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Majors Versus Minors In Zar Points

#1 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2004-October-16, 17:56

I read a couple of the threads on Zar points, and looked at the website. One poster made the points that it isn't so good for NT because it can undervalue flat hands, and also distributional misfits can go down in 2NT and 3NT.

With this otherwise well thought out and researched system I think one thing may have been missed. There is no difference that I can see between major and minor suits for opening bids.

The site gives the example of Axxx-A10xxx-xxxx-V as a minimum opening hand. Make the hand V-xxxx-Axxx-A10xxx and it still is, though IMO these two hands have significantly different playing strength, over a large number of hands, because 4M will require less than 5m or 3NT.

A fairly obvious point, but how do you Zar-ites deal with this?

Peter (who opens light distributional minor-suited hands and goes down in 2NT and 3NT because of it)
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#2 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2004-October-16, 19:00

i couldn't open either :D ... but *if* i did, i'd open both 2C (3 suited)... i don't think either hand is worth 26 zars tho, eh?
"Paul Krugman is a stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like." Newt Gingrich (paraphrased)
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#3 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2004-October-16, 19:14

"i don't think either hand is worth 26 zars tho, eh?"

The site says it is :D

Peter
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#4 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2004-October-16, 23:14

I open them all
--Ben--

#5 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-October-17, 04:56

Many well designed systems including K-S require substantially more points to open with minor oriented hands rather than major oriented hands.

Minor suit openings are not particularly preemptive and may actually help the opponents planning defense/play

As you noted, NT contracts often require "real" playing strength rather than just distribution.
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#6 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-October-17, 04:59

hrothgar, on Oct 17 2004, 10:56 AM, said:

Many well designed systems including K-S require substantially more points to open with minor oriented hands rather than major oriented hands.

Doesn't this make them HUM?

Quoting from the definition of HUM:-

" :) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be weaker than pass."

Here your opening 1M bids may be weaker (at least by some definition of weaker) than Pass.

Eric
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#7 User is offline   mikestar 

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Posted 2004-October-17, 09:11

EricK, on Oct 17 2004, 10:59 AM, said:

hrothgar, on Oct 17 2004, 10:56 AM, said:

Many well designed systems including K-S require substantially more points to open with minor oriented hands rather than major oriented hands.

Doesn't this make them HUM?

Quoting from the definition of HUM:-

" :) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be weaker than pass."

Here your opening 1M bids may be weaker (at least by some definition of weaker) than Pass.

Eric

The way it is phrased there is some ambiguity, but the WBF has never interpreted it this way. There is nothing highly unusual about opening some 12 point hands and passing others. Majors vs. minors is just as valid a judgment criterion as shape, honor concentration, etc.

The definition is directed at FP systems and other systems where a pass has a lower limit higher than 0. For example, the Walpurgis Diamond where pass is 8-12 and 1D is 0-7 or natural 13+. It would also seem to apply to the old Marmic system where pass was either normal or 16-19 balanced, where a 1 bid can be weaker than pass' strong meaning's lower limit.
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#8 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-October-17, 19:47

mikestar, on Oct 17 2004, 03:11 PM, said:

EricK, on Oct 17 2004, 10:59 AM, said:

hrothgar, on Oct 17 2004, 10:56 AM, said:

Many well designed systems including K-S require substantially more points to open with minor oriented hands rather than major oriented hands.

Doesn't this make them HUM?

Quoting from the definition of HUM:-

" B ) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be weaker than pass."

Here your opening 1M bids may be weaker (at least by some definition of weaker) than Pass.

Eric

The way it is phrased there is some ambiguity, but the WBF has never interpreted it this way. There is nothing highly unusual about opening some 12 point hands and passing others. Majors vs. minors is just as valid a judgment criterion as shape, honor concentration, etc.

The definition is directed at FP systems and other systems where a pass has a lower limit higher than 0. For example, the Walpurgis Diamond where pass is 8-12 and 1D is 0-7 or natural 13+. It would also seem to apply to the old Marmic system where pass was either normal or 16-19 balanced, where a 1 bid can be weaker than pass' strong meaning's lower limit.

The trouble is that the sentence as it stands is not ambiguous.

If they wanted it to say something else they should have written something else.

I note that most FP systems would be covered by

" c ) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength.", because of the Fert

and the Marmic system would be covered by

"a ) A Pass in the opening position may have the values generally accepted for an opening bid of one, and the player who passes may hold values a queen or more above the strength of an average hand (an average hand contains 10 HCP)"

So what exactly is the point of point b ?

Also, " d ) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows (a) either length or shortage in a specified suit or (B) either length in one suit or length in another" would seem to make a system with 5c and 4c a HUM because the 1 opening shows either length (3 or more) in or .

Eric
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#9 User is offline   mikestar 

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Posted 2004-October-17, 20:16

EricK, on Oct 18 2004, 01:47 AM, said:

mikestar, on Oct 17 2004, 03:11 PM, said:

EricK, on Oct 17 2004, 10:59 AM, said:

hrothgar, on Oct 17 2004, 10:56 AM, said:

Many well designed systems including K-S require substantially more points to open with minor oriented hands rather than major oriented hands.

Doesn't this make them HUM?

Quoting from the definition of HUM:-

" B ) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be weaker than pass."

Here your opening 1M bids may be weaker (at least by some definition of weaker) than Pass.

Eric

The way it is phrased there is some ambiguity, but the WBF has never interpreted it this way. There is nothing highly unusual about opening some 12 point hands and passing others. Majors vs. minors is just as valid a judgment criterion as shape, honor concentration, etc.

The definition is directed at FP systems and other systems where a pass has a lower limit higher than 0. For example, the Walpurgis Diamond where pass is 8-12 and 1D is 0-7 or natural 13+. It would also seem to apply to the old Marmic system where pass was either normal or 16-19 balanced, where a 1 bid can be weaker than pass' strong meaning's lower limit.

The trouble is that the sentence as it stands is not ambiguous.

If they wanted it to say something else they should have written something else.

I note that most FP systems would be covered by

" c ) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength.", because of the Fert

and the Marmic system would be covered by

"a ) A Pass in the opening position may have the values generally accepted for an opening bid of one, and the player who passes may hold values a queen or more above the strength of an average hand (an average hand contains 10 HCP)"

So what exactly is the point of point b ?

Also, " d ) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows (a) either length or shortage in a specified suit or (B) either length in one suit or length in another" would seem to make a system with 5c and 4c a HUM because the 1 opening shows either length (3 or more) in or .

Eric

You're strethcing things to make your point. Most players would open AJxxxxx ATxxx x x and pass QJ Qxx QJxx QJxx, yet the latter hand has more HCP--don't tell me that HCP are irrelevant (for the rules), as the rules define an average hand as 10 HCP.

Everone on the planet makes this type of judgemtn calls all the time, and that doesn't make their methods HUM. I know that systems policies are somewhat irrational--they are not that irrational.

KS is unquestionably GCC legal in the ACBL--nothing, absolutely nothing WBF HUM is GCC legal.
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#10 User is offline   tysen2k 

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Posted 2004-October-18, 11:41

I'm going to go back to the original topic rather than going off on how wrong, vague, etc. any regulations on opening bids are.

My combination of research, simulation, and experience at the table leads me to the philosophy that distributional hands should be opened whenever possible. I open both of the hands in the initial post. However, I also have another idea that goes a little bit against the "conventional" wisdom of having the master suit spades.

Let's say you have a hand that you consider a borderline opener (whatever that strength happens to be). There are various "rules" or "guides" that you can use to push your decision towards either opening or passing. Suit quality is one, and another is possession of the majors, especially spades.

My simulations of bidding effeciencies suggest that this second point may not be correct. Let's say that for your system, both of these hands are borderline strength (if not, then tweak it so that it becomes a borderline decision):

AQxxx            x
QTxx      VS     AQxxx
QTx              QTxx
x                QTx

I think conventional wisdom tells you that you should be more willing to open the hand on the left than the right. However, my simulations indicate that if you have suits without spades, it's more important to open. If you have spades, it's easier to come into the auction later. Hearts is the key suit that gets lost more often. I'm not saying that this rule applies in all situations; if you pass the left hand, you might not be able to get back in at all. But it's easier to get back in than with the right hand. If given these two hands and forced to open one and pass the other, I think I'd open the right one.

Tysen
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#11 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-October-18, 12:03

tysen2k, on Oct 18 2004, 08:41 PM, said:

I'm going to go back to the original topic rather than going off on how wrong, vague, etc. any regulations on opening bids are.

My combination of research, simulation, and experience at the table leads me to the philosophy that distributional hands should be opened whenever possible. I open both of the hands in the initial post. However, I also have another idea that goes a little bit against the "conventional" wisdom of having the master suit spades.

Let's say you have a hand that you consider a borderline opener (whatever that strength happens to be). There are various "rules" or "guides" that you can use to push your decision towards either opening or passing. Suit quality is one, and another is possession of the majors, especially spades.

My simulations of bidding effeciencies suggest that this second point may not be correct. Let's say that for your system, both of these hands are borderline strength (if not, then tweak it so that it becomes a borderline decision):

AQxxx            x
QTxx      VS     AQxxx
QTx              QTxx
x                QTx

I think conventional wisdom tells you that you should be more willing to open the hand on the left than the right. However, my simulations indicate that if you have suits without spades, it's more important to open. If you have spades, it's easier to come into the auction later. Hearts is the key suit that gets lost more often. I'm not saying that this rule applies in all situations; if you pass the left hand, you might not be able to get back in at all. But it's easier to get back in than with the right hand. If given these two hands and forced to open one and pass the other, I think I'd open the right one.

Tysen

Could Reese have been right???
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