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How to force in GiB 2/1 IMPs

#1 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 17:37

Hi

I'm not sure if this is a good example (given the extreme shape of North) but in general and more so recently I have been struggling with some sequences in 2/1, esepcially how best to force. In this case we missed a possible diamond slam, ending in 3NT. 3NT+2 was the most common score for those of us who bid spades up the line. Others did a game force followed by 3NT and a jump to slam, or jumped to 3NT followed by the slam bid.

I appreciate many would put the bidding problem down to North not forcing (EDIT, apologies, 3D is forcing) but there are clearly some specific sequences in the system - is it that the robot system is much more rigid in sequences or is it something I should know about the system and how to force. I'm trying not to get upset with the bot here. I had a few other disastrous sequences in the same IMP tourney today

Out of the options here - there is 1 spade, 2 clubs (GF), 3NT etc. Other options?

Is one preferred to the others. If you do an up the line bid with your major how do you then force

Personally I don't really like how restrictive 2/1 GF is in terms of forcing. Up the line can be any strength, you cant often do a Soloway etc

Did the double throw a spanner in the works. Surely if you have options and miss the GF the first round there should be a way to keep forcing after that

In another hand in the same tourney I made the mistake of mentioning a second major with disastrous and comical results :)


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#2 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 17:53

Your normal response is 2, which makes it easier to find a 5-3 clubs fit and also establishes a GF straight away. Given semi-balanced nature of the hand and the good quality of the spades, I suppose 1 is acceptable.

In the next round, I would expect everything (other than pass) to be forcing. 4 is the most natural bid, although I wouldn't be 100% sure that that is forcing for GIB. You might want to hover over it to see if it is forcing. But 4NT is also fine. After hearing 5NT (two kcs and a void) you bid 6 - partner's void is almost certainly in a black suit, so the only problem is if partner gets a lead through to AQ in the other black suit, but given partner's jump despite only two keycards it is quite likely to have the queen of the black suit in which it isn't void.

West's double doesn't change anything except that maybe North now has denied 3-card spade support as it could have used a support redouble.

More generally, if partner's rebid had not shown extras, most of your second round bids would be nonforcing. In particular, beware of jumps to 3 after a 1NT rebid:
1-1
1NT-3
which is a weak bid.

The way to force in second round after a non-strong rebid is to bid the cheapest unbid suit without jump. This is the "new minor forcing", "4th suit forcing" or "3rd suit forcing*". A reverse by responder is forcing as well.

*3rd suit forcing applies after opener rebids his suit, for example
1-1
2-2*
GIB doesn't actually call it "3rd suit forcing", I think.
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#3 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 18:10

Thanks Helene
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#4 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 18:15

View Posthelene_t, on 2020-October-04, 17:53, said:

Your normal response is 2, which makes it easier to find a 5-3 clubs fit and also establishes a GF straight away. Given semi-balanced nature of the hand and the good quality of the spades, I suppose 1 is acceptable.

I can't think of any expert who would respond 1 and I think some experts might initially respond 2 with only 4 clubs and 4 spades to immediately set up a game force.
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#5 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 18:20

Thanks. For some reason I still sometimes miss the options. I didn't even consider the 2c (GF) planning to go via the major. But I had alredy cosnidered 3NT which would have ended us in 6D.
I try to avoid 3NT jumps (or to delay it as much as I can most of the time) since so often it becomes a road block
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#6 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 19:30

View Postjohnu, on 2020-October-04, 18:15, said:

I can't think of any expert who would respond 1 and I think some experts might initially respond 2 with only 4 clubs and 4 spades to immediately set up a game force.


Normal 1 for me. No one wants to play in clubs. I have 4SF available to force later.

If the clubs were better AND the spades were worse I could see some logic in starting with 2, but I see no such compulsion here.
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#7 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 20:12

Thx all. It's obvious after some expert advice, looking at the hand again etc. I clearly wasn't paying enough attention to the description on the srtength of the 3D bid. However I still just don't have all those forcing bids NMF, FSF, etc in my head enough

Is FSF in that case agreeing on diamonds. Does 4C become FSF because of the double? Or is it NMF? Or just F :)
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#8 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 20:19

Just F. Does not agree suit. Keeps the auction alive and disallows passing (usually below game, partership agreement wether bailing out in 4m is allowed, and when)
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#9 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 21:14

Thx, I've just put the hand through a bidding table and tried as many combinations of bids as I could and without me either bidding Blackwood or going to 6D myself I could not get past 5D. Must be a different bot. With a minor slam bidding Blackwood is essentially commiting to slam anyway. Oh and it forgot about its void. There also seemed no cue bids available etc, because we hadn't yet agreed trumps at any stage
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#10 User is offline   TylerE 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 21:16

You'll only poison your bridge by obsessing over how the robots play: It ain't bridge.
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#11 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 21:28

View PostTylerE, on 2020-October-04, 21:16, said:

You'll only poison your bridge by obsessing over how the robots play: It ain't bridge.

I don't agree with this.

We all need the training we can get, and club bridge is not real bridge either. Robot bridge has its flaws, but it shields you from a lot of the bad habits you'll learn at the club. Like partners and opponents who try to sell their snake oil conventions (GIB plays a few bad things such as Capp, but most club players have worse agreements), tons of UI and other ethical issues etc.

Besides, playing with and against robots allows you to play more often and faster than you can play with/against people.

The only really bad thing about robot bridge, IMHO, is the lack of the social aspect. For me, joining the local bridge club has always been the way to meet new people whenever I moved to a new country or city. I used to make lots of friends on BBO. Nowadays, BBO is mostly a place where everyone plays at their own robot table. Yes, I know, it's my own choice, playing with robots is just so convenient. But at some point I think I will go cold turkey on the robots.
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#12 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 22:04

View PostTylerE, on 2020-October-04, 21:16, said:

You'll only poison your bridge by obsessing over how the robots play: It ain't bridge.


I appreciate that Tyler, but since its a new system to me (even after a few years) its one way of learning how the system works. However the lack of fliexibility and constant "misunderstandings" between possum and bot are frustrating. As a side question, is it possible for something that clearly understands nothing (ie a machine) to misunderstand something. I, on the other hand, hopefully have capacity for understanding but seem perpetually confused when playing GiB

I would prefer to play at table if I can find 3 people of similar relaxed freindly temperament who enjoy bridge the way I do and aren't likely to get upset, leave, ignore you, get rude etc

EDIT As aother aside, I just played a hand in Vugraph which coincidentally bore an uncanny resemblance to the above hand. I was the one with the long minor (clubs), North was doing the forcing (FSF was used) but sadly after I raised GiB's 5C game to 6C I was devastated to find it had forced with a rather weak hand, missing any controls. EDIT Oh the best bit was raising me to 5clubs and forcing with a void in clubs. I mean, its an easy mistake to make, a shapely hand, a void a couple of kings and 9 points - has game force and/or slam in your void suit written all over it :)
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#13 User is online   smerriman 

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Posted 2020-October-04, 22:47

View Postthepossum, on 2020-October-04, 22:04, said:

I appreciate that Tyler, but since its a new system to me (even after a few years) its one way of learning how the system works.

As long as you're aware that it's how GIB's system works, and *not* how 2/1 in general works. Perhaps it's a good way of getting started if you're not ready to play with humans, but you'll need to unlearn a significant amount if you want to start playing actual 2/1 with humans.

I sense you sometimes mix them up a little when you provide a GIB auction and give it as an example of why 2/1 is restrictive - whereas in reality, 2/1 works perfectly fine, it's just GIB's version that doesn't.

I think GIB is a valuable learning tool - but only if you approach it from the perspective of "how should the bidding have gone", not "what should I have bid with GIB". And most importantly, do this on hands where you get to the right contract, not just the wrong ones - as mistakes in those auctions with GIB can result in bad habits that can deteriorate your game the most (such as contemplating jumping to 3NT, which would kill a human partnership but can often be right with GIB).
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#14 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-05, 00:31

View Postsmerriman, on 2020-October-04, 22:47, said:

As long as you're aware that it's how GIB's system works, and *not* how 2/1 in general works. Perhaps it's a good way of getting started if you're not ready to play with humans, but you'll need to unlearn a significant amount if you want to start playing actual 2/1 with humans.

I sense you sometimes mix them up a little when you provide a GIB auction and give it as an example of why 2/1 is restrictive - whereas in reality, 2/1 works perfectly fine, it's just GIB's version that doesn't.

I think GIB is a valuable learning tool - but only if you approach it from the perspective of "how should the bidding have gone", not "what should I have bid with GIB". And most importantly, do this on hands where you get to the right contract, not just the wrong ones - as mistakes in those auctions with GIB can result in bad habits that can deteriorate your game the most (such as contemplating jumping to 3NT, which would kill a human partnership but can often be right with GIB).


When I say restrictive what I mean is that the complexity, the number of sequences and bids are much more constrained than simpler more flexible system - such as the one I originally learned with :)

So yes, there is an aspect of never being able to learn so many rules, despite playing it for a few years now.

But of course I know playiing with a human, with few specific or over-rigidly defined sequences, a bit more nautral variance can often iron over the flaws in having to get the perfect sequence ever time

Its interesting (to me anway). I was brought up on basic Acol many years ago. I was reading one of the many current variants of Acol (Modern English Standard Acol) and it has developed mroe similarities with a 2/1 approach than basic that I used to play with conventions I could count on one hand

Oh, and while I think of it having to have a 5-card major to open the bidding in that suit is what I call restrictive :)
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#15 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-October-05, 00:34

View PostTylerE, on 2020-October-04, 19:30, said:

Normal 1 for me. No one wants to play in clubs. I have 4SF available to force later.

You don't after 1D-1S-2D. You could of course bid 3C, but then you have got the auction higher and given a misleading impression of the relative lengths of your suits than if you had just bid them the natura way around.
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