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Mathe defense vs strong C revised

#1 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 01:46

I was just wondering. So many people suggest to play the following against a strong 1 opening:
Dbl = Majors
1NT = minors
rest = natural

Why not reverse the meanings of Dbl and 1NT?

Compare the Dbl:
After Dbl showing Majors, opps can play system on with 2 extra calls. Our partner will jam the auction (usually to 2M) but responder was able to tell something about his strength and shape.
After Dbl showing minors, they still play system on with 2 extra calls. However, our partner can jam the auction to 3m. They'll be more likely be looking for Major fits, but we took away a lot of space.

Compare the 1NT overcall:
After 1NT showing minors, they can easily use unusual vs unusual, they have a Dbl and two low 2-level cuebids available, and they can bid 2M natural and NF I guess. If opps play 4-card M responses, then you definitely make it harder by Doubling because after Dbl they usually play system on.
After 1NT showing Majors, opps have 2 high cuebids at 2-level, but that wastes another level of bidding space and is looking for minor fits which are less important. I'm not sure, but don't think many play 2m as natural and NF. Also they might belong in a Major suit contract...

Your thoughts would be appreciated!
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#2 User is offline   hanp 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 01:50

Hate it, I want to double with 4-4 in the majors and bidding 1NT with 4-4 in the majors seems suicide.
and the result can be plotted on a graph.
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#3 User is offline   wclass___ 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 02:19

Sometimes you are willing to show majors with less shape than minors. Therefore you want more safety. But i suspect you already knew that...

1-[X(majors)]-[?]-2M 1-[X(minors)]-[?]-3m

Also IMO this method isn't anything special vs. big clubbers.
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#4 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 02:25

"Two extra calls" aren't available to them if your suits aren't known. That might be a reason not to use Mathe at all, but rather CRASH or somesuch.
"Bidding Spades to show spades can work well." (Kenberg)
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#5 User is offline   Flameous 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 02:51

I think two extra calls referred to pass and XX which are there always after double, not matter what it shows.
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#6 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 06:10

Quote

"Two extra calls" aren't available to them if your suits aren't known. That might be a reason not to use Mathe at all, but rather CRASH or somesuch.


If your suit aren't known you usually can't preempt fast as responder.
My personal preference as precision player is for my opponents to play something which allows them to bid as often as possible and as high as possible without showing suits preferably :-)
The best of all (for me) is defense which doesn't allow them to preempt in real suit (cause they are not known) but makes it easy to read hands as declarer (cause I know they have 2 suiter or 1 suiter for example and seeing dummy it's easy to guess suits).

I recommend to all my opponents the following defense: x = any one suit; others = some kind of 2 suiters without known suit. Preferably jump to 2NT or higher with 5-5+.
Yummy !
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#7 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 07:41

Flameous, on Sep 10 2010, 09:51 AM, said:

I think two extra calls referred to pass and XX which are there always after double, not matter what it shows.

Precisely why double and 1/1 bids are hopeless. Whatever defence you use, I think the first call should be not one of these.

I can't see the point of having any call (except maybe double) that shows strength, I think it is more a question of showing shape, and not helping the opponents. Psycho suction seems to work well : I've never known them risk missing something by passing. Of course, you make the bid at a level commensurate with your length.

Bluecalm's statement does not stack up with my experience. If he ends up declarer, yes he has clues as to play, but he is much less likely to be in the right contract.
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#8 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 08:42

hanp, on Sep 10 2010, 08:50 AM, said:

Hate it, I want to double with 4-4 in the majors and bidding 1NT with 4-4 in the majors seems suicide.

How about X 4-4 majors, 1NT 5-5 majors, 2NT 5-5 minors?

Or, if you are brave, X exactly 4-4 majors, 2+ Multilandy/Woolsey as against NT.
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#9 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 09:08

Flameous, on Sep 10 2010, 02:51 AM, said:

I think two extra calls referred to pass and XX which are there always after double, not matter what it shows.


Pass and double, or pass and redouble, are two actions available/any interference.
The two "extra" calls are the bids in the two suits shown by the opponent.

That would be one factor in determining what method a pair chooses over 1C. It is not the only factor. Another would be whether it can be used effectively by advancer. A third would be forgetfullness :P .

"Either/Or" type 2-suited interference over a strong club is definitely not a good thing to use without a lot of discussion, and simple Mathe seems good enough, in its original form, for casual partnerships.
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#10 User is offline   hanp 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 11:03

mgoetze, on Sep 10 2010, 09:42 AM, said:

hanp, on Sep 10 2010, 08:50 AM, said:

Hate it, I want to double with 4-4 in the majors and bidding 1NT with 4-4 in the majors seems suicide.

How about X 4-4 majors, 1NT 5-5 majors, 2NT 5-5 minors?

Or, if you are brave, X exactly 4-4 majors, 2+ Multilandy/Woolsey as against NT.

Your second suggestion I hate even more because it won't allow me to bid a single suited minor below the 3-level. I can't believe anybody who has ever played against precision would want to play such a method. Terrible.

The first suggestion I only dislike. It just seems better to be able to bid the minors with 1NT instead of using both double and 1NT for the majors.

I think it is very important to interfere very often over a strong club. The more hands I can't bid at the 1- or 2-level, the more unhappy I will be.
and the result can be plotted on a graph.
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#11 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 11:09

fromageGB, on Sep 10 2010, 01:41 PM, said:

Psycho suction seems to work well : I've never known them risk missing something by passing.

of course you want to use reverse psycho suction instead.

1x=this suit and the next OR only the suit after the next (H=majors or clubs)

This way you pass a little less often so end up in silly contracts less often but they still can't afford to pass.

and of course you should play
2=hearts or spades.
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#12 User is offline   tysen2k 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 11:29

Dbl and 1 should always show solid values since they give the opps extra steps. I've used them to show solid heart and spade overcalls respectively.

Tysen
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#13 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 11:43

Some people still pass, then bid later with powerful one-suiters.
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#14 User is offline   akhare 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 12:02

fromageGB, on Sep 10 2010, 08:41 AM, said:

Psycho suction seems to work well : I've never known them risk missing something by passing.

Unless they play P as GF :) -- an eminently playable option...
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#15 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 13:36

Quote

Dbl and 1♦ should always show solid values since they give the opps extra steps. I've used them to show solid heart and spade overcalls respectively.


Why not overcall 1d with:
KJxx
x
AJTxx
xxx

showing suit to lead and giving partner a chance to jump if he finds nice support ?
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#16 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 13:48

hanp, on Sep 10 2010, 06:03 PM, said:

mgoetze, on Sep 10 2010, 09:42 AM, said:

Or, if you are brave, X exactly 4-4 majors, 2+ Multilandy/Woolsey as against NT.

Your second suggestion I hate even more because it won't allow me to bid a single suited minor below the 3-level.

1NT = single-suited, either minor. :P
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#17 User is offline   pooltuna 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 14:37

bluecalm, on Sep 10 2010, 02:36 PM, said:

Quote

Dbl and 1♦ should always show solid values since they give the opps extra steps. I've used them to show solid heart and spade overcalls respectively.


Why not overcall 1d with:
KJxx
x
AJTxx
xxx

showing suit to lead and giving partner a chance to jump if he finds nice support ?

WHAT! And interfere in the opps nice smooth 1 auction and trying to make it hard to use all those nice asking bids? :P
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#18 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 15:43

mgoetze, on Sep 10 2010, 09:42 AM, said:

How about X 4-4 majors, 1NT 5-5 majors, 2NT 5-5 minors?

I play this agreement with one partner. It started because he wanted to play 2D as 5-5+ majors, and X as 5-4 or maybe 4-4.

Personally I am not willing to give up my 2D bid, I think it's quite useful, but I am perfectly happy giving up 1N showing the minors. Really, who cares if I have the minors? I am unlikely to save in 5 of a minor, I am unlikely to outcompete them to 3 of a minor or w/e, and since I am unlikely to declare after showing the minors, I am just helping them declare almost always when I show the minors. Even when playing 1N=minors, I just never bid it basically. Eating up the room is not worth helping them in the play against good opps imo, and its not even close. You need to eat up room while also having a shot of finding a save/game/partial.

So minors basically suck for that.

1N 5-5 majors is much less effective than 2D though, since if we have 5-5 majors usually LHO has some minor suit hand that can now bid 2m rather than 3m, so we are thinking of changing it to 2D and just giving up on the 2D overcall.

I think having a bid that shows 5-5 majors+ is a very good idea. You want to maximize partners ability to bounce somewhere on his first round of bidding. If you X with 4-4+ then your partner is going to have to be quite cautious. Yes you can make up for it by bidding more with 5-5+ on your next round of bidding, but by then RHO has already had a chance to bid something.

So I would recommend either X=4-4/5-4 and 1N=5-5, or 2D=5-5, not sure which is better.
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#19 User is offline   hanp 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 15:47

tysen2k, on Sep 10 2010, 12:29 PM, said:

Dbl and 1 should always show solid values since they give the opps extra steps. I've used them to show solid heart and spade overcalls respectively.

Tysen

You often start with simple and logical rules to arrive at such unusual treatments that your posts are always fun to read, even if they don't lead to a practical approach to bridge. This time I think you are only considering a small part of the equation and I don't agree with your advice.

Double for the majors gives LHO two extra steps, but if partner is able to raise to 2M or 3M (!) then it takes away many more steps from RHO. This is not an uncommon situation. I think that shape and suit quality are more important guidelines than overall strength for determining whether to interfere over a strong club.

Vulnerable I don't think it is a good idea to force to the 2-level holding KJxx AJxxx xx xx, but I would love to double (or, to a lesser extend, bid 1D) to show the majors.

If 1D is natural, I would bid it, vulnerable, with AQJxx and out. Again it gives LHO extra steps, but if partner can raise, we'll take away several steps from RHO. Of course I'd prefer to bid 2D or 3D directly, but we simply don't often have a hand with which it is a good idea to bid at the 3-level. Much more often will we be able to bid at the 1-level and partner can raise with a fit, which is almost as tough on the opponents but much safer for us.
and the result can be plotted on a graph.
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#20 User is offline   hanp 

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Posted 2010-September-10, 15:55

mgoetze, on Sep 10 2010, 02:48 PM, said:

hanp, on Sep 10 2010, 06:03 PM, said:

mgoetze, on Sep 10 2010, 09:42 AM, said:

Or, if you are brave, X exactly 4-4 majors, 2+ Multilandy/Woolsey as against NT.

Your second suggestion I hate even more because it won't allow me to bid a single suited minor below the 3-level.

1NT = single-suited, either minor. :blink:

I really don't like that, for two reasons. The first is that the best auctions usually occur when partner can immediately raise and be done with it. This will be less often the case when partner doesn't know our minor, and when he does, we may be correcting to the other minor which gives them more time. The second reason is that when partner doesn't raise we give them more time.

I agree with Justin that 1NT for the minors is bad. In practice I often end up bidding my stronger minor even with equal length, especially when one is good and I don't have much strength. The only time I would really want to be able to bid both is when I have a pretty good hand.

If I double for the majors, the opponents will probably want to use both heart and spade bids as natural, from both sides. So that doesn't help them that much. But if I bid 1NT for the minors, the opponents will probably use both club and diamond bids as cuebids. After all, the chance that they want to play in a club or diamond contract is very small after I have shown the minors. Such a two-suited overcall can be a great help to the opponents.

So maybe I should give 1NT for the majors a try, after all, I didn't hate it but only dislike it :P. And maybe Tysen's decency rule should apply to minor two-suiters.
and the result can be plotted on a graph.
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