Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Anthony Pettengell
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Interesting timing as I just commented on another thread (the big club NT range one) about this very thing, before noticing your thread.

I like including a strong option, but mainly because in Polish club those strong 5-5 minor hands are awkward to deal with after a 1 opening and it eases up the system to remove them. That's the more compelling reason rather than any intrinsic good from the opening itself.

The weak 5-5 minor hand comes up rarely enough as an opening, but seems to work well when it does. The strong option is shockingly rare, so I can't give strong evidentially founded opinions (I think it's come up once), but in terms of theory and practice-bidding it seems fine. The split range doesn't stop me from preempting as advancer.

I strongly agree with Peter Fordham above that you need a large enough gap between the two hand types. I've played 5/6-10 or 17/18+ which fits nicely into Polish.

I think intermediate ranges, e.g. 10-13 as suggested in the OP, might suffer from it somewhat. Adding 17/18+ hands (which often equate to 4-loser hands with those shapes) might be a bit close to what you have already, with not a big enough gap, and 20+ 5-5 minor hands are vanishingly rare. Even just on their own, intermediate hands often want to buy the auction at the 2-level, and may be able to do just that if you don't preempt yourself.
Oct. 11
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My preference for 2NT opening (in a Polish context) is both minors, 5+/5+, but not just weak - have it split range. Weak (5-10 or whatever range you prefer) OR 17+. It's really nice to take the strong 5-5 minor hands out of 1 because they are otherwise unwieldy. It does mean ending up at the 4-level with those strong hands most of the time (you'll bid on one time over partner's 3/ sign-off), but you'll similarly end up that high after opening 1 in the traditional Polish scheme, as 2 is used as an artificial rebid. This is no doubt sub-optimal, but it's a simple improvement.

With a natural 2 rebid in auctions such as 1-1-2, there is little need for this, but putting very strong hands in there seems to have little downside that I can see, albeit as you raise the starting point the hands become exceedingly rare so there is also limited upside.

In any event I agree with the general concept of 1 auctions being better than strong 2NT openers, so some kind of artificial preemptive use of 2NT makes a lot of sense to me. I'm a fan of Kokish in Precision (doesn't work in Polish).
Oct. 11
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I don't quite follow why Smith is harder to play in tempo than anything else… you have ample time at trick one to work out (possibly with dependancies based on what declarer will play) whether you like partner's lead. Having worked that out, it's really not hard to play the signalling card in tempo. General attitude and suit preference signals are just as likely to be the culprits for out of tempo signalling, I would think. Count is admittedly easier, as it requires no judgment once you've decided that a count signal is required.

I don't own Hamman's ‘At the Table’, however, so haven't read it, and while I've played Smith/Reverse Smith without (I hope) issue, not many people near me when in Nottingham used it. So there's very likely an angle I have missed. Do you have time to elaborate Richard?
Oct. 9
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The way I've played it, an immediate 2 would be GF, and 2 followed by 2 over 2 would be an invite, but it's clear from the poll options that an immediate 2 could be invitational too - in which case I don't know what the distinction is.
Oct. 7
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I would be perfectly happy with a 1NT rebid in SA, but wouldn't do it without prior discussion with partner. Ditto opening 1 and rebidding 2, though it's more of a strong/Polish club thing really, not worth adding that ambiguity when unnecessary.

I can't abide a 1 rebid here.
Aug. 10
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I would similarly be very interested in seeing other people's LaTeX templates - in my case EBU-format ideally, but anything would be interesting/useful.
Aug. 9
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I think you need to be quite judicious when deciding whether to open a Muiderberg 2 (ditto Lucas, Polish etc, whatever variant). It's not about HCP, quite the opposite, but purity. HCP in your long suits are good, and pointy doubletons are very bad. Qx/AJxxx/Kx/xxxx may technically have the points and distribution to open a Muidy 2, and a good enough heart suit for it, but I'd never open it as one at any vulnerability - FAR too defensive. x/AJxxx/xxx/KQxx is a far better candidate obviously, but so is x/AJxxx/xxx/xxxx even.

I opened 3 at the table, for similar reasons to you, but I feel I should be opening 2 in this position as per Kevin/Patrick above.
July 17
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I concur with 15-19. The 3NT rebid is ugly and so should be very specific - like Brad suggested, some kind of ‘picture bid’ perhaps. Even if don't have the time to work out a range enquiry yet, I think keeping all those balanced hands in 2NT (and allowing your normal strain enquiries below 3NT) is preferred. All these are workable though.
July 14
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Partner will never take you for possibly having 6 hearts if you open 2, so the sixth heart would be lost. I can't imagine 2 as a viable bid on this hand myself - you've still preempted spades, and the disparity between the heart and club suits is extreme.
July 14
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Yes, you need a different system for that (unless your original runout system is relatively simple), because the forcing pass isn't available.
July 13
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That's what I was expecting, 2 here but 3 in 1st or 3rd, but wanted to check the consensus. Thanks.
July 13
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Sorry, I should have defined that. In the U.K. many call them Lucas Twos, which are very similar as well (5 cards in the major, 4+ in any other suit - so could be both majors unlike Muiderberg).
July 13
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Garbage Stayman (i.e. short clubs) is pretty standard in the UK and well worth bearing in mind. You'll still end up missing major fits when you're weak and short in diamonds (or indeed only have one of the majors), but there we are. On other hands your opponents will miss major fits because they would have overcalled 1M (or doubled) 1m, but won't overcall 2M.
July 12
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Your methods opposite a 15-17 NT (strength appropriately modified) will be perfectly fine, particularly at first. 2-way Stayman isn't necessary. An escape to 1NT(x) is definitely required, but you don't need to be playing anything complicated.

1M-2x-2N really ought to be a good hand, 15+ balanced, irrespective of whether you open 1NT with 5cm. 1M-2x-3N is an ugly auction which should be avoided. Minimal 5332 hands have to rebid 2M if not opened 1NT, or raise with a 3-card suit - both of which I also dislike, which is why I open 1NT with those hands, but they're better than ruining the strong NT sequences in my opinion (and I agree, we would all prefer to open those hands 1M if possible - the problematic rebid is one of the few clear negatives of a weak NT).

Re opening light in the minors: much like the previous, when playing a weak NT you just shouldn't rebid 1NT after 1-1 with weak 1=4=3=5 hands, because 1NT ought to show strength. You do NOT want to be jumping to 2NT with 15 point balanced hands. Those weak hands have to rebid 2. You can open minor hands as light as you want, they don't conflict with the strong balanced hands.

I agree about 1m-1M-2M. Most strong balanced hands can cope with a 3M rebid. Some 15-counts would prefer 2M, but that's life/bridge.

Distinguishing 5-8 and 9-10 balanced opposite a 1m opening would be great, but isn't necessary to have a playable system. Yes, the auction 1X-1N-2N-AP is horrible (my least favourite uncontested auction I think), but there we are. Not worth the system memory when new to a weak NT.
July 12
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Agreed, an excellent book and well worth that price.
July 12
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Just about to comment almost this exact same thing. Just the right combination of
bridge- and people-balancing to be spot-on for an on-the-spot ruling at the club.
July 7
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Well, that's rather co-dependant on responses being light. Opposite a partner who responds conservatively it's 2 all the way of course.

I'm more interested in the follow-ups than which opening to choose to be honest - and I fully agree with Yu that the 3 bid (after a 2 opening) has enough going for it (re slam investigation etc) that I don't think the 3/4 decision is as obvious as people are saying it is having seen both hands.
July 3
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I'm completely in agreement with Yu here, other than that sequence - though it can show this hand if you like, for me 1-1N-4 is like a stronger 4 opening, but definitely not this strong. I would rebid 3 if no gadgets are available. Gazzilli or similar is the obvious, and without such a gadget I don't mind the light 2 opening too much.
July 3
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My inclination is for natural and invitational, without discussion, but I'm not sure. The basis is that if very weak then 2 is expected even with only 4, and if strong then partner can be bidding 3 or 3NT. So invitational with exactly 4 spades and without hearts stopped seems reasonable.
June 30
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If 2NT asked for a feature then I'd do the route described above - 2NT then RKCB after 3 (seeking 7), straight to 6 otherwise. My partnerships don't tend to have that (the standard in England is Ogust), so I'll do 5 exclusion - which unfortunately telegraphs a minor suit lead if the answer is negative. The bonus of 2NT is that if partner has no feature then we're in 6 without suit information being given to RHO for the opening lead.
June 30
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