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Name the worst Convention

#21 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 06:36

Chamaco, on Jun 28 2004, 07:05 AM, said:

Cascade, on Jun 28 2004, 11:36 AM, said:

I am not sure that all of these are conventions in the strictest sense of the word.
I think that any treatment which adopts different hcp ranges from standard is a convention, even if the bid is not artificial in the distributional sense.

In that case the meaning of "convention" depends on what happens to be standard in one's culture. For example, in British English a strong 1NT would be a convention, whereas in American English a weak 1NT would be a convention. Not a very practical definition for an international discussion group.

I would prefer to define "convention" as "a standardized agreement which is arbitrarily chosen in the sense that one can immagine a different use for the same call". 7NT=to play is not a convention. Most other elements of a bidding system are.
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#22 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 08:09

Chamaco, on Jun 28 2004, 03:05 PM, said:

I think that any treatment which adopts different hcp ranges from standard is a convention, even if the bid is not artificial in the distributional sense. But I may be wrong of course.

You are wrong.

The Laws of Bridge provide a definition for word convention as applied to Bridge:

1. A call that, by partnership agreement, conveys a meaning other than willingness to play in the denomination named (or in the last denomination named), or high-card strength or length (three cards or more) there. However, an agreement as to overall strength does not make a call a convention.
2. Defender's play that serves to convey a meaning by agreement rather than inference.

From my perspective, the "value" of definitions gets eroded considerably if people start extending them.

Case in point:

The worst thing that ever happened in Online Bridge was ressurecting SAYC from the dustheap of history.

The second worst thing was splintering SAYC into 1001 different variants so that no one actually understands what SAYC refers to....
Alderaan delenda est
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#23 User is offline   EarlPurple 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 10:58

  • Gambling 3NT.

    It wrong-sides the declarership but otherwise is not an unreasonable convention.

  • Equal level conversion

    Totally disagree with you. The best way to show such hands.

  • Weak jump shift not in competition.

    Agree if it's over a natural opening minor, but it seems the best use for the bid is to show a limited hand with a good suit. The alternative is to use the bid as a fit-showing jump.

    By jump-shifting with the hands on which you do, you change the meaning of an auction such as 1 - 1 - 1 - 2. That might be a good thing.

  • Unusual 2NT (not the convention per se, but its most common application).
    it's good when it works :P

  • Strong 2C opening.
    Agree that strong 1-level opening is better :P

  • Any convention that gives controls before distribution at the first round of bidding (without a known fit).
    Sort-of agree - are you referring to responses to strong 1 bid?

  • Free negative bids (no pun intended, FREE ! :lol: ).
  • Use of negative doubles as "card showing", with little distributional info (e.g. generic 8-11, usually balanced, regardless of majors).

    These two go hand in hand.

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#24 User is offline   PriorKnowledge 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 11:30

The following conventions are so terrible, that when I see these on someone's CC, I immediately know they don't really understand bridge.

MUD - Absolutely the worst. It was very popular for a long time and as a novice, I even played it. I believe its popularity can only be attributed to its Cute Acronym.

Point-Showing Step Responses to 2C - Control responses at least convey some useful information. But wasting bidding space to find out that responder has a few Q & J has to be the ultimate in useless information to a strong 2C opener. Worse, it could easily wrong side the final contract.

Roth-Stone System - Gone, but not forgotten. I think R-S's greatest achievement was passing out a slam in a national championship event. (They probably did it more than once.)

Stolen Bid Double - A license to steal.
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#25 User is offline   Rain 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 11:37

Cascade, on Jun 27 2004, 07:47 PM, said:

Here is my list in no particular order:

Gerber
Support Doubles and Redoubles
Negative Double of 1 promising four spades
Baron over 2NT
Various Defenses to 1NT
Short minor suit opening in an otherwise natural system
Fishbein
3NT for takeout over a pre-empt


Probably many more that are so bad I cannot think of them now.

Hey Wayne,

Wanna elaborate on why these conventions are so terrible?

Rain
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#26 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 11:48

Cascade, on Jun 28 2004, 03:14 AM, said:

The_Hog, on Jun 28 2004, 04:40 AM, said:

Cappelletti

Cappelletti also goes by the names of Hamilton and Pottage - are there any more?

Pottage I think once said the main reason that he 'invented' the convention was so that his opponents would use it against him.

I fondly remember sitting down at a competition many years ago, and when I asked them what defence they played to 1NT they helpfully explained

"Not Pottage"
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

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#27 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 12:00

Rain, on Jun 28 2004, 02:37 PM, said:

Hey Wayne,

Wanna elaborate on why these conventions are so terrible?

Rain

I will give it a go:

Quote

Gerber


Probably more its misuse by the local masses. Here are some auctions I have seen:

2 4* * Gerber
4NT** P!!!! ** 3 Aces

2 2
4* 4 * Gerber
5* 5
? Now with an ordinary 5431 hand opener wonders which denomination to play in.

In general Gerber over 1NT is all that I play but it is not very useful. It occurs once in a blue moon and even then you rarely absolutely need it.

Quote

Support Doubles and Redoubles


Partner can be so poorly placed after this when he has only a four-card suit - especially a bad four-card suit.

I prefer the flexibility to raise with three or make an ordinary takeout double depending on hand type.

Quote

Negative Double of 1♥ promising four spades


This is one of the most inefficient uses of a bid ever invented.

1 (1) ?

Playing standard takeout doubles you have two ways to bid spades with a weakish hand and no way to bid diamonds.

Removing this from my system was one of the best improvements I ever made.

Quote

Baron over 2NT


I don't think I have ever bid a diamond slam because I was using Baron.

Quote

Various Defenses to 1NT


Nothing works over 1NT.

For years I played natural. Often when we had a club overcall we got a good score because noone else in the field could bid clubs.

Quote

Short minor suit opening in an otherwise natural system


One word:

Pre-emption.

Quote

Fishbein


Double for takeout is infinitely better.

Inverted Fishbein is better - over a 3 pre-empt Dbl is t/o and 3 is for penalties :lol:

Quote

3NT for takeout over a pre-empt


Double for takeout is so much better.

Many years ago I played a match against our national team and my team-mates were playing 3NT for takeout.

On one board I pre-empted 4 and our opponents fell over and we score a large number of IMPs. At the other table the player with my cards had only opened 3. I asked him why? He said if they play 3NT for takeout then I want them to use it as often as possible.
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#28 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 12:20

This my Top 10
Please take it with humour some good conventions are here, not because they are bad but they do have some "danger" if your pd tends to forget some things...

#10: Namyats: Down 6 in 4d when you can make 6s? Run before your teammates arrive!

#9: Rubensohl: Very similar to Leb with the disctinction that you can play in a suit you don't have.

#8: Exclusion Blackwood. Ok I reckon this is useful just experience the thrill of being left to play in your void and you will understand why this is here.

#7: Capp. AKA "Crapp" not only this does nothing at all for your constructive bidding over 1N neither it does make the auction of the opponents more difficult, it can even make it easier.

#6: The "Ipioca convention" 1h-1s as a forcing NT with 1h-1N showing 5 spades. A convention you can say "can't hurt" until pd forgets you produce a beautiful 1h-1N;2s-Some Slam down 4.

#5: Gerber: A gerber sighting is actually more interesting than an UFO encounter so it is worth to play this convention only to see if you ever use it at all.

#4: Romex 3s over 2NT: 2N-3s transfer to 3N so nice. But wait... 2N-3N is NOT to play? You bid 3N with a balanced 5 over 2N and pd removes to 4c what now ? :-) The convention no partner can remember. (Note: In a Bermuda bowl a team played 4N after 3N-4m as "I forgot 3N was not to play, please pass"

#3: Blackwood: "No convention has damaged american slam bidding as much as blackwood" (E.Kaplan)

#2: Ghestem: AKA: How to play 3c on a 3-1 fit.
1d-3c pd smiles thinking you have a club preempt and you play 3c on a 3-1 fit in a hand where you can win 4 of a major. Oh dear...

#1: Texas: AKA: How to play 4h on a 2-1 fit
1NT-4h and if pd forgets about Texas you are in a disaster. Not only Texas is dangerous, South African Transfer serve the same purpose and are not likely to
produce accidents.
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#29 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 12:33

luis, on Jun 28 2004, 01:20 PM, said:

#6: The "Ipioca convention" 1h-1s as a forcing NT with 1h-1N showing 5 spades. A convention you can say "can't hurt" until pd forgets you produce a beautiful 1h-1N;2s-Some Slam down 4.

Heh, in my first few years of playing, at college, I used to play with two players regularly. One would make a conventional bid intending it as natural, and then try to "recover" by bidding the suit again and again in the hope that one of the subsequent bids would be read as natural. The other (whom I eventually married) realised that there was no hope but to make the best of what has gone before. In the London University Congress, having failed to qualify for the consolation pairs, we had precisely this problem:

I opened 1H. Partner bid 1S with a 7-2-2-2 eleven count, actually showing fewer than 5 Spades (the "Ipioca convention"). I rebid my 4 card minor, and partner (we did not know what was meant by UI in those days, and neither did the opps) realised the error from my alert of 1S and then had to think about recovery. Realising that there was no future in continually bidding Spades (which would in fact have shown support for my minor) she came up with the intelligent rebid of 2NT.

Well, I was sitting there with 3-5-1-4 or 3-5-4-1 (I forget which) and enough to accept the invite. I thought that a 4-3 Spade fit might be the best spot, so I patterned out with 3S, which partner gratefully raised to 4S. Person on lead had xx of trumps, and led one of them expecting his partner to have four of them to cut down the marked ruffs. In fact his partner had the Kingleton. Deciding that leader had more likely led from xx than Kxx partner rose with the Ace in dummy to crash the King. Ah, happy memories.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

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#30 User is offline   Trpltrbl 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 13:08

I see many people disliking Gerber( I agree ) and Blackwood with close second Flannery( I agree ).
And even though SAYC is not a convention, I agree that it should have been left alone. Now it is even more confusing.
But keep em coming.

Mike :lol:
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#31 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 17:38

Trpltrbl, on Jun 28 2004, 09:08 PM, said:

I see many people disliking Gerber( I agree ) and Blackwood with close second Flannery( I agree ).
And even though SAYC is not a convention, I agree that it should have been left alone. Now it is even more confusing.
But keep em coming.

Mike :D

i think you have flannery on the mind :) ... it was actually only mentioned once (tho it's possible some more will say something, now that i've drawn attention to it heheh)... i do wonder why you call it a 'close second' tho... here's the list i found from all the posts, copied word for word (tho without some of the comments):

Gerber
Support Doubles and Redoubles
Negative Double of 1h promising four spades
Baron over 2NT
Various Defenses to 1NT
Short minor suit opening in an otherwise natural system
Fishbein
3NT for takeout over a pre-empt
Blackwood
I would also mention multi and ghestem
Lebensohl
Archimedes
1403, 102
Flannery and Cappelletti
Gambling 3NT
Equal level conversion
Weak jump shift not in competition.
Unusual 2NT (not the convention per se, but its most common application).
Strong 2C opening.
Any convention that gives controls before distribution at the first round of bidding (without a known fit).
Free negative bids
Use of negative doubles as "card showing", with little distributional info (e.g. generic 8-11, usually balanced, regardless of majors)
What about the 1s-overcall of a strong 1c, showing "13 cards"?
MUD
Point-Showing Step Responses to 2C
Roth-Stone System
Stolen Bid Double
#10: Namyats
#9: Rubensohl
#8: Exclusion Blackwood
#7: Capp
#6: The "Ipioca convention"
#5: Gerber
#4: Romex 3s over 2NT
#3: Blackwood
#2: Ghestem
#1: Texas

the "winners" seem to be gerber, namyats, capp, ghestem, with gambling 3nt given honorary mention... good ole flannery only got one vote (wtg ron!! heheh)
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#32 User is offline   JRG 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 20:49

Though there are conventions I think are a waste of time, the list looks good enough already (especially with the summary). However, I have one comment:

The fact that you can play in a ridiculous contract if partner forgets the convention hardly seems a reason to bash it. That is because if partner forgets ANY convention you play, you are in trouble. Getting a bottom for playing in a 2-1 fit is no worse than getting a bottom for playing 3NT when the opponents run their solid suit for down 3.
JRG
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#33 User is offline   keylime 

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  Posted 2004-June-28, 21:10

You realize Jimmy that some pard's entire CC's is in the laundry list right? lolol
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#34 User is offline   keylime 

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  Posted 2004-June-28, 21:30

Ok, Ok, my top ten WORSE bridge conventions, and I have a sponsor: "Forcing Passes are Cool!"

10. 5 card minor overcalls at the two level - can we say "nearly automatic balancing double?" I like taking my 500's and up from folks using this foolish concept of bidding.

9. Bergen Raises - escalation of the bidding, lead directional doubles of the bids, and how can opener make it when they have opened on a min hand opposite a 7 point, 4 trump hand. Does this treatment ever get pluses on our side of the column?

8. Roman Keycard Blackwood, 0314 - why are we so compelled to use this treatment when 1430 is easier, better, and allows a queen ask more cheaply. Headaches abound, someone give me some naproxen sodium.

7. Law of Total Tricks - it ISN'T a law, it's merely a puny guideline that only works on balanced hands. With shape, we get "adjustments". Matter of fact, we got a book and a half on "adjustments". Well, I made "adjustments" to my frame of mind on GOTT (guideline of total tricks) and frankly I like being better "adjusted".

6. 2 as a double negative over a strong 2 opening - why are we punishing pard's potential heart hand? Why are we willing to wrongside the contract? Why are we even using a strong 2 opening? Why, huh, huh, huh?

5. Weak two bids - gee, let's tell the opps you're WEAK, that their PARD can be double dummied for most everything OUTSIDE of the preempt seat, and gee, let's through a little speed bump on the way to game....for the OPPONENTS.

4. Gerber being on over SUIT contracts - Folks, Gerber is a BABY food for pete's sake; does that mean it's easily digestible for bridge players too by playing this after 1M-2/3M? Graduate to solid food, and solid bidding....for my sanity.

3. Mini-Roman - why are we opening this hand showing four spades, 11-15, when good defenders will get what...lead trumps?! And furthermore telegraph the dummy's exact holdings....please someone kill this treatment!

2. 4NT as ALWAYS being ace asking - what ever happened to "Pard I'm lost, tell me where I'm going, we don't have any fit and I really want to find a harbor (harbour) to rest at PLEASE?!!" 4NT is bad enough for the majors, but for the minors it's worse than a sunburn in the Tropics. Then of course I can't forget the "keycard for last suit bid" abomination that 2/1'ers use. Yuck, phooey, bleck.

1. Capp vs. strong NT - what a HORRIBLE excuse of a treatment. Don't people realize good pairings will RUN from 1NTX or proudly STAND and force the strong hand to lead AWAY from strength? Have we ever heard of "declarer's advantage"?
"Champions aren't made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill. " - M. Ali
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#35 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 23:02

" 2♥ as a double negative over a strong 2♣ opening - why are we punishing pard's potential heart hand? Why are we willing to wrongside the contract? Why are we even using a strong 2♣ opening? Why, huh, huh, huh?"

Why are we playing a strong 2C opening? Because some of us play in the real world and are sick of having to start our constructive auctions at the 2 or 3 level, Dwayne, - and this from someone who has played a big C system most of his bridge playing life.

There is nothing wrong with a 2H super negative, in fact it has a LOT of advantages over standard methods provided your continuations are well designed.
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#36 User is offline   keylime 

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  Posted 2004-June-28, 23:14

Ron,

C'mon, you can't tell me that a strong 2 system is that much more dangerous than a little bitty forcing 1 system? If anything, you want to get into a 2 auction MORE just because a lot of pairings don't have good agreements over interference. That, and many open 2 on some strange assortments of hands.

As with regards to the "real" world, I'm happy to say we have a sizeable forcing/polish/prepared club contingent in my unit. And to boot, not a lot of fuss made about it - truly an "open community". :D
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#37 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-June-28, 23:51

"C'mon, you can't tell me that a strong 2♣ system is that much more dangerous than a little bitty forcing 1♣ system?"

I didn't say that Dwayne, what I said was that I got sick of constant intervention over 1C and having to start at the 2 or 3 level.

Theoretically I have NO doubts that a big C system - or a hybrid C system is far superior to a natural system. One of the main advs, which Richard often points out, is the ability to play lobs.

What totally annoyed me were the idiots who found it incumbent upon themselves to overcall 1C on any 4333 while supposedly playing some structure such as twerb. (I think you guys call this suction - it should be called twerp imho - thats Aussie slang for idiot!). After this happens repeatedly and the director gets called repeatedly because they have an agreement ..... etc etc it gets tiresome, and I can't be bothered with that sort of crap at the table anymore - it wastes good drinking time.
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#38 User is offline   keylime 

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  Posted 2004-June-29, 11:11

Good drinking time, this is true....

Recently, speaking of which, the ACBL in one of the last two casebooks (Long Beach, case 30) had an appeal talking about the use and potential abuse of Suction over a strong club. The panel had strong comments about the destructiveness of this treatment, and of "explosive (volatile)" conventions.
"Champions aren't made in gyms, champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill. " - M. Ali
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#39 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2004-June-29, 13:09

Quote

Keylime said.. "2♥ as a double negative over a strong 2♣ opening - why are we punishing pard's potential heart hand? Why are we willing to wrongside the contract? Why are we even using a strong 2♣ opening? Why, huh, huh, huh?"


I happen to "waste" two bids with a double negative over two clubs. I use both 2 and 2. Two announces no likely trick for a contract, 2 says no trick for a contract, but one or maybe more (including ruffing value) for a potential contract.

Now I do this because I open 2 lighter than most people playing 2/1 GF, all I need is a hand with 5 controls, a trump suit suitable to play in game opposite a singleton (and usually suitable for slam opposite a singleton), and eight tricks in a major (think an acol 2 or 2 opening bid). Partner bids 2 (no tricks for and I have an 8 or 9 trick hand with , you now what? He gets to play it at two , maybe in his void... :-)

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#40 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2004-June-29, 13:17

keylime, on Jun 29 2004, 12:14 AM, said:

If anything, you want to get into a 2 auction MORE just because a lot of pairings don't have good agreements over interference.

That is true. But the flip side is that most pairs have inadequate methods in the ABSENCE of interference. If they are destined to mess it up anyway, given a free run, giving them a winning option of a lucrative double to add to the other idiocies with which they might otherwise hang themselves is not gaining you much.

On balance I agree, but it is not all one way.
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

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