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123 Invite or command to pass?

#21 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2007-May-14, 03:50

mike777, on May 14 2007, 04:48 AM, said:

<snip>
4) This thread shocks me. :)

I agree.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#22 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2007-May-14, 04:43

Just a side note: assuming that it's invitational, I would pass in most 2/1 styles (such as Lawrence or Hardy) since I'm in the lower half or the range for a constructive raise.
... most of the new ideas I get are pretty "boring", mostly focusing on constructive methods rather than destructive ones --- Kungsgeten
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#23 User is offline   Wackojack 

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Posted 2007-May-14, 05:29

Thanks for the interesting discussion. fwiiw we were playing Acol and all the old Acol text books treat 123 as a barrage bid i.e. pre-emptive. If you are playing 2/1 with constructive 2-level raises, I (just about) see the logic in making 123 as invitational, but otherwise no. ........Just fished out Zia's "Bridge for beginners" Lo and behold 1s-2s-3s invitational.... You live and learn.
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#24 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2007-May-14, 05:46

Wackojack, on May 14 2007, 06:29 AM, said:

Thanks for the interesting discussion. fwiiw we were playing Acol and all the old Acol text books treat 123 as a barrage bid i.e. pre-emptive. If you are playing 2/1 with constructive 2-level raises, I (just about) see the logic in making 123 as invitational, but otherwise no. ........Just fished out Zia's "Bridge for beginners" Lo and behold 1s-2s-3s invitational.... You live and learn.

I have to check my Acol text book.
I am pretty sure, that 3H is inv., the book claims,
that the predecessor was a standard text book.

http://www.amazon.de/All-About-Acol-Ben-Co...9143124&sr=1-24

With kind regards
Marlowe
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#25 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2007-May-14, 06:15

Apparently another example of "Standard? According to whom?"


I suppose that no one out there advocates causing partner a problem, but this still leaves us in the dark. I do like to play 1H-2H-2N as passable. I like to play a new suit over 2H as showing length (maybe not four cards) and some values, suggesting that a Q or K in that suit would be particularly welcome. Sometimes none of these calls seem right, and I would just like my partner to answer the question "Was that a good 2H bid or a just barely enough 2H bid". For this I bid 3H. However stupid or unsophisticated this all may be, it works pretty well in pick-up games and it doesn't fare all that badly with regular partners either.

Often, with pick-ups, the way to go is to skip the invitations. Not much point in issuing an invitation if partner has no idea of what he is supposed to consider in order to decide. But as a matter of history, I can't recall playing pick-up and having a misunderstanding about the 3H call. No doubt my time will come.

Btw. I didn't look it up but it seems to me that Michael Rosenberg ("Bridge, Zia, and Me") credits his wife with helping him sort out game tries, the idea being that "help-suit" should ask for specific help. It should ask for an honor, or it should ask for shortness, but it should not ask for either an honor or shortness. I may have this a little wrong (seems too elementary), but the idea was that deciding exactly what is being asked for in side suit game tries requires thought and discussion. Not likely in a pick-up.
Ken
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#26 User is offline   Coch Draig 

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Posted 2007-May-16, 16:57

I believe it is 100% pre emptive. Take this auction 1 - P - 2 - P - ? With this hand you clearly now want to ask pd specifically about his Club suit regardless of whether he is minimum or maximum:-

xx
AKJ10x
x
AQ10x

But what do you bid in the same auction with:-

KJx
AQ10xx
Axx
Kx

This is the hand I want to make a general invitational raise based on partners overall hcp's.
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#27 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2007-May-16, 17:08

Coch Draig, on May 16 2007, 05:57 PM, said:

I believe it is 100% pre emptive.  Take this auction 1 - P - 2 - P - ? With this hand you clearly now want to ask pd specifically about his Club suit regardless of whether he is minimum or maximum:-

xx
AKJ10x
x
AQ10x

But what do you bid in the same auction with:-

KJx
AQ10xx
Axx
Kx

This is the hand I want to make a general invitational raise based on partners overall hcp's.

you do why?

I can understand a general bid of 3nt as a simple game try, but sure your expert pick up partner may misunderstand.
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#28 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2007-May-16, 17:08

I don't undestand the point of "123 stop" - what are you trying to preempt?

If you have to get to the 3-level wouldn't you rather let the opponents balance before you do? In this way you will have additional information about how to play the hand.

And sometimes the opps don't balance. In this case of course you would rather play 2H then 3H.

The only time "123 stop" gains is if Passing will allow the opponents to bid and make a game. In real life that almost never happens since the pervasive philosophy about balancing is "just be happy if you can push them up one level".

Even on those hands "123 stop" is unlikely to stop strong opponents since this bid waves a red flag in their faces that says "I think you might be able to make a game".

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com

#29 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2007-May-16, 17:11

I can only respond that yes, I am very worried the opp have a game or at least a very good part score in spades. I am also very worried if I let them push me to 3H they may very very often have an easier double.

If I am waving a red flag in the face of Fred and Brad, so be it. I need them to make mistakes for me to have any hope. B)

If you are not worried than I agree 100% with Fred's comments.
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#30 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2007-May-16, 21:54

fred, on May 16 2007, 05:08 PM, said:

I don't undestand the point of "123 stop" - what are you trying to preempt?

If you have to get to the 3-level wouldn't you rather let the opponents balance before you do? In this way you will have additional information about how to play the hand.

And sometimes the opps don't balance. In this case of course you would rather play 2H then 3H.

The only time "123 stop" gains is if Passing will allow the opponents to bid and make a game. In real life that almost never happens since the pervasive philosophy about balancing is "just be happy if you can push them up one level".

Even on those hands "123 stop" is unlikely to stop strong opponents since this bid waves a red flag in their faces that says "I think you might be able to make a game".

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com

In suits of lower rank than 123 stop also gains when it prevents the opps from coming in at the 2 level in a higher suit and then bidding 3 over your subsequent 3 and scoring better than letting you play in 3 of your lower ranking suit. In the case here the idea of 123 stop is to minimize the chances of the opps correctly bidding to 3.

However, when holding and hearing bid the opps so often find a way to stretch into the auction anyhow. There will be hands where all you can make is 2 and the opps weren't going to balance or were going to end up in the wrong place after balancing.

So I am not a big fan of 123 stop, and really dislike it when are trump since the opps so rarely are getting to 4 of anything and doing well.

I play with advanced pickups very commonly and quite a few experts and the occasional intermediate who lists a few conventions I like so I decide to try him/her. The vast majority of them would play 3 as a generic game try.

Here I have two control cards, a ruffing value, 9 pts in support of and just perhaps my D length can be used. I am bidding the vulnerable game at IMPs.

There is often lots of confusion about other types of game tries with pickups since they may not be sure what you are looking for or showing. Today the opp opened 1 and no opp bid again, I overcalled 1 and PD raised to 2 and I bid 3 hoping for some fitting cards and PD with A8xx in and a rather good raise anyhow passed with 4 being as cold as February was here in IL.

Re: California vs the NE etc.. 123 stop was in vogue with 2/1ers out there 20 years ago when I played in San Diego.

Just my opinions and experiences that 123 stop should be used with discretion and that most pd's play a raise to 3 as a game try if undiscussed and no opp bidding.

.. neilkaz ..
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#31 User is offline   foo 

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Posted 2007-May-18, 07:12

Wackojack, on May 12 2007, 07:12 AM, said:

Dealer: North
Vul: N/S
Scoring: IMP
T96
K74
JT986
A4
 

Bidding:1-p-2-p-3-p-?

You are playing with a pick-up partner on line. What would you bid?
Depends on what our systemic agreements are as to
a= What kinds of hands can Opener have here?
b= How conservative / mainstream / aggressive have we agreed to be as a pair?
c= Conditions of contest.
and, most importantly for this thread,
d= What have we agreed I should do here?

Playing with a novice or "HCP literalist" w/o other discussion, this sequence says "pass with 6-7 HCP and bid 4H with 8-9 HCP."
Since I have 8 HCP, I'm supposed to bid 4H.

Playing with a LTC devotee, where w/o prior discussion this sequence shows a 6 loser Opening without a better bid to describe it, I'm supposed to pass with 9 losers and bid game with 8 losers.
Since I have 9 losers, I'm supposed to pass.

If playing a system where this sequence is an Invite to be decided based on my trumps and overall hand, I pass =unless= opener is promising a 6th trump. In which case I bid 4H based on a 9 card fit + my HK + being Control rich.

The ONLY way I automatically pass is if we have specifically agreed to play 123 Stop.


Would it make any difference if your partner was intermediate, advanced or expert?
Without other discussion, playing USA "Standard" or 2/1 or BWS this is an invitational sequence no matter what level of partner I have.


Related question: How mainstream or otherwise is this sequence a command to pass?
Playing this sequence as a "pre balance" or "pre bar" bid is !not! Standard.
(For one thing, if you haven't discussed any other game try structure, this is the most natural sounding Invite, is it not?)
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#32 Guest_Jlall_*

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Posted 2007-May-18, 10:34

fred, on May 16 2007, 06:08 PM, said:

I don't undestand the point of "123 stop" - what are you trying to preempt?

Thank you! I have always felt this way and people look at me like I'm crazy. If I played 1-2-3 stop I would simply never bid it.
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#33 User is offline   ArcLight 

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Posted 2007-May-18, 11:57

What is the best use of the 3 level bid in the sequence 1-2-3 or 1-2-3?

Should is be a general purpose game try? (but you already have various game tries)

Or focus on Trump support?

How would experts play it?
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#34 User is offline   pclayton 

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Posted 2007-May-18, 12:08

Fred: I think this is the 1st time in 3 years that I really haven't agreed (or you haven't convinced me) about your viewpoint:

Quote

I don't undestand the point of "123 stop" - what are you trying to preempt?


When we hold the hearts, and they hold the spades; I want to shut out the imminent balancing double by LHO who is sitting behind me with a 4-1-4-4 9 count.

Quote

If you have to get to the 3-level wouldn't you rather let the opponents balance before you do? In this way you will have additional information about how to play the hand.


We may not buy it at the 3 level if we pass. Even if we do, they will also have a better idea how to defend, since your RHO will get a free call and will tell LHO what to lead.

Quote

And sometimes the opps don't balance. In this case of course you would rather play 2H then 3H.


Well of course; but since RHO didn't prebalance, LHO seems certain to balance with shortness. We have advertised an 8 card fit? We've also advertised that we don't have 100% ownership of the deal? Check both - this is a clear balancing situations, especially at IMPs but usually at IMPs.

Quote

The only time "123 stop" gains is if Passing will allow the opponents to bid and make a game. In real life that almost never happens since the pervasive philosophy about balancing is "just be happy if you can push them up one level".

Even on those hands "123 stop" is unlikely to stop strong opponents since this bid waves a red flag in their faces that says "I think you might be able to make a game".


Isn't there 5-6 IMPs at stake for the part score battle?
"Phil" on BBO
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#35 Guest_Jlall_*

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Posted 2007-May-18, 12:17

pclayton, on May 18 2007, 01:08 PM, said:

When we hold the hearts, and they hold the spades; I want to shut out the imminent balancing double by LHO who is sitting behind me with a 4-1-4-4 9 count.

And how do you know all of this? Even if you have a stiff spade that doesn't mean they hold the spades. Partner can hold them.

Quote

We may not buy it at the 3 level if we pass.


It's right to bid 3H only if they can bid and make 3S and you can make 3H. This is a very narrow window to shoot at.

Quote

Well of course; but since RHO didn't prebalance, LHO seems certain to balance with shortness. We have advertised an 8 card fit? We've also advertised that we don't have 100% ownership of the deal? Check both - this is a clear balancing situations,


Lol so you balance every time it goes 1H p 2H p p ? Ok, maybe you do, but that is really bad and most people do not. If you are playing against opponents like this you can just double them...a lot. There will be a lot of hands where neither player could act.

Quote

Isn't there 5-6 IMPs at stake for the part score battle?


Yes, and it's more likely you'll win them by going +110 instead of pushing yourself to the 3 level than by going +140 when the opps can make 140. If the opps have not bid yet it is not very likely they can make 3S and you can make 3H.
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#36 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2007-May-18, 12:18

ArcLight, on May 18 2007, 05:57 PM, said:

What is the best use of the 3 level bid in the sequence 1-2-3 or 1-2-3?

For me it just means "do you like your hand?".

For me the typical hand for using this sequence would be 6322 and 15 HCP or so (yes I might open 1NT with this hand, but more often than not I would open 1 of my long major).

Of course partner can bid 3NT if he likes his hand and thinks that 3NT might be better than 4H.

Fred Gitelman
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#37 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2007-May-18, 12:29

The entire 1-2-3 stop convention amounts to paranoia in my view. They let you play on the 2 level all the time, and even when you get pushed to 3 they rarely bid over that, and even when they do they have to be right, and meanwhile you lose a bid that can be used for constructive purposes. How can this be right on general principles, to "preempt" opponents who have both passed already when we are very often just raising ourselves a level that we wouldn't have needed to?

Also fwiw I think if they balance and push me to 3, their bid is more useful to me in the play of the hand than to them in the defense.
Please let me know about any questions or interest or bug reports about GIB.
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#38 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2007-May-18, 12:31

Answer for PClayton:

Most of the people I play against:

1) Do not believe in the concept of the "prebalance"
2) Do not religously balance when the opponents stop in 2H with a known 8-card fit
3) Rarely if ever compete above the 3H level after the opponents stop in 2H and they balance
4) Sometimes go for a number when they balance
5) Sometimes end up in the wrong suit when they balance
6) Tend to make pretty good opening leads even if they don't know what their partner's longest suit is
7) Tend to take fewer tricks on defense against 3H if they tell me about their distribution before we reach that contract
8) Tend to be able to win 5 tricks on defense when they are available

Hope this helps. I agree with most of your posts too by the way :P

Fred Gitelman
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#39 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2007-May-18, 13:21

So Justin, Josh and Fred are in agreement. That means that they are certainly right, not only are they better than me but they also see a zillion more hands than I do every year.

So who has been lying to us competent players about this auction? I feel a need to blame someone!

Thanks guys,

Paul
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#40 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2007-May-18, 13:41

cardsharp, on May 18 2007, 07:21 PM, said:

So Justin, Josh and Fred are in agreement. That means that they are certainly right, not only are they better than me but they also see a zillion more hands than I do every year.

So who has been lying to us competent players about this auction? I feel a need to blame someone!

Thanks guys,

Paul

I don't think it is necessarily the case that we are "right" just because 3 successful players agree. Look at the Master Solvers' Club in The Bridge World. In just about every problem you can find 3 famous experts who all agree on an answer while 30 other experts think that some other answer(s) are better.

But in general I have found it useful to pay attention to the views of players who are more experienced and/or more successful than I am. Sometimes I still end up disagreeing with them, but more often than not I find that such people generally have a better understanding of certain aspects of the game than I do.

Note also that the arguments that we are making are largely based on behavior we have seen from our opponents (that they don't always balance, that they don't tend to bid again after pushing me to the 3-level, etc...). So even if we are "right" in the universe we currently live in, the universe can change.

For example, people probably started to make ligher preempts partly as a result of the success of Edgar Kaplan's "takeout doubles are for takeout" campaign. Then the lighter preempts made it more attractive for people to sit for more takeout doubles. Then people stopped preempting on such light hands out of fear of being penalized...

Perhaps there exist defensive bidding strategies that make "123 stop" a winner for the opponents, but my experience suggests that such strategies (if they exist at all) are far from mainstream.

Fred Gitelman
Bridge Base Inc.
www.bridgebase.com

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