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Need an alert? Alerting 1N with 4-card sp after 1d p 1h p

#1 User is offline   carl3 

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Posted 2019-March-29, 01:54

With AKQ&,53,K532,J83 I open 1d. After pass partner replies 1h and when RHO pass I rebid 1N. An expert at the table meant I should alert this. But if I do
explaining I may have a 4-card spade does this not give the information that I have in fact a 4 card spade since without it there would be no alert? I was
playing with a "pick up" partner so there was no agreement.
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#2 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-March-29, 02:30

View Postcarl3, on 2019-March-29, 01:54, said:

With AKQ&,53,K532,J83 I open 1d. After pass partner replies 1h and when RHO pass I rebid 1N. An expert at the table meant I should alert this. But if I do
explaining I may have a 4-card spade does this not give the information that I have in fact a 4 card spade since without it there would be no alert? I was
playing with a "pick up" partner so there was no agreement.


Where are you Carl? Alerting Regulation vary by territory.
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#3 User is online   paulg 

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Posted 2019-March-29, 03:08

In the jurisdictions where I play (EBU, SBU, ACBL) then rebidding one no trump when you may have four spades is not alertable. This may be different in NBOs where a different style is prevalent, such as France.

It is rare for an NBO to require alerts when you have no agreements, such as a pick up partnership. However even in a pick up partnership you have some idea what you are likely to be playing (weak no trump, strong no trump, etc) so a pair may have some implicit agreements based on their countries.

On BBO there are no explicit rules for alerting unless you are playing in an ACBL game or the like. Most people, especially experts, have their own idea what should be alerted even if they are completely wrong.

But, if you are playing in a environment where you are supposed to alert if you would bypass four spades, then you would always alert the one no trump rebid whether you had four spades or not. This way no-one knows.

But, as Tramticket says, for a more specific answer we need to know where you were playing and the alerting regulations in force.
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#4 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-March-29, 04:03

View Postpaulg, on 2019-March-29, 03:08, said:

On BBO there are no explicit rules for alerting unless you are playing in an ACBL game or the like. Most people, especially experts, have their own idea what should be alerted even if they are completely wrong.


Yes, didn't realise that this was probably an on-line game.
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#5 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-April-17, 06:18

In a pick-up game I would be fine with not alerting.. Let me shift a bit to a f2f game where the alert would, or would not, come from partner. After 1m-1H-1NT-all pass I have sometimes been asked if partner could have a four card spade suit. My answer is along the lines of "We have no methods to uncover a 4-4 fit if he has done so, so usually he would not, but I cannot say with certainty that he wouldn't." That could apply to the hand that you have. Skipping over the spades to bid 1NT certainly could backfire but it's not crazy. Bridge players are not robots, they are, or should be, allowed to judge that maybe this is a good time to skip over spades. If your Lho has four clubs and four spades he will probably lead a spade if you skip over them. And, of course, if you skip over spades you will probably get to play the hand!

Playing online, I think artificial bids should be self-alerted even in a pick-up game. If you make an artificial bid then, obviously, you are expecting partner to take it as an artificial bid so you are guessing that there is an understanding. So you self-alert. But skipping over spades because you think it might work out better? I would not expect a self-alert.


Clearly I am not offering a legal opinion, rather a general view of what I see as reasonable.
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#6 User is offline   Gerardo 

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Posted 2019-April-17, 08:38

Usually not alertable, but assuming it would be, the explanation would be:

"(range), (balanced), MAY have 4" and you would alert no matter how many were in your hand.

#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-April-17, 08:54

View Postkenberg, on 2019-April-17, 06:18, said:

After 1m-1H-1NT-all pass I have sometimes been asked if partner could have a four card spade suit. My answer is along the lines of "We have no methods to uncover a 4-4 fit if he has done so, so usually he would not, but I cannot say with certainty that he wouldn't."

You don't play New Minor Forcing?

1m-1
1NT-2om(NMF)
2

However, this requires responder to have at least invitational values, so in the all-pass case you're correct. Maybe there are fancier methods that allow finding it without getting too high, but I don't know them.

#8 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2019-April-17, 14:51

No agreement = no alert. If your partner is just as surprised as your opponents, then they can't alert.
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#9 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2019-April-17, 15:23

Even if you decide to bid NT with 4 to distinguish balanced hands from hands with and longer , it isn't alertable. It is a treatment, not a convention. Responder may know the possibility of a 4 card suit exists, but not that it is a fact.

It is proper, however, should your side declare, to make the opponents aware of the possibility of a 4 card suit in partner's hand before the opening lead unless subsequent bidding has denied it.

We have to rebid 1 NT with the 15-17 balanced hands to avoid opposite siding NT contracts in fields where strong NT predominate. Since a 1 rebid instead of 1 NT would show equal or longer length in the minor, we do alert that as it occurs. The difference is that the 1 rebid does provide some specific information about the opening suit that the opponents are entitled to know.
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#10 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-April-17, 15:43

View Postbarmar, on 2019-April-17, 08:54, said:

You don't play New Minor Forcing?

1m-1
1NT-2om(NMF)
2

However, this requires responder to have at least invitational values, so in the all-pass case you're correct. Maybe there are fancier methods that allow finding it without getting too high, but I don't know them.


You may find that 2-way checkback is far more effective.
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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-17, 15:44

View PostVampyr, on 2019-April-17, 15:43, said:

You may find that 2-way checkback is far more effective.


XYZ forever for me.
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#12 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-April-17, 15:46

View Postpescetom, on 2019-April-17, 15:44, said:

XYZ forever for me.


I only vaguely know just how XYZ works. Would you explain it please?
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#13 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2019-April-17, 16:53

View PostVampyr, on 2019-April-17, 15:46, said:

I only vaguely know just how XYZ works. Would you explain it please?

A small book can be written on this. You want all of it?
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#14 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-April-18, 06:08

View Postbarmar, on 2019-April-17, 08:54, said:

You don't play New Minor Forcing?

1m-1
1NT-2om(NMF)
2

However, this requires responder to have at least invitational values, so in the all-pass case you're correct. Maybe there are fancier methods that allow finding it without getting too high, but I don't know them.


I play NMF but the possibility of this auction goes, I think, to the heart of the matter. After 1D-1S-1NT we might have either a 5-3 S fit or a 4-4 H fit and we want to be able to explore both possibilities. But I would see 1D-1H-1NT-2C-2S as different, more like 1H-1NT-2C-2S. Usually this "impossible 2S" is played as showing a good club fit and good values. Thus, it after partner opened 1H, I for whatever reason, decided to skip over spades to bid 1NT then the spades are lost. I took that risk when I skipped over spades.

Although I have never discussed it with a partner it seems 1D-1H-1NT-2C-2S might well be used to show a maximum NT and a D fit, and probably with some extra shape. At most two hearts certainly.

Here is how this applies to OP. He is playing pick-up and he skipped over his spade suit. It is safe to say that he and his partner have not had a discussion about just how to find their spade fit if they have one. He just decided to bid 1NT instead of 1S and I am fine with saying that no alert is required. Consider now a regular partnership. Perhaps they have an agreement that after 1D-1H opener will often rebid 1NT even with four spades. If he instead bids 1S that would show four spades and extra shape, a five card diamond suit maybe., And then, since they often skip over spades, they have agreed on how to find their fit later if they have one. This is very different from OP, and I think then yes, an alert would be right. I am not a bridge lawyer so I am not stating a legal opinion but it seems that such an approach is not the common agreement on what a 1S bid would show, most think it just shows four spades, so I believe that if they have such an agreement then an alert would be right.


One more thought. Afer 1D-1H-1NT-2C, opener is limited but responder isn't. So if 2S were to show a maximum NT and a good D fit, this could be just what responder wants to hear. Since I would never, well, hardly ever, have four spades after 1D-1H-1NT, this could be a useful agreement. Maybe I talk with a pard about it!
Ken
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#15 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-18, 06:58

View PostVampyr, on 2019-April-17, 15:46, said:

I only vaguely know just how XYZ works. Would you explain it please?


For an introduction, start here.
After that you can make it as complicated as you like, although I prefer to keep it relay-free which is one of the advantages over the Checkback conventions.
A common addition is that 2NT is a puppet to 3 over which you can either pass with weak clubs or bid to describe a 2-suited game forcing hand with slam interest (2NT is free for artificial use because in XYZ a balanced invite would be 2-2-2NT).
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#16 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2019-April-18, 08:27

View Postpescetom, on 2019-April-17, 15:44, said:

XYZ forever for me.

I was going to mention XYZ as a possibility. But I looked up Larry Cohen's description of it, and he said it only applies after 3 suits are bid; after 1NT you should play some form of NMF.

https://www.larryco....ge-articles/xyz

#17 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-18, 09:32

View Postbarmar, on 2019-April-18, 08:27, said:

I was going to mention XYZ as a possibility. But I looked up Larry Cohen's description of it, and he said it only applies after 3 suits are bid; after 1NT you should play some form of NMF.

https://www.larryco....ge-articles/xyz


Yes, that is one of his compromises, much like allowing 4-card 2 over 1 responses. I think it is inaccurate of him to present it as a characteristic of the convention rather than as his own choice not to employ it in that situation. There is no doubt that XYZ can handle both a third suit and 1NT as Z.

For some other descriptions and a diplomatic reply to those who worry about using the same treatment for third suit and 1NT, see here.

This post has been edited by barmar: 2019-April-19, 09:17
Reason for edit: fix link

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#18 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2019-April-18, 11:06

View Postpescetom, on 2019-April-18, 09:32, said:

Yes, that is one of his compromises, much like allowing 4-card 2 over 1 responses. I think it is inaccurate of him to present it as a characteristic of the convention rather than as his own choice not to employ it in that situation. There is no doubt that XYZ can handle both a third suit and 1NT as Z.

For some other descriptions and a diplomatic reply to those who worry about using the same treatment for third suit and 1NT, see here.


I looked up the article you cited . Debbie Rosenberg comments: "Lumping together 'bidding after opener's 1N rebid' and 'bidding after opener's 1M rebid' is a mistake in my opinion."

I was glad to see this since that has always been my (far less informed) view. When Z is 1NT then responder knows that opener is 12-14 and relatively balanced. When Z is 1S, he knows much less. So however we name things, the situation is very different. I have played "2 way NMF" over the 1NT rebid and I have always assumed this is about the same as XYZ with Z=1NT. The essence is that both 2C and 2D are artificial. As I played it, 2C is a demand that partner respond 2D which might be passed. This can be very useful if playing in the Walsh style where on the auction 1C-1H -1NT responder could easily have five or even six diamonds and a modest hand. Over 1NT responder bids 2C and passes the forced 2D. In all other cases,with 2C followed by another bid over the forced 2D, we are in an invitational sequence. If instead of 2C, responder bids 2D over 1NT, then we are in a game forcing sequence. No doubt this has merit.


I have not used XYZ after, say, 1C-1H-1S but no doubt this also has merit. I simply have not learned the details but probably I should. Neither hand is as yet limited, or at least not very limited, either in strength or in shape, so the situation is more complicated.


Bottom line: I appreciate the link and I appreciate DR's comment there.


Ken
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#19 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-18, 14:47

I'm glad you found the link interesting, so did I. You have some problem with fonts, so please accept lack of quoting.

Unlike the way that you played it in 2-way NMF, in XYZ 2 is a puppet to 2 that nominally must be obeyed. Some people do agree (or just practice) that it can be disobeyed with a hand worth game opposite weak diamonds, but that is neither intrinsic nor particularly important IMO. I have only even discussed this with one partner to date.

Debbie Rosenberg is a three times world champion and her comments are worthy of note. Nevertheless she doesn't seem to have any concrete argument against XYZ except that it is different and she has seen some disasters, which (like the diplomatic Robin Hilyard) I have not. A promising intermediate can bid it out of the box, in my experience, including one 75 year old who read it and said "this looks good" B-) If you think there is some real problem as a convention for intermediate-advanced then please open a separate thread to discuss so we can let this one continue.
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#20 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2019-April-19, 11:50

What Max Hardy (or Grant Baze, who wrote the article for Hardy's book) called "Modified Two-way Stayman" (mwts) is very similar, as Max points out, to XYZ, but they are, or were originally, two different conventions. MWTS predates XYZ, though I don't know by how long.

According to The Bridge World a puppet and a marionette differ in that the reply to the latter can break the relay, while the former cannot. 2 in MTWS is a puppet; 2 in XYZ is a marionette. For this reason, I don't like that people conflate the two, calling both XYZ. Particularly since the folks I've seen do this don't seem to understand the difference between "puppet" and "marionette".

Like all conventions, you need to thoroughly understand how the convention works, and when to use it and when not to use it, and when it's on and when it's off, before you start using it at the table. Most players seem to want to skip that part. B-)

In the main, though, I agree with Vampyr: Two-way Checkback Stayman is a better approach than MTWS. For one thing, the former has an easy way for responder to show 4-4 in the majors after 1m-1-1NT when he has invitational or game forcing values; the latter has no way to show these holdings unless opener's priority is to show 4 spades before showing 3 hearts.

AFAICS, the main advantage to playing MTWS is that if you're going to also play XYZ at least the structures look very similar, even if that obscures the fact that the two situations are very different because 1NT limits opener's hand, while 1M does not.
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