Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Ian Casselton
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 32 33 34 35
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“Brave” in the “Yes Minister” sense I take it, Richard?

Richard: If you want to be really sure that the Selectors don't pick them, you must say their selection would be “brave”.

Ian: And that's worse than “bold”?

Richard: Oh, yes! “Bold” only means “this will lose you some followers on Bridge Winners”. “Brave” means “this will lose you the European Championships”!


With apologies to Jay and Lynn ;)

Ian C
2 hours ago
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
You pays your money and takes the ride, Barry.

We play Top'n'Bottom cue-bids (though when top is longer, we overcall that first) and push the “Michaels” 5/5's through the DBL (with a healthy dose of ELC).

Would have worked well this time, but who knows in the long run? What I do know is that Michaels (and in particular, wide ranging Michaels, to my increased distaste) seems to be in expert vogue these days - so our approach is not fashionable.

I'm not a big fan of Ghestem, but there is some case for playing the cue-bid as “Multi-like” (just the majors or possibly including clubs as well) freeing up a bunch of bids as two-suiters.

Ian C
2 hours ago
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Barry.

We play this way (1NT overcall does not require a stopper) and we state it on the system card. However, if I were a club owner or opponent, it wouldn't occur to me to complain if someone overcalled 1NT without one, even regularly.

The main reason we state it is that it affects the continuations (we need either to confirm the presence of a stopper or take the chance there isn't one, where relevant). This is a bit moot, IMO, when 1NT gets passed out - overcaller may or may not have a stopper - whether our partnership or any partnership.

Ian C
Jan. 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Tom et al.

I'm not too bothered about the trial mechanism (but now that you highlight the rationale, it has an inherent commercial logic).

However, as always, I'm disappointed it isn't a measurable meritocracy - and that the third pair with this particular mechanism isn't selected by right.

In any case, congratulations to all those who performed well and in particular, those who qualified. As you might imagine, I hope Mike and Ben get the nod.

Ian C
Jan. 7
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Indeed, Richard.

{Mike} No problems - all the best. If and when you come up with a new track, please feel free to throw it on the turntable and we can pick up the debate again.

Ian C
Jan. 5
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Mike.

So a 1NT opening with a balanced (say) 9-11 hcp hand, maybe Kxxx Qxx Qxx Qxx is too close to a purely obstructive opening whereas a 3 opening with (say) KQJxxxx xx xx xx is somehow less so?

In the end, once you brush away all the misdirection, it still appears to come to the same thing - familiarity and precedence.

If you were instead talking about a Fert opening of some sort, there is likely more intrinsic merit to the argument - against weaker players and/or in shorter length formats.

A weaker range but natural 1NT certainly has a mild pre-emptive effect (a two-edged sword) and is often associated with a desire to open slightly lighter in general, but is more often something that the rest of the system is built around, e.g. other openings are guaranteed to be semi-BAL or UNBAL if MIN and/or that 2/1's, Inverted Minors etc are slightly more easily played as very constructive (as partner can't have the BAL MIN type).

Ian C
Jan. 4
Ian Casselton edited this comment Jan. 5
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Mike.

You have thus far studiously avoided actually answering the question of intrinsic merit, if any, for any NT range. I postulated there was only familiarity or precedence to fall back on - do you have anything else?

Giving brief airtime to the issue of voting, absent any intrinsic merit outlined thus far, what would the ACBL membership (or their BoD) base their vote re NT range(s) on? With voting or drinking age, the arguments on which one might base an opinion are fairly obvious even if interpretations may differ.

Finally, you mention voting directing for a given law or indirectly via representatives such as politicians. These will not always give the same outcome. To take one consideration (and notwithstanding that the death penalty exists in 30 or so US states) - in most of the remaining English speaking world, politicians have been reluctant to put its introduction, or reintroduction, to the vote. There is a view that in many jurisdictions, were they to do so, it may pass into law - which may explain their reluctance. Perhaps the reverse was true of the Volstead Act (politicians, affected by pressure groups, wanted it - the broader populace perhaps not).

What the above says, if anything, about how the ACBL should regulate bridge, you can form your own opinion. Not playing in North America, I have no direct axe to grind.

Ian C
Jan. 3
Ian Casselton edited this comment Jan. 3
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Mike.

Clearly you disagree, but you still haven't outlined any intrinsic merit for an (any?) arbitrary NT range. Conversely, there are quite straightforward merits to outline re voting or drinking age.

Your terms “social good” and “no purpose” are insufficiently defined to be useful. Are you able to add anything to the former above and beyond my “familiarity and precedence” - or are you actually saying it is a fundamental capability issue? Similarly, for the latter, are you talking about ability to enforce (which is a different discussion) or that some think toddlers should be able to vote as soon as they can put an ‘X’ in a box or drink as soon as their milk bottles can be filled instead with a nice lager?

Ian C
Jan. 2
Ian Casselton edited this comment Jan. 2
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Got it David.

Thanks. I am more used to the term Intervenor (which with Advancer, are the terms popularised and perhaps invented/standardised by The Bridge World).

{Andy} Thanks also for clarifying - I've now read back again on this sub-thread to get it clear in my head.

For what it's worth (and I say this as this WK NT or any STR style for intervenor's DBL is not my normal one) the rationale for doubling to show penalty - 4(+?) or T/O makes sense in context.

There is an argument to make the normal expectancy for the T/O DBL option to be one or fewer, making a three card separation in principle between the options. If advancer then found a hand difficult to bid with a doubleton, they could choose to risk it - knowing that partner will assume the T/O option if in doubt.

Ian C
Jan. 1
Ian Casselton edited this comment Jan. 2
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Mike.

You are in general right about most boundaries having a grey area. But that's a red herring here.

There are reasons for voting and drinking age limits in various jurisdictions. Other than some fairly obvious hypocrisy (e.g. old enough to fight, but not to vote/drink/whatever) they generally appear to be based on a view of some underlying societal good or need.

However, 1NT strength regulations (or any other similar consideration in bridge) seems to have minimal theoretic basis other than familiarity or precedence.

Indeed, such regulations seem to be more akin to the initial perceptions of the Sputnik Double - we all know what that led to ;)

Ian C
Jan. 1
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Andy B and David B.

Firstly, my apology if I have added any confusion. Further, by aggressor I am guessing you mean advancer?

In any case, I was talking about any hand where partner has systemically made one of David B's preferred “penalty or T/O” DBL's (in this case, of hearts - though it could equally apply to spades).

The textbook (by which I mean, in context, p302 of the most recent Encyclopedia of Bridge) gives the example (2) P (2) ? with the majors in my two above examples reversed. I think it makes sense to play these kinds of DBL's in that context - by agreement.

My take is that if T/O, the DBL shows two or fewer (so a WK NT is OK with a doubleton in the bid suit) if penalty, five or more. With three or four, do something else (including Pass). So for me, there is at least a three card difference in lengths between the options.

I hope that hasn't confused matters more - I can see wires getting crossed between this discussion and David C's post “When the wheels really come off”.

Ian C
Dec. 31, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Ronald.

Not sure if you're continuing the Andy/David V conversation?

{Andy} I think it's more about looking at your own hand and deciding. In inverting a couple of textbook hands

98653 3 A76 Q986, it's “clear” that you and partner are short and that partner has what they regard as a penalty DBL

5 KJ985 KJ7 J873 it's “clear” that partner has a T/O DBL, so you convert it to a penalty by passing

Sometimes responder responds 2 to a Multi 2 with a weak hand a heart length (though they “should” bid 2). In this case, you may not be able to tell, so you should usually assume T/O and rip it - if this turns out to be wrong, you'll end up in 3NT most often.

So, whilst I agree with David B in principle, as per other parts of this thread, I think his (and my) preferences need advanced discussion in practise.

Ian C
Dec. 31, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Dec. 31, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Konrad.

That's interesting - I haven't seen a partial POS (in your case, the BAL hands) and a NEG combined in a single response. It might actually help me in something unrelated I am looking at, as it happens.

It's not clear to me from what you've written how 1 1 1 ? sequences continue - you've got to cater for quite a bit. But clearly, that's where you pay the price - both in losing relays for the BAL hands (the most common type) - and less flexibility in opener's continuations - you need to make the 1 relay more often than you otherwise would.

It seems to me that if you could be persuaded to use symmetric-like responses, you would be well placed for right siding purposes, e.g. where {R} is the normal symmetric level

1 1: NEG or POS (<4 spades)
-> then after 1 R
-> 1: ART, 0-3 hcp
-> 1NT: ART, 4-7 hcp
-> 2+: POS {R}
1 1: POS (may have hearts) {R}
1 1: POS BAL {R-1}
1 1NT: POS (no major) {R-1}
1 2: POS (no second suit) {R-1}
etc {all R-1}

This right sides NT, spade and most heart contracts (it wrong sides only when responder has spades and hearts and the contract ends up in hearts) with opener.

Ian C
Dec. 29, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Dec. 29, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Konrad.

In short, you can't “eliminate” balanced hands from the relay scheme, in the context of responding to a strong club which you were talking about.

About the best you can do is bring in some kind of “reverse relay”, i.e. if the positive responder to a strong club has a BAL hand, they can bid (say) 1, which would make 1 presumably the negative and 1+ the UNBAL positives. After 1 1 opener would need to show shape (but critically, they need to have BAL shapes in their responses, for, I hope, obvious reasons).

However, as you can see, the price you would pay is the relays starting a step higher than symmetric (1 vs 1, albeit with slightly fewer shapes to handle) - as well as also starting fairly high on “semi-POS” hands.

So, my apology if I'm missing something obvious, but you'll be doing well if you can get shapes out “… very, very low …” as compared to symmetric or some other kind of efficient relay method.

In any case, my take is that the choice of shape showing relay is a red-herring in the context of the basic idea - setting two suits to base subsequent slam investigations on. This idea is not to my taste, but as indicated, could work OK.

Ian C
Dec. 28, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Dec. 28, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Understood, Tom.

I think this goes back to my original question to Ronald - what's the context?

Looking at your approach (and that of Marty above) it's clear you come from a relay world that starts with and perhaps retains some form of co-operation in the auction - and your world view and precepts reflect this.

To the more “pure” relayers, typically used to a master-slave relay approach, shapes typically come out earlier and extracting precise detail from partner (then placing the contract) is the goal, not asking them to revalue their hand in some context.

There are of course upsides to the hybrid approach I suspect you guys use - pure relayers have to worry about when and how to break relay, in particular with misfits - as always, you pay your money and take the ride :)

Ian C
Dec. 28, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Konrad.

It's not clear to me how this enables shape-showing to end “… very, very low …”?

Notwithstanding this and thinking it further through, it seems that the outcomes it might obtain are similar to those using 6 card RKCB.

Imagine, say, that after shape, you had 3 available to use in a Mulberry-like way (puppet to 3NT in the first instance). Then you might play

4 = 6RKCB in the shortest plus another suit (4 asks, 4 through 4NT show the second suit and request the KC response)
4 = 6RKCB in the two longest suits
4 = 6RKCB in the longest and third longest suit
4 = 6RKCB in the second and third longest suits
4NT = RKCB longest suit (or perhaps even Exclusion RKCB in the same …)
etc

That said, I'm not sure I get this pre-occupation, above and elsewhere, with getting hcp range tight before going slamming. There is a reason that people use A=2 and A=3 based asks - jacks and to a lesser extent queens don't often matter in slam auctions that don't lend themselves to quantitative evaluation!

Anyway, I'll probably see Stan(islaw) in January - if I remember I'll ask him does he still uses the same.

Ian C
Dec. 28, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Michael.

If you think about, not counting a singleton K in an A=2 based count is equivalent to what I was suggesting - roughly analogous to not counting a singleton Q in an A=3 based ask.

Whether you shouldn't scan for K's (or Q's for that matter) in a singleton, in the normal Q (J) pass is another question - it seems to me that I'd want to be able to.

Ian C
Dec. 28, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Ron (the greater) ;)

When I played or saw anyone playing (3) above, it was usually first step A=3 based ask, second step A=2 based ask.

I think there is a grand unified approach possible, the basic idea being control asks below 3NT and KC asks above 3NT. In short, if shape is out at 3/

1st Step: A=3 based ask
2nd Step (i.e. 3 if still available): A=2 based ask
3NT: To play
4: “Reverse Mulberry” - prelude to a RKBC ask
4: “End Signal” - puppet to 4
4 through 5: Natural NF slam tries

The response continuations to each can be tailored to personal taste.

Ian C

PS If 3NT was available, End Signal then 4NT should be straight Blackwood, i.e. an A=1 based ask
Dec. 28, 2019
Ian Casselton edited this comment Dec. 28, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Michael.

Your are sort of at risk of conflating two ideas above - whether you should scan for a singleton honour - and if so, when should you in a sequence.

Dealing with the latter first, there is an argument for treating a stiff K as a Q (i.e. 1 RP in an A=3 based method) and a stiff Q as a J (i.e. 0 RP's in an A=3 based method). If you do this, it makes sense to show them as such, i.e. you show the stiff Q when scanning for jacks.

Then there is the question about how to show a singleton honour, or more broadly, how to show a missing honour when there is only one vacant card in a suit. In this latter case, I mean that, for example, you are known to have a doubleton in a suit, and you've already shown at least the A or K in it during an earlier scan.

In the above case, there is an argument for reversing the normal order, i.e.

STOP = I have the missing honour
GO = I don't have the missing honour

On a probability basis, this is the most efficient. Once in a while, it may prevent you from making a critical ask about an honour in a short suit (for fear of getting too high if its missing).

You pay your money, you take the ride.

Ian C
Dec. 28, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hi Henry/John.

If you like the basic idea of parity (and in general, I do) then you can, in an A=3 based method, scan the suits as follows

1st Pass
STOP = EVEN
GO = ODD

2nd Pass if EVEN
STOP = 0/4
GO = 2/6

2nd Pass if ODD
STOP = 1 honour (i.e. A or Q)
GO = 2 honours (i.e. AK or KQ)

3rd Pass
STOP = No Jack
GO = Jack

All the usual optimisations can be applied to suit taste, e.g. if exact controls are known, you can skip the (remaining) shortest suit in the scan.

Ian C
Dec. 28, 2019
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 32 33 34 35
.

Bottom Home Top