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How do we show invitational hands with support in competitive bidding?

#1 User is offline   Tim Ocean 

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Posted 2023-August-28, 07:19

Julian Pottage in his book shows such bidding:
Left opponent 1, partner 1, you 3

with a hand
KQxx
Jxx
Axxx
xx

and says that many duplicate bridge players play weak jumps and have special conventions to show hands like that. What's the convention? I'm asking because I'd like to start playing weak jumps. In a bidding:
(1)-1
(pass)-?

you can either use Bergen or something like 2NT Truscott/Jordan. But in a bidding like:

(1)-1
(2)-?

you cannot. 2NT out here looks like natural no trump. So how can we show invitational hands with 4-card fit here?
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#2 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2023-August-28, 08:03

On the auction (1)-1-(2)-? it is quite common to sacrifice the natural 2NT bid to show an artificial raise. The point is that with this much bidding we are unlikely to have lots of values, and even if we do it is very unwise to try to bid 2NT natural on a misfit hand. The odds favour that partner is weak, or very short in clubs, or both. A takeout double will keep the other suits in the picture and allows us to back into 2NT when we think it is right to do so.

If you prefer to keep 2NT natural available here 3 normally shows a good raise, and you don't have a way to distinguish between a good 3-card raise and a good 4-card raise.
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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-August-28, 09:05

View PostDavidKok, on 2023-August-28, 08:03, said:

If you prefer to keep 2NT natural available here 3 normally shows a good raise, and you don't have a way to distinguish between a good 3-card raise and a good 4-card raise.

And if you do sacrifice 2NT natural, 3 shows the good 3=card raise and 2NT the good 4=card raise.

As an aside, I would be a bit wary about the Pottage book if its the same one I have: nicely presented, but dated and eccentric at times (and the fact that I was given an Italian version apparently translated by a non-bridge player did not help).
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#4 User is offline   Tim Ocean 

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Posted 2023-August-28, 10:05

View Postpescetom, on 2023-August-28, 09:05, said:

As an aside, I would be a bit wary about the Pottage book if its the same one I have: nicely presented, but dated and eccentric at times (and the fact that I was given an Italian version apparently translated by a non-bridge player did not help).


I've got Bridge Player's companion and the Polish translation is sometimes trashy as well :D Sometimes you don't understand what's the point of Pottage :P I've read two editions and in the second they impoved it a little, but if I remember well sometimes they did conversely xD

Ok, thank you for your answers. Could we build a table like the one in this article: https://bridge.fando...ki/Bergen_raise ? Because I've just found them and discovered it's a good way to ilustrate the system, because you immediately see where are white spots in the system. How do you propose to build the table? Something like that?

##### weak minimum invitational
5 card raise to 4 cue bid? 2NT
4 card raise to 3 cue bid? 2NT
3 card pass raise to 2 new suit?


EDIT: sorry guys, you need to copy it to notepad and insert tabs, because the forum allows neither tabs nor multiple spaces -_-
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#5 User is online   mikeh 

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Posted 2023-August-28, 10:51

Think David has it right, but there are alternatives.

This is probably too much for you and your partners at this stage of the game, but it is quite common for expert and some advanced pairs to use what are known as transfer advances of overcalls.

Note that this applies only to situations in which an opponent has opened 1x, where x is a suit, and partner has made a non-jump overcall in another suit, call it y.

So long as 2x is available to advancer (in competitive situations we have opener and his partner, responder and we have overcaller (sometimes called intervenor) and his partner, advancer), then bids of 2x up to 2(y-1) are transfers.

An example:

(1C) 1S (P) ?

2C shows 5+ diamonds and enough values to want to bid. Overcaller assumes something similar to a weak 2D bid and chooses his bid (assuming opener doesn’t disrupt matters) accordingly…accepting the transfer by bidding 2D says ‘I’d have passed a weak 2D opening bid’ while 2H says I don’t care for diamonds and I have both majors. 3D would be a raise of diamonds, 2N natural, etc


(1C) 1S (P) 2H would be a ‘good’ raise to 2S. Indeed, in my partnerships it’s either a constructive 2S bid (say a decent 8 count or more with 3 spades) or a very good raise…the beauty of transfers is that they assure bidder of another chance to bid….so if overcaller bids 2S, showing a hand with no interest in game opposite a constructive raise, advancer can raise to 3S or even 4S with (a lot of) extra values.

(1C) 1S (P) 2S shows a weak raise…so something like 4-8 (a bad 8). It’s often good to bump the auction to 2S ahead of the opener, who may have a very good hand, but at the same time warn overcaller not to expect much of a hand.

When you play these, you can easily keep 2N for the rare hand with say a good 13 count with club stoppers and, ideally, a couple of spades. This is especially true vulnerable at imps where overcaller should be sound and game is important (vulnerable games are especially useful at imps rather than matchpoints).

There’s a lot of subtlety available with transfer advances of overcalls.

Say you hold Kx xx AQJxxx xxx

1© 1S (P) 2C…..showing diamonds. Overcaller bids 2D, back to you. You can now bid 2S which shows about 10-11 hcp, a good diamond suit and a doubleton spade. Overcaller might hold something like AQxxxx Axx Kx xx and now game can be reached.

Those examples all have responder passing but transfer advances work fine if responder bids….so long as 2x is available. Thus if responder makes a negative double or bids 1N, 2C is still open, so if opener bid 1C, transfers still apply.

One can do a lot with transfers. In my most detailed partnership, we use transfers in a great many situations:

The transfer principle is probably the most valuable single idea there is in bridge, but 99% of bridge players vastly under-utilize it.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#6 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2023-August-29, 07:55

View Postpescetom, on 2023-August-28, 09:05, said:

As an aside, I would be a bit wary about the Pottage book if its the same one I have: nicely presented, but dated and eccentric at times


It is difficult to comment on this without knowing which book you are referring to, since Julian has written many books and articles over the years. Many are primarily written for a British audience, I suspect and whilst some might be dated now, he is still a fine player and writer.
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-August-30, 10:21

I

View PostTramticket, on 2023-August-29, 07:55, said:

It is difficult to comment on this without knowing which book you are referring to, since Julian has written many books and articles over the years. Many are primarily written for a British audience, I suspect and whilst some might be dated now, he is still a fine player and writer.


No disrespect intended to Julian for his fine writing or to the British if I consider some assumptions eccentric :)

I know him best from a question and answer column in Bridge magazine and always agreed with his straight answers ("I can't see any point in better minor rather than promising four diamonds"). But reading this book I never felt on firm ground, in part due to typo errors I trust are not in the original. I don't have it underhand, otherwise I would have named it (will do ASAP). The hard cover is black and white and it has interestingly drawn hand diagrams, if that helps.
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#8 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2023-October-16, 20:50

A good place to start when looking at options for competitive bidding is the classic Robson/Segal. At club level, most pairs use a cue of the opps' suit as a good raise and leave it at that.
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#9 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-October-17, 08:20

Thanks for reopening this thread as I had forgotten to name the JP book. The original title was "The Bridge Player's Bible" (2006), published in Italy as "Guida al Bridge" (a choice as mediocre as the rest of the translation).
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