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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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I really dislike that style. The auction 1M 2M is so important in keeping your opponents out or pushing them to the three level. Giving them the two level with 1M 1NT must put you at a disadvantage.
Dec. 1
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We just say “wide-ranging” and give the appropriate range.
Dec. 1
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They preempted. You don't have room for much subtlety.

As well as your options you do have 5H available and 4NT 5H.
Dec. 1
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The auctions

1 2 3
1 2 3
1 2 3
1 2 3

Also show significant extra values - nominally around 16+ hcp.
Nov. 30
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This is what we do - not sure where the ideas originated from but I may have adapted them anyway:

1M 2

2 - artificial showing an acceptance if responder is invitational with three trumps. It denies a hand with significant extra values and extra distribution as you will see below. Note: The hand does not have to be that strong to accept with some extra distribution.

2M - shows a non-accepting minimum. The auction 1 2 2 is also a non-accepting minimum but with four hearts - partner might be strong with hearts.

Starting from 2NT we play transfers. Aside from the normal benefits of transfers this allows us to have two ways to get to 3M which we use to show very good and weaker suits.

First 1 2 2 shows extra values and four spades.

2NT five-five with clubs and extra values.

3 five-five with diamonds and extra values.

3 - over 1 five five with hearts; over 1 six hearts with more than one loser.

3 - over 1 six spades with more than one loser; over 1 six hearts with at most one loser opposite a small singleton with normal breaks.

3 - over 1 six spades with at most one loser opposite a small singleton with normal breaks.

After 1M 2 2

2 - over 1 shows four hearts. We play this could be balanced or with five clubs as this allows a 3 raise to be forcing and our slam mechanisms kick in.

2M - game force with three spades, could be balanced or with clubs. In response opener makes a descriptive bid: 2NT Balanced; 3m four cards, oM four cards; 3M six cards - it could easily be better to do something else that only gave information if needed.

2NT Balanced game force.

3 six clubs

3 four diamonds and five clubs.

3M three card support invite - forcing since partner accepted but leaves room in case opener has slam aspirations.

Over 1 2 3 and 1 2 3 we play 3M sets trumps and others are natural, 4NT is quantitative.

Over 1M 2 3M we play next step is negative (frivolous) and 4 is natural and others are cues.

Over 1M 2 2M or 1 2 2 we play any bid other than 2 is game forcing since opener already declined. 2NT balanced GF; 3 six clubs; new suit four cards with five clubs.
Nov. 30
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We take the three card limit raise out of 1NT and put it into 2. So our 1NT loses some of its wide range and 2 gains some.

We play 2 as three-way:

1. Limit raise with three cards in the major.
2. Game force balanced (not four cards in the major)
3. Game force unbalanced with clubs.
Nov. 30
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2 is crazy.
Nov. 29
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Why?
Nov. 28
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This depends somewhat on your methods over 1. If you play reasonably standard negative doubles and new suits forcing then 1m 1 Pass:

  • denies four or more spades with around 5-6+ hcp.
  • denies a minor suit raise.
  • denies a 1NT bid.
  • denies a new suit two level bid - say 10+ hcp.

There is a big hole there with hands around 6-9 hcp without spades, without a fit, and without a stopper in the opponents suit.

If you play a more modern or eastern European style where double shows four or more spades and 1 denies spades (or vice verca) then there is much less of a hole.

In the first case double might be reasonable on a hand with three (or fewer) spades and some values. In the second case that hand does not exist and the only takeout hand is a subminimum takeout double on the first round.

Our general rules are pass then double is penalties except when they bid and raise (at the two level).
Nov. 28
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Just one? If so that is a reason not to play penalty :)
Nov. 28
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Which books are Eddie Kantar's advanced defense books?
Nov. 22
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Joe Grue indeed made several good plays in that tournament.
Nov. 21
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For similar reasons I have been experimenting with a different response structure:

1 spades or major three suiter (I think you mean “three-suiter with both majors” in your post)

1 balanced or both minors - it puts the 1 bidder at the helm in no trump contracts

1NT hearts or hearts and clubs

2 diamonds

2 clubs

2 and up hearts and diamonds - wrong siding hearts when responder has four hearts and five or more diamonds.

The point about wrong siding hearts after the 1NT response and a weak relay is a good one.

I have put hearts and clubs into 1NT so that opener grabs the clubs with the 2 relay but then again responder bids 2 with four hearts and longer clubs.

After the 2 relay 2 shows a single suiter in hearts and opener grabs the hearts with 2.

The 1NT response was chosen to show hearts as at least when there is a heart suit floating around some of the times we won't want to play in no trumps.

In some sense these responses have been optimised for normal relays to get the maximum right-sidedness. If you are worried about the weak relays then you could change the structure and optimise for weak relays so responder is not bidding 2 with the common minimum hand.

Alternatively, you can relay once before making the weak relay leaking some information.
Nov. 20
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Roy Kerr and Walt Jones wrote in 1980 about weak relays “Our observation is that learners do not use the bid enough, and tend to overlook its usefulness when a suit contract is intended.”

They encouraged the use of weak relays in many auctions and I think that predates Marston and Burgess.
Nov. 20
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Hi Jacek

I watched you up close at the 2005 World Youth Teams in Sydney. I was one of the vugrpah operators. In that event my impression was that Poland was the strongest team. However, you tied then lost the final in a playoff with USA. I could see some of your team getting visible tired toward the end of the event.

What did you learn from that experience?
Nov. 20
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“The point of the poll is to help with making that judgment.”

I think in many situations a poll will be misleading. A friend of mine once purchased some item, cigarette filters I think, and the bag said “Average contents 500”. He retorted “I want to know how many are in this bag not how many are in all of the other bags.”

The same here. We are not interested in what an average player does but we need to focus on what this particular player would have done.

“The player claims he would have doubled 3NT if 1NT was alerted and since we are supposed to believe the player we have to adjust to 3NT X… Seems fair.”

Seems absurd. I do not think anyone is advocating that. However if the player has a history of doubling 3NT with a yarborough after the opponents open a weak 1NT then the fact that a poll is unanimous in not doubling gives us no information pointing to what should be an obviously correct ruling of allowing the double.

The history is not necessary but is a better way of verifying what a particular player would do compared to a poll of other players.
Nov. 20
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I understand the use of polls to define logical alternatives although even there there are problems. A poll of other players to determine what I would do seems completely wrong to me. Which is distinct from a poll to determine what I am allowed to do with UI.

There is a major distinction between my side doing something wrong and I have to live with an inferior action from my own perspective and the opponents doing something wrong I have to live with the same inferior action from my own perspective.

What I would do might have some correlation with what other players would do but it is not determined by what they think about an auction or play, it is determined by what I think. It cannot be underestimated how bad it is to tell a player that knows he would have done something that he would not have so done or what is the equivalent that he cannot have the score for doing that when it is the opponents who have committed the infraction.

Players are very far from a homogeneous group in their actions. Each has their own idiosyncrasies. By polling you remove those idiosyncrasies and may as a result do a gross disservice to the player.

A better way? Make a judgement as to whether the player is telling the truth. It might help if there were better records of a players' past actions so that there was some objective data on hands where the player had taken the said type of action. Err generously on the side of believing the person who has been disadvantaged.

Maybe some will lie to get a better score. It it happens repeatedly then keep the records I mention and next time say but here is a similar hand that you didn't double on what is different?

Make the ruling more objective rather than subjective based on what others think of the auction.

I would rather disadvantage a side that has given wrong information than disadvantage a person who would take some other action in the face of that information based on some average of what others would do.
Nov. 20
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Not a very good way in my opinion. Certainly far from definitive.
Nov. 20
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Maybe a dumb question but what precisely is the legal basis for a poll in this situation?

I am not damaged because some average of the other players would have done something different, I am damaged if I would have done something different and more successful. I really do not see how a poll can help you there.
Nov. 20
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I remember one crucial board many years ago where there was a formula in the NZ Bridge regulations but the director used a Factor type scoring (and would not change) where I played one board in a multi-section event where the board was fouled - up side down from memory in our section.

There was something like a 4 opening at my table which should have been in third seat. I managed an action that got us a zero in our section and therefore a zero across the field with the factor method. That did not seem at all fair to me. As most of the field had not and could not receive the 4 opening, they had two bids in front of the four heart hand.

So I was happy to accept my zero in our section but across the field seemed very harsh.

I am pretty sure the NZ Bridge manual at the time said score 1 MP (0,1,2) against every pair that your score could not be compared with. Admittedly, that would probably have been generous as I would have scored around 30-40% - I can't remember the number of sections. It does however have a rationale. I score 2 MPs against every pair I beat, 1 against every pair I tie and also 1 against every pair that my score cannot be compared with. It is neither their fault nor mine that we can't obtain a comparison.
Nov. 20
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