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Why would you want to play no transfers?

#1 User is offline   twinkletob 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 15:03

Jacoby, specifically. And with a SAYC environment.
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#2 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 15:10

You wouldn't be playing SAYC anymore. It'd be an "SA" base.

Why would you not play transfers? Mainly if partner doesn't know how to use them yet. What the bids mean the second round, which are forcing, which are invitational, how to offer choice of games, how to make slam tries, etc.
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#3 User is offline   twinkletob 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 15:16

Not exactly what I was going for here. Sure, if your partner can't understand transfers, don't play them with that partner. But I'm getting a new partner! :unsure:

Would there be any reason to specifically choose not to play trasnfers as a partnership, despite both partners knowing how to play them?
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#4 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 15:37

Doubt it. Transfers are nearly universal among tournament players up to the highest level of play, which tells you that good players think the pros outweigh the cons.

The main advantages of not playing transfers are:
- get to play in 2d
- in theory, harder for opps to defend against direct signoffs in partial battles (after xfer, 4th hand can differentiate between direct & delayed action, gaining lots of calls), but in practice I rarely see opps really take advantage of this even when playing weak NT when it's their hand more often.

One might choose/invent some fancy, complicated, non-std, non-SAYC scheme that includes a lot more artificiality, as some posters have described in other threads, to achieve goals of describing certain hand types better and/or concealing opener's shape more often, but that's not really something for the novice/beginner forum. Plus most of these fancy systems include transfers of some sort (sometimes only promising 4 of the major though, not always 5+), so you aren't really getting away from transfers.
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#5 User is offline   Hanoi5 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 16:27

Because you want to create swings.

View Postwyman, on 2012-May-04, 09:48, said:

Also, he rates to not have a heart void when he leads the 3.


View Postrbforster, on 2012-May-20, 21:04, said:

Besides playing for fun, most people also like to play bridge to win


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In all fields of endeavour emotion is the arch-enemy of judgement.

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#6 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 16:51

View Posttwinkletob, on 2012-October-12, 15:16, said:

Would there be any reason to specifically choose not to play trasnfers as a partnership, despite both partners knowing how to play them?


If you are playing in a field in which you and your partner are serious underdogs, you might want to use some anti-field methods.

EDIT: As above -- posts crossed.
London, England
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#7 User is offline   SteveMoe 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 17:13

I choose to NOT play transfers if we use the 10-12 HCP 1NT opening. The rationale here is there is much less value to have the 1N opener declare, and we can use 2 versions of stayman with natural 2M bids.

Transfers help when there is a lead advantage (Jacoby/Texas), a bidding accuracy advantage (Jacoby/Texas, transfers over their takeout double or our overcall), or to induce momentary ambiguity while telling partner something important about your hand (Transfer McCabe over Weak-2 - Double auctions).
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#8 User is online   aguahombre 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 17:52

We could choose not to play transfers and not to use Stayman either. Then, we could play 2C or 2D as a final contract :rolleyes:

It wouldn't take a Simulation effort or much brainwork to figure out that Stayman and transfers will allow us to get to a correct strain and level more often than not using them.
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#9 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 20:46

Just because nearly everyone plays something does not mean it is the best method available. Look at the number of people who play sayc or 2/1 for example. Many players are unfamiliar with other methods or have no interest in system design. Having said this, I do play transfers

BUT

A number of very strong players play Gladiator style responses to 1NT. Not saying they are better or worse, but they do have some advantages eg

1NT 2H
P
2H = 5+ H invit, pass = min, no support. So you are now playing 2H rather than 2NT

They also add some other responses. eg 1NT 2D 2H 3C/D = to play
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#10 User is online   Antrax 

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Posted 2012-October-12, 21:29

I'm guessing the OP is asking because of the surprising amount of BBO profiles that have NO TRANSFERS written on them. I never figured this one out, myself.
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#11 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2012-October-14, 00:52

Advantages of transfers:

(1) They create a lot more sequences for game and slam hands, because you can transfer and then bid again.
(2) They allow opener (usually the stronger hand) to declare a lot of contracts.

Disadvantages of transfers (ignoring "forget" possibilities):

(1) They make it easier for opponents to get in the bidding (mostly because the person in 4th seat gets two chances).
(2) They allow for lead directing doubles on some auctions that would otherwise be unavailable (double the transfer bid).
(3) They take away your 2 bid (which you could otherwise use as "to play" or as a stronger stayman bid).

In general it is probably better to play transfers. However, the advantage is significantly less if you play a weaker notrump opening (like 12-14 or even less). This is because you are less likely to be in the game/slam range (advantage 1 is less), opener is less likely to have the much stronger hand (advantage 2 is less), and it's more likely that opponents will be in the bidding (disadvantage 1 is more severe). Even so, more than half the pairs I see playing weak notrump are playing transfers too.
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#12 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2012-October-14, 03:16

View Postawm, on 2012-October-14, 00:52, said:

Even so, more than half the pairs I see playing weak notrump are playing transfers too.

Over here, in the home of the weak NT, it's more like 95%.
Gordon Rainsford
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#13 User is offline   wank 

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Posted 2012-October-14, 06:09

View Postgordontd, on 2012-October-14, 03:16, said:

Over here, in the home of the weak NT, it's more like 95%.


in america the people playing weak no trump are doing so because they've thought about its tactical consequences. in uk most of the people playing weak no trump are doing so because that's what they learned and they've no idea what the tactical considerations are.
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#14 User is offline   StevenG 

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Posted 2012-October-14, 06:50

View Postwank, on 2012-October-14, 06:09, said:

in uk most of the people playing weak no trump are doing so because that's what they learned and they've no idea what the tactical considerations are.


Like insisting on playing strong NT, and not finding anyone in the club to play with?
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#15 User is offline   StevenG 

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Posted 2012-October-14, 06:53

In the Acol Club, most "no transfers" players are intermediates who don't fully understand them. There's a high correlation with people who play strong twos, which suggests they learned a long time ago but have never played club bridge.
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#16 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-October-14, 13:31

View Postgordontd, on 2012-October-14, 03:16, said:

Over here, in the home of the weak NT, it's more like 95%.


So few? I know of one regularish pair who play something other than Stayman (and they might, for all I know, play transfers) and one occasional pair who play Stayman and weak takeouts (I am half of this pair; but I think we play strong NT).
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#17 User is offline   mikestar13 

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Posted 2012-October-14, 20:52

One thing I am quite sure of: the advantage of transfers is greater the stronger the no trump is, and the disadvantages are greater the weaker the no trump is. Not playing transfers over 2NT natural is virtually unheard of. and nobody who played the 8-10 ultra-mini 1NT (no longer legal in ACBL, not sure about the rest of the world) has ever wanted to play transfers. In the case of the classic 12-14 weak NT, I think the advantages and disadvantages are about equal, but the average opponent's failure to take advantage of the greater number of sequences available to the defense tips the scales in favor of transfers. If playing a long match against a partnership both expert enough and aggressive enough to take full advantage of the extra sequences allowed by transfers, I'd rather not play them with a weak NT. This is not normally the case, so it is unsurprising that transfers with weak NT are quite popular in England.
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#18 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2012-October-16, 09:07

View PostVampyr, on 2012-October-14, 13:31, said:

(I am half of this pair; but I think we play strong NT).

Yes, I agree that remembering how strong your NT is is more important that remembering transfers. Get your priorities right ! :)
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#19 User is offline   Lord Molyb 

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Posted 2012-October-16, 20:36

I am teaching my 11 year old brother how to play; he knows transfers as it is one of the first things I taught him.
I'm guessing the people that don't know transfers are the ones that aren't inspired to learn it, the ones that play for fun.
Once my partner picked up x A AKQ7 AKQ98xx. I ended up being declarer in 6 making 7, and the board was cancelled. Everyone else played in 5 or 6 clubs making 11 tricks.
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#20 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2012-October-17, 06:56

In my experience, the most common reason for not playing transfers is that you are old, learned and played for decades without them, and can't/won't change.

Of course there may be other reasons but I don't see them much in practice.
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