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, August 06, 2008

HD Bidding Systems

I brand bidding systems as "high definition" when they have many openings that are:
- limited
- non-nebulous, and not a catch-all
- are non-weak, but can be average (9-11) or better

In the May-June-July issues of Bridge World we saw some HD systems in action in Challenge the Champs, conducted by Kanadians Kokish & Kraft

In May-June we saw New Zealand's Newell and Reid, with this system:

In 1st and 2nd seat, its:
1C: 14+, any
1D: 4+Hs, can have longer second suit, 9-13
1H: 4+Ss, fewer than 4Hs, can have longer minor, 9-13
1S: 4+Ds, can have longer Cs, 9-13
1NT: 11/12-14
3C: 6+Cs, 10-13 (yes, the 3C opening, not 2C)

The rest of the openings are preemptive.

Ottawa expert Ralph Gamble has run extensive simulations of Rumble against the 14+ big club and what he found is aggressive jamming against the 14+ 1C doesn't work since the 1C opening side often doesn't have game - one goes for numbers against air.

Thus a conclusion could be if one is playing a 16+ or 17+ big club, there should be some 15s moved into the opening to protect it: the opponents can't jam as much in this case. However a wealth of experience has shown that the 15-16 balanced range should not be in the 1C big club.

Thus I believe the best approach is to include some unbalanced 15s into the big club.

In June-July we saw Australia's Nagy and Richman with this system in 1st and 2nd seat:
1C: 15+ any
1D: 4+Hs, may have longer minor, 9/10-14
1H: 4+Ss, may have longer minor, 9/10-14
1S: Minors, 9/10-14, at least 5-4/4-5, no 4cM
1NT: 11-14, if 4cM 11-12
2m: 6+, 9/10-14, no 4cM

The June battle between Newell and Reid against Nagy and Richman was won by N & R (okay, it was Newell and Reid), in a battle that not really about system but about judgment: deciding when and how to investigate slam possibilities.

In the May battle, Newell and Reid were trounced by the mostly natural Gold-Townsend. In the July Battle Nagy and Richman were crushed by natural "Dutch-Doubleton" methods of Bakkeren-Bertens.

Why did the HD systems do poorly relative to the natural methods?

In the May battle, the relay methods over the 14+ big club struggled to get to the best spot, and a decision on a hand where the opponents opened first was a large factor. In the July battle, the HD system didn't have the tool set to find the right spot on a few hands.

Bidding challenges are not the best spotlight dances for HD systems - these competitions focus on tough layouts where card location is critical to decision making - relay systems can help but only if they are tuned to finding full shape low enough to then have the bidding space to launch into card location relays.

The bread-n-butter*of HD systems are those many average strength hands where the HD system reaches a good spot in just a few bids. Natural systems, in contrast, may pass first, or may have a lengthy auction that provides the opponents with too much information. These types of hands are rarely found in bidding challenges, but are more of a success factor than tough-to-get-to slams that are relatively infrequent in everyday bidding, but seem to proliferate in bidding challenges.

* 100% organic whole wheat with olive oil margarine


Post a Comment

<< Home