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XYZ and different types of relays

#1 User is offline   bd71 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 09:11

I have decided to learn XYZ, but I'm confused about why the 2-2 relay was set up like it was, and am hoping people can enlighten me.

My confusion stems from the use of two different types of relay/forcing bids in the same convention:

1. The XYZ 2 bid is what I think of as a "tell me more" relay/artificial bid, where opener immediatelly describes his hand further. In other situations, this type of relay is used with inivitational or GF hands (e.g. NMF, Checkback, 4SF) when responder is trying to identify the right strain.

2. The XYZ 2 bid is obviously different; it's a "forced relay" bid that virtually requires opener to make yet another artificial bid. In other situations, this type of relay is usually used when responder COULD have a weak hand that wants to drop the contract in the forced bid, but sometimes includes stronger hands. Examples I'm familiar with are transfers after NT, Lebensohl over NT interference or a reverse, and the 2 response to 1N with a long weak minor.


Here's the confusion...the 2 bid technically fits the above description because it could be dropped if responder wants to drop dead in 2, but it seems to me that this would be rare. So why are we wasting space with a forced relay bid here, as opposed to having opener immediately say more about his hand? I can think of several possible explanations, but none are convincing to me as of yet:

1. Responder will want to drop dead in 2 more than I am thinking is likely (remember I have no experience playing XYZ yet)
2. Want to conceal opener's hand. I'm not convinced because the opponents already know a lot about openers hand, and because it's not at all clear opener is going to be declarer
3. Is there anything else I'm missing?


And it seems to me that there is a cost to this use of space...it could push the identificatino of a 5-3 fit to a higher (perhaps too high) level. So after 1-1-1-2!-2!-2 (showing 5 I think), if opener merely has a minimum with 3-card support you can bid 3 no problem, but if opener wants to be in game across from the invite I think he has to bid 4 and then there's no room for cue-bidding if his hand was very strong.

Maybe the simplest way to ask is this: After an XYZ 2C invitational bid, why shouldn't we get rid of the 2 relay and have opener immediately tell more about his hand at the 2-level with close to minimum values, or at the 3-level with GF values (across from an invite)? This would be similar to the NMF/Checkback responses. It would also force any drop-dead responses to bid 3 (so similar to the 3 bid after XYZ.)

This all suggests one broader closing question...since the type 1 relays above are typically used in similar situations (with invitational or GF hands on responders 2nd bid...these would include NMF or Checkback, 4SF, XYZ, and even the Bourke Relay per the recent thread), is there a way to combine all of these into one "super convention" with similar response principles across all situations that would perhaps be less of a memory strain? Would this be helpful or not?
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#2 User is offline   wyman 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 09:24

View Postbd71, on 2011-November-17, 09:11, said:

And it seems to me that there is a cost to this use of space...it could push the identificatino of a 5-3 fit to a higher (perhaps too high) level. So after 1-1-1-2!-2!-2 (showing 5 I think), if opener merely has a minimum with 3-card support you can bid 3 no problem, but if opener wants to be in game across from the invite I think he has to bid 4 and then there's no room for cue-bidding if his hand was very strong.


Bold 1) Opener can pass 2H, so he doesn't need to push to 3H. This is one of the strengths of XYZ. With an invitational hand and 6 hearts, this auction might have gone:
1C-1H;
1N-3H;
Pass

We can also have:
1C-1H;
1S-3S

replaced by
1C-1H;
1S-2C!;
2D!-2S

Bold 2) Opener made a 1-level rebid; his hand is not very strong.
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#3 User is offline   bd71 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 09:32

Brian, I'll think through your sequences in a second...but is your general point that there's really NO cost to using the forced relay 2-2? So you might as well use it because it does provide the opportunity to drop dead in at a low level?

I can't refute that as I haven't fully thought it through (yet), but something in me is rebelling at using that extra step for the forced relay.
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#4 User is offline   bd71 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 09:42

View Postwyman, on 2011-November-17, 09:24, said:

Bold 1) Opener can pass 2H, so he doesn't need to push to 3H. This is one of the strengths of XYZ. With an invitational hand and 6 hearts, this auction might have gone:
1C-1H;
1N-3H;
Pass

We can also have:
1C-1H;
1S-3S

replaced by
1C-1H;
1S-2C!;
2D!-2S

Bold 2) Opener made a 1-level rebid; his hand is not very strong.


Re: your first bold, point taken.

Re: your second bold, I'm 80% with you. But how about AKxx QJT void AKJxxx? After 1-1-1-2-2-2, are you telling me you wouldn't want to explore slam? Or would your rebid not be 1? I think there's still ample room for slam opportunities with a hand that doesn't jump, but which has a great fit across from an invitational hand with 5 hearts. Perhaps this is now rare enough that it doesn't offset the advantage of getting out in diamonds at the low level.
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#5 User is offline   wyman 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 09:52

View Postbd71, on 2011-November-17, 09:42, said:

Re: your first bold, point taken.

Re: your second bold, I'm 80% with you. But how about AKxx QJT void AKJxxx? After 1-1-1-2-2-2, are you telling me you wouldn't want to explore slam? Or would your rebid not be 1? I think there's still ample room for slam opportunities with a hand that doesn't jump, but which has a great fit across from an invitational hand with 5 hearts. Perhaps this is now rare enough that it doesn't offset the advantage of getting out in diamonds at the low level.


I'd jump with that hand, but if I had taken the low road and bid 1S, I think a jump to the 4 level is a cuebid now.
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#6 User is offline   semeai 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 09:58

View Postbd71, on 2011-November-17, 09:32, said:

Brian, I'll think through your sequences in a second...but is your general point that there's really NO cost to using the forced relay 2-2? So you might as well use it because it does provide the opportunity to drop dead in at a low level?

I can't refute that as I haven't fully thought it through (yet), but something in me is rebelling at using that extra step for the forced relay.


You've put just about all the invitational hands for responder into 2, so responder's hand is the most undefined after a 2 bid. Thus it makes sense for opener to keep the bidding low for him. This is similar to the logic in transfers over 1NT: responder's hand is the most undefined, so he needs two bids in a row. Other specific advantages here like stopping at the 2-level when invitational opposite minimum have been mentioned by Wyman. Compare the game forcing hands for responder: there's the nondescript 2 asking bid and then there are descriptive higher bids. It's fine for the 2 bid to ask for two reasons: 1) you don't mind going higher 2) you already have other bids for game forcing hands if responder wants to describe first.

That said, if you really are never going to pass 2, you could of course make tweaks to improve it. You wouldn't want to give opener too much leeway, though, or you'd mess up the ability to stop at the 2-level. The simplest proof-of-concept of a tweak if we really don't care about a 2 contract over 1x-1;1z: have opener bid 2 if he has a minimum with 3 hearts, and 2 otherwise (after both it reverts to usual xyz rebids if responder bids anything further). This would give responder the ability to move over 2 if what he really needed was the heart support instead of strength plus heart support. Counterintuitively, you use the minimum here because the maximum with 3 hearts will be fine later on anyways. This might be a good tweak even if you do care about a 2 contract: when opener has a minimum with 3 hearts and responder was going to pass 2, you can just play the 4-3 heart fit.
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#7 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 10:26

When the opening bid is 1, isn't it relevant that we can play 2? When the opening bid is 1, the Walsh hand isn't that common, but its still useful.

By the way, the night I learned XYZ, I picked up something like ATxx void AQxx AQxxx and the auction started 1 - 1 - 1 - 2 :)
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#8 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 10:30

View Postbd71, on 2011-November-17, 09:11, said:

I have decided to learn XYZ, but I'm confused about why the 2-2 relay was set up like it was, and am hoping people can enlighten me.

My confusion stems from the use of two different types of relay/forcing bids in the same convention:

1. The XYZ 2 bid is what I think of as a "tell me more" relay/artificial bid, where opener immediatelly describes his hand further. In other situations, this type of relay is used with inivitational or GF hands (e.g. NMF, Checkback, 4SF) when responder is trying to identify the right strain.

2. The XYZ 2 bid is obviously different; it's a "forced relay" bid that virtually requires opener to make yet another artificial bid. In other situations, this type of relay is usually used when responder COULD have a weak hand that wants to drop the contract in the forced bid, but sometimes includes stronger hands. Examples I'm familiar with are transfers after NT, Lebensohl over NT interference or a reverse, and the 2 response to 1N with a long weak minor.


Here's the confusion...the 2 bid technically fits the above description because it could be dropped if responder wants to drop dead in 2, but it seems to me that this would be rare. So why are we wasting space with a forced relay bid here, as opposed to having opener immediately say more about his hand? I can think of several possible explanations, but none are convincing to me as of yet:

1. Responder will want to drop dead in 2 more than I am thinking is likely (remember I have no experience playing XYZ yet)
2. Want to conceal opener's hand. I'm not convinced because the opponents already know a lot about openers hand, and because it's not at all clear opener is going to be declarer
3. Is there anything else I'm missing?


And it seems to me that there is a cost to this use of space...it could push the identificatino of a 5-3 fit to a higher (perhaps too high) level. So after 1-1-1-2!-2!-2 (showing 5 I think), if opener merely has a minimum with 3-card support you can bid 3 no problem, but if opener wants to be in game across from the invite I think he has to bid 4 and then there's no room for cue-bidding if his hand was very strong.

Maybe the simplest way to ask is this: After an XYZ 2C invitational bid, why shouldn't we get rid of the 2 relay and have opener immediately tell more about his hand at the 2-level with close to minimum values, or at the 3-level with GF values (across from an invite)? This would be similar to the NMF/Checkback responses. It would also force any drop-dead responses to bid 3 (so similar to the 3 bid after XYZ.)

This all suggests one broader closing question...since the type 1 relays above are typically used in similar situations (with invitational or GF hands on responders 2nd bid...these would include NMF or Checkback, 4SF, XYZ, and even the Bourke Relay per the recent thread), is there a way to combine all of these into one "super convention" with similar response principles across all situations that would perhaps be less of a memory strain? Would this be helpful or not?



I play Walsh along with xyz so responder can have long d and want to drop dead in 2d or even want to invite with say long d and 4h on the suggested auction.
If pard opens 1d you may wish to play in 2d, drop dead. 1d=1h=1s=2c!=2d=p
Invitational hands are pretty tightly defined.
With only an 8 card h fit we prefer to try and stay at the two level and opener can pass.

---


btw I am not quite sure if you are suggesting 2c or 2d could be made with both inv and gf hands, they cannot be.
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#9 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 10:45

View PostPhil, on 2011-November-17, 10:26, said:

By the way, the night I learned XYZ, I picked up something like ATxx void AQxx AQxxx and the auction started 1 - 1 - 1 - 2 :)

I bet you weren't the only ones laughing and/or barfing.
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#10 User is offline   bd71 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 10:49

View Postmike777, on 2011-November-17, 10:30, said:

btw I am not quite sure if you are suggesting 2c or 2d could be made with both inv and gf hands, they cannot be.


No, I was wondering why 2 couldn't be a direct "tell me more" relay by an invitational hand, asking opener to further describe rather than being forced to bid 2.

2 by responder is still GF; no questions there.
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#11 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 10:54

View Postbd71, on 2011-November-17, 10:49, said:

No, I was wondering why 2 couldn't be a direct "tell me more" relay by an invitational hand, asking opener to further describe rather than being forced to bid 2.

2 by responder is still GF; no questions there.



ok....what you describe is what I learned as 2 way checkback. It is a fine convention. I just think you can do more with xyz but many people still play 2 way checkback and win.
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#12 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 11:16

View Postmike777, on 2011-November-17, 10:54, said:

I just think you can do more with xyz but many people still play 2 way checkback and win.

Or they might even be able to win with neither --employing just 4SGF and 1-way NMF. It might be surprising how many different strengths and patterns people can squeeze into these old gadgets if their X, Y, and Z bids are also old-fashioned or are prepared.
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#13 User is offline   chasetb 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 11:33

A good way to play XYZ is in the link below. I am in the process of slightly modifying it for my partnership where we play Precision. 2 is in effect, a 'tell me more'. As long as you bid after the relay, you are asking partner to 'tell you more'. However, if you shudder at 2 as a forced relay, then you might not like 2NT as a 2nd forced relay as well.

The idea is that with more ways to describe your hand, the better a chance you have of finding those slim slams, or even those hard-to-find grands with distribution. 2 hosts mostly invitational hands if you bid over 2. 2 sets up an immediate GF, and helps find 5-3 fits as well as minor-suit slams. Jump-shifts by Responder on the 2nd round are GF as well, and show at least 5-5 in the bid suits.

http://inquiry2over1...convention.html
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#14 User is offline   Flem72 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 12:23

Quote

I just think you can do more with xyz but many people still play 2 way checkback and win


Quote

Or they might even be able to win with neither --employing just 4SGF and 1-way NMF. It might be surprising how many different strengths and patterns people can squeeze into these old gadgets if their X, Y, and Z bids are also old-fashioned or are prepared.


Quote

By the way, the night I learned XYZ, I picked up something like ATxx void AQxx AQxxx and the auction started 1♣-1♥-1♠-2♣


Or XYZ and 2-way can be combined, using 2-way (essential to a style where 1X-1Y/1N may conceal one or both 4-cd Ms) AND all the other XYZ stuff. The only real adjustment is deciding what to do with the 6m-4M weak hands. R's 2N XYZ relay can be used if m is C or D (but that robs you of some useful stuff for 3D); R can bid 1D then 1N with the hand that would want to pass the 2D forced relay. I liked this approach, but none of my aprtners wanted to diverge from "mainstream" XYZ. (I've got very complete notes on XYZ and alternatives, and, if OP wants to contact me on site, I'll be happy to forward them FWIW.)

So far as OP's original issue is concerned, it seems to me that use of the 2-way approach where 1X-1Y/1N may conceal one or both 4-cd Ms allows O immediately to pattern out after 1X-1Y/1Z-2♣, bidding 2♦ (also 2N and/or 3C -- need agreements for these in the context of an announced unbal hand) ONLY when lacking 3 in Y and 1X-1Y/1Z-2♣/2Y will claim a short W. Also helps to let R off the hook with invitational 5Y-5♦s after 1♣-1♥/1♠-2♣/2♦-3♦ -- which otherwise may be big misfit with no clear out.

Regards and Happy Trails,

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#15 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 13:57

You can also slide some slam hands in to the sequence like 1X-1Y-1Z-2-2-3M. If you want to have sequences for good hands with lots of shape separate. But really the drop dead in 2 is pretty common, and not wanting to reveal information about possible declarer is not uncommon either.
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#16 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 15:11

Does 2 really force 2, or does it say "bid as if I had a weak hand with long "? eg with the strong-ish 4045 hand, can opener rebid 3 instead?
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#17 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 15:52

View PostEricK, on 2011-November-17, 15:11, said:

Does 2 really force 2, or does it say "bid as if I had a weak hand with long "? eg with the strong-ish 4045 hand, can opener rebid 3 instead?



With xyz there are so many combinations that may be left undiscussed in most partnerships. I suppose this one seems logical but then you need to discuss how you get back to spades or clubs and they are not thought of as cues.


My only point being there starts to be memory issues for sequences that dont come up very often.
These suggested "extended" xyz sequences may be best in theory compared to other methods.
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#18 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 16:07

View Postmike777, on 2011-November-17, 15:52, said:

With xyz there are so many combinations that may be left undiscussed in most partnerships. I suppose this one seems logical but then you need to discuss how you get back to spades or clubs and they are not thought of as cues.

I suppose the thinking is that either you have a weak hand with in which case you can pass (or perhaps raise), or have an invitational hand which can make a natural bid as you are GF if opener bypasses 2. Obviously different interpretations would be needed for the follow-ups if opener's rebid is eg 2 (strong 4306?) or 2(5xy6?) etc

It's probably the sort of thing you agree one day and first appears 6 month's later by which time neither of you can remember what you discussed.
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#20 User is offline   bd71 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 18:26

View PostEricK, on 2011-November-17, 16:07, said:

It's probably the sort of thing you agree one day and first appears 6 month's later by which time neither of you can remember what you discussed.


This is exactly why I was asking whether there can be common approaches/rules to multiple similar relay situations...from XYZ, to NMF/Checkback, 4SF, etc. Nobody has really responded to that thought yet...are there general rules that can be applied to all such situations to reduce memory strain?
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#21 User is offline   Flem72 

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Posted 2011-November-17, 18:46

View Postbd71, on 2011-November-17, 18:26, said:

This is exactly why I was asking whether there can be common approaches/rules to multiple similar relay situations...from XYZ, to NMF/Checkback, 4SF, etc. Nobody has really responded to that thought yet...are there general rules that can be applied to all such situations to reduce memory strain?


I have started trying to convince my partners that the XYZ jump rebids by R should be the same in most 2/1 rebid situations--which, onw taht I think about it, pretty much means only 1X-1Y/2X-? (1X-1Y/2Y-4X or 4W is also possible, I guess). Note also that, after R's 2D rebid, the structures are pretty much 4SF/checkback -- most of R's flat hands will just bid NT if not 4-4 Ms, 5+Y, 5Y-4X, 4Y-5X etc. Walsh tendencies help. And there is a decision to be made about those R jump rebids, distinguishing them from the 2D then new suit sequences. Most versions of XYZ claim that both are 5-5s; you can either distinguish them by "purity" of suits or by GF vs. SI. I've generated several hundred hands and think I've found that a combination of these approaches is best. YMMV.

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