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.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Here's another snapshot design with the Weak Diamond or Big Club, this time with five card majors:
1C: 17+ any or 11-13 Ds & no four card major
-- as in last post
1D: 15-16 balanced OR 11-16 with a four card major, can be balanced only if 14
1H/S: 5 or longer major, 10-16
1NT: 11/12-14 balanced, no 4 card major if 14
2C: 5+Cs, no 4 card major, 10/11-16
2D: 5+Ds, no 4 card major, 13/14-16
2H/S: weak two
2NT: 10-12 5-5+ in minors - open 2D if 13
Here's a snapshot design of a 4 card major with Big Or Weak D Club

1C: 17+ any or 11-13 Ds & no four card major
-- 1D: 0-7 Negative - now 11-13 Ds passes, rest shows 17+
-- 2D: 8-11 Balanced, now 11-13 Ds passes, rest shows 17+
-- Over 1M positive, 2D is 11-13 Ds with no fit, raise is 11-13 Ds with fit
-- Over 1M positive, 1NT 17+ and balanced or Ds or fit, 2C asks which
-- 1NT positive is 12+ balanced or 8+ with Cs.
-- Over 1NT 2C is 11-13 Ds, 2NT 11-13 5+Ds & 4Cs, 2D 17+ asking, rest 17+ natural
-- 2C positive shows Ds, 8+. Now 3D is 11-13 with Ds, and 2D 17+ asks.
1D: 14-16 balanced/semi-balanced or with Ds
1H/S: 4 or longer major, 10-16, not balanced if 4M, not hand for 2H/S opening
1NT: 11/12-13 balanced (reason for tight range is to have less invite sequences)
2C: 5+Cs, no 4cM, 10-16
2D: Multi
2H/S: 5+ in major 9-12, not 4 in other major
2NT: 11-13 5-5+ in minors

Thursday, March 29, 2007

After the sequence 1X-1M--2M-2NT(asks), I like the replies recommended by Gavin Wolpert:

3C: 3 in M, minimum
3D: 4 in M, balanced
3H: 3 in M, singleton/void in the lower ranking suit possible
3S: 3 in M, singleton/void in the higher ranking suit possible
3NT: 3 in M, maximum
4M: 4 in M, to play

Edit: a couple of days after this posting, Gavin wrote about them in his great-2-read blog but using the cheapest bid over 2M to ask:

Also check out his post just below it, for details on how two-way checkback is played by experts.
Posted three new documents today:

1) 2Dlay - a gadget that makes it easier to play 1M-2C as clubs or balanced
2) Brass - a 2C opening that has the usual hand types, plus 18-19 balanced, or 18-21 with a 6 card major and no second suit. Karen and I play this, but with 18/19-20 balanced since we upgrade our notrumps a lot.
3) ETM SOB Club - already my fav of the plug-n-play systems

I need a late-nite SOB partner for online bridge

Monday, March 05, 2007

If you play a double of the opponents notrump as penalty, you may have the agreement to play "systems on" over your side's double. That is, if it goes 1NT-X-Pass, then 2C is Stayman, 2D is a transfer etc.

A better agreement is to play "over notrump on". That is the bids by partner of the doubler show the same thing that they would directly over a notrump opening, but deny enough useful points to pass the double.

Say the partnership is playing Cappelletti (see: ) over notrump, and it goes 1NT-X-Pass or 1NT-X-XX. Now:

2C: Any long suit, asks doubler to bid 2D unless special hand.
2D: Both majors.
2H: Hs and a minor
2S: Ss and a minor
2NT: Both minors

If it goes 1NT-X-suit bid, play double by either partner is takeout, but passable by partner with length in the suit doubled. This "negative double" will help find fits as well as catch the opponents when they are in a misfit.

As to Maestro ( ), over a weak notrump, double only with 12+ points (instead of the 10+), to allow partner to pass with less (8 or more) and put the opponents in escape mode, where they might be nailed if they cannot locate a good spot to play.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I would like to draw some attention to Ken Allan's nice site:
Vegetable Garden and Bridge Table - Ken Allan -

After you read all about vegetables there's the:
and the new Trident dated Feb-07

I played as a teammate with Ken in the CNTC 2001, and Kingston Ontario players, including Don Kersey (writes lots in the Bridge World), Greg McKellar, and Paddy Allan are some of the nicest bridge players you will ever meet (and the Kingston regional is a great tournament).

As to the system, in the 2006 Friday Worldwide Bridge Contest,
Ken and Paddy had a 69.64% so the 10-12 & Big Club works very well.

This is my reply to a question on new suit game tries after 1S-2S:

It is best to always avoid jumping after the try, since these tries are often slam tries. To that point, I would suggest that one not make many game tries in a suit, and instead either jump to game (the try will be in trying to make it), or bid a non-descriptive 2NT as a general try - so sequences become like 1S-2S--2NT(general try)-4S(cool). My experience is that by keeping the opponents blind more than offsets not accurately determining if the game is good enough double dummy. I would not use two-way game tries, and would avoid sequences that become too trying, like 1S-2S--3C(try)-3H(try in return)--?

So 1S-2S--3 new suit is usually a slam try. However it can work as a game try too. What is important is to not jump in reply, to keep the bidding space. The key responses are:

3S: Don't like the try.

3NT: Got enough to accept a game try, and my values are in the other two suits.

Cheapest new suit bid: Artificial, waiting, more than a 3S bid. Now opener will cuebid with a slam try.

Raise of game try: If you play the try as natural/semi-natural (instead of help suit), then this is a hand that would accept the try, and has a 4 card or better fit.