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Indeed, Bob.

Re the artificial 2 sequences. See my TBW article on CLOR for something along those lines.

Lot's of upside and minimal downside. The first night we played it in anger, we got to a great slam after a 1 2 2 start showing 5+/5+.

Ian C
11 hours ago
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Apologies, Richard.

Got caught up with the construction and overlook the obvious - now corrected.

Ian C
12 hours ago
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Hi David.

On that one, rightly or wrongly, I would have opened 1 (and rebid 1 over 1).

A 65432 A2 A5432 is perhaps trickier due to the rebid issues.

Ian C
14 hours ago
Ian Casselton edited this comment 12 hours ago
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Indeed, Kevin.

But one day I might hold (say) Jxxxx AKQ xx Kxx or similar and hear 1 2.

Whilst 2 might tempt me (and 3 would certainly be possible, especially if a natural 2NT had been available to partner) 2 might be a pragmatic choice also.

Ian C
14 hours ago
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In for a penny, in for a pound (dollar), Larry.

I answered “not a terrible suit” as I can't remember needing to do it on that hand type in practise. However, I suppose it is possible to theoretically construct such a hand where I might.

Hence, perhaps I should have answered “even a terrible suit”.

Ian C

PS Though I don't play it myself (yet), I quite like the more modern treatment where 1M 2any 2NT shows 6+M, which may in part explain my answer
15 hours ago
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Hi Alexander.

That sounds Kokish-like, which, on it's own, is a bit different (hard to tell without seeing most of the structure).

If you're looking for something different but along those lines, consider Transfer Gazilli, i.e. 2 = or strong … 2M-1 = 6+M, 2M = M+.

It has some merit.

Ian C
15 hours ago
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continued … “Gazzevery”

Rule-set:

After a (semi-)natural 1/1 response, opener rebids their cheaper unbid minor either naturally or with a “strong” hand of specific types. For Gazzilli, this will always be 2.

The “strong” types covered by opener's rebid are

(A) Balanced hands, too strong for your 1NT opening and natural 1NT rebids (so you can play this over WK or STR NT's)
(B) Two-suiters, with a lower ranking suit
(C) Single-suiters

NOTE (D): “Strong” is defined as a hand of “reversing” strength, however that might apply in your partnership. For us, and noting A, B & C above, this means a decent 16hcp hand, 17 hcp if BAL (as our 1NT rebid is 14-16 hcp).

NOTE (E): Strong hands with a higher ranking suit reverse as normal and do not use Gazzevery

NOTE (F): 1 1M 2 is always the “strong” type in our style (which is fortunate, as it would be even more self-pre-emptive if not) as we open the equivalent of 1 with min 45 hands. If you don't (or won't) you need to consider this sequence if playing Gazzevery.

NOTE (G): Non-strong natural rebids are as before, except 5M332's rebid 2 rather than 2 (or raise spades). For the avoidance of doubt, if you would have rebid 2 with a 4=5=2=2 not playing Gazzevery/Gazzilli, you continue to do so

NOTE (H): Jump rebids (6+), jump shifts (5+/5+) and in some cases, jumps to 2NT show hands just short of Gazzevery “strong” values with concentration. In our method, this is around 14-15 hcp. Failure to make such a bid confirms either weakness (11-13 hcp) or lack of concentration, i.e. values in the short suits.

After opener's natural or strong Gazzevery bid in a minor

(I) With a game force opposite the strong type, responder rebids artificially in the cheapest unbid suit. For Gazzilli, this will always be 2

(J) With any lesser strength, responder makes a different usually natural rebid (with 2NT usually showing both minors in context)

After responder's artificial strength showing rebid, as in (I) above

(K) Opener makes the cheapest natural rebid in a previously bid suit if non-strong, NF. For Gazzilli, this will always be his opened major

(L) Rebids something else, mostly natural, if strong, FG

After responder's usually natural weakness showing rebid, as in (J) above

(M) Opener's cheapest bid in a unbid suit acts akin to 4th suit game forcing - anything else is NF (including “Pass”, by definition)

Similarly, after opener's weakness showing rebid, as in (K) above, responder's cheapest bid in an unbid suit also acts akin to 4th suit game forcing - anything else is NF

I could go on, but most other stuff is fairly similar to the May 2005 reference article (e.g. differentiating between 5/4's and 5/5's, jump rebids with and without 3-card support for partner's {possible} major etc).

Happy to write more if anyone is interested?

Ian C

PS I have used the term “unbid” quite a bit above. If you use transfer openings like we do, or transfer responses in the majors, like many do, then “unbid” needs to change to “unshown” in context
Dec. 10
Ian Casselton edited this comment Dec. 10
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Hi Yuan.

I'm not a Flannery convert - I don't see sufficient utility in the opening (though many good North American players seem to). As an aside, I have always thought that I would play 2 as Flannery were I to play it.

Still drafting the “Gazzevery” bit …

Ian C
Dec. 10
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Hi John et al.

We play a method (as yet unpublished) called “Gazzevery” - i.e. “Gazzilli Everywhere”. By this, we mean that we incorporate it over (our equivalent of) 1 and 1 openings, as well as 1 and 1. More on that in a minute.

As others have observed, part of the problem is the absence of a reference version of Gazzilli. It would be reasonable to use the May 2005 Bridge World article as such, for discussion purposes at least.

The one thing that bothered me at the time about that article (to which I emailed the author, by invitation, but got no reply) was that I couldn't figure out what to do with 54 hands and in particular medium (say 14-15 hcp) strength 4=5=2=2's. I have since concluded, as part of the process of defining Gazzevery, that reversing strength 54 hands simply reverse as normal, but this was not explicit in the article.

My answer to the practical question(s) are

(1) I probably have played too few hands with the method to give an authoritative opinion, but
(2) It seems to work better than standard methods, especially with the strong and intermediate types, and
(3) We haven't yet had a major issue with playing clubs a level higher on the weak type

My theoretic take is

(4) It gives most of the advantages of a strong club method without extensive use of relays, whilst
(5) Not exposing the auction to the risk of effective early pre-emption, and
(6) Handles some types standard methods simply can't (e.g. strong hand with 3 card support)

I'll reply to myself with a summary of Gazzevery for anyone interested - Gazzilli would be/is a more trivial case of Gazzevery, but the same rules can and perhaps should apply - just for fewer openings.

Ian C
Dec. 10
Ian Casselton edited this comment Dec. 10
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Hi Louis.

It makes a difference. All other things being equal, the following assumptions are true

(1) You are likely to need more space to investigate strain when wanting to force in the 4th (unbid) suit rather than raise partner, however
(2) You don't want to go past the cheapest bid in partner's suit with a limit raise.

This suggests the rule should be: the farthest cue-bid below the cheapest bid in partner's suit is the limit raise (plus) and the “other” cue-bid is the force in the 4th suit. It matters in auctions like this

1 (2NT{=&}) ?

However, things are not always equal. In the case where the 4th suit is farther than the cheapest bid in partner's suit (typically when it's spades) there is a case for switching the meaning of the “other” cue-bid and the non-forcing bid in the 4th suit. Consider

1 (2NT{=&}) ?

Here, you can't get back to 3 after 3 NAT, NF, so there is a case for playing 3 as that meaning, with 3 becoming NAT, F.

As to the problem at hand, it makes sense to me to play the penalty interest/card showing DBL as forcing up to but not including the cheapest bid in partner's suit - in the example given, 3. If and until this level is reached, apply the normal rules of forcing auctions, i.e.

(1) DBL is penalty
(2) Pass is take-out oriented
(3) Bidding a suit immediately is weaker than Pass'ing the bidding then same suit later

as varied by your own partnership.

Ian C
Dec. 1
Ian Casselton edited this comment Dec. 1
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Hi John.

I answered “Forcing, 5+” as that is the systemic agreement in principle and therefore what partner should play me for.

However, there are hands where one might make the bid with only 4 as a pragmatic matter and hope to get away with it - so I could have easily answered “Forcing, 4+” or “Abstain”

Ian C
Nov. 27
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Hi Dave.

Esko is almost certainly correct. Here is a link - you need p48 to start reading about the End-Signal:

http://bridgefiles.net/Books/Regres1.htm

I think it highly unlikely that a Goldman-era Soloway came up with Mulberry independently - it was almost certainly conceptually based on the Polish idea - and I suspect materially later.

Finally, I'm not sure I've got Kit's exact 4 & 4 methods down pat, but big picture, I'm in favour of anything that de-risks a system forget accident. Hence, in this type of method, I prefer variations where direct bids of game from Relayer (as opposed to Relay Responder) are to play - with the indirect methods being the slam tries.

There are additional reasons to do this - in particular playing 4 right way up (i.e. by Relayer, a priori). However, this is somewhat moot in a 2 opening situation, or a 2 opening situation with a 2 relay.

Similarly, I prefer Lebensohl variations where a direct 3NT shows a stopper - we use this type of complex a lot, therefore in less clear situations than some, hence want the natural interpretation to be as close to the systemic one as practical.

Ian C
Nov. 25
Ian Casselton edited this comment Nov. 25
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Hi Willem.

Your post is interesting on a couple of levels.

Firstly, for someone being seemingly pedantic on the application of “Lebensohl”, your use of “transfer” in this context is questionable.

Secondly, there is a difference between “scrambling” and “natural” and I'm fairly sure anyone who said “scramble” or similar meant exactly that.

Ian C
Nov. 24
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Hi Michael.

I find your logic internally consistent, but not externally so - game often remains on with this type of auction.

In your both your examples, I would play the partnership version of Lebensohl (in formal terms, because the substantive possibility of game has not been removed). However, after say P (1) P (2) DBL (P) ?, I would play 2NT as a scramble. Here, one can reasonably discount the possibility of game.

What I might do using the distinction you make is switch between Good and Bad 2NT. When forced to bid (and if in trouble) you don't want to give the oppo two chances to have a crack at you. So here there is theoretic merit to playing 2NT “good” (and direct bids “bad”).

Conversely, if choosing to bid, game must be relatively more likely at the very least, so it makes sense to get your shape in on good hands before they (say) pre-emptively re-raise. So here, there is theoretic merit to playing 2NT “bad” (and direct bids “good”).

In reality, I tried this, and much more extensively that just in this type of auction. In the end, we abandoned it due to memory strain (as we use the basic principle in many situations, some less clear cut than these ones) - now we play 2NT as WK in or STR (in context) without everywhere, reversing the strengths for the direct bids.

However, if you only play this sort of thing in very defined situations only, the switching of good versus bad 2NT makes a lot of sense.

Ian C
Nov. 22
Ian Casselton edited this comment Nov. 22
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Hi Steven and Richard.

My view on competitive bidding is fairly simple - the most important tool to have in your arensal once the opponents show a suit is an easily employable T/O - preferably direct rather than having to wait a round in the auction (it's much less fun at the 4-level).

By playing the cue-bid as the T/O, you (unfortunately)

(1) Effectively eliminate the possibility of safe auction entry, and
(2) Remove the possibility of penalising the opponents on a misfit

Conversely, DBL'ing the transfer for T/O is just about as safe as you can get and the frequency of use is high.

This also applies when the oppo have implied or can be assumed to have a suit, e.g. over a Multi/Wagner 2, then DBL is T/O of , 2 is T/O of .

As to what one should use the cue for, I say keep it consistent with partnership style, so in our case, Top'n'Bottom. We play ELCD's, so DBL'ing the transfer bid then correcting clubs to diamonds shows diamonds and the other major.

The delayed DBL of the completed transfer can be played as either (1) A penalty DBL of 1NT, or (2) A penalty DBL of responder's suit - I prefer the former.

I lose the lead suggesting/sacrifice suggesting DBL of course. I have rarely found this to be problematic, but I suppose this is a very anecdotal thing for everyone. However, I can compete very aggressively with shortage, and I judge this is far more important.

Ian C
Nov. 22
Ian Casselton edited this comment Nov. 22
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Hi Gabor.

For me, DBL of 2 would have been T/O of spades, so no.

However, if DBL of 2 by South was the partnership's first chance to make a T/O of , then yes, it is a Lebensohl or equivalent situation for me.

Ian C
Nov. 22
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No problems, Mike.

As it happens, we simply play ELCD's and Top'n'Bottom cue-bids, so I have no axe to grind.

It just seemed to me that if you were going to go that way, to perhaps optimise it. However, I take your point - you weren't so much going that way, but rather, simplifying.

Ian C
Nov. 20
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Perhaps, Adriaan.

However, it's not clear that the whole world is as prescriptive as some parts of it - and many jurisdictions are more flexible in what they allow as defensive measures as opposed to openings.

In any case, the article which postulated this was Switched Majors, The Bridge World, September 2011, p40. I had a quick re-read of it: the cue-bid was much as I described, but 2 and 2 were used a little differently (in simple terms, both as Michaels, the former weak, the latter intermediate).

Ian C
Nov. 19
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Hi Mike.

If I were going to try something like this, I would go along the lines suggested Denis Lesage in The Bridge World, which combines a sort of Multi with something a bit Ghestem-like.

In effect, the cue-bid becomes the Multi, and the Jump Shifts gained from this become the Ghestem-like bids.

You could add to the above that 2NT is 5+/5+ with the opened suit (unlikely, hence the lower utility bid put to it) and you could allow the Multi, whilst still forcing, to contain the bid suit.

Using (1) ? to flesh out an example …

DBL: T/O
1/1/2: NAT
1NT: NAT
2: WJO in // (and if desired, )
2: /
2: /
2NT: (if desired, & any)
3: /
3: NAT, sound
etc

On length of the two suiters, that is a separate discussion (perhaps influenced by vulnerability as well). My instinct, influenced by how I play ELCD's, would be 4+/5+ if the higher ranking suit can be played at the two level, else 5+/5+. The adventurous might even play 4+/4+ if both suits could be played at two level (and the vulnerability were “suitable”).

By underweighting yet still keeping the suit opened in play, I think this is somewhat immune to to length of the suit being opened as a major issue.

Ian C
Nov. 19
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Apologies, David.

Updated.

Ian C
Nov. 17
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