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most valuable addition(s) to SAYC

#21 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2019-July-04, 01:45

View PostZelandakh, on 2019-July-03, 02:48, said:

So what about 1M - 2X; 2NT? One of the most awkward parts of SAYC is that one part of the booklet states explicitly that this is forcing while another makes it so that having it forcing is almost unplayable. This is the #1 auction for any pair playing SAYC to discuss and comes well above adding conventions. For the record, the "best" version of SAYC I have seen comes from Adam (awm) and he plays this sequence as forcing, meaning that minimum balanced hands have to find a different rebid. This is unfortunately not the way the vast majority of players see it; but then again most players who say they are playing SAYC are really just playing their personalised version of SA and have no idea of how the Yellow Card system really works.


I've always played the opposite - 1M-2x; 2NT shows a balanced minimum that would not accept an invitation. Either way should work though.
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#22 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2019-August-06, 08:20

View PostRuflRabbit, on 2019-July-03, 21:37, said:

The real problem auction is 1D - 2C, but if you can point me to any 5cM strong notrump system that's solved this problem, I'm all ears. Lawrence's Workbook on 2/1 devotes several pages to a very thoughtful analysis, but IMO, it's ultimately unsatisfying.

Is Adam's version available online?

Sorry Rufl, I missed this post earlier. As far as I know Adam has not published his version of SAYC but he has posted about it a few times on BBF so a search should provide you with the basic rules. He also tends to be very reactive and helpful to enquiries so you could also try a PM if you cannot find enough detail yourself.

The issues in the 1 - 2 auction can be solved in various ways. The most common these days is to make it game forcing, meaning that all of the awkward issues are contained within the 1NT response. Using some relatively idle responses such as 3 to help take some of the pressure off of 1NT is helpful here.

The second approach is to retain 2 as invitational or better and code Opener's rebids to sort everything out. Most systems split minimum hand types between 2 (forcing), 2NT and 3 while giving Opener the chance to further describe their hand after the 2 rebid. It is not particularly difficult to code enough sequences to describe all hand types but it should be clear that game and slam bidding suffers somewhat in comparison to the 2/1 style above.

Finally one can make the 2 response "GF except X", where X is typically one or both of a balanced invite and an invitational one-suiter. The idea of this approach is to combine the best from the two previous methods. The problem with it is that in reality you do not get the benefits of the purely GF approach and therefore need to use strategies taken from the INV+. In theory your bidding space is more optimally used in this style but it is also more complicated to get the most from that bidding space.

All of the above methods can further be simplified by using an unbalanced diamond opening and opening all balanced hands with either 1 or a specialised opening (1NT, 2NT; Mexican 2, etc). Not having to account for balanced hands after a 1 opening effectively creates more bidding space for everything else.

In addition to the three natural approaches there are also a number of artificial schemes. Using 1NT or 2 as an artificial game force over 1 is quite possible. Another artificial solution is Skip Bid responses, where for example 1 shows hearts. My own solution uses a 1 response to show all INV+ hands with a 1NT response being weak with hearts. Sadly while these schemes have their various advantages over natural methods, all suffer from the issue of being more unfamiliar. And unfamiliarity means more complex for most players.

But the bottom line is that 1 - 2 need not be difficult. To my mind the auction after 1 - (2) is much more awkward. We have had some threads on that here at BBF and as far as I remember the most comprehensive scheme so far was posted by Hans. But that is a whole new kettle of worms.
(-: Zel :-)
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#23 User is online   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-August-06, 15:15

View Postsfi, on 2019-July-04, 01:45, said:

I've always played the opposite - 1M-2x; 2NT shows a balanced minimum that would not accept an invitation. Either way should work though.


Shouldn’t this always show the NT range you don’t open?
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#24 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2019-August-06, 16:16

View PostVampyr, on 2019-August-06, 15:15, said:

Shouldn’t this always show the NT range you don’t open?

This is reasonable if you play 12-14 or maybe 14-16, and if you play 2/1 GF it is playable although probably not optimal. It is also reasonable if you play Lawrence style, in which 2 is GF opposite a balanced minimum albeit not opposite a misfitting unbalanced minimum.

If you play 15-17 non-2/1, i.e. something similar to SAYC, it is not good IMHO. If 2NT shows a balanced minimum that would not accept an invite, then you need some other way to bid the balanced minimum that do accept the invite, and a 3rd way to bid balanced maximum.

SAYC is a bit scizofrenic in this respect but I think the most reasonable interpretation is that SAYC is similar to Lawrence style:
- Opener upgrade a reasonable 5M332 14-count to a 1NT opening. So the balanced range in the 1M openings is quite narrow.
- Responder therefore doesn't have a balanced invite opposite the 12-13(14) balanced. He either signs of (responds 1NT) or forces to game (responds 2 F1R, and after the 2NT rebid we are in a GF).

I realize that this is controversial and that less than 1% of people who put SAYC in their profile assume this style. But it is the only way I can reconcile "2NT shows a minimum" with "2 promises a second bid", both of which are in the SAYC description.
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#25 User is online   awm 

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Posted 2019-August-06, 20:05

Our basic agreement in 2/1 auctions is that rebidding the suit opened can be a catch-all with any hand having no other appropriate bid. This is often a minimum without a cheaper suit to name. Note that the catch-all does not show a minimum (it could be a quite good hand with a six card suit) and it’s still forcing one round (2/1 promises a rebid). All minimum range balanced hands make the catch-all bid. Note that this includes after opening 1 and getting a 2 response. So after 1-2:

2 = any hand with less than 15 points, or some stronger hands with 6+ but not a great suit, forcing one round
2M = 15+ with 4M and 5+ (or maybe 4441)
2nt = 18-19 balanced (without 4, can have a 4M)
3 = 15+ and 4+
3 = 15+ and a really good suit
3M = splinter raise of clubs

Everything above 2 is game force. After the 2 rebid responder bids 2nt or 3 as non forcing invites (note opener still goes to game with 14 balanced over this) or bids anything else to game force. 2M by responder is game forcing and “natural” although we occasionally need to bid a strong three card suit.
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#26 User is online   RuflRabbit 

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Posted 2019-August-07, 08:39

I'm interested to read the various suggestions, but I think I still like what is very close to the Washington Standard treatment.

After 1D-2C, 2M or 2NT shows more than a bare minimum (i.e., enough to accept an invitation to 3NT when responder has a hand worth ~ 11). With a bare minimum, opener rebids 2D (it can even be a 3 card suit). If responder then bids 2NT (showing the 11 count) or 3C (showing a minimum 2/1 with 6 clubs), opener can pass. 2C still promises a rebid and we can stop in 2NT when it's right and go on when that's right.

Thanks to those who have pointed out that the SAYC booklet leaves a little gap here. Either way of handling the problem will work (2NT shows enough to accept and is forcing or 2NT doesn't show enough to accept and isn't forcing), but as it's written, a bare minimum opener opposite 11 would wind up in game. Maybe that was even intentional, since it says that the minimum opener is 13, but we all know most people aren't going to wait for 13 to open. :)
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