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Extended Stayman Hasnít Acol moved on?

#1 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-November-10, 19:04

This evening my partner surprised me. His very interesting method was that 1NT-2 asks for a 4-card major, and if the continues 2-3 responder is now asking for a 3-card major.

I assumed he had a 4-card major and clubs. We had never discussed the specific auction, so I assumed the standard meaning, but my partner insisted that my interpretation was idiosyncratic and that this extended Stayman was totally part of Acol since it was in the Acol book (I assume by Crowhurst) he had read 40 years ago, and that using transfers will never show equal length.

40 years ago I had never even heard of Acol, and while thatís not an excuse when Iím playing with a lifelong Acol player, i donít think that I should be expected to know (and assume) Acol treatments that are dated; or even, to quote Buffy Summers, carbon dated.

Can Acol players please confirm whether this weird treatment is totally part of Acol and I was remiss in not knowing that?
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#2 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2020-November-10, 19:29

AFAIR, 1N - 2 - 2 - 3 = ASK for 3-card M (Extended Stayman) :)
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#3 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-November-10, 19:32

I have never heard about 3 used this way, but a 3 bid used this way does ring a bell, and is described here:
https://www.swanmore...ransfers.htm#S6
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#4 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2020-November-10, 20:53

View PostVampyr, on 2020-November-10, 19:04, said:

This evening my partner surprised me. His very interesting method was that 1NT-2 asks for a 4-card major, and if the continues 2-3 responder is now asking for a 3-card major.

I haven't come across this agreement, but it sounds akin to a number of variants popular in Australia, including Extended Stayman and Lavings. 2C asks for a 5-card major. Then 3C (and sometimes 3D as well) asks for a 4-card major. Not quite the same, but similar enough that your partner might be getting a couple of things mixed up.
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#5 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 06:26

View Posthelene_t, on 2020-November-10, 19:32, said:

I have never heard about 3 used this way, but a 3 bid used this way does ring a bell, and is described here:
https://www.swanmore...ransfers.htm#S6


My partner said that the actual correct bid in his system (which he called Stayman-in-doubt, which is something else entirely) was 3, but he didnít know whether I thought we were playing this convention, so bid 3 instead for some unknown reason.

In any case, is this really an integral part of decades-old Acol?
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#6 User is offline   StevenG 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 06:41

View PostVampyr, on 2020-November-11, 06:26, said:

My partner said that the actual correct bid in his system (which he called Stayman-in-doubt, which is something else entirely) was 3, but he didnít know whether I thought we were playing this convention, so bid 3 instead for some unknown reason.

In any case, is this really an integral part of decades-old Acol?

I learned both Extended Stayman and Stayman in Doubt as integral parts of Acol when I was starting out in the 80s and 90s. I've long forgotten them, but a partner pulled Stayman in Doubt on me in a congress game about 10 years ago. I had no idea what was going on.
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#7 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 07:17

View PostStevenG, on 2020-November-11, 06:41, said:

I learned both Extended Stayman and Stayman in Doubt as integral parts of Acol when I was starting out in the 80s and 90s. I've long forgotten them, but a partner pulled Stayman in Doubt on me in a congress game about 10 years ago. I had no idea what was going on.


I learned them both at school in the late 70s when learning Acol. I've not used either in years. We actually play 3 as to play with 4M6 and a bad hand.
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#8 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 07:17

I used to play Extended Stayman. This was back in the days before we played transfers. These days, we play Stayman then 3 shows five diamonds and a four-card major. With six diamonds and a four-card major we transfer to diamonds and then bid the major.

You do need to know how to show 5-5 though. We never open 1NT with a doubleton in each major (I don't think that there is any need to do this in a weak NT context). For us, the choices are:
1NT-2-2-4 but some play this as a splinter in support of spades.
1NT-2-2-3-3NT-4 this must be at least 5-5
I have also played 1NT-4 to show 5-5 in the majors (more useful than Gerbil).

My old Acol text book also has the sequence 1NT-2-2-3 as "Stayman-in-Doubt" = Four-card heart support in exactly 3433 shape. Must be the daftest convention ever!

The sequence 1NT-2-2-3 would have been a weak sign-off in clubs of course.
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#9 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 07:27

View PostTramticket, on 2020-November-11, 07:17, said:

I used to play Extended Stayman. This was back in the days before we played transfers. These days, we play Stayman then 3 shows five diamonds and a four-card major. With six diamonds and a four-card major we transfer to diamonds and then bid the major.

You do need to know how to show 5-5 though. We never open 1NT with a doubleton in each major (I don't think that there is any need to do this in a weak NT context). For us, the choices are:
1NT-2-2-4 but some play this as a splinter in support of spades.
1NT-2-2-3-3NT-4 this must be at least 5-5
I have also played 1NT-4 to show 5-5 in the majors (more useful than Gerbil).

My old Acol text book also has the sequence 1NT-2-2-3 as "Stayman-in-Doubt" = Four-card heart support in exactly 3433 shape. Must be the daftest convention ever!


We use 4 to show 5-5 to play or slamogoing with the intermediate hands going through 2/3/4. YOu can also use 1N-2-2-4m as this sort of thing (where you splinter if partner does show a major).

I agree SID and extended stayman are vestiges of when people played weak takeouts rather than transfers over 1N.
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#10 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 09:00

Eric Crowhurst's book, Precision Bidding in Acol, has sections on Stayman in Doubt (1NT-2-2M-3) and Extended Stayman (1NT-2-2-3).

The sequence 1NT-2-2/2/2-3 is not covered in the book.

Transfer responses to one no trump were gaining popularity at the time of the publication and there is a chapter at the end discussing them.
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#11 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 11:06

"Hasn't Acol moved on?"

It is not uncommon, in these parts where you have to announce your system at the start of the round, to hear:

"We play Acol, 5-card majors, a short club and a strong no trump"

It is hard to keep a straight face.
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#12 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 11:51

Yes, extended and SID were taught before transfers came along.

All about Acol by Cohen and Barrow (1969) explains extended in some detail, and 2C followed by 3C as a weak run-out with 6 or more clubs.

I normally use stayman followed by 3C or 3D as natural and forcing with no major suit fit having been found, but do have one partner who plays extended stayman (he likes to know that a transfer to spades followed by 3H shows precisely four hearts.)
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#13 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 11:54

View PostTramticket, on 2020-November-11, 07:17, said:

I have also played 1NT-4 to show 5-5 in the majors (more useful than Gerbil).


Gerbil works perfectly for this hand my friend and her partner played last week.



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#14 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 14:46

View Postpaulg, on 2020-November-11, 11:06, said:

"We play Acol, 5-card majors, a short club and a strong no trump"

This is quite common in the Netherlands as "Dutch Acol" (at least since the 1990s) opens the lower of two or three 4-card suits so it's a small change to open 1 on a doubleton. It basically means that they have many non-forcing situations following a 2/1.

In the UK, it's a bit weird to talk about Acol with strong NT, but presumably they mean that they originally played Acol and then made some small changes but retain things like light openings, and 1-3 is a limit raise.

There are also some who use "Acol" as short for "any system which is not Precision".
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#15 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-November-11, 14:49

View Postpaulg, on 2020-November-11, 09:00, said:

Transfer responses to one no trump were gaining popularity at the time of the publication and there is a chapter at the end discussing them.

So maybe the conclusion is that extended Stayman was replaced by transfers?
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#16 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2020-November-12, 02:31

View Posthelene_t, on 2020-November-11, 14:49, said:

View Postpaulg, on 2020-November-11, 09:00, said:

Transfer responses to one no trump were gaining popularity at the time of the publication and there is a chapter at the end discussing them.

So maybe the conclusion is that extended Stayman was replaced by transfers?

The chapter is not long or detailed and its impact on other sequences are not discussed. It really looks like something that was added just before publication.

My wife had one important game with Eric: transfers and Extended Stayman were not on the menu as she played a very simple system. However she still blames nige1 for losing the match at their table :)
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#17 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2020-November-12, 03:34

View Posthelene_t, on 2020-November-11, 14:46, said:

This is quite common in the Netherlands as "Dutch Acol" (at least since the 1990s) opens the lower of two or three 4-card suits so it's a small change to open 1 on a doubleton. It basically means that they have many non-forcing situations following a 2/1.

In the UK, it's a bit weird to talk about Acol with strong NT, but presumably they mean that they originally played Acol and then made some small changes but retain things like light openings, and 1-3 is a limit raise.

There are also some who use "Acol" as short for "any system which is not Precision".


Does Acol strictly mean a weak NT?
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#18 User is online   nige1 

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Posted 2020-November-12, 04:09

View Postpaulg, on 2020-November-12, 02:31, said:

My wife had one important game with Eric: transfers and Extended Stayman were not on the menu as she played a very simple system. However she still blames nige1 for losing the match at their table :)
I apologise, Helen :( Please remind me of the event :) I've fond memories of playing with the late Eric Crowhurst as partner and team-mate, in Reading. I'm afraid that I still lose matches, single-handedly :( the last on Monday of this week :(
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#19 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2020-November-12, 04:48

View Posthelene_t, on 2020-November-11, 14:46, said:

This is quite common in the Netherlands as "Dutch Acol" (at least since the 1990s) opens the lower of two or three 4-card suits so it's a small change to open 1 on a doubleton. It basically means that they have many non-forcing situations following a 2/1.

In the UK, it's a bit weird to talk about Acol with strong NT, but presumably they mean that they originally played Acol and then made some small changes but retain things like light openings, and 1-3 is a limit raise.

There are also some who use "Acol" as short for "any system which is not Precision".


TBF a short club in the UK often used to mean "not always 4". When I was first taught "Acol" by my grandfather in the 70s (a decent rubber bridge player) this consisted of a 16-18 no trump,a "phoney club" which could be 3 if (43)33 but never 2 and 4 card majors only when 44(32) I can't remember what we did with 44(41)s.
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#20 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2020-November-12, 09:16

View Postnige1, on 2020-November-12, 04:09, said:

View Postpaulg, on 2020-November-12, 02:31, said:

My wife had one important game with Eric: transfers and Extended Stayman were not on the menu as she played a very simple system. However she still blames nige1 for losing the match at their table :)

I apologise, Helen :( Please remind me of the event :) I've fond memories of playing with the late Eric Crowhurst as partner and team-mate, in Reading. I'm afraid that I still lose matches, single-handedly :( the last on Monday of this week :(

To be fair, Helen only blamed 'the other table'. I know it was a NICKO match and you were playing with Stuart Maurice but, as the club had so many teams, there were few eligible members available for substitutes.
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