Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Randy Thompson
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 109 110 111 112
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hmmm, I prefer to play 1m-1M, 3N as saying “if you can stop M, we can likely make 3N.” Because we require 10 playing tricks for opening 2 and rebidding 3m, this hand comes up more than you might think.
2 hours ago
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
In my Meckwell Lite partnerships, 2N is EITHER a 4-card limit OR a slam try (mere GF hands would just bid 4M). Because we would open 1N (14-16) with a five-card major and a flat 13 HCP (unless crummy), the only way opener would be accepting a limit raise would be if he has a short suit or a 6th trump. If he is accepting, he bids 3 and if it was only a limit raise NOTHING is revealed about opener's hand – responder bids 4M. If he is declining, he should have a flat 11-12 or maybe a quacky 13. If he accepts by bidding 3, 3 asks for his shortness and he shows it or rebids 3M to show he's accepting with a 6-7 card suit and no shortness. Is there more responder needs to know? The key is to reveal nothing on the limit raise hands. Slam hands have to reveal stuff in order to explore logically. We play that 1M-3M is a mixed raise, so 2N need not include that. Preemptive raises commence evasive action with a 1N semi-forcing response to try to conceal the fit when it helps them more than us to know about it. This is crazy simple but it has been working extremely well. The key is that the possible hands for 2N bracket the 1M-4M GF w no slam interest hand. Continuous ranges are beasts when the opponents step in.
3 hours ago
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
No way! We who don't play last train now or ever would argue that last train is NEVER a default option undiscussed.
16 hours ago
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Not an easy hand. The traditional defense to a bid showing a limited 4-4-4-1 hand is “pass and lead trumps or double and lead trumps.” North's 15 HCP are just a bit too ugly to make a cards-showing double here and South would fear chasing them to a better spot even if double was penalty. EVERY suit is splitting badly for offense, so bids over this type of 2 opener should focus on defense and 3N. 4-4-4-1 hands have been characterized by someone I once read as “defensive giants and offensive midgets.” The goal is to keep them playing the contract with their offensive midget and don't let them get a shot at you with their defensive giant. With everything onside, North South will barely make 3N – but 800 against 2 is there for the taking. North-south's bidding was fine, but this time they bear got them.
Jan. 22
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Michael: You absolutely pinpoint the value of an undisciplined weak 2 opening. A top Washington D.C. area player who was often kind enough to answer my questions said, “If forced to pick between never opening a weak two with an unbid 4-card major on the side and always having one, I'd pick always!” That side major length makes you “almost double-proof.” If they hand with power only has a couple of cards in that major, they just can't double, even if their partner would be thrilled to convert it to penalties.
Jan. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Wow. This is the big time. Congrats, Greg!
Jan. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Michael: If partner is 3-3-2-5, shouldn't you be playing in the major partner prefers (probably spades, so he can declare)?
Jan. 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If playing a weak NT (anything weaker than 14-16), I think it is right to JS on all 4, especially at matchpoints. I voted 1-3 only in the 15-17 at IMPs context. The biggest hole in weak NT methods is when it goes 1N all pass, cold for 110 or 140 in a major suit fit the rest of the room found. This comes with NO guarantees of success. If pard has opened 1N with 2-2 in the majors it will suck to be you if you use JS.

A separate issue arises when you are too weak to invite game but have 4-5 or 5-4 in the majors. Do you Jacoby or Stayman (assuming neither suit is a good suit or headed by a 6 spot)? It gets more complicated when you would want to raise if partner has a 4 card major. had the following hand, playing IMPs pairs on BBO:

Q865
AQ632
T95
4

Playing a 12-15 IN (15 only if 4-3-3-3 and if 12 then cannot be 4-3-3-3 and must have 2 Quick Tricks and that cannot have a 5-card major), Pard opened 1N. If you transfer to hearts, pard will always superaccept with 4-card support (3 with a min, 3 with a max) or bid 2N with 3-card support and 3 card heart support in a 15 HCP hand. My partner and I parted ways on whether to use Stayman or Jacoby. This is a common disagreement he and I have and experience has not yet proven to either of us which is better. Any advice? Would it be different if weaker? I know it would be different if suit quality was very different (do what it takes to get into the good suit).
Jan. 19
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
David:

“a regular weak 2♦; which can often be opened 3♦ anyway”

That's also my solution to not having a weak 2 available when playing Meckwell Lite! But, it only solves the 6-card weak two problem; the 5-card weak two has to use the cursed green card or step up and open 1 (at least if nonvul in third seat). Unfortunately, 5-card suits are dealt 3 times as frequently as 6-card suits.
Jan. 18
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
WAY too specific of a description of a weak two. Just say “weak two” and don't impose a length or HCP straight jacket on it, especially since both can vary quite a bit based on seat, vulnerability and partner's preferences. I abstained because I would never play a weak two that always had to be 6 and fit into a 6-11 range in all seats, but I would have voted for “weak two.” In first or third seat nonvul, 5 card openers are more likely than 6-card openers and vul, a 7 card suit is very possible (although not nearly as likely as 6).

Weak 2 openings induce a lot of errors by opponents. Those whose doubles promise 3+ support for both majors (i.e. the sane folks) are confounded by lots of flat hands with 2-4 or 4-2 in the majors. Those whose doubles can be on whatever they were dealt incur their disasters a level higher than when they make those doubles of 1X.

The 4-4-1-5 10-15 HCP Precision opening is fantastic and it comes up a lot more than the old 4-4-1-4 or 4-4-0-5 Precision 2. That opening not only works when it comes up, it works to make the 2 openers always have 6 clubs (which is WAY better than “6 or 5 and a 4 card major”) and it works to reduce some of the ambiguity of the 1 openers.
Jan. 18
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Chris: Our experience was that the women saw two young men and decided to bid (as the drill sergeants used to say in basic training) “like they had a pair.” We collected one 800 after another and never had to do more than occupy our chairs and double now and then. :)
Jan. 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
and the first two are mutually exclusive.
Jan. 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
We use the same one-suited slam tries (4X is two-under slam try). That eliminates all issues of strain and leaves only level to be decided. Opener has 3 degrees of interest in the slam. With no interest at all, he bids the trump suit. With maximum interest, he bids 4N, RKC. With a hand in the middle, he bids the “gap” suit (one under the trump suit). Having the hand that rates to have all suits controlled do the asking makes most sense to me. And, letting opener break his hand's suitability for slam into love it, hate it and “meh” seems to me better than always being forced to answer keycards when responder may have one or two suits uncontrolled.
Jan. 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Max:

I like your suggestion a LOT and see virtually no downside to it. I have yet to lie on a KO entry, not due to fear of repercussions, but rather just a general reluctance to lie. I think if you lied the “wrong way” to get into a weaker bracket, then there would be problems with getting any master points and also possible discipline. If lying to go UP a bracket or two, my guess is that a warning would be your penalty.

Not that I have never lied on an entry. I lied to get to play in my first sectional “Masters Pairs” (needed 100 points to be eligible and I had about 5). My pard and I weren't concerned with not being eligible for master points but we went to the tournament to play against all those world level players in the D.C. area at the time (about 1971 or 72), not against ma and pa in a limited game. My very first sectional win was in an event for which I wasn't eligible (got only the points for section top) – a Women's Pairs! We were too late for the Mens and they had an odd number of pairs in the Women's so the directors asked us to fill in.
Jan. 15
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
At a nationals, when we asked the director to move up in a regional KO, he said it wasn't allowed, but then he said, ever so carefully, “but, you should know that we NEVER check the total master points that you list on your entry form.”
Jan. 15
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Whichever one is wrong is disallowed – a modern problem where the answer is “if it huddles, shoot it.”
Jan. 14
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I have a rule that would decide this for me – we play that redoubles below the level of 2N are always to run; at 2N or higher, redoubles are always business (if the suit was bid to play). This may or may not be the best agreement, but my pards won't worry about taking a long time to redouble for business, as I will never pull it. If pard feels 3Hx is not a good place to play, then he needs to self-rescue. A slow self-rescue could suggest a 4-card suit, but the auction so far already suggests that.
Jan. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Club lead might also work, whether low from Qxx or Q from QJx. Any minor suit lead makes this a good slam; and major suit leads still leave you with that diamond hook (or maybe QJx of clubs if you have time to try that suit first w/o screwing up the entries.
Jan. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Steve,
As a weak no trumper, that is exactly what I hope for in a balancing double of my weak 1N. I always insist on defining double as artificial (any meaning pard wants other than a balanced hand of any power) in balancing seat vs a weak NT. IMO, against veteran 12-14 no trumpers (or wily young 10-12 folks) who know to “run before the double,” your side's max combined HCP when it goes 1N-P-P to you is 22 and partner's max is is 22-yours. So, you will never have a power-based game bonus to protect. OTOH, you could easily be fighting their 24 (14 opposite a bad 10) with marshmallows for weapons and no shape with which to flee when one of them redoubles (we play redoubles there as business and all subsequent doubles as penalties). Dare to pass big flat hands! Go plus or go -90 when the field or other table holding their cards is +110 or +140.

IMO, balancing against a weak no trump should focus on the majors. The single biggest flaw in weak no trump methods comes when they miss a 4-4 major suit fit due to preempting themselves with the 1N opening. It is a shame to let them wriggle into their fit with a take-out double of your balance. Double for the majors and 2 for spades are the two bids that make the most sense – or maybe make it almost all about spades – double for the majors, 2m for m and spades and 2M to play. You can even have double show that OR a very good hand with spades (bid 2 over pard's 2X). If their weak NT can have a 5-card major (mine cannot), then you could balance them into a game when they had just missed their 9-card major suit fit.

To quote those known bridge geniuses, Mick and Keith, when my partner passes my 12-14 1N, I start (silently) humming:

“My, my” like the spider to a fly
“Jump right ahead in my web”

:)
Jan. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Against a weak no trump in balancing seat, do NOT play “penalty doubles.” If they were in trouble, they would have commenced evasive maneuvers – usually Stayman or Jacoby. When they pass 1N, they have about 6-10 HCP and no 5 card major. Take it to the bank. It is possible that they have something like 3-3-3-4 and less, but move any club elsewhere and it is a clear Stayman bid when busted. Against my 12-15 1N, if you double in balancing seat, redouble by either of us is business – by opener showing 14-15 and by responder showing 8(+)-10(-). If you want to nail weak no trumpers, make sure that your doubles of Stayman show cards (and doubles of Jacoby too, not so much because doubling 2M will be a great score but rather just to show that this is likely our auction, not theirs).

If you play penalty doubles of Big NTs, you will only be dealt one a few times per year and if you wait for one so good that pard can't pull it, then one time every other leap year sounds about like the expected frequency. That's a pretty big waste of a cheap call. Give up on this and you can use double for lots of hands. Right now, in my preferred methods, double of a big no trump shows minors OR majors OR 6+ clubs OR 6+ diamonds (non vul, the two-suiters can be 4-4, vul they must be 5-5 or better) and 0-25 HCP. 2 is clubs and a major; 2 is diamonds and a major and 2M shows 6+ of M. Strong major-minor two suiters start with 2N if the major is spades and by 3m (showing 5+ of m and 5+ hearts) or 4m (GF with 5+ of m and 5+ hearts) if it's hearts; and 3M is preemptive with 7+. Vs. Weak NT, I play the same 2N/3m/4m structure, but the 3M bids are strong playing hands (about 8.5 or 9 tricks) with 6+ of the major (so you don't have to start with a cards-showing double with those hands).
Jan. 13
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 109 110 111 112
.

Bottom Home Top