Author Topic: One No Trump and then?  (Read 711 times)

Masse24

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Re: One No Trump and then?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2020, 02:10:35 AM »
As for “how much following an agreement has to have before it is called standard,” that is the “rarely if ever settled” question I alluded to.

Treating 4m natural (after a positive Stayman response) as somehow being a “special agreement,” is backwards. In a natural system such as Standard American, 2/1, or SEF a suit bid as natural is generally our starting point. I would include it under the penumbra of “it’s just bridge.” And although a Bridgewinners poll is hardly the final word, the fact that 85% of relatively well-informed responders think it is so would steer me towards the description of “standard.”   

Whether Puppet Stayman (over 2NT) should be considered standard or not, I am not sure. I think it’s quite common with intermediate and advanced players, but I do not often see it with expert pairs. The usual objection, if I recall correctly, is information leakage. Personally, I prefer not to use it. Same goes for Muppet. I don’t see the gains as outweighing the drawbacks. But I will play either, much preferring Muppet if forced.

Regarding the problem created by including Muppet in the 2NT bidding ladder—yes, the leap to 4 !S to show suit agreement and slam aspirations eats a lot of space. Fortunately, smarter players than I have come up with solutions employing the “Switch Principle.”

But as you said, Jack, this rarely comes up. These continuations after the first one or two bids of a gadget are too often ignored. Fortunately, this rarely has an impact. But if I had a regular partner, I would want to discuss and work them all out.

About three weeks ago, Joe and I were discussing a 2NT structure. But we did not finish it. I would love to get the IAC crew assembled to cobble together a good, but workable 2NT structure. But on a new thread!  ;D
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wackojack

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Re: One No Trump and then?
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2020, 06:47:37 PM »
Will this change your mind Ken?


In general, after the 2NT opening, we assume that responder is better able to make the final decision. Opener is less likely to be able to say with confidence that the hand belongs in 7 if responder holds the !H K.  For example, nothing in the auction so far prevents responder from having !H AQJx.  If so, and if 6 !H is bid and shows the K, responder can say "Hey, this is great, I know from partner's 3 !S that he has at most three !H and now, with the fitting K, I think we should have a good shot at the grand. Otoh, if responder's hearts are Axx he can say "Ok, the !H K will be a trick, but I still do not see just where 13 tricks are coming from".

Long ago Reese remarked that bridge is easier if players bid what they have instead of what they don't have. Of course there are exceptions, but I think that when one hand is fairly well defined, for example by opening 2NT, it is best if he continues on by bidding what he has and letting responder use his best judgment rather than having responder just take orders "bid 7 !S if you have the !H K, but not if you don't have the !H K" from opener. Who know, with a different hand for responder he might be able to count to 13 as soon as he hears about the !H K. It's responder's hand that is not yet limited in strength.

Anyway, I was clearly in the minority but I have not yet changed my mind.

The hands:

!S AQJ3
!H A??
!D KQ
!C A764

!S KT84
!H Q93
!D A4
!C KQ32

2NT                         3 !C (puppet)
!H (4 !S)              3 !S (agrees  !S)
!C (A or K !C)        4 !D (A or K  !D)
!H ( or K !H)         4NT (1430  !S)
!D (3)                  5  !H (Q !S?)
!D (Q !S +Q !D)    ?

Consider 6  !H to mean "I have K  !H and want partner to make the final decision 6 or 7 !S)
Disadvantage:  The limited hand makes the final decision.  What does it know about the unlimited hand? 
!S Kxxx
!H K??
!D A???
!C K???
It does not know that partner has the Q  !H or the Q  !C and it therefore cannot count 13 tricks.   

 Consider 6  !H to mean "Please bid 7  !S if you have the K  !H otherwise bid 6   !S
South has extras over what is already promised and is clearly in a position to count 13 tricks if North has K  !H. This would be consistent with:
!S AQxx
!H AKx?
!D KQx
!C Axx
Admittedly this hand has 22HCP.  I would open this 2NT and not 2 !C 2NT due to its 4333 distribution.  Nevertheless you would bid the same way had partner openend 2 !C followed by 2N. 

The general principle is that the unlimited hand asks and the limited hand tells.   

kenberg

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Re: One No Trump and then?
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2020, 07:25:20 PM »
I meant it as a general principle rather than for this particular hand. The Suth hand could be quite different, the North hand not so much.

nonetheless, I think it applies pretty well here, given that we take the previous bids to be as they were intended.  Suppose the N hand has the !H K and bids 6 !H showing it.
N looks at his hand and reviews the bidding. The intended meanings of the bids were such that S can assume that N has the !S Ak, now he hears of the !H K, he preciously heard of the !D K, and he has heard that they have all of the keys.


So let us first look at when N has the !H K:

!S AQ53
!H AK2
!D K2
!C A764

!S KT84
!H Q93
!D A4
!C KQ32

He can play N for at least the above.  Ok, this requires that both black suits break 3-2. But it is also just giving N 20 highs, so it is possible that if the clubs break 4-1 maybe N has the J. Or maybe N has !D Kxx and !C Axx. In these cases a 3-2 spade split will suffice.

If he has to worry about clubs splitting 4-1 or whether or not N has the !C J then yes, he has a bit to worry about. But whether they do or do not bid the grand it seems that S is probably in the better position to choose. He does not have a total map of the N hand, but he knows quite a bit.

And, with the hands as they actually were, where N does not have the !H K.  Since N doesn't have it, N bids 6 !S, S says to himself "What am we going to do about hearts?", and passes.

Summary, assuming 6 !H shows the K: On those hands where N has the !H K and bids 6 !H, S can be reasonably confident of the grand. On those hands where N lacks the !H K and so bids 6 !S, S will be concerned about the !h and, at least with the given hand, pass 6 !S. On a different hand he might go on, but he will be aware of the !H problem.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2020, 07:32:09 PM by kenberg »
Ken

Masse24

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Re: One No Trump and then?
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2020, 01:18:46 AM »

It is interesting that Puppet Stayman gives you the extra room. Then the bidding could continue:   
4♣   Control   4♦   Control
4NT   1430   5♦   3 keys
5♥   Q♠?   6♦   Q♠ + Q♦*
6♥   K♥?   6♠   No K♥
pass         

•   The interesting thing here is that because opener had cued 4♦ showing the K♦, then 6♦ would not just repeat this bit of information, it should be showing the Q♦.  Of course, with these 2 hands this piece of info is not vital but in other circumstances could be.

Um . . .

No.

Opener does not know that we know we have all the keycards. Using the hands in your sample, responder knows it is the !D K since he has the !D A.

As far as opener knows—at this point in the auction—we have four between us and we are asking for the trump queen to determine if a small slam is worthwhile. It is eminently possible on this auction for responder to have the !H K and NOT the !D A.

If partner asks for the trump queen—just use the standard method—show it by bidding the lowest king. Even if it has been shown previously.
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wackojack

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Re: One No Trump and then?
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2020, 07:19:05 AM »
Umm. I have thought about it some more and cannot see your contention Todd.  Is my thinking muddled?  Here is my reasoning:

The hands:
Opener
   !S  AQJ3
   !H AJ10
   !D KQ
   !C A764

Responder
   !S KT84
   !H Q93
   !D A4
   !C KQ32

Opener                Responder
2NT                                 3 !C   (puppet)
3 !H    (4 !S )                   3 !S   (agrees  !S  )
4 !C    (A !C or K !C  )       4 !D   (A !D or K !D   )
!H   (A !H or K !H  )       4NT (1430   )
!D   (3)                        5  !H   (Q  !S ?)
!D   (Q !S   +Q  !D )      6  !H (K !H?)
6 !S (no)                          pass

When opener bids 5 !D:
Responder knows that all 5 key cards are held.  However, opener does not know this as responder could have made the 4NT bid missing the A !D or the K !S

When responder bids 5 !H:
Opener bids 6 !D to show the Q !S and ostensibly the K !D.  However, responder is holding the K !D, so must ask himself what could opener be showing?  Answer: It can only be the Q !D  It is true that opener does not know that all keys are held, but does not need to know. 

When responder bids 6 !H
This asks opener to bid 7 !S if holding K !H otherwise 6 !S.  Opener now knows that all keys are held since responder would otherwise not be trying for the grand. 

I think this also answers Ken's question as to why it must be responder that does all the asking and does not transfer to telling at the 6 level.  It is only responder that knows that all keys are held. 


Masse24

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Re: One No Trump and then?
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2020, 12:17:07 PM »
I'm not seeing it.

First, the Puppet auction as shown is a bit off, though it's not relevant to this discussion. As shown, opener's 3 !H shows five hearts, not four spades. Something like this is more likely what you were going for:

2NT — 3 !C      We’ll assume 3 !C is Puppet Stayman here.
3 !D — 3 !H      3 !D = one or two four-card majors. 3 !H = four spades.
3 !S — 4 !C      3 !S agrees spades. 4 !C = control.
4 !D — 4NT      4 !D = control. 4NT = RKCB.
5 !D — 5 !H      5 !D = three keys. 5 !H = Got trump Q?
6 !D —             6 !D = Yes, I have the trump Q and . . . what?

So, for the sake of argument, let's assume the auction above.

Give our partners the following hands:

Opener
!S AQJ6
!H AJ9
!D AK
!C QT85

Responder
!S KT84
!H KQ9
!D JT
!C KJT9

The same (revised) auction above is entirely consistent with these hands. I could change a thing or two depending on agreements, but let's go with the above. In this auction--just like in any auction--6 !D shows the trump Q and the !D K. The 4NT bidder's Trump Queen ask is important to find out if slam is still viable missing one keycard.


As far as whether a six-level bid of a non-trump suit after either a Queen ask (and positive response) or a King ask response should be a showing bid or asking bid . . . my thinking is asking. It's the 4NT bidder who has a better idea (or should) of what's going on and whether a "missing King" would fill the gap for a grand. I suppose there might be some partnerships who choose to use it as a "Last Train" bid, rather than inquiring about a specific King, asking partner if he has anything extra for a grand. But I've never really thought about that.

So I agree with your assessment of the six-level bids. I think it to be "standard."  ;) 
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 12:31:12 PM by Masse24 »
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wackojack

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Re: One No Trump and then?
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2020, 12:39:30 PM »
Yes the penny has dropped with me now in the original hand that the 6 !D bid cannot show more than just the K !D, because at that stage he does not know that all keys are held (only the asker knows this) and so cannot skip over 6 !D with  !D Kxx.

Sorry to have made heavy weather of this



kenberg

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Re: One No Trump and then?
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2020, 02:02:16 PM »
The evidence seems to be in that there are a variety of ways for an auction to go off track after opening NT bids. I think that applies doubly when the opening is 2NT rather than 1NT. For the moment I do not have a lot of great ideas or a lot of great references.
Ken