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All comments by Doug Bennion
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I too like 1M 2NT; 3 to show any minimum. You'll find half the time responder will simply bid game, and you'll have disclosed nothing to the opps.

Also there are times when opener will want information from responder, yet captaincy (at least) initially rests with responder. Our responses are these:

3 = any minimum
3 = shortage somewhere, 3M then asks
3!M = no shortage, the likes of 5422 or 6322
3NT = 5332 18-19 (weaker 5332 in 1 and 1NT)

That leaves 3OM, 4 and 4 for control-asking duties.
July 4, 2015
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Flying by the seat of my pants here, don't actually play these transfers (but might talk myself into it). The transfers would help distinguish when opener is some 64xx or 65xx, compared to some 54xx. To show say AKQx/AKQxxx/xx/x, he can self-transfer with 3, then rebid 3 to show this hand. With AKQx/AKQxx/Kxx/x he would rebid 3 (my hurried suggestion), or your suggested 3.

You're asking which method is better: 3 = h + c and 3 = h + s, or 3 = h + s and 3 = h + c. Maybe the former making it easier for responder to show spades when opener has h + c?

The transfers might also make it easier for opener to show some 3-suiters. With AKQx/AKJxx/AQxx/- he rebids 3 = diamonds, then if that accepted, bids 3 to complete his 3-suiter.

But I'm making this us up as I write.


June 14, 2015
Doug Bennion edited this comment June 14, 2015
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Could also play transfers there; 3 = diamonds, 3 = more hearts, 3 = hearts and clubs.
June 14, 2015
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Oh I was speaking from memory, and my memory was faulty, when I said KR subtracts 1.0 points for 4333 hands. In fact it subtracts 0.5 points. Sorry about that I must have been thinking about JEC's evaluation trick. The actual exercises used the right value.

10000 deals, 15 HCP, 4333 hands (KR subtracting 0.5):


KRP < 13 = 356
> 13.00 = 340
> 13.25 = 500
> 13.50 = 791
> 13.75 = 978
> 14.00 = 1124
> 14.25 = 1210
> 14.50 = 1408
> 14.75 = 1101
> 15.00 = 697
> 15.25 = 618
> 15.50 = 454
> 15.75 = 237
> 16.00 = 186


So one probably should consider downgrading at least 30% (978+791+etc) or so.

[edited for consistency}

June 7, 2015
Doug Bennion edited this comment June 7, 2015
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Well that conclusion from Mr Andrews' analysis seems unlikely to me in a practical sense, when the whole world agrees that aces and kings are undervalued, and quacks overvalued, as in one ace really equals six jacks, not four, approximately. KR adjusts for that among other things, HCP does not.

I'm no statistician, and I stand to be corrected, but since the author's analysis is for all hands, not just balanced hands, perhaps that confounds things. Maybe somebody smart could revisit his exercise just for balanced hands.

Also HCP is coarser than KR. The 4432 exercise I did (for 14 HCP balanced hands) shows that average KRP over 10000 hands was exactly 14.00, hence exactly equal to average HCP. However KRP values ranged from 11ish to 17ish, so I don't know how the fact that one measure materially spans another, plays out in Mr Andrews' analysis. In this example it makes little sense to me to claim from ‘average HCP = average KRP’, the two measures are equally good at evaluating for notrump contracts when you can fine tune one, but not the other.
June 7, 2015
Doug Bennion edited this comment June 7, 2015
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Yuan:

Yes your method looks like a reasonably easy and effective scientific eyeballing :-)

Georgiana:

For sure 6:4:2:1 captures the relative strengths better. Twenty some odd years ago, with the help of a deal generator and double dummy analyser, I developed from first principles (being trick-taking ability) the various honor values, starting with J = 1. My exercise produced these values: A = 6.5, K = 4.5, K = 2.5, J = 1. I think you added a point for doubleton honors, maybe another one for tripleton. I called them Little Jack Points.

Phil:

Thanks. Good point about the doubleton honors. Positional considerations are critical in valuing honor combinations as well. With strength in RHO, AQ(x) is very nearly as good as AK(x), AQJ nearly AKQ, ditto AKJ, AJT can be as good as AQx, heck KJx can be nearly AKx value. But if strength in LHO, all of those nice combinations lose a lot of value. For sure good expert judgement can trump KR.

Also is partner bidding? If partner is showing majors, Qxx/QJxx/xx/xxxx is nice hand, but if he’s showing minors, it’s crap.

Also if partner is bidding, maybe you shouldn’t be downgrading. Your isolated quacks may now be supporting partner’s aces and kings. Partner might have those filler T’s and 9’s that you lack.
June 6, 2015
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North has announced a weak notrump, opposite which south has a pass. Sure it's a max pass, but a pass regardless. Sometimes weak notrumpers miss 14-10 games, like sometimes strong notrumpers miss 17-7/8 games.
June 1, 2015
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North is not remotely close to having an upgrade-worthy hand. 13.85 on the KR site.
June 1, 2015
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Nice try but dammit the hand doesn't always have four card or even three card support for a 2nd suit. I'd want to open 1C with the likes of xx/xx/Kx/AKJxxxx, so you would want to include long-suit points as well. Maybe carry around a Kaplan Rubens Evaluation calculator.
May 30, 2015
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We play transfers in a large number of competitive positions, all of which I think are GCC compliant (except maybe one :-)), with precisely zero complaints over a few years. These transfers would be at least as “difficult” for the opps to handle as the 1C transfers, yet approved. The Committee is distressingly inconsistent, to put it politely.
May 28, 2015
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With a 3-fit and any balanced hand, we rebid 1NT, and partner with 5+ will re-transfer, this time for real. With a 3-fit and unbalanced we still do not raise (unless the opps are also bidding), instead we rebid whatever “standard bidders” do who won't raise partner without 4 trumps, club rebid or whatever. So we find another use for the 1M “raise”.
May 27, 2015
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On our laminated spiffy ‘card’ we suggest the ‘usual’ defence to the 1 and 1 responses (double to show the bid suit, bid the implied suit as takeout). We define our 1 response simply as ‘no majors’, and suggest they use double to show the majors.

There are other possibilities. The 1 hand almost always includes diamonds (no majors, no club raise), so it would not be stupid for the defence to play double to show spades, and 2 to show majors.

I think the ‘best’ defence against those red-suit transfers is to play transfers right back at them. After a 1 response, double is a takeout of hearts, and other suit bids starting with 1 and continuing as high as you want, are transfers.
May 26, 2015
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Look up some BBO archives and browse a couple hundred deals. That will take 15 minutes and closely approximate what you are looking for.
May 21, 2015
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The double was explained by the commentators as ‘negative’.
May 17, 2015
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I've played that system for 40 years. I use an 11-14 range so bear that in mind. Here are some suggestions.

Consider playing 1 = 2+ balanced — put all your balanced hands out of range for your 1NT opener, including 5M332 into 1. Then play transfers to 1C. Unless you do that, many of your sequences that begin 1m - 1M or 1m - 1NT, will wrongside the contract.

There are several corollaries to opening all balanced hands 1 or 1NT. While you dull your 1 opener, you sharpen your 1 and 1M openers. 1D is usually 5+ and is always unbalanced, 1M is always unbalanced. Once 1M is unbalanced (always a side 4-suit or 6xxx), you might consider playing opener rebid transfers after 1M - 1NT: say after 1 - 1NT, then 2 = d, 2 = h, 2 = 6+ s, 2 = s + c. Using that method properly allows you to divide your 1M hands into strengths 11-14, 15-17, 18+ at least as well as Gazzilli imo.

Consider playing 1M - 2 as 2+ clubs balanced, or unbalanced clubs. That means 2X other than clubs is 5+. You don’t have to play fancy followups, maybe after 1M - 2, 2 is any 11-14 minimum, others natural and 15+. That’s often helpful in 2/1 sequences because when both are in the 15ish range, you can bounce around ineffectively (are we slammish or not?).

I quite like the 4-point NT opener. 11-14 happens 30% more often than 12-14. But you do need good follow-ups to sort out invitational hands. I like to use 4-suit transfers, 3 GF puppet, 2 invitational (11-12). After 2, opener responds 2NT max (13-14) then responder 3 is puppet. When not max, opener rebids 2, or 2!M with 5M. After 2 we can scramble for 4-4 M, so we stay low at 2M when we have a rejected invitation, sometimes in a 4-3 if that looks like it might be better than 2NT. Occasionally we will find ourselves in 2NT with 11 opposite 11, but surprisingly often that will make regardless.

Those 5422 hands, open 1NT or not? The formula I have settled into is NOT 54 MM (but I have Flannery to cover the 4=5 hand), and NOT with most 5M422 (unless bad suit, and 2’s at least Hx). Otherwise I don’t care if the 2’s are Hx .. xx/AQxx/xx/KQxxx is nice 1NT opener.

You will need good counter-systems when they overcall your strong NT that you open 1. On the other hand they need good methods when you open 1NT a LOT.

When partner opens 1NT, you will need good counters to your RHO barging into the auction. Locally we get a lot of Capp users, and have nice counters to that.
May 6, 2015
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Hey Zelig what's up? I can think of a couple of reasons. The irony is delicious; the ‘defense’ is more prone to mixup than the initial transfer. The 1 transfers will surely be GCC-legal at some future point. And maybe it's comforting to know that one won't have to pre-alert the defence when playing in a mid-chart event where the 1 transfers are permitted.
April 30, 2015
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I've never played against it, but I've often wondered how chaotic would be a ‘Woolsey over Woolsey’ counter. Double to show a long major, maybe 2 with a takeout double of spades, 2 with a takeout double of hearts, higher = natural.
April 27, 2015
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Yes after (1) P (1=h); we've seen X = clubs and spades, and 1 = diamonds and spades, or vice-versa, at the cost of losing X = ‘I have diamonds’. However even if 1 = <2+ any balanced hand out of range for 1NT>, opener will have clubs considerably more often than he will have diamonds, because, what, 40% of the time or so, he will have an unbalanced club hand and will never have an unbalanced diamond hand.
April 27, 2015
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Of course everybody is getting ‘free shots’ with transfers, that's the price you pay for using them. I'm just suggesting you take full advantage of the free shots given you, and imo gaining transfers in the two unbid suits (I think you're commenting on the (1) P (1=h) sequence) is worth it. I can bid 2 = diamonds with both xx/xxx/KJTxxx/xx as a lead director, and with the big hand AKxx/xxx/AKJxxx/x which I will continue to describe.

Room for discussion for sure, and needs field testing.
April 26, 2015
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heh I did say ‘approx’ :-)
April 16, 2015
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