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Four of a major When to bid it

Poll: I have hearts and some points (30 member(s) have cast votes)

What to bid?

  1. 1C (2 votes [6.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  2. 1C (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. 1H (26 votes [86.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 86.67%

  4. 1NT (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. 2NT (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. 4H (2 votes [6.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  7. !pass not vul v vul (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-June-20, 01:12

"I like to open four of a major a lot." Leo LaSota wrote that a long time ago about playing against GIB. I weighed up the fact that he is into personal fitness against the fact that he is a really good bridge player and decided to follow his advice. I have deviated from it now and then and the results are usually bad if I do. Here is a hand that came up at matchpoints yesterday. As you can see from the Traveller I only got 42.68% illustrating my poor play, and a key difference between MP's and IMPS. The 14 players with 1 trick more than me get ~ double the percentage but the 2 people that bid and made a slam only get about 20% more than the people above me. In IMPS the differences are much more dramatic (just for the people who were asking about this earlier).
Posted Image
So, here is the hand, and the double-dummy showing that on the lead I should make an extra trick.
The part that interests me is how to get here.
FWIW, the hand evaluator gives this result: K&R (A KQJT985 AT3 J7) = 18.00; DK = 15.
One reason that I dislike 2 with hands like these is that when I'm LHO or RHO I will always jump in with an annoying bid at any vulnerability.
(8320 1732 2173 2344) The shape is also quite interesting in that despite the unusual length in three suits the remaining cards are normally distributed in the other hands.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; Wanneer elk gezegend ding dat u vasthoudt is gemaakt van zilver of van goud, verlangt u naar eenvoudig tin; Lätt som en plätt
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#2 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-June-20, 02:04

2 on a shapely hand with 15 points is bad bridge, in my opinion. Your partner is likely to have some intermediate values in your short suits and will upgrade those, expecting you to have lots of high card strength. Conversely, there is almost no risk of the bidding going 1 - a.p. - someone is bound to have some points (your partner) and/or spades (West). I'd open 1 with this hand.
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#3 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2020-June-20, 08:23

Unless you play that 2C followed by 3H is this kind of hand (7-cd, 8 playing tricks, ie a bit stronger or longer than 1H followed by 3H rebid, or a bit less in HCP than a « strong 2 »), it is probably better to open 1H.
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#4 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-June-20, 09:06

View Postapollo1201, on 2020-June-20, 08:23, said:

Unless you play that 2C followed by 3H is this kind of hand (7-cd, 8 playing tricks, ie a bit stronger or longer than 1H followed by 3H rebid, or a bit less in HCP than a « strong 2 »), it is probably better to open 1H.


And what is going to happen over 2-(4) ? You may well end up in 6-1.

To Pilowski, your poor score is because the defence at other tables presumably played diamonds for declarer and E didn't withhold the K, 11 tricks is par, it's the 4+2s that cost you, and that's not really declarer's doing, other declarers just got a gift.
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#5 User is offline   aawk 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 01:26

Playing for IMPS i would open at 4 level showing a 7-8 card major with 5 LTC.

The problem is that partner does not know how many aces you hold.

To counter this problem you open 4/ holding 0-1 aces and 4/ holding 2-4 aces.

After 4 you bid as follows :

4 = transfer to 4 being to play with 8 LTC or worse, or being slam forcing with 1-4 aces and 7 LTC or better and you want partner to play
4 = slam forcing with 0 aces and 7 LTC or better (partner pass with 2 aces and bids slam forcing with 3-4 aces)
4nt = 5-RKC holding 1-4 aces 7 LTC or better (doesn't matter who is playing)
5// = 4-EBW holding 1-3 aces 7 LTC or better with a void in , or
5/nt = trump quantitative asking for 6/7 if partner holds AK/AQ/KQ in

After 4 - 4 - 4 you bid as follows :

pass = to play
rest = slam forcing holding 1-4 aces

After 4 you bid as follows :

pass = to play
rest = slam forcing holding 2-4 aces

You loose a preemptive bid in a minor at 4 level but that is a price I am willing to pay.
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#6 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 02:00

That sounds familiar! And I thought that's what Namyats was.
The plot thickens: Here's what it says in Wikipedia
In the card game bridge, Namyats is a conventional agreement to open hands with a long major suit that are too strong for a direct preemptive opening with a 'two-under' transfer bid. When the long suit is in hearts, opener bids 4 and when in spades bids 4. Accordingly, the method was originally named 'Four Club and Four Diamond Opening Transfers'; it is also referred to as 'Mitchell Transfers', after the developer of this bidding method, Victor Mitchell. The name 'Namyats' is the surname of Mitchell's bridge partner, Samuel Stayman, spelled backwards. In England, this convention is known as 'South African Texas', a name borrowed from a similar variant on the Texas transfer convention played over 1NT opening bids. Not to be confused with JT Mitchell inventor of the movement. or his equally famous wife Jacqui.
Interestingly, in light of recent discussion elsewhere on the Forum, this is the UK South African Texas Transfer. No wonder bridge. is a difficult game to learn.
Here's a pastiche of 3 bits of Reese's book on Precision from 1972
Posted Image
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; Wanneer elk gezegend ding dat u vasthoudt is gemaakt van zilver of van goud, verlangt u naar eenvoudig tin; Lätt som en plätt
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#7 User is online   johnu 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 02:56

View PostCyberyeti, on 2020-June-20, 09:06, said:

To Pilowski, your poor score is because the defence at other tables presumably played diamonds for declarer and E didn't withhold the K, 11 tricks is par, it's the 4+2s that cost you, and that's not really declarer's doing, other declarers just got a gift.

He did get a diamond lead and East covered the 9 with the king. I don't know if other declarers played low and East put up the king, but as they play went, declarer should have pitched a diamond on K, and ruffed a diamond to set up the long diamond in dummy. Or there is a club/diamond squeeze because west can't lead a club.
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#8 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 03:12

Correct, as I pointed out, according to double-dummy and Bridgesolver (which I attached) it should make if I play it better. I know its a long name and people get a bit tired towards the end of long words and I know that my uncle the famous South African cricket umpire spells it with an 'i', but I spell it with a y always have done, alwais will.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; Wanneer elk gezegend ding dat u vasthoudt is gemaakt van zilver of van goud, verlangt u naar eenvoudig tin; Lätt som en plätt
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#9 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 03:43

View Postjohnu, on 2020-June-21, 02:56, said:

He did get a diamond lead and East covered the 9 with the king. I don't know if other declarers played low and East put up the king, but as they play went, declarer should have pitched a diamond on K, and ruffed a diamond to set up the long diamond in dummy. Or there is a club/diamond squeeze because west can't lead a club.


OK, I wasn't looking for the play there, I was looking on the main hand diagram, yes clearly putting up the 9 is wrong, and if OP got a diamond lead, so very likely did everybody else.
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#10 User is offline   Mr Dale 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 05:20

I can't vote because we play strong 2s so I open 2H on that hand and that's not an option to vote for.
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#11 User is offline   nudnikbp 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 05:34

Holding the South hand, I would not think, just open 1H.
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#12 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 15:30

Its been said that pre-empts are a double edged sword. While it hinders the opponents,it also shuts out partner.
Nonetheless,on the South hand I would definitely open 4. Why? Well a few reasons.Firstly the bid presents
a huge barrier to the opponents who have been robbed of 3 levels of bidding,Secondly the vulnerability is in my favour
Thirdly I've got the hand off my chest in one fell swoop and it tells partner exactly the type of hand I have.
I've learned through bitter experience that you cannot pussyfoot holding a long powerful suit especially if its a Major
There is an old saying "Twice armed is he that knows his cause is just,but thrice armed is he that gets his blow in first"
By opening 4 on the South hand I steal a march on the opposition by being a confounded nuisance.
"It is not enough to be a good player, you must also play well"
- Dr Tarrasch(1862-1934)German Chess Grandmaster

Bridge is a game where you have two opponents...and often three(!)


"Any palooka can take tricks with Aces and Kings; the true expert shows his prowess
by how he handles the two's and three's" - Mollo's Hideous Hog
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#13 User is offline   dsLawsd 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 16:07

2 seems wrong because the singleton is the A.
Certainly 4 has a lot going for it, but I like 1 as it may help bid a slam Or even occasionally getting to a superior NT contract.
GIB doesn't know NAMYATS and at any rate the robot hand evaluator never gets these right. I like NAMYATS only when it shows a hand with a solid suit and 8.5 to 9 tricks in hand.
Just a tricky hand to play at Matchpoints....
Thanks for sharing!
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#14 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 16:16

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-June-21, 02:00, said:

No wonder bridge. is a difficult game to learn.


I am not entirely convinced that bridge is difficult to learn because conventions go by different names in different places.

In any case, this hand is far too strong for a 4 opener and in fact I wouldn’t even use a bid showing a “good” 4-minor preemtp. (3NT rather than 4m, not that it matters)
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#15 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 17:32

Last week I decided to open 2 with x-AKQxxxx-void-KQJxx.

Needless to say, partner bids a lot of spades and opps a lot of diamonds, and it ended up being partner who had to make the last semi-blind guess.

With a partner who can forgive a bit of masterminding I think I would just open 6. I believe that's the best bid. Maybe if you play Namyats or something similar you could use that also. 5 may be better if you have discussed with p what that means. But hoping for an intelligent auction is not realistic.
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#16 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 17:38

What's wrong with 1 with that hand? If you insist you can try your 5/6 bid on the second round.
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#17 User is offline   Sisyphus0 

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Posted 2020-June-21, 21:54

The issue with your result really seems to be the play 6H is a pretty iffy contract at best and has no play on this layout without the diamond lead. Your opening is flawed in my view though because you have primes outside of your suit. You have an Ace or so too much. Partner can have rather moderate hands that would be virtually cold for slam. Opposite the right 9 point hand you would be happy to be in a slam though constructing an auction to get there would be undoubtedly convoluted. This hand should be thrilled if the auction for example goes 1H-2D. (Opening 2C on these types of hands is execrable bidding and should be punished at every opportunity. It's the kind of thing that shouldn't even be mentioned in front any impressionable youth.)
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#18 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2020-June-22, 01:58

One of my golden rules with my partner - any partner! - is never to pre-empt them. Opening 4 with two outside aces is doing just that, especially when partner hasn't bid yet.

The bidding might well turn into a dogfight by opening at the one level if the opponents intervene in s, but what good bridge player doesn't like a dogfight and a constructive post mortem after :)

Only with a passed partner would I consider 4 as an opener.
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#19 User is online   Tramticket 

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Posted 2020-June-22, 03:25

Our 4 opening at these colours might look like: 2 QJ1095432 432 2. Given this, I wouldn't dream of opening 4 on the OP hand.

If I were playing Benji 2 bids, I might consider a 2 opening since this looks like an eight-playing-trick hand. But in the absence of this tool, this is an obvious 1 opening.

View PostFelicityR, on 2020-June-22, 01:58, said:

Only with a passed partner would I consider 4 as an opener.


I wouldn't do this even opposite a passed hand partner, my partner will never believe that I have two certain defensive tricks and might take a phantom sacrifice. I can construct hands where a slam is possible opposite partner's passed hand!
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#20 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2020-June-22, 03:36

Hi,

1H, but ...

As always you play with a partner, in this case it is GIB.
Given the non standard shape, it is likely, that you wont really get your hand across,
and maybe GIB hast to make the last guess, which is certainly suboptimal, so maybe 4H is fine,
even best in the long run, as far as I know, it may even get the GIBs in the E/W seat overboard.

With kind regards
Marlowe
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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