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Relay question

#1 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2007-February-25, 03:46

What is the best way to avoid unnecesary shape shwoing when we dont need them ?
Im about to start a relay system again, last time i really didnt like it that we were relaying too much with hand of no slam interest just wasting time and giving shape and in good days stoping in the obvious game at the end.
I know there is the weak relay, using the next step to show weak hand asking partner to answer only if he got extra, is this the best way today ?
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2007-February-25, 08:12

A well designed relay structure should be thought of as a complement or enabler for the rest of your system. The relays are (rarely) an "end" in and of themselves and can't be analyzed in isolation. Seriously... When was the last time you heard anyone go out and say "Relays are FUN! Let's graft some onto our 1 opening!"

There are some obvious exceptions. For example, if you are really trying to get a lot of experience with relay methods, your probably be well served in adopting a "pure" relay system where you are relaying all the time. This will ensure that you get a lot of practical experiences with the positives and negatives associated with this style of bidding. (Think of this as being equivalent to practicing scales or some such).

Back to your original question: If you find your self relaying too much, you probably need to ask yourself whether you're playing the right system...

Maybe you shouldn't be playing relay at all.

Maybe you should be playing a system that only relays on certain hand types.

Maybe you should be playing a system that provides more flexibility regarding when you should relay.
Alderaan delenda est
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Posted 2007-February-25, 10:45

Hi Richard thanks for trying to help but i think its not my problem but a systematic problem with relay. I dont know the subject that well but from what i understand there are systems like ultimate club which show strengh before shape and there are most other systems who show shape as long as u have GF (after 1C)
So you begin 1C-any positive (we play 1D as negative) now opener has a 17 hcp with a 3-3-4-3 shape, he start relaying, should there be some point where the system or the use stop asking for shape and check the strngh ?
Example: I heard partner has 4H 5+C with a 2H response. Now i know our most likely contract is 3NT, this is almost always true when partner doesnt have much extra, but in case he got extra we could have a slam and specific shape is important to know. I think this is not only my problem is it ?
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#4 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2007-February-25, 10:56

A few answers to this:

(1) Many relay systems are designed to maximize the frequency of relayer declaring. If relayer will declare the final 3NT contract, there is very little cost in describer showing exact shape beforehand. It does not particularly help the opponents on lead to know that dummy will be 1-4-2-6 rather than just knowing dummy has 4 and 5+, especially as declarer's hand is still a complete mystery.

(2) It makes sense to use a cheap relay break as you describe. The normal time for this type of break would be after describer shows all suits but before describer completely patterns out. Note that this is later than the usual "reverse relay" but before the usual "stopper ask" or "suit setting" relay breaks. You could easily play that "skip one step in a relay sequence after the first relay but before shape is completely described is an attempt to sign off" and describer should bid 3NT (pass/correct) with a minimum and otherwise continue describing losing one step.

(3) My experience with relays has been that they're great for slam bidding, especially when the balanced hand is relaying, but not the best way select the best game contract. I think some of the methods played by Garozzo et al look really nice, because they start with a natural-style auction and then preserve the option to relay on slam sequences. It's nice not to be "forced to relay" as your only way to explore for game. Generally this is a bit more complicated than just playing the same relay structure in all sequences, but it has a lot of potential benefits. With such a method the issues you describe won't really arise, because by choosing to relay, relayer is suggesting that slam is a possibility to be explored.
Adam W. Meyerson
a.k.a. Appeal Without Merit
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#5 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2007-February-25, 10:59

Relay breaks are an extremely complicated topic. I haven't seen anything remotely resembling a universal set of rules governing breaks. In many ways, this is analogous to the rules set governing auction termination after shape has been resolved. Some people like denial cue bids. Others prefer Keycard + control asks. Still others prefer different homebrew systems. Someday, we might get an a nice monte carlo simulation "proving" which of the structures works best. its going to be a long time before anyone does the same with relay breaks.

Here's a few thoughts about relay breaks:

1. Relay breaks are a good thing. They provide much more efficient use of the bidding space.

2. The nature of a relay break is very much dependent on whether you have established an absolute game force.

3. In general, I've seen three distinct types of relay breaks in common usage during GF auctions.

i. Some people prefer to use relay breaks to explore whether 3NT is going to be a viable control. Relaying for shape is all fine and dnady, but its often nice to identify stoppers

ii. I've seen a lot of schemes designed to permit Keycard asks and range asks at a lower level at the expense of completely disclosing shape

iii. One scheme that I've seen used with some success is using a relay break to exclude a specific suit during the auction termination sequences. A typcial example would be a case where the relay asker has a void opposite one of RR's suits and doesn't care about slow tricks in this suit.

Ideally, you might be able to combine a couple of these different types of breaks into your relay scheme. (personally, I'd recommend focusing on type i and type iii)
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Posted 2007-February-25, 13:44

Thanks, does it bother you to have long bidding seqences getting to normal game when others just bid it in a 2 seconds ? i dont mean information given just the waste of time/energy and maybe a little laugh by the opponents.
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#7 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2007-February-25, 13:59

Flame, on Feb 25 2007, 10:44 PM, said:

Thanks, does it bother you to have long bidding seqences getting to normal game when others just bid it in a 2 seconds ? i dont mean information given just the waste of time/energy and maybe a little laugh by the opponents.

Of course this bothers me. And as soon as I perfect my mysterious psychic powers, I'll dispense with the relays....

In all seriousness, I don't play relay methods because I like relays. Relays are really great at some things like sniffing out 6m contracts on 4-4 minor suit fits. However, I rarely use relay methods outside of the context of a few specific systems.

MOSCITO uses relays as an enabling tool for the light/limited opening structure. If your 1M openings show ~ 9 - 14 HCPs you need to adopt some fairly sophisticated methods. Personally, I like a response structure based on

1. Specialized treatments to immediately clarify fit (value raises, fit showing jumps, splinters, etc)
2. Natural and Non-forcing 2/1
3. Natural and non-forcing 1NT

In turn, I need some way to handle

1. Game forcing hands with uncertaintly about strain or level
2. Game invitational hands with no fit

This is where the relays come in. They are not an end, rather they are a means...
Alderaan delenda est
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Posted 2007-February-25, 14:12

We will play the way forward which has relay in parts in it, we dont use the original relay but some other. personaly i like the opening structure while my partner is in love with the relay idea.
Thanks for helping.
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