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Response structure for unbalanced 1♦ opening

#1 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 10:36

Apologies for posting here, but I still haven't found the "Natural System Discussion" forum. ;)

Given a wide-ranging (11-21ish) 1 opening showing an unbalanced hand with 5+ diamonds or 4=4=4=1, I am looking for a basically natural response structure. The main question for me is how to handle weak, invitational and GF hands with various holdings in the majors.

Fredin-Fallenius apparently play a GF 1NT relay so everything else becomes quite simple and often non-forcing. I'm not quite sure I want to give up the natural 1NT and I don't really want the memory load of the relay structure, so I'm putting this aside for now. I'm sure 1-p-2-p-p-p is a big winner when it comes up, though.

Kamil-Fleischer apparently play some (slightly ambiguous) SJS. I usually have an allergic reaction to any mention of SJS but I'm sure the idea has merit here. Nevertheless, I'd like to see what I can do the other way around first.

Here's what I was thinking about just now:

1 4+ hearts, 6+ points
1 4+ spades, 6+ points
1NT 7-11 balanced or 7-9 with 6+ clubs
2 GF 5+ clubs or 3334
2 6+ either major, 5-8(9) points
2 5 spades, 4 hearts, 6-9 points
2 Invitational or better diamond raise
2NT (semi)balanced invite
3 Invitational with 6+ clubs
3 Weak diamond raise

This way, responder's 1M followed by 2M is forcing.

Thoughts? Have I missed any hand types?
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#2 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 11:22

Is 3D a weak raise (0-5) or a simple raise (6-9)? After putting so much energy into showing diamonds, I think you need both raises.

Wondering if your 2C can be nebulous...like clubs or balanced or even just a GF relay. You're very high after 1D-2S for GI+ diamond support; both hands are very unlimited in terms of both strength and pattern and you're not even in a game force.
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#3 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 11:36

View Poststraube, on 2012-February-05, 11:22, said:

Is 3D a weak raise (0-5) or a simple raise (6-9)? After putting so much energy into showing diamonds, I think you need both raises.


I guess it'll have to be a simple raise as I don't know where to put that otherwise. Agree it would be nice to have a truly preemptive weak raise available.

Quote

Wondering if your 2C can be nebulous...like clubs or balanced or even just a GF relay. You're very high after 1D-2S for GI+ diamond support; both hands are very unlimited in terms of both strength and pattern and you're not even in a game force.


Well I think responder with a 4-card major and GI+ diamond support should generally start by bidding the major, which really narrows down what we need to figure out if we are only going to game.

I agree that 2 is probably a bit underloaded.
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#4 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 11:45

You could make 2D inverted, 2S simple, and 3D weak. Might not be best on a frequency basis, but it allows more room for your stronger auctions.
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#5 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 11:58

Hm... actually 2 = GF with clubs or GF bal or simple raise of diamonds might work, what do you think?
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#6 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 12:06

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-February-05, 11:58, said:

Hm... actually 2 = GF with clubs or GF bal or simple raise of diamonds might work, what do you think?


You'll have too many 1D-2C, 2D auctions. I think you need to branch out after a 2C response and a GF vs simple raise cause opener to react very differently. If both 2C and 2D invite opener to describe his hand, you'll have better communication.

I'd drive to the 3-level when you have a diamond raise. The opponents will often be able to balance into 2M, so you might as well use up that space to describe your own hands.
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#7 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 12:15

Suppose 1/1 are natural. What does it mean when opener rebids 1NT, since he cannot have a balanced hand? It makes some sense to play that 1-1-1NT shows four hearts. The problem patterns are 1453, 0454, maybe 1444 if that opens 1. Other than these shapes, opener has four spades or four clubs or six-plus diamonds all of which offer pretty easy rebids. There is some advantage to playing 1NT as "four hearts minimum" so that you can play 1NT on some misfits, but I think it's probably better to let the 1NT rebid be forcing (four hearts, any strength); this lets you rebid 1NT with 4/6 without worrying about playing in a silly spot, helps on some "in-between" hands where you are not quite strong enough to reverse, and also frees up opener's 2 rebid for some other use (perhaps a spade raise, to distinguish two types of raises at a low level). This structure also lets you play 1-1-2-2 as a possibly artificial one-round force (since your need to find 4-4 heart fits has disappeared); you could play it as 5/5 majors NF but I suspect this will be low-frequency and you might be better off passing (since opener will always have six-plus diamonds in that sequence and will never have four hearts).

Assuming you are playing 1NT rebid in this way, there is really very little need to play reverse flannery. When responder has 5/4, you respond 1. You will always find your heart fit (if any) because opener will rebid 1NT when he has four hearts. You will also find your 5-3 spade fits because opener can presumably raise spades often (especially considering he always has shape, and he has two ways to raise spades a the two-level).

As for 1-1-1NT, you could play this as some sort of heart raise (to get the "two ways to raise to the two-level" once again) since opener's other hands all have easy rebids (four spades or four clubs or six-plus diamonds or four hearts). But it might be better to swap the 1NT and 2 rebids (so 1NT is six-plus diamonds forcing one round and 2 is the second heart raise). This gets you a cheap forcing bid over the one-suiter (2) and might also help with some types of strong hand (like the GF diamond one-suiter that is annoyingly hard to bid in standard methods).

For the other follow-ups to 1 (besides noting you do not really need reverse flannery) I think it's very good to play a natural 2 raise here. Opener has a real suit and shape so you can raise pretty freely. Any hand with four-plus diamonds is almost surely better raising to 2 rather than bidding 1NT: this will help a lot in a competitive auction, lead to more making partials, helps a lot if opener has a big hand and wants to look for slam, helps with "anti-positional" hands where you are flat but don't want to declare notrump etc. What's left in the 1NT response? Well there's 3334 and there are hands with 5-plus clubs. But even hands with 3 might be better off raising diamonds; opener will almost always have a five-card diamond suit after all, in which case 2 is often a better spot. The Fredin-Fallenius approach is looking pretty good here...
Adam W. Meyerson
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#8 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 12:30

Here's the current plan for 1-1M rebids

1NT clubs
2 6+ diamonds
2 3-card support for M, non-forcing
2oM reverse
2M 4-card support, non-forcing
2NT strong single-suiter (or maybe a good 4cd raise of M, not sure yet)
3 nat forcing

This gives all sorts of ways to raisewith both 3 and 4 cards.

Fredin-Fallenius play essentially the same but with 1-1-2 = 4 hearts, not 3 spades.
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#9 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 12:53

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-February-05, 12:30, said:

Here's the current plan for 1-1M rebids

1NT clubs
2 6+ diamonds
2 3-card support for M, non-forcing
2oM reverse
2M 4-card support, non-forcing
2NT strong single-suiter (or maybe a good 4cd raise of M, not sure yet)
3 nat forcing

This gives all sorts of ways to raisewith both 3 and 4 cards.

Fredin-Fallenius play essentially the same but with 1-1-2 = 4 hearts, not 3 spades.


I think you've thought about this a bit more than I have. I'm actually a fan of the nebulous and limited diamond.

Still, I don't quite understand this rebid structure. For instance 1D-1M, 2C to show diamonds leaves 2D as mostly a dead end. True, opener can take another bid, but how often will he?

Also 1D-1M, 1N as clubs leaves 2C as a sign off and 2D as a sign off and 2M as a sign off. You need to have forcing bids here.

You could do (as you suggested) 1D-1M, 1N as single-suited diamonds.

I've also seen 1D-1M, 1N as 3-cd support for partner's major (possible with 6D3M or various 5D43M1s) . You've shown then 3M and 5D which seems reasonable at this point. Perhaps 1N should be forcing? 1D-1M, 1N would appear to leave a 2C rebid by responder to start some sort of invitational or GF auction....because clubs haven't really been promised here. In the event that you use this, it seems like you still need Reverse Flannery.
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#10 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 12:53

After 1-1M, I think it's best to use 1NT as the 3-card support bid. When opener has 3-card support, he must have one of two singletons or a 6322 type. It's useful to be able to find out which of the three he has without going past the two level, and using 1NT as the 3-card raise alllows you to do this. I'm not sure what you're getting out of your transfers to the minors.
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#11 User is offline   MickyB 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 13:22

Most unbal diamond systems are better off opening 1 with 45 minima, are you sure that's not the case for you?

Otherwise, awm basically said it all. It must be right to use 1N/2C/2D as C/D/H and 2H/2S as raises, you really shouldn't need RRF here. I agree with his suggestion that 1D:1H, 1N should show D and 1D:1S, 1N show D+H - having the 2 first step as a force is much more useful than having it say "I would have passed a 2 rebid".

The only thing I can really add is to suggest -

1:1, 2 = 11-13 or 17+, three-card support. Now 3 is to play opposite the weak type.
1:1, 2 = 11-14 four-card support or 14-16 three-card support.
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#12 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 14:27

Funny, when I asked about a year ago what the best use of 1NT is after 1-1M, everyone said transfers are the best thing since sliced bread :) http://www.bridgebas...-unbalanced-1d/

Now I think I've finally figured out how to make use of them (with a little help from Michael Kamil's system notes), they're suddenly not. ;)

The idea here is that you get to figure out the shape at the 2-level when opener makes a delayed 3-card raise with an intermediate hand (say 15-17).

1-1-1NT-2m-2 = intermediate with implicitly short hearts
1-1-2-2-2[h] = intermediate, usually 2362

and so on. Whereas the immediate 2 rebid shows a real minimum. I don't see what range e.g. gnasher is proposing for 1NT = 3-card raise, if it's wide-ranging I don't see the advantage.

(Did that answer your questions straube?)
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#13 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 14:44

I see it. It just seems to cater a lot to opener getting rebids.

I think awm is right about 1D-1S, 1N showing hearts. I'm less certain about 1D-1H, 1N showing diamonds. I'd like to be able to show a 3-cd raise there.

Seems like you are getting good help now with people who have experience with the unbalanced diamond. Good luck finding the right continuations.
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#14 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 14:58

View PostMickyB, on 2012-February-05, 13:22, said:

Most unbal diamond systems are better off opening 1 with 45 minima, are you sure that's not the case for you?


Well I'm pretty happy with my 1 system on paper... of course you never know what might happen if someone actually volunteered to play it with me on a regular basis.

Quote

Otherwise, awm basically said it all. It must be right to use 1N/2C/2D as C/D/H and 2H/2S as raises, you really shouldn't need RRF here.


Pardon, what's RRF?
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#15 User is offline   MickyB 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 15:02

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-February-05, 14:58, said:

Pardon, what's RRF?


Responder's Reverse Flannery [your suggested 2H response]
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#16 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 16:35

View Postmgoetze, on 2012-February-05, 14:27, said:

I don't see what range e.g. gnasher is proposing for 1NT = 3-card raise, if it's wide-ranging I don't see the advantage.

We play it as wide-range, less than a game-force, but still forcing (because it will hardly ever be right to play in 1NT, and responder could never know whether it was).
After 1-1;1NT, responder's 2 is invitational+ and asking; opener shows his shape at the two-level with a minimum, or bids higher with enough to drive game. With less than an invitation, responder signs off somewhere; opener can move over that with a maximum.

Comparing the two:

- When responder is invitational, my responder can find out opener's shape and still stop at the two level opposite the wrong minimum. Your responder knows only that he's facing 3-card support. On the other hand, you conceal opener's shape on the hands where responder doesn't want to know - your responder can jump to 4M opposite a minimum, but mine is having to relay in case opener has enough to make slam good (though I could probably fix that).

- I have better sequences when responder has a game-force, because in FSF sequences opener is known not to have 3-card support.

- When responder is minimum and opener has extras, I get to the three-level but you can stop at the two-level.

- When responder is invitational and opener has extras, my responder bids 2 and hears about the extras and the shape. Your responder bids 2NT, jump preference, or raises opener's second suit, and then hears 3M. You're a bit higher, but you have also exchanged a bit more information.

I suspect that there's not enough in it to make either of us change our methods.

(I didn't discuss 1-1;1NT because there is less room after responder's 2 enquiry, so it would place my methods in a worse light.)
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#17 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 16:38

View PostMickyB, on 2012-February-05, 13:22, said:

Most unbal diamond systems are better off opening 1 with 45 minima

Why?
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#18 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 17:16

The way I play the 1 IS "natural systems" as I am a simple soul whose memory can't take complicated agreements. It works well enough for me. My definition of the 1 open is a hand with 6 diamonds, or a hand with a singleton or void outside diamonds - no other hand type. This means that 4 diamonds is not guaranteed, as a (41)35 shape opens 1. Nevertheless, over 90% of the time it is 4+ diamonds, so we support with 4.

Responses are
1 = 4+ hearts, 6+ points but not a 2/3 bid
1 = ditto spades
1NT = up to 10, no 4 card Major, no 4D, therefore 3334, or 5 clubs. This makes it very easy for opener to bid clubs if it is not his shortage.
2 = 11+ with no 4 card Major (either clubs or diamonds may be the longest suit)
2 = 4+ <11
2M = 11/12, 6 card suit precisely
3-bids weak preempts with 7 cards (5 if diamonds)

Opener's rebids are simple. He will have one of 3 hand types ; 6+ diamonds, 10+ cards in the minors (2-suited), or 3-suited.
With the first we rebid 2, the second rebid 2, the third support partner's major. A 3451 shape supports immediately even if it is the 3 card suit, because the shortage and consequent ruffs compensates. And it keeps it simple.

If responder's major hits the shortage, we rebid 1NT. (This makes more sense to me than specifically showing 4 hearts.) This 1NT guarantees 4 cards (or 3 with ruffs) in any other suit, so there is no problem in responder bidding another suit to play.

A raise of that 1NT to 2NT is game invitational 11/12, and a rebid of the major is NOT to play (do you want to play opposite a void? - this is why I am not keen on your proposed 2 response : better to play in 1NT in my view.) but a NT game invitation for opener if he is 15/16. This means 1 1 1NT 2 is not checkback etc, but to play.

A response of 2M as 11/12 with 6 allows a weakish opener with a singleton to pass, and other major holdings go though 1M.



Your suggested (semi)balanced 2NT response sort of commits you when there could be a gaping hole in your unknown short suit, I feel, so my 2 equivalent allows both a 2 get-out and showing majors that have stops, to allow a sensible NT decision.

While I could never cope with your non-natural rebids after 1 1M, it seems to me you have no bid for the 3 suiter with a shortage in that major. 1NT would be nice ! .. which means you could bid clubs with clubs? And diamonds with diamonds? But then it would be "natural systems" of course :D
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#19 User is offline   MickyB 

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Posted 2012-February-05, 17:35

View Postgnasher, on 2012-February-05, 16:38, said:

Why?


I doubt my reasons are anything new to you, but here goes -

"Unbalanced with a diamond suit" is a better initial description than "clubs or balanced [or strong]". It is more likely partner will be able to support us, either preemptively [1D-(P)-3D-??] or when oppo preempt us [1D-(2S)-3D]. Our hand may not have the expected 5th trump, but it rates to meet partner's expectations, especially as he rates to have some club length given that he hasn't decided to show a major instead.

Even playing natural methods, many canapé (13)45s. Playing a more nebulous 1 opening is unlikely to ease the perceived issues with opening 1 - responder may struggle to show a diamond suit as well.

When I last played an unbalanced diamond, I used 1D:1H, 1NT and 1D:1H, 2C to both show the minors, separating the 5-4s from the 4-5s. Even rebidding 1NT to show the minors, either way, is an improvement on rebidding 2 to show this hand, as it removes the desire to give false preference. It has been a while since I evaluated this scheme so I won't attempt to defend it against the 1NT rebids that have been suggested in this thread.
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#20 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2012-February-06, 03:23

I agree with Micky about the 45 hands and also about sepearating them out from 54 hands when playing natural. Over my (limited) unbalanced diamond I play:-

1 = any invitational or better hand
1 = weak, natural, non-forcing
1NT = weak, 4+ hearts, non-forcing
2 = weak, natural, non-forcing
2 = weak raise, 3+ diamonds
2M = weak, natural, non-forcing (reverse Flannery might be better here opposite an unlimited Opener)
2NT = mixed raise
3 = weak, natural, non-forcing
3 = preemptive raise

Relays are available over 1 but even if you do not like relays there is enough space to bid sensibly. For example, Opener's rebids might be natural with 1NT showing 4 hearts and a minimum.
(-: Zel :-)
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