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Systems Using Systematic LOBs

#1 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2003-April-18, 03:21

I would like people's popinions on the merits of systems which are based on the systematic use of light or very light opening bids in all seats and vulnerabilities.  For the purposes of this discussion I will use the term light to mean the Rule of 19, or any equivalent algorithm which results in most 11 point hands (and a significant minority of 10 point hands) being opened, and very light to be a point or two points down from that.
1) How well do these bids work in "natural" systems?  Specifically, do you find yourself missing games because partner passes you out with a 6 or 7 point hand when you have a 19+ hand? Or if partner responds with these hands, do you get in trouble often?
2) With forcing club systems, I have seen descriptions of Moscito and various other systems (it seems mostly Swedish) which use light or very light opening bids.  They usually have a 15 point strong club, or else they are weak/strong (i.e. 1C is 11-13 balanced, or 17+ any shape).  Using 15 points, you get significanly more negative responses than with a 16 or 17 point club.  Can this deficiency be handled without relays?  How well is it handled with relays?  Same questions for the weak/strong systems - how/how well is the club opening handles.
3) For both "natural" and forcing club systems:
a) Do you go down much, and hwo often do you get a very bad result?  Do you ever play at the one level doubled?
B) It seems to me that if the objective of light openening systems is to interfere with the opponent's bidding, as well as to bid constructively, then 4 card majors seem to be natural for these systems.  Most of these systems I have seen are 4 card majors. Do you agree that 4 card majors and LOBs go together?
c) Does very light opening bids sometimes interfere with slam bidding, when partner has a big hand?
d) If you don't use transfers, do very light opening bids result in sometimes wrong-siding the contract?
4) When I read that a club system such as Precision is 11-15 HCP, does this generally mean the Rule of 20 (it seems to)
5) Of the top 100 pairs in the world, how many would you estimate use "sound" (rule of 20 or more conservative), how many use light, and how many use very light?
6) Any other specific or general comments on these systems
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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2003-April-18, 04:17

Another complex series of questions.  I'm going to address one specific issue.

As you note, lowering the openig requirements for a storng club opening has a significant effect on the minimum strength required for a positive response.

Many of the systems that use relativly light artifical club opening bids are migrating to response structures that are designed to immediately clarify responder's semi-positives.

For example, playing MOSCITO following a strong club opening, the 1H//1N/2C/2D/2H/2S responses are all used to immediately clarify the shape of different semi-positive hands.

The goal is to exchange as much critical information as possible before the opponents get to disturb our auction.  

I consider the issue of relays to be orthogonal to this line of questioning.  I favor a relay response structure over limited opening bids for two reasons.

The main reason is to facilitate natural and non-forcing responses over limited opening bids.

Associated with this, I find relay structures quite easy to remember.
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#3 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2003-April-18, 04:28

Out of curiousity, there have been a number of questions regarding Light Opening Systems.

If anyone would be interested, I would be happy to schedule a match of some time.

The_Hog and I could trot out a MOSCITO variant.
Potentially we could play versus Inquiry and Yzerman playing  2/1.

I'm sure that the main thing that we would discover is that I defend like crap and that my declarer play is didgy at best.

However, it woud give folks a chance to see how different bidding systems handle different hand types.
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#4 User is offline   Rado 

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Posted 2003-April-18, 04:29

Hello Pbleighton,
Will try to share my experience on the questions posted based on precision club used by "Ppilot" and me for the last 1 year (including many times at BBO). First some main features of the so called "Pilot's "precision:
1. 1D=11-17 4+cards non-balanced handed (5332 incl)
2. 1M=8-15 5+cards (when 8-10 must be good...54,55..6
3. 1NT=12-15
4. 2C=11-15 6+clubs or 5clubs4M
5. 1C=16+
We use LOB mainly when 5M and rarely when non 5M
Here my comments as per your questions:
1. When implementing LOB in "natural" wide opening system stretching down more than 1 point usually makes difficulties in some situations resulting in overbidding. However at favourable vulnerability the risks worth. In my view trying to adjust all the responses and further bids based on LOB in natural systems will make more mess.
2. Forcing club systems perfectly match the LOB. May accept common principle: a hand I would overcall at level 1 worth opening. Due to the closer limits of 1 level openings when strong 1C available it's more easy to adjust the subsequent bidding. The 1C opening of course needs too much science to have precise further bidding.
3a. Not significant change in going down or bad results. Some overbidding ocurrs. Since LOB usually have some more distribution not so dangerous playing 1 level doubled.
3b. Playing LOB with 4 card Majors will be very agressive indeed, but subsequent negotiations will be very heavy (even impossible in some competitive situations). I prefer 5M from 1st/2nd and often 4M from 3rd position
3c. When non-interference there is enough room to research the slam possibilities (Splinters,que-bids, serious/unserious 3NT, RKCB....)
3d. Since LOB is usually non-balanced hand a little danger for wrong siding the final contract exists.
4. Many people think that when written Precision 11-15 it means all 11 must be open and all 16 must be open 1C. Of course when playing enough time and aiming to improve your game the obvious changes happen: start to open some 10 points, passing some 11, opening 1C some 15, opening 1suit some 16 ......
5. From my observations of Bermuda Bowl, World, Euro and NABC from the top 100 pairs the distribution is:
15-sound
65-light
20-very light
6. LOB must be fully discussed with Partner what to expect and which situations need LOB, which need sound. Also they need some changes in the standart structure of subsequent negotiations (my advise is to keep such changes as minimum as possible).

Hope all above not to be too bothering,
Best regards, Rado
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#5 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2003-April-18, 04:56

Hi pbleighton

To many question for me to attack all of them this time. Besides, I agree with what Rado has said above (as matter of fact, if  you check my reply in your other thread started today, you will see I expressed essentially the same ideas already in about 1200 words to say it).

Light opening bids are a matter of personal preference. I think you will find some players will do better with them than others. Try them out like a new pair of shoes and see how they fit you. Since already expressed interest in weak notrump elsewhere, you might want to start with weak notrump for your "light opening bids" keeping your suit bids rule of 20 kind of things.

If you open light, it should not be surprised you go down more than if you dont open light. Don't let that worry you, because you will also make more contracts than you use to as well. The reason being, if you open light, you will play more hands, and you will take your opponents out of their comfort zone if they have to overcall instead of opening.

If you open a five card suit light, don't worry about playing at the one level double. It happens, but if they can beat you and your partner can't run, they surely have game.

I only open very light with a four card suit when in third chair and then I do it for opening lead. I play weak notrump, so those very light openers are opened 1NT.

For relays, like mosquito... they are fine, but in the US they are banned from so many events, it takes a special kind of person to dedicate the time to them (game forcing relays are allowed I believe). As for hrothgar's potential challenge against myself and Yzerman, I can't speak for him, but I am of course more than willing to play. But like hrothgar message implied for himself, watching me play will probably not improve anyone's game.  :B) There are a lot of very light opening bid players on the BBO and you can use the myhands site to "virtually" kibitiz them and see how they did. Look for times RADO plays with PPILOT. Also Tiger is known to open some frightening weak hands in first and second seat. And all three of those guys are champions in their own rights.
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#6 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2003-April-18, 05:01

"Many of the systems that use relativly light artifical club opening bids are migrating to response structures that are designed to immediately clarify responder's semi-positives"

What does semi-positive mean? Is it a couple of points under game forcing, with no upper limit? If so, are you then dealing with somthing like an invitational 2/1 response in Standard American, or are there mechanisms for the responder to clarify strength level on the next bid?
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#7 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2003-April-18, 05:23

Quote

"Many of the systems that use relativly light artifical club opening bids are migrating to response structures that are designed to immediately clarify responder's semi-positives"

What does semi-positive mean? Is it a couple of points under game forcing, with no upper limit? If so, are you then dealing with somthing like an invitational 2/1 response in Standard American, or are there mechanisms for the responder to clarify strength level on the next bid?


Once again, my example will focus specifically on MOSCITO, however, the same principles have been adopted by other systems that frequently open extremely light hands (8-9 HCP)

MOSCITO currently divides responder's hands into one of three catagories.

Game forcing hands are strong enough to insist on game opposite a strong club opening.

Responses of 2NT+ show various "rare" game forcing hand patterns [5440 's as well as solid 7 card suits]
All other game forcing hands are show via a 1D rebid.

An immediate 1S response shows an absolute negative.  This typically denies a King + a Queen.

Anything in between is treated as a semi-positive.
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#8 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2003-April-18, 18:53

"With forcing club systems, I have seen descriptions of Moscito and various other systems (it seems mostly Swedish) which use light or very light opening bids.  They usually have a 15 point strong club, or else they are weak/strong (i.e. 1C is 11-13 balanced, or 17+ any shape).  Using 15 points, you get significanly more negative responses than with a 16 or 17 point club.  Can this deficiency be handled without relays?  How well is it handled with relays?  Same questions for the weak/strong systems - how/how well is the club opening handles. "

Modern Swedish and Italian systems handle this stuff a little differently, by using transfer Walsh responses to 1C. eg

1C  1D
1H
1NT

where 1D shows 6+ with H (0+ in Italian systems)
1H shows 11-13 with 2/3 H. with 4 and 11-13 you bid 2H
1NT shows a balanced 17-19
Note how neatly this slots into the 14-16 NT structure. You would have to ask Richard, but I believe this is mid chart legal in the States.

Richard has already made the point that opening light puts a lot of pressure on the opps. This starts to pay after a few boards.
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#9 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2003-April-19, 00:25

"1C  1D
1H
1NT

where 1D shows 6+ with H (0+ in Italian systems)
1H shows 11-13 with 2/3 H. with 4 and 11-13 you bid 2H
1NT shows a balanced 17-19"

Let me see if I understand:
1) Responder's first bid: A 1D response to 1C shows 5+ (4+?) H and 6+.
Does 1H shows 5+ (4+?) H and 6+, 2C shows 5+ (4+?) D and 6+, 2D shows 5+ (4+?) C and 6+, 1NT shows 4333 or 4332 6+.  If so, how are responses with 0-5 handled?
2) Opener's rebid after 1D response showing hearts:
Do all responses other than 1H and 2H show 15+? Is the bidding natural after this, or are relays used?
3) Can you give me a link to a writeup on one of these systems?
4) Do you know if the response structure you described is GCC/Midchart legal?
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#10 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2003-April-19, 04:26

Quote

"

4) Do you know if the response structure you described is GCC/Midchart legal?


Paul

The ACBL convention charts are all that difficult to understand.

The underlying principles are quite simple.

At the level of the GCC, anything that is not explicitly licensed is forbidden.

Midchart level conventions have an additional restriction.

First, anything that is is not explictly licensed by the GCC or the Midchart is forbidden.

Second, anything that is not licensed under the GCC but is  permitted by the Midchart must have an approved defense listed in the ACBL's defensive database.

At the level of the Superchart, anything that is not explictly banned is permitted.  It is interesting to note that there is no requirement to provide suggested defenses to Superchart conventions.  Most likely this is an oversight that has not been corrected due to the extremely limited number of Superchart events in use within in the ACBL.  

Please try to work through the relevant convention charts for yourself.  If you wish to post reasons why you think that that these bids are (or are not) allowed at the level of the GCC or the Midchart than I will be happy to offer my own interpretations.
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#11 User is offline   LukeG 

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Posted 2003-April-19, 05:51

Quote

"
3) Can you give me a link to a writeup on one of these systems?
4) Do you know if the response structure you described is GCC/Midchart legal?


Paul,

I have notes on the Nightmare System that Daniel Neill translated from the original Italian, after which Leah Newell tidied them up.  If you want a copy then send me an email.

I am playing Svan, a Swedish two-way club system, in the GNT at the Long Beach NABC and have been in contact with the ACBL re: GCC compliance.  Here are some observations relating to 1C systems:

1) 1C and 1D opening bids are unrestricted as long as they promise 10+ HCP.  The 1D response to 1C is also unrestricted.

2) If the 1C opening always promises 15+ (Precision, Blue Team, Nightmare, etc.) then you can use any response and rebid structure.

3) If the 1C opening does not always promise 15+ (Svan, etc.) then responses to 1C must be either natural or game forcing; conventional responses that are not GF are not allowed.

Luke
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#12 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2003-April-19, 10:17

Actually, it's Peter.

To Richard:

Sorry to seem dense/lazy, but I don't find the charts to be crystal clear. Perhaps it is my fundamental uncertainty with regard to what a "conventional" response to a forcing 1C means. I assume that anything which is not natural is conventional (correct?)? And what is natural?  

To take the GCC, for OPENING BIDS, it is clear that 3 in a minor and 4 in a major are natural, and less than that are not. Exceptions are permitted for 1C and 1D, as long as they have 10+ points.  So far, so good.  But what is the definition of a "natural" RESPONSE TO A FORCING 1C OPENER - is it 3 in a minor/4 in a major? In that case transfer responses which are not forcing to game are clearly not permitted under the GCC - but is that the definition?

2) To Luke - do you know of a link to a description of Svan - I saw this described briefly on Jan Eric Larsson's systems page, but there was nothing about the responses.
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#13 User is offline   LukeG 

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Posted 2003-April-19, 13:07

Peter,

You can download the Svan (aka Swan) notes from Daniel Neill's web page at http://www.geocities.com/daniel_neill_2000.../sys/index.html.

Transfer responses to a 1C opening bid are GCC-legal if either the 1C opening promises 15+ HCP or the transfer is forcing to game.  However, note that GCC gives preferential treatment to the strong 1C opening and to 1NT openings and overcalls.  Suit openings and overcalls are second-class citizens.

MCC allows "Any call that promises four or more cards in a known suit".  This means that transfers and tunfers (two-under transfers) are always MCC-legal.
Luke Gillespie
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#14 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2003-April-20, 01:06

Peter,
1C 1D to H
     1H to S
     1S to C
The above depends on system.
Nightmare is played by Lanzarotti - Buratti, the system played by Bochi - Duboin is a bit different, but Nightmare will give you a flavour for this sort of stuff.
Strong hands are handled by a 2C rebid by opener

A natural highly worked 2/1 system employing the above structure is Josh Sher's Supernatural.
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#15 User is offline   hrothgar2 

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Posted 2003-April-20, 01:18

Quote

Actually, it's Peter.

To Richard:

Sorry to seem dense/lazy, but I don't find the charts to be crystal clear. Perhaps it is my fundamental uncertainty with regard to what a "conventional" response to a forcing 1C means. I assume that anything which is not natural is conventional (correct?)? And what is natural?  

To take the GCC, for OPENING BIDS, it is clear that 3 in a minor and 4 in a major are natural, and less than that are not. Exceptions are permitted for 1C and 1D, as long as they have 10+ points.  So far, so good.  But what is the definition of a "natural" RESPONSE TO A FORCING 1C OPENER - is it 3 in a minor/4 in a major? In that case transfer responses which are not forcing to game are clearly not permitted under the GCC - but is that the definition?

2) To Luke - do you know of a link to a description of Svan - I saw this described briefly on Jan Eric Larsson's systems page, but there was nothing about the responses.


There is actually a lot of debate regarding the precise maning of "natural".  The Laws of Bridge provide a workable definition of the word conventional.

Convention
   1. A call that, by partnership agreement, conveys a meaning other than willingness to play in the denomination named (or in the last denomination named), or high-card strength or length (three cards or more) there. However, an agreement as to overall strength does not make a call a convention.
   2. Defender's play that serves to convey a meaning by agreement rather than inference.

However, the Laws never define the word natural.

The ACBL convention charts do offer a definition for the word natural.  Unfortunately, the definition is such that there are a wide number of bids that are both natural and conventional.  For example, consider a Bailey style weak 2 bid, in which 2H is natural - it promises 5+ Hearts, but it is also conventional since it promises 3 spades, there by providing information about a denomination other than hearts.

Back to the discussion at hand.

Transfer responses to a 1C opening are clearly conventional bids.  A 1D response provides a meaning other than willingness to play in the denomination named.
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#16 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2003-May-02, 09:01

I'll focus on 2) since I play and have played moscito a lot.
Some concepts:

a) Opening light does pay because you get in the bidding more often and most partnerships have problems in competitive bidding that they don't have in unopossed actions.
B) After a 1c 15+ opening and a negative response, moscito uses a 1h 19+ relay to give the partnership a new chance of a relayed auction. Pd will bid 1s as the 2nd negative or relay responses 2 levels up.
c) When you are not vul a ligh opening can be used to preempt quickly by your pd.
d) When you are vul light openings can be used to find games you wouldn't have played (probably) otherwise. Statistically this is good, imagine 4 hands were natural methods lead to a spade partial while a light opening leads to a vulnerable game. If you go down in 2 and win 2 you will gain imps. Even winning one and goind down 1 3 can be good if 3s also goes down :-)

In a big advocate of light openings.
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#17 User is offline   mishovnbg 

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Posted 2003-May-30, 08:14

I use systematic LOBs playing any system ;D. Furst and best book i read about systems was Culbertston's. His method opening ( 2+leve and biddable suit), i use all time, when i open with less hcp then by system, with some corrections ofcourse :).
P.S. It is not for this topic, but any of "MOSCITO" players read about Culbertston asking bids for slam? If not, you missed great invention, that perfect fit with relay bidding and 4DI automat/modified for sign off 8).
Misho
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#18 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2003-May-30, 08:18

"I use systematic LOBs playing any system . Furst and best book i read about systems was Culbertston's. His method opening ( 2+leve and biddable suit), i use all time, when i open with less hcp then by system, with some corrections ofcourse "

Would you elaborate on this. I'm interested, but don't follow it at all.
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#19 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2003-May-30, 10:08

Quote

Out of curiousity, there have been a number of questions regarding Light Opening Systems.

If anyone would be interested, I would be happy to schedule a match of some time.

The_Hog and I could trot out a MOSCITO variant.
Potentially we could play versus Inquiry and Yzerman playing 2/1.

I'm sure that the main thing that we would discover is that I defend like crap and that my declarer play is didgy at best.

However, it woud give folks a chance to see how different bidding systems handle different hand types.


Since I do play and know Moscito and 2/1 I'm offering myself as a commentator for the match.
Contact me if you want to schedule this match, it can be a very nice online demostration of bidding systems.

Luis.
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