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All comments by Doug Bennion
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Aren't you better off playing transfers over 1, than this M switch? All you lose is a natural 1 response. I'd rather lose that response, than have to deal with the awkward 1 (=h) switch.
Feb. 15, 2015
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I just did a very quick and very dirty comparison of North American membership (ACBL) with European membership. For the population tallies, ACBL = US and Canada only, and Europe = France, The Netherlands, England, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

In North America, bridge players total 160K in a population of 356 million, or about 0.45 players per 1000 population. In Europe (as defined above), bridge players total about 320K in a population of 300 million, or about 1.07 players per 1000, more than double the participation in North America.

And the real eye-opener is The Netherlands with 86K players in a population of 17 million, or 5.0 players per 1000, about TEN times the participation in North America.

Maybe the ACBL should beg to join the Dutch Federation.
Feb. 14, 2015
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The ‘double = spades’ (when the overcall is 2) is the foundation of the transfer system, and isn’t negotiable in the Reclaim context. ‘Double = spades’ sets up all the other transfers, the same way ‘2 = hearts’ in Jacoby Transfers, sets up all the other transfers. If someone loves his negative doubles or her penalty doubles or whatever, so much they can't live without them, then Reclaim isn't for them. Me? I've played both methods for years and keep flipping back and forth between them in frustration because in my opinion, neither variation is that useful that often. The ideally-shaped hands for negative doubles seldom arise (and hate ending up in 4-3 fits at the three level, but that happens not infrequently, not to mention those occasional 3-3 2M contracts), and overcalling opps aren't usually stupid and their systems are pretty good, so chances for big penalties are small. (Also the wide range opening makes penalizing them successfully more problematic; there can be a big defensive difference between a so-so 11 and a good 14.)

I’ll gladly trade negative doubles for a system that lets me transfer/invite in all suits for any overcall, that gives me invitational Stayman, that gives me invitational stopper-asks, that lets me play in 2NT, that gives me half-stopper asks, and helps opener better deal with RHO advancing the interference. In my opinion, that trade is a no-brainer, even though in theory, from time to time, the ‘less risky’ environment for the opponents might encourage them to butt-in, when otherwise they would not have. To counter at least some of that unlikely scenario, we play that opener will freely reopen with a double with a suitable hand after say 1NT (2H) P (P); and partner can convert to penalty at that point.
Feb. 2, 2015
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Alvin:

Whenever you build a transfer ladder, you lose the ‘natural’ meaning of the first ‘rung’. When you play Jacoby Transfers you lose 2 = natural. Using X as the first rung opens up bidding space for all the following transfers, not just the X transfer. It has nothing to do with ‘stolen bids’. I mentioned early in the posting that the price you pay to adapt the system is the loss of your current use of X. I think the benefits far outweigh that loss, but others might disagree.
Jan. 31, 2015
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3 response by opener says ‘I would have declined an invitation’, so invitational responder pulls up in 3. Competitive responder is planning all along to play in 3.
Nov. 26, 2014
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Yes if there is no compelling desire to freeing up 3 and 3, if you don't want/need those bids to be ‘pre-emptive’ or card-showing or card-asking or whatever, compared to standard there is more of an issue if the opps bounce to the five-level (although not issue-free with standard). You could probably handle lower-level interference like 1 (2NT) 3 (4), with something along the lines of 4 = expect to make opposite anything, Pass = would decline an invite, X = would accept an invite.

I think I liked Yuan’s variation to standard of 3 = bad or good, 3 = invitational, which is easier to sort out.

I checked my notes for our system over 1 (2), and I’m like ‘we play this awfulness?’ and realized it is just too much of a memory load. So damned if advancer advances, I’m going to simplify to something I can remember like 2 = weak natural, 2 = clubs, 2 = (better) diamonds.
Nov. 25, 2014
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Well somehow you got lucky Greg, but many others did not. Anyway my advice still stands. I just rechecked, and BBO app not working on my Lexus 10.

Not working for these BBOers http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/68674-android-50/

The issues have gone viral, as they say. Sampling of postings/articles:

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30116319

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/android-50-lollipop-sms-bug-affecting-some-nexus-phone-users-623541

http://www.gottabemobile.com/2014/11/19/nexus-android-lollipop-problems/



Nov. 20, 2014
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Another low memory method for wide-ranging opener, with no concerns about right-siding (11-14 opener). After 1NT 2 (invite+) where direct 3 is puppet, then

2 = any minimum, no 5-card M, then 4-card M up the line by both (or 3 GF puppet), stopping at 2M or 2NT
2M = minimum 5M
2NT = any maximum, then puppet
Oct. 30, 2014
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OK thanks Frances I'll take a look at my code. It's probably been a couple of years since I've worked on the app, and do recall a discrepancy or two between the instructions and the calculator. I'll also take a look at those ‘high spot’ issues.
Oct. 25, 2014
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I used http://www.jeff-goldsmith.org/knr.txt for the arithmetic instructions, and sometimes would run into small differences in the results.

And occasionally a large difference. For example for AKJxxx-Qxx-Jxx-x I calculate 13.95, the app calculates 13.95, an actuary partner calculates 13.95, but the K&R calculator arrives at 12.95. The 1.00 difference might be explained by whether or not ‘Qxx’ is ‘protected’, and if it is, the Q is worth 1.00 point. I think the instructions imply ‘yes’, and other calculations using the K&R calculator say ‘yes’. Of course the difference might lie elsewhere.

FWIW I have permission to use the convention card editor as a convention card at a local club, phone in airplane mode of course. The zooming feature is sometimes useful, zeroing in on the applicable card section.
Oct. 25, 2014
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Thanks. There is a lot of grunt work involved … the ACBL card has ~300 textboxes and buttons that have to be positioned just so … but I'll add it to my list of ‘projects’.
Oct. 17, 2014
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With a 4-point range 1NT opener, hate getting too high with sequences like 1NT 2 2 3, so:

1NT 2 is invitational only, 1NT 3 is GF Puppet

After 1NT 2, then 2 = minimum without 5M, 2M = minimum with 5M, 2NT = any maximum after which 3 = Puppet

After 1NT 2 2; then 2M = 4, 2NT = please pass, 3 = Puppet

After 1NT 2 2 2; then 2 = 4 and will pass 2NT
Oct. 4, 2014
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This is an ideal hand for Transfer Snapdragon (for which I really should post a topic). Given (1) 1 (1); standard Snapdragon responses are:

X = spades plus diamond tolerance
1 = spades no tolerance (so rebiddable if partner persists with diamonds)
1NT/2/2 = normal

The partnership defines ‘tolerance’, typically at least ‘xx’ or ‘Hx’.

Transfer Snapdragon begins with a transfer double, with transfers through the suit below partner’s, like this:

X = spades (will have diamond tolerance, or rebiddable spades)
1 = transfer cuebid, whatever a standard 2 would show
1NT = normal
2 = good diamond raise, say constructive
2 = nuisance raise

The given hand KJ7xxx Qx Qx xxx is classic. You X, partner will ‘accept’ the transfer with at least whatever is your agreement (say Hx or xx), otherwise he will find another bid, and feel comfortable with rebidding his suit if that is his choice (knowing you have tolerance, or rebiddable spades).

In the given auction, the 1NT bid would (1) deny spade tolerance and (2) show unwillingness to rebid 2 opposite minimum diamond tolerance, so 1NT should be passed.

Transfer Snapdragon gains a bid (the additional raise-type) because the transfer into spades replaces two standard Snapdragon bids (the X and the 1 bid). Being able to widen the range of your single raise is very useful, like here (1) 1 (2) then:

X = whatever a standard 2 cuebid would show
2 = hearts (rebiddable or with spade tolerance)
2 = constructive spade raise
2 = nuisance raise
Sept. 9, 2014
Doug Bennion edited this comment Sept. 9, 2014
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Got it. Thanks.
Sept. 6, 2014
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Hey John I’ve played it and not loved it, but it was fun. Your contracts will often be anti-field, which should be OK in the long run, but you will see higher volatility in your results. “Hey partner we missed our 5-4 spade game that the entire field got to while we languished in 1NT”. Offset by “hey partner good lead against 3NT down one and I see they missed their 4-4 spade game making”.

The opps will be all over it, so you need a good system to handle their impudent interferences. In particular, build a good counter to Capp because you will see a lot of that dumb thing. You are pre-empting partner as well.

(I use something over opp’s Capp 2 which I call Capp over Capp. If responder is invite+, he waits for the suit to be revealed, then trots out Lebensohl or whatever. Otherwise with some shape, any single-suiter or any 54xx, you try to disrupt thusly: Double = some (54)xx, 2 = any single suiter forcing 2 which is P/C, 2M = 4M and longer m, 2NT = mm better diamonds, 3 = mm better clubs.)

I played a standard transfer system over it, although obviously not so the stronger hand would declare … transfers initially establish length, and it is easy subsequently to negotiate partnership strength.

I recall I didn’t much like “stretching out” the other balanced hand ranges. We probably used the 1NT rebid as 13-16, the 2NT rebid 17-19, or something like that. Since you will now open those hands 1m, the opps will be all over your ‘strong notrump’ openings too, which will also lead to anti-field positions.
Sept. 6, 2014
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Thanks for the writeup. Just wanted to confirm something. With systems ON and playing transfers, the runout XX = one-suiter is probably limited to a weak 5-suiter m? With a 5-suiter M you would transfer normally, and with a 6-suiter m you might want to pre-emptively transfer normally?
Sept. 6, 2014
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2H, negative free bid
Aug. 29, 2014
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Ahhh yes thanks, those would be cousins to Little Jack Points :-)
Aug. 28, 2014
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Your notrump range spread also plays a role. I like to use a 4-point 11-14 range (vul, not a terrible 11). So with 11 responder must invite in case opener has a good 13+, and with 12 he must invite lest opener has a bad 12 or less. Doesn't matter what version/tweak of Stayman we use, occasionally we will arrive at a 22 point 2NT, which is often touch-and-go, but I do get to open 1NT a LOT.

(The Stayman version I use can find weak M fits early, and sign off in 2M.)

If you use a 3-point range, say 15-17, and you invite with 8, you will sometimes be in a 23-point 2NT which is not infrequently touch-and-go, but unavoidable. If you don't invite with 8, you'll miss some nice 25 point games.

If you used a 2-point range, say 15-16, you probably wouldn't bother with invitational sequences and just pass with most 8's and bid game with 9+. You'd open about a quarter fewer 1NTs however.

You could probably build a nice responding system to a 2-point range, not having to concern yourself with invitational sequences.
Aug. 28, 2014
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We play transfers there.

XX = transfer cue = limit raise+
2 = hearts
2 = spades
2 = solid raise, constructive
2NT = normal
3 = courtesy raise

Aug. 27, 2014
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