 HCP flat hand with no 5 card major (and if 13 then usually no five-card minor, as you might have opened 1N with 13 and a 5-card minor). If you rebid 1N instead of 1, you just buried the suit that could let our side dominate the two level withe even very limited values and yet you got zero clarification of relative minor suit lengths and only told partner what he already knew about point count! If a 1N rebid there denies a 4-card major, then partner need not dream of a spade fit and knows that you have 2-3 card support for hearts and at least 7 minor suit cards (which could matter if he has a five-card minor and weak hand). Yes, the minors remain ambiguous, but then they remain ambiguous for the opponents as well – and one of those minors is probably “their” suit. If you rebid 1, partner has many more options than over 1N. He can pass with three spades and less than invitational values, or with 4 and a VERY bad hand (maybe a 4-4-2-3 hand in the 0-5 HCP range). He can go through XYZ to invite game or try for slam in spades. He can just bid 4 w/o worry that you have a huge hand that could produce a slam. He can make a “courtesy raise” to 2 that shows 4 spades and less than game invite values. You empower partner by rebidding 1; you treat him like a mushroom (keep him in the dark and feed him bull****) if you rebid 1N. Your 1 bid also leaves open a chance for him to rebid 1N and if you have your usual 11-13 HCP flat hand, you can always pass or bid 2 with something like 4-3-5-1.

If, as I play in a K-S context, your 1N opener shows 11-13, then one problem (a huge one at matchpoints) is that you miss a lot of 4-4 major suit fits. With say 3-4-2-4 shape, even crawling Stayman can't make it safe to try to find those major suit fits. We envy those who on these very-frequent hands can always find their major suit fits at the one level. That same opening 1N range means that the 1N rebid after 1m-1M is 14-16 and the 1 opener is 2+ clubs. Rebidding 1N instead of 1 with a flat hand with 4 spades in that context does two things for you – puts the hand into the 14-16 range and “purifies” the 1 rebid to show a distributional hand (which promotes the club suit to 5+ long unless exactly 4-1-4-1). You get a lot of bang for your buck using this rebid priority in this system. In Precision, you wouldn't get either of these benefits, as the 11-13 HCP is expected and the 1N rebid doesn't come close to clarifying minor suit length (which could still be 2-5 or 5-2 or anywhere in between).
June 22
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When known to hold length, middle says no preference or encourages continuation, whichever makes sense in context. High and Low are suit preference. I learned these as “Rainbow” signals at least 40 years ago. If not known to hold length, do it anyway – hi and lo suit preference and ambiguous middle card otherwise. Tapping dummy here seems like a futile plan with spades splitting evenly. Continuing hearts for any other reason is even more futile. So, when in with the spade ace, I am most likely to want to know whether to lead a diamond or a club.

Right and wrong are silly modifiers in this context. What partner expects you to do is “right” and what he will never in this lifetime expect is “wrong.”
June 21
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That double is a desperate attempt to get a new partner. Done! Let's see if the partnership desk is still open.
June 18
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Partner will surely look at a hand with no minor suit controls whatsoever and rebid 5 over 4N. And where does that leave us? I agree with Richard above that partner will never cooperate with hands that easily make a slam and with Paul above that 4N is a blame transfer. I would add that 4N just lets us pretend to be scientific by not guessing until our second turn to bid. xxxx xxxxx xx xx gives us a play for 6. Add one heart honor and it is an excellent slam. My only alternative to just bidding 6 would be 5N, if partner is old enough to take this as “Josephine.” If it would be “pick a slam,” then we risk winding up in 6N or a born-dead grand when partner bids 6 and we follow with 6.
June 18
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In the minority here, but:
2…doubleton that is scared of NT (3-3 or 4-2 in unbid suits but <Jxx in at least one)
3…GOOD club suit, 3+ support, have at least one control in a red suit or a max hand
4…GOOD club suit, 3+ support, no control in either red suit, min hand.

We play that either Opener or Responder can rebid 2 here with a flat hand unsuitable for declaring no trump. But, once Opener makes a 2 rebid that might be on a five-card suit, Responder must be “fearless” about rebidding 2N, as 3 is reserved for the GOOD suit and 3+ support hand.

3 can be ambiguous about power by using 3N (by either opener or responder) as Frivolous 3N.

In my Meckwell Lite partnership, shape is the only thing we consider on rebids, so there is no such thing as being scared of no trump – if 5-3-3-2, the rebid will always be 2N and rebidding in Opener's major shows 6+ by opener and 3+ by Responder. In that method, the 3 bid is an idle bid we have no reason to define, as we are in a slam try auction as of Responder showing support w/o having just blasted to 4M over 1M.
June 16
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yes.
June 13
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We transfer to hearts and bid 3 with hands that have NO slam interest or LOTS of slam interest. With mild slam interest, we transfer to 3 and rebid 4. After 2N-3, 3-3, opener, with a bad hand for slam, bids 4m; with a good hand for slam bids 4 to pick hearts and 4 to pick spades and responder re-transfers to the major suit picked. (All hands with a 4-card major go through regular Stayman and use Smolen 3M rebids over a 3 response.)

We can get interrupted in showing our 5-5 hand but only if Opener has 4+ hearts (in which case he rebids 4 with a bad hand for slam and cuebids his cheapest control with a good hand (with 3N showing a diamond control). Mandatory super accepts have been working very well for us.

The hand given looks like a mild slam try to me, so I'd do what Leonard did (transfer to spades intending to rebid 4), but Opener would prevent showing my hearts by bidding 3N to show a good hand for slam, 4+ spades and first/second round diamond control. I think we'd get there, even when Responder's 4 cuebid showed a stiff/void in diamonds and denied a club control. It's hard for Opener to have a better hand and when Responder shows life, he'd surely drive it via 4N.

It's also possible to treat this as 5-4 in the majors and start with 3 and then make a slam try over 3 with a 4 bid (only way to show a slam try in spades for us after this start). So long as responder shows any life at all, Opener will get us to 6. If Opener had rebid 3 over 3, 3 Smolen would show 5-4 in the majors and if Opener bids 3N, those minor suit queens will stand us in good stead.
June 13
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Congrats on an impressive win over a very good team. Good luck as USA 1.
June 6
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Our opponents breezed into slam even when 3 was doubled, making a club ruff more likely than not.

If we had held the hand, Opener would have bid 3 instead of 2 over the transfer, showing 4-card spade support and a max. Pretty hard to miss the slam after that start.
June 4
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3 is the practical choice. Not saying it will always work better than 2, but sometimes, when nothing is best, just bidding your real suit, even if it is an underbid, is best.
June 3
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Queen and TWO kings.
May 31
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In my weak NT partnership with 1 always balanced, we use the 1N rebid over 1 to show less than reverse values, and 4-5, 5-4, or 5-5 in the minors or 4-5 in the reds. Our 2 rebid over 1M is 100% forcing and normally a relay to 2 to let Opener compete his story (here by bidding 2 to show a 3-card fragment and reverse values, with lebensohl then on for Responder to be able to try to stop). I would like to say that let us have the auction: 1-1, 2-2, 2-3 and now opener would know responder had at least 10 majors suit cards and a hand too strong for Reverse Flannery and finding 6 would be easy. But, I gave the responder hand to my partner and he broke the relay with a 3 rebid, showing 5-5 or better in the major and GF values. I was boxed in at that point and bid only 4, thinking that a GF hand could not pass 4 when I had shown reverse values, but he passed. I thought maybe he should have rebid 4 to show a hand that only wanted to play in a major suit and I could just bid the slam.
May 30
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I thought it was just payment of $10,000 and you're good to go.
May 25
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Dave: I would think that 11-13 gets you all of your positives while retaining a manageable 3-point range. You don't have to keep 14's in that 1N range in order to open 11's – in fact, life is much easier if you don't. Then the 1N and 2N rebids after 1m (whichever one you use for flat hands) can show an also-manageable 14-16 and 17-18. The 18-19 2N rebid is a unicorn anyway – GF values and make a passable bid with 19. 19-21 is fine as a 2N bid – most of us treat good 19's as 2N openers anyway and in major suit auctions routinely open 1M with 17 then raise 1N to 2N. My willingness to open 2N with 19 is based on positive experience with a 19-20 2N range playing Meckwell Lite and a 19-21 range when playing 2/1 with a 14-16 1N range for 1N openers.
May 24
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Be amused! :) But, whatever you may play, at least 75% of the pairs we encounter at tournaments use the criterion for dividing weak and strong NTs as whether it might include 15 HCP. Not saying that is best, only that it is what most folks play.
May 24
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When nonvul in seats 1-3, we play 11-13, but we subtract a point for 4-3-3-3 shape and if it is 11 HCP, it must have two quick tricks. This means that the nominal range is 11-14, but it is really 11+ to 14- which is functionally a workable 3 point range. 4 point ranges for 1N openers create impossible bidding conundrums (IMO). You can pretend that they are survivable, but sometimes they will not be.
May 23
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