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2NT Opening How about this one?

Poll: What should 2NT mean (not needed as natural)? (25 member(s) have cast votes)

What should 2NT mean (not needed as natural)?

  1. Strong Balanced (anyway) (5 votes [20.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  2. Both Minors (11 votes [44.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.00%

  3. Preempt in Unspecified Suit (4 votes [16.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.00%

  4. Start of Transfer Preempts (2 votes [8.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.00%

  5. Strong Artificial (2 votes [8.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.00%

  6. Control Ask (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  7. Other (1 votes [4.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

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#1 User is online   awm 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 13:13

Suppose you're playing a system where you don't really need 2NT as a natural bid. For example, take a strong 1-based system, where you're likely to do better opening strong balanced hands at the one level in a non-competitive auction. What should the 2NT opening mean? Some explanation:

(1) Strong balanced hand anyway, to stay with the field and prevent competition. I think Meckwell actually play this, at least at pairs.
(2) Weak with both minors (the typical unusual 2NT). May include some rare strong meanings. This treatment seems popular with precision players.
(3) Preempt in unspecified suit. Something like "a bad preempt in either minor" so that 3/ become more constructive. Meckwell play 2 showing something like this. 2NT showing ANY preempt is not allowed in most juristictions, but "either minor" is more likely to be permitted.
(4) Start of transfer preempts, showing a weak three-bid in clubs, as well as possibly some strong meanings.
(5) Some strong unbalanced hand. A partner and I are trying 2NT showing a 5-5 or better two suiter with 4 or fewer losers, not including spades.
(6) Control ask. One could play 2NT asking specific aces, and follow up with specific suit asks for example.

Of course you're welcome to recommend your own treatment as well.
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#2 Guest_Jlall_*

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Posted 2005-April-27, 13:30

Well...

In my strong club systems I usually play (1) since there are too many NT ranges too sort out if you open all balanced 17+ with a strong club. Assuming you are playing a relay system, or 1C-1D-1H as mini-kokish then you will be able to sort out the ranges and open 20-21 with 1C.

So I'm responding to the poll assuming i can handle all the NT ranges by opening 1C. That being said I prefer (2) but (3) is ok. I like 2 because you can open with a preempt on a hand like x x KT9xx QJ9xxx where you always want to bid but never are able too. It seems valuable to be able to preempt with this hand type. 3 is good too because 3 minor preempts are pretty wide ranging making it tough on responder. This can help him out, but I don't think it's as useful as 2.

4/5/6 I really hate. Transfer preempts are a joke as I've said in many other posts, the main reason being it defeats the whole purpose of a preempt. You let them show various hand types by ensuring direct seat 2 bids. 5 I don't like because it seems succeptible to preemption, and it's better to open a suit with 5-5's and then bid your other suit (unless you have alot of HCP then you can open a strong club, not ideal but about equal to 2N I would think). 6 just seems useless/low frequent/solvable with a strong club opener.
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#3 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 13:38

Jlall, on Apr 27 2005, 10:30 PM, said:

So I'm responding to the poll assuming i can handle all the NT ranges by opening 1C. That being said I prefer (2) but (3) is ok. I like 2 because you can open with a preempt on a hand like x x KT9xx QJ9xxx where you always want to bid but never are able too. It seems valuable to be able to preempt with this hand type. 3 is good too because 3 minor preempts are pretty wide ranging making it tough on responder. This can help him out, but I don't think it's as useful as 2.

4/5/6 I really hate. Transfer preempts are a joke as I've said in many other posts, the main reason being it defeats the whole purpose of a preempt. You let them show various hand types by ensuring direct seat 2 bids. 5 I don't like because it seems succeptible to preemption, and it's better to open a suit with 5-5's and then bid your other suit (unless you have alot of HCP then you can open a strong club, not ideal but about equal to 2N I would think). 6 just seems useless/low frequent/solvable with a strong club opener.

There appears to be a logical inconsistency in this posting

1. You say that you dislike transfer preempts
2. You are using 2NT to show both minors. This opening is even worse that a traditional xfer preempt because you are giving the opponents multiple cue bids...

If you want to have an opening to show two suited hands with both minors, it must be better to use a 3 opening. You then have the option to multiplex a club preempt with some other hand type into the 2NT preempt...

For what its worth, I use 2NT to show a bad 3 level preempt in either minor. This allows me to use 3/3 as disciplined preempts. I've occasionally debated adopting

3 = disciplined 3 level preempt in Diamonds
3 = Weak with both minors
2NT = Bad 3 level preempt in Clubs or Diamonds

Essentially, this would trade the disciplined 3 club preempt in order to show both minors...
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#4 Guest_Jlall_*

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Posted 2005-April-27, 13:40

Not really inconsistent, in most systems the only option with a weak hand and minors is PASS

so at least 2N is better than pass at preempting. However with transfer preempts, the normal option is a normal preempt which is much better than a transfer preempt.
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#5 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 13:43

Jlall, on Apr 27 2005, 10:40 PM, said:

Not really inconsistent, in most systems the only option with a weak hand and minors is PASS

so at least 2N is better than pass at preempting. However with transfer preempts, the normal option is a normal preempt which is much better than a transfer preempt.

I'd argue that given the cue bidding options that you are providing the opps combined with the information that you are exposing about you hand, you're better off passing with this hand type rather than opening 2NT...
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#6 Guest_Jlall_*

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Posted 2005-April-27, 13:47

Ok, if you prefer passing throughout with a hand like the example hand I gave (x x KT9xx QJ9xxx) thats your perrogative, but in my experience this is not a winning way to play. You miss alot of saves, a few perfecta games, and the ability to jam the opponents auctions. Despite the fact that they can cuebid they still would have a more accurate competitive auction if you had passed throughout. That being said your point about giving away info is very true of all 2 suited bids, however people still bid michaels and still bid unusual 2N.
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#7 User is offline   iggygork 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 13:50

Having played both (1) and (2) in various systems I find both to be lacking. Strong and balanced hands need room to get to wherever partner wants to take them and opening 2NT is not the best level for investigation. I played (2) in Adam's strong diamond system with two partners for a while and I found that it sometimes gets very good results against weak opponents but in general the results are worse than other pairs (in my experience, when pard opens 2NT showing C+D and a weak hand, I hold the complementary H+S hand and I am stuck, whether I am weak or strong). If pard is a passed hand and 2NT is opened in third seat as (2), that is OK, but we may still miss playing in 2H/S after a Michael's auction.

I think I would prefer 2NT to be a bad preempt in any suit, as I like to create maximum confusion for opps (and partner), jurisdictions be damned. If I have a bad preempt, it is unlikely that I would be interested in engaging in a constructive auction, so the 2NT opening does not hurt me and gives the opps no cues (or t/o doubles for that matter).

Gorkem
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#8 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 14:25

In the strong club version I play:
2NT=14-17, One suited club hand
3c=11-14, One suited club hand (very often with shortness if you open 1nt without shortness).
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#9 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 16:50

yeah, what he said... only other time 2nt was something other than 'standard' for me, i played it as showing both minors
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#10 User is offline   Double ! 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 19:08

Two important considerations to this issue have not yet been clarified
1) the impact that vulnerability has on your answers, &
2) are we talking matchpoints, imps, BAM, teams.

I am cautious about 2NT opening for minor 2-suiters at matchpoints, especially vul., because of the potential for fixing yourself instead of the opps. I don't want to be -200 against the field being minus 110, 140, even -170. I don't know the numbers in terms of frequency of gain versus frequency of loss, a major consideration at matchpoints.

Another issue not often mentioned, that is also relevant to mini NTs, is the additional information that you give the opps in terms of placing cards or distribution if you make a call that the majority of the field doesn't make, and the opps wind up in a relatively normal contract. Now they have additional information to help with planning the play and placing of cards. Again, at matchpoints, it's frequency of loss vs. magnitude. I just hate those self-inflicted zeros and ones. Not to mention the times when you find a good sac only to discover that it was a phantom.

At imps or teams, a whole different strategy might be applicable, i.e. amount or size of gain vs size of loss. 2-suited 2NT might be a good strategy, but I think a case can be made for a bid that clarifies the type of pre-empt that partner has (option 3?) Personally, I prefer bids that help me to more accurately judge competitive situations and judge trick-taking potential as opposed to more disruptive bids: that's my personal issue. Whatever fits best with you and your partner's overall style, system, agreements, and personalities: then go for it!
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#11 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2005-April-27, 19:21

Double !, on Apr 27 2005, 08:08 PM, said:

Two important considerations to this issue have not yet been clarified
1)   the impact that vulnerability has on your answers,  &
2)   are we talking matchpoints, imps, BAM, teams.

I am cautious about 2NT opening for minor 2-suiters at matchpoints, especially vul., because of the potential for fixing yourself instead of the opps.  I don't want to be -200 against the field being minus 110, 140, even -170.  I don't know the numbers in terms of frequency of gain versus frequency of loss, a major consideration at matchpoints.

Another issue not often mentioned, that is also relevant to mini NTs, is the additional information that you give the opps in terms of placing cards or distribution if you make a call that the majority of the field doesn't make, and the opps wind up in a relatively normal contract.  Now they have additional information to help with planning the play of the hand.  Again, at matchpoints, it's frequency of loss vs. magnitude.

At imps or teams, a whole different strategy might be applicable, i.e. amount or size of gain vs size of loss.  2-suited 2NT might be a good strategy, but I think a case can be made for a bid that clarifies the type of pre-empt that partner has (option 3?)   Personally, I prefer bids that help me to more accurately judge competitive situations and judge trick-taking potential as opposed to more disruptive bids: that's my personal issue.  Whatever fits best with you and your partner's overall style, system, agreements, and personalities:   then go for it!

1) No effect
2) all games

Your last 2 sentences are great but I would be harsher.

A) Do you want this bid to be constructive and help improve the rest of your system bids?

B*) Do you want this bid to be disruptive and turn the hand into much more random result?

From what I have seen the Italians have voted a strong yes to A for their 2 level bids.
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  Posted 2005-April-27, 19:26

With me due to playing restrictions I get only the minors or the strong balanced form. I use the minors just to have a very constructive bid to deny 2M contracts.
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Posted 2005-April-27, 19:43

Another issue, perhaps better belonging under the general category of strategy, is the question of whether the game or event you are playing in is relatively short, such as one-session, or is multi-session. With the shorter sessions such as a 1-session imp pairs, aggressive, high yield approaches might prove beneficial than more down the middle if your objective is to gather many imps quickly and often in order to win. The risk of this approach is obvious. IMO, the approach to multiple session events is more in the opposite direction (and then hope you can stay conscious during the 6th session of the LM pairs when you were actually within striking distance after 5 sessions). Here you want to keep yourself in qualification while accumulating as much carry-over as can safely be done without shooting left and right. Just one opinion. I am sure that there are many dissenting ones. But this is why I believe that the nature of the game, mp. vs. imps or VPs, as well as vulnerability are important factors to consider when ascribing a meaning to a bid.
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Posted 2005-April-27, 19:54

Double !, on Apr 27 2005, 08:43 PM, said:

Another issue, perhaps better belonging under the general category of strategy, is the question of whether the game or event you are playing in is relatively short, such as one-session, or is multi-session. With the shorter sessions such as a 1-session imp pairs, aggressive, high yield approaches might prove beneficial than more down the middle if your objective is to gather many imps quickly and often in order to win. The risk of this approach is obvious. IMO, the approach to multiple session events is more in the opposite direction (and then hope you can stay conscious during the 6th session of the LM pairs when you were actually within striking distance after 5 sessions). Here you want to keep yourself in qualification while accumulating as much carry-over as can safely be done without shooting left and right. Just one opinion. I am sure that there are many dissenting ones. But this is why I believe that the nature of the game, mp. vs. imps or VPs, as well as vulnerability are important factors to consider when ascribing a meaning to a bid.

For another viewpoint:

I believe it was Levin and Weinstein among many others who have won many top pair games, Blue Ribbon?// playing IMP style.
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#15 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2005-April-28, 06:12

at this moment i play as follows:

2NT = preempt (no strong or other options)
3 = weak with both minors

we're still not sure if this treatment is better than the other way around... 3 isn't forcing, and it only gives away 1 cuebid, but the transferpreempt is not as good as a normal preempt.

The way Richard describes is good for constructive auctions, but the 2NT is brown sticker, so quite useless I'm afraid.
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Posted 2005-April-28, 08:02

I don't think we're allowed to play 2NT as either minor here in the Netherlands, as a BSC is a.o. a weak opening from 2 through 3 that does not show a 4+card in a known suit. Some people play 3 as either diamonds or both minors, which is allowed.
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Posted 2005-April-29, 00:27

awm, on Apr 27 2005, 02:13 PM, said:

What should the 2NT opening mean? Some explanation:

(1) Strong balanced hand anyway, to stay with the field and prevent competition. I think Meckwell actually play this, at least at pairs.
(2) Weak with both minors (the typical unusual 2NT). May include some rare strong meanings. This treatment seems popular with precision players.

Most Green systems are based (1);
some Blue/Red(strong club) systems are based (2);
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Posted 2005-April-29, 01:38

Jlall, on Apr 27 2005, 07:30 PM, said:

Transfer preempts are a joke as I've said in many other posts, the main reason being it defeats the whole purpose of a preempt. You let them show various hand types by ensuring direct seat 2 bids.

Justin,
what do you think of Ben's 2-way xfer preempts (either preempt in next step suit OR 4-loser 2 suiter) in a strong club context ?

The ability to open a 4-4.5 loser 2 -suiter (roughly 16-18 55xx with nothing wasted, say AKxxx-AQJxx-Kx-x, can be lighter in 65xx) with a bid different from 1C seems valuable to me: 2-suiters are the hand-types most vulnerable to preemption (even when you have a chance to bid, you'll seldom be able to show 2nd suit if opps bounce).

My point is that we remove 16-18 2-suiters from the strong club, it seems easier to handle interference AND to penalize opponents.

Can you comment please ? :-)
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