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.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bidding system for pairs - the success factors

In the pairs system given in the previous post, note these success factors:

- We want to have many 1beach sequences - that is there will be many bidding sequences where the partnership gets to the final contract by taking one bid each ("1beach") - thus a bidding system design for pairs aims to reduce the number of bids you make! Even better these 1beach sequences will give the partnership extra time and offer less strain compared to pairs using the common slow-to-our-spot methods.

- A bidding system at pairs wants to increase the number of opening bids you make - first in is key at pairs, especially not-vulnerable.

- When vulnerable it's okay to pass 11 to bad 12 counts that are flat with no four card or longer major - the opponents will likely compete over whatever we open and either get to their contract or force us to be down 100 a trick. The 11-12 counts with a major or both, at least have the dual upsides of finding our major fit and/or having no major fit available for the opponents.

- We want to open 1NT lots and lots, but we take out of 1NT the hands that are maximum with a major, since these hands risk having a better major fit. If it goes 1NT all pass, and we had a major fit then the opponents will most often have a fit too and values to get there if we had opened a standard 1x.

- The 1H opening provides the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too method of NT - you get to play weak and strong notrumps - weak, open 1NT. Strong, open 1H, which shows the proxy bid for the 15-17 NT.

- We want to get into the bidding with spades, and we want to block the opponents from bidding 1S when possible. The 1H opening does not stop the opponents from bidding 1S, but it changes the risk/reward equation as the opponents know responder is well placed - certainly any hand that would compete over a 15-17 1NT, is going to compete over 15-17 "1NT" 1H opening. However the opponents will not compete on much more than those hand types over 1H. Meanwhile the 1NT, 2C, 2D, and 2H openings all are obstacles that force the opponents to introduce spades at the two level, or higher, and that expose them to the frequent risk of bid-2S-pass-pass;-double-all pass.


  • At 6:16 AM, Blogger MickyB said…

    These are all good things to be aiming for, but I don't see why you think they are (much) more significant at MPs than at IMPs.

    1beach sequences should be a very high priority in first seat IMO, less so in second, because then both opponents have had a chance to bid before responder places the contract. As you know, I really like Gemini (1C strong, 1D four spades, 1H unbal 4+H, 1S five+ spades, 1N weak denies 4S, 2m nat unbal no 4M) for the 1beach sequences, Storm probably does similarly well. You'll get more 1beach sequences when you open 1H or 2H, but Gemini will usually have more when you open 1D, 1N or 2m.


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