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Transfer Checkback - an improvement on XYZ?

#1 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2006-November-26, 23:34

Over the past few weeks there have been a number of posts made about checkback auctions and XYZ. There is no doubt that checkback and XYZ are vast improvements on what came before. Times change and in my opinion there is a better method again, though it is more complicated and for permanent partnerships only.

The following is a very brief summary of an article I wrote for Australian Bridge some time ago about Transfer Checkback auctions. The concept is not mine, unfortunately; it was developed by the Polish bidding theorist Idzdebski. What I have done is to take his idea and to further develop it. The following may be of some interest to those players who wish to add more accuracy to these auctions.

Transfer checkback applies whenever opener rebids 1NT in auctions such as 1X 1Y 1NT. We have used it with Walsh and Mafia style responses, but there is absolutely no reason why it cannot be used with natural responses.

In a 1X 1Y 1Z auction, a bid of 2C now by responder is a puppet to 2D. There is NO alternative. This 2C bid nearly always shows some sort of invitational hand. There are 2 exceptions to this rule:

1) Responder has a weak hand with a 4 card M and long Ds. He will pass the 2D puppet.
2) Responder has a strong 5/5 shape with Ds and the M.

Some examples:

1C 1H
1N 2C
2D Pass weak with long Ds and 4H
2S invite with 4S and 5H
2N balanced invite
3m invite with 4M and long m
3H invite with 6H headed by 2 of the top 3 hons
3S S/t S 5/5 H and Ds GF+
3N S/t C 5/5 H and Ds GF+

1C 1S
1N 2C
2D 3H S/t H 5S and 5D GF
3N S/t C 5S and 5D


Strong 5/5 hands with Cs are shown by transferring to C and then bidding again e.g.
1D 1S
1N 2N t/f to C
3C 3D/H



Transfer Bids

Bids other than 2C are transfer bids, even if they are in the suit originally bid by the responder.

1C 1H
1N 2D T/f to H. May be weak or GF if responder bids again.
2H T/f to S GF
2S Strong bal hand. Initiates a Baron sequence where opener is required to
show his suits up the line.
2N T/f to C. May be weak or GF
3C T/f to D. GF
3D T/f to H. Strong hand, slammish
3H T/f to S, GF 6H/5S
3S/4C/4D Autosplinters
3NT To play.

The perceptive amongst you will note that there are a number of different ways to create GF auctions e.g.

1C 1H
1N 2D
2H 3H
and
1C 1H
1N 3D

Subtle differences can be assigned to each of the above examples.

Other Sample Auctions:

1C 1H
1N 2D
2H 2S 6H/4S GF
2N* 3C/D fragments

1C 1H
1N 2H 5H/4S GF
2S Agrees S – choose your own developments
2N* 3C/D fragments
3N 4522

1C 1S
1N 2D T/f to H. May be weak or GF
2H 4H
2S Denies 4H

1C 1S
1N 2D
2H P Weak
3m Fragment
2N 5422 GF
4m void

Fascinating auctions develop when opener opens with 1H.

1H 1S
1N 2D T/f to H weak or GF
2H T/f to S, weak or GF

1H 1S
1N 2C*
2D 2H Invit with 3H
2S Invit with 5S
Etc etc

There are many possible variations and I have explored only a very few here. Like any convention, there are advantages and disadvantages. The major disadvantage is that of memory. It can be easy to forget that 1C 1H 1N 2H is a transfer to S.

The major advantage is a far greater level of accuracy in describing responder’s hand. We have bid a number of very good games in the 5-2 Major suit fit, because we knew that there was a hole in one suit. It would have been impossible to show this in normal methods. It is also possible to bid some excellent slams because responder has the “right” singleton. As can be seen from my examples above, the structure works very well with Walsh, though it can of course be used with natural responses. A number of pairs in Australia and Poland have now adopted this and are very pleased with the results.
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#2 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2006-November-27, 03:10

Sometime ago I developed a similar thing, but in the context of keri. The idea was to use keri over 1 & 2NT rebids, with a few twists to maximize the use of known information from the XYZ bids. Like in your scheme, transfers played a big role, even more than what they do over 1NT.
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#3 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2006-November-27, 04:33

Maybe I miss something, but isn't it missing a invitational balanced?
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#4 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2006-November-27, 04:58

I have been playing 2C "checkback" as a non-refusable puppet to 2D for several years and much prefer it. Only trouble is it requires a regular partner.
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#5 User is offline   MickyB 

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Posted 2006-November-27, 06:27

IMO, there is plenty of room to be able to have 1m:1H, 1N:2H show 5H4S non-forcing.
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#6 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2006-November-27, 07:37

Fluffy, on Nov 27 2006, 10:33 AM, said:

Maybe I miss something, but isn't it missing a invitational balanced?

doh.. what do you need that for? Just bid game or pass B)
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#7 User is offline   MickyB 

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Posted 2006-November-27, 07:39

whereagles, on Nov 27 2006, 02:37 PM, said:

Fluffy, on Nov 27 2006, 10:33 AM, said:

Maybe I miss something, but isn't it missing a invitational balanced?

doh.. what do you need that for? Just bid game or pass B)

Agreed, but it does have 1N:2C, 2D:2N as an invite.
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#8 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2006-November-27, 20:10

Fluffy, on Nov 27 2006, 08:33 PM, said:

Maybe I miss something, but isn't it missing a invitational balanced?

No invit balanced is 2C followed by 2NT
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#9 User is offline   suokko 

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Posted 2006-November-28, 07:38

switching X-Y;Z-2C;2D-2NT and X-Y;Z-2NT has a small merit that you don't want lead direction doubles when inveting to NT game
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#10 User is offline   kvetcher 

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Posted 2006-November-29, 16:38

[QUOTE] The following is a very brief summary of an article I wrote for Australian Bridge some time ago about Transfer Checkback auctions.



Hi I wonder if you can tell me where I can get a complete copy/download of your article for Aus. Bridge.

It seems to have very many interesting approaches - especially for a Transfer Walsh guy! ;)


Kind regards

Kvetcher
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#11 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2006-December-01, 06:34

I play transfer-based methods after 1minor - 1suit - 1NT, and have one for about 15 years; I think as with many artificial approaches they have been developed many times around the world.

There are a few general points to make:
1. These are only suitable for committed, regular partnerships. There are so many new sequences and subtly different ways of showing similar hands that you need to spend time thinking them all through.

2. This is a very good area of bidding for complex and detailed agreements, as i) even after 3 bids in an uncontested auction, responder can still have anything from a 5-count looking for the best partial through to a 25-count looking for the best grand and ii) these sequences come up a lot.

3. Once you decide not to play simple checkback/XYZ/NMF, you realise that each auction is different, and that to take full advantage of the potential you need a different set of agreements depending on responder's first bid.

4. The exact method you play should vary depending on your style of opening, responding and rebidding 1NT (what do you open with 4-4 in the minors? how much do you need to respond 1D with a 4-card major as well? Do you bypass a 4-card spade suit to rebid 1NT?). These questions affect what hand types should be catered for in the rebid scheme: for example, if after 1C - 1D - 1NT responder cannot have an invitational hand with a 4-card major then there's no need to have a sequence to show it.

Without giving all our agreements in detail, let me explain this third point a little more. We rebid 1NT on balanced hands including 4 spades. We think that when responder is weak there's quite a benefit in getting to the right low-level partial, so we play:

1m - 1S
1NT - 2D ("transfer to hearts")

2D = 5+ spades, 4+ hearts (not 6-4), any strength at all; opener bids 2H with 4 hearts otherwise 2S on the assumption responder has a weak 5-4. Responder can then bid on in various descriptive ways to show an invite, a game force, or a stronger hand.

With 1m - 1S - 1NT - 2H as a transfer to spades, that leaves
1m - 1S - 1NT - 2S "free". We used to play it as a "transfer to clubs" but we then changed this and we use it as weak with 5 spades and 4-card support for partner's minor, who then selects the final contract. (1m-1S-1NT-2NT is artificial and covers some of the strong hands you might have put into an artificial 2S bid).

However,
1m - 1H
1NT - 2H

is still 'spades' but it shows a weak 4-5 and is definitely non-forcing. That means we now use 1m - 1H - 1NT - 2S as natural (1m - 1H - 1NT - 2D (hearts) - 2H - 2S is 4-5 INV or stronger; 1m - 1H - 1NT - 2S is FG 4-4 in the majors; 1m - 1H - 1NT - 2C - 2D - 2S is NF 4-4 INV in the majors). We've decided it's more important to use this auction as 4-5 in the majors than as 5 hearts and 4 cards in partner's minor. We could have used 1m - 1H - 1NT - 2C - 2D - 2H to show a weak 5-4, but we prefer to use that as a minimum invite with 5 hearts...

The points I am trying to make are
i) You have loads and loads of new sequences, and it's not really worth playing all this method unless you define them all
ii) You still have more hand types than sequences, so decide what hand types you want to cover and rank them in order of importance.
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#12 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2006-December-03, 11:09

FrancesHinden, on Dec 1 2006, 12:34 PM, said:

i) You have loads and loads of new sequences, and it's not really worth playing all this method unless you define them all

In my version of keri over 1NT rebids, I define the new sequences mostly as the same as after a keri over direct 1NT opening.
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