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kickback convention discussion Is it really an improvement?

#1 User is offline   frank0 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 07:00

For those of you know the convention, skip the link otherwise here is the wiki link of this convention.
http://en.wikipedia....wood_convention
on this webpage search Kickback or asking bid other than 4NT

The question is my partner introduced me this convention a few month ago and we did practice some hands on this convention(with various slam try sequence). I do feel now we can avoid bidding a minor slam which two keycards are missing. However I also notice a new problem. It seems to me this convention save some space on key card asking but deprive some space on cue-bid. During bidding practice quite a few times my partner and I find, let's say,
fit at 4 level, now 4 is key card asking but I care more about controll than total number of key cards, and we finally bid a slam with only 1 key card missing but lacking 2nd round control in . :(

Is the problem due to natural disadvantage of the convention or my personal misunderstanding
of some basic concept of slam bidding?
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#2 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 07:31

Kickback is an application of what Jeff Rubens called the Useful Space Principle. The idea is to construct your bidding system to make optimum use of the available bidding space. Consider RKCB. There are four main responses, four steps to show most holdings (there are responses beyond the fourth step, but these are rare enough they can be ignored for our purpose here). When spades are trumps, that fourth step does not take you beyond 5. This is a Good Thing™. :) When some other suit is trump, the space available between the asking bid (4NT, usually) and the fourth step is compressed. This means that a fourth step response takes you beyond five of your trump suit. Not so good. So, applying the Useful Space Principle, we move the asking bid down the bidding ladder to make enough room so that we don't go beyond five of the trump suit at the fourth step. Voilà, Kickback!

It is almost never a good idea to ask for keycards when you have a wide open suit. If you reach minor suit agreement at the four level, and asking is a bad idea, then you should probably start cue bidding with the suit just above the ask (depending on your holding there and your cuebidding style). Yes, that means you won't be able to Kickback later. Just remember that it is not the case that in order to bid slam, you must ask for keycards. Sometimes cue-bidding is the more appropriate tool.
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#3 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 08:16

If 4S is KB for hearts, then 4N is the spade cue and no space is wasted for Cuebidding.

If a minor suit is to be trump and you are cuebidding above 4m, the status of the m+1 suit is unclear. Some solve that by using Minorwood, so that cues can start with m+1. But, in order to employ Minorwood your partnership needs to agree when it applies and when it doesn't.
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#4 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 08:26

IMO:
  • Jeff Ruben's "Useful Space Principle" is a major contribution to bidding theory.
  • RKCB. Kickback, Minorwood, Redwood, Exclusion, Klinger and so on, are significant improvements on previous control-asking conventions.
  • I've devised cunning variations of my own, of more doubtful value.

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#5 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 09:52

Nigel! We agree on something! :lol: :lol:

Although I can't speak to your third point, since I don't know your variations. B-)
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#6 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 12:03

With careful editing, I find I can convert Nigel's post into something I agree with:
  • Jeff Ruben's "Useful Space Principle" is a major contribution to bidding theory.
  • Kickback, Minorwood, Redwood, Exclusion, Klinger and so on are of doubtful value.

Kickback is a mixed blessing for exactly the reason that frank0 suggests: the lowest bid is often of more use as a cue-bid than as a keycard-ask.

The Useful Space Principle can be used to justify playing either method. If you believe that the partnership's needs are best served by maximising the space available to discuss keycards, you should play Kickback. If you believe that the partnership's needs are best served by allowing more space for cue-bidding prior to any Keycard ask, you should play normal Keycard.
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#7 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 12:20

Kickback is immensely useful, and this is why many top pairs play it.

The biggest drawback that I have seen isn't so much that lose a cue bid, but rather the occasional costly bidding misunderstanding.

You can 'switch' 4N and the kickback suit to be able to cue, but in practice, keeping 4N as last train seems to work best.
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#8 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 12:51

View PostPhil, on 2011-July-17, 12:20, said:

You can 'switch' 4N and the kickback suit to be able to cue, but in practice, keeping 4N as last train seems to work best.

hmmm so if diamonds is trump then 4 is KB and 4NT is last train so the only heart-control-showing bids are 5 and 6? Doesn't sound right to me.
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#9 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 12:56

View Posthelene_t, on 2011-July-17, 12:51, said:

hmmm so if diamonds is trump then 4 is KB and 4NT is last train so the only heart-control-showing bids are 5 and 6? Doesn't sound right to me.


Well, its really best as LTTC over clubs, not minors. I definitely mispoke.
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#10 User is offline   mtvesuvius 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 13:03

After I had an auction where there were 3 different possible bids that could have been keycard, and 6 different possible responses and reasks, I will not play Kickback without a LOT of discussion and even then I am not a fan.
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#11 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 14:20

View Posthelene_t, on 2011-July-17, 12:51, said:

hmmm so if diamonds is trump then 4 is KB and 4NT is last train so the only heart-control-showing bids are 5 and 6? Doesn't sound right to me.

If you play kickback, you need to have simple rules as to when something is KB.

It's also a good idea not to play 4N as last train, but to use it as the cue in the KB suit IMO.

You also need to discuss the continuations afterwards as you can have a lot of room after KB below 5/6 of your suit.

We fell foul of one tonight (playing somewhat bent acol):

1-1-1N(wide range)-2(asking)-3(upper range, 4/4)-4-4

Now did 4 agree clubs so 4 was KB or was it a cue agreeing so 4 was a cue.
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#12 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 16:01

View Postgnasher, on 2011-July-17, 12:03, said:

With careful editing, I find I can convert Nigel's post into something I agree with:
A breakthrough :)
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#13 User is offline   TWO4BRIDGE 

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Posted 2011-July-17, 16:36

View Postaguahombre, on 2011-July-17, 08:16, said:

If 4S is KB for hearts, then 4N is the spade cue and no space is wasted for Cuebidding.

Unless you play that Meckwell goody:

4S! = RKC for Hts and
4NT! = Voidwood for Hts ( excluding the Sp Ace )
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#14 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2011-July-18, 02:36

In my experience, kickback is definitely an improvement when a fit is found. The trumps are usually set at 3-level, so you retain an entire level of cuebids and you can stay out of slam when missing 2 keycards, or 1 keycards and trump Q.

Over minors it requires a lot of discussion, because sometimes you want to bid 4M as a suggestion to play. Also, like you mentioned, there's no possibility to cuebid AND ask for keycards. Either you ask for keycards, or you cuebid (for example with fit, 4NT shows a cue - reverse the original meanings of the kickback bid with 4NT).

For minors, I prefer Kickback Turbo because it combines cuebidding with showing keycards, and it's better than the original Turbo played by Fantoni-Nunes for example. This however also requires some discussion, especially how to show trump Q, when are you asking for something, how to show voids,...
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#15 User is offline   xxhong 

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Posted 2011-July-18, 10:33

Kick back is a huge improvement over normal RKC for minor suit slams and minor suit grand slams. Of course, you need to know how to effectively use RKC first and need to define your strength well to apply this convention.

View Postfrank0, on 2011-July-17, 07:00, said:

For those of you know the convention, skip the link otherwise here is the wiki link of this convention.
http://en.wikipedia....wood_convention
on this webpage search Kickback or asking bid other than 4NT

The question is my partner introduced me this convention a few month ago and we did practice some hands on this convention(with various slam try sequence). I do feel now we can avoid bidding a minor slam which two keycards are missing. However I also notice a new problem. It seems to me this convention save some space on key card asking but deprive some space on cue-bid. During bidding practice quite a few times my partner and I find, let's say,
fit at 4 level, now 4 is key card asking but I care more about controll than total number of key cards, and we finally bid a slam with only 1 key card missing but lacking 2nd round control in . :(

Is the problem due to natural disadvantage of the convention or my personal misunderstanding
of some basic concept of slam bidding?

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#17 User is offline   TWO4BRIDGE 

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Posted 2011-July-18, 10:54

View Postfrank0, on 2011-July-17, 07:00, said:

During bidding practice quite a few times my partner and I find, let's say,
fit at 4 level, now 4 is key card asking but I care more about control than total number of key cards, and we finally bid a slam with only 1 key card missing but lacking 2nd round control in . :(


You might be able to reduce some of problem sequences if you are able to find a m-fit on the 3-level -- then Minorwood becomes the RKC-ask.... and you can then by-pass the 4m!-RKC and cue 4m+1 if you need to. That way 4NT can still be the default RKC in the by-passing sequence.

However, if the m-fit is first agreed at the 4-level, then 4m+1 becomes RKC ( kickback )...and the problem still exists. If 4NT! becomes the cuebid for the kickback suit ( as has been suggested ) , then you don't have a RKC-ask . You can't win them all.
Don Stenmark
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"imo by far in bridge the least understood concept is how to bid over a jump-shift
( 1M-1NT!-3m-?? )." ....Justin Lall

" Did someone mention relays? " .... Zelandakh

K-Rex to Mikeh : " Sometimes you drive me nuts " .
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#18 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2011-July-18, 14:38

"However I also notice a new problem. It seems to me this convention save some space on key card asking but deprive some space on cue-bid. During bidding practice quite a few times my partner and I find, let's say, ♣
fit at 4 level, now 4♦ is key card asking but I care more about ♦ controll than total number of key cards, and we finally bid a slam with only 1 key card missing but lacking 2nd round control in ♦."



The good news is that this problem should be pretty rare. However in your example if you really need to find out about a second round d control at the 4 level try a cuebid of 4h or 4s partner then pard can cuebid 4nt to show a diamond control.


1s=2h
3c=4c
(now 4h or 4s here is a cuebid not to play)=4nt by responder(d cue!)

---


Note 4nt by opener will very often be a d void and 5d is exclusion.
Note2 in the above auction you give up the ability to back into 4h or 4s to play.

?These issues are important to discuss and practice if you play Kickback.
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