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this is why we play strong NT

#1 User is offline   lmilne 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 18:48

Scoring: MP


Playing weak NT with a first-time partner, you open 1. Auction proceeds 2 (weak) on your left, negative X from partner, pass to you.

Abstain would be great if we could use it at the table...
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#2 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 19:01

so, replace the Diamond King with the two, and say: "this is why we play weak NT.", or replace the Spade 4 with the Queen and you still have a bidding problem.

I don't like any of my choices on any of the 3 scenarios, but here we are stuck with the given one --which I gladly defer to the weak notrumpers for a good answer.
"Bidding Spades to show spades can work well." (Kenberg)
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#3 User is offline   PhantomSac 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 19:01

We are w/r? Passssssssss
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#4 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 19:05

aguahombre, on Feb 17 2010, 08:01 PM, said:

so, replace the Diamond King with the two, and say: "this is why we play weak NT.", or replace the Spade 4 with the Queen and you still have a bidding problem.

Replace the diamond K with the 2 playing a strong notrump and you can rebid 3 if you want on your minimum. That's not much of an option here because you have a 16 count.

Replace the spade 4 with the Q and you are good enough to bid 3. Here we aren't good enough to force to game.

Ergo, bidding problem. I wouldn't have thought to pass but it sure could work!
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#5 User is offline   lmilne 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 19:19

Pass? Could work I guess. Didn't even consider it, but seems pretty sensible on second thought...
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#6 User is offline   fred 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 19:27

Many years ago when I used to play weak notrump in most of my serious partnerships (which included some top players who have spent a great deal of time thinking about weak notrump), this is how we handled auctions like this:

1) Double means "I have interest in game opposite a strong notrump, but I have no convenient natural bid to make"

2) 2NT means "I have a strong notrump"

3) After opener rebid 2NT we used something artificial (I forget the details) to find out if we had a 4-4 or 5-3 fit in the other major and if we had a stopper in the suit that was overcalled

I am not claiming that this is "best", but I am fairly confident that using the negative double to promise length in the other major is not playable in a weak notrump context.

This sort of auction is a good example of why, despite being a believer in the weak notrump, I eventually decided to give strong notrump a try. It did not take long for me to be convinced that this was a smart move - playing bridge stopped feeling like what I imagine a visit to the proctologist would be like :D

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#7 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 19:34

3C. 2S might work out as well. I would not dream of passing.
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#8 User is offline   Siegmund 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 19:38

I'm speculating on 2. I've seen the awful hands some people like to come back in on... I wouldn't fault 3. Pass seems like sorta a big gamble, though especially if 4th hand is the type who would almost always raise to 3 if he had 3 decent hearts, there may be a case for it.
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#9 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 20:18

I would have thought that you would have about three of these problem auctions/hands playing strong no trump for every one that you have playing weak no trump.
Wayne Burrows

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True but I know Standard American and what better reason could I have for playing Precision? - Hideous Hog
Bidding is an estimation of probabilities SJ Simon

#10 User is offline   Siegmund 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 20:22

Quote

I would have thought that you would have about three of these problem auctions/hands playing strong no trump for every one that you have playing weak no trump.


Well, playing strong notrump, your game plan with the 12-14 hands after a negative double is obvious: scramble. No chance of game unless partner has significant extras. As we're seeing in this thread, with the 15-17 hand, it's not obvious how badly we can hurt 2 or whether we have a game our way.
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#11 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 20:25

Cascade, on Feb 17 2010, 09:18 PM, said:

I would have thought that you would have about three of these problem auctions/hands playing strong no trump for every one that you have playing weak no trump.

The problem (so to speak) isn't that you are balanced with no stopper regardless of range. I think the idea is that if you hold a weak hand in these competitive positions you can treat it as a minimum, whereas if you hold a stronger hand (like the problem hand) it's not clear how to treat it. People are rebidding 2/3 which is the same thing they would do on very minimum unbalanced hands so they are taking a big risk of missing game.

It's clear to me that one of the biggest disadvantages of the weak notrump is that your balanced hands that open a suit go from being two smallish distinct ranges to one very wide range. That makes it difficult to distinguish different strength in competition, as hands like this show.
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#12 User is offline   PhantomSac 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 20:52

I don't even consider this a painful pass w/r at MP. We are a huge favorite to get 200 and if we have a game we might often get 500, or we might not get there or we might get to the wrong one even if we're only getting 200. They are not likely to have 10 hearts.
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#13 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 21:30

Do I have this right.

10-15% of the time when we see this auction in a weak no trump system we have a strong balanced hand.

Around 20% of that time we have no stopper in the opponents suit.

Some of the time when this is a problem we have four spades and can make a value bid in that suit.

So about 2% of the time we have this hand in a weak no trump system after this start we have a problem.

And some of that time whatever we do will work out well anyway.

If there is a problem with weak no trump structures I don't think this hand is the major flaw in those methods.
Wayne Burrows

I believe that the USA currently hold only the World Championship For People Who Still Bid Like Your Auntie Gladys - dburn
dunno how to play 4 card majors - JLOGIC
True but I know Standard American and what better reason could I have for playing Precision? - Hideous Hog
Bidding is an estimation of probabilities SJ Simon

#14 User is offline   lmilne 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 21:58

The thread title was referring to the difference between getting your intermediate (15-17) balanced hands off your chest immediately, as these are the hands most vulnerable to preemption (as here), and opening them 1-suit.

When we have this auction playing a strong NT system, we can never have a medium balanced hand. So, we always have either a weak NT which where we normally have a clear scrambling action, an unbalanced hand where we bid our suit(s), or a strong balanced hand which can cue-bid/GF in some other way.

Of course there are other reasons why strong NT/weak NT might be better, but strong NT seems to have an edge in these auctions.

Justin, you might be slowly convincing me of pass. What would you do at other vulnerabilities?
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#15 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2010-February-17, 23:41

My experience towards weak notrump is null, but I'd try 3 here.

I dunno wich kind of trash does your usual partner's double with but this looks like a GF to me, pass wouldn't cross my mind this time althou its easy to see it working.
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#16 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2010-February-18, 01:52

Cascade, on Feb 17 2010, 10:30 PM, said:

Do I have this right.

10-15% of the time when we see this auction in a weak no trump system we have a strong balanced hand.

Around 20% of that time we have no stopper in the opponents suit.

Some of the time when this is a problem we have four spades and can make a value bid in that suit.

So about 2% of the time we have this hand in a weak no trump system after this start we have a problem.

And some of that time whatever we do will work out well anyway.

If there is a problem with weak no trump structures I don't think this hand is the major flaw in those methods.

Well there is more to it.

For example say you bid 3 on this. Now you have hurt yourself on all hands where you bid 3 since the strength range has widened considerably.

Another factor is that regarding the point that whatever you do may work fine, that's true but it's always true with problem auctions so I don't think helps make a comparison.

Also I don't know where you got 20% we don't have a stopper in their suit.

I also don't think 2% is that low. If I open 1NT on a terrible 14 count playing 15-17 then I will usually reach the same contract (or equivalent like 4NT making, 2NT making, etc.), sometimes accidentally find a better contract, and sometimes get lucky in a worse contract. I bet it would only cost me <5% of the time. These little differences add up.
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#17 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2010-February-18, 04:18

Well 20% depends on what you consider is a stopper.

I did a simulation to get a ball park figure. It is probably a bit low since I didn't attempt to take into account any suit quality on the 2 bidder. (That will hurt the passers too the success of which must depend on the style of the 2 bidder).

Of course there is more to it but that is the same for both sides of the argument. The strong no trumpers need to be more circumspect in competing of the jump overcall since partner will considerably more often have an unsuitable hand whereas the strong no trumpers know that partner will have extra values or extra strength.

You don't have to bid 3 you can bid 2NT as Fred suggested and sort out your stoppers on the three-level. But of course there is a cost when your hand is not ideal for any action you have to put it somewhere.

That is the same for the strong no trumpers only they will have much more frequent problems since their 1minor openings are relatively overloaded and hence they will be making nonideal bids more often on this auction. The argument in favour of the strong no trumpers is that their systemically bad hands will typically be less costly. However it is far from clear which style is ahead in this situation.

In fact on further thought the size of the cost is more an IMPs argument than a MP argument where frequency is the dominant issue.

Certainly I feel that I am ahead when I open 1minor in a weak no trump system with a strong no trump hand in that we are nearly a level lower when start investigating a fit. Although even here there are swings and roundabouts as it is easier for the opponents to enter the auction. Whereas opening 1NT on minimum opening strength balanced hands is disadvantageous for our constructive bidding but I hope to claw some of that back due to the pre-emptive affect of the 1NT opening.

In general since there are typically fewer hands in a weak no trump system's one of a minor opening then I would expect that to be more resilient to preemption.
Wayne Burrows

I believe that the USA currently hold only the World Championship For People Who Still Bid Like Your Auntie Gladys - dburn
dunno how to play 4 card majors - JLOGIC
True but I know Standard American and what better reason could I have for playing Precision? - Hideous Hog
Bidding is an estimation of probabilities SJ Simon

#18 User is offline   hanp 

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Posted 2010-February-18, 04:30

It is refreshing to read your completely unbiased posts Cascade.
and the result can be plotted on a graph.
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#19 User is offline   pooltuna 

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Posted 2010-February-18, 09:17

lmilne, on Feb 17 2010, 07:48 PM, said:

Scoring: MP


Playing weak NT with a first-time partner, you open 1. Auction proceeds 2 (weak) on your left, negative X from partner, pass to you.

Abstain would be great if we could use it at the table...

since you have hosed yourself with the system at this point I think you need to call 3 at least the short hand will take the ruff. Won't be the last time you play a 4-3 fit.
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#20 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2010-February-18, 10:48

I'm not anti weak notrump at all though I personally prefer not to play it. I have just always considered it an advantage in competition when I'm balanced and don't open 1NT to have two distinct ranges rather than one wide range. Maybe it's only because it makes my decisions easier, and if that's the case so be it. Your points are all fair.
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