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5-Card Major Bot Bidding Beef

#1 User is offline   zhasbeen 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 09:14

This one, although not a serious error for a single board, is a serious problem with bot bidding over time because it comes up so often (my opinion). It makes my life difficult every time “he” does it, although I’m not caught off guard now like I used to be.

Once again, the robot makes rebidding a moth-eaten 5-card major as his highest priority. Allowing for that possibility I rebid 2NT for my 2nd response. Next, he does “IT”, showing his spade suit. I’ve seen him do this with 6-4, 5-5, 7-4, etc. You never know what to expect. With 5 of a major and 5 in a minor, he rebids the major first before showing the minor.

Stephen, I can’t believe you would bid this way! I just saw your name in tournament results from last week. I know those names, so you have to be a strong player to keep that kind of company. If you do really bid like that you must be one of those card playing wizards that can get away with weird bidding because you declare and defend so well. I won't drop any names regarding tournaments, etc unless you say it's o.k.
Btw, I used to go to 24-hr fitness in Milpitas until switching to City Sports that is only a couple blocks from where I live.

My choices for bot’s first rebid would be 2 spades or 2NT in that order. Reverses do not promise extras playing 2/1. Considering that his stiff is the 10 in suit that I started 2/1 auction with, 2NT seems reasonable. Rebidding 2 hearts first would be my last choice.
Here’s the hand. Although not a total disaster, it came on last board of a 43-table match in which I had 78% score after 11 rounds. The 39% I got knocked me down to 74.5 and 2nd place. I still thought I’d won but knew it wasn’t a sure thing. Sure enough, some other guy had a 75.8%.

Don't know how to change opening lead to East, but not much to play after bot lead stiff Kd and I played 3 rounds of trump, making 4. Eighteen other pairs played in NT making 5 and 6 for 78.4% and 98.7%. I guess I could have still played in NT, with QJx of diamonds being a sure stopper. However, I was thinking more in terms of over tricks if bot had stiff, which seemed to be a good possibility off the bidding. I was hoping this was one of those hands where he did have good hearts--you never know. Maybe a case of over thinking, since I figured a lot of pairs would be in NT.
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#2 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 11:53

View Postzhasbeen, on 2017-October-30, 09:14, said:

This one, although not a serious error for a single board, is a serious problem with bot bidding over time because it comes up so often (my opinion). It makes my life difficult every time "he" does it, although I'm not caught off guard now like I used to be.

Once again, the robot makes rebidding a moth-eaten 5-card major as his highest priority. Allowing for that possibility I rebid 2NT for my 2nd response. Next, he does "IT", showing his spade suit. I've seen him do this with 6-4, 5-5, 7-4, etc. You never know what to expect. With 5 of a major and 5 in a minor, he rebids the major first before showing the minor.

Stephen, I can't believe you would bid this way!


You are just kind of totally set in your ways for this one, having learned one style and not being able to wrap your head around the fact that there are many more than one way to bid, and that each style has certain pros and cons. I bid this way because I learned it this way from reading Mike Lawrence and nearly every other 2/1 book I've gone through (Hardy, Steve Robinson Washington Std, dozens of others). Only Bergen was using the rebid M shows 6 style really. Top players/writers/coaches like Lawrence and Kokish, many others, wouldn't advocate the rebid major catchall style if it had zero merit. I learned how to bid/play from reading hundreds of bridge books, I evaluate the various styles presented and try to understand the logic behind them, I don't just bid a certain way to be weird. When you read nearly everything and are exposed to enough stuff, you appreciate that there are differences of opinion on a lot of things between top players, and you can see how certain styles will win on some boards and lose on others, and learn to pick your poisons.

Having 2M be the catchall works well because:
- as often one of the lowest bids there is more room to unwind multiple options. (it would probably be even better with completely artificial rebids always using the lowest rebid as the catchall, and swapping around the other responses accordingly, but most people won't tolerate that degree of artificiality but are OK with 2M being a catchall mark time bid).
- it lets higher bids be more specific/have tighter ranges, which leads to greater accuracy when choosing those options, and you want higher bids to be more specific because there is less room below 3nt to clarify which might be a crucial stop/go point. 2nt can actually promise both outside stoppers. High reverses can actually show extra values. Raising a minor can show extra values.

2M being the catchall also is congruent with older non-2/1 GF styles like Eastern Scientific/Aces Scientific from which 2/1 evolved, where you NEED reverses to show extras because really they have to be GF even opposite the invitational range hands included in the 2/1s. It was absolutely routine for 2M to be a mark time waiting bid not promising any great suit. Have you simply never played a style where 2M didn't promise 6? You never played just SA starting out? I have run into many low level players who were incorrectly taught that rebidding a major promised 6 even after a 2/1, in a SA context, which is theoretically unplayable. Against me they promptly massively overbid getting to their 22 point misfit 3nt. Or miss their laydown 33 point slam because they had no idea if partner had 11 or 16.

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Reverses do not promise extras playing 2/1.

Again, your opinion, and it can be played both ways, particularly for the low reverse. There are pros and cons.

I do think the bot erred in not simply raising 2nt to 3nt. Bot definitions need to be improved a lot here, 2nt should deny 4+ spades (you should always bid 2s with 4, if opener is not going to reverse with minimums). Opener shouldn't bother looking for 4-4 spade fit if it's not there, with help in diamonds. 4513 min it should try 3c in case you have diamond problem and 4h in a 5-2 or 5c are possibilities. 3S on this particular sequence maybe SHOULD promise 4-6.

I think you erred in not bidding 3nt with extra values, that will be hard to show later, although it's possible/probable that the current GIB definition of 3nt is borked and needs to be tightened up. (I prefer 3nt to be 16-17 bal which is like exactly what you have).

You are just wrong when you claim 2M has to promise 6 and think I must be some card play wizard to get away with it. These are style questions, with pros and cons to each style. But responder's followups have to be consistent with the style, that's all, and GIB's rebids can be rather silly sometimes.

As responder, all you have to do is bid sensibly. Bid 2nt frequently. After opener rebids a third time, it's usually obvious what to do, like rebid 3nt with the unbid suit very solidly stopped, or pref to opener's major on 2 which they will often raise with 6, or make the obvious raise when opener rebids suit a third time. I don't see how you have so much problems, just don't think to yourself six card suit all the time just from the first rebid of the M, just think "2M shows nothing yet, keep on bidding normally and it will work itself out".
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#3 User is offline   zhasbeen 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 16:29

View PostStephen Tu, on 2017-October-30, 11:53, said:

You are just kind of totally set in your ways for this one, having learned one style and not being able to wrap your head around the fact that there are many more than one way to bid, and that each style has certain pros and cons. I bid this way because I learned it this way from reading Mike Lawrence and nearly every other 2/1 book I've gone through (Hardy, Steve Robinson Washington Std, dozens of others). Only Bergen was using the rebid M shows 6 style really. Top players/writers/coaches like Lawrence and Kokish, many others, wouldn't advocate the rebid major catchall style if it had zero merit. I learned how to bid/play from reading hundreds of bridge books, I evaluate the various styles presented and try to understand the logic behind them, I don't just bid a certain way to be weird. When you read nearly everything and are exposed to enough stuff, you appreciate that there are differences of opinion on a lot of things between top players, and you can see how certain styles will win on some boards and lose on others, and learn to pick your poisons.

Having 2M be the catchall works well because:
- as often one of the lowest bids there is more room to unwind multiple options. (it would probably be even better with completely artificial rebids always using the lowest rebid as the catchall, and swapping around the other responses accordingly, but most people won't tolerate that degree of artificiality but are OK with 2M being a catchall mark time bid).
- it lets higher bids be more specific/have tighter ranges, which leads to greater accuracy when choosing those options, and you want higher bids to be more specific because there is less room below 3nt to clarify which might be a crucial stop/go point. 2nt can actually promise both outside stoppers. High reverses can actually show extra values. Raising a minor can show extra values.

2M being the catchall also is congruent with older non-2/1 GF styles like Eastern Scientific/Aces Scientific from which 2/1 evolved, where you NEED reverses to show extras because really they have to be GF even opposite the invitational range hands included in the 2/1s. It was absolutely routine for 2M to be a mark time waiting bid not promising any great suit. Have you simply never played a style where 2M didn't promise 6? You never played just SA starting out? I have run into many low level players who were incorrectly taught that rebidding a major promised 6 even after a 2/1, in a SA context, which is theoretically unplayable. Against me they promptly massively overbid getting to their 22 point misfit 3nt. Or miss their laydown 33 point slam because they had no idea if partner had 11 or 16.


Again, your opinion, and it can be played both ways, particularly for the low reverse. There are pros and cons.

I do think the bot erred in not simply raising 2nt to 3nt. Bot definitions need to be improved a lot here, 2nt should deny 4+ spades (you should always bid 2s with 4, if opener is not going to reverse with minimums). Opener shouldn't bother looking for 4-4 spade fit if it's not there, with help in diamonds. 4513 min it should try 3c in case you have diamond problem and 4h in a 5-2 or 5c are possibilities. 3S on this particular sequence maybe SHOULD promise 4-6.

I think you erred in not bidding 3nt with extra values, that will be hard to show later, although it's possible/probable that the current GIB definition of 3nt is borked and needs to be tightened up. (I prefer 3nt to be 16-17 bal which is like exactly what you have).

You are just wrong when you claim 2M has to promise 6 and think I must be some card play wizard to get away with it. These are style questions, with pros and cons to each style. But responder's followups have to be consistent with the style, that's all, and GIB's rebids can be rather silly sometimes.

As responder, all you have to do is bid sensibly. Bid 2nt frequently. After opener rebids a third time, it's usually obvious what to do, like rebid 3nt with the unbid suit very solidly stopped, or pref to opener's major on 2 which they will often raise with 6, or make the obvious raise when opener rebids suit a third time. I don't see how you have so much problems, just don't think to yourself six card suit all the time just from the first rebid of the M, just think "2M shows nothing yet, keep on bidding normally and it will work itself out".



Stephen, for what it’s worth, when I see you made a post marked “today” I always look at it. I’m curious about what you have to say. I laughed when I read some of this response. I mean a real laugh rather than a snicker. I’m argumentative by nature and it I looks like I got a rise out of you with the “weird” comment. There, I just laughed again.
You never know for sure how a person is coming across when you just read stuff rather than talk.

I don’t think either of us is quite getting our point across to the other. For one thing, I’ve rebid 5-card majors a couple times just in the past few days. I suggested the “promise 6” rule because I thought it would be easier to program, and superior to frequently rebidding weakish 5-card majors in those situations. The 5-card suits I rebid were good ones, however, and I treated them as 6 when I could find no better bid.

“I think you erred in not bidding 3nt with extra values, that will be hard to show later,”
I have a copy of the GIB 2-1 card at my side when I play and I also look at the cursor messages before making some bids. It says that 3NT promises 13-15 with trump support. I would have liked to bid 3NT as you say. This is one change I’d be highly in favor of, since I see little need for the 13-15 bid. This isn’t the first time I’d wanted to make the stronger 3NT bid on hands with 2 trump rather than 3.
So, you are right that it would be hard to show later. I labored for a minute or more before finally settling on hearts.

Zeroing in on where I have the most (but not only) problem with robot style is the 5-2 major fit. Not only do bots like to rebid 5-baggers, but they love to take a preference for major with only 2-card support. This happens even when I’ve shown a second suit that I’ve bid and bot has support for it. I’m not just talking about the forcing NT situation where opener promises only 3 for minor rebid. Time and again the bot will pass up a fit of 8 cards or more in favor the 2 card preference for the major. This drives me crazy. I know that major suits score more, but minor suit plusses give you more match points than going down in a major. With a normal 4-2 break and only one ruff in your hand you can have your work cut out trying to make the hand. I see 5-2 fits in my sleep. They come in all forms too, not just after opening a 5-card major. This seems so against the grain of law of total tricks model that is supposed to be integrated in GIB program. However, I will give GIB credit for being good in many competitive situations by being right about when to push to 3- level and when to let them have it for 2. It seems like the 5-2 major thing is a more of a blind spot.
I’m sure you have counters potential problems that I worry about, but I am assuming they would be more complicated than what most players are able, or willing to try and absorb, including me. I assumed that something similar to what I play is what most people play nowadays. I’m not talking about the pros that have pages of notes to cover all the ins and outs of their systems, but maybe I've made a false assumption all the way around.
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#4 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 18:04

Fwiw, I also would rebid 2 H. If partner has four spades, which is certainly possible, I expect him to bid 2 !S over my 2 !H. If he does not then we need to see where else we can play.

Nobody would accuse me of being any sort of top player but you mention "I assumed that something similar to what I play is what most people play nowadays" so I thought I would speak up. My preferred style is that 1H-2m-2S does show extras. With 1D-2C it is different. Now we have two majors to sort out and I think it is best to get started, so I like 1D-2C-2M to not show extras.

I have only in the last month or so been willingly playing with the bots, but I am pretty comfortable with the way that they bid. But any pair has to make choices, and the bots don't negotiate conventions, so we have to accept their view of things. I am more in agreement with the bots on this than you are, but they are stubborn whether you agree with them or not.
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#5 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 18:30

View Postzhasbeen, on 2017-October-30, 16:29, said:

I think you erred in not bidding 3nt with extra values, that will be hard to show later,
I have a copy of the GIB 2-1 card at my side when I play and I also look at the cursor messages before making some bids. It says that 3NT promises 13-15 with trump support. I would have liked to bid 3NT as you say. This is one change Id be highly in favor of, since I see little need for the 13-15 bid.

Sorry, I forgot in my earlier post to specify exactly when I meant for you to bid 3nt. I mean specifically 1h-2c-2h-3nt. It's pretty standard for this unnecessary jump to show this range by responder. Did not mean 1h-3nt. But GIB's range for this auction is likely stupid, wide ranging, and probably needs to be fixed. (I think it's 13-18 HCP rather than something specific like 16-17 HCP ).

Quote

Zeroing in on where I have the most (but not only) problem with robot style is the 5-2 major fit. Not only do bots like to rebid 5-baggers, but they love to take a preference for major with only 2-card support. This happens even when Ive shown a second suit that Ive bid and bot has support for it. Im not just talking about the forcing NT situation where opener promises only 3 for minor rebid. Time and again the bot will pass up a fit of 8 cards or more in favor the 2 card preference for the major.

Rebidding non-descript major frequently after a 2/1 has legitimate purposes in keeping higher bids more tightly defined as I have explained before. Low priority but high frequency.

This 2 cd major preference thing, why don't you POST THE HAND instead of making a general whine that no one can ever fix since they have no idea what sequence you are talking about? The hand might be a legitimate bug, or maybe the bot bid is actually defensible and someone can explain why. You can go to www.bridgebase.com/myhands or use the BBO web interface to browse through recent hands/tournaments to find the one in question, use export deal/handviewer link etc. then post to the forum, preferrably using the hv tag as explained in several recent threads.

After a 2/1, the bot should only be supporting on 2 on the THIRD round, and you should know it's only 2 because with 3 it should support on the second round. It's possible that it is doing this with minor support on the side because of an inability to bid 3nt, or not wanting to bypass 3nt in case you can bid it. Sometimes 4M on a 5-2 is the only game, after all, if a suit is wide open in 3nt and there are 3 losers off the top in any contract. If you know you are in a 5-2, then there should be a way to get somewhere else, usually, depending on the auction, if there is some place better to be.

It's also possible the bot is just being insane in not simply supporting your other suit.

Quote

Im sure you have counters potential problems that I worry about, but I am assuming they would be more complicated than what most players are able, or willing to try and absorb, including me. I assumed that something similar to what I play is what most people play nowadays. Im not talking about the pros that have pages of notes to cover all the ins and outs of their systems, but maybe I've made a false assumption all the way around.


You are wrong if you think everyone is playing 1M-2x-2M is promising 6. It's definitely a minority view among top players although a few top experts espouse it (Woolsey/Cohen/Bergen notably). It is a common view among lower level players who have been taught simplistically by peers who have not really thought through the pros and cons of what is going on for these auctions, of how guaranteeing 6 creates problems on other hand types.

Other situations, quite often the bot is nuts and shouldn't be bidding this way. Post the hands you think it went wrong, most likely we agree with you and say nothing (or at least I tend to just silently nod and say nothing, I usually tend not to post simple "I agree" posts on obvious GIB lunacy, because who cares if I agree or not), hope the programmers eventually get around to fixing it. If we think the bot is right someone will explain why.
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#6 User is offline   virgosrock 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 20:27

View Postzhasbeen, on 2017-October-30, 09:14, said:

This one, although not a serious error for a single board, is a serious problem with bot bidding over time because it comes up so often (my opinion). It makes my life difficult every time he does it, although Im not caught off guard now like I used to be.

Once again, the robot makes rebidding a moth-eaten 5-card major as his highest priority. Allowing for that possibility I rebid 2NT for my 2nd response. Next, he does IT, showing his spade suit. Ive seen him do this with 6-4, 5-5, 7-4, etc. You never know what to expect. With 5 of a major and 5 in a minor, he rebids the major first before showing the minor.

Stephen, I cant believe you would bid this way! I just saw your name in tournament results from last week. I know those names, so you have to be a strong player to keep that kind of company. If you do really bid like that you must be one of those card playing wizards that can get away with weird bidding because you declare and defend so well. I won't drop any names regarding tournaments, etc unless you say it's o.k.
Btw, I used to go to 24-hr fitness in Milpitas until switching to City Sports that is only a couple blocks from where I live.

My choices for bots first rebid would be 2 spades or 2NT in that order. Reverses do not promise extras playing 2/1. Considering that his stiff is the 10 in suit that I started 2/1 auction with, 2NT seems reasonable. Rebidding 2 hearts first would be my last choice.
Heres the hand. Although not a total disaster, it came on last board of a 43-table match in which I had 78% score after 11 rounds. The 39% I got knocked me down to 74.5 and 2nd place. I still thought Id won but knew it wasnt a sure thing. Sure enough, some other guy had a 75.8%.

Don't know how to change opening lead to East, but not much to play after bot lead stiff Kd and I played 3 rounds of trump, making 4. Eighteen other pairs played in NT making 5 and 6 for 78.4% and 98.7%. I guess I could have still played in NT, with QJx of diamonds being a sure stopper. However, I was thinking more in terms of over tricks if bot had stiff, which seemed to be a good possibility off the bidding. I was hoping this was one of those hands where he did have good hearts--you never know. Maybe a case of over thinking, since I figured a lot of pairs would be in NT.
:



2H is a systemic waiting bid.
3S to indicate spades are controlled (with length or points) even though you have denied spades.

I have been quite happy with this approach.

vrock
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#7 User is offline   zhasbeen 

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Posted 2017-October-31, 14:43

View Postvirgosrock, on 2017-October-30, 20:27, said:

2H is a systemic waiting bid.
3S to indicate spades are controlled (with length or points) even though you have denied spades.

I have been quite happy with this approach.

vrock


Is this the way you play it? The robot mouseover I'm looking at says "4+ spades". I'm more comfortable with Bergen-Cohen style, but I'm learning that there are lots of good players who play it differently.

Speaking of the mouseover help, fixing it to a level where we could always trust what it says makes the top 2 of my most important upgrade list. That ("always") would be ideal although it is probably impossible considering that it has to be in sync with all possible bids that it might encounter.

Even though I'm not comfortable with robot bidding style I think I could adjust to it if I could count on those explanations.
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#8 User is offline   virgosrock 

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Posted 2017-October-31, 17:12

View Postzhasbeen, on 2017-October-31, 14:43, said:

Is this the way you play it? The robot mouseover I'm looking at says "4+ spades". I'm more comfortable with Bergen-Cohen style, but I'm learning that there are lots of good players who play it differently.

Speaking of the mouseover help, fixing it to a level where we could always trust what it says makes the top 2 of my most important upgrade list. That ("always") would be ideal although it is probably impossible considering that it has to be in sync with all possible bids that it might encounter.

Even though I'm not comfortable with robot bidding style I think I could adjust to it if I could count on those explanations.


yes, i play it that way. with GIBBO I tend to not say "always" though thinking back 3S here is "always "4+ spades". In some sense you have denied spades with your 2NT instead of 2S, GIBBO still bids out shape maybe because there is a stiff club and it caters to the club being 6543 or something like that. Who knows?

vrock
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