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.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Drury - Part I

This is the first part of a two part posting on Drury.  This posting will cover the background material, and present material I already posted on BBO forums a few days ago.  The second part will cover the new ground.

First for background we have this thread on BBO forums:

This "2 Way Drury - Love it or Hate it" was started by Mike Hargreaves (mikeh on BBO), who covered some of the advantages of 2 Way Drury.  BBO's fred (Gitelman) discussed why he does not like 2 Way Drury, and links to an older post of his.  Several of us, including myself, provided viewpoints, and the thread stalled, as often happens on the forums.

This is not a bad part of forums, it is just how they work, as time management considerations, and newer threads take attention elsewhere. Sometimes the subject starts up again months later. 

In this thread I noted recent articles from the The Bridge World that discussed Drury concerns.   The articles were:

> Mike Massimilla, "Three Method Twists", March 00 BW) 

Suggests 2D, and not 2C, as Drury, especially for those players who had a weak 2D available (the idea being P-1M;-2D as natural not being that useful, as the passed hand would have opened 2D with long Ds).   Karen & I played this before the article came out, so I was happy to see others thought of the same thing, very likely before we did.

> Jim Hudson, "On Passed-Hand Raises", August 05 BW

Covering: main value (of two-way Drury) is judging what to do when opponents compete - not necessary if responder has limit since opps have not enuff values to compete
2C: limit 3+ trumps, 2D=single raise 3 trumps, 2M=single raise 4+ trumps

> Gary Bernstein, "TATA Drury-Fit", December 04 BW

"tell-ask-tell-ask" Drury Fit - 2D: 3 trumps, 2D: 4+ trumps. Cheapest new suit bid ask, step replies involving no shortness or shortness

> Alvin P. Bluthman, "All-Purpose Passed-Hand Major Suit Raises", August 06 BW

1NT: includes 3 card limits, 2M: single raise, above 2M: various 4+ raises

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In another posting I noted what Karen & I play, and why:

In our system designed for club games (f2f, BBO ACBL), we play:


2C: "weak two" in Cs
2D: limit raise in M, 3 trumps or flat hand with 4 trumps
2M: single raise in M, 3 trumps or flat hand with 4 trumps
2NT, 3C, 3D, 3M: various 4+ trump raises, not flat 

First 2D is a very precise bid. 95%+ of all auctions go Pass-1M;-2D-2M or Pass-1M;-2D-4M. The third % bid in frequency would not be a try, but is Pass-1M;-2D-3NT choice of games.

And if goes Pass-1M;-2D-try, there is a lot of space available, and responder's rebid makes the hand even more precise. Try would be new suit above 2M, and 2NT, which can be just a general try. In expert partnerships (those "trying" above the club level), I suggest after a game/slam try, that responder not jump to 4M to accept the try, but be able to bid the cheapest non-M suit to say "I accept, if you have a slam try you can start cuebidding (with all the bells and whistles including last train and the latest cuebidding styles)".

Thus I don't think "2D Drury necessarily makes it more difficult" [this was a quote from another poster] IF 2D is a precise bid.

For those who consider jumping around with 4 trumps and shape (Bergen raises etc.) is too much, I thinking hoping to park it in 2M is too optimistic on how the opponents aim their bidding to defend 2M contracts. If 4 trumps and shape is not enough to play at the 3 level, perhaps the 1M opening was wrong - note that responder is also going to face Pass-1M-(Jump Overcall);-Guess situations, where the jump overcall is wide ranging since opposite a passed hand - thus, imo, opener has risk in opening 1M in 3rd/4th with crappy hands with only 4 of the major.

For the 2C response, showing a "weak two" in Cs we have had good results, and it comes up a fair bit of the time, but not a lot. It avoids these sequences:

a.) Pass-1M;-1NT(semi-forcing)-All pass: the 1NT semi-forcing bid is more often passed by a 3rd seat opening (than other seats), and 2C is usually a better spot than 1NT if responder has a weak two in Cs opposite the minimum and sub-minimum 1M openings.

b.) Pass-1M;-1NT(sf)-2D/2H/2S;-3C: here, often a level higher than a 2C response will find.

In closing, the style of Drury you will want to play depends on your 1M styles, and these will vary between 3rd and 4th seat. Since Drury introduces new ways and chances into the auction for the opponents, I suggest one makes Drury a fairly precise bid, even if it makes Pass-1M;-2M more wide ranging than would be necessary if Drury covered constructive hands.

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I think using 2D as the only form of Drury, using weak twos in Ds, and using P-1M;-2C as a weak two in Cs is the type of approach that works well at the club level, especially when playing a considerable amount of pairs with matchpoint scoring.

However at the top levels one needs to look at these concerns:

1) is showing degree of fit important on first response
2) is showing less than a limit important via a non-2M raise
3) what minimum and sub-minimum hands are opened 1M in 3rd, and perhaps 4th seat, and what responding structure is necessary to keep these hands from getting into trouble

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The last post (currently) in the thread notes that Hamman-Compton's cc from the upcoming Worlds lists, after P-1M;-?

2C: 4 card Drury, or Ds only
2D: 3 card Drury

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Finally here is the ETM style Drury from the ETM Gold notes, based partly on the Lawrence ideas on the convention:

Drury, ETM style, 3 card or better support, good constructive or better values. Not on in competition (over doubles, suit overcalls, 1NT overcall) except if explicit partnership agreement. 

After 2C now 2M is absolute signoff. 3m is natural and forcing to 3M only. 2H if OM is forcing just to 2S, 5+Ss & 4+Hs. 

2D by opener asks, with these replies:

2M: 3 trumps, minimum, or 4 trumps sub-minimum.
2OM: 5 in OM, 3 trumps, not maximum.
2NT: 4 trumps, decent hand, no shortness (could bid 2NT over 1M).
3C: 3 trumps, maximum, unknown singleton/void. 3D asks shortness, 3M=Ds.
3D: 3 trumps, maximum, no singleton/void.
3M: 4 trumps, excellent hand, no shortness (could bid 2NT directly over 1M).
3OM: 5 in OM, 3 trumps, maximum.


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