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The Best Bidding System

#1 User is offline   twcho 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 10:41

There are numerous bidding system in the world. To name a few: 2/1, Acol, Precision, Polish Club, Moscito, Relay system, Forcing Pass... and the list can go for ever. And one can derive infinite branches from each of the above system.

Now, which of the system is the best in your opinion with respect to the following aspects:
1. Accuracy to bid to game (and stop short of poor game)
2. Accuracy to bid to slam (and stop short of bad slam)
3. Competitiveness (and immunity vs opp's intervention when strong)
4. Difficulty for the defense vs your contract (correct declarer position, unexposed declarer hand strength and distribution to the opps)
5. Easier to grasp and lesser chance for partnership misunderstanding
6. The effectiveness on a whole.

Actually, I have been watching the rising Italian star pair Fantoni-Nunes playing during their European Champion and is particularly attracted by their bidding system structure. All their 1 level opening is natural and F1 with 14+ while their 2 level bid is also natural but unbalance with medium strength. Personally I regard this is one of the strong candidates for the laurel (it can be proved by the recent good results they achieved though I have not heard of them maybe 3 years ago).
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#2 User is offline   twcho 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 12:24

Probably I missed out one of the very important facets of a good system: the ability to prevent opps from reaching their best game or slam.
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#3 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 12:31

Systems depend on who play them. Defensive players do not like aggressive systems and vice-versa.

Perhaps there can be a system that is "best" for a particular player or partnership, but not one that is best for all players, regardless of their style.
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#4 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 13:27

MOSCITO: Strong (15+), limited opening bids in trf (1 = 4+, 1 = 4+, 1 = 4+, 2 = 6+).

1. Accuracy to bid to game (and stop short of poor game)

Because the limited openings have a small range, it's quite easy to find out weither or not game is possible. After an inv+ relay bid, opener usually shows his basic shape, and then responder can still invite if he's not sure.
Also, lots of raise bids help us as well after 1 or 1 bids.

2. Accuracy to bid to slam (and stop short of bad slam)

Accuracy is huge! Most common hands are bid through relays at 3 or 3. From there, we can start slam bidding, so most of the time we are even way below game when we start the slam approach. (look at the hand I gave in the thread "how to win FOT tourneys" in "interesting bridge hands")
Both denial cuebids and low-level RKC (followed by Control Asking Bids) give us many possibilities to find out what we need to know.

3. Competitiveness (and immunity vs opp's intervention when strong)

After limited openings, partner usually knows what the limit of the hand is. We raise at 2-level with 3 card, at 3-level with 4 card. This way we deliberatly cheat on the LOTT, but in more than half the situations opener has a 5+ card. Opps don't know weither to bid or not. It's necessary when opener has 5+ cards in his Major, but it's dangerous when he only has 4.
The 1 opening is a weakness ofcourse, but tnx to the semi-positive and GF responses, opener has a general idea of what responder has after his first answer. That way, 4th hand preempting isn't that destructive for us. However, 1-1 shows a GF hand, and when opps intervene high, we might get into trouble finding our optimal contract.

4. Difficulty for the defense vs your contract (correct declarer position, unexposed declarer hand strength and distribution to the opps)

Tnx to trf openings, the unknown hand usually plays. The step-1 answer is an inv+ relay bid, and rightsides the contract in the opener's Major. That also gives us extra opportunities to ask more info to partner, just in case he has the perfect hand for a slam.
The relay structures are designed to get the right hand to play most of the time, but it's obvious that rightsiding a contract every time is impossible.

5. Easier to grasp and lesser chance for partnership misunderstanding

Without the relay bids, the system is fairly easy to learn and to play. The relay schemes take some memory work, but there's an easy logic in it, so it's not that bad at all. After 1 and 1 openings, the relay structure is identical, after 1 its logic, and after 2 it's quite similar to the 1 opening.
The 1 opening is another story, that's quite difficult imo. However, you can use whatever response scheme you want, and perhaps introduce the advised one later.
During a relay auction, once any of both partners makes a mistake, it's a disaster! Sometimes bidding 4 instead 4 during slam actions can make a difference between a 5m game and a 7m grand slam, both laydown.

6. The effectiveness on a whole.

Imo it's a VERY effective system. If opps don't intevene, we find whatever we need to find. Opps intervening doesn't bother too much, but sometimes it ruins our great biddings to slam...
The limited openings are also very effective, especially after biddings like 1(4+) - pass - 2(3 card support) - ? opps have a difficult task to find if they have to protect at 3-level, or let us play.
Finding the optimal partscore is not a mission of the system. The system is designed for easy quick-in quick-out biddings, slams and games, and therefor we search for 'playable' partscores rather than 'optimal' partscores. We might end up in a 4-3 fit M playing at 2-level with a 5-4 fit in a minor
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#5 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 14:30

twcho, on Jul 27 2004, 07:41 PM, said:

There are numerous bidding system in the world. To name a few: 2/1, Acol, Precision, Polish Club, Moscito, Relay system, Forcing Pass... and the list can go for ever. And one can derive infinite branches from each of the above system.

Now, which of the system is the best in your opinion with respect to the following aspects:
1. Accuracy to bid to game (and stop short of poor game)
2. Accuracy to bid to slam (and stop short of bad slam)
3. Competitiveness (and immunity vs opp's intervention when strong)
3. Competitiveness (and immunity vs opp's intervention when strong)
5. Easier to grasp and lesser chance for partnership misunderstanding
6. The effectiveness on a whole.

Actually, I have been watching the rising Italian star pair Fantoni-Nunes playing during their European Champion and is particularly attracted by their bidding system structure. All their 1 level opening is natural and F1 with 14+ while their 2 level bid is also natural but unbalance with medium strength. Personally I regard this is one of the strong candidates for the laurel (it can be proved by the recent good results they achieved though I have not heard of them maybe 3 years ago).

I very much like the fact that you chose to define a series of different dimensions to evaluate different bidding systesm. In general, designing a system requires tradeoffs, and systems that score highly on one dimension may have compensating weaknesses elsewhere.

Like Free, I am quite fond of MOSCITO

>1. Accuracy to bid to game (and stop short of poor game)

I think that MOSCITO is slightly above average regarding accurately bidding games. In particular, the combination of the limited openings and constructive response structure allow us a lot of tools to accurately explore for game/slam. With this said and done, the preemptive structure is primarily intended to create "action" and can leave use badly placed at times.

>2. Accuracy to bid to slam (and stop short of bad slam)

Relay bidding is extremely accurate in bidding slams. Give us an unobstructed auction, and we'll almost certainly get to the right contract.

>3. Competitiveness (and immunity vs opp's intervention when strong)

Like all strong club systems, we're quite vulnerable to preemption when we have storng hands. We've taken steps to try to minimize the damage, but I acknoweldge that this is a weakness of this approach

>4. Difficulty for the defense vs your contract (correct declarer position, unexposed declarer hand strength and distribution to the opps)

This is where MOSCITO really shines. The system is designed to force the last guess on the opponents by blasting to an acceptable contract ASAP. We're usually well positioned to punish anyone who guesses wrong. If I defended better, this tactic would be even more valuable.

>5. Easier to grasp and lesser chance for partnership misunderstanding

Most of MOSCITO is very simple/natural, however, there are a number of highly codified sequences. The major problem is lack of ability to recover from a mistake. A single misbid can cause everything to spiral out of control.

>6. The effectiveness on a whole.

I have a lot of fun... Does that count?

In all seriousness, its probably more important that your bidding system matches the temperment of your partnership than that it is technically perfect.
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#6 User is offline   DrTodd13 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 16:17

At non-vul, I'm pretty sure you can always improve MOSCITO by moving some of the bids lower by a step and moving the really awful hands into a fert bid, thus turning MOSCITO into a forcing pass system. This will approximately double the amount of bids you have to exchange information on the hands where you are likely to need to do so. And if you want to talk about making it hard on your opponents, when every system in play is based on the premise that opponents pass = weak then you get a real advantage when they have to shift into their much less precise overcall sequences. Essentially, the fert is just a low level
preempt that steals bidding space from the opponents. Use it wisely and you will rarely get hammered.

Todd
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#7 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 16:52

Yeah, I'd love to do this Todd, but forcing pass systems are banned almost everywhere. So I don't feel the need to put energy in forcing pass systems... I know they're technically better, but lots of rules are against such systems, and also against 1-level fert bids :(
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#8 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 16:56

Free, on Jul 27 2004, 05:52 PM, said:

Yeah, I'd love to do this Todd, but forcing pass systems are banned almost everywhere. So I don't feel the need to put energy in forcing pass systems... I know they're technically better, but lots of rules are against such systems, and also against 1-level fert bids :(

Isnt 1h with spades also forbiden ? i thought Richard said so.
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#9 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 17:06

No, it's a red system imo... I asked a highly respected TD once, and he said it's a red system, artificial, but not hum.
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#10 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 17:14

Flame, on Jul 28 2004, 01:56 AM, said:

Free, on Jul 27 2004, 05:52 PM, said:

Yeah, I'd love to do this Todd, but forcing pass systems are banned almost everywhere.  So I don't feel the need to put energy in forcing pass systems...  I know they're technically better, but lots of rules are against such systems, and also against 1-level fert bids  :(

Isnt 1h with spades also forbiden ? i thought Richard said so.

EVERYTHING is banned here in the US, so its not really a relevant comparison
(well not quite, but...)
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#11 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 17:20

I keep on telling you all - migrate!
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#12 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 17:54

The_Hog, on Jul 27 2004, 06:20 PM, said:

I keep on telling you all - migrate!

whats migrate ?
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#13 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 18:11

That's moving to another country where other rulez apply. Seems like Australia is a good spot :(
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#14 User is offline   paulhar 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 18:17

BBO seems like a good spot too :(
I tend to lead fourth best - as opposed to the best suit, the second best suit, or the third best suit for our side
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#15 User is offline   Flame 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 18:17

Free, on Jul 27 2004, 07:11 PM, said:

That's moving to another country where other rulez apply.  Seems like Australia is a good spot  :(

oh , i thought its a system name :o
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#16 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2004-July-27, 18:46

Quote

1. Accuracy to bid to game (and stop short of poor game)


Limited opening systems are best here - Precision, Moscito, Forcing Pass, Symmetric Relay.

Relays per se are not such a big advantage at the game level.

Quote

2. Accuracy to bid to slam (and stop short of bad slam)


Limited opening systems are best here - Precision, Moscito, Forcing Pass, Symmetric Relay.

Relay systems are a big advantage in bidding slam.

Quote

3. Competitiveness (and immunity vs opp's intervention when strong)


Natural systems are best here. Even short minor suit openings can be a problem. Any system where you do not bid your long suits first is subject to problems.

My worst disaster ever was having led a tournament the whole way (well at least the barometer final) on the very last round we got to 6 with inadequate trumps (no play for one loser) in heavy competition because we had made a Canape bid earlier in the auction and were on a guess. We had slam in another denomination.

Quote

4. Difficulty for the defense vs your contract (correct declarer position, unexposed declarer hand strength and distribution to the opps)


1NT 3NT is the best system for this. Hang on 3NT opening is best.

All systems have swings and round-abouts.

I played transfer openings and transfer responses to a strong club this had the advantage of having the strong hand as declarer often but sometimes the hand the had been fully described was declarer.

Quote

5. Easier to grasp and lesser chance for partnership misunderstanding


Strong club and relay systems once they have been learnt are easiest here. On many hands you have one method - relay. In standard systems there are so many different situations all requiring detailed methods.

Obviously the fewer agreements that you have the less chance of a misunderstanding but you end up guessing more often.

Quote

6. The effectiveness on a whole.


In the end for almost all players I do not think that the system that you play in itself is the deciding factor on how you perform. It is much more important to reduce your mistakes.

The most effective system is the one that you and your partner are comfortable with.

I play a wide variety of systems with a wide variety of partners. I do not think my performance is often greatly affected by the system that I happen to be playing.
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

#17 User is offline   Dwayne 

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Posted 2004-July-28, 02:03

Flame, on Jul 27 2004, 06:54 PM, said:

The_Hog, on Jul 27 2004, 06:20 PM, said:

I keep on telling you all - migrate!

whats migrate ?


Excellent question Flame.

Migrate - what ducks and geese do.

Immigrate/ Emigrate = wot we humans do I fink.

Dwaynster
Al kuko kaj kaso cxiam venas amaso.
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#18 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2004-July-28, 02:17

The_Hog, on Jul 28 2004, 01:20 AM, said:

I keep on telling you all - migrate!

Thanks for the tip, Ron! I'll be comming to Australia in December to look for a job. I'm a little worried about the bridge culture, though. Well, can't be worse than the Dutch one, anyway. And maybe I will even learn to appreciate brown stickers, who knows. Do many people play strong-pass systems down there? Would be interesting.
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#19 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-July-28, 02:42

Not many anymore, Helene, as you do have to play in 14 board matches +. Still at major national events you will always find a few die hards who play strong pass systems. Brown stickers conventions otoh are everywhere, club duplicates included.
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#20 User is offline   Rado 

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Posted 2004-July-28, 16:16

The_Hog, on Jul 28 2004, 06:42 PM, said:

Not many anymore, Helene, as you do have to play in 14 board matches +. Still at major national events you will always find a few die hards who play strong pass systems. Brown stickers conventions otoh are everywhere, club duplicates included.

Hi Ron,
seems quite comfortable for most BG players :-)))))))))))))))))))
Rado
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