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2NT opening range

#1 User is offline   jmcw 

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Posted 2012-August-15, 11:22

In todays vugraph Can vs Mon the commentators briefly discussed switching the range of a 2NT opener to show 22/23, 20/21 would open 2.

Never heard of this before! comments?
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#2 User is offline   wank 

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Posted 2012-August-15, 11:26

the advantage over normal methods is that you can respond 2M on pony and play there. the downside is that if the opps pre-empt after 2 you don't know if opener has a GF or the 20-21 bal which is a rather large difference.

i have played the method with people who are keen on it, but the 2M sign-off has never come up. considering it's such a minor benefit anyway even if it does come up, i'd say don't bother.
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#3 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2012-August-15, 12:58

Yeah -- have heard of it. I even debated this issue in the context of writing my New Frontiers book.

I'm not that impressed with the idea of the escape, as that seems (as mentioned) rather tight and as you forfeit those calls for other meanings and as you wrong-side those contracts severely.

One benefit I see, though, is that 20-21 (or 19+) comes up more often. I would like to open the "best" way with the hands that come up more often. Thus, if opening 2 proves to be "best" for some reason, then 2...2NT as 20-21 has merit (barring for a moment the preemption issue).

So, is there a benefit to opening 2 rather than 2NT? Sure. You can get positives (or other meanings) on the table quickly.

Consider two sample auctions. Both times, Opener has 20 HCP and balanced. Both times, Responder has slam interest with both minors. Opening 2NT means that Responder probably bids 3 as a relay, showing one or both minors and slam interest, and we unwind this at the four-level. So, the first Opener ends up with a self-preempted auction.

Our second Opener starts with 2, planning to rebid 2NT. However, his Responder whips out my idea of 2 as a positive in one or both minors, and you just gained a level of critical space.

Even if the positives are mundane, a 2 positive is good news for a 20-21 balanced hand if spades can be supported. (If you want, make 2 a heart positive and 2NT a spade positive to right-side, but that is a distraction.)

Thus, it seems that enabling positives is a good thing. Assuming this, you then realize that a positive is more likely opposite 20-21 than opposite 22-23, and that a 20-21 opening is more common than a 22-23 opening, such that 2 is calculated to maximize the opportunity for the "positive response" auction to occur.

Another minor potential benefit is when you open with a balanced 20-count (or so) with 5332 pattern and either major. If partner makes a 2 double negative (assuming you do this), partner might pass with 3532/3523/2533 and might opt 2 with the parallel hand but five spades, which might be ideal.
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#4 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-August-15, 13:11

"Guilty"

I like a 22-23 range. This allows: GF Jacoby Transfers. 2 contains the 20-21 hand and we play weak responses in order to get out at the 2/3 level.

Seems to work well, although there's some bandwidth considerations.
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#5 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2012-August-15, 14:54

Definitely heard of it, it's not a fringe idea. One point against it is it makes your competitive it tougher when they bid over your 2C bid, and it's also more likely for it to be right/relevant for them to bid at the 2 level when you have 20-21 than 22-23. Notably, when they bid over your 2C you are usually in a FP, but when they bid over 2N 20-21 you are not. I don't know if the benefits outweigh this, I have no experience playing it.
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#6 User is offline   CSGibson 

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Posted 2012-August-15, 22:55

I've played it. We used a system of bids to stop in a suit (when possible) when we did not have the values for 3N, and we were aggressive with minor suit slam tries. The negative is that we frequently lost some space and wrong-sided major suit contracts, but we had good interference agreements, and overall I found that giving people a greater opportunity to interfere got us better scores, because even people in nationally rated events would interfere and we'd get big penalties even when we couldn't make game.

70% of the 2 openers we had were 20-21 balanced hands, I'd say, so it made sense that the system would heavily tilt toward's those hands.

We used:
2 as game-forcing, but no slam interest opposite 20-21 NT
2 as not having a game-force opposite a 20-21 NT (non-forcing, 2S by responder shows 20-21 NT, all other bids are game forcing. After 2S (non-forcing), 2N would imply minor suits, and 3 level bids are natural and non-forcing.
2 as slam interest opposite a 20-21 NT, not single suited

We then used 2N through 3H as transfers, single-suited and interested in slam opposite a 20-21 NT.

These may not have been totally optimized systemic designs, but they worked fairly well on hands with 20-21 NT; they suffered somewhat against normal methods when we preempted our own auctions on "normal" 2C hands.
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#7 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-August-21, 09:58

View PostPhil, on 2012-August-15, 13:11, said:

"Guilty"

I like a 22-23 range. This allows: GF Jacoby Transfers. 2 contains the 20-21 hand and we play weak responses in order to get out at the 2/3 level.



We don't use weak responses so can get out only at the 3-level; but what I really like is that after 2-2-2 (all normal Kokish), 2NT shows a hand wishing to play in 3m opposite 20-bad 22. Hasn't come up yet, but am looking forward to when it does...
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#8 User is offline   lowerline 

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Posted 2012-August-22, 02:25

The strong 2nt opening is often called a slam-killer. If you make this opening 22-23 iso 20-21 it will come up less often, hence less slams will be killed...
Usually the 2nt opening only has a 2-point range because a 3-point range is too hard to handle. That 3-point range is less of a problem after a 2 opening. That might fit in better with your system.

Steven
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#9 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-August-22, 04:45

View Postlowerline, on 2012-August-22, 02:25, said:

The strong 2nt opening is often called a slam-killer. If you make this opening 22-23 iso 20-21 it will come up less often, hence less slams will be killed...


However, a 2 bid followed by 2NT, whether via Kokish or not, will have the same effect as an opening 2NT unless responder can scrape up a positive response.
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#10 User is offline   f0rdy 

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Posted 2012-August-22, 08:05

View PostVampyr, on 2012-August-22, 04:45, said:

However, a 2 bid followed by 2NT, whether via Kokish or not, will have the same effect as an opening 2NT unless responder can scrape up a positive response.


... except that after 2-2-2-2-2NT-3-...-3N - AP, 4th seat has had the chance to double 3 artificial suit bids (so by inference all 4) for the lead? I don't know how important this is compared to other features, but it seems like a consideration when so many auctions opposite 20-21 bal end in 3N?
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#11 User is offline   MickyB 

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Posted 2012-August-22, 08:23

Lead-directing doubles at the two-level aren't risk-free.

I play this in my main partnership, I'm unsure whether it's worth it. I like that 2C:2D, 3m:3M shows 5+cards and some values. The big issue is wrong-siding of spade contracts going through Kokish, but we break with some spade hands as responder so it's not too bad.
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#12 User is offline   mfa1010 

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Posted 2012-August-22, 14:07

Popular around here.
An upside with the weak responses is that they tend to be helpful also when opener has the GF hand.
Michael Askgaard
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#13 User is offline   lowerline 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 05:21

View PostVampyr, on 2012-August-22, 04:45, said:

However, a 2 bid followed by 2NT, whether via Kokish or not, will have the same effect as an opening 2NT unless responder can scrape up a positive response.


Not really. Suppose you open a balanced 20-22 with 2. If partner responds a negative 2, you already know slam is unlikely. The idea is that a hand that can make slam opposite a balanced 20-22 is good enough to make a positive response to a 2 opening.

Steven
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#14 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-August-24, 19:31

View Postlowerline, on 2012-August-24, 05:21, said:

Not really. Suppose you open a balanced 20-22 with 2. If partner responds a negative 2, you already know slam is unlikely. The idea is that a hand that can make slam opposite a balanced 20-22 is good enough to make a positive response to a 2 opening.

Steven


Yes, but I think that most people use 2 as a waiting response or use Kokish to handle the split balanced ranges.

However, MickeyB's negative responses is an idea I have toyed with in the past; it will certainly provide useful information, and for those who have pretty stringent suit-quality requirements for a positive response, you are not giving much up.
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#15 User is offline   marcD 

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Posted 2012-August-25, 01:10

2 swedish pairs on the winning mind games team actually use this appoach (Bocchi Madala open 2 18-19 or GF which might be even more vulnerable to interference). Not sure how they deal with interference but their scheme of responses seem targeted at constructive bidding when you have 20-21 balanced which looks to be a winner (see the nystrom upmark card which is a bit more detailed). Still even w/o interference, the bidding must be cramped (only GF with primary diamond is excluded) when you have the GF version
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#16 User is offline   jallerton 

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Posted 2012-August-25, 14:13

View PostVampyr, on 2012-August-21, 09:58, said:

We don't use weak responses so can get out only at the 3-level; but what I really like is that after 2-2-2 (all normal Kokish), 2NT shows a hand wishing to play in 3m opposite 20-bad 22. Hasn't come up yet, but am looking forward to when it does...


I think you could be waiting for quite a while! I'd prefer to worry about more frequent hand types.
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