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All comments by Brian Callaghan
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Thanks. Although something of a systems person myself, even I have touble staying awake through reams of bidding description. So I wrote the article as an entertainment-come-origin myth.

I play these methods, even in serious competition, but they first grew out of an interest in seeing whether a non-Stayman method could be competitive. I've subsequently come up with a rationale that gets you there given a few guiding principles. Maybe I'll try and lay the thinking out in another article when I have time.
March 14
Brian Callaghan edited this comment March 14
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If “convention” is to mean something then why not have it refer to a collection of calls at least one of which is not both natural and non-forcing?
Feb. 14
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I imagine that “face value” and “strictly logical” are in accord with the Morehead definition of a natural bid—one that may become the contract and therefore non-forcing.

What players may refer to as natural differs in bridge jurisdictions (it's certainly not the same for ACBL and EBU). Referring to some forcing bid as natural instead of the more accurate (but unwieldy) strain-natural disguises its cryptic nature (it is not level-natural).
Feb. 14
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Late to the party. My feelings about what a convention is were probably formed when young. I located and opened my copy of Conventions Made Clear by Ben Cohen and Rhoda Barrow for the first time in over thirty years. (This slim volume was first published in 1966.)

The preface begins “What is a convention? In the bidding, it is a call which is understood by the partners not to be taken at face value. In other words, it is a call which has a definite meaning other than the strictly logical or obviously undertood one.”

That says that a convention is a single call, but the book is inconsistent. For example, under the heading “The Gladiator Convention” there is the phrase “Both 2 and 2 are used as conventional responses to 1NT.” So a convention may be a collection of calls, which is the way I understand the term.
Feb. 14
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That is the downside. The main upside is that the bidding may be at 2NT or 3NT at your next chance.
May 12, 2018
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Depends on what you think the spade bidder should do next (if anything), but at least the 2NT bidders are in with a chance.
May 8, 2018
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Six solid spades, three small hearts, and two small in each minor. The 3NT bidders would have hit the jackpot.
May 8, 2018
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Thanks, everyone, for voting. The moral of deals like this one, where the auction takes an unusual turn, is probably to try to set out clear partnership guidelines on what delayed bids/doubles show. (The commenters, in the main, are acting, while the majority vote is for pass.)
May 7, 2018
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2 shows a major one-suiter. 3 of a minor shows that minor.
May 1, 2018
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I play it similar to the way Frances does. It shows a minimum, so it's not a slam try at all, just leaving room for responder to investigate if still interested (referred to in my notes as “milk train” because it comes first instead of last).
April 16, 2018
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You never have to agree to disagree.
March 24, 2018
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Well done!
March 17, 2018
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Well done!
March 17, 2018
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When I first started in my local duplicate there was a partnership of two elderly men which neatly sidestepped the problem.

“I double one heart” was penalties; “double” was takeout.
Jan. 30, 2018
Brian Callaghan edited this comment Jan. 30, 2018
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System on looks like an OK agreement. It’s not a cure‑all that you can apply to every auction, though. I remember bidding 1NT (without agreement as to its meaning) in an auction that started with the same two bids. Partner gave it mature consideration before passing.
Jan. 27, 2018
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The opponents’ convention card gives one‑level responses to 1 as: 1= 4+ hearts; 1=4+ spades; 1=no major 6–9 HCP, some other 10+ HCP, or 5 diamonds GF; 1NT=10–12 HCP.

NS have at least a seven‑card heart fit. Opener would have rebid 1NT 11–14 HCP with fewer than three hearts.
Jan. 16, 2018
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That would have been a useful method for this particular hand, but the partnership agreement when the deal came up was that double would just show a diamond suit.
Jan. 16, 2018
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In casual partnerships where I play 4 way transfers I don't have any specific agreements. In partnerships with more detailed agreements I don't play 4 way transfers, but do play that bidding shows a stopper, in an effort not to wrong-side a contract in the suit. I voted for both 2NT and 3 showing a stopper, but that is not the way to right-side a club contract. That would require both a direct and delayed 3(after partner's xx) to show a stopper. I'm coming round to bidding immediately showing a fit (3 fit and stopper, and 2NT fit and no stopper).
Dec. 31, 2017
Brian Callaghan edited this comment Dec. 31, 2017
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“Resident polymath”—you’ve let the cat out of the bag there, James. All these years I’ve been thinking that David Burn was just a regular guy like the rest of us.
Dec. 1, 2017
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There is a footnote in the paper that might be significant. It says “One technical detail is that c is generated by assuming that the player who can win more tricks in the contract is the declarer”.

So, if I understand it correctly, the evaluation does not consider right‑siding and wrong‑siding. Could there be a cost to transfer openings that this experiment has not considered? It would be interesting to see if a similar bidding system resulted when accounting for actual side from which a contract is played.
Nov. 25, 2017
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