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Namyats positional issues

#1 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 10:26

The Namyats convention uses 4 to indicate an unusually strong preempt in and 4 to indicate the same in . Standard responses are that 4 in the designated major is signoff while the slot inbetween indicates slam interest or has some more specific meaning - a request to indicate shortage, or a transfer which may prelude a slam try, or a control-bid (which is how we play it).

Like quite a few conventions, Namyats comes up so rarely that it's hard to judge, but it seems logical and I like the way it takes pressure off responder when opener bids a normal 4M instead. The last two times a Namyats hand came up however we ended up with an MP bottom, because we were set in 4M while the rest of the field made it. The difference was not due to inferior play (honestly), but simply because the responder had become declarer. Of course all things being equal (which they are not necessarily) then a top is just as likely as a bottom in such a case, rub of the green - but that still works out to 50% on a certain fraction of hands, which is not winning bridge. And on the whole I would expect it is more likely that the opener has one or more features he needs to protect (a guarded King, a tenace or whatever) than responder. So I was wondering if it might be better to modify our response structure such that a weak responder does not automatically assume declarership. I'm cautious about this because I hate to give up a control-bid and because some very sane people like Kit Woolsey and Larry Cohen seem quite happy for weak responder to sign off in 4M, but maybe they are less concerned about the MP scenario than we are.

Your thoughts?
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#2 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 10:34

I think many Namyats structures use the in between as a puppet to get opener to declare. Further bids, if any, can then be different meanings of slam tries than bidding them directly. You do lose the ability for opener to transmit useful information over the in-between bid, but perhaps this loss is smaller than the ability to position.


But I haven't seen a lot of players using Namyats in general. Doesn't come up a lot, how many additional slams do you really reach, etc.

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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 10:50

View PostStephen Tu, on 2019-April-09, 10:34, said:

But I haven't seen a lot of players using Namyats in general. Doesn't come up a lot, how many additional slams do you really reach, etc.

It comes up very rarely indeed. But as I said, there is a signicant gain each time a normal 4M preempt comes up instead, as the responder is under no pressure to explore slam. And that in turn allows opener to take more liberties with the 4M opening, especially at favourable vulnerability.
A side benefit is that even more rarely responder might be able to pass 4m doubled for a huge penalty... never happened yet however B-)

View PostStephen Tu, on 2019-April-09, 10:34, said:

I think many Namyats structures use the in between as a puppet to get opener to declare. Further bids, if any, can then be different meanings of slam tries than bidding them directly. You do lose the ability for opener to transmit useful information over the in-between bid, but perhaps this loss is smaller than the ability to position.

Yes that's one option, but as said I hate to give up the in between as a control-bid. Maybe we could play the in between as a puppet and 4M as forcing with control in the in between suit, although that sounds accident prone for something that happens so rarely.

It all depends how real the positional issue is.
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#4 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 12:00

View Postpescetom, on 2019-April-09, 10:50, said:

It all depends how real the positional issue is.


It isn't my system, but I doubt that there is any real positional gain. As far as I understand it a Namyats bid is typically a solid 8-card suit with little outside. There are likely no tenaces to protect in your hand, but there might be in partner's. Your hand is well defined, so there is no reason to keep it hidden. Partner's hand might have some surprises and it might be better not to reveal these to opponents.
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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 12:44

View PostTramticket, on 2019-April-09, 12:00, said:

It isn't my system, but I doubt that there is any real positional gain. As far as I understand it a Namyats bid is typically a solid 8-card suit with little outside. There are likely no tenaces to protect in your hand, but there might be in partner's. Your hand is well defined, so there is no reason to keep it hidden. Partner's hand might have some surprises and it might be better not to reveal these to opponents.


Requirements vary by partnership, but it is not necessarily solid or with little outside. Obviously it is weaker than 2-2-3M. Our requirements are more lax than some: 8 playing tricks, 8 cards in major (or 7 with 2 high honours), at most 1 side Ace, 1-2 keycards, max 1 suit with 2+ losers.

So both hands can have surprises. But even if the balance is even or in favour of ceding declareship to responder, there remains the top/bottom issue due to positional variations, such as who is on lead.
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#6 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 13:11

View PostTramticket, on 2019-April-09, 12:00, said:

As far as I understand it a Namyats bid is typically a solid 8-card suit with little outside. There are likely no tenaces to protect in your hand, but there might be in partner's.


Solid 8 card suit??? There are conventions for things like 7 (or 8) card solid suits (e.g. Kantar 3NT) Most people play Namyats as a strong 4 level preempt, about 4-4-1/2 losers, and 4 of a major shows 5-6 losers. (in 4th seat, you may open 4M with a Namyats hand). There is no requirement for a solid suit, or an 8 card suit.
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#7 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 17:12

View Postpescetom, on 2019-April-09, 10:26, said:

The Namyats convention uses 4 to indicate an unusually strong preempt in and 4 to indicate the same in . Standard responses are that 4 in the designated major is signoff while the slot inbetween indicates slam interest or has some more specific meaning - a request to indicate shortage, or a transfer which may prelude a slam try, or a control-bid (which is how we play it).

Like quite a few conventions, Namyats comes up so rarely that it's hard to judge, but it seems logical and I like the way it takes pressure off responder when opener bids a normal 4M instead. The last two times a Namyats hand came up however we ended up with an MP bottom, because we were set in 4M while the rest of the field made it. The difference was not due to inferior play (honestly), but simply because the responder had become declarer.


As a sidenote, Romex Namyats uses a 1 step response bid to Namyats to show 1 key card and 3+ cover cards and interest in slam, 2 steps (return to trump suit) as signoff, 3 steps as 2 key cards and 3+ cover cards.

You could use the 1 step response to force opener to transfer back to the anchor suit, but that gives LHO extra room/flexibility to get into the auction. There are tradeoffs and I don't know what is better.
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#8 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 21:18

When you have a Namyats type hand. You don't have to use.
Other choices include 1M, 4M or 2.
Seems if you have a positional issue you have other options and don't have to take the straight 50%.

Kit Woolsey discussed his thinking on Namyats in a recent article on Bridgewinners-worth a quick look.
http://bridgewinners...need-to-commit/
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#9 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 21:40

I'm playing 3N as a good bid of 4M. 4C asks partner to transfer to the major and 4D asks partner to bid the major. I've had little experience actually opening 3N but I have liked the option of preempting 4m. Lots of hands 3m or 5m doesn't feel quite right and opening 3N to show a 4m preempt gives them more options.

In any case, I think more play that an intervening bid is reserved as positional and not a slam try for the major. One should already know about how many tricks partner has so it seems to be splitting hairs.
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#10 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 22:24

I would think that it is generally better to let responder declare. His hand is unknown to opps, and if they lead a side suit, it may be a suit in which declarer has a singleton, or a small doubleton.
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#11 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2019-April-09, 23:18

View Posthelene_t, on 2019-April-09, 22:24, said:

I would think that it is generally better to let responder declare. His hand is unknown to opps, and if they lead a side suit, it may be a suit in which declarer has a singleton, or a small doubleton.


If responder has tenaces then better to declare . If not it's useful for opener to hide his shortness(es); the opponents may try to cash out in the wrong suit.
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#12 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-10, 06:51

View Postjohnu, on 2019-April-09, 17:12, said:

You could use the 1 step response to force opener to transfer back to the anchor suit, but that gives LHO extra room/flexibility to get into the auction. There are tradeoffs and I don't know what is better.

Yes the step response has the disadvantage of giving LHO a way in, as does the Namyats bid to RHO of course.


View Poststeve2005, on 2019-April-09, 21:18, said:

Kit Woolsey discussed his thinking on Namyats in a recent article on Bridgewinners-worth a quick look.
http://bridgewinners...need-to-commit/

Thanks: as on other occasions, he says you probably prefer to have the contract declared by responder. He seems to play it that way too.

View Posthelene_t, on 2019-April-09, 22:24, said:

I would think that it is generally better to let responder declare. His hand is unknown to opps, and if they lead a side suit, it may be a suit in which declarer has a singleton, or a small doubleton.

One could argue that the opener is even more likely to hold shortages: but probably not tenaces in the minors. Overall the odds do seem to indicate letting responder declare.


View Poststraube, on 2019-April-09, 21:40, said:

In any case, I think more play that an intervening bid is reserved as positional and not a slam try for the major. One should already know about how many tricks partner has so it seems to be splitting hairs.

Maybe, but if you are used to checking controls and counting keycards before committing to slam then it is hard to do without.


I thought more about it and saw what looks like a good solution for us. Responder's bid of 4M is signoff to play from his side and the step response is a puppet which forces opener to transfer back to the anchor suit. So responder can position declaration as he judges best and there is almost zero risk of a bidding mishap. BUT if responder investigates slam after the transfer is completed then he also promises control of the step suit. The small price to pay is that responder with interest in slam but without control of the step suit may not be able to decide who becomes declarer (although he usually will).

Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful responses.
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#13 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2019-April-10, 07:35

View Posthelene_t, on 2019-April-09, 22:24, said:

I would think that it is generally better to let responder declare. His hand is unknown to opps, and if they lead a side suit, it may be a suit in which declarer has a singleton, or a small doubleton.

I agree, if Namyats is used as it IMO should be: A solid suit, or a semisolid suit with an outside ace. This means that it denies a tenace in a side suit. That makes it a perfect hand to put down as dummy.

However, I see quite a few people (some of them as CHOs :( , some of them as true opps :)) who bid Namyats with a hand that is simply stronger than a direct 4M preempt. Obviously, those hands will have more tenaces than the direct 4M preempt instead of less. You should not want to put a 15 point hand with scattered values down as dummy.

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#14 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-April-10, 08:28

View Poststraube, on 2019-April-09, 21:40, said:

I'm playing 3N as a good bid of 4M. 4C asks partner to transfer to the major and 4D asks partner to bid the major. I've had little experience actually opening 3N but I have liked the option of preempting 4m. Lots of hands 3m or 5m doesn't feel quite right and opening 3N to show a 4m preempt gives them more options.

In any case, I think more play that an intervening bid is reserved as positional and not a slam try for the major. One should already know about how many tricks partner has so it seems to be splitting hairs.


I use this too because I would also hate to give up a 4m preempt. I do find the latter to be fairly rare.
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#15 User is offline   Denkmittel 

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Posted 2019-April-10, 13:21

You can play 3NT as "reverse Namyats", showing a Namyats hand in either major. The response structure is:

4: Artificial slam try.
4: Asks opener to bid their suit.
4/: Pass/correct, slam try if opener holds the other major.

After 4, opener bids (my idea, but surely there are several possibilities)
4: hearts, no side ace
4: spades, no side ace
4: hearts, a minor ace (4NT asks which)
4NT: hearts, spade ace
5//: spades, this ace

This structure makes responder have more control over who declares. Responder cannot choose to declare if they do not know opener's major; but then they are unlikely to hold a tenace.

Another nice feature is that you can play four of a minor as a good old natural preempt.
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#16 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2019-April-10, 14:04

I used to play namyats, and then, in a very strong partnership, played a modified form that may not be legal in most events (but we generally only played events where these things were ok).

We modified it to be that 4C was either hearts or spades, but with a 1 loser-suit, and 4D was the same but with a suit that had a good chance of having no losers opposite even a void.

We then played:

4C 4D: bid your major. I may be passing or moving towards slam, but I want you on play

4C 4H: pass or correct

4C 4S: I know your major, and I have the Spade Ace but no Club Ace (or void), but enough for slam if you control clubs.

4C 4N: keycard in your major

4C 5C: I hold the spade Ace, unless that is your suit in which case I hold the honour you are missing, and I hold the club Ace and values for slam if you control diamonds

4C 5D: I know your suit is spades, and we can make slam if you control hearts...I have both minor Aces and can count tricks.


The idea is that responder will almost always know opener's suit if responder has slam interest, but in any event can bid 4D first if in doubt. With slam interest, responder must surely have a filler in the major and at least 2 side Aces (and some other cards)


Over

4D 4H pass or correct

4S to play (again, responder usually can tell but if not then bid 4H)

4N keycard

5C: needs a diamond control


And so on. In theory one could get to the 5-level off 3 cashing tricks in an uncontrolled side suit but this never happened (not that we had these auctions very often!)

With regular namyats, we played pretty basic methods: we bid in-between to get opener on play.

I stopped using Namyats when that partnership ended and for the past 18 years I have not used it at all, and have to say that I don't miss it. I used to think that a 4m opening was a bad idea: if the opps bid game, one would often be stuck not knowing whether to save or not, while 5m as an opening was far more likely to jam the opps.

Now I am of a different view. I think the 3N as a minor preempt is too easy to defend against: experienced pairs have uses for 4C and 4D as well as for double. Meanwhile, 5m on a hand worth 4m endplays them into doubling too often, and such doesn't always end well for the good guys (us).

At the same time, 4m as an opening, precisely because it makes 4M appear attractive, can lead to some very good results our way.

On balance I now prefer 4m natural.

I do think 3N solid major (Kantar) has some attraction, but I've never played it and have never had anyone use it against me.
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#17 User is offline   aawk 

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Posted 2019-April-11, 12:49

For IMP play I use the 4 level as follow.

7(8) card major with 5 LTC (loosing trick count) and make a difference between holding 0-1 or 2-4 aces.

4/ = 7 card / 0-1 aces 5 LTC

4/ = 7 card / 2-4 aces 5 LTC


4 - ?

4 = 2-WF relay for 4 : to play or slam forcing with 7 LTC or better and 1-2 aces

4 = slam forcing with 7 LTC or better with 0 aces (partner passes with 2 aces or bids with 3-4 aces)

The advantage of playing this way after 4 in a minor is that you play at 4 level if you hold 2 aces and the ace less hand is protecting his kings.
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#18 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-April-12, 06:58

I'm skeptical about Reverse Namyats if only for the confusing name: surely a reverse of the convention would be 4m as strong and 4M as weak. It also strikes me that 3NT leaves a lot of room for well organised opponents to compete.

View Postmikeh, on 2019-April-10, 14:04, said:

I stopped using Namyats when that partnership ended and for the past 18 years I have not used it at all, and have to say that I don't miss it. I used to think that a 4m opening was a bad idea: if the opps bid game, one would often be stuck not knowing whether to save or not, while 5m as an opening was far more likely to jam the opps.

Now I am of a different view. I think the 3N as a minor preempt is too easy to defend against: experienced pairs have uses for 4C and 4D as well as for double. Meanwhile, 5m on a hand worth 4m endplays them into doubling too often, and such doesn't always end well for the good guys (us).

At the same time, 4m as an opening, precisely because it makes 4M appear attractive, can lead to some very good results our way.

On balance I now prefer 4m natural.


I agree about the weaknesses of 3NT as a minor preempt too. I can also see your case for retaining 4m as natural - you could probably add that 5m is more likely to get punished if they know we have no natural 4m alternative. But I think I'm still sold on Namyats for now, I like the way it takes pressure off the other openings.
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