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All comments by John Miller
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4 is an artificial relay to 4 after which the 4 bidder makes a natural non-forcing slam try. 4 is a relay to 4 which can be passed or over which bidding game in a known suit is a signoff. 4, 4, and 4N are RKC in the three suits in focus in game order. That's the basic idea; there's more if you wish to adopt it. A Rodwell idea and name.
July 9, 2018
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That seems unnecessarily limiting once they revert to natural bidding. Perhaps in a full relay system it makes sense as the non-relayer has no context to issue an invitation, etc. Here opener will have great context in knowing responder has a club void and can appropriately evaluate club cards.
July 9, 2018
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Three suits in focus … you're at the 3 level … why not Mulberry here? North hand seems suitable for a non-forcing slam try in hearts given the previous auction.
July 9, 2018
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Looks like I'm the only one who checked other, so I guess I have to elaborate. The following is in the context of a strong club system, so this mainly applies to major suit openings.

I prefer to treat auctions separately on their merits; e.g. 1 - (1) has one set of agreements and 1 - (2) another. While it sounds complicated there are a couple of general principals. 1) We can only splinter in the overcalled suit. We use 4 generically for that bid, except for 1 - (1) - 3. 2) Other four-level jumps are fit-showing, with the four-level cuebid substituting for the club fit jump.

Jumps below 3M are either transfers, natural game forces, or specialized raises, depending on context. Much of this artificial machinery is to accommodate non-forcing free bids when we can, which we find very valuable. However, 1 - (1) - 2m is still a one-round force. We also always have a mixed raise and preemptive raise available.

Don't do this in your casual partnerships.
May 30, 2018
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If you play against Dale and Lynn behind screens, sit on Lynn's side if you wish to be asked fewer questions.
May 30, 2018
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Reminds me of the old SNL skit about the First National Change Bank. “How do we make money? One word. Volume.”
May 24, 2018
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It's possible that after the 3 bid Rodwell should have downgraded his hand and made a non-serious slam try. Easy to say from the armchair; after all, he was 6-5 and Meck had shown extras. It may depend on what the standards are exactly for bidding 3, and I don't know that. However, he does know that spades are a 6-3 fit and, looking at his hand, entries to Meck's hand will be in trumps, unless he shows up with the club Ace. I'm also curious if 3 or 3 were alternatives for him after 3.

Whether the auction would have gone differently had he not bid 3N is also a total unknown. From Meck's point of view, a stiff diamond and necessary controls make a grand good, and would, say, making a non-serious try with 4 be enough to convince him he may not be finding it? I'm starting to split hairs here for a situation that may not come up again for twenty years. Still, it's fun to chew on.
May 24, 2018
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I think the way to think about Meckwell's system is that it is naturalish with a lot of artificial ways to save space. By naturalish I mean they primarily show suits and support. In the auction on this board …
1C - SFA 2C - diamonds, 8+
2H - spades 2N - exactly three spades, extras
3C - natural 3D - natural, but shows somthing more in the suit
3N - serious 5C - exclusion

Note 1) judgement involved at various stages (2N showing extras, 3N serious slam try) 2) Responder ended up making the final decision through exclusion. In a relay system, opener may have been able to discover responder's exact shape and diamond strength and conclude the diamond void was a liability on this hand. In Meckwell responder had no way to find that information.

So, this hand would probably be better off in a relay system. Other hands benefit from a more Meckwellian approach. I don't know how to evaluate theoretically which is superior, but there is strong empirical evidence that the Meckwellian approach is pretty sound.
May 24, 2018
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I for one am rooting for Max to go all the way.
May 12, 2018
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Chess has one gigantic advantage over bridge when it comes to elementary schools. I can teach a second grader how all the chess pieces move in fifteen minutes. Then they can play a game. A ridiculous one, mind you, but still a game. The learning curve to get to a full bridge hand is much longer. Yes, there are well thought out steps on the way, but the need to go through all of those steps makes the capital investment in teaching bridge much greater than teaching chess.

Yes, the future is in hooking young people, else we're stuck hooking retirees. The market for hooking middle-aged family raisers who are not already bridge players is almost zero. I learned at my grandmother's table and playing old plastic autobridges. The grandmas and grandpas out there need to play some at home with their grandchildren. And we need to update the autobridges to the digital era and have an engaging way to teach the game automatically over the internet. Just like the music industry is never going back to the 70's, we're never going back to the 30's where it was a social benefit to know how to play bridge. Recognize we'll be a niche entertainment alternative, and figure out how to market into the niche of those who would be drawn to the game. Grease the learning path. Finally, figure out how to keep all the different constituencies happy along the way. Easy, right?
May 3, 2018
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I got the objectionable content warning for the last comment. I can only surmise that it flags on the word “president.” Jay Whipple, beware.
May 2, 2018
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Somewhat ironic, considering he did run for president in 1976.
May 2, 2018
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I am racking my brain with no success for a more inapt analogy.
May 1, 2018
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The four auctions are quite different.

In the first and third, I use 2N for “minors,” with no implication about preference. Here the implication of the double is that defending is preferable if the NT opener has four hearts and not four spades.

In the second I use 2N naturally for reasons John Adams cites.

In the fourth, I prefer X = three suits or clubs + hearts, and 2N = diamonds and another, with 3 over that pass or correct. Over the balancing double, 2N shows a desire to play 3 opposite a fit, and 3 in response to that says I have the club + heart hand.
April 27, 2018
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Next time sober up before writing the conditions of contest and just go (9,10,11) - 6 - 4 or if you have eight teams or fewer either make it a three-session event or extend the finals. Really no way to screw that up.
April 24, 2018
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Well now you've spoiled it. They'll never admit it publicly.
April 17, 2018
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So, you are equating a limit raise with pornography. A new insight into the sufferings of the bridge widow.
April 1, 2018
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I don't know if I would be that specific, but close enough that you can make it three people.
March 16, 2018
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Those of us who remember Eddie Manfield's article “I've got a secret” will recognize this as cooperative. It probably has spade tolerance and values for game if opener has a particularly offensively-oriented hand. It can also tolerate a penalty pass if opener has nothing more to say. Not sure there is a specific answer for this meaning in the poll, so I chose other.
March 16, 2018
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Frances … “If you can score rounds based on sqrt(2) increases using fractions, I'm impressed.” You could use continued fractions.
March 14, 2018
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