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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Here's a recent discussion where I was discussing strategies for relay design - as the below will cover, I suggest an approach that is "majors-first or extra strength".
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In looking at 1M-2C I found a lot of hands were stopping at 3NT, assuming responder was not starting with a M fit at go. Thus it seemed the ideal was:
2C: Extra major length or length in OM or big hand?:
--2D: No
----2NT: Anything shapely to tell me about?
------3NT: No

So it wasn't just strength or shape first, it was tell me if you have extra strength or if you have shape that I should know about first. And, in a majors first philosophy I believe that shape should be length in the majors.

So for example, one can have, after a 1D opener:
2C: Please bid one under your major or show extra strength.
--2S: No major, no extra strength
----2NT: Anything shapely to tell me about?
------3NT: No

Or perhaps on these sequences, 3C should be no, and 3NT showing some shapely hand (better).

If I was trying over a strong C and negative reply of 1D, something like Relay-Kokish could be tried:
1H: Do you have a five card major or extra strength?
--1S: No
----1NT: Shows some range (or, better, re-asks if 1C-1D--1NT covers all less than 20)
----2C: re-asks
----Rest: Hs
--2C: 5Ss
----2D: re-asks
----2S: shows the range for 1H-1S-1NT
----Rest: if below 3S shows Hs, 3S and above shows S fit.
--2D: 5Hs
----2S: re-asks
----2H: shows the range for 1H-1S-1NT
----Rest: H fitRest: Extra values, showing hand type if not 1NT bid.

After the strong C opener, there are many design options following a majors-first or extra strength approach. For example one could try after 1C:
1D: negative, not 5+Ss - now "Relay Kokish" above becomes easier (so Easy Over Kokish)
1H: 5+Ss, fewer than 4Hs. 1S now relays.
1S: Any game force without a five card or longer major. 1NT relays, see below.
1NT: Game force with 5+Hs.
2C+: 2C and some of the higher bids are used to show 5-4+ in the majors.

After 1C(strong)-1S(GF, no five card major)--1NT(relay), following the same approach:
2C: no major, no extra strength.
--2D: relay
--2NT: Anything shapely?
2D: 4Hs, 2H re-asks.
2H: 4Ss, 2S re-asks.
2S+: Extra values, no major, shows hand type.


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