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All comments by Doug Bennion
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Great summary! The only thing I would add is the PATH system, a pedestrian walkway to which the playing site is connected. PATH will take you at least close, to just about anywhere you want in the downtown core. There is something like 20 miles of walkway, and 1200 stores according to wiki.

Maps are available. Here is the official site:

https://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=c76e6d876c86c510VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

Here is the wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PATH_(Toronto)
July 18
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When the human player consistently opens 1NT with pretty much anything at all (I'm given to understand), then those bids are no longer ‘psyches’ or ‘tactical bids’, they form part of his system. The bots on defense are entitled to know that system, otherwise it isn't bridge that is being played.

The bots cannot be programmed for the intricacies of your personal system, so imo for this concept to have a chance of emulating ‘real’ bridge, the human player should be required to play the bot's system, which is a garden variety 2/1 and surely no burden to play.
July 18
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No, and that is the major problem. The bot sims a bunch of hands with 15-17 HCP, and of course they screw up the defense (even moreso) when declarer, who opened 1NT with 12 unbalanced, must have this card or that, and doesn't.
July 18
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Carl: Yes that would effectively screen/filter for at least some of those ‘tactical’ bids whose sole purpose is to screw with the bots.
July 17
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I know (or knew) a little about programming a bridge player, having done so in the past.

Programs are terrible at ‘unlearning’ stuff, at adapting to new circumstances. If opener with 12 HCP opens 1NT that is supposed to be 15-17, the defensive bots will continue to believe declarer simply must have this card or that, to make up his 15+ holding. This will lead to ineffective (to be kind) defense.

A human defender might catch on late in the play that opener lied, but the bots never will.

If this were human play, and declarer frequently stepped out of his ‘balanced 15-17’ structure, the opposition is entitled to know that. If the bots knew that opener might have an unbalanced 12 HCP, their defence would be much sharper.

This notrump wrinkle is not bridge, it is exploitation of programming infallibility.

This particular flaw is easily remedied (if one wanted) with a few lines of code. Deny human opener any ‘judgement‘ with respect to his notrump openers. If he doesn't have 15-17 balanced, his opening bid is rejected. That is a long slippery slope of course.

There might be other sequences that could do with a little ‘tightening up’, I don't know, I don't play with the bots. And there is a big debate about whether one would want to.

However one bridge maxim is the opps are entitled to know your system, and if that system includes a wide-ranging 12-17 unbalanced 1NT (is that even legal?), the defenders should know about it.
July 17
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Yes that 4th type would be effectively Ruben Advances, a reorganizing of the meaning of bids from 2 cuebid through 2, with XX and 1NT both natural so no ‘extra’ bid available for a 2nd single raise.
July 16
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Don't want to poke my nose in here, but looks like Kit is using Ruben Advances? After (1) 1 (P or X), then 2 = diamonds, 2 = hearts, 2 = limit raise in spades, 2 = normal. So rotates some bids, and 2 is the old 2 cuebid. And 2 meaning is unchanged.
July 16
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I think there are three ways to build a transfer system when the auction proceeds (1) 1S (X).

(1) is to start the first transfer with XX, showing clubs here — you're skipping 1NT in the sequence because you think it has positional value. So XX = clubs, 1NT = normal, 2 = diamonds 2 = hearts, 2 = something, 2 = raise. Most people play that 2 is a better single raise than 2, think constructive vs junk. That's the way I play them.

(2) is as above, but not skipping 1NT, so XX = like 1NT bid, 1NT = clubs, then same as (1).

(3) is to start your transfers with 1NT, so XX = ‘normal’, 1NT = clubs, etc. Here you keep your ‘normal’ XX, instead of your normal 1NT.

I don't know which version the opps in the OP were using, but all versions include three ways to raise spades not exceeding a 2 call. The cuebid equivalent of 2 (in type (1), XX is that equivalent) is the ‘limit raise’, maybe the partnership limits it to 3 trumps, maybe it is ‘at least limit raise’. Also 2 (~constructive) and 2 (not as good as 2) are raises.

That is one raise-distinction more than you would get in a sequence in which you didn't use transfers. It's also one more than available to pairs who don't play them. It seems to me the two single raises call for a courtesy alert, particularly if the ‘junk’ 2 raise could be 0-7 or so, non-vul, after all, with three trumps the bid is ‘lawful’.

Nothing magical about them, you're simply swapping one meaning for another and reorganizing — type (1) trades ‘XX’ for an additional single-raise type.
July 16
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Google “site:” search might be more efficient. For example:

site:bridgewinners.com “not particularly efficient”

will direct you to this thread
July 16
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Apparently there is no harm or illegality in over-alerting. Does ‘over-announcing’ have the same status here? Could opener simply point at the bid and say ‘less than constructive’?

I use them. I alert them. I used to give a long-winded explanation about ‘how we had another way to show a better single raise’, but that was always followed by a big zzzzzz from the opps, so ‘less than constructive’ gets the job done succinctly. I'm pretty sure I have also ‘announced’ it with familiar opps.
July 15
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Somebody needs to poll potential names. Inverted-obverse-reverse-transfer! Transfer splinters!
July 13
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We have an agreement that 2nd round doubles by either opener or responder are takeoutish. I'd double but not sure I'd be happy if partner decided to convert, and passed.
July 13
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I've played a number of run-out systems and in my experience, it isn't a fallacy. It is a simple fact they have more chances to get in their own way, and do. When they don't, we are usually no worse off than if we had used another method. It should be noted I'm not competing at the Spingold level, and concede that good players will have more success against any system.
July 13
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My experience is also that we do well, on average, when the opps intervene, even if responder’s hand must pass, because they often flail about, stumbling into bad contracts.
July 13
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Yes Yu that kind of crappola is the strength of the ‘pass forces XX’, your best hope is the opps rescue you, to maximize the number of opportunities to rescue you, give them max times to err. They pull far more often than they ‘should’.
July 13
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Yes 4th hand usually pulls, and that's why we like that system, they often rescue us. If responder has the ‘good’ hand (minority of time), he'll show it by doubling that 4th seat call. If responder has some invitational+ hand, he can choose to trot out the ‘when they intervene’ system.

A round 2 responder double we play as negative, except for that particular sequence.
July 12
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You'll also have to discuss what X over their interference means, penalty or negative or something else. And what 2nd round doubles might mean.
July 12
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You need good methods for dealing with interference over your weak notrump, because you’ll be getting much much more of it than you are used to. I hate Lebensohl, but it's better than nothing, I guess.

Hope your opps play Cappelletti.

You need good methods for dealing with interference over your strong notrump (which you will be opening 1m).

You need some method for dealing with their penalty double. I like to give the opps lots of room to rescue me, so I'm partial to the ‘pass forces XX’ methods. Ahh I see you have one you like.

When you have a strong notrump and start 1m, you will end up wrongsiding many more contracts than a strong notrump would. Down the line, you might consider opening all those out-of-range balanced hands with 1 and playing transfer responses, which eliminates most of the wrong-siding issue.

Stick with transfers and forget 2-way Stayman. I surveyed weak notrump systems being played by world-class players in some major events, and ZERO, out of dozens, were using 2-way.

This is a personal and uncommon viewpoint. Weak-notrumpers play too many 1NT contracts, leaving too many nice major fits on the table. Consider a form of Stayman that will let you scramble for a partial with the likes of (43)(51). Along the way you’ll land in some 4-3 Moysians but they will often play as well as 1NT, and the found 4-4 or 4-5 fits, much better.
July 12
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Maybe I should have made it clearer those transfer rebids are at opener’s turn, not responder’s. They're a simple rotation of available bids. I'll edit.
July 12
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Another thing you might try there is transfer rebids by opener. X = clubs, 2 = diamond rebid, 2 = ‘good’ heart raise, 2 = ‘bad’ raise. Maybe you define ‘good’ = 4-fit, ‘bad’ = 3-fit. The transfers let you can show some shape at a low level. 2 rebid then 2 might show a nice x36x, 2 then 3 an invitational x46x, X then 2 a nice 1354 maybe. Lots of ways to confuse you both lol.

edit: clarity
July 12
Doug Bennion edited this comment July 12
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