sunnuntai 10. huhtikuuta 2011

The 9-ball

No, I'm not talking about pool.

This is the wackiest system I have ever come up with and I've had some pretty weird ideas. Actually it was initially an idea of friend of mine but I put it in real use.
You see, there is one common thing in all unbalanced hands. There is minimum of nine cards in combined two suits. (Doesn't include 4441s) We have six different  combinations of suits: minors, majors, reds, blacks, pointed and rounded suits. We can hardly spare six bids for them. (actually we might, but that seems boring) Instead combine two of them under one bid. Mix in a strong pass, fert and weak NT and here are our opening bids.

Pass = 15+ any, could be 13 or could be 16+, whichever way you want to go. 15 seems to keep my openings well enough defined.
1C = Minors or majors or any 3-suited hand. 10-14
1D = Reds or blacks. 10-14
1H = 0-9(11)
1S = Pointed or rounded. 10-14
1NT = 11-14
Your all shapes are handled, so use 2-lvl  bids for whatever you wish. One reasonable alternative is to use constructive single-suiters to take of some burden from the openings. Something like 9-12, 6+
Alternative is to fit in as many pre-empts as possible to take strain from 1H. But 1H is already pre-emptive in itself and it turns easier for opps to penalize it when it's balanced like 90% of time, so I'd rather take the constructive route.

When your hand fits for multiple bids, open at the lowest lvl. This means that 1C is opened a lot and the main reason I wanted to make this a forcing pass. You could use similar openings in a strong club context but losing one step on each of your three commonest openings (excluding NT), it's not so good.
So 1C opening can have AKxxx AKxxx xx x, xx x AKxxx AKxxx or any 7222 for example. It seems the bid tells you nothing, but that is only an illusion. If allowed constructive auction, your relays become super accurate. You can at best get the shape resolved as low as 2H. And when it gets competitive, your opponents often tell you what suits your partner is holding. Only problems ever come from single-suiters and they are always max with those 2 bids, so they shouldn't be too problematic.

Responses are basically that first step is relay (usually inv+), others natural NF or pass/correct bids. I don't recall ever wanting to bid anything but the relay and 1NT so they are maybe bit underused.

This was just a preliminary introduction. I'll probably rework the relay responses I'm using so I'll be back with them. They are otherwise good right now but there is no way to remember them.

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