Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Anthony Pettengell
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I agree with the 2 bid NV; the quality of the suit is paramount in sandwich position, and I hate the idea of passing with a 0-6-4-3 hand when the suit is good enough. I fully understand why some people would think it silly though.

The second auction I think is sillier, simply because you have an easy action on the first round (2 for me at this vulnerability), and acting early is almost always better.
May 19
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2 is Drury so doesn't show the club suit. 2 would be slam seeking for most of my partnerships, so the choice is (in my opinion) between 2 or 4.
May 18
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I am just as happy with 1 on hand 3, and would likely open 1 myself, but I can't fault my partner for opening 1NT. I can't remember ever opening 1NT with a singleton myself, but this is the sort of hand you might consider it on if at all, surely?

For 2 see my reply to Leonard below. I don't want to comment on opposing bids myself for these matches so will leave the 2NT overcall for others to dissect.

In case it wasn't clear, the 2 bid after Drury was a simple error, no need to dwell on it. Far more interesting, I think, is the choice between counter-invite (2) and game. Which would you choose in her place?
May 17
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“Fine” is perhaps too strong, but it really does depend on agreements and what partner is expecting. If your range is 5-9 for example (I don't know what their weak 2 range is to be fair) then what 5 point hands are you allowed to bid on? KQTxxx with a singleton? Looks like a 6 point hand to me.

Admittedly, this is exactly the reason I like the scheme Ivan and I play, which is constructive weak 2s with a weaker Multi, both varying by vulnerability. In that context this is a perfectly ok (if still minimum) vulnerable 2 opener.

Definitely agreed that you have to draw the line somewhere, and maybe that line should be between this hand and the same hand with the J moved to the heart suit - but I just hate passing this!
May 17
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For us that would be the simple raise, 2: 6-9 with a club fit.
May 5
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No explicit agreement, but I would guess 1 most of the time. It will be interesting to see whether my partner says the same thing!
April 29
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Though I don't have experience with ‘back in the day’ for the concept (I learnt at uni 5 years ago, so basically everything is takeout), I think you're completely right about the most common defensive error being a lack of takeout double.

In particular, the auction 2 (P) 2/2 AP, against beginners, is often one where opener's RHO ought to have doubled. The pass out seat is easier because they can more easily imagine it as the weak 2 it should be treated as, but even then it can be missed.

This isn't an issue of complexity though, as (from your comment) you well appreciate!
April 22
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Although it's not news to me, it still baffles me that this system is in place at all, but that's coming from a UK perspective.

The Multi 2 is relatively common over here, with one local club of mine in particular having a large number of pairs playing Multi. No one is bothered, even at club level. No one has a complicated defence. A common one is:
* x = ~12-15 balanced or very strong;
* 2NT = 16-19 (as over a weak two, with the same continuations);
* x of a pass or correct bid (e.g. (2) P (2) x) is takeout of the suit bid;
* Everything else is natural.

Nothing hard to understand or put into practice.

By contrast there is sometimes confusion (or rather brief looks of confusion) when I play a Polish Club, simply because it's rarer, and that's even easier to defend against than the Multi on an ad-hoc basis: simply pick ‘treat as natural’ or ‘treat as artificial’ and use your normal defences.

These aren't strong pass systems or anything which changes the basis of bidding. Normalise it and there will be no issue.
April 22
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*Some* defences are complex, but they really don't have to be. A partnership choosing their own defence, without being handed them, can choose simple defences if they struggle with memory issues.
April 22
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Thanks for that Erik, much quicker than me working from the pdf.

Here's the updated file, in English etc (I went with NS/EW as they were shorter than ‘unfavourable’ or even ‘unfav’): https://www.dropbox.com/s/t17tbb9oeqq8l6f/108%20preempts.pdf?dl=0
April 13
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A useful document - I might re-do it in English and with suit symbols if that's ok?

Also is that a LaTeX document? If so, and you don't mind me redoing it, any chance I could have the TeX file?
April 12
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Even seeing that diamond suit in dummy? I'm vastly inexperienced/a poor player compared to most people on here, but even I would immediately think “what four cards am I going to discard?” before throwing the first card away. Whether a player makes the right conclusions as to what to keep is a different question, but I'd say the order of discards is irrelevant in any event.
April 11
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Oh you can (and yes of course, the 2 comment was me not thinking properly). But partner might not bid 1NT… what do you rebid after 2? Same issue with 2 and 3 rebids.

You could make the 2 rebid after 2 show less info if you want and that works ok, but it's still the same as after a 2 and 2 response. 2 rebid there can't show six, but does show an unbalanced hand for us.

I'm not at all saying you can't open this hand 1 and that it's unworkable to do so, simply that our agreements don't permit it without potentially having to lie later. It's simply about which lie/loss of information you like least.
April 2
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I knew someone would mention this and almost commented on it from the get-go, but I was posting for the purposes of initial play thoughts not bidding.

Open 1 and rebid 2 if you wish, but you're promising 6 spades and an unbalanced hand systemically. A 2 rebid would similarly show 4+ clubs and an unbalanced hand. Both of those suggest slightly better playing strength through distribution.

Third/fourth position would be different as you can just pass 1NT/changes of suit, and good raises go through Drury.

It's a similar issue to a 16-count with 5 good spades in a strong NT system without gadgets like Gazzilli; there's no convention to fix it in the weak NT setting, but at least it's only a problem 1st and 2nd.
April 2
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Wouldn't 4 still be a splinter after a 2 rebid by advancer, so whether or not 3 is forcing that approach works too?

I agree that I certainly wouldn't risk 3 being forcing at the table…
April 2
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I like this line; definitely better than the one I took and I think it's probably best on reflection. This was roughly my thought process at the table, but I was loathe to give up a diamond in case spades were 3-3 with no duck or K onside, meaning a loss to the ‘weaker’ players in the room who just finessed and got lucky (MPs).

What I ended up doing was ducking the first heart, on the basis that a diamond switch wouldn't be obvious to RHO at trick one, and I might get a spade through if the K was offside, which LHO wouldn't think to duck in the same way as if I lead them right off.

This was exactly what did happen, and I made, but I knew it wasn't best. Apart from anything else, a QJ-xxx trump split is very possible on the lead and you might not need to lose a trump, so ducking first is poor.

Ah well, hindsight and all that. Thank you for confirming what I suspected about the best (/better) line - and I'm relieved to know my thought process was on track even though I came up with an aberrance at the table!
April 2
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I was very much shocked at LHO's heart holding; while I would say RHO here is a calibre above LHO, LHO is still (normally) a reasonably good player. So at trick one you don't know this!
April 2
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In my regular partnerships this would be take-out/quasi-responsive, based on the level and our general attitude to undiscussed doubles. It can be converted more often than many takeout doubles though, as with a clear preference there would just be a bid here. It should probably be penalty though - or at least I would take it as such with a new/unknown partner (and have voted as such).
March 15
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As others have said, the 2 opening is awkward anyway without increasing its range. Changing it to 6+ clubs, as in some Precision variants, could be helpful - though it's not done in standard Polish Club. You'd need some kind of Precision 2 to keep 1 natural, which is one of the bonuses of Polish Club, and that's a waste of a bid in a system where weak 4414 hands aren't so problematic (going into the weak balanced/preparatory part of 1). But even as 6+ clubs the 11/12-17 range would be unwieldy.

It's best to think of the 1 club option as 15+ with clubs rather than 15-17; it's contiguous with the 18+ clubs part, just starting lower. I've never found those hands a problem in practice, and any problems you're likely to get will be infrequent enough that it's worth making the rest of the system smooth.
March 9
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I may have missed something, but how is this different to partner opening 1M and you having that sort of hand? Is 1NT any less ridiculous then than after 1? Surely that's just the price you pay for 2/1 auctions generally.

(NB I agree that 3 invitational is good there in a 2/1 context, but again - how does this differ specifically after 1? If playing Bergen raises or similar these hands are in fact easier after 1 rather than harder.)
March 7
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