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All comments by Randy Thompson
ATB
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Marty: I haven't read the most recent version of Robinson's Washington Standard, but I have heard him comment that having many honor cards in a hand has is a plus, not a minus when evaluating NT chances. Aces and spaces work if partner has a running suit; lots of honor cards may help his suit (if any) run and will surely generate stoppers in the opponents' suit(s).
Aug. 29, 2019
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I guess I spent too many years in the Washington D.C. area, where Steve Robinson's influence on bidding methods was significant (he would open 1 with 5-8 in the reds). If you open 1, what is your plan over 4 or 5 by the opponents? The 6 bid would have occurred to me, but I would have bid a pedestrian 4 instead (unless down late in a KO match). The 7 bid is not only a violation of discipline; it is also insulting to partner (IMO). Even if the insult is deserved, it's not a way to get the best out of partner in the future (if you plan to keep playing with him).
Aug. 29, 2019
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Guess I didn't think that one through, Richard. :)
Aug. 29, 2019
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If West has no A, he has a limit raise that easily makes slam.

IMO, bidding 4 is the better scientific approach, whether it shows diamonds or just a diamond control with no club control. But, once the bid is 6, West must pass.

I think this leap to slam is best justified as an attempt to make a slam off the cashing AK. Spade lead and run the reds until dummy has no more clubs! Behind late in a KO match, 6 has a lot to be said for it.
Aug. 29, 2019
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If you move the spade ace to clubs, partner moves his Jx to spades.
Aug. 29, 2019
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Arguments against Drury of any sort (if playing 2/1):
1. How did it get to you in third seat? Pass-pass.
2. What does that say about LHO's hand when you have a hand you want to open light?
Almost for sure, he has the best hand at the table and is extremely unlikely to
pass your 1M opener.
3. People used to pass in 1st/2nd seat with lots of hands that are routinely opened today.
4. That means that you will almost never have a chance to use Drury when opener is light– LHO will bid something and this becomes a competitive auction, perhaps at a level where responder must guess strength of hand (8-21) and length of M (4+ not 5+).
5. Drury was designed to protect those heavy passes of yore (some perhaps now wanting to force game) while staying low when partner has shaded.
6. Taking away a natural 2 bid or 2 bid or (gasp) both really hurts competitive auctions where bidding your long suits can matter.
7. If you know that if partner opens 1M in third seat he has opening values and 5+ of M, even if he is nonvul, it is like having a legal wire – all your usual methods will work and you get a few more to boot (jump shifts can be fit-showing, 2/1 can just be a long suit (not appropriate for an earlier preempt) w/o a fit, 2N can be compressed Bergen, 1N isn't forcing even if it normally would be forcing, etc.)
8. All around the room at matchpoints, or at the other table at imps, people holding responder's hand after the auction such as P-(P)-1M-(2D), ?? will be worried when they hold 3 card support and 10 HCP because going to the 3 level opposite a possible 4-card semi-psyche would be fraught with risk, while bidding only 2M could miss a game opposite a sound opener who fears 5 points in your hand, not 10. OTOH, if opener has to have an opening bid, responder can make decisions based on knowing partner has an opening bid and a 5+ card suit.
9. Competitive bidding is hard enough when you DO know opening 1M bids promise opening values and 5+ cards in that suit; it becomes a crap shoot when you don't.
10. Non-vul in third seat, your alternative to a drury-addicted semi-psyche isn't just pass – you can also open an undisciplined weak two.
11. With 5-5 in the pointed suits, try opening 2 in that situation (intending to rebid 2 if given the chance). Your 5 spades makes their doubles either off-shaped or non-existent most of the time. Opening 2M with a side four-card major there also creates trouble for shape doublers.
12. Not playing Drury gives you positive-expected value swing potential both on frequency and on game bonuses compared to those who must make competitive decisions based on WAGs.
13. Immediate-three-way-non-drury (undisciplined weak twos in 3rd seat, at least nonvul) gives you another way to beat drury addicts. Over your 2/2/2 opener on a hand where drury makes people feel “safe” opening 1M or 1, if they overcall 2N at your table and 1N at the other table, you are officially in a win-or-tie position, aka the catbird's seat.
14. I hope no one who reads this is persuaded to abandon drury. It is my favorite convention to see on opponents' convention cards.
Aug. 29, 2019
Randy Thompson edited this comment Aug. 29, 2019
ATB
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Oh, it might be worse than that – partner might have Jxxx xx xxx Axxx
Aug. 29, 2019
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If you leap to slam, the auction is OVER. Period. Full stop. NO excuses. If you miss a grand, it's all on the leaper. If partner bids on and you are down in a grand, it is all on the grand bidder. Discipline is the key. Discuss what east “should” have bid after making an overtrick in the small. Don't call him a blithering idiot by bidding on.
Aug. 29, 2019
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Drury lets you pretend that you can cope with opening on 8-21 HCP in third seat. You can't. When they bid, what is drury? When they bid higher than your drury bid(s), what is drury? Do folks pass when you open light in third seat where you live? How nice for you. Otherwise, if you not only semi-psyche in third seat but do it on 4-card suits, then your partner is officially declared out of the auction when they bid say 2 over your 3rd seat 1 “opening” bid. When third seat opening bids show opening bids with the usual length promised in the other seats, your partner is empowered to bid in competition without engaging in a WAG (wild-a**ed guess). If feeling the urge to engage in “action” in 3rd seat, try “Three-suit-immediate-non-drury” – undisciplined weak two's in 3rd seat.

All the modifiers make most of the answers impossible to choose. Just add one that says “NO f-ing Drury!” I'm just sayin' . . . .
Aug. 29, 2019
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Doesn't “or a big hand” eliminate the possibility of the flat hand with HCP?
Doesn't double then bid your own running suit eliminate the possibility of the runners hand?
Aug. 28, 2019
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Should have said that in the post instead of all the analogous but irrelevant options. I'd say that you are treating the 1N bid as if it never happened. It DID happen and pard should leave in the double with any hand with 4-5 HCP that doesn't have a suit to bid (or with the trap pass that can't be more than a 1% proposition). The runners hand can't lose by doubling for take-out then bidding the suit (instead of contracting for a possible 120) but at least give pard a CHANCE to pass 1NX. The points hand should also double then bid 2N. A take-out double with 2-5-1-5 will leave you up the proverbial creek w/o a paddle if pard bids 2.
Aug. 28, 2019
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Hmm. Hard to imagine a natural NT hand that didn't double their vulnerable 1N before bidding NT over their inevitable runout. That makes zero sense to me. I picked the unusual NT option, as it seems at least plausible. If partner forced the 3 level opposite a 0-5 range hand that didn't have to have a fit, 3 seems inadequate to me, so 4 it is and if pard has some other imaginative notion, he should be glad I didn't bid 7N and redouble!
Aug. 28, 2019
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No one did anything hopeless, but I would have overcalled 2 over 1 with the south hand and I would have doubled 2 with the north hand. Neither action comes with a guarantee, but pass with a good opening bid and 5 hearts and passing twice with shortness in their suit and a light opening bid are both riskier (IMO).
Aug. 27, 2019
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Bid it if you like it does one thing for you – it gives you a way to create a “choice of minors” with a weak hand. Transfer to diamonds and if pard doesn't like diamonds, he bids 3 and you can pass and hope the he doesn't hate both minors.
Aug. 26, 2019
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We play that 5N is either pick-a-slam or GSF. There is a theoretically simple way to decide which is which: if the kibitzers know what trumps are it is GSF and otherwise it is pick-a-slam. That said, it could easily be a partnership matter here whether the kibitzers know what trumps are! If the 3 had to be at least 3 cards and 4 had to be at least 5, then the kibitzers know what trumps are. In one partnership, we just started playing that the 3 bid is either a single-suited GF hand in hearts or else it is 4+ clubs. 3 asks which and 3 shows the single suiter and all else is natural and shows 4+ clubs. So, to fix clubs, we'd have to have the auction 1-1N, 3-3, 3/3N-4 and NOW clubs are trumps!

As a practical matter, if 1N was not forcing (and the OP didn't say it was), then we have a non-two-club opener facing a non-game-forcing responder, so GSF may be a pipe dream. Clubs are the red-headed step child of suits – folks make up forcing club bids often w/o having all that much length in the suit. Without elaborate methods to determine how real the clubs are for the 3 bid, I think 5N is saying, "I want to bid 6 but I do have 3 clubs, so if you have a string of clubs and a void in hearts, feel free to pick 6.

Decent responses to GSF are only simple when clubs are trumps – you either have two top clubs or you do not.
Aug. 25, 2019
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If you open 1 on all out-of-1N-range flat hands that don't have a 5-card major, then this hand is yet another advertisement for the 1N rebid that I wrote up under the name “Magic Bullet 1N.”
Aug. 24, 2019
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Wow, what others expect for a call varies wildly even regionally within the ACBL. When you then mix in all the bidding methods and expectations worldwide, might as well alert every call partner makes. Not to worry, ACBLers. If the world championship pair events are as they were in the Philly IMP Pairs a few years back, no one other than ACBL members will even have a convention card on the table and pretty much nothing will be alerted. But, since every event will likely have screens, you can always ask w/o worrying about giving partner UI.
Aug. 24, 2019
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This combination was on the cover of a Reese book – Reese said to play the better player for the ace, because a weak player would have already played the ace by the time you play a second time from dummy. But, I assume the OP is talking about what you do against pairs where both players are very good.
Aug. 22, 2019
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Reverse Flannery responses would take care of this issue. With weak 5-5, responder would respond 2; with invite 5-5, responder would respond 2; when he responds 1 and then bids 2 over 2 here, it is GF.

correction of confusing typo
Aug. 19, 2019
Randy Thompson edited this comment Aug. 20, 2019
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Include the widest range possible and you are “safe.” We tried to be specific, in announcing “12-14, could be 15 if 4-3-3-3.” Our attempt to be forthcoming caused opponents untold grief! One would hear it and say, “aha! our strong NT defense applies because it might be 15.” The other would hear it and say, “aha! it is a weak no trump because it would almost never be 15!” We felt guilty getting good results from their confusion and now just say “12-15” in the announcement and on the card mark it “12+ to 15-”. Before a KO or Swiss match, we give the full explanation because then they have a few seconds to verify which defense applies if there might be confusion.

I would give no relief if an 11 HCP hand such as the one in the posting were opened with a card that said 12-14, because it is normal to upgrade or downgrade a point based on whether the points are quacks or aces and supported kings. That is “just bridge.” The range numbers are what partner expects, not what opener always has.
Aug. 16, 2019
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