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All comments by Tony Rolfe
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I've just realised that we don't need a “max with 4” response since we handle those in a completely different way. That frees up 3OM to show Max and 3 with 4 cards in OM.

I'm liking this idea more and more.
Feb. 14
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May I suggest a few tweaks which still meet Jan's criteria and which solve some of the issues mentioned above.

1. Always use 2NT as the relay. This means the “Max and 4” reply is always 3OM.

2. #1 frees up 2 over 2 to show 4 spades. If opener also has 4 spades he replies 2NT, after which 3 can be used as a relay to ask about strength and the shortage in the other minor. 3 could be used to ask about the spade strength. If opener doesn't have 4 spades he replies exactly as if responder had bid 2NT.

3. After a 3m reply, responder uses 3 to deny a stop in the lower suit and 3 to show a stop in the lower and deny a stop in the higher. With both stops responder can bid 3NT to play or start a slam try with whatever methods are available.

Over 3, Opener bids 3 with lower stopped but not higher; 3NT to show both and 4m to deny the lower stop.

Over 3, opener bids 3NT or 4m as appropriate.

This method means that you never go beyond 3NT unless a suit is known to be unstopped. With no unstopped suit, the player with the stop declares 3NT, allowing the lead to come up to the stop.
Feb. 13
Tony Rolfe edited this comment Feb. 13
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An excellent idea. My only question, is there any way to find a 4-4 heart fit after finding a 5-3 spade fit? Responder is 54xx and opener 34xx
Feb. 13
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Hi, Nigel

The takeout-of-one, penalty-of-the-other only applies to immediate doubles by 2nd seat. Doubles by 4th seat after second seat passes are takeout of responder's major. In your example you are responding to the 4th seat takeout double.

If you were significantly stronger and had doubled with that hand, showing 15+ with that shape, partner's double would be penalty of hearts, showing 4+ hearts and enough value to compete.
Feb. 11
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Hi, Ian

With our defence, we never pass with more than a weak NT.

The risk of bidding with a WNT is that LHO has the big hand and we will go for a number. The risk of passing is that LHO passes.

In the first case we do have our standard wriggle from 1NTx (we play WNT), so we may be able to mitigate the damage.

On the other hand, if it goes (2) - p - (p) partner is still there and can double for takeout or bid something natural.

Of the two, given that most pairs here have a strong option, we choose to pass first time. One factor is that a WNT is less likely to have stops in both Majors, so is more useful when their suit is known.

The double as takeout of one, penalty of the other is such a useful device that I would have to be strongly convinced before I would change it.
Feb. 10
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Yes, I'm well aware what we are talking about. Multi, not Ekren.

Weak with no preference for the majors is quite common here. It simply means that I don't care which 6-card major you have, bid it and I'll pass. That means that 2M, pass or correct, shows some values in the other major.
Feb. 10
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If responder passes our double, it depends on whether or not that shows diamonds. If it is forcing, saying weak with no preference for the majors then there is no problem. If it says that I'm happy to play 2x if you have a weak hand with a major, then 4th hand will only pass with good diamonds effectively passing a takeout double of diamonds. Otherwise she bids a natural suit.

If partner passed your double, I'd also lead a diamond. With the hand shown, I think pard would actually bid 3 as the diamonds aren't good enough. I suspect she would be happy with the dummy in 4.

We have had a few sequences like (2) - X - (2) - X - (2) - 4 when we have been able to find a 4-4 fit following the multi, which many pairs missed.

I'm certainly taking on board what people here are saying about transfers. I really don't like the 2M = takeout of OM since it reduces the chances of penalising them.
Feb. 10
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Sorry, wrong place
Feb. 10
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I play against a multi-2 every week at our local club. The version played here has a strong balanced option which stops responder pre-empting with both majors, but I don't think that changes anything significant for developing a defence. Our defence is as follows:

Overcalls are natural and constructive, usually at least close to an opening hand and a 6-card suit.

2NT is natural, 15-18 with both majors stopped.

Double has 3 options:
too strong for 2NT (19+)
too strong for a simple overcall (a good 7+ playing tricks)
a take-out double of one Major and a penalty double of the other.

A typical hand for the “normal” double is 0-2 in one major, 4+ in the other and at least 3/3 in the minors. It is usually 15+, but a perfect minimum would be (50)44 with 3 Aces.

Following the double, any subsequent double is penalty and 4th hand is encouraged to double Responder's 2M with a suitable hand. When the bidding gets back to the doubler, double shows the penalty double hand (or any suitable strong hand). If opener bid a suit, pass is for takeout. If opener passed responder's 2M then the cheapest suit is takeout. Any other suit is the strong natural overcall and NT is the 19+ balanced hand.

If 2nd hand passes the first time, double on the next round is takeout and 2NT is the weak NT with their suit stopped. Overcalls are simply competitive.

If 2nd hand passes and responder bids 2M, 4th hand bids as if the 2M weak 2 was bid on their right. Double for takeout, 2NT natural with stoppers and overcalls natural.
Feb. 10
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In any ambiguous multi-style auction, our rule is that responder's first action when the opponents intervene is always pass or correct. So I do agree with the first double.

Since responder's double would mean bidding 3 if the next player passed, opener must bid 3 if that bid is still available. Opener's pass shows spades.

The second double is, therefore, penalty.
Feb. 5
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That's exactly how I read it. Hoping for no wasted diamond values.
Feb. 4
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Thanks again for all the ideas on how to handle minor suit slam tries but only Mike Ma has answered my real questions, so I'd love to get more ideas on what actually constitutes a slam try over a 21-22 2NT opener and why opener would reject a suit contract in favour of NT. This doesn't happen over 1NT. If responder transfers to hearts, nobody ignores the transfer and says, “Lets play in NT instead”. That's up to responder's next bid. Why should we think of doing it over 2NT when opener transfer to clubs?

Asking again…

Assume opener has shown 21-22, at least semi-balanced. Would you make a slam try on some 6322 with AQxxxx and no other honours? If not, what extra would be needed: a seventh card, a singleton? a side A or K?

Assume partner has made a slam try in a minor. What feature in your hand would make you bid 4NT to refuse the slam try? Is it just showing a small doubleton? It can't be on points, because you only have two possible counts. If responder has said that they want to play in a minor, what do you need to suggest otherwise?
Feb. 3
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Win with the K, ruff diamond high, small trump, diamond ruff high.

AQ pitching a spade, A, spade ruff high, play trumps from the top.

I bet the A or a high club gets ruffed!
Feb. 2
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Thanks to all who have replied. It is interesting to see how others tackle the minor suit slam tries. But I'm still unsure of the requirements for the slam try and why opener would refuse it.

Assume opener has shown 21-22, at least semi-balanced. Would you make a slam try on some 6322 with AQxxxx and no other honours? If not, what extra would be needed: a seventh card, a singleton? a side A or K?

Assume partner has made a slam try in a minor. What feature in your hand would make you bid 4NT to refuse the slam try? Is it just showing a small doubleton? It can't be on points, because you only have two possible counts. If responder has said that they want to play in a minor, what do you need to suggest otherwise?

Thanks again for all the ideas so far

Tony
Feb. 1
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Thanks Paul, that's useful information.

I'm feeding the GF+ hands through the Muppet 3 bid and responder then bids 4 transfer to diamonds and 4 transfer to clubs. We have plenty of room to explore over the 4 bid, so I could make that a bit weaker and drop the 4 response. Then I might be able to use 4/4 as 44(41) or 44(50), short in this minor, which might be tricky to handle otherwise.

Thanks again, food for thought…
Jan. 31
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This is, of course, true.

So, what features in opener's hand would influence them to choose between 4NT, 5, and advancing beyond 5? I suspect that this depends on responder's minimum holding?
Jan. 31
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Yes, good luck. Building a system is great fun! I hope it all works out.

If I may make 1 suggestion at this late stage: our scheme has the simple rule that responder never bids the suit he wants to play, so using 4 for clubs is out, We use 3NT as our transfer to clubs. If you play 4 suit transfers over 1NT then 4 suit transfers over 2NT isn't a serious problem.

You also mentioned 1x - 1y - 1NT. Provided x is a minor, we play exactly the same system over the opening, the rebid and a 1NT overcall. Only one response is different, if y is a Major and responder bids 2 Stayman, opener shows 4 cards in the other Major before 3 card support for y.

Anyway, have fun building your system.
Jan. 29
Tony Rolfe edited this comment Jan. 29
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How often do you want to bid 2NT - 3NT?

If opener can have a 5-card Major then surely you would start with Muppet/Puppet 3 any time you have a 3-card Major. If you don't have a 3-card Major then you have at least 9 cards in the minors.

So, 2NT - 3NT won't be very frequent. Only being useful with 22(54) or 22(63) hands with no slam ambitions.

If you play 4-suit transfers over 1NT, 4-suit transfers over 2NT isn't much of a memory strain.
Jan. 27
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Over 1NT - (2M) I play a modified version of Rubinsohl which I refer to as Transfer lebensohl. It would also work over your 1 - (2M) or (2).

Double is penalty

A New suit at the 2-level is non-forcing.

2NT is a puppet to 3 after which responder can pass or bid any suit below theirs non-forcing; bid their suit to show clubs, invitational values and no stopper in their suit; or bid a higher suit to show 5+ clubs and 4+ in the new suit

3, 3, 3 are transfers. A transfer to their suit is Stayman, otherwise it shows 5+ in the suit and at least invitational values.

3 says I want to bid 3NT but I don't have a stop

3NT is natural and shows a stop.

The transfer to their suit shows at least one unbid major of exactly 4 cards:

If their suit was a Major, Opener knows which major responder holds and can bid 4M with support (or 3 if minimum over their 2), can bid 3NT with no support and a stop or accept the transfer with no support and no stop.

If their suit was diamonds, Opener bids 3M with just one major, bids 4 with both (responder now transfers to the Major), bids 3NT with no Major and a stopper or accepts the transfer with no major and no stopper.

After 1NT - (2) 2NT is Stayman with similar responses to 1NT - (2), but that is unlikely to apply in your case.

Hope that is helpful

Tony
Jan. 26
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The event must be IMPed, so suggesting MPs isn't that helpful.
Jan. 23
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