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Interesting Q from rec.games.bridge

#1 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2007-February-02, 12:42

1-P-1-P-
2-P-3-P-
3???

What the heck is 3? (Paraphrased question.)

An idea. Normally, a call like this (new suit after fit agreement, new bid forces game) is a slam move or a try for 3NT. I'm not sure how this helps the 3NT cause, or why that cause is of interest. So, it seems to be cue seeking slam.

The problem seems to be figuring a hand suitable for slam when Opener only rebids 2 and Responder only raises to 3.

One possibility is something like this:

Scoring: IMP


These hands would probably be bid this way. IF 3 were to show (1) a spade void, (2) a good fragment in one of the minors, (3) good trumps, and (4) three small in the other minor, then Responder could "accept" by bidding four of an undisclosed short minor with (a.) a stiff on the side and (b.) honor-fifth in the other minor. Perhaps Opener could have solid hearts and honor-third in a minor, responder three small trumps and HHxxx in the minor.

This seems a tad esoteric, but does anything else make sense?

If something else makes sense, can anyone find a sane auction to 6 on the example hands?

Admittedly, I think I would raise hearts initially, not bidding 1. So, I am more-and-more at a quandry. Subtract one heart and a trump lead defeats the slam. xxxxx-Qx-void-Axxxxx?
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#2 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2007-February-02, 12:57

3S shows 3-card support (and obviously accepts partner's game try).

Responder might want to know this since he could have, for example, 6 spades and 2 hearts.

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#3 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2007-February-02, 13:00

A simple answer is that 3 is natural.

opener, with some 3=6 in the majors, rebids 2 over 1. Now responder raises: usually on a doubleton , altho he may have 3+.

opener intends to accept the game try.

Responder may well have 5+s. He may even be 6=2 in the majors. So opener should bid 3 on the way to 4 in order to offer a choice of games;

Compare this mundane, relatively commonplace scenario with the bizarre layout catered to by ken's suggestion. Which is more likely? Which is of more use?

BTW, catering to 'slam' after this sequence is silly. Opener has a non-jump rebid and responder has invitational-to-game values and we are now turning 3 into a slam probe??????
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#4 User is offline   hotShot 

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Posted 2007-February-02, 13:25

The logical choice is that it is natural (3 cards), because responder showed 4+'s while he can have much more.
If it is not natural, it is showing a control.
On the way to game or more, this can be a useful information, that allows partner to evaluate his holding.

Kx [space] [space] [space] [space]AQJTx [space] [space] [space] [space] [space]
AKJxxx [space] [space]Txx
Axxx [space] [space] [space]Kx
x [space] [space] [space] [space] xx

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#5 User is offline   pclayton 

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Posted 2007-February-02, 13:42

kenrexford, on Feb 2 2007, 10:42 AM, said:

1-P-1-P-
2-P-3-P-
3???

What the heck is 3? (Paraphrased question.)

An idea. Normally, a call like this (new suit after fit agreement, new bid forces game) is a slam move or a try for 3NT. I'm not sure how this helps the 3NT cause, or why that cause is of interest. So, it seems to be cue seeking slam.

The problem seems to be figuring a hand suitable for slam when Opener only rebids 2 and Responder only raises to 3.

One possibility is something like this:

Scoring: IMP


These hands would probably be bid this way. IF 3 were to show (1) a spade void, (2) a good fragment in one of the minors, (3) good trumps, and (4) three small in the other minor, then Responder could "accept" by bidding four of an undisclosed short minor with (a.) a stiff on the side and (b.) honor-fifth in the other minor. Perhaps Opener could have solid hearts and honor-third in a minor, responder three small trumps and HHxxx in the minor.

This seems a tad esoteric, but does anything else make sense?

If something else makes sense, can anyone find a sane auction to 6 on the example hands?

Admittedly, I think I would raise hearts initially, not bidding 1. So, I am more-and-more at a quandry. Subtract one heart and a trump lead defeats the slam. xxxxx-Qx-void-Axxxxx?

Ditto. I would take 3 as natural.

By the way, I strongly disagree with a 1 call in this example. I think the rational start is 1 - 2 - 3.
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#6 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2007-February-02, 14:08

mikeh, on Feb 2 2007, 07:00 PM, said:

BTW, catering to 'slam' after this sequence is silly. Opener has a non-jump rebid and responder has invitational-to-game values and we are now turning 3 into a slam probe??????


I would go even further and say that to get slam after this start would violate a basic principle of bidding theory.

If you have some freak 2H bid and don't care about violating basic principles of bidding theory, you can use 4C or 4D to tell you partner that you would like to get involved in an impossible auction.

But unlike 4C and 4D, 3S is a useful natural bid.

Probably a reasonable convention would be to play 3S to be completely artificial and mean "bid 3NT if you want".

Not that I would necessarily suggest using this convention even if it could be proven to be more useful than a natural 3S (because it is too obscure).

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#7 User is offline   000002 

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Posted 2007-February-02, 21:47

fred, on Feb 2 2007, 03:08 PM, said:

mikeh, on Feb 2 2007, 07:00 PM, said:

BTW, catering to 'slam' after this sequence is silly. Opener has a non-jump rebid and responder has invitational-to-game values and we are now turning 3 into a slam probe??????


I would go even further and say that to get slam after this start would violate a basic principle of bidding theory.

If you have some freak 2H bid and don't care about violating basic principles of bidding theory, you can use 4C or 4D to tell you partner that you would like to get involved in an impossible auction.

But unlike 4C and 4D, 3S is a useful natural bid.

Probably a reasonable convention would be to play 3S to be completely artificial and mean "bid 3NT if you want".

Not that I would necessarily suggest using this convention even if it could be proven to be more useful than a natural 3S (because it is too obscure).

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com

Probably a reasonable convention would be to play 3S to be completely artificial and mean "bid 3NT if you want".

yes i agree with a little difference.
Probably a reasonable convention would be to play 3S to be completely artificial and mean "bid 3NT because i want".

a typical hand which opener hold:
xx
AQxxxx
Ax
Axx

btw,the new suit bidded by opener is a short suit,not cue bid in this caes,the reason is more frequence.take instanse:
1---1
2---3
4-----------------this 4 show sigleton with honor or void alonely.


regards 000002
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#8 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2007-February-02, 22:05

I thought the same thing eventually. I'm not even sure that 6-2 is necessary for 3 to make sense as a simple choice of games. It also makes sense that a 4 or 4 call be reserved for that insane slam aspiration. That, and the fact that it takes a wildly distributional layout for any slam to make anyway.
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#9 User is offline   HeartA 

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Posted 2007-February-03, 13:45

pclayton, on Feb 2 2007, 02:42 PM, said:

Ditto. I would take 3 as natural.

By the way, I strongly disagree with a 1 call in this example. I think the rational start is 1 - 2 - 3.

Agree completely. As Fred said, after 1S response and 2H-3H, it's impossible to get to slam, unless both players are beginners.
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#10 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2007-February-03, 16:23

HeartA, on Feb 3 2007, 07:45 PM, said:

pclayton, on Feb 2 2007, 02:42 PM, said:

Ditto. I would take 3 as natural.

By the way, I strongly disagree with a 1 call in this example. I think the rational start is 1 - 2 - 3.

Agree completely. As Fred said, after 1S response and 2H-3H, it's impossible to get to slam, unless both players are beginners.

I disagree with this.

There are plenty of good players who do not have a sound knowledge of basic bidding theory.

My opinion is that most players is this class were once talented beginners who spent too much time learning lots of conventions and systems when they should have been focusing on the basics.

Such players can be moderately effective at the table, especially when the auction is one that they are familiar with, but their weakness with the fundamentals tends to be a problem when an auction arises that is not covered by their system notes.

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#11 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 07:49

Fred,

What would you recommend to the student of basic bidding theory? Any particular good books or articles? Anything else?
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#12 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 08:03

I may be exhibiting confused misinterpretation grown from paranoia, but I sense a slight. The inference seems to be that even contemplating slam after this start must be based upon a lack of understandings of the fundamentals of the game.

I'm not sure precisely what fundamentals are implicated in this specific situation. The specific situation seems to be whether it is possible to initiate a slam move in a given game-invite auction. That may seem to be an impossible problem to face, as it seems unlikely that one partner would make a limited, non-forcing call and the other a simple game invite (offering 10 tricks), both intelligently, and yet the partnership could suddenly contemplate 12 tricks.

I would suggest, however that this phenomenon is real, and not purely the fruits of misunderstanding of fundamentals. Rather, it is perhaps a result of an understanding of a principle that is often missed. "Evaluation" is a concept first taught as a function of HCP's. The rookie only sees HCP's. A newbie I play with regularly, for instance, fails to see, in practice, that a 6-4 8-count is huge opposite a 1NT opening, as opposed to a 4333 8-count.

Then, you add distributional analysis, like points for shortness or points for length. Maybe you advance into LTC, thereby gaining better understanding, always of evaluating the potential of your hand. You might even get into a concept like dummy points, or cover cards, to start to see the poential of fit-analysis.

Fit-analysis is where the "impossible" becomes possible. Fit-analysis is often coupled with empathy for conservative views taken before safety is assured, empathy for evaluations based upon likelihood of layouts that may change, empathy for variables that move from rare to likely, and the like.

A simple example. Consider the potential power of 5431 opposite 5332. If one was to guess knowing somehow that the patterns were 5431 opposite 5332, one might expect 5 4 3 1 opposite 2 3 3 5. Nine honor covers, worth 29 HCP's, fill in the spaces and yield an expectation of nine tricks. Distribution provides little expectation of ruffing tricks, as no fit is present. Thus, normal HCP analysis, and even cover-card analysis, justifies caution.

Switch the pattern such that a spade fit is present. Maybe 5 4 3 1 opposite 3 2 3 5. The same 29 HCP's are needed to cover all the holes. A ruff or two may be possible, but these are not on the short side. So, the stiff takes on mild distributional value. The doubleton offers a really slow possibility of one trick from ruffing. Establishing clubs is a remote hope.

Now, we assume that a major will be raised, even if not the "ideal" contract. What happens if we further tweak the distribution? Suppose it is now 5 4 3 1 opposite 3 5 2 3? The same 29 HCP's fill the holes. If the contract remains spades, the shortness has limited value as before. However, the secondary heart fit now provides a better likelihood of pips coming in. The hand strength increases, but not tremendously.

What if, however, the auction converts to contemplation of the heart fit as trumps? Suddenly, the shortness becomes a great asset, as you are now ruffing on the short side. Instead of reducing the long suit, perhaps a negative feature, you are likely gaining two entire tricks. Thus, if the partnership was in an invitational posture as to a spade contract, just getting to 10 tricks after full exchange, you suddenly get to 12 tricks of the trump suit is shifted to hearts, the expect 10 plus two additional tricks from trumps. That, and the gain from converting a 5-3 trump fit, and all the bad things that can happen there, to a 5-4 trump fit, a safer fit and one that might even negate Q-J-10-9 or K-J-9-x from the opposition to no tricks.

This phenomenon occurs because of the partnership discussion. One starts with a spade opening. The other, applying a sound theory to support with support, raises with a limitefd hand (maybe, 6-9, with not much distributional interest -- 5332). Opener invites game, showing pattern (the hearts), inviting because 6-9 and a fit will produce game enough of the time only if responder was maximum. Hearing new distributional information, a new strain offers itself, and old assumptions on both sides crumble away, the rare becoming the known. Thus, slam aspirations replace mere game hopes.

A simple example:

Scoring: IMP


West would open 1 on his 5431, 14-HCP, 16-point with distribution, 6 1/2 loser hand. East would make a simple raise with his 8-HCP, 9-point with distribution, 8 1/2 loser, 2 1/2 cover-card hand. Opener would invite with his hand, showing diamonds if using natural game tries, because he needs a maximum, well-placed, to make game. East can accept the game try in spades.

If the partnershop changes tack at the 3 point, however, in an auction that could have concluded with rejection of the game try, Responder might bid, say, 3NT, showing three internal cover cards (Q, A, Q). Opener would then be able to re-evaluate as well and virtually see twelve tricks in the play.

So, perhaps 1-1-2-3 is not a start that lends itself well to possible new-fit slam scenarios. Maybe no one would rebid 2 with void-AKJxxx-xxxx-Axx? Maybe no one would have reciprocated with 1...3 holding xxxx-xx-AKQxx-xx?

The 3 call seems obviously choice of games, now. However, 4 and 4 as slam moves are not impossible, as there are layouts where the auction to date would be consistent as game-only moves and yet slam is possible but not practical to seek previously. This sequence might make those aspirations very rare chances, and perhaps the likelihood of discovering those layouts is lower than the risk to the game from actually exploring those possibilities. However, I doubt that pure beginners would conduct this sort of analysis, and I strongly disagree that invitational auctions cannot involve reassessment to slam aspirational unless lacking fundamentals.

The key problem is in knowing what pattern blends are possible in a given auction to produce slam from invites and catering slam moves to those patterns if the slam move does not jeopardize the game. This may be obvious to some, and the slam moves well-known. I doubt that. Rather, I'd assume that most need to figure out strange auctions that offer strange possibilities, then discuss the matrix necessary, and then discuss the methods necessary to discover that matrix. I'm aware of few sources for these matrices. My gut tells me that matrices exist in this auction, but I'm still uncertain as to what they are, if they are safe to explore, and the like.
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#13 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 08:45

kenrexford, on Feb 4 2007, 05:03 PM, said:

Rather, I'd assume that most need to figure out strange auctions that offer strange possibilities, then discuss the matrix necessary, and then discuss the methods necessary to discover that matrix.  I'm aware of few sources for these matrices.  My gut tells me that matrices exist in this auction, but I'm still uncertain as to what they are, if they are safe to explore, and the like.

Here's a quick point that you might want to shove up your matrix: The auction that you are discussing is completely different from the one that started this conversation. In the original hand, the auction started

1 - 1
2 - 3

Both hands have limited themselves and indicated that they have (at best) game invitational values.

The auction that you propose

1 - 2
3

Is very different: Playing standard methods, the 1 opener is limited only by the failure to open 2. A natural 3 response shows shape, however, this can be either a game try or a slam try. In turn, this requires a bit more complexity in the advance structure.

It is certainly possible to construct perfect hands that the card gods might deal a slam on hands where both players have made limited bids. As you note, this will typically require some kind of double fit. However, double fits are knives that cut both ways. In the example hands that you provides, N/S have a double fit in Spades and Diamonds. However, East/West have a double fit in Hearts and Clubs. Between them E/W have 10 clubs to the AKQJT and 8 Hearts to the KQJT.

I'd be very interested to see a pair of hands where N/S have a reasonable chance of making slam after the auction started

1 - 1
2 - 3

that wouldn't need to cope with some kind of overcall, be it an unusual NT, a weak jumpshift, or even a standard overcall.
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#14 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 09:22

Well, the actual proposal that I offered might be one. The 1 call picked off the opponents' spade fit. The secondary club fit might also be implausible to find, or just not found.

A possible layout to contemplate:

Scoring: IMP


This may be remote, admittedly, but possible. Slam makes if hearts are 3-2, or stiff Queen, and diamonds no worse then 3-1. However, Opener probably bids exactly 1...2 and Responder probably 1...3.

This may not be the best matrix to cover, if any. However, it seems that one exists.

I doubt that South will intervene over 1. If North needs a better hand to compete with 1 when vulnerable, then he will also pass twice. If KJxxx is enough, perhaps Kxxx, as AQJx if not much greater an incentive for south to bid.
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#15 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 11:14

blackshoe, on Feb 4 2007, 01:49 PM, said:

Fred,

What would you recommend to the student of basic bidding theory? Any particular good books or articles? Anything else?

I am sorry, but the only good books I know of on this subject were written more than 50 years ago. Probably for some they would still be interesting to read, but the game has changed so much since then that I expect most non-experts reading such books (if they could even find a copy) would end up becoming confused.

I see most of today's books about bidding as analogous to those spam-like ads "work part time from your home and earn $100,000+ per year!" or "eat all the chocolate you want and never gain any weight!". Most modern books on bidding I have seen are nothing but hype and what they are hyping is some bidding system or collection of conventions that will "improve your results by 10% without you having to learn the basics!".

Here is what I would suggest:

Don't give a great deal of consious thought to this subject in your first few years of serious play. Learn a simple bidding system and only the few conventions that are so popular that they have essentially become part of "standard bidding" (unfortunately there are now quite a few conventions that fall into this category).

Keep your mind uncluttered with conventions that you don't really understand and play as many hands as possible, ideally with either a keen regular partner who is at roughly the same level as you or with a much better player who understands that it will help you more to spend your time discussing concepts like "a jump shift is forcing to game but a reverse is not" rather than the latest flavor of modified DONT.

Your brain is a remarkable machine. You will learn a lot of what is important by osmosis, especially if you manage to avoid distractions (like trying to come up with the best possible scheme of rescues when the 10-12 1NT opening that you shouldn't be using get doubled).

If you can afford to hire a professional player to be your partner or to give you online lessons (or whatever) you should do so, but do not hire anyone unless they are highly recommended by a person you trust and respect. If the pro or teacher starts by telling you that you must learn to play "4 of our minor is always 1430 Keycard Blackwood with specialized followups to the trump Queen ask" then find someone else - this person is trying to sell you snake oil.

After each session you play you should think about the hands and talk them over with your partner. If your partner is at the same level as you, try to make friends with an experienced player who is willing to discuss the hands you are not sure about (and who is the type of player whose idea of good advice does not involve teaching you that you would not have had a problem if you used his preferred variety of Extended 2-way Reverse Drury).

If you are fortunate enough to have access to an experienced player who is willing to help you, do not waste this opportunity by asking him questions that are designed to boost your ego (by trying to convince him/her to agree that your disaster on a particular hand was your partner's fault for example). LISTEN to your expert friend/teacher even if you disagree with him or her. Then THINK about it later. Do not get defensive when you are told that one of your bids was horrible. Instead try to understand what went wrong with your thinking process so that you can learn from your mistakes.

Once you get to the point that you consider yourself to be solid intermediate player (this should take 2 or 3 years of hard work) you should buy a subscription to The Bridge World magazine (and if you have friend who has a collection of back issues try to borrow them). Each month this magazine has a feature called The Master Solvers' Club. Read it and think about what you read. Re-read it and think about what you read.

You may find the other features of this magazine to be interesting as well, but it is fine if you read only The Master Solvers's Club in each issue.

This will help you to learn things like:

1) That bidding is not just an exercise in language, it is also an exercise in logic
2) How strong players apply logic to solve unfamiliar problems
3) The axioms that form the basis of this logic (which are "the basic principles of bidding theory" that I referred to in an earlier post)
4) You will also learn plenty about the language aspects of bidding, but most of these lessons will not involve learning the names and mechanics of new conventions.
5) That bidding situations in which the "right" answer is not at all clear are far from rare, regardless of how well you play.

This will also help you to improve your bidding judgment. Good bidding judgment is largely a function of experience. Reading what a bunch of good players have to say about a bunch of interesting bidding problems allows you to benefit from their vast experience without having to experience the same hands yourself.

Keep in mind that in many ways "learning the basics of bidding theory" is similar to things like "learning the basics of probability theory" or "learning the mechanics of compound squeezes" - these are all just parts of the game. On any given hand any given part of the game is unlikely to matter. You can survive (and you can certainly enjoy bridge) without learning such things.

All players are better at some parts of the game than others. For most parts of the game it is not necessary to be highly proficient in order to achieve reasonable results at the table.

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#16 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 12:32

Ken,

With all due respect, I think you are missing the point. Consider this auction (which is analogous to the one you introduced that started this thread):

1NT 2C
2H 3H

Now suppose the 1NT opener has this hand:

AKx
KQxxx
xxx
Ax

I hope you will agree that it would absurd for him to think:

4D here should mean "if you have a singleton diamond then we might have a slam", for example:

Qxxxx
Axxx
x
xxx

Probably you will also agree that it would be even more absurd for him to think:

Even though we have not discussed this, I expect my partner to work out that 4D shows this hand.

Sorry if I am putting incorrect words in your mouth, but I believe your argument is based on the (correct) notion that:

"It is possible that slam is very good or laydown when the bidding starts this way".

But in my view you are incorrect in concluding:

"Therefore one should define bids so that they facilitate getting to our cold slam".

Forget about "violations of basic bidding theory" for a moment and consider:

1) You do not take into account the likelyhood that slam is a good bet when the auction starts this way (my guess is 1% or less)

2) You do not take into account the downside of simply trying for slam, let alone doing so in a way that describes an unusual feature of your hand

As far as 2) goes, first consider the memory factor. You are talking about defining a convention that applies in an auction that will occur maybe once per tournament and is designed to help you on maybe 1% of those hands. When the magic hands are dealt for the first time 5 years from now, do you think you and your partner will remember? If yes, do you think the burden of having to review and remember this each time you read your system notes might hurt your performance during those 5 years?

The other downside is that, when it is only the opener who is dealt the magic hand (which obviously is much more likely than both opener and responder being dealt magic) you will lose IMPs because you will be giving your opponents information.

It is unlikely that your partner cares about this information (because he is unlikely to have a magic hand himself), but it is quite likely that the opponents care. Given that your partner's remaining role in the deal will be to put down the dummy (almost always in 4H) and that the opponents still have plenty of decisions to make on defense, I would be concerned about sharing information.

This is easy to see in my example that started with 1NT - the last thing you want to do is tell the opening leader that you have xxx in diamonds.

The same is true in your example. Once every 5 years (if you play a LOT) you will gain 13 IMPs (or whatever) when your methods allow you to bid the magic slam. But during those 5 years you will lose many more IMPs (some in the form of fewer overtricks) by telling the opponents that you have a particular void (or side 4-card suit with 2 of the top 3 honors or whatever).

Hopefully I have convinced you that you have more to lose than you have to gain when you make a slam try in this sort of auction.

So you should not make slam tries in this sort of auction.

So you should not spend your time thinking about which set of artificial agreements regarding slam tries are most effective.

I actually believe that "The Basic Principles of Bidding Theory" should NOT be treated as sacred rules that must NEVER be violated. I intentionally violate them myself on occasion. The only true RULE as far as I am concerned is "Make the bid that you think will get you the best result".

However, in this (and most other) cases, following The Basic Principles of Bidding Theory turns out to be right. One of these Principles tells us that we should not even think about slam when the bidding goes this way.

I have tried to explain why I think this is proper strategy.

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com

#17 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 14:10

While I understand and agree with much of what you are saying, Fred, I'm not all that sure that I agree completely.

I start my exploration of understanding the game from the concept of learning all that there is about the mysteries of cards. In the situation you gave, with a 1NT opener facing an invite and slam making, the "mystery of the game" is that slam can make when limited-opposite-invitational, as you have illustrated. There are numerous hands where this occurs, with a recurring theme to these of double-fits.

Before discounting the idea, I then determine if there is a sequence capable of finding these slams. What you have described is what I would call an "empathetic splinter," a call that empathizes a specific hand type where slam makes and shows splinter-acceptance values if the empathy is well-founded. So, in the example, there is a technique.

Third, I'll determine whether that technique is logical. When only one hand type exists, and one bid is available, then the logic of the situation suggests that the call works as a descriptive call.

Fourth, will partner catch it? For that concern, I'll rely upon whether we have discussed the sequence or parallel sequences. If so, he will.

Fifth, is the complexity too much? For some of us, complexity is not a problem because many of us can memorize and understand vast amounts of bridge-related data. If some specific occurrence comes up once in a lifetime, but you can remember that much, great! However, it is clearly better to have themes that recur. Empathized splinters are themes that actually do recur (I found multiple examples in the last few years of high-level competition vugraphs).

Sixth, is the gain worthy of the effort? Slam swings speak for themselves.

Seventh, does the gain potential outweigh the risk potential?

That last question is the Bid Daddy question. Almost never does the gain justify the risk at MP. At IMP's, perhaps. I have had difficulty finding deals where empathized splinters in game-only auctions actually lead to different results, let alone degree differences (game set, as opposed to overtrick lost). The main reason, on a hand like this, is that xxx in diamonds, Ax in clubs, and AKx in spades as a holding by itself makes a diamond lead likely in the first place. When one person has power values (primes, concentrations) like described, furthermore, game is rarely in jeopardy anyway, and leads rarely make much difference.

In any event, the Big Daddy question cannot be properly assessed unless one analyzes and understand deals like these rare double-fit, perfect hand deals and understands the techniques necessary to actually find slam. Without this, simple lack of tools forces game-only bidding. Once you realize the possibilities, and agree on tools/principles for these deals, then you can assess whether the zoom or the science is best for the hand/situation/event. Obviously, for instance, the science might have more merit when down and needing a swing or when playing up or when your assessment of the opponents' auction suggests that "they might find this one."

When memorization is not a factor, and you and partner are on the same wavelength, would it not make sense to be able to make a sane move when you need to, with actual tools? Averages be damned -- sometimes this is one hand for the money. Sure, early on you might simply sign off and remain silent, playing the odds despite understanding the possibilities and having the tools.
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#18 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 14:28

Ken, I disagree with your statement that showing xxx will unlikely cause you to lose a game swing. After an invitational auction, many players would make a passive lead and never lead away from KJx into the strong NT opener. Same for any holding with the A and without the K.

[I agree that there are situations where you can make an impossible bid, to show unexpected slam interest. Let's say you open 1N with Ax KQx Axxx Axxx. Partner transfers with 2 and bids 3N, choice of game. I would consider bidding 4, as partner may well have a hand where looking for slam would be looking for perfect cards (and thus lead to many bad slams when I accept with a maximum but not perfect cards), and so 4 can tell him I do have perfect hands for a heart slam. But I don't think the above situation is one of them.]
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#19 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 15:09

A dangled worm gets bitten.

Sure, you may object that bidding 4 might lead to a diamond lead that otherwise might not be made. However, look what happens if you understand the situation, discuss it, and understand what 4 means, and then assess its use in alternative auctions.

Suppose, instead, that the minors were reversed. 4 would be the bid instead of 4. Now, change the auction such that Opener's RHO doubles 2 Stayman. Now, the club lead is assured and the stiff more likely. Almost no risk from the info; greater chance of gain.

The actual 4 call might be made after 1NT-P-2-2-2-P-3.

The same theory might occur after 1NT-P-2-2-P-P-X-P when Opener holds xxxx Qxx AKQx Ax, if the double showed values and offense-to-defense high. Again, spade lead likely anyway, and shortness more likely. This hand was from actual play, slam missed.

How about KJxx-10xxx-Ax-AKQ opposite Q10xx-v-KQx-J1098xx? If 1NT-P-2-P-2-P-3 showed clubs, spades, and invitational values, would you expect as Opener that a stiff heart was likely as opposed to remote (partner seems to be 6-4 to introduce such cruddy clubs)? How do you show this powerhouse without a jump to 4 as an empathized splinter bid? Soloway-Hamman and Bramley-Feldman failed to find this slam, but this sequence suggests strongly that the rare is probable, tipping the odds in favor of the call.

Meddling from the opponents and other indicators often erase the lead-directive risk and often increase the likelihood of the otherwise unlikely.

Back to the original problem. What about 1-P-1-2-2-X(Snapdragon)-3-3-4? NOW, bidding 4 makes sense if it shows a hand like I earlier described. Our auction is the same, but the likelihood of the remote being present radically increases, now perhaps outweighing the risks.

So, if the call has been discussed and understood, this new situation might occur where the call threatens much less risk and offers much greater chance of success.

True, you might lose in the long run using it in unimpeded auctions. However, the call might be available in impeded auctions, where the risk is negated and the benefits more likely. It probably occurs more often in contested auctions.
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#20 User is offline   jikl 

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Posted 2007-February-04, 16:50

Quote

I am sorry, but the only good books I know of on this subject were written more than 50 years ago. Probably for some they would still be interesting to read, but the game has changed so much since then that I expect most non-experts reading such books (if they could even find a copy) would end up becoming confused.


Fred,

Do you think this might have something to do with the fact that noone plays rubber bridge anymore? In rubber it is all natural bidding and you have to think about the auction.

Sean
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