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What is the proper form of alerting with lebensohl 2NT and 3 clubs

#1 User is offline   FM75 

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Posted 2014-May-21, 18:24

If a partnership has agreements on various uses of lebensohl, then clearly the 2NT and 3 bids are artificial and need to be alerted. (In particular, I am interested in ACBL, but other answers are invited.)

Assuming that 2NT is really an artificial temporizing bid, "requiring" partner to respond 3 is "relay to 3 clubs" sufficient as an explanation? If lebensohl is used in many different competitive situations, or even possibly only in a constructive situation, does anything more have to be provided at the time it is bid? If there are alternatives that might have been available - e.g. a 2 level bid, should they be described, or is that something that should be explained only if asked?

Likewise, is the explanation for 3, simply "bidding 3 as directed'?
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#2 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2014-May-21, 19:02

View PostFM75, on 2014-May-21, 18:24, said:

If a partnership has agreements on various uses of lebensohl, then clearly the 2NT and 3 bids are artificial and need to be alerted. (In particular, I am interested in ACBL, but other answers are invited.)

Assuming that 2NT is really an artificial temporizing bid, "requiring" partner to respond 3 is "relay to 3 clubs" sufficient as an explanation? If lebensohl is used in many different competitive situations, or even possibly only in a constructive situation, does anything more have to be provided at the time it is bid? If there are alternatives that might have been available - e.g. a 2 level bid, should they be described, or is that something that should be explained only if asked?

Likewise, is the explanation for 3, simply "bidding 3 as directed'?


Negative inferences are not generally alterable, so I think you're fine. The one exception I'd draw is if you're using it in situations other than opening 1N where partner actually is breaking the relay occasionally. Then you might explain that bidding 3 denies a game forcing single suiter or whatever.
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#3 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-May-21, 19:51

If it's artificial, it has to be alerted. That covers 2NT, 3, and at least some of the other follow ons. Explanations I would use:

2NT: artificial, relay (or puppet, if it's that) to 3. Partner will have a weak hand, or possibly a game hand with a four card major, or a hand wanting to play in NT. In the latter two cases, partner will have a stopper in your suit.
3: artificial, bidding as instructed. <If he might break the relay, explain that he doesn't have whatever hand types would do that>. Yes, it's a negative inference. I still think it should be disclosed now. If not, it should certainly be disclosed during the clarification period - although perhaps by that time it's better to describe what he does have rather than what he doesn't.
direct cue bid: artificial, Staymanic, denies (or shows) a stopper in your suit.
direct 3 of a new suit: natural, forcing.

after the 3 bid:

cue bid: artificial, Staymanic, shows (or denies) a stopper in your suit.
new suit: natural, to play.

The natural bids convey strength information, which may (or may not, this is a gray area, I think) mean they require an alert.

Apropos of nothing, one thing that annoys me is when I describe a suit bid as "artificial" and my opponent asks "does it say anything about <that suit>?" What part of "artificial" do you not understand?
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#4 User is online   barmar 

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Posted 2014-May-22, 09:55

The most common confusion about Lebensohl is whether you have to alert the bids that bypass 2NT. If you don't play Lebensohl after a double of a weak 2, a non-jump response on the 3 level can be very weak. But if you use Lebensohl, this bid shows constructive values, and I believe that should be alerted, based on the ACBL rule about alerting bids that have unusual strength. The same goes if you play conventional continuations over a reverse to show weakness, and don't use them.

#5 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-May-22, 12:52

View Postbarmar, on 2014-May-22, 09:55, said:

If you don't play Lebensohl after a double of a weak 2, a non-jump response on the 3 level can be very weak.

Can it? The dilemma, of course, is that if you have a weak hand, you don't want doubler bouncing to game, or even just raising to invite. You want him to pass. But I don't think that "weak" is in any way standard.
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#6 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2014-May-22, 13:47

View Postbarmar, on 2014-May-22, 09:55, said:

If you don't play Lebensohl after a double of a weak 2, a non-jump response on the 3 level can be very weak.


View Postblackshoe, on 2014-May-22, 12:52, said:

Can it? The dilemma, of course, is that if you have a weak hand, you don't want doubler bouncing to game, or even just raising to invite. You want him to pass. But I don't think that "weak" is in any way standard.

Ed, you need to rethink that. Let's take Barry's word for it that if advancer does not have an artificial way to show weakness after partner's takeout double, taking it out to a suit as cheaply as possible shows weakness on this planet.
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#7 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-May-22, 19:30

View Postaguahombre, on 2014-May-22, 13:47, said:

Ed, you need to rethink that. Let's take Barry's word for it that if advancer does not have an artificial way to show weakness after partner's takeout double, taking it out to a suit as cheaply as possible shows weakness on this planet.

Nothing against Barry, but I don't see why we should take his word for it. My understanding, mostly from reading about the convention, is that the "standard" meaning of 3 of a new suit is that it's forcing in this auction, so Lebensohl was applied to allow people to differentiate. I suppose I'll have to go dig out Truscott's The Bidding Dictionary and see what he says.

As for "on this planet", I don't know of any other planets where this game is played. Do you?
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#8 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2014-May-22, 22:30

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-May-22, 19:30, said:

Nothing against Barry, but I don't see why we should take his word for it. My understanding, mostly from reading about the convention, is that the "standard" meaning of 3 of a new suit is that it's forcing in this auction, so Lebensohl was applied to allow people to differentiate. I suppose I'll have to go dig out Truscott's The Bidding Dictionary and see what he says.

As for "on this planet", I don't know of any other planets where this game is played. Do you?

A takeout double would be forcing to the four-level opposite XXX XX XX XXXXXX on your planet unless the pair plays Lebensohl. Barry was talking about a pair who don't play Lebensohl.
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#9 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-May-22, 22:37

Obviously I don't know how to play this game, so I'm bowing out.
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I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
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#10 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2014-May-22, 23:53

View PostFM75, on 2014-May-21, 18:24, said:

Assuming that 2NT is really an artificial temporizing bid, "requiring" partner to respond 3 is "relay to 3 clubs" sufficient as an explanation?

I think "relay to 3" is a long way from sufficient. The most important question from the opponents' point of view is "What hands can he have?", not "What's going to happen next?".

With most poeople the best way to describe this is "Lebensohl", but if you think that might not be understood you should say something like "He wants me to bid 3. He can have a signoff with clubs, diamond or hearts, or various strong hands."

I'd avoid the term "relay", as for some people (including the Bridge World) that implies a bid that asks for information.
... 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   aguahombre 

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Posted 2014-May-23, 03:46

View Postgnasher, on 2014-May-22, 23:53, said:

I think "relay to 3" is a long way from sufficient. The most important question from the opponents' point of view is "What hands can he have?", not "What's going to happen next?".

With most poeople the best way to describe this is "Lebensohl", but if you think that might not be understood you should say something like "He wants me to bid 3. He can have a signoff with clubs, diamond or hearts, or various strong hands."

I'd avoid the term "relay", as for some people (including the Bridge World) that implies a bid that asks for information.

This is good, but I am still uncomfortable with saying "He wants me to bid 3." Two reasons:

1) 3 is expected, but not required; so, I include something to that effect so it won't sound like 3C is forced, even though "wants me to" is not a demand.
2) He is a she :rolleyes:
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#12 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2014-May-23, 04:16

For what its worth, the EBU recently decided that 1NT-(2S)-3D was not alertable if it showed diamonds: forcing OR non-forcing.
Robin

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#13 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2014-May-23, 04:34

View PostRMB1, on 2014-May-23, 04:16, said:

For what its worth, the EBU recently decided that 1NT-(2S)-3D was not alertable if it showed diamonds: forcing OR non-forcing.

Excellent. The person most likely to gain from an alert in that situation is the person who bid 3D...reassurance (or not) that the partnership is on the same page.
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#14 User is online   barmar 

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Posted 2014-May-23, 10:41

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-May-22, 22:37, said:

Obviously I don't know how to play this game, so I'm bowing out.


Maybe you've been playing Lebensohl so long that you've forgotten how beginners bid without it.

The auction goes (2) X (P). You have a zero count and 3=3=2=5 shape. You don't play Lebensohl. What do you think you're supposed to bid, if not a 3, which is a new suit on the 3 level?

#15 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-May-23, 11:20

Agua said I'm an idiot. He was right. 3new suit, not playing Lebensohl, can't be forcing. Somehow, knowing that doesn't make me feel any better. :(
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#16 User is offline   FM75 

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Posted 2014-May-23, 22:15

I felt a bit embarrassed to even ask this question. Now I am glad I did.

We use it very broadly. In constructive auction after 3rd suit if at the two level, in competitive auctions, regardless of who opened, after X of a weak two, and in one mildly unusual auction (precision) 1 (1) 2N = lebensohl, with the only additional restriction that it is not lebensohl if it is some other artificial bid in our system such as unusual no trump or a Romex ask to make short suit game try, or if it is an asking bid or a response to one.

While there might be some odd cases where partner could elect not to bid 3, we do consider it obligatory.

2N = relay to 3 seems like a minimum. "Lebensohl" means many things to many people and nothing to a few. I felt that if asked, we might also say lebensohl, but was worried that somebody might later object "that was not lebensohl" which could be true from their understanding. Clearly explanations of any follow-on alertable bids, after 3, seem required if asked, but I wanted to make sure that at any point we had our "ducks in a row" with respect to any required disclosure.
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#17 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2014-May-26, 10:43

Absolutely. The keys to make clear are:
  • 2NT doesn't necessarily show clubs, but a common hand is "wants to play 3" (for some reason most of my TD calls around this convention are "but they told me they had clubs" (no, they told you it requires opener to bid 3, and you assumed from there (but it's a reasonable assumption if you don't play it))).
  • Strength is undefined at the moment; could be strictly competitive, could be game-forcing (that's another one that the "forces 3" people get TD calls after: 1NT-(2)-2NT!-(3) (after questions); p-p-X -800 "but they said he wanted to compete in clubs. They didn't say he has 13 high and AKx!")


I happen to be lucky; I can iterate the options on the fly; so I do. I realize that that isn't the way everyone thinks. I hate any description that says what *I'm* going to do, especially when it's useless information (so I really dislike "forces me to bid 3", never mind the above issues), but this one is really difficult. The 3 call is easier to describe: "forced, so I can describe my hand."

Also, be prepared to be able to answer the question "what suit do you Lebensohl around?" when, for instance, 2 overcall shows diamonds and hearts.
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#18 User is online   barmar 

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Posted 2014-May-26, 20:03

I usually describe the 2NT bid something like "asks me to bid 3; he usually has a weak hand, he'll pass if it's clubs, or show his suit with his next bid."


In the case of Lebensohl over 1NT, "asks" becomes "requires" -- opener can't have the kinds of hands that would break the relay like he could when he doubles or reverses.

#19 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2014-May-27, 11:18

in context, but totally off topic, I remember an auction that went:

1NT-(2!) "please explain" "I have to bid 2, after which she'll show her hand" (they play straight up Cappelletti, so it was "some one-suited hand").
I was really hoping it was going to go double! so I could explain the Alert as "I have to bid 2, after which she'll show her hand"
(Normally my explanation would be "she either wants to play 2, OR she has one of several invitational or better hands". But I wouldn't have been able to resist)
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#20 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2014-May-27, 11:33

View Postbarmar, on 2014-May-26, 20:03, said:

I usually describe the 2NT bid something like "asks me to bid 3; he usually has a weak hand, he'll pass if it's clubs, or show his suit with his next bid."


In the case of Lebensohl over 1NT, "asks" becomes "requires" -- opener can't have the kinds of hands that would break the relay like he could when he doubles or reverses.

Yep.
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