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Unbal diamond opening with 4-1-3-5

#1 User is offline   el mister 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 08:32

We are learning an unbalanced 1 opening to go with our transfer walsh 1 (ty to Gwnn for his excellent yt vid on T-Walsh which got us started). Using a transfer response structure from 1N which seems popular from stuff I've read on here and BW.

My question is about the specific hand type 4-1-3-5 / 1-4-3-5 ie three diamonds. Is it common to open this 1? You obv have a lot of options with follow ups so in an uncontested auction I guess it's fine. But with interference it seems like you could run into difficulties with opener potentially only having 3.
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#2 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 08:46

I don't think it is common to do this, but it does make some sense as in a short-club system the 1 opening is underloaded.

I would be tempted to open 1 with x-AQxx-AJx-Jxxxx, especially in a weak-notrump system where I don't like my rebid over a 1 bid. This is true regardless of whether we play T-Walsh.

But if you want to do this systematically you might want to find ways for responder to show both minors after they interfere in a major suit.
pretty good defense against a grand with no overtricks given away. --- johnu
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#3 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 09:06

This is not common. I open 1 in a similar system with xy45 too weak to reverse, and it's already awkward. Adding 3-card diamond suits is going to hurt your ability to raise preemptively and in competition.

Precision systems do open 1 with that hand shape, but they make up for it by limiting the hand to ~15 HCP. That being said, the 1 opening is still one of the weaker parts of a Precision system for this exact reason.
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#4 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 09:14

As helene_t says it's not common, but I do open these (41)(35)with 1
So after 1
  • 1 is either or both Majors,
  • 1 is game invitational
  • 1NT can be played as 4+
  • 2 6+
  • 2 4+
  • etc
  • 3 5+ pre-emptive or highly distributional looking for game. (rare) .
  • etc.

The premise behind this unbalanced is that a Moysian fit is playable, so after 1.
  • 1 shows 5m(431) with 3+ & unlimited hand 1NT then shows & 2 shows &
  • 1NT (limited) shows s w. a singleton
  • 2 shows 55m or 64
  • etc.
With 1 & 2 above 2 by responder says 33+m pick a minor

1-1 GI then opens up a series of bids showing openers shape
  • 1NT 5m(431)
  • 2 4(441)
  • 2 long
  • 2 46+
  • 2 46+
  • etc.

PM me if you would like the full structure
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#5 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 11:14

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-May-12, 09:06, said:

Adding 3-card diamond suits is going to hurt your ability to raise preemptively and in competition.

But not necessarily by much, since the opening would always contain a minor and you could play e.g. 1-(P/X/1M)-3 as "P/C".
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#6 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 12:37

I think it’s generally standard for those who announce ‘1D shows an unbalanced hand’ to mean that 1D is always 4+ and will be 4 only in two specific cases: (a) some 4441 with 4 diamonds and (b) some 4=5 minors with rebid problems if one opens 1C.

This latter case is influenced, in terms of what the hand looks like, by your transfer response structure.

Most T-Walsh players use the sequence 1C 1R 1N either as a balanced minimum (depending on one’s 1N opening range) hand with 2 cards in responder’s major or as a balanced hand with 17-19 or 18-19 hcp and 2-3 cards in the major (17-19 if 1N would be 14-16, 18-19 if 1N would be 15-17).

Playing the former style one might open 1C on some 2=2=4=5 hands, but one has to be aware of the problems one may face should LHO overcall 1M and partner double or bid 1S….do you want to have to bid 1N with Jx or worse in LHO’s suit or rebid a weak 5 card club suit.

If you play the latter style you don’t have the option of 1C 1R 1N, but those who play the latter style usually accept the transfer with 2-3 card support.

Moving back to the OP topic, opening 1D on 4135 or 1435 makes competitive bidding very difficult when one has a good minor fit. If partner has 4+ diamonds, he may need to be cautious in competition lest you have only 3. And if your fit is clubs, good luck finding that after they bid and raise (or jump in) a major. Admittedly T-Walsh players (for most of whom 1C is 2+) already have problems finding club fits, but why add problems finding diamonds as well.

Another important point is that it is completely unnecessary and, imo, wasteful, to suggest opening 1D on 4=1=3=5 hands. In fact, I think it’s nuts.

1C 1D 1S is simple and effective. 1D showed 4+ hearts and 1S showed….drumroll please…4 spades and 5+ clubs…usually short in hearts (most t-Walsh structures permit 1C 1D 1H on weak 4=2=2=5 shape).

1=4=3=5 is the problem hand for T-Walsh, but it’s a problem hand for standard or non T-Walsh 2/1 players. They will sometimes allow a 1N rebid with that shape, in range, but that comes with lots of problems as well….does responder pass with a minimum and 5 spades, missing a 5-3 fit and struggling in 1N, or does he bid 2S, to struggle in a 5-1 fit? And with good hands, how does he find out how many spades opener has?

So with 1=4=3=5 one either lies about the spade fit and bids 1S (ostensibly 2-3 if one has that agreement) or one rebids a possibly emaciated 5 card club suit. Btw, when I face that choice, I may choose not to open if I have a weak minimum.
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#7 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 12:57

View Postmw64ahw, on 2022-May-12, 09:14, said:

As helene_t says it's not common, but I do open these (41)(35)with 1
So after 1
  • 1 is either or both Majors,
  • 1 is game invitational
  • 1NT can be played as 4+
  • 2 6+
  • 2 4+
  • etc
  • 3 5+ pre-emptive or highly distributional looking for game. (rare) .
  • etc.

The premise behind this unbalanced is that a Moysian fit is playable, so after 1.
  • 1 shows 5m(431) with 3+ & unlimited hand 1NT then shows & 2 shows &
  • 1NT (limited) shows s w. a singleton
  • 2 shows 55m or 64
  • etc.
With 1 & 2 above 2 by responder says 33+m pick a minor

1-1 GI then opens up a series of bids showing openers shape
  • 1NT 5m(431)
  • 2 4(441)
  • 2 long
  • 2 46+
  • 2 46+
  • etc.

PM me if you would like the full structure

Iirc, your methods are based on simulations. The main problem with designing methods using simulations is that it’s very time consuming, and challenging, to factor in competition. In the real world, the opponents often get in the way. Indeed, the stronger the field in which one hopes to play, the more active the opponents will be.

So having early bids, in constructive auctions, that carry ambiguous meanings can lead to serious problems.

In my most serious partnership we do use simulations but we also play a reasonable amount in tough competition and we spend more time discussing actual competitive auctions than we do simulating constructive ones….the former are where, in general, most imps are won or lost. I used to play a very complex relay method. It did occasionally lead to a magical result (my favourite being staying out of a no play 37 hcp grand, when we diagnosed AKxx opposite xxx and only 10 outside winners and no squeeze possibilities). But those were rare compared to the many swings caused by competitive decisions.
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#8 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 13:17

View Postnullve, on 2022-May-12, 11:14, said:

But not necessarily by much, since the opening would always contain a minor and you could play e.g. 1-(P/X/1M)-3 as "P/C".
That only works if you have both minors, which is far less often than having just diamonds.
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#9 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 13:45

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-May-12, 13:17, said:

That only works if you have both minors, which is far less often than having just diamonds.

?
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#10 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 14:09

If I pick up xx, Axxx, Jxxxx, xx and the auction goes 1-(1)-? I can go nuts when facing something like "5+ diamonds unless exactly some (4441)'s or xy45" (I think 4 is likely to be a good shot here), but have to temper myself if partner can have e.g. 4=1=3=5.
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#11 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 14:37

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-May-12, 14:09, said:

If I pick up xx, Axxx, Jxxxx, xx and the auction goes 1-(1)-? I can go nuts when facing something like "5+ diamonds unless exactly some (4441)'s or xy45" (I think 4 is likely to be a good shot here), but have to temper myself if partner can have e.g. 4=1=3=5.

You'd have Law protection in 3.
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#12 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-May-12, 16:02

View Postmikeh, on 2022-May-12, 12:57, said:

Iirc, your methods are based on simulations. The main problem with designing methods using simulations is that it's very time consuming, and challenging, to factor in competition. In the real world, the opponents often get in the way. Indeed, the stronger the field in which one hopes to play, the more active the opponents will be.

So having early bids, in constructive auctions, that carry ambiguous meanings can lead to serious problems.

In my most serious partnership we do use simulations but we also play a reasonable amount in tough competition and we spend more time discussing actual competitive auctions than we do simulating constructive ones….the former are where, in general, most imps are won or lost. I used to play a very complex relay method. It did occasionally lead to a magical result (my favourite being staying out of a no play 37 hcp grand, when we diagnosed AKxx opposite xxx and only 10 outside winners and no squeeze possibilities). But those were rare compared to the many swings caused by competitive decisions.

No the basic approach was plagiarized from an experienced player with the 1 continuations my own design. Consequently I remove problem hands from TW which makes the 1 opening more powerful. I run simulations to compare approaches including when opponents compete. Often if opponents compete you have found openers short suit. I have yet to have any competitive issues beyond those you normally expect; in fact probably the opposite as the ambiguous nature of say 1-P-1 makes opponents think twice about bidding . If they do Pass says I'm weak with , X says or GI with other bids remaining the same. I struggle to see how your hyperbole of serious problems manifests itself compared to other approaches.
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#13 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-May-13, 02:36

View Postnullve, on 2022-May-12, 14:37, said:

You'd have Law protection in 3.
Yes, so you're underbidding by a level because you added the 4=1=3=5. That's the cost.
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#14 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-May-13, 04:00

Quote

name='DavidKok' timestamp='1652431011' post='1039450']Yes, so you're underbidding by a level because you added the 4=1=3=5. That's the cost.

One you may not wish to take if vulnerable, but there is always a 2 bid.With 44 in the minors you are happier to make the pre-emptive P/C bid.So
1-(1M)-3 4+ minors &
1-(1M)-3 5+
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#15 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-May-13, 05:01

Thanks, I understood it the first time. Opposite the 1 I play a raise to 3 just shows 4(+). The rub is that, whenever you have either 5(+) diamonds, or both 4(+) diamonds and 4(+) clubs, you in particular also have 4(+) diamonds. But the converse is not true. Therefore I get to apply more pressure by jumping more often. In fact, I can jump to the 4-level with quite a few hands containing 5 diamonds, something that is not safe opposite your opening. In this context I hope the example hand makes more sense, and you can see the point how adding this 3-card holding hand type to your unbalanced 1 opening harms your ability to pressure the opponents in competition.
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#16 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-May-13, 05:37

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-May-13, 05:01, said:

Thanks, I understood it the first time. Opposite the 1 I play a raise to 3 just shows 4(+). The rub is that, whenever you have either 5(+) diamonds, or both 4(+) diamonds and 4(+) clubs, you in particular also have 4(+) diamonds. But the converse is not true. Therefore I get to apply more pressure by jumping more often. In fact, I can jump to the 4-level with quite a few hands containing 5 diamonds, something that is not safe opposite your opening. In this context I hope the example hand makes more sense, and you can see the point how adding this 3-card holding hand type to your unbalanced 1 opening harms your ability to pressure the opponents in competition.

I think the quality of the opposition matters.
Opposite good players they are going to bid on if the Major partscore/game or otherwise makes with responder having signalled a weak hand.
With weaker players I find it tends to be more 50/50
In either approach I would jump to 4m depending on the vulnerability and number of playing tricks under an assessment that 3M makes. Likewise for a rarer jump to 5m
I should also say that the simulations then show a benefit for my version variation of the TW structure where you only have concern about a singleton unless opener is long . This easily outweighs any downside for opening with 3+
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#17 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2022-May-14, 01:58

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-May-13, 02:36, said:

Yes, so you're underbidding by a level because you added the 4=1=3=5. That's the cost.

Maybe not only because I* added the 4135. It's not obvious to me that Responder with that hand (and more generally, on not-so-shapely weak-but-positive hands with 5+ diamonds) should be allowed to say goodbye to 3N at this point even opposite a standard unbalanced 1.

* or, rather, mw64ahw (I add hands with 10-15 hcp and 1435 in my system)
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#18 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-May-14, 02:55

It is very obvious to me that responder should give up on 3NT with xx, Axxx, Jxxxx, xx opposite an unbalanced diamond opening. If opener has a singleton in a black suit we are likely off the first 6 tricks in that suit, and opposite a singleton heart we need partner to have 8 quick tricks to make 3NT. If partner has extra diamond length (so 6(+)) the opponents also have a huge fit and will compete, so you can give up on playing 3NT right away. It's certainly possible that 3NT makes, but it is extremely rare. The rest of the time partner will have some minimum shapely diamond opening and the opponents have a likely spade fit, club fit or both. Put the pressure on right away before they find it.
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#19 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2022-May-14, 03:34

View Postmw64ahw, on 2022-May-13, 04:00, said:

One you may not wish to take if vulnerable, but there is always a 2 bid.With 44 in the minors you are happier to make the pre-emptive P/C bid.So
1-(1M)-3 4+ minors &
1-(1M)-3 5+

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-May-13, 05:01, said:

Opposite the 1 I play a raise to 3 just shows 4(+). The rub is that, whenever you have either 5(+) diamonds, or both 4(+) diamonds and 4(+) clubs, you in particular also have 4(+) diamonds. But the converse is not true. Therefore I get to apply more pressure by jumping more often.

Suppose

1 = standard unbalanced with some (41)35 hands added,

1-(P/X/1M)-3 = "P/C"

and that Opener is only allowed to pass the 3 response with 5+ clubs.

Then the 3 response could also be made with only 3 clubs and still be Law-ful.
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#20 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2022-May-14, 03:45

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-May-14, 02:55, said:

It is very obvious to me that responder should give up on 3NT with xx, Axxx, Jxxxx, xx opposite an unbalanced diamond opening. If opener has a singleton in a black suit we are likely off the first 6 tricks in that suit, and opposite a singleton heart we need partner to have 8 quick tricks to make 3NT.

You never open 1 on semibalanced hands?
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