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How To Respond To A Strong 2 [_CL] Opener Waiting or Negative or what?

#21 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 09:23

While I agree with some of the previous posts, I thought I'd add my ideas.

I play more or less what I think Fred advocates, at least in terms of the 2 level responses:

2 is gf. it is the most common response and in essence all it does is to deny any of the other, more precise, responses

2: negative. I prefer it merely says no Ace or K, but one of my partners like that it denies any A or K or as much as 6 hcp (eg 3 Q's)

2: balanced 8-11 hcp

2N: positive in either major. We do NOT show positive suit responses with 2 suited or 3 suited hands or with significant extras. A suit positive is a simple hand: two of the top 3 honours, 5+ length and probably no more than a side A or King. Stronger or more complex hands go through 2 (more on this below)

3/: positive natural...see above

3/: 6+ suit, will play for 1 loser opposite stiff...no side A or K

3N: any solid (AKQJxxx) 7 card or better suit...opener will always be able to tell what it is and usually be able to count tricks/place the contract. Of course, I've never seen this response :rolleyes:

The main idea is to allow opener to describe his hand rather than to preempt the constructive auction when responder has unexpected values/shape. Assuming that one plays a good method over opener's 2N rebids (which include Kokish after the 2 response) it seems best to cater to that.....in my experience, when responder has a complex hand, opener will often rebid 2N. And when he doesn't, responder is often far better off having conserved space than he would be by making a higher level positive and then having opener consume even more space describing his hand.

BTW, the idea of responder grabbing notrump with a balanced hand seems to me to be very ill-advised.
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#22 User is offline   pirate22 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 11:30

thanks for showing the hand---as i previously stated south should always respect pards 2cl opener south has a nice responding hand,but should be aware has North a single suited hand a 2 suiter hand--in depicted hand a slightly exotic 3 suiter{usually very diff to convey}not pooh poohing 2d=good and 2ht weak.if this used on this hand ,one could forsee confusion.you were very lucky/unlucky,in your case
very unlucky,but justice ruled. ask your partner-switch the diamond to hts
4414 auction 2cl---you 2hts what would your partner rebid:):)
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#23 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 12:02

gurgistan, on Jul 29 2010, 07:30 PM, said:

To me it seems that 2, negative or waiting are the most common but then I have only been playing bridge 15 months.

For this very reason, perhaps it is better to just do this and concentrate on other parts of the game for the time being. A person who has been playing for that short time is more likely to want to play a system which is comfortable for a lot of different partners -- and more likely to want to use the limited time for pre-game discussion for more frequently occuring situations.
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#24 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 15:13

peachy, on Jul 30 2010, 03:05 PM, said:

Also, don't rush to make a positive response in a bad suit. Use the 2D waiting and then introduce your suit next round if it is still necessary. Positive response in a major should be 5+ cards with two of three top honors or three of four top honors. Positive response in a minor 6+ cards, or if only five then extemely good suit.

I prefer
2D = GF: promises at least one ace or one king.
2H = bust or no aces or kings
2S = Positive response in spades
2NT = Positive response in hearts
3m = Positive response in the minor
And don't forget to agree on followups both for opener and for responder, and on general principles what is forcing, what shows weakness, what shows strength, what is a signoff, and what your various actions show if they interfere.

This is pretty much what I wanted to say.
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#25 User is offline   nigel_k 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 15:34

gurgistan, on Jul 31 2010, 04:20 AM, said:

peachy, on Jul 30 2010, 10:05 AM, said:

A direct 2NT response is usually very bad.

Experience is sadly something I do not have much of right now. Only 15 months playing bridge and 2 hands do not appear all that regularly. So it is nice to be told what to avoid.

I also really like the "system" you play but as I am in a fledgling partnership it is far too soon to ask partner to play something other than what he is familiar with. Give it a few months, and I will suggest it to him.

Use computer generated hands for practice and to figure out what works well. There are (free) dealing programs or you can make your own.
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#26 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 15:41

nigel_k, on Jul 30 2010, 04:34 PM, said:

gurgistan, on Jul 31 2010, 04:20 AM, said:

peachy, on Jul 30 2010, 10:05 AM, said:

A direct 2NT response is usually very bad.

Experience is sadly something I do not have much of right now. Only 15 months playing bridge and 2 hands do not appear all that regularly. So it is nice to be told what to avoid.

I also really like the "system" you play but as I am in a fledgling partnership it is far too soon to ask partner to play something other than what he is familiar with. Give it a few months, and I will suggest it to him.

Use computer generated hands for practice and to figure out what works well. There are (free) dealing programs or you can make your own.

use BBO partnership Bidding and constrain the hands
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#27 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 15:53

In most of my 2/1 or SA-based partnerships I play 2 GF and 2 negative, much like Peachy described.

I will say that the more I play this style, the less happy I am with it. The problem is that auctions after 2 negative seem very bad. Some of the issues:

(1) 2NT is very non-forcing, so opener has to jump to 3NT with game-forcing balanced hands. This often misses a superior 4M game -- note that if you have a major suit fit it's usually BIG advantage to play in it here, since otherwise dummy will be entryless.

(2) You can't get out in 3m or in 3 (assuming those are forcing; I do know at least one person who thinks they should be NF but this creates substantial other issues which are potentially even worse). It seems like there should be a way to get out on these hands, especially because it is otherwise appealing to open 2 on one-suiters with a lot of playing strength (i.e. it's hard to show these hands in standard bidding after opening one and getting a 1/1 response).

It's true that 2 being GF helps you in some auctions, but something like 2 waiting with cheapest new suit=2nd negative and Kokish seems not to sacrifice much on the GF responder hands while being quite substantially better on the negatives.
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#28 User is offline   peachy 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 18:52

gurgistan, on Jul 30 2010, 10:20 AM, said:

peachy, on Jul 30 2010, 10:05 AM, said:

A direct 2NT response is usually very bad.

Experience is sadly something I do not have much of right now. Only 15 months playing bridge and 2 hands do not appear all that regularly. So it is nice to be told what to avoid.

I also really like the "system" you play but as I am in a fledgling partnership it is far too soon to ask partner to play something other than what he is familiar with. Give it a few months, and I will suggest it to him.

Sorry, didn't mean to overload. You can easily start with a simple plan for 2C openings, which is part of SAYC, while you and partner are getting your system worked on. Nice to have new players and new forum posters, welcome.
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#29 User is offline   cherdanno 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 19:34

It's completely playable to just play 2 as game-forcing (except for a 2NT rebid) and just accept the occasional loss when that is too high. It is very rare that you can stop below game anyway.
In fact, just something like 2 = waiting, rest = natural with a reason to bid (6-card suit or 5/5) works good enough. Showing suits can work wonders! And agree a precise range for the direct 2NT response.
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#30 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 19:57

I like the system played by Seres and Cummings. It is old now, but still has some good ideas imo.
2D = GF
2H = neg
2S = bal gf or 3 suiters
2NT = semi pos 2 suited hand
3C = semi pos in D
3D = semi pos in H
3H = semi pos in S
3S = semi pos in C

A semi pos was a hand with 2 of the top 4 hons, and nothing much outside.
They had all sorts of continuations if the transfer into the semi pos was accepted, but you can design your own to suit the level of complexity you want.
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#31 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2010-July-30, 20:30

As others have mentioned this is really the least very leastof issues at bridge...focus on defense...declarer play. etc///etc///


--------------------------------


after 2h=negative....deny a or k but unlimited tiny points.....responder just strains to rebid....not really that much of an issue at the table.

In fact now you can cuebid Q's.

Keep in mind we assume the opp are silent
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#32 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2010-August-03, 16:37

nigel_k, on Jul 29 2010, 10:47 PM, said:

I really try to avoid opening 2 with 5431 and similar shapes and will usually have either balanced, big one suiter, or big two suiter. So it's better to leave space for opener to show their suit(s) since you won't often be playing in responder's suit. Therefore 2 waiting is preferable.

Note that you can respond 2 with some hearts and a few values since this doesn't obstruct any intended rebid by opener and also means 3 can be negative/waiting if opener rebids 3.

Responses above 2 should be very closely defined and therefore fairly rare IMO. They should also be transfers to prevent wrongsiding.

It's a pity Ken Rexford isn't around at the moment as he wrote a book on this subject.

Thanks for the plug!

I did in fact release through Master Point Press an ebook, also now available in print form, of two new books, one on a canape system and one about a two-way structure for standard or 2/1 GF players to improve strain issues with two strong openings.

The two-way structure (2 or 2 as strong forcing openings, artificial) helps tremendously with strain problems. 5431's, for example, are not a problem.

As a simply example. A 2D opening handles all hands with 4+ spades.

Thus, if you open 2C, you have fewer than four spades (with an irrelevant exception). If partner bids 2H as a double negative, you can rebid 2S to show hearts, getting below 2NT and solving that problem.

If partner bids 2D, instead, now 2H shows hearts (5+), but 2S shows four hearts and unbalanced, meaning with 1444 pattern (short spade) or a longer minor. 2NT asks. With 3415 or 3451, you flag the minor (3H for 3415, 3S for 3451). With fewer than three spades (usually shortness), you bid the minor naturally. These nightmare hands become non-issues.

With a minor two-suiter, you can even open 2, hear a response, and rebid 3, thereby "bidding" both minors below 3NT.
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#33 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2010-August-03, 18:13

Sounds interesting, Ken.

But it sounds to me like an expensive solution to rare problem hands.

The 2 scheme sounds promising. It would lower my standards for opening 2 based on hearts, since I play it now as gf....because 3 over a negative 2 is forcing. Getting to stop in 3 will be a small but identifiable benefit.

I'm not crazy about having to jump to 3Major to show 1435/1453...but otoh I am not crazy about opening 1minor on 22 or 23 hcp..or opening 2 and rebidding 3 to show 4=5/6 in the reds or 3 hoping to hear a 3 noise so I can show my major.

So I think the 2 scheme sounds like a modest improvement.

However, it seems to me that the 2 scheme, which is a necessary adjunct, is sub-optimal.

We lose the ability to play Kokish relay on strong 2N hands with 4/5 spades.

We presumably either lose the ability to make an immediate negative, or we adjust 2/ to fit the purposes of 2/ over 2.

If we keep 2 as negative, we need 2 or (shudder) 2n as positive, waiting (or some even more space consuming bid) and now opener can't bid spades below 3....giving away in spades what we gained in hearts in the 2 structure. Admittedly, this is in the context of a gf response so isn't as big a deal.

If 2 becomes the negative, with 2 the positive, then the spade issue is even more problematic.

And right now, I have a method that uses all of the responses to 2 as artificial, and I can't fit that scheme into a 2 opener...my sense is that this loss will at least offset the gain from the increased definition afforded to opener's hand.

Finally, even if the scheme was an improvement over the current 2 approach, we have to look at what we lose by not having 2 available.

Unless we are playing strong roman, the odds are that whatever we are currently using for 2 is a hand type that will arise far more often than a strong 2 with 4+ spades...and more often than the hands that we can usefully open 2...that is those hands that without 2 strong are difficult to bid and become easier with the new style.

So the new style has to offer significantly greater benefits than the costs that it will more frequently impose by loss of our current methods.

I play weak 2 with some, multi with others, and others will have other favourite treatments.

I am intrigued by your ideas and may even get hold of a copy of the ebook, and commend you for the effort. I am sure you have thought of these issues (and more), so any word you have to assuage my concerns will be read with interest.
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#34 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2010-August-03, 18:59

Actually, I thought of a different solution, as well. The idea is to change Kokish from a way to split strong balanced hands into a way to better handle unbalanced hands.

Suppose that 2-P-2-P-2 was "Kokish-like" but with a different plan. Responder almost always bids 2 (but I have a mess of alternatives worked up -- see my blog). If Opener has the "hearts hand," he bids 3+, just like with normal Kokish.

However, Opener can also bid 2NT, not to show a balanced hand but to show an unbalanced minor-major canape. After a 3 relay (there again are other options), Opener bids 3 with diamonds and a major (unwinds worked out) or bids his 4-card major with longer clubs.

I filled in the structure with calls and overrides and the like, so as to enable any "problem hands" to be handled, and to solve the problem of spotting 5-3 fits in the third suit in time, etc. I even found that SOME of the big balanced hands can be re-included back into this structure (not all balanced patterns, but a LOT of them).

I wrote up a lot of this on my blog:

http://cuebiddingatbridge.blogspot.com/201...-on-kokish.html
http://cuebiddingatbridge.blogspot.com/201...sh-part-ii.html
http://cuebiddingatbridge.blogspot.com/201...h-part-iii.html
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#35 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2010-August-03, 19:05

mikeh, on Aug 3 2010, 07:13 PM, said:

***

However, it seems to me that the 2 scheme, which is a necessary adjunct, is sub-optimal.

We lose the ability to play Kokish relay on strong 2N hands with 4/5 spades.

We presumably either lose the ability to make an immediate negative, or we adjust 2/ to fit the purposes of 2/ over 2.

If we keep 2 as negative, we need 2 or (shudder) 2n as positive, waiting (or some even more space consuming bid) and now opener can't bid spades below 3....giving away in spades what we gained in hearts in the 2 structure. Admittedly, this is in the context of a gf response so isn't as big a deal.

If 2 becomes the negative, with 2 the positive, then the spade issue is even more problematic.

***

The Kokish hands with 4-5 spades are the exception and go through 2.

The response structure after the 2 opening does have a downside of a slightly preempted auction when no immediate spade fit is found, but the pattern unwind is so powerful that this is a very minor problem. Plus, the ability to rule out spades immediately in many auctions gives the partnership the call of spades later as a punt bid, which solves some of the "negative" problems.
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#36 User is offline   gurgistan 

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Posted 2010-August-05, 13:47

I have decided that my own notes on how to respond to 2 are so confusing that it is best for that and other reasons (strictly handplay reasons others have pointed out) to abandon 2 Negative and to play 2 Waiting from now on.

Many of you have outlined various treatments and some of them seem to be over complex. I need something simple and consistent: Waiting 2 is it.
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#37 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2010-August-05, 21:05

gurgistan, on Aug 5 2010, 02:47 PM, said:

I have decided that my own notes on how to respond to 2 are so confusing that it is best for that and other reasons (strictly handplay reasons others have pointed out) to abandon 2 Negative and to play 2 Waiting from now on.

Many of you have outlined various treatments and some of them seem to be over complex. I need something simple and consistent: Waiting 2 is it.

A lot of people will play 2 waiting. A lot of them will be doing a lot of guessing as to whether to stop in game, try slam, or drive to slam since they 1) don't know "standard" methods after 2; 2) don't know "standard" methods after 2 waiting; 3) the standard varies somewhat from place to place.

Don't do silly things that I see so often on BBO like this 2-2-4 with a hand like this. xx, AKQTxxx, Axx,KQJ ..slow it down and rebid 2 and save room for slam probes. That jump to 4 should show something like x,AKQJTxxx,xx,AQ or slightly stronger and 100% cold for 10 tricks only (not all will open 2 with this hand) Anyhow.. KEEP the bidding LOW with HUGE hands.

Realize that after 2-2-2 that a raise to 3 is stronger than a jump to 4. That jump to 4 shows junk and some trump support and a hand that is thinking game has good play so they don't go via a 2nd negative and then pass 3.

If you don't play gambling 3NT and have no better use for a 3NT opener then I suggest using a 3NT opener to show 25-26 balanced and flat (no good 5 card suit that you want to bid after 2-2) and 2-2-3NT is 27-28 pts.

It is brutally hard to continue after a 3NT opening but I suggest 4 as Staymen (obviously you must be prepared to play 4NT so, IMHO, you should be planning a slam invite at least if PD bids your major. 4 red are transfers as usual and 4 can be used to get to minors (feel free to devise something but note you'll need it maybe once a year). A direct 5 can be Gerber (gag).

The lack of space after 3NT is why people play Kokish, but you can add that later if you wish and with an experienced pd.

.. neilkaz ..
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#38 User is offline   gurgistan 

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Posted 2010-August-07, 02:51

neilkaz, on Aug 5 2010, 10:05 PM, said:

gurgistan, on Aug 5 2010, 02:47 PM, said:

I have decided that my own notes on how to respond to 2 are so confusing that it is best for that and other reasons (strictly handplay reasons others have pointed out) to abandon 2 Negative and to play 2 Waiting from now on.

Many of you have outlined various treatments and some of them seem to be over complex. I need something simple and consistent: Waiting 2 is it.

A lot of people will play 2 waiting. A lot of them will be doing a lot of guessing as to whether to stop in game, try slam, or drive to slam since they 1) don't know "standard" methods after 2; 2) don't know "standard" methods after 2 waiting; 3) the standard varies somewhat from place to place.

Don't do silly things that I see so often on BBO like this 2-2-4 with a hand like this. xx, AKQTxxx, Axx,KQJ ..slow it down and rebid 2 and save room for slam probes. That jump to 4 should show something like x,AKQJTxxx,xx,AQ or slightly stronger and 100% cold for 10 tricks only (not all will open 2 with this hand) Anyhow.. KEEP the bidding LOW with HUGE hands.

Realize that after 2-2-2 that a raise to 3 is stronger than a jump to 4. That jump to 4 shows junk and some trump support and a hand that is thinking game has good play so they don't go via a 2nd negative and then pass 3.

If you don't play gambling 3NT and have no better use for a 3NT opener then I suggest using a 3NT opener to show 25-26 balanced and flat (no good 5 card suit that you want to bid after 2-2) and 2-2-3NT is 27-28 pts.

It is brutally hard to continue after a 3NT opening but I suggest 4 as Staymen (obviously you must be prepared to play 4NT so, IMHO, you should be planning a slam invite at least if PD bids your major. 4 red are transfers as usual and 4 can be used to get to minors (feel free to devise something but note you'll need it maybe once a year). A direct 5 can be Gerber (gag).

The lack of space after 3NT is why people play Kokish, but you can add that later if you wish and with an experienced pd.

.. neilkaz ..

My idea is simple:

Partner opens 2. I bid my Waiting 2.

1. If partner rebids a suit then I count fit + winners and bid accordingly.

2. If partner rebids 2NT then I count points and bid accordingly.*

*Making allowances for Stayman and requisite Transfers.
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