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Defense against strong pass Do I need one at B/I level?

#1 User is offline   1axbycz1 

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Posted 2010-November-04, 06:39

As above, do I need a defense against strong pass at B/I level? And also, how well does a defense similar to the strong 1 work? How to handle fert opening used by strong pass?
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#2 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2010-November-04, 07:08

The system file with my regular partner is more than 120 pages. It does not include a defence to a strong pass.

Are you ever likely to play against one without notice?
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#3 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2010-November-04, 07:17

 paulg, on 2010-November-04, 07:08, said:

The system file with my regular partner is more than 120 pages. It does not include a defence to a strong pass.

Are you ever likely to play against one without notice?


When I met it years ago, I played that a One Spade overcall said "I am present at the table". The next player bid 1NT, alerted as Stayman.
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#4 User is offline   1axbycz1 

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Posted 2010-November-04, 07:18

Alright, I was just asking if I needed one. Since your answer is a clear "no", then I wont continue this topic.
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#5 User is offline   kayin801 

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Posted 2010-November-04, 11:17

"Need" is a strong word, but it's always a possibility to consider making your "opening bids", especially in the majors, be more akin to overcall strength than full openers. This is tougher for the minors because you might need to make convenient minor full opening bids and it can be harder to distinguish them from overcall-style openings.
I once yelled at my partner for discarding the 'wrong' card when he was subjected to a squeeze that I allowed by giving the wrong count with too high a card. Now he's allowed to pitch aces when the opponents have the king in the dummy. At trick 2. When he could have followed suit. And blame me.

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#6 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2010-November-04, 11:59

 1axbycz1, on 2010-November-04, 07:18, said:

Alright, I was just asking if I needed one. Since your answer is a clear "no", then I wont continue this topic.


PaulG is smart and he is polite.

I would add that I would not spend much time thinking about it but use your main bridge resource (time) to work on other parts of your game.

If you encounter it at the table, deal with it then.
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#7 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-November-04, 21:22

If they 'open' a pass bid as much as you can as fast as you can. If they open a fert be prepared to double them lots with balanced hands and your overcalls are more like opening bids with shape. If they open with something else then use your generic meta defence and bridge principles.
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#8 User is offline   1axbycz1 

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Posted 2010-November-05, 04:53

"If they 'open' a pass bid as much as you can as fast as you can."
Something like defending against strong club systems like precision?
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#9 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-November-05, 16:12

 1axbycz1, on 2010-November-05, 04:53, said:

"If they 'open' a pass bid as much as you can as fast as you can."
Something like defending against strong club systems like precision?

Precisely. Of course it depends on the exact nature of the FP system. Some use split range weak/strong hands for pass in whuich case you need to treat the hand as weak in the first instance. But the majority that seem to get used are where the pass either replaces an opening bid, or replaces a strong club opening. For these you want to take advantage of the lack of a proper opening bid, thus turning one of the big advantages of their system into a disadvantage.
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#10 User is offline   1axbycz1 

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Posted 2010-November-05, 18:27

 Zelandakh, on 2010-November-05, 16:12, said:

Precisely. Of course it depends on the exact nature of the FP system. Some use split range weak/strong hands for pass in whuich case you need to treat the hand as weak in the first instance. But the majority that seem to get used are where the pass either replaces an opening bid, or replaces a strong club opening. For these you want to take advantage of the lack of a proper opening bid, thus turning one of the big advantages of their system into a disadvantage.

Well, currently I use some truscot-like defense against strong club.
p = showing some strength.
X = black suits
1=pointed suits
1=majors
1=garbage hand, not suitable for anything else
1N=rounded suits
2=minors
2=red suits
2M=weak 2 in the suit bid, reasonalbe suit or else 1.
2N=extreme 2-suiter
3-level and higher shows single-suiters with reasonable suits. follow rule of 2 and 3.

I normally only use X, 1 and 1 with good suits (normally 5-5), otherwise I simply bid 1. With a weak-2 in a minor suit I bid 1 too. So, my 1 does not reveal any hand shape. I just hope I dont get doubled in 1, though that is unlikely. Most strong club players do not try to X when the opps overcall 1 or 1N. Even if they do, I use 1N to show a balanced hand, and simply asks partner to bid his best suit. There is a chance that this doesnt work, but that is highly unlikely. With 3-suiters I choose my 2 best suits.

I do these following the 2 main principles of defending against strong club.
1. Once I reach the 2-level, I have essentially neutralized their system advantages. I seldom bid at the 3-level.
2. I have to bid at least 1 to be able to take away any space from the opps. X gives them 2 step, 1 gives 1, 1 does not give or take, but I need to bear in mind they have a cue-bid. Think my 1 bid fits well into these objectives, since it does not show any distribution and they have no cues.

Need some comments on the weaknesses of these. I am aware that the responder has cuebids, since I have shown my suits precisely. Anything else?

Now back to the topic. Does this work against strong pass? Use pass as strong, and now 1 to be the same as my X above?

But now, since they open with a pass, 1 takes up 1 bid, 1 does not give or take, 1 takes away 1 step, and 1 would take away 2. Then should I adjust my "fert" overcall to 1? Or can I just leave it at 1?

For the exact opposite reasons, I find my defense to strong club failing against strong diamond ones, since 1 overcalls are nowhere as effective. With those I just pass with weak hands. Use 1 to show something stronger. Now calling 1N is more dangerous as 1 since I normally make use of 1N to ask partner to bid his best suit to avoid playing in a 4-2 misfit.
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#11 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2010-November-05, 20:47

Here you are beyond general principles and onto concrete options. There are masses of different options available against strong artificial openings and all have plusses and minuses. I am not sure it is beneficial for anyone to say what they think is the 'best' method here because that is incredibly subjective and comes down to a large extent just to personal preferences.

Playing your strong 1C defence to strong pass makes perfect sense since it does not involve any additional memory load. When I played against FP regularly (as a very young junior) we just used everything natural but aggressive over their pass. We did very well against this pair too even though both were better card players than me at that time.

I personally do not really rate defensive systems that use 1S as (essentially) some weak semi-balanced hand but I understand their appeal and know plenty of players better than me that do like this alot. As you say, against strong diamond this approach makes no sense whatsoever.
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#12 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2010-November-06, 03:43

Use an anti fert over the fert.
(1H) = 0-8, 1NT = 0-10.
Its a lot of fun.
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