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All comments by Ronald Kalf
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First of all: congratulations! This will be a lengthy comment and I will repeat some things that others have mentioned. Forgive me, but WNT is an affair of the heart. Now to your questions.
1) Yes, yes, yes, this is very important. If a pick-up partner (knowing that I usually play WNT) asks me to play WNT, I always decline unless s/he has experience. It is not just a matter of playing WNT, it changes your whole system. 1m is always „strong“ either in distribution or in hcp. This makes your raises better defined, but the consequence is that you cannot raise with 3crd support unless you have 15hcp. Also you cannot rebid 1N without the appropriate strength. With both of Adam‘s example hands your rebid is 2. Further down some ideas on competitive situations.
2) It is not necessary to open all balanced hands 1 but there are advantages if you are consistent. In my system we open all 15+ balanced hands 1, this includes 5-3-3-2 (unless we treat 5 as 6). As a consequence 1-1M;1N is used to show 4-5, solving part of the rebid-problems with 5-4-3-1-distributions. Where I to play a „natural“ system, I‘d probably go for transfers over 1, but in my Polish based system this doesn‘t work.
3) Although it is not necessary to change your NT-structure, it makes sense because the advantage of transfers is even less. I don‘t understand the emphasis of having the lead to the strong hand, although it is advantage…on the first trick. The disadvantage of transfers is that a well defined hand is hidden and a much less defined hand is tabled. After 2-3 tricks you have double dummy defense. The real reason for transfers is extending bidding space. I play a structure known as „condensed transfers“ aka Hitchhiker. 2 is scrambling Stayman and 2 shows 5+ in an unknown major (hence condensed). Opener rebids 2M with a doubleton or higher with at least 3-3 in the majors. Of course you need a run-out structure, although in an environment not used to WNT you will seldom have to use it. At least it’s my experience that RHO runs if pard passes (alerted as „to weak to redouble, no 5cards“). Another advice: play penalty doubles, opps bid on total scrap just because you play WNT.
Competitive bidding over 1m-(P)-1M: a single raise shows 3 (or a minimum 4-3-3-3), with a regular 4crd raise bid the 4th suit (which will sometimes force you to the 3-level) and double with SNT and a doubleton or extras and the 4th suit. With a misfit converting to penalty will be more likely to be profitable then with a 3crd fit.
If you can find a copy of „How to play winning bridge“ enjoy, it was the first bridge book I ever read.
Make your system consistent and HAVE FUN!
Aug. 2
Ronald Kalf edited this comment Aug. 2
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Either one of the first three options. To put it in other words „IMO 3 is the optimum for our side. I don‘t want to give opps time to find out what their optimum is.“ If I‘m interested in game, I‘d start with 2 or X. 2N is also a strong option as Rosalind remarks, it would also invite partner to compete further or double. I expect pard to pass in most cases if I bid 3.
Aug. 1
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So do I…if pard leads a trump.
July 31
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X shows cards and interest in doubling opps on the 2-level. I have a balanced hand with 4QTs and opps are at the 4-level. True, I don‘t expect them to go enough to compensare a slam, but do we have one? Can I find out if we have one? No, so I will take what I can get.
July 31
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Bas, I agree that we have to draw a line somewhere. Your OP described a second order inference, whereas the example here is a first order inference. Only a beginner may not be aware that you will draw a conclusion from his hesitation. OTOH an advanced player will probably play the A anyway, having given away the position. In that case you could have a second order inference that s/he has been woolgathering and doesn‘t have the A. A real expert will of course never hesitate.
July 30
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What should W bid if E makes a CRASH X? 2 or 2? after 2 S is in an even better position, knowing for sure that E doesn‘t have . After …2-P-3 S has to pass.
July 29
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I Agree with Ulrich
July 29
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Exactly
July 29
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Agreed, but the OP says the explanation was bona fide, i.e. not intended to mislead declare.
July 29
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My partner would never do that. From an unpassed hand its Minorwood (and 4/N RKCB for /) as discussed.
As a „local expert“ I would never do that, but as a partner of a „local expert“ I would expect a strong raise.
July 27
Ronald Kalf edited this comment July 27
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Brad, he doesn‘t even understand the problem. Since he always plays in this tempo, neither his partner nor his opponents can draw any conclusion from that. I can accept that in a club game, but it‘s a problem in a serious competition. His partner just shrugs and explains “he‘s over 70“.
July 27
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Sometimes you just have to accept it. We have a player in our club who isn‘t even aware of it. Once he pulled a card out of his stach after n seconds and waited abother m seconds before playing it. It was a singleton, I asked him why he hesitated, but he didn‘t understand the question. Now I know that this his „in tempo“.
July 27
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If an in tempo 9 is count and a hesitation 9 SP, partner has UI from the hesitation and should treat the 9 as count. If s/he did so, everything is okay, but if LHO‘s explanation is not assumed to be bona fide, a PP might be called for. As for the conclusions you draw from the hesitation, better luck next time.
July 27
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Richard, Ray, I am (maybe overly) sensitive to absolute statements. Larry‘s statement sounds absolute to me. Referring to 30+ years of experience is what old scientists do when challenged by a youngster. Ed‘s „Amen“ (=so be it) says it all.
How many top players today play 2/1 LC-style or even any 2/1? Stepping out of the center of the bridge world, how many play 2/1? The article referred to is directed at (his) students, who have decided to play 2/1 LC-style and I‘m sure he‘s correct under that premise.
July 27
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You can find references to MAFIA as MAjors FIrst Always, among others in Prof. Yang‘s description of Terrorist‘s Moscito.
July 27
Ronald Kalf edited this comment July 27
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That doesn‘t mean his strong opinion is unrevocable truth. Culbertson also has an impressive record. Does anybody care today?
July 26
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YOUR strong opinion, not everybody’s
July 26
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Deleted
July 26
Ronald Kalf edited this comment July 26
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Ron, fuzzy formulation on my part. I didn‘t mean to say that the Moscito system is based upon or derived from the MAFIA-system. Moscito is based upon the Principle of giving preference to M. You open 4crd M even with longer m and consequently 1 denies 4crd M.
July 26
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There are lots of PC variants, some but not all with MAFIA-style. With one partner in my club I play WJ2000 where 1-2 is FG unless rebid and may have 4crd M if FG. In my regular partnership I play MAFIA-Style. The longer -suit is often skipped unless we are heading for slam. No problem at all: 1-1M;2-3 shows 4M-5, most hands with 5M rebid 2OM or a nonforcing 2M. I wouldn‘t know why the same principles fail if not playing Polish.
July 26
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