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All comments by Mike Tinsley
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1NT Game-forcing relay…
March 3
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Opening 1NT with a 4441 hand is not too uncommon in the UK…
Feb. 6
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100% agree, I'm in
Sept. 22, 2018
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same for me
Sept. 12, 2018
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Well, in ‘Acol without Tears’ published in 1962, it wasn't forcing, but by 1990 it definitely was according to ‘Acol in the 90s’, so I guess that people who learnt Acol about 30 years or more ago and haven't changed their bidding since then probably play it as non-forcing…
May 6, 2018
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Well, according to ‘The Acol Index’ by Eric Crowhurst (pretty much the reference source for Acol), the sequence is forcing in Acol…
May 5, 2018
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Sadly, Roman 2 is not allowed in EBU level 4 competitions in the UK (which is the conditions under which the vast majority of events here are played) - I always had a bit of a hankering to use it!
Dec. 28, 2017
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Dave, That is a more succinct way of expressing what I was attempting to clarify about HCP shorthand!

Anything above 15 balanced or an unbalanced hand with somewhat less, we respond 2 which is a game forcing relay (we use the Icelandic Precision relays) and we can get a full picture of opener's hand - exact distribution, controls, location of controls and potentially queens and jacks - but we very rarely go that far. This 2 relay is also used on all game-forcing hands without a fit. We also use 3 as a limit plus raise with 3-card support with values for at least 3 of opener's major.

If you weren't using an artificial relay, there is no reason at all to limit the top end of the 2NT response - just needs some small tweaks to the continuations.
Oct. 9, 2017
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As I'm sure you will appreciate, HCP are a very convenient shorthand way of describing ranges and we always upgrade and downgrade in the light of holdings, losers, our bidding and opposition bidding etc. HCP in effect act as a convenient shorthand for our system notes and are easy to explain when asked to explain an alert.
Oct. 9, 2017
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Here for what it is worth is what I play in my Precision partnership, which is along the lines that Barry suggested over opening 1M:

2♣ = Artificial game-forcing relay

2NT = Limit plus raise, 4+ card support, 8+ points, may contain a shortage with less than 11 points. Limited to around 15 balanced or quasi-balanced

3♥ over 1♠, 3♠ over 1♥ = Splinter raise, 11-13 points with singleton and 4+ card support. Opener may bid 3NT as a relay to find out the shortage suit and responder replies in steps to show low, middle or high shortage

3NT = 10-13 points, 4+ card support with void in other major
4♣ = 10-13 points, 4+ card support with void in clubs
4♦ = 10-13 points, 4+ card support with void in diamonds

After a 2NT limit plus response, opener rebids as follows (unless he just bids 4 of his major!):

3♣ = Game-forcing, shows a hand that would bid game opposite limit raise, responder rebids:
3♦ 13-15 points, no shortages
3♥ 8-10 points limit raise, no shortage
3♠ 11-12 points limit raise, no shortage
3NT Limit raise with shortage in other major
4♣ Limit raise with shortage in clubs
4♦ Limit raise with shortage in diamonds

3♦ = Game-invitational, a hand that would bid game opposite upper range limit raise, responder rebids:

3♥ 8-10 points limit raise, no shortage
3♠ 11-12 points limit raise, no shortage
3NT Limit raise with shortage in other major
4♣ Limit raise with shortage in clubs
4♦ Limit raise with shortage in diamonds
4♥/4♠ 13-15 points, no shortages

Rebid of major at 3-level = Minimum hand, no interest in game opposite a limit raise, responder should pass or raise to 4 with game-forcing values

3NT = Game forcing with void in other major
4♣ = Game forcing with void in clubs
4♦ = Game forcing with void in diamonds
4♥ after opening 1♠ = Exclusion Kickback
4♠ after opening 1♥ = Exclusion Kickback
5♣ = Exclusion Kickback
5♦ = Exclusion Kickback

Finally, as far as I can remember, Eric Kokish is a big advocate of weak 1NT in a 2/1 context..
Oct. 9, 2017
Mike Tinsley edited this comment Oct. 9, 2017
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Well, my wife accuses me of acting like a young, single man quite a lot, so maybe I should get a facelift and pretend I am still in my 40s so I don't get accidentally diverted into the seniors….
Aug. 7, 2017
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I lived in Eastbourne for a couple of years a few years back and people there generally referred to Bexhill as ‘god’s waiting room' as they felt Eastbourne was much hipper!
Aug. 7, 2017
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I couldn't agree more and maybe the earlier seniors congress would be better attended if the main congress had no seniors events..
Aug. 7, 2017
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Some really great ideas - I especially like the 2-day IMP pairs midweek and the BAM. It seems a bit odd to run the seniors congress alongside the main one when there was a specific seniors congress in Eastbourne a month ago…

Despite recently qualifying for the seniors, I have yet to play in a seniors event and would much prefer to play in the ‘main’ congress events anyway!
Aug. 7, 2017
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I don't mind Eastbourne either - I prefer the prices and parking over Brighton, but I prefer Brighton as a town - my personal nostalgia stems from my time as an undergraduate at Sussex University who spent far too much time playing bridge and rugby and far too little time studying the esoteric mathematics of quantum mechanics and the like! Having not played bridge for the best part of 30 years I started again pretty much from scratch 4 years ago and started attending the summer congress Swiss pairs, so most of my great memories of the Swiss pairs are bound up with Brighton.

Not such a great memory perhaps, but I will always remember playing some boards against you in one of the pairs events - my partner opened an intermediate 2, I bid an Exclusion RKCB 5 and we found a great 6. All was well until the muppet claimed and your delightful partner gently pointed out that she still had a trump left that he had forgotten to draw (for what would have been a very good score!)…

I enjoyed last year in Eastbourne, but looking back I'd agree the overall feel wasn't as special as Brighton..
Aug. 7, 2017
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London sounds a bad option to me - the Swiss pairs sessions finish too late for the last train to Dorking and the hotels are way too expensive I am guessing!! I can't understand why the sessions don't start two hours (or more!) earlier in the morning and finish at an early enough time for commuting to and from the congress. I know from our club that the older members really hate late finishes and as the demographic of players is shifting towards the older end, wouldn't it make more sense to start and finish earlier?
Aug. 6, 2017
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I'm one of the missing ones from last year - the date got changed and my partner had booked tickets for the world athletics this weekend, so we couldn't go (which I am still gutted about). I think the congress date was changed to avoid conflict with the Eastbourne airshow…
Aug. 5, 2017
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I play it as bid 6 if you have no more than one loser in the trump suit…
April 12, 2017
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In our Precision system, we use a reverse by opener to show strong support for responder's major as there is no need for a natural reverse. So for us, the 1 response is automatic on the hand shown and opener would rebid 2 to show a strong raise of hearts - 2NT is available as a relay to ask opener to show a shortage if he has one - so 3, 3, 3 would show low, medium or high shortage (remember we may have a diamond shortage in our system) and 3NT would show 15-16 with no shortage.

This way, we can use a splinter by opener to show a void and good support for responder's major.

So for us on the hand in question, the bidding would go 1 -1 -2 - 3 - pass
March 12, 2017
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