This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Change of Heart is now up.


At first a strong heart opening seems silly, but it has key advantages if done with a restricted set of hand types, the two primary ones being 15+ with hearts and 17-19 balanced. 14 or less with hearts open on the two level to try to cut down on spade overcalls by the opponents.

Since 17-19 balanced can be handled via 1H, there is lots of room for fun stuff. One could set up a system like:

1NT: 10-12
1C: Clubs or 15-16 balanced
1D: Diamonds or 13-14 balanced

or something dangerous like:

1NT: 11-13
1C: Clubs or 14-16 balanced
1D: Diamonds or 8-10 balanced

Flip the 11-13 and 14-16 when vulnerable but keep opening those 8-10s!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

If you want to try out Express, Savage, or Storm in an ACBL online tourney, after 8pm Eastern, look for glen on BBO or send me an email. I don't mind if you make lots of mistakes - the idea is to have fun and learn as we go (down). I will give preference to players I have not partnered before.
ETM Storm is now up.

The Storm, Express and Savage systems involve in some way the canape principle - opening the shorter of two suits first. Design started from this base:

2H/S: Fantoni/Nunes type 10-13 opening
1H/S: Either canape 11-15 or both majors or 13/14-15 too much values for 2H/S
1C: Big

However canape posed two problems:

1) First, 1H/1S can not handle 11-15 balanced in the major - too wide a range. Also 12-15 is a too wide range for 1NT opening, and 13-15 just does not seem to work. So the 1D opening has to handle some balanced hand types. If so, the best responding structure to 1D is having 1H or 1S show four or longer (if 1H/1S shows five, 1NT has to be bid on a lot of very not-like-notrump-hands). Then if 1D is handling some four card major hands, why consume both 1H and 1S for four card majors too?

2) It is very hard to develop a response structure to 1H or 1S could-be-canape without the use of a GI+ bid. ACBL GCC permits artificial GF bids, but not GI+ bids (however they are quite happy with GI- bids called 1NT forcing). Without a GI+ relay (I prefer 2C as this over 1H/1S, others like the 1NT bid), the response structures are poor.

ETM Storm represents a proposed approach around these issues which I will try over the next couple of years.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

ETM Savage is up!

This is totally fun to play and if you want to try this in late night online tourneys with me (don't expect a perfect me late night) then look for glen on BBO after 10 pm eastern.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Another question:

I saw a posting on a bridge site with an idea by you where:
One club = strong or 4 spades 10 to 17.
One diamond = 4 hearts 10 -17.

Is any further information available on this idea?

No, I did not run with this, since there was not enough distinction between the hand types for the 1C opening, and not enough ability to handle balanced hands without a four card major.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I recently received this question and here's my answer below.

Hope this does not sound offending because i am really curious and wish to know. Are your complex systems played by anyone and do you consider them playable, I mean by human beings with limited amount of memory cells. Do you ever play them ?

Yes, I played them but only in expert partnerships trying to compete at high levels. For example ETM Victory was the system we used when we and our teammates upset the 15th seed in the 2001 Spingold.

In recent years I have not had an expert partnership (my choice, playing bridge for fun, not seriously), playing almost always just with my wife, so ETM Gold has not been played. However when I return to an expert partnership, I intend to play the system.

The complex systems are playable by some but not a majority of bridge players. However players that compete at the national and international levels usually have the capability to play such complexities. Players that do not compete at these levels don't need a complex system to do well.

ETM Gold represents the last complex system I will develop for some long time. I did not develop it expecting anybody and everybody would use it (I generally assume chunks of a system will be used here and there, but not the whole system) - instead I did it so I would have a system that I loved ready to go when I resumed serious bridge play.

My bridge system work will now focus on:

- Easy and fun systems, the first which will be ETM Savage - I've worked on this for several months, but had to ditch some frameworks and approaches as the follow-ups became not easy and not fun.
- System "plug and play" components, which can be complex but are not whole systems
- Meta-agreements (e.g. all doubles are takeout unless discussed)

Friday, June 02, 2006

To continue from below, we have:

So 1S-1NT--?
2C: With a four card or longer minor, if less than 17 exactly 4 in minor and 5S and if less than 13/14 will have 2 or 3 Hs (this rebid will also include 5-3-3-2s if you open 1S with them and don't pass 1NT)

After 1S-1NT--2C-?

2D: Positive, Game Force opposite 17+ OR both minors signoff
2H: 5+Hs, up to 9
2S: 2+Ss, up to poor 8, or singleton S and no good bid up to poor 8
2NT: 6+Cs, 8+
3C/D: Long minor, up to poor 8

The change here is that 2D can be a both minors signoff and 2NT shows long Cs 8+. The both minors signoff is moved from 2NT to 2D (and the long Cs 8+ moved from 2D to 2NT) so that there is a both minor signoff available at responder's next bid.

After 1S-1NT--2C-2D--?

2H: 10-13, 5Ss, 2-3Hs - now 3C by responder is to play in opener's minor
2S: 13/14-16, 5S, 4 in a minor. 3D is a forcing asking, 3C is to play in opener's minor
2NT: 17+, 4+Ds. Now 3D by responder is attempted signoff, 3C re-asks
3C: 17+, 4+Cs, NF if responder is weak with both minors. 3D re-asks
3D+: 17+, 4+Cs, too strong for 3C

This structure (and the corresponding 1H structure) is ready for alpha testing - here we now wait a bunch of months and see how it would perform on any hand that we see on vugraph or that we play. Questions include:
a) Will giving up 2D to play cost?
b) 1=4=5=3/1=4=3=5 have no good landing spot - how should they rebid?
c) Will 1S-1NT--2C-2D--2S gain over standard?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

If you are interested in online poker, please see the PokerMatters blog:
Lets look at that Kaplanville and Fantoni-Nunes mix from a 1S opening.

If 2S is a Fantoni-Nunes type bid, covering 10-13 with 6Ss or 5Ss with shape (but not including 4Hs), then opener's two level rebids to a forcing notrump change. With a 5-4-3-1 with 3Hs one should open 1S to find a 5-3 H fit, and if 5=1=4=3/5=1=3=4 then open 2S to try to block a H overcall.

So 1S-1NT--?
2C: With a four card or longer minor, if less than 17 exactly 4 in minor and 5S and if less than 13/14 will have 2 or 3 Hs (this rebid will also include 5-3-3-2s if you open 1S with them and don't pass 1NT)
2D: 5+Ss, 4+Hs, up to 14, or 17/18+
2H: 6+Ss, 13/14+
2S: 5+S, 4Hs, 14/15-17
3m: 14-16, 5-5+
3H: 14/15-17, 5-5+

After 1S-1NT--2C-?

2D: Positive, Game Force opposite 17+
2H: 5+Hs, up to 9
2S: 2+Ss, up to poor 8, or singleton S and no good bid up to poor 8
2NT: Both minors, up to poor 8 Or 6+Ds 8+ (will bid again over 3m by opener)
3C/D: Long minor, up to poor 8

After 1S-1NT--2C-2D--?

2H: 10-13, 5Ss, 2-3Hs
2S: 13/14-16, 5S, 4 in a minor. 3D is now a forcing ask.
2NT+: 17+