straube, on 2010-October-22, 00:50, said:

Zelandakh,

Thanks for your post.

I'd be interested in seeing how you use transfers (continuations and such). I'm skeptical of them and list my reasons a little later.

I've used your idea for 2C-3S as a good club raise. Now 2C-2N is a constructive raise and 2C-3S is better in terms of points and fit.

If I'm using 2D to relay, then I'd rather focus on shortness. Your relay structure separates max/min and avoids the problem that we have with 7321s in knowing whether opener has 3-card support for responder's major. OTOH it loses clarity on opener's shortness which may be useful for slams and most important it is another thing we'd have to memorize (and we are up to our neck in relays).

I haven't seen how your transfer proposal would work, but I'm thinking that our 2C opening should be handled quite different from NT openings. Even NT openings use 2C (usually) as an asking bid and allowing 3 responses. It's only the next two bids that are transfers. I think it's very likely that our S1 should be a relay bid and not a transfer. Transfers over NT work well because opener is known to have tolerance for the suit and responder may big again to describe his shape to opener (who having a balanced hand is best placed to judge how the hands are meshing). Transfers over 2C have no assurance of a fit. Transfers also restrict sequence variety because opener will frequently have to just accept the transfer. I.e. transfers and puppets are costly in terms of sequence utilization. Finally, transfers describe responder's hand to opener; if opener is balanced well and good, but if opener is unbalanced, then it would have been much more efficient to have let opener complete his pattern.

I'm concerned about the 5/5 GI hands because having looked at some hands, they do seem to come up. If opener has a fit, they can be worth a lot. If opener doesn't, then even at the 3-level we may be too high. Frequently these 5/5s lack a stopper in the 4th suit so 3N may be unplayable. I think it's worth keeping the ability to stop at the 3-level with these.

I gave the immediate responses further up but here's a more detailed run-through of what I use.

Over 2C (traditional precision shapes but 10-14 strength)

2D = 4+ hearts

2H = 4+ spades

2S = range ask

2N = 5 spades, 4 hearts, INV

3C = 3+ clubs, PRE

3D = sign-off

3H = 6+ diamonds, SI

3S = 3+ clubs, SI

3N = sign-off

4C = 4+ clubs, PRE

4D = puppet to 4H

4H = puppet to 4S

Over 2C - 2D

2H = 0-2 hearts (see below)

2S = 3 hearts, 4 spades (NB: therefore 4=3=1=5 or 4=3=0=6)

.....2N = 4 hearts, 0-3 spades, INV

.....3C = 4 hearts, 0-3 spades, 3+ clubs, INV

.....3D = puppet to 3H, 5+ hearts, weak or GF

.....3H = 5+ hearts, INV

.....3S = 4+ spades, INV

.....3N, 4S = sign-off

.....4C = 3+ clubs, SI

..........4D = decline slam try

...............4H = RKCB

..........4H = accept slam try, 1 or 4 key cards

..........4S = accept slam try, 0 or 3 key cards

..........4N = accept slam try, 2 or 5 key cards without CQ

..........5C = accept slam try, 2 or 5 key cards with CQ

.....4D = 6+ diamonds, SI

.....4H = slam try agreeing spades

..........4S = decline slam try

...............4N = RKCB

..........4N = accept slam try, diamond void

...............5C = RKCB

..........5C = accept slam try, 4=3=1=5, 1 or 4 key cards

..........5D = accept slam try, 4=3=1=5, 0 or 3 key cards

..........5H = accept slam try, 4=3=1=5, 2 or 5 key cards without SQ

..........5S = accept slam try, 4=3=1=5, 2 or 5 key cards with SQ

.....4N = INV

2N = 3 hearts, 0-3 spades, min

.....3C = 4 hearts, 2+ clubs, SO

.....3D = puppet to 3H, 5+ hearts, weak or GF [after 3H: denial cues, frivolous 3NT]

.....3H = 5+ hearts, INV

.....3S = 5+ spades, GF

3C = 3 hearts, 0-3 spades, max

.....3D = puppet to 3H, 5+ hearts, weak or GF [after 3H: denial cues, frivolous 3NT]

.....3H = 5+ hearts, INV

.....3S = 5+ spades, GF

.....3N/4S = sign-off

.....4C = 3+ clubs, SI

..........4D = decline slam try

...............4H = RKCB

..........4H = accept slam try, 1 or 4 key cards

..........4S = accept slam try, 0 or 3 key cards

..........4N = accept slam try, 2 or 5 key cards without CQ

..........5C = accept slam try, 2 or 5 key cards with CQ

.....4D = 5+ hearts, 0-1 diamonds

.....4N = INV

3D = 4 hearts, min

.....3H = sign-off

.....3S, 4m = denial cue

.....3N = slam try

.....4S = RKCB

3H = 4 hearts, max

.....3S, 4m = denial cue

.....3N = slam try

.....4S = RKCB

Over 2C - 2D / 2H

2S = 4+ spades, F1

.....2N = 0-3 spades, min

..........3C = sign-off

..........3D = checkback

...............3H = 2 hearts

...............3S = 3 spades

...............3N = diamond stop

..........3H = 6+ hearts, GF

..........3S = 5+ spades, GF

..........3N = to play

..........4C = 3+ clubs, SI

.....3C = 0-3 spades, max

..........3D = checkback

...............3H = 2 hearts

...............3S = 3 spades

...............3N = diamond stop

..........3H = 6+ hearts, GF

..........3S = 5+ spades, GF

..........3N = to play

..........4C = 3+ clubs, SI

.....3D, 3H = 4 spades, splinter

.....3S = 4 spades, min

.....3N = 4 spades, max

2N = 0-3 spades, INV

3C = 3+ clubs, INV

3D = 5+ diamonds, GF

3H = 6+ hearts, INV

3S = 6+ hearts, 0-1 spades, GF

4C = 3+ clubs, SI+

4D = 6+ hearts, 0-1 diamonds, GF

4H = mild slam try

4S = RKCB [unnecessary because of 2C - 4D - 4H - 4S]

4N = INV

Over 2C - 2H

2S = 0-2 spades

.....2N = INV

.....3C = 3+ clubs, INV

.....3D = 5+ diamonds, GF

.....3H = 5+ hearts, INV

.....3S = 6+ spades, INV

.....3N = sign-off

.....4C = 3+ clubs, SI+

.....4D = 6+ spades, 0-1 diamonds, GF

.....4H = 6+ spades, 0-1 hearts, GF

.....4S = mild slam try

.....4N = INV

2N = 3 spades, min

.....3C = 4 spades, 3+ clubs, SO

.....3D = 5+ diamonds, SI

.....3H = puppet to 3S, 5+ spades, weak or GF [after 3S: denial cues, frivolous 3NT]

.....3S = 5+ spades, INV

.....3N = to play

.....4C = 3+ clubs, SI

..........4D = decline slam try

...............4H = RKCB

..........4H = accept slam try, 1 or 4 key cards

..........4S = accept slam try, 0 or 3 key cards

..........4N = accept slam try, 2 or 5 key cards without CQ

..........5C = accept slam try, 2 or 5 key cards with CQ

.....4D = 6+ diamonds, SI

.....4S = mild slam try

3C = 3 spades, max

.....3D = 5+ diamonds, SI

.....3H = puppet to 3S, 5+ spades, weak or GF [after 3S: denial cues, frivolous 3NT]

.....3S = 5+ spades, INV

.....3N = to play

.....4C = 3+ clubs, SI

..........4D = decline slam try

...............4H = RKCB

..........4H = accept slam try, 1 or 4 key cards

..........4S = accept slam try, 0 or 3 key cards

..........4N = accept slam try, 2 or 5 key cards without CQ

..........5C = accept slam try, 2 or 5 key cards with CQ

.....4D = 6+ diamonds, SI

.....4S = mild slam try

3D = 4 spades, min

.....3H = puppet to 3S, 5+ spades, weak or GF [after 3S: denial cues, frivolous 3NT]

.....3S = INV

.....3N = side void, SI

..........4C = asks for the void

...............4D/H = void in suit bid

...............4S = club void

.....4C = 3+ clubs, SI

.....4D/H = 5+ spades, singleton in suit bid, SI

.....4S = mild slam try

3S = 4 spades, max

.....3N = slam try

.....4m, 4H = denial cue

.....4N = RKCB

Over 2C - 2S

2N = min

.....3C = SO

.....3D/H/S = stop ask

3C = max

.....3D/H/S = stop ask

Over 2C - 3H

3S = diamond fit, decline of slam try

3N = no diamond fit

4D = diamond fit, accept slam try

Over 2C - 3S

3N = decline slam try

4C = accept slam try

That is everything - probably alot more detail than you would ever want. Notice also that 5S-4H GF hands start with 2D, not 2H, to facilitate the correct information exchange. This is clearly different from Jacoby transfers and illustrates the point about Opener providing the information even though it seems to be coming from Responder. Another point about this is that 2C can be 5C - 4M which means that it can hold far more hand types than your 2C opening. That means that full shape relays would simply not be possible below 3NT.

Now onto your system. The reason i am asking about the worries on GI hands is that your forcing 2M responses seem to cover all of these possibilities. The only GI hands that seem to go through 2D now are invitational club raises and a natural 2NT bid. What I am wondering here is if it is not possible to make the 2D relay a full game force. The first of these hands can easily be handled through 2NT - simialr arguments can be used here as for the competitive auctions discussed in another thread. The problem is the natural balanced invite and there just is not a suitable alternative.

Finally a little discussion about relays based on shortness (symmetric) and based on fragments. To some extent these approaches are interchangeable - the former is better at recognising a slam early, the latter is better at finding fits quickly. The only time this matters is when the shape resolution goes above 3NT. For example, with 7321 hands you can either find out by 3NT what the 3 card suit is or what the singleton is in addition to the 7 clubs. To get the full picture requires a relay above 3NT. The question is simply which information is more important to get before you need to commit. My (strong) belief is that the fit is more important to locate. That is why I use a fragment based relay approach throughout the system. It has exactly the same information capacity as the shortness method, it simply transfers the information in a different order.

An example of this from a more traditional point

1C - 1H (4+ spades)

1S - 2D (1-suited)

2H - 2S (3 hearts, 6-7 spades) [2N is 3 clubs, 3C is 3 diamonds, 3D is 8+ spades and 0-1 hearts, 3H is 8+ spades and 0-1 diamonds, 3S is 7=2=2=2, 3N is 8+ spades and 0-1 clubs, min]

2N - 3S (7=3=1=2) [3C would show 3 diamonds, 3D is 3 clubs, 3H is 6=3=2=2]

The symmetric relay auction is identical except that you first show a middle shortage and then show the relative lengths of the other 3 suits.

Now with your 2C opening the relays have to start much higher than in standard symmetric and this is why full shape resolution is difficult. If you could make 2D GF it would be possible to start the 1-suited relays at 2NT (1 step higher than standard) which would significantly reduce the difficulties. But I do not see how to achieve this so you are probably stuck with starting at an uncomfortably high level.

One final note on your current structure. You have

2C - 2D - 2H - 3D = diamonds and hearts

2C - 2D - 2H - 3H = diamonds and spades

2C - 2D - 2H - 3S = hearts and spades

It seems to me much more efficient to switch the meanings of 3D and 3S to enable Opener to indicate a fit in either major at the 3 level.

I hope the bidding notes have managed to survive the forum editing intact. It was really quite difficult to do due to the characteristics of the forums. First of all no tabs, and secondly every time I tried to edit something the edit window would jump to a completely unrelated point in the message. So most of it was done completely blind. Anything that does not make sense just ask and I will correct it.