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defense to 1nt defenses input

#21 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2010-April-05, 15:06

If the opponents make an artificial bid (like 2C showing the majors), the partership can use a convention called "I've got a secret". Responder passes and then doubles later to show point majority and a balanced hand. Opener knows then that the double is not pure penalty and can bid his own suit or convert to 2N if he's afraid that the contract will be successful.

If instead, responder doubles the 2C bid, it shows a desire to penalize one or both suits.

This approach has the disadvantage of losing serendipity doubles...i.e. responder has a weaker hand and they just happen to land in a suit for which responder has great defense.
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#22 User is offline   dake50 

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Posted 2010-April-05, 18:31

Try X xfer to lowest suit, next 3 suit bids xfers also.
I get my hand described immediately or next if it's an invite.
Partner may super accept. Fit found.

xfers into their suit/suits show stops/controls by next bid.

X or XX xfer has DT to set next level up if it gets converted. May be general strong, not just xfer suit.
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#23 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2010-April-05, 21:00

In my part of the world, the vast majority of players use 2 and 2 overcalls as artificial. The most common scheme is probably Capp (2 = one suit, 2 = majors) with most of the better players using Woolsey (2 = majors, 2 = one major). The best defense against these seems to be using double to show general values and create a force (you can easily play takeout doubles or penalty doubles after this as you like, the point being that opener is encouraged to act after 1NT-artificial bid-double-bid).

Typically the 2M bids show five or more cards in the suit named along with a side minor (there is some minority including me who play 2M as natural). I'm not convinced there's much advantage to playing either takeout or penalty doubles in direct seat over this. My observation has been that while the takeout double can be a big winner on competitive hands, it also gives you the occasional disaster when you end up at the three-level in a moysian or a bad-breaking eight card fit. The disasters are more frequent if you expect opener to make a balancing double often after 1N-2M-Pass-Pass, because sometimes responder just doesn't have much and you have no place to run (and these tend to correspond to when the opponents have enough to double you). If you play takeout doubles and don't expect opener to balance often, then you do miss out on a lot of penalties (and opponents are pretty frisky over 1NT these days); note that you generally need less to in their suit to penalize when the trump length is "over" the overcaller so you don't get a very high percentage of these back by allowing opener to convert takeout doubles. I expect that over a natural 2 or 2 bid, balancing becomes much less dangerous and takeout doubles are substantially superior to penalty doubles, but like I said around here most people don't play natural 2m bids over 1NT. Note that the game-going hands which might want to make a takeout double can be handled fairly easily via lebensohl or rubensohl anyway, so it's really just the marginal (points but less than game values) takeout hands where playing double as penalty can lose.

One observation is that if you do play takeout doubles after two-level interference, it's very important to play 2NT as a scrambling call (two places to play) and sometimes to use this even with a bit of a length discrepancy between the two options. Since opener is balanced, it will quite often be the case that after 1NT-2M-X-Pass (especially when the major is spades) he has two available four-card suits to play in, and reaching the 4-4 fit rather than the 4-3 fit is essential. Occasionally you should also pass this 2NT bid, but I don't think it should be a strong suggestion to play (many of the hands that want to play 2NT would be happier defending 2MX so a true "to play" usage rarely comes up).
Adam W. Meyerson
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#24 User is offline   dburn 

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Posted 2010-April-05, 22:34

jdonn, on Apr 5 2010, 02:55 PM, said:

dburn, on Apr 5 2010, 02:23 PM, said:

If you want to play double as one thing over Multi, another thing over Woolsey, a third thing over Astro, a fourth thing over... well, the best of luck to your partner. You don't deserve any.

Well that's a bit harsh. Also a bit exagerated. If the overcall shows the suit being bid (with or without any others) double is takeout, if it shows any other suit(s) then double is penalty interest of the suit(s) shown. I find a way to get by even when the meaning of my double is dependent on receiving a correct explanation of the overcall.

Oh, everything I say is harsh, for I am a miserable sod, and exaggerated, for to get one's point across it is often necessary to belabour the obvious beyond recognizable limits.

In truth, though, you and I will often be doing the same thing for the same reason: if I double 2 to show a takeout double of clubs, chances are I have at least one of the majors and the same hand as you would have to double 2 showing a desire to double two of a major for penalty.

Where I find my method helpful, and where I am not sure what you would do, is when the opponents overcall (say) 2 to show one (unspecified) suit. My double is still takeout of clubs (in fact, my double is defined as Stayman, though opener will pass it only with clubs and bid 2 only with diamonds). What is yours?
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We hang for what they wrote.
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#25 User is offline   Jlall 

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Posted 2010-April-05, 22:49

dburn, on Apr 5 2010, 02:23 PM, said:

Advantage number 1: you do not have to worry what the opponents' bidding means.

Advantage number 2: later actions in murky sequences become much easier to interpret.

Advantage number 3: it works even when the opponents do not have what they are supposed to have for their bidding.

Advantage number 4: even I can't forget the system.

These "advantages" are all true if you play the same system against a natural 1C and a strong club, or against any 2D opener whether it is flannery/multi/weak majors/natural/strong/precision.

In fact these "advantages" are true in any situation where different pairs have different meanings for a bid in an auction.

Hopefully this helps you see where gnasher was coming from with his post, and why playing this way might not be great despite these FOUR amazing "advantages"
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#26 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2010-April-06, 01:12

dburn, on Apr 5 2010, 11:34 PM, said:

Where I find my method helpful, and where I am not sure what you would do, is when the opponents overcall (say) 2 to show one (unspecified) suit. My double is still takeout of clubs (in fact, my double is defined as Stayman, though opener will pass it only with clubs and bid 2 only with diamonds). What is yours?

Stayman. You caught me I have an exception, double of most artificial 2 overcalls is stayman for me.
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#27 User is offline   Siegmund 

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Posted 2010-April-06, 12:03

I am used to being seen on the forum as oldfashioned so that part doesnt disturb me. :) I think awm summed it up well with his assessment about the mix of triumphs and disasters switching to takeout at the 2-level involves. And, replying briefly to jlall:

Quote

At the very least you must play t/o Xs at the 3 level since otherwise you're screwed


Yes, at the 3-level I do play them, and I think they've been the majority treatment for a long time. (Not that I'm necessarily happy about it - but the loss of 4-4 major fits would be too high a price to pay to seek the penalties more actively.)

I was a little surprised by a few of the claims in this thread though. For instance, jdonn's:

Quote

If opener can be expected to reopen with shortness when his hand is decent you get back many penalties. And though you lose some when responder would have doubled but opener can't reopen, they are made up for with others when responder makes a takeout double and opener can pass. Really playing takeout doubles doesn't get you very many fewer penalties and lets you compete a whole lot more often. It's a no brainer to me.


The hands where responder has a big stack you can punish playing either kind of double, just like negative doubles over suit openings, yes. The much more numerous hands were responder has a flat 5-8 and was going to pass 1NT are the ones you lose. And you don't get those back playing takeout doubles.

I don't get "lets you compete a whole lot more often" either. If responder has a 5-card suit, he can still bid it. If he has values and a 4-card major, he can still choose between 3N and 4M. If he has a big hand he can choose between a penalty and bidding game (playing takeout X he has to just bid the game.) The only hands where responder WANTS to compete but can't playing penalty doubles are the weak hands with shortness in overcaller's suit - sort of like Garbage stayman hands only the shortness isn't clubs.

I wonder if it's another IMP vs MP thing. Give responder Jxx KJx Jxxx xxx or xxxx Kxx xx Kxxx, for instance. A crystal clear penalty double of a natural 2H overcall at MPs, which will work about 80% of the time. (The first is a dead minimum penalty double of a natural 2S overcall too, but that will only work maybe 60% of the time.) The times it doesn't work are mostly times partner has xx in hearts and would reopen if you were playing takeout (and you won't make 2S or 3D, either, though if you don't get doubled you'll likely show a modest profit, -50 or -100 instead of -110 for staying in 2H.) Does the IMP-specialist crowd have "never double for a one-trick set" drilled so deeply into their brains they pass this hand at MPs?

Gerben said

Quote

Every time a partner insists on penalty Dbl an "I told you so" hand seems to come up, though, so there are less and less of such partners


Funny, that. I can't remember the last time I saw a hand where I wished I had a takeout double available after 1NT-2M (though I do remember a small number of hands where I doubled for penalty and gave up 470 or more.) But I see a heck of a lot of "I told you so" hands where responder has a clear penalty and can't inflict it -- admittedly this is in part because at club games there are people overcalling 2M over 1NT on the same quality of hands they'd bid 1M over 1C.
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#28 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2010-April-06, 12:15

Yes you are old fashioned. And if you think doubling a 2 overcall on Jxx KJx Jxxx xxx will work 60% of the time then I want to play in the games you play in. I hope you double me on that.
Please let me know about any questions or interest or bug reports about GIB.
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#29 User is offline   Siegmund 

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Posted 2010-April-06, 13:10

Against sound overcallers (more or less anyone who can be trusted to have 6 spades) and talented declarers, doubling 2S is a loser. Not having a full spade trick in my hand that was a stretch. It's something to only do against 2/3 of the field in a club game and 1/3 of the field in a regional pairs, and only if your partner is someone you have a good defensive rapport with.

Whatever I may think of your posts on bidding, you, personally, happen to be a better declarer than I am, in respect of which I will wait for an extra half-trick or so in my hand before I double you :)
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#30 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2010-April-06, 13:42

I think I disagree with Siegmund here, but I still like penalty doubles at the two-level.

I disagree with Siegmund about the frequency of wanting to double for penalty holding only three cards in the enemy suit. Much like Josh, I have found that this only occasionally pays off. Usually it does not make all that much difference whether opener has two small or three small opposite.

Thus I agree that if you require opener to reopen with a double whenever he has a small doubleton in the enemy suit, you will get back most (not all, but most) of your penalty doubles. There are occasionally hands where the opponents have a six card fit only (especially if the overcall is 5M/4m and advancer passes on junk hoping to avoid the axe), and there are occasionally hands where responder really does have that three cards in their suit penalty double hand, but both of these are rare.

On the other hand, I still disagree that this makes takeout doubles a better treatment. The problem is that if opener reopens with a double whenever he has a small doubleton in the enemy suit, you get overboard a lot. This is especially true when their suit is spades. You are basically committing to the three-level on what's often two balanced hands, and every time responder has some pile of trash you can easily go two down at the three-level opposite air. One "solution" to this is for opener not to balance so much (say, only balance on primed out super-maxes with doubleton in their suit) but then you really are not recovering very many penalty doubles and responder isn't really safe to pass holding game values and a stack in their suit, in case the double never comes.

In my experience, people who play takeout doubles tend to chalk this up to "bad luck" or "opener should've judged better to balance or not" but this is not really the case... basically you cannot avoid the occasional fix from these methods. In exchange, you do get some wins on partscore deals where it's easier to get into the auction when responder holds shortage in the enemy suit.

In general I'd say that penalty doubles are better after a 2 overcall, takeout doubles are better after a natural 2 overcall, and it's quite close versus a natural 2 overcall.
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#31 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2010-April-07, 04:07

awm, on Apr 6 2010, 11:42 AM, said:

I think I disagree with Siegmund here, but I still like penalty doubles at the two-level.

I disagree with Siegmund about the frequency of wanting to double for penalty holding only three cards in the enemy suit. Much like Josh, I have found that this only occasionally pays off. Usually it does not make all that much difference whether opener has two small or three small opposite.

I totally agree with Siegmund.

I think it depends a lot on your nt ranges and the quality of your opponents. I just finished a set at our local club game (on one of our stronger club field nights no less) where 7/27 boards were doubled contracts after we opened 1 nt. And 5 of the 7 came about because of penalty doubles of 2 level overcalls, most of which were hands where I held just 3 trumps in a balanced hands. (The other two were a penalty double of 1nt when we had the goods, and opponent confusion on if a delayed double was t/o or penalty). We averaged 73% on these boards with only one bad result (which was on the "failed" penalty double where they ran to 2X and we took only 5 of our 6 top tricks).

But we are playing variable 10-12 or 12-14 nt and especially over the 10-12 people feel like you are stealing their lunch so you can easily pass a flat 12 count opposite a 10-12 and then want to double them when they step into your auction even if you only hold 3 small. It is matchpoints so a 1 trick set and not sweating the occasional doubled part score really is a big deal (especially if they are red). And when you play mini or weak nt more of the hands are part score hands, so the number of times you are happy to play for 200 (red) or 300 (white) when you weren't going to game are much higher. Over strong NT I can believe the frequencies are quite different.
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#32 User is offline   bill1157 

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Posted 2010-April-10, 13:54

Cascade, on Apr 4 2010, 12:24 PM, said:

bill1157, on Apr 5 2010, 03:53 AM, said:

pass of 2m/1N is forcing X penalty

Obviously this agreement is very dependent on range.

maybe not. If opps pass out 1NT-(2c)-P-(P)
seems like partner has some values regardless of the NT range.

Bill
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#33 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2010-April-11, 08:45

dburn has sort of inversely made the point I was going to.

The optimal set of methods when opponents come in over your 1NT opening depend on what the opponents are playing. You should probably play something different against 2M showing a 5-card major and a longer minor than against a 6+ card 2M overcall. You should playing something different against 2C = hearts and another compared to 2C = both majors.

Given all of that, you might as well do one of two things:
1. Play your calls & bids as meaning exactly the same no matter what the opponents' overcall means.
2. Have a detailed set of agreements which vary dramatically according to the detail of opponents' methods.

It won't surprise many people to know that my regular partnerships go for (2), but we aren't that complete. Our defenses are split into only 4 categories:
- double or 2C without an anchor suit
- the bid/call is natural (with or without additional suits)
- the bid/call has one anchor suit, not the suit bid
- the bid/call shows two or more specific suits

We probably ought to have more. But we don't.
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