Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Randy Thompson
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Ditto.
Sept. 18, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I play option two above with 2 of my 3 partners, and we also play 2M as the default hand when weak and flat and “scared of NT.” That leaves 2M as ambiguous. Responder's raise to 3M is also then ambiguous – either two card support and “scared of NT” or 3 card support and a slam-going hand. Those two are easy enough to sort out by assuming the weaker hand (opener bids 3N if he has a min flat hand w 5 card suit and anything else with 6+ of his suit) and having responder drive on over 3N by cue bidding or bidding with the stronger one. In 2/1 or KS, you have to have SOME way of showing extras because of the broad range of the opening bids.

In my Precision partnership, all rebids are shape-based, and relative hand strength irrelevant. A rebid of the four card suit is an “always” (except for 4 bad and 6 good of M), 2M shows 6 of M and denies 4 of any other suit and 2N shows 11-13 5-3-3-2 and says nada about stoppers (sort those out at 3 level if need be). Our 2 response there might just be a GF flat hand w/o support for M.

Both ways work fine (IMO). You just have to make sure you and partner are on the same page. The tighter range for the Precision 1M opener makes things a lot easier, as partner won't ever be far wrong picturing opener with a bad 12 count.
Sept. 18, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I like to play that “bids below 3N tend to relate to playing 3N.” That would make this three spades w/o a (good) stopper. It can be important to play 3N with xxx opposite xxx (60% to split 4-3) where suit contracts will be off the first three tricks. With the actual hand, I think 4 stands out.
Sept. 16, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Not to worry. Partner will be looking at a spade suit with holes and likely only 3 hearts – he won't be raising here. Also, 4 wasn't forcing, yet partner might want to commit us to a grand? You say partner won't bid the grand 4 of 5 times? Make it 5 of 5 with an exception carved out for when he holds an unshown AK of trumps and you'll profit in the long run.

My partners and I play Kit's style and it wasn't from reading about it anywhere – it was from learning through painful experience that corrections or raises of leaps to slam were WAY more often wrong than right, even when they looked “obvious.” You took two chances here with the leap – the heart suit and the club suit. Reasonable chances to take, but this is the point. Partner may look at AQxx AQJ xx KQJx and think he has all anyone who cue bid and leaped to slam could ever need for the grand – right up until they cash the A at trick one or trick 13.
Sept. 16, 2014
Randy Thompson edited this comment Sept. 16, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Maybe it's semantics – they ARE going down but the reason isn't a heart stack; it's power. Partner certainly can pull, but he needs a reason.
Sept. 15, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
To avoid this ambiguity, my most regular partner and I define this is COG, with cuebids beginning at the next step (here 4), but that is a strange result. The reason it's strange is that bidding 2 then 3 (the way we play) shows a fit, a VERY good heart suit (two of top 3 honors or AJTxx or better) and spade support. 2 then 4 would show a VERY good heart suit and limited values. A slam try in hearts without 3+ spades would start with a cuebid of 4m or else RKC.
Sept. 15, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Well, if you have 2 spade tricks, you don't need to find that other 1/2 of a diamond trick. With at least 4 dummy entries (very likely 5) and lots of high trumps in hand, setting up the 5th spade should be about 60% and then if that fails, you still have that 1/2 of a diamond trick to fall back on unless they lead dias at the go and again if you let them in with a heart.

The auction wasn't so bad up until the 5 signoff. If partner is trying for slam with no diamond controls and missing the KJ of trumps, He ought to have a spade control. The auction given with a 6 conclusion would be reasonable for a pair not established enough to be sure that 3 wouldn't be misunderstood.
Sept. 13, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
How about 4 is an offer to play and I bid 6? I don't think it can be an offer to play, however. With 4 spades partner would always have bid spades at his first rebid. I don't think I can possibly have 5 spades and enough to now cue bid and not have started with a spade bid instead of a negative double. Therefore, if it is an offer to play, it is misguided. Speaking of which . . .

Are you playing Weak No Trumps? If not, why no 1N by partner? I will likely always have a hard time bidding with a partner who thinks that is a 1 opener if 15 is in your range for 1N.
Sept. 13, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
An aggressive, but acceptable, 3 bid would have the hearts and clubs reversed. Then it would serve the purposes of warding off a double of 4 without 4 tricks outside the heart suit, lead direction and of denying the opponents a cue bid of 3. Here? Shrug. PARTNER thinks 4 is forcing – so it is.
Sept. 12, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Great idea for a format!
Sept. 11, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The four forms of scoring – BAM, matchpoints, IMPs and total points (played almost solely for money or for funsies)– reward different skill sets. I find BAM crazy hard and it punishes my weaknesses far more than it rewards my strengths. Matchpoints in a tough field is “real” bridge for sure, but it can be random because your “teammates” are a diverse field. IMPs is my favorite form of scoring, probably because I do better at it (as it rewards my strengths far more than it punishes my weaknesses). I think everyone winds up deciding that way – preferring the form of scoring at which they do best – just like some tennis players do better on grass, on clay or on hard courts and some are better at doubles than singles or vice versa.

Mike Cappelletti, Nick Nickell and the Kaplan-Kaye partnership drove me out of the Reisinger in 1981. Each did something spectacular that I would never in all my life be up to doing (nor were our teammates). I saw no reason ever to play that event again. My wife and I played the Mixed BAM for a while and always got good teammates (as a “natural” mixed pair we “punched above our weight” in any mixed event) and always made the second day but never scratched, because in the second day you play only people who know what they are doing at BAM and we didn't.

Playing big KOs during the 80's and early 90's I always “knew” I could get lucky enough to win even a 64 board match and didn't mind the many times it didn't happen. I was NOT intimidated at IMPs (often beaten; never intimidated). We COULD win IMPs, even against top teams, up until the time dummy came down. Bidding and opening leads were our strengths and that's where most IMPs change hands. Playing in a long-time serious partnership (the only way I play) means your strengths tend to be in the “cooperative” areas of bridge.

My biggest weakness has always been as a declarer when the trick goal isn't clear. I'm not that bad of a declarer at IMPs, but at IMPs, I KNOW how many tricks I need to take, almost all the time and I know the risk-reward odds of each decision and re-reading the Reese-Trezel Safety Play book matters. At BAM or matchpoints I need an adviser sitting there whispering in my ear (“go for ONE overtrick and that's your best shot” or “play for down one and you are bound to score well”) and I could do much better.

It's all “real,” Henry. But only the very best players are good at ALL forms of the game.
Sept. 10, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Make the JS a low one and this is still a VERY good slam, not “dubious.” Draw trumps; cash A and then lead up to the queen through the non-preemptor who has at least one more spot in his hand that could be the K than RHO. Make the Q a low one and we are still somewhere north of 25% to make. If partner has say A xxx Axx AKQxxx what would our chances be?
Sept. 10, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
With a fit and a void, I think the old saw is to “bid one more for safety.” It's hard to say who's making, but pard apparently bid 5 to make and I have what could easily be 4 tricks for him. I might be turning +200 into -200, but that's the way things sometimes go when there are two big fits at the table.
Sept. 10, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Start with 1 instead of 1.
Then splinter with 3.
Then over 3 cuebid, bid 5 Exclusion RKC.
2N is an underbid regardless of what was opened. Surely you don't bid 12 and 14 the same way here (unless 2 was GF). After 1-2, 3-?? then try whatever would be exclusion RKC in your methods (4 or 5).

Kit summarized my agreements with all partners – never never never correct a leap to slam, as the leap says there was no intelligent way to explore a better contract. Partner is NOT allowed to bid on or correct the strain. If 6 here was wrong, talk about it later; for now pass and don't insult partner.
Sept. 10, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Wait, I thought 4 said “clubs are trumps; slam try.” How can 4 now be an offer to play? IMO, that is double-crossing partner. 4 should show a spade A/K, a diamond control and still cooperating towards slam. I suppose 4N is a better choice than 4, as it shows a spade and diamond control by inference and lets you find out about aces, but if partner passes 4, that's his problem. We certainly should get to at least 6 over a 4 bid! If partner has the A he knows my 4 bid showed the K. We might miss a grand now (if that cuebid endplayed him into a leap to 6), but we should never miss 6.
Sept. 9, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Know your customer and bid accordingly. Your idea of what a double shows and mine and 20 other people's may result in 22 different definitions of double.
Sept. 8, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Tom: I agree with you about only playing micro 1N's in a big club context. There is just too much territory to cover otherwise. You can squeeze it some by putting 19's in the 2N opener box, but you still have to have some mighty broad ranges in other no trump rebids (probably 13-16 for 1N and 17-18 for 2N rebids). 13-16 ranges are terrifying for a partner with say 8+ or 9 HCP.
Sept. 6, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
No – all system-on bids, including transfers, are invite+ – we let THEM do the preempting and if they do partner knows we have at least game invite values. It might be different if playing a micro no trump, but ours is a robust 12-14, where we subtract a point for 4-3-3-3 and thus if 4-3-3-3 are 13-15 and if we have only 12 we have at least two quick tricks. Once responder has as many as 5 points, there is no big return on preempting. The key is to let partner know when we are “just competing” (e.g., redouble then bid 2) or are looking for game (e.g., transfer to spades immediately).
Sept. 6, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
IMO, having played 12-14 NTs since 1974, every 2-level response should be the possible beginning of an escape, an invite, a gf, or a slam try. When that isn't the case, (e.g., 2-way stayman) then it is much easier to defend. Also, weak NTs are no better than a 50% device at match points but are MUCH better at IMPs. Folks imagine that -800 is the downside of weak NTs but that couldn't be more wrong. +90 when cold for +140 is the nightmare of weak NTs and that matters only at match points. Weak NTs can dominate your match point results – giving you a huge edge or huge disadvantage with about the same frequency. That sets you apart from the field and helps you win some games but will doom you to a dreadful score now and then.

You need good methods for auctions when they double. I recommend that you handle all escapes with either pass or redouble and keep your constructive system “on.” Redouble should deny invite values, show some 5+ suit and opener bids 2 and responder passes or corrects. Pass is more complicated. It MIGHT be an invite+ hand (but with no major suit interest), might be one where you expect to make 1N, or might be one where you are really hurting – no 5 card suit and very weak. Opener is required to: Pass with any 4-3-3-3 (we won't have a better place to play); bid a 5 card suit (and if he can't have a 5 card major then bid 2 with 4-4 in the majors); or else redouble to show 2 (or 3) four-card suits (and if 2 would have shown the majors then at least one of those suits is a minor). If opener passes or bids a 5 card suit the auction is over unless responder had a game-going hand with no major suit interest (any free bid by responder shows such a hand). If opener bids 2 to show both majors, then responder passes or corrects to spades. If opener redoubles, then the dancing begins if responder is too weak to pass the redouble. If responder has 2 four card suits, he bids his cheapest one and we look for our best fit. If responder has 3-3-3-4 or 3-3-4-3 he bids his minor and then passes thereafter. If responder is 4-3-3-3 or 3-4-3-3, he starts with 2 but if they double and partner sits (showing clubs) he then redoubles (to show one of those two hands) and opener places the contract in opener's second four-card suit. When evaluating escape methods, remember that WHERE you find them matters a LOT – finding a 4-4 club fit at the 2 level is super; finding it at the 3 level hands you one more undertrick.

Some of the power of those methods aren't obvious. One primary goal of escapes is to encourage one opponent to bid something and take us off the hook. When responder MIGHT have a game going hand for his pass and Opener MIGHT pass the double when responder passes, there is tremendous pressure on a busted partner of the doubler to rescue us NOW, even when doubler had us destroyed all on his own. When responder MIGHT have a game-going hand when opener redoubles, a light doubler is under pressure to run now if he has a suit, even if is partner has a ton of points. Each time WE bid a suit, it could get passed out, so if unable to double for penalties, there is often pressure for them to bid something NOW (from either side).

Don't get so caught up in YOUR methods that you forget how easy or hard they make life on opponents. For example, bidding 2M to play leaves TWO opponents a turn to bid with the knowledge that they have about 1/2 the deck. After a jacoby-then-pass sequence, only ONE opponent has a turn to bid and may well have an awkward choice. Or if passing a double DENIES values and FORCES opener to do something other than pass, then the doubler's partner is under no pressure to help us out. I spent a lot of decades working on this and changed a lot over time before settling on the stuff described above in the mid 90's. Last time we were “numbered” – about 2 or 3 years ago (can't remember but know it was a long time ago).
Sept. 6, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
It feels like I should alert, as partner knows WAY more than the opponents about my hand. I've often said that it “feels like cheating” to know that pard's opening bid in 3d seat has opening bid values. But, we have been told in even-clearer situations that negative inferences need not be alerted. Example: Nonvul, over big no trump openings, the ONLY shapes where we pass (except in rare state-of-the-game situations where we have a KO match or matchpoint event already won) are: 4-3-3-3's and 5-3-3-2's. So, first board out, when my partner passes 1N, I know he has one of those shapes. “Not an alert” say several national directors. When I open a weak NT in first second or third seat and partner passes, I know with about 95% certainty that his hand will fit the description “6-10 HCP, no five card major,” yet that's “not an alert” say several national directors. (The opponents' silence makes it unlikely that we need to take evasive action as responder to a 4th seat weak NT.) One advantage of our full-values 3d seat openers is that unlike many drury addicts we CAN double you if you get frisky over our 3d seat openers (leave in a balancing double with knowledge that pard has 13 HCP or else 2+ QTs, etc.)

Is 2 still drury if they bid 1N? Fantastic! You can't double me for penalties if you have a fit? What if they make an preemptive-by-agreement but intermediate-by-tactics jump overcall? Now you don't know if partner even has 5 pieces for his “opening bid” but you think he does …if the preempt has preempt values…. and on and on.

The smoke screen is the one that YOUR (drury-induced) doubts create, not their actions.
Sept. 5, 2014
.

Bottom Home Top