Friday, October 7, 2011

The Case against Garbage Stayman over 1NT

In Garbage Stayman you bid 2C over 1NT planning on passing whatever response you get. You could have have anywhere between 0 and 7 pts with it being more likely to be in the lower part of that point range. Responder will be at least 43 in majors and will likely have 5 Diamonds, although I have seen it advocated with 4-4-4-1 distribution.

I must say I was never enamoured with this treatment, but was talked into it. The reason is you always seem to end up in a spot which gives a poor match point result. For example your in 2D while 1NT scores better. Also possible to end up in a 4-3 major suit where a 4-4 spade fit exists or  where 1NT scores better.

The man reason against Garbage Stayman is that responder no longer promises invitational values with Stayman. So, opener can no longer co-operate should there be interference. Interference is more likely, especially in Clubs which responder will be short in. I like opener to have the abilty to make a negative double(or penalty if that is what you play) up to 2S and a penalty double above that.

A penalty double of 3C could force responder to pull to a 3 level contract with no guarentee of a fit.

If you are playing Garbage Stayman, opener may shy away from making a lucrative penalty double or to compete with good majors for fear responder could be light. This is a license to opponents to freely overcall especially with clubs.

So, I am not going to use Garbage Stayman and Stayman will always promise invitational values.

Of course if doubled may use rescue to find reasonable fit.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Delayed Support after a Positive Response as Key Card Ask

After a positive response to 1♣ and a raise of the transfer response is a key card asking bid. (ie. 1♣-1♥-1♠) Well after opener shows delayed support below 3NT, it would be convenient to show key cards at that point. For example after 1♣-1♥-1NT-2♣-2♠ key card would apply upto 4♦. For responder they still have to use the Step above four of trump(kickback) to ask for key cards.
It's that simple.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Advantages of a Transfer System of Responses to a Precision 1C

In bridge a precision bidding system has amongst others, the advantage  of limiting 1-bids to 14 hcp and immediately announces with 1C a hand with 15+ hcp and the possibility of game or slam.

Everybody is familiar with Jacoby Transfers and it's advantage of letting the strong hand play the hand. Jacoby transfers were at one time considered an advanced convention, but now it is almost universally used.

First lets discuss what our transfer system of responses to 1♣ are. 1♦  is the negative response. 2/2♠ are constructuve responses showing a 6 card suit short of making a positive response(5-8 HCP).

Most of the other bids show 9+ hcp and are game forced, assume this is true unless otherwise stated. The 1 and 1♠ bids are interchanged, not true transfers but have similar effect. 1 is a transfer to spades with at least a 4 card suit.  1♠ shows at least a 4 card heart suit. If they are 4 card suits then they are either 4441(8+ HCP) or 4M432 with 9-14 HCP
1NT is a transfer to clubs showing at least a 5 card suit.
2§ is a transfer to diamonds showing at least a 5 card suit.
Now if opener wants to raise responder they can do it lower except for hearts.
eg. 1§-1-1♠      instead of 1§-1♠-2♠
eg. 1§-1♠-2♥      instead of 1§-1-2♥ (no advantage)
eg. 1§-1NT-2NT      instead of 1§-2§-3§ (small advantage)
eg. 1§-2§-2NT      instead of 1§-2-3(small advantage)
The minors benefit from an inversion of the ask bid and 2NT with balanced hands.
1§-1NT-2§ and  1§-2§-2which is a big advantage over the usual 2NT rebid as you can now bid and raise a major below game.
Now an other transfer precision(no relation) uses 2to transfer to hearts. This means balanced hands have to respond 2NT rather than 1NT in our version. Similarly 3§/3 would have to be bid rather than 2§/2 in our system with clubs. Only spades is disturbed, opener having to bid  2♠ rather than 1♠ in a natural system.

What about balanced hands. We use :
2for 9-14 hcp balanced hands either (4333), (32)44 or 5m332 9-11 hc9, so a major suit game is unlikely.
2NT for 15+ hcp, but only flat 4432 or 4333 dist.

 To handle all the 4441 positive hands one bids a 4 card major. This may not be perfect but it avoids using as many as 6 bids to show a low probabilty hand.

Will show the higher bids just to show the use to which the extra bids are put.
3§ is a solid 6 card suit, possibly with an outside entry.
3is a 7 or 8 card solid major
3is a transfer to a 7 or 8 card good club suit(not AK) with 5-10 pts a sound preempt.
3♠ is a transfer to a 7 or 8 card good diamond suit(not AK) with 5-10 pts a sound preempt.
3NT is a 7 or 8 card solid minor
4§ is a transfer to hearts with a good 7 or 8 card suit(not AK) with 5-9 pts
4 is a transfer to spades with a good 7 or 8 card suit(not AK) with 5-9 pts

However transfer precision has it's own peculiar advantages.
Transfer responses to 1C which except for hearts, saves a level of bidding if a fit found, with the savings going towards balanced hands for the minors.
After a double or 1D overcall you can show and transfer to hearts at 1-level saving a level of bidding if a fit is found. Of course other suits still save a level of bidding if a fit is found.
After 1C hands often rightsided potentially saving a trick on opening lead and hiding the strong hand during play.
After 1C, we combine the positive 4441 hands in with the major suit positive responses. Some systems use 6 or more bids to handle this rare occurrence.
Over 1C we  show constructive 6 card majors(4-7 pts) and over 1-level interference too, with 3 being used over a 1♠ .
Over 1C can transfer into 7-8 card suits with preemptive strength 5-10 pts.
Over 1C have way to show solid 6-8 card suits.
Opener has way to show game-forcing hand in a suit, this is pretty standard.
1C-1D-1H and 1C-1D-1S are forcing which allows us to show a game forcing hand with a 4 major and longer minor.
After 1C-1D-1H and 1C-1D-1S there is a system to show various strength raises, other hands with 6-7 pts, 6 card constructive suits
and a double negative with 0-5pts.