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Transfers/switches in comp - open discussion
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On the longest thread in Bridge Winners history, a discussion ensued regarding transfer responses in competition.  This link should take you to the start of that discussion, a comment from Marion Michielsen

The discussion about transfers in comp continues, with unrelated comments mixed in, down that subthread.

That thread is apparently problematic for some people to load, so perhaps those who commented there on this subject there would wish to re-post their comments here. 


One area in which there seems to be lack of consensus is regarding the disclosure requirements for pairs employing these methods (e.g., what should go on the WBF convention card, and where).   Obviously, disclosure requirements vary by jurisdiction.  Imo, the main focus here should be on WBF requirements.  

There was also some discussion of terminology.  What does "transfer" mean to people, both in legal terms and in common usage?

Finally, I suspect many, especially those who compete at a high level, would like recommendations about what sorts of agreements a partnership should have in defense to these transfers and switches.  Marion has provided some recommendations in this regard, and I'm sure other members of the community have good ideas they would be willing to share.

None is of this falls into what I feel is an area of particular interest or expertise for myself, so I may not participate in the discussion further. Despite that, given that I attempted to cut off this discussion on the other thread, I wanted to post this for those who wish to continue discussing these topics.

On the next page are relevant excerpts from my private message correspondence with Marion, posted here with Marion's permission.


On Sept. 18, 2016, Marion Michielsen wrote:

Hi Debbie, 

You would probably do a lot of people a favour by writing about possible defenses against transfers in competition. 

I think some people play transfer advances (partner from overcaller transfers) or transfer responses (partner from opener)

Because everyone plays differently it is probably better to advise people to make a general rule , that can apply whether or not it is a 1-under or 2-under transfer and regardless of strength. (maybe with the exception when its GF)

I would advise people to make agreements about

when they bid a 'new'  suit: what is double, and what is the cuebid? (1C-1S-2D(hearts) )

-when they make a transfer to show support, again, what is double and what is the cuebid? (I think this more applies to transfer advances, but some people also play these kind of transfer responses) (1C-1S-x-2H as a good raise)

- when they 'bid'  our suit, same question (1C-1H-2H (6+ spades) )

I normally play double as take out/values, and 'accepting the transfer'  as a good raise.

For example 1C-1S-2D (hearts)-2H is a good raise to 2S and dbl is values. 

This gives you an extra step, as you normally would have had to shown your raise on the 3 level. 

(not if they bid our suit. TBO I would also not be on 100% solid grounds there even with Meike, which is a little bit surprising and we even play these transfers ourselves. I would think that x for us would be a single raise there , as our general rule is that x of our suit bids are a single raise, and 2S is a good raise. so with neither of those and just points we would have to pass and then x)

Of course playing dbl as showing the suit they bid is also a reasonable treatment, especially if that is what people generally play doubles of artificial suits as , because the best thing is just to make a general rule instead of 100 rules for every different occasion. 

 Let me know if you need some more information.


On Sept. 18, 2016, Debbie Rosenberg wrote:

Thanks, Marion.  I am definitely not the one to give advice to people in this area, but I might like to post a separate thread to give people the opportunity to discuss these things.

I was most interested in knowing about some of the auctions which are NOT one under transfers.  For example, when you play 1C-(1S)-2D shows hearts, do you play 1C-(1S)-2H shows diamonds?  I thought that maybe you did.  It was auctions like that which I felt unprepared for at the time, and wanted to know exactly what they were, and where they might occur, so that we could try to understand what might need to be different from our general agreements.




Hi Debbie, 

Yes whenever there is a transfer or a switch (on the 2 level), the highest bid will be a transfer to a suit on the 3 level. Because these transfers force to the 3 level we play them as invitational or better. (as opposed to the transfers that only force to the 1 or 2 level, which may be weaker)

So 1S (2C) 2H is diamonds. But this is probably not something that is necessary to make any other agreements about, you can play double as points/take out if you want, or lead directing if that's what you decided. 

The other auction is only if the opponents preempt, so probably not something that comes up very often. We play that 1M (3X) 4C is a good raise to 4M. (and bidding opponents suit is clubs). I don't know if that falls under transfers in competition, but since it is GF, the natural meaning will be that double is lead directing, and I don't think people will have misunderstandings about that. 








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