# BBO Discussion Forums: Relay Systems??? - BBO Discussion Forums

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## Relay Systems???

### #41barmar

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Posted 2013-March-07, 12:49

glen, on 2013-March-07, 12:26, said:

There is no definition of "relay bids", except for this:

Quote

DEFINITIONS
5. A sequence of relay bids is defined as a system if, after an opening of one of a suit, it is started prior to opener’s rebid.

(note that this idea of a relay to next-step would produce an interesting "relay system")

Whoever wrote that was clearly confusing relay with puppet. When it's followed by "to", the ambiguity is removed -- an asking-type of relay bid isn't a relay "to" anything.

I have a small bit of sympathy -- the intuitive interpretation of the word "relay" doesn't suggest anything asking-like. I wonder how this meaning came about. Maybe it was some kind of inverstion: puppets may have been called relays at one time. Asking-style relays involve the asker bidding the next suit, which is similar to what the responder to a puppet does. So they both involve a player bidding the next suit artificially, to allow his partner to complete his description of his hand (although in the case of a puppet, the puppeteer may pass if what he wanted to show was the next suit).

### #42fromageGB

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Posted 2013-March-07, 13:41

Having seen all this, if I was in ACBL land I would certainly never use the word "relay", as they don't know what it means.

Also note that you are not allowed to use Gazzilli if playing 2 over 1. The sequence 1 1NT 2 is an opening bid, responder makes a relay, opener makes a relay. The sequence of relay bids following an opening of one of a suit is the very definition of a relay system.
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### #43straube

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Posted 2013-March-07, 13:58

fromageGB, on 2013-March-07, 13:41, said:

Having seen all this, if I was in ACBL land I would certainly never use the word "relay", as they don't know what it means.

Also note that you are not allowed to use Gazzilli if playing 2 over 1. The sequence 1 1NT 2 is an opening bid, responder makes a relay, opener makes a relay. The sequence of relay bids following an opening of one of a suit is the very definition of a relay system.

I think Gazzilli is allowed and I know folks who use it in ACBL-land. I think 1N forcing is specifically allowed as long as it doesn't promise GI+ values. This requirement limits the usefulness of the bid because if it did promise GI+ values then opener could make better use of his rebids (e.g. make more frequent use of higher bids and combine uses for lower bids expecting to have rebids later to sort these out). So I don't think opener's rebid has to be natural (it can be a puppet or a relay, etc) and after opener's rebid, responder could start to make a series of relay bids.
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### #44Free

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Posted 2013-March-08, 04:00

Has anyone of you ever seen a puppet which is not to the next step??

Puppet = obligates partner to make a certain bid. The point is to either signoff or to describe your hand, and the puppet creates extra space to be able to show more han types. In my experience this is always the next step, to save space (example 2C in XYZ)
Transfer = shows a particular suit and allows partner to describe his support. This is usually the next suit, but 2-under transfers are not exceptional (example 4m Namyats)
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### #45barmar

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Posted 2013-March-08, 09:11

Free, on 2013-March-08, 04:00, said:

Has anyone of you ever seen a puppet which is not to the next step??

Probably not. I think the lexicographers are just being non-committal, so they don't need to come up with a new word if someone comes up with a puppet variant. It's that whole "never say always/never" philosophy in bridge -- as soon as you think you've discovered a hard and fast rule, someone will find a way to break it.

### #46blackshoe

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Posted 2013-March-08, 09:18

straube, on 2013-March-07, 13:58, said:

I think Gazzilli is allowed and I know folks who use it in ACBL-land.

Having already established that (many? most? all?) ACBL directors do not know what a relay is, or what a relay system is, or how to judge whether a particular call or series of calls that might include one or more relays is legal, it does seem that the fact that folks use Gazilli in ACBL-land (and do not get in trouble with the law for doing so) does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that Gazilli is legal per the regulation.
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### #47barmar

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Posted 2013-March-08, 09:31

I found another definition of "relay system" on the Limited Conventions page of the Convention Charts webpage:

Quote

one player tells nothing about his own hand while interrogating partner about his hand through a series of conventional calls

In general, can use of a specific convention, like Gazilli, really imply that the system is a relay system?

### #48PrecisionL

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Posted 2013-March-08, 09:41

straube, on 2013-March-07, 13:58, said:

[snip] ... I think 1N forcing is specifically allowed as long as it doesn't promise GI+ values. This requirement limits the usefulness of the bid because if it did promise GI+ values then opener could make better use of his rebids (e.g. make more frequent use of higher bids and combine uses for lower bids expecting to have rebids later to sort these out). So I don't think opener's rebid has to be natural (it can be a puppet or a relay, etc) and after opener's rebid, responder could start to make a series of relay bids.

As I understand 1NT forcing, it can NOT be game forcing for the General Convention Chart.

Edited: can NOT GUARANTEE (with thanks to Aquahombre)
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### #49glen

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Posted 2013-March-08, 09:49

barmar, on 2013-March-08, 09:31, said:

I found another definition of "relay system" on the Limited Conventions page of the Convention Charts webpage

I had quoted that above
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### #50aguahombre

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Posted 2013-March-08, 10:14

PrecisionL, on 2013-March-08, 09:41, said:

As I understand 1NT forcing, it can NOT be game forcing for the General Convention Chart.

To clarify for the casual reader: It cannot guarantee G.F. or even inv+ values for the GCC. But, the forcing NT response can include either of those possibilities in addition to weaker hands.
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### #51gwnn

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Posted 2013-March-08, 10:17

Free, on 2013-March-08, 04:00, said:

Has anyone of you ever seen a puppet which is not to the next step??

1NT-2 puppet to 3 (not played widely on BB level but often seen on the internet).
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### #52Zelandakh

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Posted 2013-March-08, 10:20

aguahombre, on 2013-March-08, 10:14, said:

To clarify for the casual reader: It cannot guarantee G.F. or even inv+ values for the GCC. But, the forcing NT response can include either of those possibilities in addition to weaker hands.

So if you played a relay system where a 1NT response to 1 was INV+ or 0-2hcp and 0=0=(7-6) and just accepted that you might well get overboard on the weak hand (but it might be a good sac too), is this ok?
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### #53ArtK78

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Posted 2013-March-08, 10:31

Zelandakh, on 2013-March-08, 10:20, said:

So if you played a relay system where a 1NT response to 1 was INV+ or 0-2hcp and 0=0=(7-6) and just accepted that you might well get overboard on the weak hand (but it might be a good sac too), is this ok?

I think you know that answer to that.
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### #54barmar

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Posted 2013-March-08, 10:33

gwnn, on 2013-March-08, 10:17, said:

1NT-2 puppet to 3 (not played widely on BB level but often seen on the internet).

Yes, that's part of SAYC -- responder bids 2 with either clubs or diamonds, and opener's 3 is pass-or-correct. I think it's pretty common among intermediate players in the US.

But although this does fit the definition of puppet, I think most people actually call it a transfer, even though it doesn't actually show a particular suit. I think it's because they think of it as an extension of Jacoby Transfers, or a variation of 4-way transfers (I've called it "3-way transfers"). I just checked the ACBL SAYC booklet , and it's careful not to use any of these terms to describe it, it just says "2 requires the 1NT to bid 3, which may be passed with a club bust, or responder may rebid 3 with a diamond bust."

### #55aguahombre

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Posted 2013-March-08, 10:34

Zelandakh, on 2013-March-08, 10:20, said:

So if you played a relay system where a 1NT response to 1 was INV+ or 0-2hcp and 0=0=(7-6) and just accepted that you might well get overboard on the weak hand (but it might be a good sac too), is this ok?

You are asking about 1S-1NT as the start of a relay system. Relay systems are indeed the subject of this thread; but I was clarifying a poster's reference to forcing NT itself. Again, keeping relays and relay systems as separate things.
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### #56han

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Posted 2013-March-08, 14:35

Suppose we play the following two conventions.

After our weak notrump 1NT opening, 2C asks about opener's distribution, it can be any strength. After opener's rebid responder can ask for opener's complete shape and highcards without showing anything about our hand. We can also do something else.

After a 1M opening, 2C asks about opener's distribution. It promises a gameforcing hand. After opener's rebid responder can ask for opener's complete shape and highcards without showing anything about our hand. We can also do something else.

Is either of these conventions a relay system?
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

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### #57hrothgar

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Posted 2013-March-08, 14:56

han, on 2013-March-08, 14:35, said:

Suppose we play the following two conventions.

After our weak notrump 1NT opening, 2C asks about opener's distribution, it can be any strength. After opener's rebid responder can ask for opener's complete shape and highcards without showing anything about our hand. We can also do something else.

After a 1M opening, 2C asks about opener's distribution. It promises a gameforcing hand. After opener's rebid responder can ask for opener's complete shape and highcards without showing anything about our hand. We can also do something else.

Is either of these conventions a relay system?

The ACBL's GCC states that "A sequence of relay bids is defined as a system if, after an opening of one of a suit, it is started prior to opener’s rebid."
Therefore, your first example is a relay system, while the second isn't.

The salient difference is that a one Notrump opening is not one of a suit

I don't consider this a good example of rule making.
I don't understand why relays over a strong club opening don't seem to fall afoul of this prohibition.

However, I do think its clear.
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### #58mikeh

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Posted 2013-March-08, 15:04

han, on 2013-March-08, 14:35, said:

Suppose we play the following two conventions.

After our weak notrump 1NT opening, 2C asks about opener's distribution, it can be any strength. After opener's rebid responder can ask for opener's complete shape and highcards without showing anything about our hand. We can also do something else.

After a 1M opening, 2C asks about opener's distribution. It promises a gameforcing hand. After opener's rebid responder can ask for opener's complete shape and highcards without showing anything about our hand. We can also do something else.

Is either of these conventions a relay system?

I actually played, for several years and would love to play again, a system in which 2 in response to our (strong) 1N was the beginning of a relay. Responder could break the relay at any stage, and usually would, since to continue the relay beyond the 1st couple of asks (by the end of which responder knew a lot about shape) implied slam interest.

In the same partnership, a response of 1 to 1 or of 2 to any of 1// was artificial gf, with responder able to break the relay at any point. We also played relay after 4th suit forcing sequences, but I think those are allowed since they start with the 4th bid.

We ran into problems playing this in Sectionals or Regionals when practicing. So we had to modify the 2 response to always show 3+ clubs, which limited its utility (we used full relay in the CNTC's for which we had formed the partnership and where almost anything was allowed with pre-alerts). I don't recall there ever being an issue with the stayman method (which my partner wrote up in the BW many years ago), and we simply didn't use the 1/1 in normal ACBL events unless playing against friends and with their informed consent.

But the short answer is that we were certainly told, and understood from our own reading, that these were relay methods.
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### #59Free

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Posted 2013-March-08, 15:04

Richard, wake up. The first example is a 1NT opening so it's not a relay system. The second example is a suit opening, so it is a relay system. (not the other way around)
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### #60hrothgar

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Posted 2013-March-08, 15:10

Free, on 2013-March-08, 15:04, said:

Richard, wake up. The first example is a 1NT opening so it's not a relay system. The second example is a suit opening, so it is a relay system. (not the other way around)

What he said...

(Its been a long day)
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