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 20, 2008

While we wait (and wait) for the Beijing draw, which, once it is out, then I can work on the methods analysis of the teams playing Canada, here's a look at some of a few interesting cc's:


With the Bocchi-Duboin split, it's interesting to see what Duboin has agreed to play with Sementa. We find:

- Duboin is longer playing 2C as 18-19 balanced - instead they are playing 2D as the 18-19 balanced (Mexican 2D like teammates Lauria-Versace, though LV include some 20s) - 2C is now the standard 22+ balanced or any game force.

- Duboin is no longer using transfers over the 1C opening, which is 2+.

- 1D was 5+Ds or a 4-4-4-1 with 4Ds with Bocchi - now it says 4+Ds, not clear if all balanced 12-14 with 4Ds open 1D.

- 1M-2C was the usual Italian methods of natural or asking, with relay replies allowing responder to find out about opener's hand. With Sementa 1M-2C is natural 2/1.

- 1m-2H is 5+Ss & 4+Hs, becoming popular (Reverse Flannery by Responder) - the range here though is quite light - 3 to 7

- Duboin is no longer using the Kaplan Inversion - 1H-1S to show a "forcing NT" with 0 to 4Ss, 1NT to show 5+Ss.

- Duboin is no longer using 1S-2D to show 5+Hs, 1S-2H to show 5+Ds.

- The Italians like 1NT as a "semi-forcing" response - that is opener can pass the 1NT response with a minimum flat hand. They take hand types out of 1M-1NT so less bad things happen if opener passes 1NT. In particular 1M-2NT is a limit raise with 3+ trumps (no need to bid 1NT with a 3 card limit raise), and 1S-3C is artificial, a game invite or close to it hand with 6+Hs. 1M-3D is any splinter, 9 to 13 (a nice Lauria-Versace treatment), 1H-3C and 1S-3H is a mixed raise: 4+ trumps, constructive or close to it.

- After 1m-Pass-1M-Double-?:
--> 1NT is 3 card raise in M unbalanced max 15
--> 2OM is 3 card raise unbalanced 16+
--> 3OM is 4 card raise game force
--> Redouble is no fit


Hamman continues to surprise me by his willingness to vary methods when he could just impose his methods.

- Hamman is not playing a big club system, is using 5 card majors, and has transfer responses to 1C (1D=Hs, 1H=Ss, 1S=Ds or single raise in Cs) that can be light - was this their coach (bidding guru Kokish) suggestion or something out of Compton, Hamman or an influence of Zia in the new Hamman-Zia partnership.

- 1C is opened with 4-4-3-2 exactly and 12-14 or 18-19

- 2D continues to be Flannery (he played this with Soloway and Lall)

Interesting note on Compton-Hamman cc "we do not like to signal on defense; may be random" - Soloway liked perfect carding, not random but Hamman-Soloway still followed the top expert practise of signalling "what partner needs to know". I'm still surprised we don't see more partnerships with defined neutral carding - signals that deliberately showing nothing special.


Sweden is one of the first countries I look at as their cc's are always fascinating. Here we see Axdorph-Ostberg (Ostberg has two dots on the O but special characters don't work well in basic blogs) with a two-way 1C - either 11-13 balanced or 16+ any. The gap here is a touch small for a two-way 1C (between 13 and 16, although 1C will be 17 if balanced) but the opening will be fun to play.

They use "five card majors" and mean it: 1M is usually just 5, not the typical 5+. These are 11-15 (or a poor 16).

2D uses an approach I called TIM (The Intermediate Multi) - I doubt they picked this up from me as the Swedes invent stuff often before I do. 2D is 11-15 with a 6+ card major or 22-23 balanced.

2M is 5-5+ 11-15 (not weak!), and this handles the 6-5s (2S, and not 2H, is opened with both majors) - I don't like 2NT as 5-5+ minors 11-15 - given the style of 2D and 2M, it would be better to play 2NT as 6-5/5-6+ in the majors 10-15.

1D is 12-16 natural 5+Ds or 4Ds in any 4-4-4-1. If 4-4-1-4 exactly 1C will be opened if 11-13, 1NT (14-16) if 14-15.

2C is 5+Cs (has a 4 card second suit if just 5Cs), 12-16.

This will be entertaining to watch in the matches from Beijing in October.


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