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Checkback Stayman

#61 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 05:32

Good luck with developing your system Liversidge.

Opening the minor first is not my system (I will always open the major with two four-card suits) and I'm not sure that I am aware of any good MODERN books on this approach.

Things to consider include:
- Responses: As Stephen Tu noted above, if you are not always opening your four-card major, responder needs to respond in a four-card major rather than responding up-the-line (the preferred approach if you always open the four-card major). This is important as the major might get "lost" - particularly if the opponents interfere.
- Rebids: Do you always rebid 1NT with a balanced hand in the strong NT range (relying on check-back to identify any major suit fit)? Or can you sometimes rebid the major?
- Since you open a minor in preference to a major, the 1M opening will "often" show a five-card suit. A One Spade opening will nearly always promise a five-card suit (assuming you open 1H with 4-4 in the majors). When is it safe to raise (or compete) on a three-card suit?
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#62 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 05:36

View PostVampyr, on 2016-June-02, 05:17, said:

Do you have any way to show 18-19?

1any - 1any - 2NT shows 18-19 - not totally game forcing - can be passed with 6 points
1 any -2any - 2NT shows 15-19 game forcing

The move to 15-17 for a 1NT rebid avoids the risky 3NT rebid by opener.
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#63 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 05:37

View Posthelene_t, on 2016-June-02, 05:24, said:

Yes, that's what I say, presumably 2nt shows (or includes) 18-19 and is game forcing.


Game forcing on 18-19 is still a bit much, even if the responses are up to strength.

Personally I rebid 1NT on 15-18 and I am more relaxed with a 19-20 GF 2NT rebid. (But the wide range 1NT rebid does need more "system" to make it work).
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#64 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 05:46

Liversidge I joined this forum probably 4 or so years ago now as a beginner acol player (if you look back in this section of the forum you see I started a whole load of topics) and the most consistent piece of advice I got from people both on here and in private messages was to step away from acol. Of course by reading books and playing hands one always tries to improve all the time, but the single biggest thing that has improved my game in the last few years is switching from acol to strong and 5. I mean even if you just switched to weak and 5 or strong and 4 it would be better.

I don't want this to sound harsh but imo as much as we can discuss the nuances of whether to open 4m or 4M etc. the brutal truth is that your base system i.e. acol just isnt very good.
"definitely that's what I like to play when I'm playing standard - I want to be able to bid diamonds because bidding good suits is important in bridge" - Meckstroth's opinion on weak 2 diamond
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#65 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 05:55

View Posteagles123, on 2016-June-02, 05:46, said:

Liversidge I joined this forum probably 4 or so years ago now as a beginner acol player (if you look back in this section of the forum you see I started a whole load of topics) and the most consistent piece of advice I got from people both on here and in private messages was to step away from acol. Of course by reading books and playing hands one always tries to improve all the time, but the single biggest thing that has improved my game in the last few years is switching from acol to strong and 5. I mean even if you just switched to weak and 5 or strong and 4 it would be better.

I don't want this to sound harsh but imo as much as we can discuss the nuances of whether to open 4m or 4M etc. the brutal truth is that your base system i.e. acol just isnt very good.


I can't really agree with this.

It is true that very few top-level, world-class players play Acol. But since we are not at that level yet, Acol is perfectly playable. It is far more important to thoroughly know your system than to worry about which system to choose. The biggest difficulty with Acol for aspiring players is that there is less and less good quality material published.
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#66 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 06:08

View PostTramticket, on 2016-June-02, 05:55, said:

I can't really agree with this.

It is true that very few top-level, world-class players play Acol. But since we are not at that level yet, Acol is perfectly playable. It is far more important to thoroughly know your system than to worry about which system to choose. The biggest difficulty with Acol for aspiring players is that there is less and less good quality material published.


I never said it was unplayable just not very good, and my point is that if you're going to put effort into for example playing checkback etc, then surely it's better to start with a better base system
"definitely that's what I like to play when I'm playing standard - I want to be able to bid diamonds because bidding good suits is important in bridge" - Meckstroth's opinion on weak 2 diamond
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#67 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 06:10

Over the last eight years (since I moved to Acol Land), I have been playing strong/five in some partnerships (mostly with partners already comfortable with that style), Acol in some partnerships, and in a few partnerships played hybrids and/or converted an Acolist to some other system.

For me, personally, Acol doesn't work so great as I get most of my inspiration from this forum, from advanced books, and from Dutch experts. But playing with a partner who doesn't want to spend a lot of time reading BBF and using other advanced sources, I prefer to play Acol as it is an important part of the maturation process of an English bridge player to discuss the hands after the session in the pub together with the better club players. And they mostly play Acol. Even if they don't play Acol in their regular partnerships, Acol is still the lingua franca.

Also, most of my partners play Acol in their other partnerships. I don't want to confuse them with bidding theory which may or may not apply in their other partnerships.

I don't necessarily disagree with Rowland. Rowland lives in London where the better club players tend to play 2/1. That makes a big difference.
Can't have a baby if you do it contraclockwise! --- Jlall
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#68 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 06:57

For what it's worth, I do think that weak NT / 4-card majors is a good system. The combination of a weak NT and bidding the majors means that you have often forced the opponents to compete at the two-level (so much more dangerous). Yes you take up some of your own bidding space, but you are giving useful and precise information to your partner. I also live near London and play against many players playing a vast variety of systems (London is a very cosmopolitan place!). I am happy and confident playing our variant of Acol.

Unfortunately Five-card Majors / Strong No Trump is becoming increasing dominant in world bridge - but I suspect that this is due more to the internet (including BBF/BBO) than intrinsic merit.
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#69 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 07:29

View PostTramticket, on 2016-June-02, 06:57, said:

Unfortunately Five-card Majors / Strong No Trump is becoming increasing dominant in world bridge - but I suspect that this is due more to the internet (including BBF/BBO) than intrinsic merit.


I suspect that it has relatively little to do with BBO. Strong NT and 5cM has been the dominant force on the world scene for quite some time as far as I can gather. I think it has more to do with a few of the better British players (by which I don't just mean internationals) giving it a go and liking it.
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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#70 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 08:02

View PostTramticket, on 2016-June-02, 06:57, said:

For what it's worth, I do think that weak NT / 4-card majors is a good system. The combination of a weak NT and bidding the majors means that you have often forced the opponents to compete at the two-level (so much more dangerous). Yes you take up some of your own bidding space, but you are giving useful and precise information to your partner. I also live near London and play against many players playing a vast variety of systems (London is a very cosmopolitan place!). I am happy and confident playing our variant of Acol.

Unfortunately Five-card Majors / Strong No Trump is becoming increasing dominant in world bridge - but I suspect that this is due more to the internet (including BBF/BBO) than intrinsic merit.


I play weak and 5 and like it a lot. Actually I think that that and strong and four are the most sensible combinations. If forced to play string and five I prefer to just play 2/1 GF.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#71 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 08:09

View PostVampyr, on 2016-June-02, 08:02, said:

I play weak and 5 and like it a lot. Actually I think that that and strong and four are the most sensible combinations. If forced to play string and five I prefer to just play 2/1 GF.


yes i think 4 card majors are fine and a weak no trump is fine, it's just the combination of them both together that I don't like.
"definitely that's what I like to play when I'm playing standard - I want to be able to bid diamonds because bidding good suits is important in bridge" - Meckstroth's opinion on weak 2 diamond
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#72 User is offline   StevenG 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 08:11

View Posteagles123, on 2016-June-02, 05:46, said:

Liversidge I joined this forum probably 4 or so years ago now as a beginner acol player (if you look back in this section of the forum you see I started a whole load of topics) and the most consistent piece of advice I got from people both on here and in private messages was to step away from acol. Of course by reading books and playing hands one always tries to improve all the time, but the single biggest thing that has improved my game in the last few years is switching from acol to strong and 5. I mean even if you just switched to weak and 5 or strong and 4 it would be better.

I don't want this to sound harsh but imo as much as we can discuss the nuances of whether to open 4m or 4M etc. the brutal truth is that your base system i.e. acol just isnt very good.

It just isn't possible for many players. Almost nobody around here (ignoring those too good to partner inexperienced players) plays anything other than some variant of Benji (there's the odd 3 weak 2s, and a few precisionistas). So, if you want to play strong and 5, you won't have anyone to play it with, or, if you really insist on muddling through, anyone to help you out when things go wrong.
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#73 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 08:11

View PostTramticket, on 2016-June-02, 05:32, said:


- Rebids: Do you always rebid 1NT with a balanced hand in the strong NT range (relying on check-back to identify any major suit fit)? Or can you sometimes rebid the major?

Our 'book' says that we should not be hung up on always rebidding 1NT. If the major is a good one - eg KJ98, and a poor doubleton then rebid the major rather than 1NT.

View PostTramticket, on 2016-June-02, 05:32, said:


- Since you open a minor in preference to a major, the 1M opening will "often" show a five-card suit. A One Spade opening will nearly always promise a five-card suit (assuming you open 1H with 4-4 in the majors). When is it safe to raise (or compete) on a three-card suit?


Good point. As I remember it, a 1 Spade opening bid will have 5 spades, or 4 spades & 15+ points, and ditto a 1 Heart opening 97% of the time, only exception being when 4441 with a club singleton. So with 5-8 points I would raise with 3 card support including one honour (AKQJ or 10), 6-9 HCP, and an outside doubleton rather than bid 1NT. I will remind partner of this (it is in our book!)
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#74 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 08:21

View Posteagles123, on 2016-June-02, 05:46, said:

Liversidge I joined this forum probably 4 or so years ago now as a beginner acol player (if you look back in this section of the forum you see I started a whole load of topics) and the most consistent piece of advice I got from people both on here and in private messages was to step away from acol. Of course by reading books and playing hands one always tries to improve all the time, but the single biggest thing that has improved my game in the last few years is switching from acol to strong and 5. I mean even if you just switched to weak and 5 or strong and 4 it would be better.

I don't want this to sound harsh but imo as much as we can discuss the nuances of whether to open 4m or 4M etc. the brutal truth is that your base system i.e. acol just isnt very good.


Maybe so, but not sure how you reckon that's going to help me. I am retired and have no desire to emigrate. I quite like my playing partner, and, even if I wanted to, I doubt very much if i could find a partner locally that plays strong and 5 card majors or would be willing to team up with me while we both start again from scratch. :huh:
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#75 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 08:35

As I suspect others have hinted at, what you need to achieve is a coherent whole, not bids that look good in isolation where you will find the holes the hard way.

I will be playing 2 national finals the next 2 weekends in 2 different partnerships, one where we open the minor, one where we open the major, I prefer the former style, but the latter is perfectly playable.

My Acol based 4M system is not one I'd recommend copying, but in a curious sort of way, we solve the issue of 1m-1-1N-P missing a spade fit by making our 1N rebid wide ranging and potentially strong enough that we rarely pass it. This has the downside that we play in a bad 2N occasionally, but the considerable upside that we can use 1m-1M-2N as GF unbalanced to solve the death hand issue among others as there is no gap between the 1N rebid and 2N opener (we split at bad/good 19).

There are many ways to skin a cat, and unless you're laying at really top level, there is room for most things. Most systems have their issues (if you look through these boards, you'll find a lot of "we missed our 5 or 6-4 club fit in competition because I didn't know partner had more than 2" type threads from the strong/5 brigade).
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#76 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 12:16

View PostLiversidge, on 2016-June-02, 08:11, said:

Our 'book' says that we should not be hung up on always rebidding 1NT. If the major is a good one - eg KJ98, and a poor doubleton then rebid the major rather than 1NT.


Then toss the book. Do not rebid a 4-card major suit. Ever.
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#77 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 13:31

View PostStephen Tu, on 2016-June-01, 21:34, said:

4450 is pretty rare distribution. Plus you can handle it naturally, just bid 1c-1d-1nt-2s-2nt-3h?

Certainly that will work for a GF hand. What about a similar invitational hand? Same sequence?

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Nobody is arguing against NMF or some other better checkback scheme after 1m-1M. We were just saying that maybe it's not necessary after specifically 1c-1d-1nt. You can use new *major* forcing :).


I don't disagree, but part of the decision to use or not use it may be the extent you're willing to use Walsh (bypass longer suit with weaker hands). Also, in some cases, doing everything one way may be easier to absorb and remember. Take your choice.

Quote

Huh? Before NMF, 1d-1h-1nt-2c was non-forcing, you couldn't really do that. Also, I think in the very old days second round jumps by responder were mostly GF. At least they were that way in all the old Goren books I read. Jumps being invitational is a more modern trend I think. Back then basically there wasn't a way to show exactly invitational.


Right about 2 so you'd have to jump to 3 to force. As for jumps being invitational, I'm thinking back to Bergen's articles in the Bridge Bulletin back in the late '70s when he explained NMF and a lot of other modern bidding innovations to the wide ACBL audience. I believe by that time jumps were being played as invitational. But you hit on the important point that there was no easy way to show both invitational and game forcing. I just thought this was a good point to bring up to make a newer player aware of and to consider.
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#78 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 14:19

View PostVampyr, on 2016-June-02, 12:16, said:

Then toss the book. Do not rebid a 4-card major suit. Ever.



Apologies. If you read the quote from Tramtickets post immediately above my comment you will see that I was responding (in bad grammar) to a Checkback question on whether partner and I would always rebid 1NT after opening 1C with 15-17 HCP and partner responded 1D. My intended meaning was that with a good four card major and a small doubleton "my rebid could well be in the major".
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#79 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2016-June-02, 17:35

View PostLiversidge, on 2016-June-02, 14:19, said:

Apologies. If you read the quote from Tramtickets post immediately above my comment you will see that I was responding (in bad grammar) to a Checkback question on whether partner and I would always rebid 1NT after opening 1C with 15-17 HCP and partner responded 1D. My intended meaning was that with a good four card major and a small doubleton "my rebid could well be in the major".

ah right. Sorry!
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