So I just posted a bunch of system notes – raw system notes – without any real explanation, rhyme or reason as to why.
So the first reason I did so was to have something documented that we could start working from – this is an actual system we are playing not just theory so it’s nice to have it written down. I wanted to get it up and then I could write down some of the reasons behind what I did – so here we go:
NT Range – I changed our NT range to 14-16 balanced from 13-15 balanced. The key reason behind this was two-fold – first I looked at all the top expert partnerships to determine what they are playing and none that I could find were playing 13-15; the majority were playing 14-16 – so that made me go hmmmm. The second reason is that we are forcing to game on balanced 8 counts. 16 opposite 8 when both are balanced don’t always make a game when you don’t have a fit (note to self – remember this when partner opens 10-13 NT and you have a balanced 11 count). – so when partner opens 1♣ they have 16 unbalanced or 17+ balanced now. There’s an argument that with 14-16 you are playing against the field who is playing 15-17 NT (or 12-14 with 15-17 rebid) – well I’m not building this system for MP currently and besides I like going against the field sometimes.
Responses to 1♣:
Much to the chagrin of Linda I didn’t change the 1♥ bid showing spades or balanced hand. I haven’t given up on it yet – I just defined the responses better.
The only other change was to reverse 3♠ and 3NT. 3♠ now shows a solid 7 card or 8 card suit. The reason for this was to allow partner to bid 3NT with an appropriate hand and to play it from the correct side (it can’t be right to play it from the solid suit hand). It also gives the guy with the solid suit a chance to make another bid if partner wants to play 3NT and they don’t. So if I have 7 solid and an outside AK I can show my 7 solid and then bid again to show I want to explore slam more; if I bid 3NT I may just play it there.
Response to 1♣ in Competition:
A lot of this is standard.
Use the extra room to show extras if you can. If they don’t take any room away from you – use extras to define your hand better.
Use Unusual over Unusual when you have the option to.
I think the strange part that I put in there was to make auctions forcing at the 4 level – maybe I should make this 4♥ and higher instead of 4♣ (so we aren’t doubling them into game). The basic principle is that if we have a strong ♣ and they overcall at the 4 level we should still assume it’s our hand and bid according – so in this case we use inverted forcing pass to help us.
We pass when we want to stop and penalize or when we are too distribution to sit for a penalty.
We double as takeout.
We bid directly with too much strength to sit for a penalty double (with a suit).
Anyone have anything they would recommend in this type of sequence? It’s hard to be perfect over preempts though I think there is where the ColoursFirst principle (see Roy Hughes book: Building a Bidding System shows it’s strength. When we are guessing at the 4 / 5 level knowing suits is way more important than knowing strength. I’d much rather partner had opened 1S (showing 5+S with 13+) with his 17+ with 5S than 1♣ showing 16+ any hand.
You may also notice the note: Jumps by Responder usually NF with long suit & semi positive
This is in competition when we’ve past the point of still using our system.
Bob Mackinnon noted to Linda that he disagreed with the idea of preemptive jump responses when the opponents overcall a Big Club: “don’t preempt over a preempt” and “the hand belongs to your side”. These are interesting and true concepts BUT I disagree that we shouldn’t play weak jump shifts in competition over our forcing club. Bob also noted against a different post playing strong jump shifts to make it easier to show those hands.
Okay here’s my comment back: assuming it’s our hand (which is not 100% clear yet – how many times have you opened 1NT showing 15-17 and the opponent’s bid to a game which you can’t beat? It doesn’t happen often but it does happen. We recently had the opponent open 1NT and we had 8 opposite 17 against them and were cold for 4♠) – but assuming it is our hand we want to make the most out of the bids we have available. If I have a strong, GF, slam going hand with a solid suit – I don’t think I have a problem finding a bid. I can make my normal, natural GF bid. I don’t get the best bid for my hand – I can’t show this hand exactly but I can make a good, forward going bid. If I have a weak one or two suited hand – I have no way to show it. The system we design should give us more opportunities to show more hands to get to the right contract.
In the sequence described the auction went:
1C – 1S – ?
Assuming whatever you bid the auction continues:
1C – 1S – X – 3S
P – P – ?
Don’t you wish you had been able to describe your hand (at least in some capacity) in the first place?
1C – 1S – 2H – 3S
P – P – ?
I’ve shown hearts I can now bid 4H; 4S or something else to show I want to bid more depending on how strong this hand really is. We are already in a game forcing auction and partner has really just denied having anything good to bid.
1C – 1S – 3C – 3S
P – P – ?
I’ve shown my weak – preemptive hand with Clubs. Partner can now make an intelligent call as to whether to bid on or not. Now that they have passed I can comfortable decide to pass it our or bid on based on the knowledge that I’ve limited my hand and shown my suit.
I don’t need multiple ways to show game forcing suited hands – I do need ONE way to show weak, single suited hands (note: i still need a way to show 2 suited hands; but we can look into that later). Please note that these are constructive auctions – not preemptive ones. I’m showing a semi-positive hand with a single suit – just not a game forcing one.
Responses to 1C – 1D:
Okay here’s the thing:
1M – shows 4+M and possibly a longer minor.
I tried doing all this complicated system stuff to show 4441 hands and in the end it gets complicated and doesn’t really make anyone’s life simpler. So in the end I just went with a canape approach for now.
The advantage of doing canape is that 1C / 1D / 2m shows a hand without a 4cM – and responder doesn’t have to worry about finding a major fit. This means that major suit bids now can show 5 card suits.
I’m not going to get too far into this but it’s designed to be mostly natural to prefer Majors and to provide for various hand types. If you have 20+ with a major, just bid 1M and jump shift or reverse.
Responses to 1C – 1 Suit – (transfer showing a suit)
The basic system is to allow opener to either show support or show their own suit at as low a level as possible:
Taken from Meckwell (as best as anyone can figure out what they play):
Basically the rules for responder is that they bid in steps:
Unbid majors first with the tie going to the lower ranked suit (last step is responder’s suit)
– 11-13 balanced (over 1H)
– no fit w/ good hand
– no fit w/ a bad hand
– 3 card fit w/ a good hand
– 4+ card fit
2NT – 3 card fit w/ a bad hand
Higher steps show shortness or allow responder to take control
As the auction gets higher some of these bids get compressed to provide more room for natural continuations.
So there you have it; system to date – more coming later
p.s. sorry about the formatting of this one – I’m using the default editor again today 🙁