Squeezing The Dummy

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

More Transfers

I've really jumped on the transfers-in-many-weird-situations bandwagon. Here are two common problem auctions where transfers are better than anything else that I've seen.

1) 1M-(p)-1N-(p)-2N-(p)-?

Before I played transfers I played bids as natural and forcing and with a terrible hand you're just out of luck. Transfers are a big improvement, though, here's how they work after a 1 opener:

3=Diamonds. Over 3, responder can pass, bid 3 to show Hx of hearts to go with his diamonds, bid a black suit as a cuebid, or bid 3N to show a generic slam try in diamonds.

3=Hearts. Over 3 responder can pass with a weak raise, cue with a 3 card limit and slam interest, or bid 3N with a shape like 3334 to offer a choice of games.

3=Clubs. Opener can say he likes clubs by bidding 3 or otherwise bid 3N. Responder can now sign off in 4 or cue.

3=Both minors. Opener can bid a minor with slam interest or a hand that doesn't want to play NT, or signoff in 3N.

Note there is no transfer to spades because 1N denied spades. After a 1 opener things are slightly different. There is no bid to show the minors and a 3 bid is a transfer to clubs. Opener either bids 3N or 4 depending on his hand type.

This method essentially loses room whenever responder has clubs but gains by being able to signoff in 3 of any suit other than clubs, offer choices of games, show some 2-suiters below 3N, and investigate slam below 3N.

2) 1-p-1N-p-2-p-?

This is a weird auction for transfers, but Lebensohl doesn't get the job done. For starters, over a 2N leb bid if opener is 4513 and partner has clubs he may not want to just play 3. Secondly, if opener has extras he will have a hard time showing it and may be forced to punt out 3N knowing nothing about partners hand. With transfers responder can start describing his hand and opener can judge what to do. Here's how transfers work in this auction:

2N=5+ clubs. With a minimum, opener bids 3. Responder can pass, bid 3N showing a concern about diamonds, bid 3 with a minor 2-suiter, bid 3H on Hx or 3 with 3 good spades. Opener will be well placed to know what to do. If opener has extras he can bid something other than 3 and will be better placed to know what that something is since he knows partner's suit.

3=5+ diamonds. Again, opener accepts with a minimum and bids something else otherwise. Responder can pass or further describe his hand.

3=2+ hearts. This is either to signoff in 3, or a 3-card limit raise that would like to start cuebidding, or a balanced hand with 2 card heart support. Opener signs off with a minimum or tries 3N or 4 or a cue bid with extras and 6 hearts.

3=3+ spades. This would show an interest in the 4-3 and no good 5 card minor to mention. Opener bids 3 with a minimum or tries 3N or a pattern bid otherwise.

3=both minors. If opener happens to have a minor suit fragment he will bid it.

3N=to play, denies a doubleton heart.

This method isn't perfect but it makes for much more accurate auctions than Lebensohl.



  • I know some experts who are playing something similar

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/11/06, 3:52 PM  

  • Many play the first one, not many that I know of play the second one. Note I do not claim to have created either method (although did come up with the second one independently).

    By Blogger Justin Lall, at 1/11/06, 4:02 PM  

  • The 1st is pretty common, the 2nd isn't. Another spot is 1x - 1y - 2N - ? Chris Larsen and Tom Sanders play them here, although I'm not convinced of their effectiveness - Phil

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/11/06, 4:05 PM  

  • I got sold on transfers after 1H 1N 2S after bidding this hand, playing lebensohl

    xx Jx xx AQxxxx
    AQxx AKQxx Qx Kx

    1H 1N 2S 2N 3N P


    I think when you say 3NT over 2S denies a doubleton heart, you really mean it just tells opener not to pull with six hearts, but responder could surely still have a doubleton if he is loaded in the minors I would think. Like some hand resembling xxx xx KQT9 KJTx.

    By Anonymous donnnnnn, at 1/11/06, 5:52 PM  

  • Justin,

    Your continuations in (2) to responder’s rebids of 2NT and 3C are flawed. Opener should always accept the transfer so that refusal bids of 3D, 3H and 3S show(4=5=4=0), (4=6) or (5=6), respectively. To prevent opener from doing so, just for the sake of a 5/6-3 minor suit fit, is bad bridge imho.


    Firstly on that hand, opener must accept the transfer! To bid 3NT with Qx of diamonds is lunacy useless he has mental telepathy. If he bids like that, he should consider opening 2NT. Secondly, if you jump like that to 3NT you're gonna miss a lotta slams 'cause you pre-empted your own partner, the reverser. With a good hand opposite a reverse you would do well to let him completely describe his hand. Indeed look what a 3H bid does in the first hand. He has yet relinquished captaincy of the bidding. Consider:
    AKJx AQJTx Axxx --
    I'd be plenty PO'd playing 3NT.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/12/06, 2:34 PM  

  • Umm partner might be transferring and passing, thus with a game force you cannot accept the transfer.

    By Blogger Justin Lall, at 1/12/06, 3:09 PM  

  • Accepting the transfer should show tolerance but a non-maximum.

    On Donn's hand, playing lebensohl gets you back to clubs via 1H - 1N - 2S - 2N - 3C - ?? Ironically, this might steer the hand out of NT, since opener must have club tolerance for the acceptance. I can see...3H - 4H :) TYP.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/12/06, 3:18 PM  

  • 1) How can opener possibly bid 3C no matter which methods?? In either case he might be dropped there with an easy game. In fact, that's what was about to happen! How does responder know there is game unless opener shows extras, give opener AKxx AKQxx Jx xx or something. Even with the club king, just remove KH from the actual hand. Playing Lebensohl, there is really no choice to bidding 3NT. Playing transfers I think he should bid 3D and let 3NT instead imply short clubs and diamonds stopped.

    2) Holding AKJx AQJTx Axxx - if the bidding goes 1H 1N 2S 3N, you indeed should be P.O.ed if you play in 3NT. But not as P.O.ed as partner that you stupidly decided to stop bidding your hand. Does 3NT bar you?? Why would you ever not bid 4D on this hand? And how is the example a 'good hand' opposite a reverse? It has 0 highcards in partners suits, 0 aces...geez how much worse could responder even bid game with?

    By Anonymous donn-defender, at 1/12/06, 3:59 PM  

  • Donn's partner's 20 count is a non maximum?

    By Blogger Justin Lall, at 1/12/06, 4:00 PM  

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