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Responses to nat 2NT openings

#1 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2004-August-22, 07:34

What's your favourite scheme after a natural 2NT opening? Up to now, the best I've seen is the TRS idea:

2NT ...

3C = puppet stay
3H/S = transfer. Breaks by opener shows fit + good controls
3S = puppet to 3NT. To play 3NT or slammish with minor(s)
3NT = baron
4C/D = slam try in hearts/spades
4M = to play

After the puppet 3S, it goes

2NT 3S
3NT ...

4C = 5C+4D. Opener bids 4NT/5NT misfit min/max or 4D = fit 4M = club fit, control
4D = 4C+5D. Opener bids 4NT/5NT misfit min/max or 4H = club fit, 4S = diam fit
4H/S = slam try in C/D. Opener bids 4NT/5NT with min/max singleton or anything else control
4NT = 55 minor slam invite but NF
5C = 55 minor slam invite forcing
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#2 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-August-22, 08:08

whereagles, on Aug 22 2004, 08:34 AM, said:

What's your favourite scheme after a natural 2NT opening?

Oh, boy, you asked for it. Ok, here goes.

Initial response:
==========
2N-3C = initially a form of puppet stayman, showing
(1) any grand slam try, or
(2) any small slam try with no shortage or
(3) a GF hand with no slam interest and with no 5 card major unless with 4 (precisely) in other major.

2N-3D = puppet to 3H (USUALLY non-refusable), showing
(1) small slam try with at least 5-5 in two unspecified suits or
(2) a GF hand with no slam interest and at least 5 cards in a major without precisely 4 in the other major (could be 5-5 in majors) or
(3) non-refusable weak takeout into 3H (don't like the non-refusable aspect, but less like what I would have to give up in order to make it refusable). In fact it can be refused when opener is 5-2 in the majors (see detailed continuations in separate message)

2N-3H+ = all have three features in common, namely:
(1) small slam interest (values for 4NT) (except see below)
(2) a shortage
(3) not more than one x 5+ card suit
Hand types may be:
3-suited (4441 or 5440)
2-suited (1 suit of more than 4 cards, one suit (only) of precisely 4 cards, typically 5431)
1-suited (1 suit of more than 5 cards, no other suit of more than 3 cards, typically 6331)
EXCEPTIONS to feature (1) (requirement for slam try)
3H also includes a non-refusable weak takeout into 3S (same reservations apply as to weak takeout into 3H contained in 3D response)
3N may optionally, by agreement, include a weak takeout into 4C
4C may optionally, by agreement, include a weak takeout into 4D
The use of 3N/4C as weak takeouts is very risky, as opener's decision to bid next step up is optional and will not take these holdings into account as a possibility.

It should be apparent that this scheme has considerable potential for slam investigation, since: All responses 3H+ pretty much promise slam try, and yet many slam try hands are also contained in 3C and 3D responses.
Having outlined the features in common to the 3H+ responses, in detail they are:

2N-3H = non-refusable puppet to 3S showing
(1) Any hand with short H (slam try) or
(2) Short C with no 5 card minor and not 3-suited (slam try)
(3) weak takeout into 3S

2N-3S = Any slam try with short S

2N-3N = A slam try with short D, no 5 card minor and not 3-suited
(optionally, by agreement may include weak takeout into C (personally not recommended))

2N-4C = Slam try, short Club, 5+ cards in other minor, not 3-suited
(optionally, by agreement may include weak takeout into D (personally not recommended))

2N-4D = 3 suited slam try with short (unspecified, yuch, oh well) minor

2N-4H = slam try, short D, 5+ cards in other minor, one 4 card major

2N-4S = slam try, short D, single suited in other minor.

That concludes the initial response to 2N. Further continuations will be outlined in separate messages (there may be a limit on each message size)
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).

Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.
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#3 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-August-22, 08:30

Continuing the earlier message, this message is devoted to "the singleton structure", which is to say, the 3H+ responses to 2N.

2N(-3H-3S)-3N = ST with short minor, with fewer than 5 in other minor, not 3-suited. Which minor is short is determined by whether you go immediately to 3N or via 3H-3S. Opener rebids 4C except with no slam interest (ie wasted values opposite the identified shortage). If in doubt he will usually make one try via 4C, then:

....4C-4D = 2-suited with 4 card minor and longer major (4H asks for major)
....4C-4H = 2-suited in the majors (4S asks which is longer)
....4C-4S+ = major single-suited (pinpoint the major immediately)

2N-3M-3?-4C = short major, long in other major, not 3-suited. Which major short is determined by choice of 3M initial response. Opener rebids 4D except with no slam interest (ie wasted values opposite the identified shortage). If in doubt he will usually make one try via 4D, then:

....4D-4H = 4 card Club suit
....4D-4S = 4 card Diamond suit
....4D-4N = single suited

2N-3M-3?-4D = short major, 4 in other major or 3-suited. Which major short is determined by choice of 3M initial response. Opener rebids 4H except with no slam interest (ie wasted values opposite the identified shortage). If in doubt he will usually make one try via 4H, then:

....4H-4S = 3-suited
....4H-4N = 2-suited with long C
....4H-5C = 2-suited with long D

2N-3M-3?-4H = short major, minor 2-suited (not 5-5, remember). Which major short is determined by choice of 3M initial response. Opener rebids 4S except with no slam interest (ie wasted values opposite the identified shortage). If in doubt he will usually make one try via 4S, then responder bids 4N to show longer C, 5C to show longer D.

2N-3M-3?-4S = short major, single-suited in Clubs. Which major short is determined by choice of 3M initial response.

2N-3M-3?-4N = short major, single-suited in Diamonds. Which major short is determined by choice of 3M initial response.

2N(-4C-4D)-4H = short minor, long other minor, one 4 card major. Which minor is short is determined by the route to 4H. Then, 4S asks which is the 4 card major, and implies some slam interest (not too much wastage in the minor short, or in doubt).

2N(-4C-4D)-4S = short minor, single-suited in other minor. Which minor is short is determined by the route to 4S.

2N-4D = 3-suited with short unspecified minor. Opener will almost always bid 4H as the location of the minor is unlikely to be irrelevant to his hand evaluation. Then, responder pinpoints the shortage by steps.

Here endeth the singleton structure.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).

Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.
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#4 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-August-22, 08:59

Continuing the earlier message, this message is devoted to the 3D response to 2NT. To recap, this response shows one of the following hand types:
(1) a 2-suited slam try with unspecified suits (at least 5-5)
(2) a game forcing hand without slam interest that has at least one 5+ card major and not precisely 4 in the other major. In fact it is possible to express some mild slam interest in the sequences that follow.
(3) a weak take-out into 3H.

Opener has precisely 3 rebids available (must be at 3-level):

2N-3D-3H = Not 5-2 in the majors
2N-3D-3S = 5-2-3-3
2N-3D-3N = 2-5-3-3

Note that if responder has hand type (3), ie weak take-out into H, then he can pass opener's 3S rebid with a partial fit for opener's 5 card Spade suit, and he should be content to play in 4H opposite 5 card support (opener's 3N rebid). We recognise however that there is a possibility of getting too high after the 3S rebid with a complete misfit. This is however a feature that is generally accepted as being an acceptable risk when playing standard transfers.

The remainder of this post is in 2 parts, each devoted respectively to hand types (1) and (2).

2-suited slam tries
============
After a 3H rebid by opener, any 4 level bid by responder shows a 2-suited slam try.
After a 3S/3N rebid by opener, any 4 level bid by responder APART FROM 4D shows a 2-suited slam try.

2N-3D-3?-4C = Diamonds + another
2N-3D-3H(-4C-4D)-4M = bid major + minor (minor specified by route to 4M)
2N-3D-3H-4C-4D-4N = both minors
2N-3D-3H-4D = the remaining 2-suiter, ie both majors
2N-3D-3S/3N(-4C-4D)-4H = major misfit + minor (minor specified by route)
2N-3D-3S/3N(-4C-4D)-4S = Both majors or both minors (specified by route)
2N-3D-3S/3N(-4C-4D)-4N = 10 card major fit + minor (minor specified by route)

Hands with 1 major suit (5+) and no (or possibly a little) slam interest
===============================================
2N-3D-3S/3N-4D = puppet to 4H (non-refusable), which responder then passes or converts to 4S to play.

2N-3D-3S-3N = optional, ie with 5 Hearts and no fit in Spades
2N-3D-3N-No = optional, ie with 5 Spades and no fit in Hearts

2N-3D-3H-3N = 5 Spades, but willing to play in 3N.

2N-3D-3H-3S = any other hand in this type, namely:
(1) 5+ Hearts or
(2) 5+ Spades with no interest in playing in 3N (ie typically 6+ Spades)
Then

2N-3D-3H-3S-3N = No fit in Hearts, over which
....No = optional (suggests Hearts, not excessive length)
....4C = Spades (Some room to investigate slam with super fit - rare)
....4D = at least 5-5 in the majors (no slam try, remember)
....4H = to play

2N-3D-3H-3S-4C = fit for both majors
(can then use 4D as end signal puppet, so that you can still show MILD slam try by bidding the major. Not strictly necessary).

2N-3D-3H-3S-4D = well fitting hand in H (some slam interest), no great Spade fit.

2N-3D-3H-3S-4H = to play in responder's major at 4 level.

Here endeth the 3D response structure. Note that with the non-slam try hands the contract is usually played by the 2N opener, although there are some sequences when this may not happen. A price worth paying for the enhanced slam sequences, I feel.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).

Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.
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#5 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-August-22, 09:06

Finally we consider the 3C response to 2NT.

You can probably import your own favourite puppet stayman responses, but be sure that it can handle hands where responder is 5-4 in the majors either way round, to be consistent with the other responses. My preferred method is:

2N-3C-3N = 4-4 in the majors (then 4D/4H = transfers)
2N-3C-3S = 5 Spades
2N-3C-3H = 4 or 5 Hearts, fewer than 4 Spades
...3S asks for clarification of Heart length (3N = only 4)
2N-3C-3D = fewer than 5 Spades, fewer than 4 Hearts.
2N-3C-3D-3S = 4-5-?-?
2N-3C-3D-3H = asks for clarification of Spade length (3S = tripleton Spade, 3N = doubleton Spade, 4C = 4 Spades).

There are several other schemes around. This one pretty much guarantees right-siding a major suit contract, and seems to avoid giving un-asked for information to the defence in a lot of cases. It is true that in this structure a direct 3N response is an artificial slam try in the singleton structure, so you HAVE to go through 3C on the way to playing in 3N. That does give some info to the defence. It is however quite rare that you have no interest in opener's 5 card major, and there is the counter-point that a natural immediate 3N response itself shows no interest in the majors, which disinterest is not obvious if you go through 3C.

This 3C structure can be bolted onto most other, simpler schemes (ie red suit transfers), and it frees up 2N-3D-3H-3S transfer sequence that is no longer needed to show 4-5-?-? as this is included in the 3C response. Could use the transfer followed by 3S to show 5-5 in the majors, I suppose, which has the benefit of simplicity if it may be technically inferior to alternative uses.

Here endeth the entire structure. Not the easiest set to remember, exarcerbated by the fact that they are not particularly frequent. I increase the frequency a bit by also incorporating the singleton structure in the responses to the 2C opener, starting at 2S response (and also 2C-2D-2S+ rebids by opener). I detailed these in another thread a while back, at http://bridgebase.lunarpages.com/~bridge2/...indpost&p=17948
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).

Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.
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#6 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-August-22, 09:09

Free, on Aug 22 2004, 09:34 AM, said:

We've had already thousands of threads like these, on how to continue after 2NT...  Why don't you read them before asking such unnecessary questions whereagles???  B) 

Btw, this is the NON-NATURAL forum...  :)

If the opener is natural and the continuations artificial, I do not know whether this forum is appropriate. You seem to have a strong opinion on this, but I am not sure of the authority. Doubtless the hosts can move the thread en-bloc if they feel like it.

I only responded because in all of the other threads I never actually posted this set of continuations (with the exception of the 3C response structure that I have duplicated here just for convenience).
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).

Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.
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#7 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2004-August-22, 14:44

Free, on Aug 22 2004, 03:34 PM, said:

We've had already thousands of threads like these, on how to continue after 2NT... Why don't you read them before asking such unnecessary questions whereagles??? B)

Btw, this is the NON-NATURAL forum... :)

If you want to do moderator work, please apply for the position. Thank you.
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#8 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2004-August-22, 16:01

Free, on Aug 22 2004, 02:34 PM, said:

We've had already thousands of threads like these, on how to continue after 2NT...  Why don't you read them before asking such unnecessary questions whereagles???  :) 

Btw, this is the NON-NATURAL forum...  :)

Hi Free ! :)

I have to say that several question I also post have sometimes been answered in previous posts.

Unfortunately, the sad truth, is that the search on past BBF posts is not really efficient. :)

Usually the most interesting discussions are nested inside topics that have nothing to do with it; so, if you make a search with rather restrictive constraints, you will miss the most important posts; if you use looser constraints, you end up with a list of posts too large to be able to discriminate the relevance.

Therefore, I think it is still more effective to ask again; after all, that's how most usenet discussion groups work; the most organized newsgroups keep a "FAQ" list to avoid these recurrent questions, but since there is not - so far - a BBF FAQ, I think one should simply accept the recurrence of common themes, and simply ignore them if not interested B)
"Bridge is like dance: technique's important but what really matters is not to step on partner's feet !"
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#9 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2004-August-23, 11:10

1eyedjack:

I browsed through your methods, but the posts are a bit too long to become aware of the full strutcure B) It seems you can cope with 55's and 6 carders. The 54's you bid via splinters, right? What if it's 5422? And how do you find a minor suit slam on the 44 fit and 4432 hands for opener/resp?
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#10 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-August-23, 11:22

whereagles, on Aug 23 2004, 12:10 PM, said:

1eyedjack:

I browsed through your methods, but the posts are a bit too long to become aware of the full strutcure B) It seems you can cope with 55's and 6 carders. The 54's you bid via splinters, right? What if it's 5422? And how do you find a minor suit slam on the 44 fit and 4432 hands for opener/resp?

All slam try hands without a shortage go through the 3C response structure. Responder takes control and, rather than describing his own hand relays repeatedly while opener describes his. Opener concentrates initially on major suit length, but gets around to complete shape at the 4 level. Responder may break the relay at any time when he gets an unencouraging rebid by opener, but will usually relay sufficient number of times to promise a slam try if he has one. Opener can still continue after a relay break, at his discretion. I did not spell out all of the relay continuations after 2N-3C-??-??, but you get the drift (I am not convinced that my late relays are optimal, certainly some scope for further evolution in that area).

Without a slam try or a shortage, you would go through 3D with a 5 card major and fewer than 4 in the other major, otherwise go through 3C and give up before showing a slam try. The one sequence requiring particular memory is 2N-3C-3D-3S to show 4-5-?-? and less than slam values.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).

Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.
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