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Weirdest/worst agreements you've encountered at the table?

#1 User is offline   rwbarton 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 15:08

We've all seen "4 always Gerber" or stolen bid doubles in strange situations, but what's the weirdest or worst agreement you've seen your opponents have? It should be an actual agreement, rather than one of your opponents briefly losing their mind.

Here is my story. I was playing in a flight C GNT district final a while back, we sit down at the beginning of a round and tell our opponents we are playing a strong club system. They have a discussion in a foreign language, presumably about their defense to 1. On the second board I pick up something like A8754 KQ4 AKQT7 - and the auction proceeds



At this point I ask about 1 and get the unexpected response: "He always bids 1."

I am sitting there trying to figure out if this is even a legal agreement when I realize, hey, if they want to give me an extra step in every 1 auction, I might as well let them!

I figured I could describe my hand decently by passing here and bidding over the runout. But LHO had no idea what to do, of course, eventually he decided to pass too. I think he had Jxxx in a flat hand. We lost a couple IMPs when our counterparts made 4, so I guess the 1 bid worked!

What are your favorite stories about your opponents' weird agreements?
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#2 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 15:23

This stems from an old agreement of "always bids 1S" which obviously is better since it takes up room (I think that is usually when people can't relay). I think that might have been barred, even though generally anything is allowed over a strong club in ACBL.
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#3 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 15:24

Both vulnerable and we play polish club where 1/1 is constructive (at least 7hcp).

1C* - pass - 1S - 1NT**

*=polish, most of the time 12-14bal
**= opponent explained as: "as normal 1NT but 9-11"

He in fact had that. It was 500 due to some lucky breaks for him :)
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#4 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 15:40

View PostJLOGIC, on 2012-August-23, 15:23, said:

This stems from an old agreement of "always bids 1S" which obviously is better since it takes up room (I think that is usually when people can't relay). I think that might have been barred, even though generally anything is allowed over a strong club in ACBL.


Correct: This was the basis for, "Conventions and/or agreements whose primary purpose is to destroy the
opponents’ methods" listed under "Disallowed" under the GCC.
Winner - BBO Challenge bracket #6 - February, 2017.
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#5 User is offline   Quantumcat 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 17:50

View PostPhil, on 2012-August-23, 15:40, said:

Correct: This was the basis for, "Conventions and/or agreements whose primary purpose is to destroy the
opponents’ methods" listed under "Disallowed" under the GCC.

I remember reading that, and thinking, that means weak twos, and any other pre-emptive bid, should be banned...
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#6 User is offline   lalldonn 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 17:52

They should have changed "primary" to "sole" but I'm sure then someone would point out that a random 1 has some 0.001% constructive element to it somehow.
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#7 User is offline   rwbarton 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 19:52

View PostJLOGIC, on 2012-August-23, 15:23, said:

This stems from an old agreement of "always bids 1S" which obviously is better since it takes up room (I think that is usually when people can't relay). I think that might have been barred, even though generally anything is allowed over a strong club in ACBL.


Right, this is the rule I was thinking of at the table:

GCC, Mid-Chart, Superchart said:

1. Conventions and/or agreements whose primary purpose is to destroy the opponents’ methods.

It seemed like maybe the purpose of 1 was to destroy our methods, but it didn't do a very good job.

(And yeah, we actually were playing a relay system with relays on over a 1 or 1 overcall but not 1. That's why over 1 we played double = double negative, so after a semipositive pass we could get back to GF relays at +0 after a double by opener.)
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#8 User is offline   rwbarton 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 19:55

View Postbluecalm, on 2012-August-23, 15:24, said:

Both vulnerable and we play polish club where 1/1 is constructive (at least 7hcp).

1C* - pass - 1S - 1NT**

*=polish, most of the time 12-14bal
**= opponent explained as: "as normal 1NT but 9-11"

He in fact had that. It was 500 due to some lucky breaks for him :)


Reminds me of Zia's(?) 2NT opening showing 12-14, though that at least has some merit since doubling is a bit dangerous.
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#9 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 21:00

I know you counted strange shadow doubles before, but I played a pair where they played strong club, and we played strong club, and their defense to our strong club included them doubling our strong club to show a strong club hand for them with their systems on! And it actually came up on one board (I think they went down in a low level partscore instead of us as a result).
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#10 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 21:10

I was drafted to play in a tourney in South Africa when 1 player couldn't make it. Lots of system discussion on the drive but right at game time my pard said....

Oh, by the way, I like to play a direct cuebid as showing total control of their suit. It can be a void, stiff Ace, AK, AKQ, whatever but doesn't say anything about the rest of the hand.

I said sure knowing it would never come up and he bid it 3 times in the first session, once with AK tight and a stray jack in a 4-4-3-2. I never had a clue and just ran for cover but the opponents didn't either and blew up every time. Left it on the card for 3 more sessions but it never came up again.
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#11 User is offline   CSGibson 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 22:14

This is a reposting of the comment I made in the other thread which I believe inspired this thread. It belongs here more than anywhere else.

One of the most amusing moments I had at a regional last year was playing a Montana pair at the Seaside regional. They opened 1, and I overcalled a heart. RHO now doubled, which was alerted. My partner asked, and we heard this amazing explanation:

"Its a stolen bid double, showing 4+ hearts"

When partner, intrigued, asked for further information "Do you mean its a penalty double?", opener clarified that it was not penalty, it just showed 4 or more hearts with no values promised in the suit.

After the round, I asked why they played stolen bid doubles for overcalls, and was informed that they were having trouble identifying stoppers for NT, and this was their solution to the problem. I thanked them politely for the explanation and left trying not to be obvious about my mirth.
Chris Gibson
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#12 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-August-23, 23:49

The dumbest agreement I have seen is something played by one of the pairs at our local bridge club.

A 1 opening in 1st or 2nd seat is natural promising a 5-card suit. However after 2 passes, a 1 opening in third seat is made regardless of the actual hand strength or holding in the suit. The bid is intended as a semi-psyche. I’ve lost count on how many bottom boards this pair got with this ridiculous bid when, not holding the boss suit they conveniently reopened the bidding for their opponents and either,
1. Lost the part score battle to the boss suit, or
2. Played some unmakeable contract when everyone else passed the hand out.
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#13 User is offline   mr1303 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 00:49

I'm playing a few dubious methods at the moment.

1C is either natural or 2+ in a balanced hand, 9-22 ish. Trouble is it's forcing.

2C response to 1 anything is the only way we can force to game.

1x (1y) any new suit is 0-6, NF. Double is 13+, so pass shows 7-12 any shape.
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#14 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 01:28

A couple of years ago I played a 20 board match against a pair where this auction came up twice:

1S - 2S
2NT - 3x
3S

What was unusual? 2NT was Roman Key Card Blackwood!

Obviously they know more about this game than I do though, because both times they found they were missing 2 keycards and scored +140 in the partscore.
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#15 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 02:14

There was a pair in the amsterdam club that played a 1 opening showing 3 or 4 cards in a major. The idea is that they could now find a fit by reponding 1M with a 5-card, or by asking for a 4-card suit with 1.

So I asked if that meant that they would open 1 with a 3-3-7-0 but not with a 2-2-2-7. One of them answered, in an annoyed tone, "of course not". So it remained a mystery to me what their opening scheme was. Maybe they just played the 1 opening as "natural or balanced" which is actually not so weired if disclosed propperly.

The Looier system has some bizare elements, for example the "Logjes double" of an overcall which shows 0-7 or 10+ points. So with 8-9 points they will either pass or bid a suit.

Some Dutch pairs play Roman Lavinthal in (almost) all situations, including leads and when following to declarer's lead. I even heard of one pair that played Roman Lavinthal when giving partner a ruff :)
You might speculate on the psychopathology of some posters but hating them seems excessive --- Nige1
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#16 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 02:28

In our club there is a pair which plays 1C=0+ and 1D=4+ but they never know what 1C actually shows (2C is 20+ any or so), when asked 'why did you open 1C and not 1D?' (one hand they had 2263) they just shrug and say well we did have 0+ clubs didn't we?
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#17 User is offline   Siegmund 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 02:33

We had a regular pair at my previous club who played (what they called) Precision, but with quite a few odd twists.

1C-Pass-1NT could include a 4CM and often did.
1C-Pass-1NT-Pass-2C was Stayman. Straight stayman responses.

Heck of a way to make sure the 1C bidder is declarer as infrequently as possible.

I think they played the same over 1D openings, but can't recall.
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#18 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 03:37

View PostSiegmund, on 2012-August-24, 02:33, said:

We had a regular pair at my previous club who played (what they called) Precision, but with quite a few odd twists.

1C-Pass-1NT could include a 4CM and often did.
1C-Pass-1NT-Pass-2C was Stayman. Straight stayman responses.

Sounds normal to me. Traditional Precision is like that and most precision pairs play that way. I suppose some top pairs play some kind of modified stayman to make opener declare more often.
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#19 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 04:58

View Postrwbarton, on 2012-August-23, 15:08, said:

What are your favorite stories about your opponents' weird agreements?

I played against a pair who played RKCB 1340. I wondered if they meant 1430, but no, they really did play 1340!
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#20 User is offline   32519 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 05:13

View Posthelene_t, on 2012-August-24, 03:37, said:

Sounds normal to me. Traditional Precision is like that and most precision pairs play that way. I suppose some top pairs play some kind of modified stayman to make opener declare more often.


I was under the impression that Transfer Stayman was standard amongst Precision players. In the sequence:
1-1NT
2 becomes Transfer Stayman to keep the strong hand as declarer.
2 = 4-card suit
2 = 4-card suit
2NT denies a 4-card major
I have seen some Precision players reply 3 over a 2 Stayman bid promising two 4-card majors. But I guess its all a matter of partnership agreement.
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