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NT weak vs strong

#1 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 15:42

Please give ressons to support either range.
I'll give one resson for now, I dont like it when i open a strong NT i tell my opponents that they dont have a game and make things much easier for them, if i open a 12-14 they still have to look for game and cant just show shape.
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#2 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 16:10

Weak. Lots of stuff on this topic, but my bottom line is:

1NT is a great opening bid, whatever range you use. 12-14 NT is twice as frequent as 15-17, and 11-14 2.7 times as frequent.

Nothing against a strong NT, but it doesn't happen often enough.

Peter
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Posted 2004-April-21, 16:26

Weak! 11-14 is my favorite range. It comes up very often, and if opps have the points you usually won't lose more than 500. It's a great preemptive weapon, and if you open strong 1NT, the opps have a lot of preemptive methods.

I like all weak things, except a weak partner ;)
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#4 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 17:30

my favorite is 10-13 but i'm accused of having a slight death wish... so it's now 11-13 ;)...
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#5 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 18:21

Like most systemic things, you cannot look at a NT range in isolation from the system as a whole. Lots of players seem to say "I like this " or "I like that" and cobble together a stystem which is not a unfied, cohesive entity. - Richard commented on this point in one of his posts.

A MUCH better question would have been, "Do you prefer systems that employ a weak or a strong NT?"

In answer to the above, I believe it makes little difference in the long run; it is how well you use what you have got that counts.
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#6 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 18:53

"Like most systemic things, you cannot look at a NT range in isolation from the system as a whole. Lots of players seem to say "I like this " or "I like that" and cobble together a stystem which is not a unfied, cohesive entity. - Richard commented on this point in one of his posts.

A MUCH better question would have been, "Do you prefer systems that employ a weak or a strong NT?"

In answer to the above, I believe it makes little difference in the long run; it is how well you use what you have got that counts."

Ron -

I believe that you are being unnecessarily critical here.

Both strong and weak NT are compatible with naturalish systems, with both 4 card majors and 5 card majors. If you switch from one range to another in such a system, there is a period of adjustment while a partnership learns the differences, as the possible hands in one of a suit changes, as well as the meaning of a NT rebid by opener, but Standard American (for example) works fine with a weak NT.

I'm sure you're right about either range working equally well at top-level bridge (though I wouldn't know :D ). However, I think weak NT has some advantage at club level (or pickup online), due to the weak bidding judgement most players display under pressure.

I believe the thread is reasonable. Perhaps you have read too many similar threads to feel it is of interest. Some of us feel differently, and like to thresh these things out.

As to your reference to Richard's post (rant?), as the target of it, I will say that those of you who have been doing system development for years might want to consider cutting those of us who are still "cobbling away" some slack.

<end rant>

Peter

;)
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#7 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 19:10

I wasn't having a go at you at all, Peter. In fact you did not even come to mind as the person at whom Richard's post was aimed. Mind you, he has a valid point. However to take a fundamental bid in isolation is not a good way of going about designing a system.

Let me give you examples of what I mean.
Weak NT and 5 card majors is fine; I have played it. However, you need to redefine the structure of your 1N/2N rebids totally and this has implications further down the track. In fact you are best off to play transfer Walsh responses and have your 1N rebid show something like 17-19; similar to a lot of Italian stuff that is currently being played.

Strong NT and 4 card Majors has a fundamental flaw in its makeup and is VERY difficult to play

Weak NT and 4 card Ms, Acol style works ok imho. Others, eg English International David Burn, strongly disagree. David eg points to this sequence : 1C 1H 2H
The 2H raise here can be a balanced 15 count, or can be more shapely with genuine C + H and you have difficulty in finding out.

This is what I am referring to - you need to look at how changing one crucial part of your system, in this case the cornerstone 1N bid, will effect rebids, checkback styles, implications because you opened/didn't open something.


Let me give you another different example. Lets say you decide you like Flannery.
Ok Now you need to decide whether the sequence 1H 1S shows a 5 card S suit, (as with 5H-4S opener would have opened 2H/2D). Now this has further implications and inferences for your system which you need to think about.
Cheers
Ron
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#8 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 19:39

"I wasn't having a go at you at all, Peter. "

I hope you noticed my rant was somewhat tongue in cheek ;)

"However to take a fundamental bid in isolation is not a good way of going about designing a system.

Let me give you examples of what I mean.
Weak NT and 5 card majors is fine; I have played it. However, you need to redefine the structure of your 1N/2N rebids totally and this has implications further down the track."

As I said

"If you switch from one range to another in such a system, there is a period of adjustment while a partnership learns the differences, as the possible hands in one of a suit changes, as well as the meaning of a NT rebid by opener.."

So I would agree with you, though you put it better and more thoroughly (as usual). I guess that I see the change from strong to weak NT in the context of SA (the instance I'm familiar with) as being a major change in the system, as opposed to being an entirely new and different system. My pd and I took some time to get used to the 15-17 NT rebid and the implication that a minimum opener always has shape, but it wasn't too huge of an adjustment. Perhaps the fact that we don't play a lot of gadgets has something to do with it.

On the 4cM, strong NT question, I defer to you on this of course, but I have read that a good number of British tournament players play strong NT. Do they mostly play 5cM or The Science when they do, or do many play ACOL with strong NT?

Peter
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#9 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 20:06

Hey guys stop the fightings ;)
I think its all good points.
I hope to see more ressons, what is good with weak or bad with strong and vs versa.
for example with uncontested aution which method would lead to finidng more fits ?
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#10 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 20:24

No one is fighting, Flame!

Peter, from what I can gather, most play a weak NT if they play Acol. Otehrs play 14-16 with 5 card Ms. No doubt there are still some die hards around who play 4CM +15-17NT, but this is a very hard system to play.
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#11 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 20:46

No more fighting? Eeeek! ;)

OK, you want pluses and minuses:

Strong NT pluses: it's a much safer bid, in that if you open it versus 1X, particularly 1 of a minor, you have a better chance of getting to the best contract. You may bury a part score fit, but not too often. You can also get the 3-5 part score fits via transfers. It is quite preemptive, in spite of the various defenses to it.

Strong NT minuses: is relatively infrequent, and while it is preemptive, your side usually has the balance of power and would get to play the hand anyway.

Weak NT minuses: it is riskier, versus 1X, compared to strong NT. You have a better chance of burying your 4-4 major suit part score fit, as Stayman requires 11 points instead of 8. You also have a chance of going down more than you would like. You won't play 1NT doubled much, but down two vulnerable is a nearly guaranteed bottom. If you play weak NT in a strong NT field, you will have a lot of bottoms that you can do nothing about.

Weak NT pluses: it is much more frequent. It is preemptive, and unlike strong NT, you get to play a LOT of contracts you wouldn't play if you opened 1x. Most of the time that is a good thing, especially not vulnerable. You occasionally knock your opps out of game. Your opps have a lot of pressure on them when they have a hand which is neither a clear cut pass or bid, and frequently guess wrong, or just plain make a bad bid.

Weak NT is significantly better when not vulnerable versus vulnerable, whereas strong NT is fairly vulnerabilty-neutral. Some people play strong NT when vulnerable, and weak NT when not. This may be the ideal way to play. However, it is somewhat memory-intensive since, as The Hog noted, NT range definitely has a significant effect on the rest of your system.

Peter
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#12 User is offline   Antoine Fourrière 

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Posted 2004-April-21, 21:28

I think the strong notrump (or a system including the strong notrump) is vastly superior. (Well, maybe it breaks even NV/V.)
To begin with, even when you open a weak notrump, the opponents should forget about games on power and simply show their suits: there may be a game on power, but the odds are against it.
Next, the weak notrump is kind of physically unsound: you have to answer 1NT to 1 with 5-10 HCP, which forces opener to rebid something with 16-17 HCP. You also cannot differentiate the value of your raises. Conversely, a jump raise when playing the strong notrump guarantees some shape.
The weak notrump also loses a lot of major-suit partials.
In some situations, you may have to open 1NT with a 5422 or a 6322 (or a bare king, perhaps even a bare queen). If you land in a debatable contract after your 1NT opening, it will be more difficult to defend if that notrump was strong.
Finally, what do you do with a strong notrump when you have opened one of a suit and the opponents bid at the two-level? You still need support doubles.

There is something else I wish to underline. You cannot treat equally a notrump opening and a notrump rebid. In the former case, partner may have any pattern, which calls for a two-point range and distribution-oriented bidding. In the latter case, partner has already begun to show his pattern, which allows a four-point range and a 2 checkback. Now, you can open 1NT with 16-17 HCP and rebid 1NT with 12-15 HCP or open 1NT with 12-13 HCP and rebid 1NT with 14-17 HCP.
I think the above reasons point to the 16-17 NT.
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#13 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 00:28

Antoine Fourrière, on Apr 21 2004, 10:28 PM, said:

I think the strong notrump (or a system including the strong notrump) is vastly superior. (Well, maybe it breaks even NV/V.)
To begin with, even when you open a weak notrump, the opponents should forget about games on power and simply show their suits: there may be a game on power, but the odds are against it.
Next, the weak notrump is kind of physically unsound: you have to answer 1NT to 1 with 5-10 HCP, which forces opener to rebid something with 16-17 HCP. You also cannot differentiate the value of your raises. Conversely, a jump raise when playing the strong notrump guarantees some shape.
The weak notrump also loses a lot of major-suit partials.
In some situations, you may have to open 1NT with a 5422 or a 6322 (or a bare king, perhaps even a bare queen). If you land in a debatable contract after your 1NT opening, it will be more difficult to defend if that notrump was strong.
Finally, what do you do with a strong notrump when you have opened one of a suit and the opponents bid at the two-level? You still need support doubles.

There is something else I wish to underline. You cannot treat equally a notrump opening and a notrump rebid. In the former case, partner may have any pattern, which calls for a two-point range and distribution-oriented bidding. In the latter case, partner has already begun to show his pattern, which allows a four-point range and a 2 checkback. Now, you can open 1NT with 16-17 HCP and rebid 1NT with 12-15 HCP or open 1NT with 12-13 HCP and rebid 1NT with 14-17 HCP.
I think the above reasons point to the 16-17 NT.

"To begin with, even when you open a weak notrump, the opponents should forget about games on power and simply show their suits: there may be a game on power, but the odds are against it."

The odds may be "against it" - I would not know. But it happens. I would like to take the game swings on those hands when the opps have no mechanism to bid it.
It is definitely an advantage to the weak NT, ESPECIALLY if optimum defence to it is not to investigate your game (albeit infrequent). I have on occasion missed a game contract my way when the opponents have opened a strong NT. Must happen more frequently after weak.

"Next, the weak notrump is kind of physically unsound: you have to answer 1NT to 1 with 5-10 HCP". Only by agreement. Personally I would not play that agreement, so the problem disappears. I fear that you are trying to bolt on the rest of the strong NT system without any adjustment. I would find a minor suit bid with a 10 count (opposite a bal 15+ you want to be in game), and I would pass on most 5 counts (unless I could respond 1 Major). That narrows 1N to effectively 6 to a poor 9 count (there are some 9 counts with 5 card minor that I would push to 3N opposite 15 bal). I would always pass 1N response with 16 bal. Theoretical 25 point game may be missed, but you also miss some 25 point games playing strong NT.

"You also cannot differentiate the value of your raises. Conversely, a jump raise when playing the strong notrump guarantees some shape." Don't understand this. The overall playing strength of a balanced strong NT is about the same as that of a more distributional hand that is weaker. A jump raise by opener shows about the same whichever 1N opener you play. You don't have to jump raise with a balanced hand just because you have 16 points.

"The weak notrump also loses a lot of major-suit partials." This argument is overstated. If you open 1-minor with a balanced hand and partner responds 1-suit then it is better to rebid 1NT than rebid 1-suit, so a fit in opener's second suit is often missed even playing a strong 1N. Certainly you may miss a fit in the suit that responder would first bid, but that is largely cancelled by the reduced scope for opponents to find their fit (and they will have one).

"In some situations, you may have to open 1NT with a 5422 or a 6322 ". ABSOLUTELY. I expect to gain. "Have to"? Beg to!

"If you land in a debatable contract after your 1NT opening, it will be more difficult to defend if that notrump was strong." I doubt that this effect is significant, if true. If you land in a debatable contract it will be a low level partscore, and the opponents are more likely to have a making partscore to compensate if the 1N opener is initially weak.

"There is something else I wish to underline. You cannot treat equally a notrump opening and a notrump rebid. In the former case, partner may have any pattern, which calls for a two-point range and distribution-oriented bidding. In the latter case, partner has already begun to show his pattern, which allows a four-point range and a 2 checkback. Now, you can open 1NT with 16-17 HCP and rebid 1NT with 12-15 HCP or open 1NT with 12-13 HCP and rebid 1NT with 14-17 HCP."

I think that this argument is fundamentally flawed. Certainly you should change your continuations after a 1NT rebid to take advantage of the preceding auction. That applies whatever the strength of the 1N opener/rebid. However the suggestion that you can safely double the range of the 1N rebid is unsound, IMHO. There is already some evidence that the hand is misfitting. Much of the time all that 2C "checkback" is going to tell you is that you want to play in 1NT.

My preference therefore is for a 12-14 1N opener and 15-17 1N rebid. After a 2/1 change of suit it is convenient that any rebid by opener higher than a rebid in his originally opened suit shows extra values and is GF, and a 2N rebid by opener after a 2/1 change of suit showing 15+ points is a strong point. Incidentally I do not play 2 checkback after 1N rebid: I play 2 rebid by opener as any invitational hand or any GF hand whose only interest is investigating major suit fits or any balanced slam try. 2 is a puppet to 2 and the first move on certain distributional GF or weak hands. This treatment of 2 is not compatible with a wide range 1NT rebid, which to my mind is an argument against a wide range 1N rebid (quite aside from the doubt over whether to remove 1N).
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#14 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 00:30

Flame, on Apr 22 2004, 02:06 AM, said:

Hey guys stop the fightings :)
I think its all good points.
I hope to see more ressons, what is good with weak or bad with strong and vs versa.
for example with uncontested aution which method would lead to finidng more fits ?

I don't think it is sensible to look at what happens in uncontested auctions.

Bridge is a four player game, not a two player game. In an uncontested auction almost any reasonably sensible system will reach the right contract nearly all the time. It is in contested auctions where system differences really show.

Playing a weak NT gains in contested auctions in two ways:

1) being semi-pre-emptive it makes it hard for opponents to compete over a 1NT bid. You can steal a lot of part score hands this way.

2) When you don't open 1NT, you will have extras (either in terms of points or distribution). This makes it easier for partner to compete sensibly if there is an overcall.

The big disadvantage of Strong NT (especially when allied with 5cM) is the 1m opening. It is very easy for LHO to introduce a major on a moderate hand, and partner can't afford to compete on many hands because of the fear that you have a weak NT type.

Of course there are disadvantages to a weak NT as well:

Firstly, it is slightly more dangerous than a strong NT, and there is a risk that when vulnerable you will concede 500 when opponents don't even have a game. This is more of a concern at IMPS where the size of a loss matters as well as the proportion of time you lose.

Secondly, you occasionally end up in the wrong part score (1NT instead of 2M). On the other hand, if you open these hands 1m to make it easier to find your major fit, the opponents can often find a fit of their own which they would miss if you opened 1NT.

Eric
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#15 User is offline   mishovnbg 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 01:42

not vul - weak NT, vul - strong NT, remaining NT ranges - 1.

Weak NT is technically better than strong NT. But to play weak NT in vul you need to be sponsor of team :). Even top players in the world can beat themselves playing weak NT in vul and can't be exused, because they pickup such system, not sponsor :P. Тhey can miss game, when both p pass with "unsuitable for vul 12-13hcp" :lol:. This happen this year to one of the top english pairs - after 2 times 800, one of them pass with "13 bad hcp" and other with "12 bad hcp". If you play in BBO you can play 9-11 1NT :lol: - more preemptive, more often, best statistical contract if you bid it first... shortly 9-11 it is even better than 12-14 NT. :P
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#16 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 01:49

mishovnbg, on Apr 22 2004, 06:42 PM, said:

not vul - weak NT, vul - strong NT, remaining NT ranges - 1.

Weak NT is technically better than strong NT. But to play weak NT in vul you need to be sponsor of team :).

Love the comment!

One other argument in favour of weak NT. Occasionally it does cause the opps to overbid in competitive situations.
Last night I held
AKQx
KTxx
Qxx
KQ

(1N) X (2D) (P)
(P) X (P) (2H)

Now what? I kicked to 3H and Pd had to play very well to make on his 2 count.
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#17 User is offline   joker_gib 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 05:32

I personnaly play weak NT NVul and strong NT Vul.

It works very well :)
Alain
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#18 User is offline   BrianEDuran 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 07:42

Hi all

Nobody mentioned what I think to be the most important reason to play mini and weak NTs, they are just too darn fun!!! Not only do you end up in a different contracts then everyone else, your opponents do crazy things over them. They tend to make for better stories in the postmortem.

On a more serious note, mini - weak NTs seem slightly more random in the results, as some other poster have pointed out. I wonder if people thing that different NT rangers play better depending on the field that you are playing in. For example; if one is in the middle 3rd of playing strength at the club, the mini NT (10-13) would give one the edge over the weak players, since they have less experience playing against it. Against the strong players, the odds are against you if you play strait up, so the mini might make some swings. If you are the best player in the room, stay away from mini, since swings will tend to hurt you. Maybe this is similiar to preempting style. Thoughts?

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#19 User is offline   bearmum 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 08:01

Flame, on Apr 22 2004, 10:42 AM, said:

Please give ressons to support either range.
I'll give one resson for now, I dont like it when i open a strong NT i tell my opponents that they dont have a game and make things much easier for them, if i open a 12-14 they still have to look for game and cant just show shape.

Interesting Flame - WHY do you thing that opening 15-17 NT tells opps they dont have a game? -----IF in 1ST position MAYBE your pard has a COMPLETE bust(?) in which case opps HAVE a possible game on an KNOW where 15-17 points are :)


Opening 12 - 14 NT MIGHT allow opps to show points AND/OR dist if you open in 1st position ( my reg P in f2f bridge play a LOT of ACOL {12-14 NT openers} and play CAPPELLETTI against them - NOV vul Capp COULD be 4/4 in the suits shown[ and is on our CC] AND that has worked out well for us ) BUT I can see where it MIGHT not work in casual partnerships :lol:


I think that the RANGE of opening NT bids NOT as important as the structure of the REST of possible bids over 1NT :lol:
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#20 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-April-22, 08:06

I don't get the logic in this Brian... If you're an intermediate player in the club, you will get swings against the bad players, and sometimes against the strong players to. But if you're a good player, you'll suddenly not get swings against weaker players? :)

Medium vs Good = possible positive swings
Medium vs Bad = positive swings
Good vs Bad = negative swings??
Good vs Medium = negative swings??

Why would good players get more bad swings, and medium players more good swings against weaker players?? :lol:

It is however a fact that weak NT wins a lot in a weak field, because people seem not to know how to react against that. I've never played mini, but I suspect it's more like a lottery, and if you declare pretty good, you'll be the winner in the long run.

The way I usually play is weak NT when NV (11-14 in 1st and 2nd, 10-13 in 3rd and 4th) and strong NT when V (15-17). The risk of going for a -800 is pretty small, and a good escape structure helped us a lot. In some systems it's necessary to play weak NT (like Moscito), and I don't have a problem with that at all. It's just great for the system... It's like Ron said: you have to see where you play weak and strong. In most natural systems you can choose imo, but in precision kind of systems, weak or intermediate NT (13-15) is usually applied, to get fewer problems with nebulous and other problems.
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