Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Phil Markey
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I think 3 has merit, playing 3D as natural. If you play 1 and overcall 2D you are again poorly placed when responder bids 2NT lebensohl or 2S.

As a general point about system after they open a weak 1NT I think you have to concede that sometimes they are going to steal. In return they are going to give up some equity by not being in the best part score and sometimes but rarely going for a penalty. If you compete too much and determine never to let them steal you are going to end up losing because you can't avoid that the weak 1NT opening puts your opponents in front in a competitive auction. In my view quality over quantity as a general rule is going to be the optimum approach.
June 17
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As a career weak 1NT player I of-course agree with Bill but if you sit at my table and play 2D as one major I rejoice in the thought that you will be commonly bidding that major for the first time at the 3 level or not at all. As Bill said it is just adding to my upside for a competitive auction if you are not describing your suits straight away.

After Aspro and Dont and several others I reverted to natural over their 1NT. That was good but now I have been persuaded that 2C for the majors is better because bidding 3C natural rather than 2C natural is not really a big deal.
June 16
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The source of the suspicion will nearly always be partnership experience or knowledge of partners proclivities.
June 15
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I dislike the suggestion that bridge logic excuses the need to properly disclose. The onus to disclose should not be dependant on your opponents ability to work it out for themselves. It might be that your opponents ability to work it out for themselves obviates the need for a remedy but that is a different issue.

Psyching without running into problems with the innate laws of the game is easy. As soon as you have a suspicion that partner has psyched tell your opponents that. The use of the word “fielding” and the discussion about what constitutes a partnership agreement are controversial because they are always going to be a clumsy attempt to codify this simple subjective truth.
June 14
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What I play has unusual complications but generally I would say its the same for a 12-14 1NT opening. The strong 1NT opening better caters for finding part score fits because they have the 1 level to sort that out. An obvious example is the weak 1NT opening playing 1NT when 2M is a better spot which is easy if you play strong 1NT.
May 28
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The wide range weak 1NT opening is a lot of information at a relatively high level but I wouldn't choose to call it a pre-empt. It takes a broad axe to the fundamental questions of shape and strength. I think with the right system agreements the obvious advantage is that your side is well placed in any competitive auction.

I think the big downside to a wide range weak 1NT opening is being in the wrong part score and less precise game bidding. There is also the risk of going for a large penalty. This is a memorable but rare downside. I open (9)10-13(14) in first and second seat at any vulnerability. I recently offered evens about this opening going for more than 1 bad penalty in 5 days of bridge at a national event which after decades of playing this style I judged to be a comfortable plus position for me (I would of won but turns out my teamies were all talk about the horrors of the weak 1NT - like nearly all strong 1NT proponents - and didn't take the bet).
May 27
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I think a better discussion about the merits of inviting over a broad range weak 1NT opening should start with the question “What would we lose if we had no purely invitational sequences ?”. The answer is not going to be precise but expressed as long term imps it is going to be a small number. When you are not vulnerable I don't think it is going to ever exceed a fraction of 1 imp. It will often feel like more is at stake because when you have a possible invitational hand it is common that big imps will swing but this reality is just the short term messing with your head.

I use the proviso “purely” to cater for hands where the invitational sequence has an additional way to win. A hand as responder where if you catch partner with the right 4 card major game will be a decent to excellent proposition and if you don't then you bail out into an invitation.

The obvious cost of inviting is that you play 2NT or 3 of a suit and go off but in a good field this is not the only cost. You have to pay the usual transaction cost and expert opponents will be successfully doubling your game contracts more and finding the best defence with comparative ease.

If you think bridge is a precise game the broad range weak 1NT opening should not be your choice of cornerstone. When you make this opening you sign up for a street fight and trying to convert it into a constructive weapon is in my view a flawed approach.
May 26
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My crude attempts at math demonstrate that my statement is true but I am not certain about the “why”. I suspect that a wider range makes an invitation less precise. The almost universal mistake playing a wider range is to try and resolve that range by inviting.

If you play 11-14 I would not invite with 11 and no 5+ suit. I would be passing a lot of 12's especially not vulnerable and inviting with crappy 13's because partner will accept with nearly all his 12 counts. A clear “invite heavy, accept light” policy is in my view the only way to justify almost any invitational bid opposite a broad weak 1NT opening.
May 23
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Invitational bids after a wide ranging weak 1NT opening have less equity than over a (14)15-17 1NT opening. Guessing is the big winner opposite the weak 1NT opening and if you have to invite agree that when you invite partner should always accept unless they are a bit ashamed about opening.
May 23
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I am excited to pick up xx x J9xxxxxx xx and open 4D with alacrity. Axx AKxx AKx xxx opposite this opening is a 5D bid.

Preempting isn't meant to be perfect but its not fair to pick on me if you open the posted hand 3D and hear partner bid 3NT or forego your advantage as dealer and pass.
May 14
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I would hate to play a mainstream preempt style and open this hand 3D which makes me smile at how many votes that bid has. On my system card a 4D bid is defined as a hand which neither wants to play or defend 3NT with a big bunch of diamonds. This hand is a perfect 4D bid.
May 12
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Any advantage derived from seating rights in 4 quarters should be minimised as much as possible by the rules of contest. It's a bridge game not a tossing game. For this reason I like a toss to decide rights for 1+3 or 2+4.

Rights in the 4Q is an advantage compared to the other quarters because the 4Q is more important than the other quarters. I am an accomplished tosser and always choose 2+4 unless the other guys have a pair they want to play as little as possible and as early as possible. Then I choose 1+3.

I choose the 4Q in your poll but in the event of the “dodgy pair” scenario mentioned above I might choose the 1Q. I think it is an inferior rule.
May 10
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Passing 1 spade on board 2 looks better to me. Partner is allegedly going to open light so game is remote at best and getting to a dodgy 3 spades is going to be a common result of bidding 2 spades.

It's possible they get to 3 clubs easier and that is a good spot for them when choosing to pass 1 spade but that parlay is probably outweighed by an occasional +80.
May 9
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I did but deep finesse didn't like my choice at trick 2.
May 6
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In my methods 2 hearts was a good overcall such that partner bid 3NT over the non forcing 2NT response.
May 6
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I agree. If I was playing against myself I would have a firm partnership agreement that an immediate double of the weak 1NT opening showed 14 with an easy lead or a balanced average 15. More to the point I would give up on game with 12-14 balanced opposite 12-14 balanced to make sure I was on solid ground when we double 1NT.

After the redouble double is best as takeout and I mean the sort of takeout where you have a surprise in the trump suit to pass (or as responder enough highs and trumps). Responder often has tough choices in these auctions but overall is loving it.
May 1
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You are in front in the battle to exchange information when you open a weak 1NT. If you want to properly exploit that advantage you should XX for business after an immediate double with a range that means you have about 18 of the combined high card points.

There is no good counter for your opponents adopting this method. It will be right for them to run a lot and a lot of the time they run 1NTXX was not making. In effect taking away the possibility for them to defend 1NTX forces an uncomfortable guess. When they do run after the business redouble your side remains in front, optimally placed to double their contract or defend or compete.

After 1NT X playing a business redouble, if responder chooses to run there is some chance you will end up in your 4/3 fit rather than your 4/4 fit. Achieving this undesirable result is hard to do. Parlay neither player holding a 5+ suit with not immediately hitting partners 4 card suit when you show the lower of 2 suits with the 4/3 fit playing worse than the 4/4 fit with the probability that getting a very crap score is not worth many imps compared with getting a crap score.

Using XX as some way to find the best place to run to in some weird system many of which are mentioned in this thread is spending your advantage in a scared way that is ignorant about the problems your opponents face.
May 1
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Opposite 10-12 I think (7)8 is enough for XX.
April 30
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It's a screwed up world when immediately finding your 5/3 major fit turns into a bad thing. Showing heart support immediately is better than responding 1S and if your structure makes that wrong it is a weakness in your structure.

Responding 2S rather than immediately defining your hand as the most common type is an offence to the cornerstone of any natural system.

The less a 3M bid is invitational the better.
April 26
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I didn't intend sounding uncharitable. Its a genuine dilemma for a serious player and a good question.

The most litigated section of the Australian Constitution is also the shortest section - “Trade between the states shall be absolutely free”. Seems to be clear but in practice it is the poster child for the proposition that written rules are of limited use. I would like to ramble on but I suspect that David Burn already expressed my view better than I am able to.
April 24
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