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All comments by Eric Sieg
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Good player doesn't mean omniscient. Good players also make Xs that don't work out. Clear pass for me, not going to lose sleep if XX happened to be right on this hand.
Oct. 31, 2017
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Undiscussed I would assume someone would X 2 for the majors with hearts and then see if I could hit spades. I don't understand the desire to rescue the opponents on potential misfit auctions and “2 for both majors” by opponents has been my #1 most consistent source of good penalty X results. As for stopper vs clubs, voted stopper just because I've seen that more.
Oct. 25, 2017
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I'm not sure I agree that being at the 2 level to show 2 suits is an advantage. You are a level higher and have your neck much more exposed without any guarantee of a long trump suit and are a lot more likely to get punished. With less penalty oriented partners I play 1NT (2A) X is penalty interest if 2A shows 2 suits and takeout if its single suit and that tends to work really well because the “I have 2 suits” overcalls are a frequent source of nice penalties. Similarly, 2 suit bids vs precision are a common source of penalties on a misfit and intelligent play of the hand later if not.

Bidding 2 suited hands at the 3 level is even MORE preemptive than the 2 level but no one seriously suggests that, so the “higher is better” assumption in the “more 2 level preempts is good” assertion seems questionable in my opinion.

I also think the main value of preemption lies not in what you can do unless you really can bid 3M on your own, in which case the system doesn't really matter. It is what advancer can do and specifically what advancer can do before the 1 opener bids again. Bid your longest suit naturally and if partner can raise it to 3M/4m or higher then odds are in your favor that you are getting an above average result. If responder can't raise then you get out and they have an idea of what to lead or return on defense. Declarer has some info, but knowing about 5 cards is a lot less useful than knowing about 9.

This system seems to mostly give up on the minors as far as high level preemption is concerned. A single suit is unknown, a flat natural 5 card suit isn't even in the system, and the 4 spades + minor hand the minor isn't known. The only situation we know the minor is when we have 4 hearts - which goes back to giving up info about 9 cards instead of 5 if on defense later.

Returning back to the original challenge in the OP: “Popular big club defenses don't enable preemption more effectively than a natural defense.”, I don't see how any system which mostly gives up on effectively preempting the minor suits meets that challenge.
Oct. 25, 2017
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Thanks for taking the time to go into such depth on your system! :)

As I've played precision and against precision more, I've become a bigger and bigger fan of Mathe, not because of memory issues but because I think it creates the best results. The “Not Mathe” system devised by Peter Weichsel seems appealing as well.

Some specific things I have doubts about here:

1) Giving up the natural 1 call. Many scoff at how it takes up no space, but Rodwell's simulations considered it a very valuable bid and as a precision player, two of my most memorable bad results in the last year were after LHO overcalled a simple 1 showing diamonds and their partner was able to jump directly to the 4+ level. If partner doesn't have diamonds it is very unlikely you are getting X'd at the one level and when they do they can jump it up. I've also gotten a top when overcalling 1 due to both partner jumping and also when partner doesn't support and the opponents confidently bid NT I can lay off the diamond lead and wait for one through. One recent good result required a non diamond lead, followed by an immediate switch to diamonds (not obvious from dummy) at trick 2-3 that most pairs didn't find.

2) Related to 1, giving up known natural minor single suiters at the 1-2 level. Again, best results come when partner knows they have a big fit and can jump it up before the strong club opener gets to make a clarifying bid. “either minor” doesn't help when partner unexpectedly has a lot of trump with you. Sure, sometimes they will have lots of cards in both minors but sometimes they are something like 4342 and assume your minor is clubs and are bummed to later find out your 6 card minor was diamonds. On several occasions I've had it go something like 1 2 X* 5 followed by frustration and (and plenty of wrong spot/strain) for the strong club side

3) I always feel doubtful about the value of extremely descriptive bids about shape when we are unlikely to declare. People always talk about the disadvantage of Michaels when you don't win the auction as declarer can play it nearly double dummy. Similarly, showing 1 suit doesn't necessarily give up tons but showing two suits certainly makes it easier to play. Time after time I have declared against people showing these two suits and gotten more right than I would have otherwise. Likewise, I've usually been glad that I didn't bother to mention my second suit. Sometimes they play in it and there's a bad break and other times they finesse things the wrong way.

Regardless about how I feel about it though, it is definitely an interesting and well thought out system. Thanks for taking the time to post! :)
Oct. 24, 2017
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Not sure why overcaller is going to know to XX if 2 X'd gets passed to them, advancer had a chance to preference to the major and chose not to.

Also not sure why we are worried about missing a spade fit instead of defending when we have 54 in the majors and partner has at least 2 hearts. Do we need a written invitation to X for penalties before defending?
Oct. 21, 2017
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If they understand trick taking and trumps, it seems possible. I would say 1-5 of what Michael Bodell listed above, play some hands, talk about HCP and amount to open and respond, play some more hands.

If the concept of a trick and trump is a new one, it seems like you'd definitely want to start with mini bridge. Skip all the bidding until they have a basic understanding of the trick taking part of things.
Oct. 20, 2017
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As does leading towards the short honor and finessing. Both approaches can pick up Q 4th, just a question of which side you want to pick it up in.
Oct. 20, 2017
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So I guess your vote is 2.83% or less of an inference? Since RHO having stiff Q is about that % and everything else can be played either way?
Oct. 20, 2017
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Advancer could easily have something like a 4351 hand trying to get ahead of the penalty pass and/or find the better fit. Takeout seems silly since you can comfortably have your cake and eat it too on this auction: 1NT opener can hit 2 with 4+ and pass otherwise, and responder can hit 2 with a desire to defend and bid 2 or higher with something else.
Oct. 19, 2017
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Added a cards style answer
Oct. 19, 2017
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Actually, went ahead and added that as an answer.
Oct. 19, 2017
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Probably should have worded the answers differently, but seems late to change the poll answers at this point :(
Oct. 19, 2017
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I don't disagree with you since that responsive makes a lot of sense, but I think taking the opponents at their word that they have a 9+ card fit is a huge assumption. Opener might have preempted on 5. Responder might have advanced on Hx or maybe even 2 small. I've even seen opponents raise on a stiff honor and a weak hand two days ago. I've certainly advanced a preempt with a very weak hand and poor trump support (altho typically after an X rather than a suit bid) to take up space and with the knowledge that its unlikely that they'll manage to X us in 3 of our suit and have seen many “good” players do the same.

I'm not saying it should be explicitly “I have a lot of trump, let's defend” but rather curious about it suggesting that we defend given our knowledge of partners hand (that they have 5+ Oranges). Even if we have a fit in a 3rd suit somewhere, there's no guarantee that we should be at the 4 level and if partner had support for other suits they might have X'd instead of bidding 3 Oranges.

Again, not trying to say that penalty is “better” just clarify my understanding from before which was: This is classically cards/penalty, how you play it now is based on partnership agreement since many partnerships play it as takeout, every partnership should discuss it. Clearly that understanding was wrong since the poll is essentially unanimous.
Oct. 19, 2017
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So, since the polls are really clear, a followup question:

My understanding is that the classical definition of a responsive X is that they are off after a preempt. For reference, see the bottom of http://www.bridgeguys.com/doubles/ResponsiveDouble.html where he refers to the Modern Bridge Conventions definition. There are a few other places I've found that mention that responsive is off after a preempt

I haven't actually read modern bridge conventions, but a partner that has read it said that this sort of sequence is penalty. Some partners and I were playing this sort of scenario as penalty/card showing and I thought that was in line with the classic definition of responsive being off.

Obviously this is incredibly rare. Is my understanding incorrect because:

A) We misunderstood what Root/Pavlicek are saying
B) That's the classic definition but no one does that anymore
C) Some other reason

For context, I thought everyone would treat poll 1 as responsive/takeout but the answers might be more varied on poll 2 based on partnership style since we know one of partners suits and finding a secondary fit is less likely. I expected the majority in this poll to say responsive/takeout, but didn't expect for it to be essentially unanimous so curious what piece of information I had that was wrong.
Oct. 19, 2017
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Yes, if you consider this always responsive I think takeout sums up that as well.
Oct. 19, 2017
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Any idea what book? I glanced through winning declarer play when you mentioned this but didn't see anything.
Oct. 18, 2017
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Yeah, lots seems to be fixating on 1 2 4 whereas I was just trying to find an auction that didn't give info about suits/side strength/possible good leads etc. Updated to include 1 2 3 4 as a different example auction.
Oct. 18, 2017
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I've seen people teach classes that do precision instead of standard. The issue was that all the other new players were taught 2/1 or standard american and so finding partners to play it with became an issue. I switched to precision when I had like 2 masterpoints and thought it was great, but my 2/1 bidding and system understanding was incomplete which was a hindrance when playing with other people who didn't play precision.
Oct. 18, 2017
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Absolutely, its hard to generalize. However, trying to pull out a single inference to evaluate it in isolation - not sure how to do it better. If I start giving specific hands then other inferences/assumptions can come into play and contaminate the discussion on whether this is a reasonable inference or X or Y or Z inference from that hand biases the Q one way or the other.
Oct. 18, 2017
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Some sort of discussion over interference seems critical.

I've played precision with 15 minutes of prep with people before, but always with partners that know a system that they can then quickly describe. Frequently its based on Precision Today with transfer positives or Meck Lite without.

Realistically I would agree to play precision with a C player who is interested, but would recommend they read precision today, we talk for 30-45 minutes on what we are using, then start playing. I don't like the Precision Today system in an experienced partnership, but personally think it is a great starting point that's fairly intuitive and easy to learn and play.
Oct. 18, 2017
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