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Viking Club

#1 User is offline   Syl20 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 02:06


I am studying for pleasure the Viking Club from Groetheim & Sontag and i find it is very powerfull for slam bidding.
Although it requires practice and some memory for shape showing (a lot of symmetry in it), I am not sure what it's worth for game invitational hands and part scores thus I am interested to know what you think of that system.
Any of you tried it ? :P


#2 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 02:23

You can limit the use of the Viking Relay to GF auctions only (strong club auctions and 1M:1NT, 1D:1H, 2C:2D), and rely on more natural schemes over invitational hands (via 2C) and other partscore sequences.

Luis plays Viking Club.
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#3 User is offline   Wiste1 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 03:59


I have played Viking Club, with success.
A very nice system but of course its allways something u dont agree with.

What i dont like is 1nt=gf relay after 1major opening, of course is a nice tool but i like 1nt for other hands.

But most important is that u need a regular p to discuss and bidding a lot with

#4 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 08:23

I've been playing Viking for some time so right or wrong here's my view:

1) It's a system that requires constant practice and good memory and concentration, there're some sequences that are not very "logical" and if forgotten will surely lead to disaster. In fact you need a pd and at least a weekly practice. The worst thing about this system is that you quickly forget it. I know Moscito and once I learned it I never had to re-read anything, but Viking.... oh boy I have a sheet titled "things I usually forget, idiot!" that I carry around with me in tournaments.

2) If you like "light" openings then I strongly suggest changing the 1M-1N structure so 2c is not maximum and the others minimum, use 2c=I don't have a true opening and 2d+ as I have a normal opening. Then over 2c you can use 2d as game forcing ("I don't care")

3) The crash relay and super-relay are inferior to control-asking + denial cuebids so we also changed that. If you want once shape is shown you can use the first relay as control-asking (followed by denials) and the 2nd relay as the traditional crash relay. So you can decide which path to take.

4) The system does badly in partscores, competitive auctions that start with 1d and is quite sensible to interference, If I were to play against it I'd overcall in every hand creating major havoc in all the system structures.

5) It's great to pick the best game and find slams or grand slams, I'm not sure but sometimes all your 13 or 14 imp pickups are overrated and the 3 or 4 imp loses in partscores and competitive auctions are underrated.

6) Shape resolution is not great, Moscito does solve common distributions at a lower level giving you more space to explore. So if you love relays and you are a freak that must know the exact distribution always I recommend Moscito or Symmetric relays as better tools.

7) The NT structure is bad, change it to Keri or "revised Keri" works great!

I like the system a lot, there're a lot of great things about it. It's flexible and fun but for me it's stressing. Now I'm playing Fantoni-Nunes style (simplified) and I'm so happy that I may be unfair with Viking just because I'm biased at this moment.
The legend of the black octogon.

#5 User is offline   Syl20 

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Posted 2005-April-28, 01:35

Ok, thanks. :lol:

I am hearing what i was thinking. As Chamaco said, i really like the ability to enter in relay sequence after any opening so that it gives great accuracy when in the slam zone, in fact this is the main interest of the system for me.
As Luis pointed out, it isn't very effective in competitive bidding (mostly after 1 i suppose) because of its wide shape range where no suit is already shown but it is possible to compute other definitions for the openings, such as:

1=11-15, 5+ unbalanced or any 4441 with 4
1/= 11-15, 5+
1NT= 12-15 balanced
2 = 11-15, 5+ unbalanced or concentrated values if 5422
2 = weak, 6 or
2 = 4414 or (43)15 or 4405 (short ), equivalent to precision 2
2 = weak, 5+4X

with this kind of opening, it is possible to keep the effectiveness of relay auction while beeing less subject to being stuck when preempted. Of course, the relays after 1-1 would need some adjustements.

I felt CRASH and super relay are very effective. When i tried to bid honestly a few boards where we missed slams, i found it was quite easy to bid them (or avoid them). Why controls then denial cue bids are more effective ? Do they save more bidding space ? :(

Finally, concerning the memory, it may be right that some sequences are not very logical (i would need practice to realize that) but i enjoy that a lot of sequences are symmetric and thus lighten the memory load.

#6 User is offline   Double ! 

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Posted 2005-April-28, 18:58

I bought the book and started reading it----didn't get that far, kept getting interrupted by all of those success-story sample hands that split up the meat of the text, but soon realized that I wasn't sure if parts of the system (such as 1M-1N GF) would be permitted in acbl events. To those of you who have read and used the system: how good a system is Viking at matchpoints? Are the frequencies with which the many various specialized sequence occur worth the brain drain and drill needed to implement them? ...and, has the system resolved the problem of wrong-siding NT contracts after 1C openings (1NT resp = 8/9-14), and missing 4-4 major fits after a 2 club opening? From what I've read so far, I suspect that the answer is "no".
But, the system has a lot of cool names for relays such as sidestep, '54 pick-up, six-shooter, crash, trigger.
"That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!"

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