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Responder rebid dilemma

#21 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-January-11, 12:22

View Postpescetom, on 2019-January-11, 09:11, said:

You're both advocating some fairly un-natural sequences here considering that this is Novice/Beginner :)
... the natural action for opener holding 4-card spades is to show them after 1 - 1, not bypass.

This is considered the natural thing to do West of the Atlantic, but in the UK everyone seems to rebid 1N with a balanced hand - it's both what experts do, and 2hat beginner/intermediate are taught to do.

Obviously there is a logical reason for this difference- bypassing 1S to show a strong NT is more attractive for various reasons than doing so to show a weak NT.
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t

#22 User is online   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-January-11, 15:57

More than 40 years ago, my then partner and I were trying out 2/1 GF based on a book by Max Hardy, who advocated that 4SF was gf.

I asked him, at a regional, how one dealt with 5-5 hands less than gf, and his answer was 'don't worry about it, they never really come up'.

I never did think highly of him as a bridge theorist: his books on 2/1 were only pastiches of ideas from other players (in fairness, I don't think he ever claimed otherwise) but that glib and inaccurate dismissal of a legitimate problem bothered me.

As for the solution, in standard American (and I appreciate that the OP doesn't play SA), it would be heresy to recommend any response than 1S initially, and I say that as having played, in a 2/1 context, virtually every 1N opening range imaginable (but not, shudder, 16-18 or 15-18).

Now, there are gadgets: using a 2H response to show 5+ spades and 4+ hearts, too weak to invite over a 1N rebid, is quite common, but obviously wrong here: we have a comfortable gf over a 1N rebid, showing 15-17.

Every bidding method has 'seams'...areas where the system simply cannot adequately handle specific hand-types. When that arises, one has to decide on the least bad distortion. Here, whether that is 2H or 2D I leave to individual taste.

The more complex the system, assuming competent design, the fewer the problem hands, but no method yet devised is free from the issue. In the Novice and Beginner forum one will find more of such problems than in the expert forum, for example, because experts tend to play more complex and more numerous agreements than do beginners and novices.

I respectfully suggest, however, that the more knowledgeable plyers refrain from advocating idiosyncratic 'solutions'.

Recommending a 1H response does a serious disservice. It is, in any event, profoundly flawed on fairly straight-forward theoretical grounds. Even if it were close to being sound (and it is not, imo), it should be avoided simply because it is not how the vast majority of competent players bid. Novices and beginners need to learn the basics. Then, once and if they get to where they can intelligently customize methods, they start from a sound basis.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari

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