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Leb/Ingberman over a reverse Boundaries

#1 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 07:39

I will assume that after 1C-1major-2D responder has both a weak and a strong way to show a diamond fit. Let's say we are playing Ingberman as in the pinned post by mikeh in this forum
http://www.bridgebas...everse-bidding/
Thus, after 1C-1major-2D, responder can strongly show a diamond fit with 3D, and show a weak hand with a diamond fit by starting with a 2 OM (the other major) relay to 3C, and then bidding 3D over 3C.

I will give you a hand and an auction, and then some variants, and ask for opinions.

I held:


I trust this had warrants a reverse, I am less confident of my subsequent choices. 3H shows some values in hearts I assume. I treated 3NT as discouraging for a diamond slam. As it turns out, this was the right choice on the actual hands.
Both hands:



The opening lead was the heart 5 after which nine tricks are likely if he hops up with the A and drives out the club A, but he ducked. the Q won, a heart came back and he too 11 tricks for a matchpoint top. Both 3NT and 5D come in as the cards lie. Spades are 5-3, the club A is with the 3 card spade holding, the heart K and Q are in opposite hands. The heart T is very useful.

I thought the immediate 3D bid was a bit, but only a bit, of an overbid. Now for a couple of variants.

In 5D now the chances are not good, probably you lose two hearts and a club. I don't like 3NT all that well either. Skillful defenders might take the first two spades as you hold up, and then switch to hearts. Maybe best if you take whatever major is led at T1, go after the clubs, and hope for the best.

Another variant:



Now 6D makes easily (unless an unfortunate early ruff) if trumps are 3-2 and might come in if they are 4-1.

My thoughts here are that while Leb/Ingberman definitely helps, there are still choices to be made. I think our luck was in on the actual hand, but perhaps these hands suggest approximately where the boundary lines are. I invite comments, criticisms, and other hands where similar decisions have to be made after a reverse.
Ken
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#2 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 08:14

In the first example, surely spades is the danger suit. I didn't see you mentioned this earlier.
But the first example responder is pretty minimum as are you so it isn't surprising game isn't laydown.
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#3 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 08:40

View Poststeve2005, on 2017-August-23, 08:14, said:

In the first example, surely spades is the danger suit. I didn't see you mentioned this earlier.
But the first example responder is pretty minimum as are you so it isn't surprising game isn't laydown.


Yes, spades are the most likely way to set it.Fortunately, if partner holds up on an initial spade lead for two rounds he is safe. The spades are 5-3, the cob A is on the hand with the short spades. Even if the defenders, after raking the first tow spades, shift to a heart all is well thanks to the heart T backing up the J and the split heart honors.

I think 5D is safer. Assume diamonds are3-2. By itself hat is not quite enough but it is close. I have four club tricks, four diamond tricks, two major suit aces and one ruff, that's eleven tricks unless they can take three first. The three would be two hearts and a club. How do they get two hearts? If the heart honors are split they can;t, and if W holds both of them they cant' not in time to beat me. If E holds both heart honors then a heart lead could cause a problem, heart to the JQA, but still W needs to be the one with the club A to lead another heart through.
So it seems pretty clear that 5D is a good contract, 3nT a bit iffy. Not hopeless but iffy. At least in mps, and maybe even in imps, I think it would be tough to get to the preferable 5D contract here. 3NT is a reasonable, ok maybe not entirely reasonable but not hopeless, contract so it's apt to be played in either 3NT or 6D.

If anyone sees how to get to the safer 5D I am all ears.
Ken
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#4 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 08:45

I prefer Lebensohl (or Rubensohl) to Ingberman. Usually it doesn't make much difference, and there are swings and roundabouts. For example, Lebensohl/Rubensohl occasionally wrong-side no-trump contracts. They gain, however, when there is a weak miss-fit. e.g. you hold
J x x x x x K x x x x x x opposite say
x A x x A K x x K Q J T x and the bidding starts
1 - 1 -; 2 - ??
In this kind of context, it's useful to have natural non-forcing 2 and 2 bids available.
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#5 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 09:53

Mikeh's pinned post is very interesting +1 but there are so many different types of hands that you can reverse on, and such a range of distributions and HCP counts, that what is needed, I believe, is for the 4th suit to be totally artificial here 1 - 1 - 2 - *2* or 1 - 1 - 2 - *2* as a relay asking about opener's hand.

As I have said many times previously, I'm not a fan of the weaker hand taking control of the auction, but here where opener has promised a semi-specific shape, and a semi-specific point count, responder needs to clarify opener's hand further.
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#6 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 10:19

Probably it is asking to much for an auction to get to 5D when respondere holds the actual hand, with the KTx of hearts, but to stop in a partscore on the first variantm where responder holds Jxx in hearts. That's cutting it pretty fine. But we do want to be in 6D on my second variant, or I assume that we do, where responder holds Kxx in hearts.


I am thinking of these as test cases, for various methods.

And, Badge, I completely agree both that what Mikeh says is interestingand, as you appear to be saying, it doesn't cover everything. But it's a good start.
Ken
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#7 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 11:55

not nearly enough for a direct 3d bid..so I would start with however you show weakness first.

the hand with the KH would be a minimum direct 3d bid, barely but ok
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#8 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 12:00

View Postkenberg, on 2017-August-23, 08:40, said:

3NT is a reasonable, ok maybe not entirely reasonable but not hopeless, contract so it's apt to be played in either 3NT or 6D.

3N in trouble even on lead without ten. Don't think your bidding is precise enough to spot the ten :)
Been in worse games and made.


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#9 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 13:15

View Postmike777, on 2017-August-23, 11:55, said:

not nearly enough for a direct 3d bid..so I would start with however you show weakness first.

the hand with the KH would be a minimum direct 3d bid, barely but ok


And then we reach 6D, at least we do if you bid 3S over my 3H. With

we want to be in 6D.

With

we want to be in 3NT

I am not claiming that I thought through all options, I am not that thorough, but I bid 3H to see what partner did next. When he bid 3NT, I let it be. That would be right on a hypothetical QJ9x spade holding he could have. Making 4, I imagine.

Had he bid 3S over 3H with his actual hand, I think we were going to be in 6D. Off 1, for sure. But making if his hearts wee Kxx instead of JTx.

It is always fun to have a hand such as the one I held, but I often find the follow-up bidding after the reverse to be tricky. I have watched enough post-reverse disasters to know that I am not the only one.
Ken
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#10 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 14:20

Ken, over 3h I might very well bid 3nt...I would take 3h first as trying for the best game, not a slam try. I look at that responder hand as a minimum direct 3d bid.
I might miss 6d, not an easy hand. Bidding a minor suit slam with only 26 hcp, no voids, no wild shape is tough in a standard system style, I might get to 6d, I might not.

---


as for your second example above I would again make a weakness bid after 2d, not enough for a direct 3d bid.

After showing weakness, ya as responder I would take the push to 3nt for sure at imps.
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#11 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 15:01

View Postmike777, on 2017-August-23, 14:20, said:

Ken, over 3h I might very well bid 3nt...I would take 3h first as trying for the best game, not a slam try. I look at that responder hand as a minimum direct 3d bid.
I might miss 6d, not an easy hand. Bidding a minor suit slam with only 26 hcp, no voids, no wild shape is tough in a standard system style, I might get to 6d, I might not.

---


as for your second example above I would again make a weakness bid after 2d, not enough for a direct 3d bid.

After showing weakness, ya as responder I would take the push to 3nt for sure at imps.


You are making me glad that I posted this. I really feel that the "what happens next" part of reverses needs more discussion than it gets. I teke it that you mean that with the Kxx heart holding you might bid 3NT after you bid 3D and I bid 3H. I can understand that if 3H is asking you to bid 3NT with a heart stopper.

But the problem is this: After the raise to 3D I had fantasies of 6D. So now suppose you had the Kxx of hearts, which you and I agree warrants, with the rest of the hand as is, a 3D call. Now how do I figure out if we belong in 6D or 3NT? From the 3D call I assume you have values. For 6D I need you to have the spade A. If I could also find out about the D Q that would be nice but I am restrained in what I hope for.No doubt some play that raising 3D to 4D is minorwood, but we don't have that agreement.

My attempted solution was to bid 3H and then pass if partner bid 3NT, but instead make a try for 6D if partner bid 3S over 3H. I had not really drawn this up as a plan and had it approved by the executive board, but my thinking was to start with 3H and then judge. I am neither beginner nor expert, 3H seemed right. Partner bid 3NT and I decided that was enough, as indeed it was. But then, clearly I would also have passed 3NT if you had bid it while holding the Kxx of hearts hand and we miss a likely slam.

I hope I have made it clear that I am not at all sure what is right here. I am hoping that various people will weigh in.I think partner was light for 3D, you agree, but in this case our luck made up for it.As Steve says, I have been in worse games that made. Sometimes made. Bridge is not a game for people that require certainty.
Ken
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#12 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 15:50

fwiw, I was taught that baring some rare hand....8pt hands are weakness hands...ten points hands are gf hands....9 pt hands are borderline but lean towards weakness. I grant this is bidding theory from decades ago. :)

I was also taught game before slam...so yes your 3h bid may indeed be a cuebid looking for slam, but take it first as looking for the best game.

Now as to that responder hand...it is full of nice controls...AS....KH....QD so I can understand 3s rather than 3nt after your 3h rebid.

To answer your question, I don't see how you as the strong hand could do more.
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#13 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 19:37

View Postmike777, on 2017-August-23, 15:50, said:

fwiw, I was taught that baring some rare hand....8pt hands are weakness hands...ten points hands are gf hands....9 pt hands are borderline but lean towards weakness. I grant this is bidding theory from decades ago. :)

I was also taught game before slam...so yes your 3h bid may indeed be a cuebid looking for slam, but take it first as looking for the best game.

Now as to that responder hand...it is full of nice controls...AS....KH....QD so I can understand 3s rather than 3nt after your 3h rebid.

To answer your question, I don't see how you as the strong hand could do more.

It depends on how strong you play your reverses.

There people who will play "light" reverses as light as an undistinguished 15-16 without any assurance of a further rebid. For those folks, your ranging would be about right.

But for those playing "strong" reverses promising 17+ and a further rebid, 7-8 is enough for a positive response versus a potential sign-off.
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#14 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2017-August-23, 20:48

Never heard of playing a reverse style that did not promise a rebid, a third bid by opener
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#15 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-August-24, 03:18

I have said for many years that one of the hardest part of standard bidding for pick up pairs is after a reverse. Most people seem to think I am joking when I say (type) this - glad to see that I am not the only one now!

I have also become something of a fan of second round transfers in reverse auctions over the last years. I have never had to work out methods for a 1 opening (I only use it after a 1 opening in my strong club system) but a possible, albeit maybe not optimal, structure for this in the given 1 - 1; 2 auction might be:-

2 = GF with 5 spades
2 = nat, NF
2NT = clubs
3 = diamonds
3 = GF, 5+ hearts
3 = GF, 6+ spades, no heart stop
3 = GF, 6+ spades, heart stop
3NT = to play

In this method, all of the original hands would probably rebid 3 and receive a 3 call from Opener. The weakest would pass this; the middle one would ask for a stopper in hearts with 3 and the strong hand with good controls would probably make some sort of slam try with 3 or 3NT. Finally, the new strong hand (#9) with weak controls would rebid 3NT instead of 3.

I think you can mirror this in Standard easily. The weak hand rebids 2 followed by 3; the middle one 2 followed by 3; the strong one rebids 3; and the strong one with poor controls rebids 3NT. Of course this relies on using the relay + cue auction to take some of the pressure from the 3m rebids, something which few pairs have discussed. If you are looking for a more scientific way of splitting up the hand types in reverse auctions though, something like this is essential.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#16 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-August-24, 08:30

Zel, we definitely are n agreement that reverses are tough to handle correctly in a pick-up, and often even in regular partnerships of the type I often have, meaining that we have discussed enough that we usually have some idea of what is meant but are less than certain about the details and where the borderlines are.


For example:



Here we want to bbe in 6D, making on a 3-2 trump split.



Here 6D is hopeless, assuming that they start with a heart.

Of course placement of high card points is always an issue, but with shapely hands I think it is much more so. In an auction that goes 1NT-3NT, with 25 highs between the two hands, maybe the contract depends on a spade finesse. Change the location of the hcps and maybe it depends on a heart finesse. Or maybe on at least one of two finesses working. Or on either one finesse working or on a favorable split in a suit. Or maybe on whether you play the hand optimally. Often success depends on how the opponent's cards lie and perhaps on how well they defend. Or on a bit on luck. But on my reverse hand where we have a diamond fit, the play in a diamond contract almost certainly will be to draw trump, establish and run clubs, take a ruff somewhere. Often this will work or not depending almost entirely on how our high card points are laid out. If responder has the spade A and the heart K, we control the hand well enough to carry out the obvious plan. If he holds the spade A and K, with small hearts, too bad.

Ron Anderson's book on Lebensohl was published 30 years ago, but his criterion for a constructive response (such as the 3D) is that responder have enough strength to want to get to at least game when opener has a minimum reverse. I think that this is a better way of putting it than high card points. If partner opens 1NT and I have a flat hand, I count my high card points and that's about it. After a reverse, it is useful to at least ask yourself if your high cards are apt to be useful. Not always easy to know, of course. Steve pointed out earlier that my bidding methods are probably not up to bidding game when partner has the heart T and staying in a part score when he does not. I completely agree.


Anyway, I hope to hear more thoughts and see more examples, preferably from actual play. I think reverses are a tricky area of the game.
Ken
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#17 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-August-24, 09:13

View Postkenberg, on 2017-August-24, 08:30, said:

Ron Anderson's book on Lebensohl was published 30 years ago, but his criterion for a constructive response (such as the 3D) is that responder have enough strength to want to get to at least game when opener has a minimum reverse.

I think this is the standard method and one of the things I was trying, probably badly, to say in the previous post is that I am not convinced this is actually ideal. My thinking is that in choice of game decisions, the decision is nearly always the holding in the fourth suit. By taking such hands out of the 3m rebids, we not only hide in which minor we have a fit when we prefer to play 3NT but also make it so that 3m always shows some slam interest. This in turn makes it easier for Opener to proceed.

That said, you have chosen a particularly difficult example in my view. Slow losers, such as Axx opposite Kxx or AKx opposite xxx without any discards or Axx opposite xxx with one discard available, are notoriously difficult to ascertain so I think it is asking a lot to expect to be able to do this consistently with only natural I/A methods. But here I think it is clear for North to evaluate Hand 1 as stronger when South bids 3 over 3 and Hand 2 as stronger if Opener were instead to bid 3. Whether that is enough to reach 6 on Hand 1 and stop in 5 on Hand 2 requires some fine judgement but at least there is a basis available for making the right decision.
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#18 User is offline   all loomis 

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Posted 2017-August-25, 18:58

is a 1d response out of the question?

if you must respond 1s, an immediate 3d with weak hand seems better to me- so long as it promises a balanced 6-8. save 2n for a hand with more stuffing, in case 3n is the game.
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#19 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-August-26, 08:21

View Postall loomis, on 2017-August-25, 18:58, said:

is a 1d response out of the question?

if you must respond 1s, an immediate 3d with weak hand seems better to me- so long as it promises a balanced 6-8. save 2n for a hand with more stuffing, in case 3n is the game.


1C-1D would be impossible for some, promising either no major or a strong hand, but not as we were playing. Moreover, since I open 1D when I am 4-4 in the minors, then after I, the opener, now show four card diamond support it would imply five clubs.

It still leaves us in a tricky situation. If I bid 3S, so 1C-1D-3S, showing a stiff spade and four diamonds, we will get to 5D. Making but barely. After the more conservative 1C-1D-3D we will not get to 5D, wrong here, often right. Plus 150 for 3D making 5 was a popular result.

Should responder skip over the diamonds to bid his spades? Our approach does not prevent it. But he can imagine 1C-1D-1H and then? We play 1S as natural then, so he could bid it, but I can see why getting the 1S call on the table on the first round would appeal to him.

I think I would have bid 1S over 1C, just as he did. After the reverse I think I would have bid 2H->3C and then 3D. Another +150.
Ken
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