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Responding to 2NT What's good &/or simple?

#1 User is offline   shevek 

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Posted 2012-September-26, 16:08

Basic SAYC just has 3 Stayman and major transfers, though Puppet has become "standard".
What continuations?
What of the rest?

3 minors seems common enough, though playing it as a transfer to s has right-siding merit.
Transfer to 3NT for slammish continuations seems too complicated for a broad market.

4 Gerber is default but maybe limited value opposite a big hand. Are 4/ better as natural slam tries?

4/ Texas seems common in US. I guess it allows 4 - 4 - 4NT as RKCB, whereas 3 - 3 - 4NT is presumably natural. An obscure gain.

In other countries, South African Texas (4 = s) is more common, over 1NT at least.
(That made sense over a weak NT since responder would often want to declarer 4/4)
As a corollary, 4/4 over 2NT could show s/s. How many do that?

4NT direct is quantitative. Again, I'd have thought that had little value opposite a range like 20-21.

Back to Puppet, what is 3 - 3 - 4x?
Some texts say 4/ now show different strength major hands, to be dummy. Is that best?
After 3 - 3, maybe 4m & 4NT are natural?

TIA
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#2 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2012-September-26, 16:11

First, a question or two:

Do you open 2NT with a 5-card major?

If so, which would you prefer:

1. Finding the 5-3 fit when Opener hs a 5-card major, or
2. Enhancing minor-suit slam tries below 3NT, or
3. Enabling sme new, sexy tool below 3NT (name the new sexy tool you might like)?


On that last note, you might, for instance, want a call that initiates a relay for 4-4-4-1 hands or for 4M/6minor hands or the like.
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#3 User is offline   lalldonn 

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Posted 2012-September-26, 16:18

Just a few comments.

Puppet Stayman is definitely not standard in all parts of the world, in particular not in the US.

It is not an obscure gain for responder to be able to invite slam showing 5 of a major, and also to be able to bid RKC directly for a major. It is very important to have both available. If you have another way to do it, then by all means go for it, but you need some way to show both of those types of hands.

Whatever you do for for 4 level bids, if you are trying to optimize then 4 is almost completely useless as Gerber. I use it to show diamonds (with club hands going through Stayman) but whatever fits into the rest of your system is surely fine.
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#4 User is offline   mikestar13 

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Posted 2012-September-26, 20:48

View Postshevek, on 2012-September-26, 16:08, said:

3 minors seems common enough, though playing it as a transfer to has right-siding merit.
Transfer to 3NT for slammish continuations seems too complicated for a broad market.


Definitely not right to play 3 transferring to 3NT. Raising from 2NT to 3NT is your most common bid and needs to be natural. If playing of 3 transfer to 3NT, direct 3NT is virtually always artificial and forcing--and also very commonly forgotten. The 3 transfer itself leads to information leakage when it intended as a raise to game--gives them a free lead directing double.

Quote

4 Gerber is default but maybe limited value opposite a big hand. Are 4/ better as natural slam tries?


Anything is better than Gerber in this case. It's not that good in any case. I've been known to write "4 CLUBS IS NEVER GERBER" on my CC.

Quote

4/ Texas seems common in US. I guess it allows 4 - 4 - 4NT as RKCB, whereas 3 - 3 - 4NT is presumably natural. An obscure gain.


You do need one of these sequences to be RCKB, but agreed you don't need both. The usual in the US seems to be that the Texas sequence is RKCB, but the 3 level transfer sequence is quantitative with 5 hearts. As usual, quantitative sequences are of limited use opposite a two point range.

Quote

In other countries, South African Texas (4 = s) is more common, over 1NT at least.
(That made sense over a weak NT since responder would often want to declarer 4/4)


South African Texas is not too common in the US but perfectly playable. It does have the possibility of opener bidding the in-between suit as a super accept with great support.

Quote

As a corollary, 4/4 over 2NT could show s/s. How many do that?


I've never heard of it.

Quote

Back to Puppet, what is 3 - 3 - 4x?
Some texts say 4/ now show different strength major hands, to be dummy. Is that best?
After 3 - 3, maybe 4m & 4NT are natural?


Detail vary from partnership to partnership. Not everybody plays Puppet, many still use simple Stayman, and I believe Romex Stayman is better than either.
I can post details if desired.


I thought your post deserved a point-by-point response. You ask interesting questions and have a good understanding to build on.
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#5 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2012-September-26, 22:49

I have been going back and forth but right now I like:

3S = minors or diamonds (answer MSS)
4C = clubs
4D/4H = texas

This is good for everything but rightsiding. I think the most important things are that 3S does not relay to 3N since that is an opportunity for opener to give vital information, and for you to be able to bid 4m so that you have room when you have a minor 1 suiter. I think SA is definitely inferior for that reason, you want 4C to be available for a minor suit hand since space is too valuable. If you do play SA you should use it with a slam try, and the in between step as last train, imo, that is the only way it is at all useful, but it is still not worth it imo.
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#6 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2012-September-27, 03:33

While I agree that there is some information leakage when 3 is used as a puppet to 3NT (possibly/often to play 3NT), it needs to be viewed in context:

- It is used with Puppet Stayman.
- 3NT is conventional (to show 5 and 4, which is difficult to show using Puppet Stayman).
- The alternative way to sign off in 3NT is to bid 3, get a descriptive reponse, and sign off in 3NT.

Seen in that light, the 3 puppet to 3NT gives less information leakage than 2NT-3; 3x-3NT, where opponents can double 3, as well as opener's 3 rebid, and have a much better picture of opener's distribution.

It would also be possible to play Puppet Stayman, with a natural 3NT sign off and use 3 for the hand with 5+4. This has the drawback that minor suit slam bidding is more difficult. (These are in the continuations when you don't pass opener's mandatory 3NT rebid and you obviously can't put them in the 3NT natural sign-off.)

Rik
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#7 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-September-27, 03:48

This is what I like to play - you can decide for yourself whether it is simple or not.

3 = Puppet Stayman
... - 3 = 3-4 spades and/or 4 hearts
... - ... - 3 = asks if 4 spades
... - ... - ... - 3 = 4 spades
... - ... - ... - ... - 3NT = to play
... - ... - ... - ... - 4m = natural, SI
... - ... - ... - ... - 4 = slam try agreeing spades
... - ... - ... - 3NT = <4 spades
... - ... - ... - ... - 4m = natural, SI
... - ... - 3 = shows 4 hearts, denies 4 spades
... - ... - ... - 3NT = <4 hearts
... - ... - ... - ... - 4m = natural, SI
... - ... - ... - others = 4 hearts
... - ... - 3NT = 4 hearts, 4 spades, NF
... - ... - 4 = 4+ hearts, 4+ spades, SI
... - ... - ... - 4 = 3 spades, 2-3 hearts
... - ... - ... - ... - 4 = 5+ spades
... - ... - ... - ... - 4 = 4 spades, 5+ hearts
... - ... - ... - ... - ... - 4N = 2 hearts, min
... - ... - ... - ... - ... - 5N = 2 hearts, max
... - ... - ... - ... - ... - others = 3 hearts
... - ... - ... - 4 = 4 hearts, decline slam try
... - ... - ... - 4 = 4 spades, decline slam try
... - ... - ... - 4N = 4 spades, accept slam try (5 = RKCB)
... - ... - ... - others = 4 hearts, accept slam try
... - ... - 4 = 5+ spades, 4+ hearts
... - ... - 4 = 5+ clubs, 4 diamonds, SI
... - ... - 4 = 5+ diamonds, 4 clubs, SI
... - 3 = 5 hearts
... - ... - 3 = agrees hearts, SI (Friv on, Kickback off)
... - ... - 4m = natural, SI
... - 3 = 5 spades
... - ... - 4m = natural, SI
... - ... - 4 = slam try agreeing spades
... - 3N = <3 spades, <4 hearts
... - ... - 4 = 4+ clubs, SI
... - ... - 4red = puppet to 4M
... - ... - 4 = 4+ diamonds, SI
3 = 5+ hearts (transfers after a 3 response with 4 = both majors)
3 = 5+ spades
3 = 5+ clubs, SI
... - 3N = no club fit
... - ... - 4 = 6+ clubs
... - ... - 4 = 5+ diamonds, no void (these 2 calls can be reversed if desired)
... - ... - 4M = 5+ diamonds, void in M
... - ... - 4N = XRKCB for diamonds with spade void
... - others show club fit
3N = to play
4 = 6+ diamonds
4red = puppet to 4M
4 = Baron range ask
4N = puppet to 5
5 = puppet to 5
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#8 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-September-27, 03:53

Rik, 54 hands are no problem at all for Puppet Stayman. There are various schemes available that deal with this hand type. Posted above is one such method; more popular on BBF is Muppet. I thought 32519's Puppet Stayman thread did this point to death already.
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#9 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2012-September-27, 04:53

View PostZelandakh, on 2012-September-27, 03:53, said:

Rik, 54 hands are no problem at all for Puppet Stayman. There are various schemes available that deal with this hand type. Posted above is one such method; more popular on BBF is Muppet. I thought 32519's Puppet Stayman thread did this point to death already.

I am aware that Puppet Stayman can be modified to solve the 54 problem. I read the reference to Puppet Stayman in the OP as "Standard Puppet Stayman" (at least to what I think is standard, but who am I?):
3:
   3: one or both four card M
   3M: 5 card
   3NT: no 4 or 5 card M

For this standard Puppet Stayman the 54 hands are a problem.

Personnally I would prefer methods that don't put so much weight on the five card major. But I live in The Netherlands and it is hard to find a second player in this country who thinks that "Niemeijer" has drawbacks. ;)

Rik
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#10 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-September-27, 07:31

I like Crowhurst's version of 5 card stayman with a modification to rightside.

2N-3-

3 = no 5 card major, and also not 2 and 2-3
3 = 5
3 = 5
3N = 2/2-3

Over 3 the standard is to bid 3M with 4 of the suit held, but I prefer:

3 = "I don't hold 4 unless I also hold 5"
over which 3 shows 4, 3N shows 3 or 4 so you can bid 4 pass/correct with 5-4
3 = 4 not 4
3N = 4/4

This rightsides everything except where opener has 4 and responder 5/4, the only thing to remember is that if you want to simply sign off in 3N after 2N-3-3 you have to sign off via 3.
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#11 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-September-27, 07:38

View PostCyberyeti, on 2012-September-27, 07:31, said:

This rightsides everything except where opener has 4 and responder 5/4, the only thing to remember is that if you want to simply sign off in 3N after 2N-3-3 you have to sign off via 3.

Check out my earlier post Cyber. After a 3 response you can afford to bid 4 with the 54 hand as a fit is guaranteed. This fixes the final right-siding issue and can also be used on hands that just want to Key Card after Opener chooses the suit.
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#12 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-September-27, 09:54

Puppet itself is -EV with 3-2-5-3/3-2-4-4 kind of hands and those with 3-1 majors are too rare to care if you need to add 3S transfer to 3N to even play it then it's twice as bad.
The problem is that loses occurs so rarely so it's hard to learn from experience (2N is pretty rare itself, puppets are even rarer and opponents only gain from it 5-10% of the time or w/e that is). Still -12imp even once every 25 hands is huge.
For example Lauria - Versace on vugraph opened 2NT 112 times and puppeted without 4card major in 12 of those. It caused one vulnerable game swing (because of double after 3C) and caused 0 gains.
This is the same for other pairs or if you just deal some hands using dealer or w/e and go through them and try to estimate how much you lose on 1st lead you will see that clearly.

The problem is people don't do that, they try to pack all the hands in their perfect toy forgetting about how bridge scoring works and what the purpose of bidding is.
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#13 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2012-September-27, 10:17

View PostZelandakh, on 2012-September-27, 07:38, said:

Check out my earlier post Cyber. After a 3 response you can afford to bid 4 with the 54 hand as a fit is guaranteed. This fixes the final right-siding issue and can also be used on hands that just want to Key Card after Opener chooses the suit.

I just keep 4 as natural for hands where I want to play in at least one major if opener has 5, but want to put diamonds in the frame (F4N) if he doesn't, 3352 maybe.
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#14 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2012-September-27, 13:14

An idea I introduced in Overcalling Opponent's 1NT:

2NT-P-?

3 = (1) 5+ hearts, or (2) 5+ spades, or (3) 5-5 majors, or (4) 5/4. Opener bids (a) 3 with 3+ spades and prefers spades to hearts, (b) 3 with 3+ hearts and prefers hearts to spades, © 3 with 2-2 majors, or (3) 3NT with 3+ in both majors, equal length, super-accept values. If Opener preferences a major, 3NT shows exactly 5 in the other major, 4minor shows the other major and that minor, slammish. After 3 (spade preference), 3 is a transfer and agrees spades; 3 instead is purely descriptive and shows 4/5. After 3 (heart preference), 3 artificially agrees hearts.

This call so far handles the same territory covered by both the normal 3 and 3 Jacoby Transfers but with a better ability to spot some fits more rapidly and to in those situations enable cuebidding.

2NT-P-3 is then "Stayman." However, 3NT shows 4 and 3 denies a major, enabling 2NT-3, 3-3 as 5/4. With both majors, 2NT-3-4.

That approach allows all of Stayman and Jacoby Transfers to be handled through 3 and 3 only, which frees up 3 and 3 for other meanings. One method is for 3 to be a slam try with clubs (orboth minors) and 3 for diamonds. Or, use the "normal" 3 for one or both minors, allowing 3 to be anything else you want (e.g., relay to 3 and then I say something neat).

This might be a tad radical of an idea, but play with it if interested.
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#15 User is offline   jallerton 

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Posted 2012-September-28, 15:05

View Postshevek, on 2012-September-26, 16:08, said:

Basic SAYC just has 3 Stayman and major transfers, though Puppet has become "standard".
What continuations?
What of the rest?

3 minors seems common enough, though playing it as a transfer to s has right-siding merit.
Transfer to 3NT for slammish continuations seems too complicated for a broad market.

4 Gerber is default but maybe limited value opposite a big hand. Are 4/ better as natural slam tries?

4/ Texas seems common in US. I guess it allows 4 - 4 - 4NT as RKCB, whereas 3 - 3 - 4NT is presumably natural. An obscure gain.

In other countries, South African Texas (4 = s) is more common, over 1NT at least.
(That made sense over a weak NT since responder would often want to declarer 4/4)
As a corollary, 4/4 over 2NT could show s/s. How many do that?

4NT direct is quantitative. Again, I'd have thought that had little value opposite a range like 20-21.

Back to Puppet, what is 3 - 3 - 4x?
Some texts say 4/ now show different strength major hands, to be dummy. Is that best?
After 3 - 3, maybe 4m & 4NT are natural?

TIA


In the subject line you ask "what's simple?". As you will see from the different responses you have received thus far, 5-card/Puppet/Muppet Stayman is anything but simple: in practice you need to discuss the continuations in a lot more detail than you do if 3 is 4-card Stayman. Furthermore, it's far from clear that 5-card Stayman is technically better.

With nine different partners I play nine (!) different structures over 2NT, although there are obviously common elements to them. Rather than trying to think of the best meaning for each individual response, it's more inportant to design an overall structure which deals with most of the important hand types.

If you play 4/ responses as SAT then it does make sense to use 4/ responses as single-suited slam tries in the linked minor. However, as these responses take up a lot of room, they should imply a good suit, which means that you need another way to show slam interest in a minor where help in the trump suit is required.

2NT-4NT is sometimes useful as quantitative. I can't think of a better meaning.
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#16 User is offline   jallerton 

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Posted 2012-September-28, 15:29

View PostJLOGIC, on 2012-September-26, 22:49, said:

I have been going back and forth but right now I like:

3S = minors or diamonds (answer MSS)
4C = clubs
4D/4H = texas

This is good for everything but rightsiding. I think the most important things are that 3S does not relay to 3N since that is an opportunity for opener to give vital information, and for you to be able to bid 4m so that you have room when you have a minor 1 suiter. I think SA is definitely inferior for that reason, you want 4C to be available for a minor suit hand since space is too valuable. If you do play SA you should use it with a slam try, and the in between step as last train, imo, that is the only way it is at all useful, but it is still not worth it imo.


When using 3 as some sort of slam try, how often do you bid 2NT-3-3NT-Pass and find that nine tricks is the limit of the hand? The advantage of playing 2NT-3 as a puppet to 3NT is that then 2NT-3NT can be used as conventional (for example, with some partners I use this as a transfer to clubs); then Responder has far more sequences available. Of course, this suffers from the occasional double of 3, but that doesn't always have to be bad (last time my RHO doubled 3 in this sequence I got out my blue card).

By the way, if you want to improve the right-siding of your structure above, why not swap the minors around? Then you get:

3S = minors or clubs (Opener bids 3NT if he doesn't like clubs)
4C = diamonds
4D/4H = texas
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#17 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2012-September-29, 02:52

View Postjallerton, on 2012-September-28, 15:29, said:

By the way, if you want to improve the right-siding of your structure above, why not swap the minors around? Then you get:

3S = minors or clubs (Opener bids 3NT if he doesn't like clubs)
4C = diamonds
4D/4H = texas


It's funny you mention this. I wrote up some notes a while ago for this, except I was more concerned about the fact that opener couldn't show 4 diamonds over 2N 3S. To solve this my idea was that 2N 3S 4C should show diamonds (on the basis that with a slam try in clubs you'd be unlikely to want to go 2N 3S 3N p).

Then:

2N 3S
4C 4D = club slam try (over which 4H= I don't like clubs, 4S= I like with 2 w/o Q, 4N = I like with 2 w/Q, 5C= 3 w/o Q etc). Over 4H 4S keycards again, 4N/5C signoff

2N 3S
4C 4H= keycard in diamonds

2N 3S
4C 4S/4N=shortnes in corresponding major


This allows you to rightside everything while still having enough room to keycard and/or slam try, and still allows opener to respond MSS to 2N which I feel is important. If opener bids 4D over 2N showing 4 clubs, you always have a club fit one way or another so despite lacking room you are ok since you don't need it as much. I would just play 4H= keycard, others = cuebid. Note if you keycard and get a response and bid 5N, that is just a transfer to clubs (since opener hasn't bid clubs).

I think this is a litle too outer space for me to play in real life, there is a significant chance I or my partner would have trouble remembering it.

Quote

When using 3♠ as some sort of slam try, how often do you bid 2NT-3♠-3NT-Pass and find that nine tricks is the limit of the hand? The advantage of playing 2NT-3♠ as a puppet to 3NT is that then 2NT-3NT can be used as conventional (for example, with some partners I use this as a transfer to clubs); then Responder has far more sequences available. Of course, this suffers from the occasional double of 3♠, but that doesn't always have to be bad (last time my RHO doubled 3♠ in this sequence I got out my blue card).


Yes, I believe Frances has advocated 2N-3N artificial on here also. I cannot tell if I'm just irrationally afraid of it and I aam just justifying with "the losses of the lead implications on normal 2N 3N auctions are too much..." but I'm still not ready for it haha.
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#18 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2012-September-29, 20:09

Just to clarify, I think it is important to be able to bid 3S with light hands with both minors, like x xxx Axxx AJxxx even, that hand is just pretty damn good if partner has a 4 card minor, but not otherwise. I don't think it's that uncommon of a hand type, and 4N might be in jeopardy with this hand sometime (also, if I bid 3S, hear 3N, and continue on my partner will know that I am serious rather than a hand this light). It is also good with even lighter hands with 5-5 imo.

I think being able to make a club slam try and hear a reject and stop is much less important. So I really would like to get that info over 3S.
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#19 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2012-September-30, 03:45

x xxx Axxx AJxxx

Good hand to start with puppet stayman and then bid minor suit stayman if partner does not have a 5-card major. If partner has 5 spades then you stop in 3NT of course, and if partner has 5 hearts you are often happy that you didn't end in 3NT.

Oops, did I write something in favor of puppet stayman? Sorry Justin!

By the way, I am aware that 2NT - 3C - 3D - 3S is not minor suit stayman in "standard" puppet stayman but I don't know any good pairs that play standard puppet stayman. It is minor suit stayman for me.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

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#20 User is offline   TWO4BRIDGE 

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Posted 2012-September-30, 08:24

Responder Minor Suit(s), slammish ( from the May 2006 ACBL Bulletin ) :

2NT - 3S! = relay to 3NT

3NT - ?? then:
....... Pass = to play ( Needed since direct 3N is majors 4-4 )
....... 4C = slam try in
....... 4D = slam try in
....... 4H = splinter, both minors
....... 4S = splinter, both minors
....... 4N = invitational to 6N
Don Stenmark
TWOferBRIDGE
"imo by far in bridge the least understood concept is how to bid over a jump-shift
( 1M-1NT!-3m-?? )." ....Justin Lall

" Did someone mention relays? " .... Zelandakh

K-Rex to Mikeh : " Sometimes you drive me nuts " .
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