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1m-1M-1NT-2M

Poll: 1m-1M-1NT-2M (9 member(s) have cast votes)

Should 1N rebid deny a singleton?

  1. Yes (1 votes [11.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.11%

  2. No (7 votes [77.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 77.78%

  3. Other-please explain (1 votes [11.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.11%

What suit length should 2M rebid promise?

  1. 5 cards (6 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  2. 6 cards (3 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  3. other-please explain (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-September-11, 08:27

After a 1NT opening, it is standard to sign-off in 2M with 5 cards and a weak hand. This is because a 5-2 fit often plays better than 1NT and you may have an 8+card fit.
So, it would seem logical to sign-off in 2M with a weak hand and 5-cards after 1m-1M-1NT.
Yet after 1m-1M-1NT, i have a lot of partners where 2M promises 6-cards. The only reason I can see for this is if 1N could be a singleton.
But with a singleton, I think you should be avoiding bidding 1NT.
What do you think?
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#2 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-September-11, 09:39

Not so many years ago it was considered to be sacrilege to rebid 1N, after 1m 1M, with a stiff in the major.

This has changed: these days many very good players, and of course many not-so-good players, will choose the 1N rebid with a stiff, since in their view the alternatives are worse.

Say one has a AQxx Jxxxx AJx and open 1D. Partner bids 1S. Your call? 2D risks playing in a 5-1 fit, or worse. 2C was the old Al Roth sort of solution...if we survive this call we may end up ok. However, when partner has, say, KQxxx Kxxx x xxx we are almost always playing in our 3-3 fit.

I don't think that any of the proponents of rebidding 1N with a stiff advocate it on the grounds of intrinsic merit: it is a least of evils choice.

I was leaning towards adopting this method, but in my current serious partnerships we play a form of transfer walsh, so the action doesn't arise much over 1C, and in one of the two partnerships we are experimenting with transfers over 1D (limited to switching the meaning of 1H and 1S) so again the situation does not arise.

So: assume that one has agreed that 1N could be a stiff...does this mean that one should only bid 2M, as responder, with 6?

The situation is not analogous to a 1N opening, even if the 1N rebid promises 2+. When one opens 1N, one may well have a 4 card fit for partner's major, and indeed I have seen opener with a 5 card fit more than once. So the upside to showing the major over a 1N opener is much greater than after opener denies 4 card support.

My own approach is to look at my suit and my values.

The weaker the hand, the more likely I am to bid 2M.

In my partnerships, we play 14-16 1N and open virtually all 11 counts, so 1m then 1N is 11-13, but you need only fudge my examples by 1 point to see how they apply to a 15-17 method.

Say I have Q10xxx Jx Kxx xxx, and (ignoring transfer responses to 1m), the auction goes 1C 1S 1N....We have less than have the hcp, possibly as few as 17. They have the opening lead and at least 1 7 card fit (hearts). I really don't like my chances in 1N, so I bail to 2S even if partner may have a stiff. He will usually have 2-3, and even if not I may be able to scramble tricks.

I have, on the same auction, Jxxxx KQx KJx xx: now we have at least 21 hcp, and I have help in the suits they are likely to attack. Now I am content to play 1N. If he has 3 spades, maybe the spades will take tricks in notrump anyway, and if he has 1 or 2, we almost surely belong in notrump.

Rebidding 1N with a stiff is a least of evils rebid: deciding whether to pull 1N requires a similar sort of analysis. How bad will 1N be? If you hate it, then pull because even if 2M is poor, you're pulling from one bad spot to another, not from a good spot to a bad one.
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#3 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2019-September-11, 09:56

The normal expectation should be that a 1 NT rebid shows 2 cards in M. In a pinch, with a singleton, opener can normally rebid 2 m rather than 1 NT. But as everyone should be aware, there's always an exception or two where rebidding 1 NT is the least odious bid. Those exceptions shouldn't come up more than one or twice a year. If they come up more frequently, then perhaps you need to have a discussion about it with your partner(s).

Requiring 2 M over 1 NT to be made on a 6+ card suit is too restrictive. Playing 2 M on a 5-2 fit usually isn't too bad. 2 M making 2 will out score 1 NT making 1 also. So by requiring a 6 card suit for fear of opener having a stiff M, you're losing some part score opportunities. The point is that you need to pick your agreements based on what works most often not from fear about an exceptional hand. So if you end up rarely playing 2 M on a 5-1 fit, so be it. Who knows, you might even make which ought to be good. If not, the trade off is an occasional bad result versus many decent/good results in 2 M.
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#4 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2019-September-11, 10:12

The only place you should be bidding 1n with a singleton, is if it goes 1m-1s-1n and your holding includes a 4 card heart suit and insufficient values for a reverse. Typically, you are 5431 shape with 3 in the other minor if the 5 is diamonds. If it goes 1c-1s-1n, then there are some people who really hate opening 1d with 4 when they have a 5 card club suit, so 1n could have 4 hearts OR 4 diamonds. I personally have no problem opening 1d when 4-5 in the minors, so if I rebid 1n with a singleton after partner bids 1s I will have 4 hearts.

Some like doing this with 1-4-4-4 hands as well. My personal preference is to open 1d and rebid 2c if partner bids 1s. I like to reserve the 1n bid for hands that are truly balanced as much as I can.

If you have a singleton diamond or singleton heart, you should never rebid 1n, you will always have a more descriptive bid. If you choose to rebid 1n anyway, you shall reap what you sow. If your partner rebids hearts, you better get your apologies ready if partner ends up playing in a 5-1 fit. Even worse is if partner now bids 4h and goes down on the 6-1 non-fit when 3n makes.

Only with spades should a little caution be used.
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#5 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-September-11, 11:06

View PostHardVector, on 2019-September-11, 10:12, said:

The only place you should be bidding 1n with a singleton, is if it goes 1m-1s-1n and your holding includes a 4 card heart suit and insufficient values for a reverse. Typically, you are 5431 shape with 3 in the other minor if the 5 is diamonds. If it goes 1c-1s-1n, then there are some people who really hate opening 1d with 4 when they have a 5 card club suit, so 1n could have 4 hearts OR 4 diamonds. I personally have no problem opening 1d when 4-5 in the minors, so if I rebid 1n with a singleton after partner bids 1s I will have 4 hearts.

Some like doing this with 1-4-4-4 hands as well. My personal preference is to open 1d and rebid 2c if partner bids 1s. I like to reserve the 1n bid for hands that are truly balanced as much as I can.

If you have a singleton diamond or singleton heart, you should never rebid 1n, you will always have a more descriptive bid. If you choose to rebid 1n anyway, you shall reap what you sow. If your partner rebids hearts, you better get your apologies ready if partner ends up playing in a 5-1 fit. Even worse is if partner now bids 4h and goes down on the 6-1 non-fit when 3n makes.

Only with spades should a little caution be used.

This is wrong.

One can have the issue with 3=1=4=5, if one opens 1C and partner responds 1H. Now, what one opens with this shape has been and likely will remain controversial, but even those who tend to or at least sometimes open 1D with this shape will have concerns with hands such as AQx x Qxxx KJxxx. I hope you enjoy playing 2D opposite Kxxx Axxx xx Qxx (where partner is too strong to pass 2C so makes the 'false preference') or Kxxx Axxxx xx xx.

For me, the situation no longer arises in my serious partnerships, because of our treatment of 1m auctions, but in standard methods it will likely remain a problem area for as long as the game is played. There is no 'right' answer.

So the 1N rebid arises when one has a stiff and no rebiddable suit. 1=4=4=4, with 1m 1S, is a problem. I always open those hands 1D, and frankly think that 1C is simply wrong in principle, and not merely because of partner responding 1S. However, 1-4=4=4, 1=4=3=5/1=4=5=3/3=1=4=5 are all shapes that can logically be 'solved' by rebidding 1N over partner's response in our stiff.

You will see that an agreement to rebid 1N with a stiff will thus arise more frequently than you or rmnka seem to believe.

Is such an agreement 'good'? I think it is very playable and, as I wrote earlier, I was actively considering it before deciding to play methods that make it irrelevant. If one plays it, should one pull 1N with a 5 card major...as I wrote earlier, there is no absolute answer...it comes down to looking at one's hand and acting accordingly...sometimes passing 1N and other times bidding 2M.
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#6 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2019-September-11, 11:34

View Postmikeh, on 2019-September-11, 11:06, said:

This is wrong.

One can have the issue with 3=1=4=5, if one opens 1C and partner responds 1H. Now, what one opens with this shape has been and likely will remain controversial, but even those who tend to or at least sometimes open 1D with this shape will have concerns with hands such as AQx x Qxxx KJxxx. I hope you enjoy playing 2D opposite Kxxx Axxx xx Qxx (where partner is too strong to pass 2C so makes the 'false preference') or Kxxx Axxxx xx xx.

The problem with this specific shape is the lack of vision on the opening bid. The most powerful thing about 1n/2n openers is the idea that it is balanced. Balanced does not mean good. Balanced means less suitable for a suit contract. Unbalanced, on the flip side, is MORE suitable for a suit contract. With the shape in question, you have a number of ways you can bid it if partner bids hearts. A; you can open 1d and rebid 2c (some people really hate this, you are apparently one). B; you can open 1c and rebid 1n (you now characterize your hand as balanced). C; (this is the one most people don't think of) you can open 1c and rebid 1s. OMG, rebid a 3 card suit???!!??? Are you nuts??? If partner had bid 1s and not 1h, what would you have done? You would have bid 2s, would you not? How is playing in this 7 card fit any different tham playing in the 7 card fit if you bid it first? With the hand in question, I would have no problem bidding 1s.

Also, if you have discussed this with your partner this scenario, when partner has bid both minors we usually have the agreement to take a preference in the minors. So holding xx xxx you take the 3 card preference. Holding xxx xxx, you take the best 3 card preference. This doesn't always work out, but it works out more often than not.

Now, having said that, I acknowledge that opening a 4 card diamond suit and rebidding 5 clubs is a system flaw that requires guesswork and judgement. But what is the worse error, differentiating between balanced and unbalanced hands, or differentiating what your longer minor suit is?

This is all a matter of style and what you deem is important in the hand. I'm a big fan of differentiating between balanced and unbalanced hands as it gives my partner more information to work with in determining how many tricks are available. But to say the idea is flat out WRONG I find insulting.
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#7 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-September-11, 12:25

View PostHardVector, on 2019-September-11, 11:34, said:

The problem with this specific shape is the lack of vision on the opening bid. The most powerful thing about 1n/2n openers is the idea that it is balanced. Balanced does not mean good. Balanced means less suitable for a suit contract. Unbalanced, on the flip side, is MORE suitable for a suit contract. With the shape in question, you have a number of ways you can bid it if partner bids hearts. A; you can open 1d and rebid 2c (some people really hate this, you are apparently one). B; you can open 1c and rebid 1n (you now characterize your hand as balanced). C; (this is the one most people don't think of) you can open 1c and rebid 1s. OMG, rebid a 3 card suit???!!??? Are you nuts??? If partner had bid 1s and not 1h, what would you have done? You would have bid 2s, would you not? How is playing in this 7 card fit any different tham playing in the 7 card fit if you bid it first? With the hand in question, I would have no problem bidding 1s.

Also, if you have discussed this with your partner this scenario, when partner has bid both minors we usually have the agreement to take a preference in the minors. So holding xx xxx you take the 3 card preference. Holding xxx xxx, you take the best 3 card preference. This doesn't always work out, but it works out more often than not.

Now, having said that, I acknowledge that opening a 4 card diamond suit and rebidding 5 clubs is a system flaw that requires guesswork and judgement. But what is the worse error, differentiating between balanced and unbalanced hands, or differentiating what your longer minor suit is?

This is all a matter of style and what you deem is important in the hand. I'm a big fan of differentiating between balanced and unbalanced hands as it gives my partner more information to work with in determining how many tricks are available. But to say the idea is flat out WRONG I find insulting.


Try reading your post and my reply before getting all hot and bothered. You stated, as a fact, that the 'only' auction where one would ever need to think about 1N on a stiff was when you opened 1m and partner bid 1S. Not true...as in 'wrong'.

As you note yourself, while protesting that you were insulted, one can have a 3=1=4=5 or 3=1=5=4. You avoid admitting to error by suggesting that one should bid 1S. Now, in fact I have done that a couple of times, but I assure you that this has never been by agreement and I know of no pair (I am not saying no such pair exists, just that I have never seen nor heard of them) with the systemic agreement that one rebids 1S on this shape.

You are entitled to your opinions on how best to deal with 4=5 minors and, while I prefer other approaches, I do not say that you are 'wrong' to like 1D then 2C on many such hands. You have a lot of company in that approach, just as I do in mine, and just as, more recently, do a lot of good players who happily, and systemically, rebid 1N with 1=3=4=5 and 3=1=4=5, usually having opened 1C.

The 'wrong' comment was only because you made a patently incorrect statement about the situations in which one is 'stuck' by partner's 1M response. The fact that you idiosyncratically, and without even mentioning it in your first post, think that one can solve this via 1S is not an excuse for your error.

It amazes me how difficult many people find it to admit that they made a mistake. We all make mistakes. Who do you respect the more? The person who, having made a mistake, probably because of not taking enough time, and then admits it once pointed out, or the person who doubles down on the mistake, denying he made it and claiming to be insulted?

I've made many, many mistakes, some in posts here. I expect to make more. It's called being human.

Oh, btw, on the balanced/unbalances dichotomy, I don't think it is as black and white as you suggest. While 1N on a stiff may seem odd to you, that is because you have fixed in your mind that it promises a balanced hand. However, stipulate that the agreement you have with your partner is that you may bid 1N with a semi-balanced hand, in range, with a stiff in his suit. Now 1N is no longer promising a balanced hand.

Is this the best use of the call? You think not, and I think it is close. But don't argue that it is wrong to bid it 'because it shows a balanced hand' when the premise is that by agreement it need not.

As to whether that is a good agreement, amongst other factors going for it, it has the advantage of narrowly defining opener's strength, as opposed, say, to 1D 1S 2C, where opener could easily hold 16 hcp (for me, in fact, anything up to a bad 18). Now responder has to stretch to keep the auction alive with a good 9+ hcp, and may easily get to a silly contract. There are other factors...with 1=4=4=4, and you open 1D and rebid 2C over 1S, if partner has a 5=4 major hand, too weak to bid 2H next time, you play 2D on your 4=2 rather than 2H on your 4=4....if opener rebid 1N, responder will bid 2H. Now, to head off an unnecessary response, of course one can solve this by using a meckwell response to 1m, and I do over 1C, but not over 1D. Why? Because I have other uses for 2H over 1m (I use 2D/1C as meckwell). To me the advantages of my use of 2H outweigh the loss of meckwell: not everyone would agree.

There are a host of factors going both ways: bridge is a very nuanced game, and bidding is the most complex area, precisely because any change to the meaning of any call or sequence of calls may have a cascading impact in other areas, and the more detailed one's agreements, the more this is true.
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#8 User is offline   KingCovert 

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Posted 2019-September-11, 15:06

Mikeh is hitting on some points that I think more people need to appreciate about playing SAYC or 2/1. There are just some shapes/sequences that just have no consistently effective way to pattern out. You have to be flexible with your evaluation of your hand, and it's also good to have some improved agreements. I really would like to see people playing systems that more accurately patterned their hands out and actually catered to frequency. This is where I plug the Baby NT, it's 10-12... :) <--- The most frequent hand in bridge.

Seriously though, HardVector and potentially others, if you really think that agreements/approaches like the one you suggest fully solve your problems here, I suggest that you don't really understand the system you are playing. Every system has some hands that you're going to take some losses on, and unless you've really refined your agreements here, you're just going to find some sub-optimal scores on hands like these.
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#9 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2019-September-13, 06:40

View Postmikeh, on 2019-September-11, 11:06, said:

This is wrong.

One can have the issue with 3=1=4=5, if one opens 1C and partner responds 1H. Now, what one opens with this shape has been and likely will remain controversial, but even those who tend to or at least sometimes open 1D with this shape will have concerns with hands such as AQx x Qxxx KJxxx. I hope you enjoy playing 2D opposite Kxxx Axxx xx Qxx (where partner is too strong to pass 2C so makes the 'false preference') or Kxxx Axxxx xx xx.

For me, the situation no longer arises in my serious partnerships, because of our treatment of 1m auctions, but in standard methods it will likely remain a problem area for as long as the game is played. There is no 'right' answer.

So the 1N rebid arises when one has a stiff and no rebiddable suit. 1=4=4=4, with 1m 1S, is a problem. I always open those hands 1D, and frankly think that 1C is simply wrong in principle, and not merely because of partner responding 1S. However, 1-4=4=4, 1=4=3=5/1=4=5=3/3=1=4=5 are all shapes that can logically be 'solved' by rebidding 1N over partner's response in our stiff.

You will see that an agreement to rebid 1N with a stiff will thus arise more frequently than you or rmnka seem to believe.

Is such an agreement 'good'? I think it is very playable and, as I wrote earlier, I was actively considering it before deciding to play methods that make it irrelevant. If one plays it, should one pull 1N with a 5 card major...as I wrote earlier, there is no absolute answer...it comes down to looking at one's hand and acting accordingly...sometimes passing 1N and other times bidding 2M.

I believe bidding 1NT with a singleton spade is sensible and I do it extensively.
However, I do not do the same over 1m-1.
For once there is a bid between 1-1NT and the number of distributions, which have no good other bid, are much fewer compared to a 1 response.
I rebid 1 with 3=1=4=5 and found this quite satisfactory alleviating any need to ever open this with 1.
Of course you need to alert this and partner needs to be aware of this.
If partner is weak he will raise with 4 cards, usually a better contract than 1NT.
If partner is invitational we use XYZ and partner bids 2.
If partner has a game force he continues with 2.
Over both there are plenty of bids for opener to show less than 4 spades.
But this approach also works without XYZ if you use fourth suit forcing as invitational or better instead.
Opponents are not likely to interfere once both have passed at least once already.
In case they do, responder will assume opener has 4 spades, because the scenario with 3 cards in spades is very rare.

Simple and effective.

Rainer Herrmann
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#10 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2019-September-15, 02:44

View PostKingCovert, on 2019-September-11, 15:06, said:

Mikeh is hitting on some points that I think more people need to appreciate about playing SAYC or 2/1. There are just some shapes/sequences that just have no consistently effective way to pattern out. You have to be flexible with your evaluation of your hand, and it's also good to have some improved agreements. I really would like to see people playing systems that more accurately patterned their hands out and actually catered to frequency. This is where I plug the Baby NT, it's 10-12... :) <--- The most frequent hand in bridge.


It's probably better to play a 14-16 1NT as it still has much higher frequency than the 15-17 hand (like.. double), and it makes for a very smooth NT ladder, but you have to play transfer responses to short club. Alternatively, you can easily play the same pattern with 11-13: 11-13 opens 1NT, 14-16 accepts the transfer, 17-19 rebids 1NT and 20-21 bids 2NT.

Either way, if you ignore pre-emptive value and focus on streamlining your bidding system, 11-13 as the lowest rung of your NT range has a lot to recommend it.
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#11 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2019-September-15, 11:15

I took HardVector's first post as a strongly worded opinion, but not as a presentation of fact as mikeh suggests. mikeh could simply have asked HardVector whether he had a problem with 3-1-4-5 and for his solution for that hand. That would have got the job done. Instead he started with "This is wrong."

When learning that HardVector felt insulted, why not just say "I didn't mean to insult you".

Instead we have a few lines about folks not being able to admit mistakes and move on here. It was all unnecessary. I don't really see a mistake by HardVector. He's certainly not the only one who has experimented rebidding 1S with 3-1-4-5. I have. Even mikeh has done this. Idiosyncratic? I'd describe it more positively.
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#12 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2019-September-15, 12:20

View Postmikeh, on 2019-September-11, 12:25, said:

Try reading your post and my reply before getting all hot and bothered. You stated, as a fact, that the 'only' auction where one would ever need to think about 1N on a stiff was when you opened 1m and partner bid 1S. Not true...as in 'wrong'.

As you note yourself, while protesting that you were insulted, one can have a 3=1=4=5 or 3=1=5=4. You avoid admitting to error by suggesting that one should bid 1S. Now, in fact I have done that a couple of times, but I assure you that this has never been by agreement and I know of no pair (I am not saying no such pair exists, just that I have never seen nor heard of them) with the systemic agreement that one rebids 1S on this shape.

Is HardVector wrong because you have never seen or heard of such a pair?
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#13 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2019-September-16, 05:42

View PostHardVector, on 2019-September-11, 11:34, said:

Now, having said that, I acknowledge that opening a 4 card diamond suit and rebidding 5 clubs is a system flaw that requires guesswork and judgement. But what is the worse error, differentiating between balanced and unbalanced hands, or differentiating what your longer minor suit is?

This is all a matter of style and what you deem is important in the hand. I'm a big fan of differentiating between balanced and unbalanced hands as it gives my partner more information to work with in determining how many tricks are available. But to say the idea is flat out WRONG I find insulting.

What we are discussing here is what to rebid with an unbalanced hand if all of the following conditions are met:

1) our singleton is in partners major suggesting a misfit (this is the most important one. 1NT may well be our last make-able contract)
2) we are in range for a 1NT rebid, for strong notrump players an opening hand with minimum HCP.
3) we have minimum length for bidding or rebidding a minor at the two level (sometimes missing a fit in hearts that way, we would not if we rebid 1NT. After all responder can also be unbalanced!)

Phrasing the question like this, and this is the choice we are facing, makes it much less clear what the "worse error" is.

Differentiating balanced from unbalanced hands is going to be important if and only if you find a playable trump fit superior to notrump and you do not get too high. Otherwise it only helps the defense against you.

Rainer Herrmann
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#14 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-September-16, 09:41

View Postnullve, on 2019-September-15, 12:20, said:

Is HardVector wrong because you have never seen or heard of such a pair?

Are you still beating your spouse?

Do you see the similarity between your post and that question? To answer either with a yes or a no is to affirm the underlying premise.

Try reading more carefully.

Both his posts and mine.

Then identify the language I used that establishes the premise behind your question. Note that my assertion that his first post contained a 'mistake' was based on a post by HV making zero reference to a 1S rebid on 3=1=4=5/3=1=5=4. So I can hardly have been referring to that issue when I said that limiting the discussion to 1=3=5/4 was a mistake...that one had to consider 3=1=5/4 as well.

Btw, I now know of one expert who systemically rebids 1S with 3=1=4=5, which is one more than I knew of when I posted. Note that I stressed that I was NOT saying none did.

If one feels insulted every time someone points out an error in one's statements, maybe one should refrain from internet posting. We're supposed to have an exchange of views here, and that includes, I hope, stating when and how one thinks that someone else is in error.

I don't feel insulted by you. I do think you failed to understand the subject on which you posted, but if I felt that you were correct, I hope my reaction would be to thank you for pointing out my error and to apologize to the forum for having made it. Would I invariably react that way? No: I am as capable as anyone else of reacting poorly, but I do try, more now than a number of years ago, to acknowledge error when it is pointed out to me.

Btw, I hope you won't feel insulted by this post :)

I try (not always successfully, certainly in the past) to avoid ad hominin attacks: I may have crossed that line in my comments about HV's claim to feel insulted, and for that I apologize. I intended only to point out what I thought and think are errors in his first post. I don't apologize for my pointing out his error. And I continue to think that he was mistaken to feel insulted by my doing so.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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