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Awkward hand opposite partner's opening

#1 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2022-January-28, 17:38

This hand came up at IMP pairs earlier this evening. I was playing with a partner I have not played with since before the pandemic, and she hasn't played for a couple of months so was a bit anxious when we were discussing Lebensohl and multi-Landy earlier in the week.

AQ862
KT98
A8
93

The agreed system is Benji Acol, weak NT.

At green vuln, LHO passes, partner opens 1, RHO passes. You have not discussed Jacoby 2NT and it isn't on your card. What do you respond?
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#2 User is online   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 03:46

Some people agree to bid 2, 2NT or 3NT with this hand type. Which one is appropriate depends on your partnership. I have to bid 2.
If you are forced to improvise on the spot 2 might work, but I think it is theoretically worse. In particular if the auction goes 1-2; 3-? you are in serious trouble.

I once held a slightly worse version: KQxxx, AJx, AJxx, x and partner opened 1. This is too strong for our splinters, so I chose 2. In the post-mortem partner suggested that 2 was better.
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#3 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 06:50

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-January-29, 03:46, said:

Some people agree to bid 2, 2NT or 3NT with this hand type. Which one is appropriate depends on your partnership. I have to bid 2.
If you are forced to improvise on the spot 2 might work, but I think it is theoretically worse. In particular if the auction goes 1-2; 3-? you are in serious trouble.

I once held a slightly worse version: KQxxx, AJx, AJxx, x and partner opened 1. This is too strong for our splinters, so I chose 2. In the post-mortem partner suggested that 2 was better.


I would have bid 2 on that hand, why not show a suit you hold?

If you respond 2 on my hand, partner raises to 3. What now?
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#4 User is online   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 08:46

Now you bid 3, to show that you had a hand with spade support, not promising club length.

The reason not to bid 2 on that hand is that partner will count an extra diamond trick with some support.
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#5 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 08:58

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-January-29, 08:46, said:

Now you bid 3, to show that you had a hand with spade support, not promising club length.

The reason not to bid 2 on that hand is that partner will count an extra diamond trick with some support.


No you don't, that's not forcing in the Acol the OP specified
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#6 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 09:48

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-January-29, 08:58, said:

No you don't, that's not forcing in the Acol the OP specified


Yes, at the table I responded 2 and jumped to 4 opposite the 3 response and partner played there.


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#7 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 10:36

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-January-29, 03:46, said:

Some people agree to bid 2, 2NT or 3NT with this hand type. Which one is appropriate depends on your partnership. I have to bid 2.
If you are forced to improvise on the spot 2 might work, but I think it is theoretically worse. In particular if the auction goes 1-2; 3-? you are in serious trouble.

I once held a slightly worse version: KQxxx, AJx, AJxx, x and partner opened 1. This is too strong for our splinters, so I chose 2. In the post-mortem partner suggested that 2 was better.


I would prefer to respond 2 as it's more descriptive than bidding a minor. I know 2 normally shows five, but where's the harm? If partner raises we can always go back to spades. 1-2-3-3 should be forcing in Acol, but with a rusty partner I'd prefer 4 or 4 over 3.
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#8 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 10:57

View PostDouglas43, on 2022-January-29, 10:36, said:

I would prefer to respond 2 as it's more descriptive than bidding a minor. I know 2 normally shows five, but where's the harm? If partner raises we can always go back to spades. 1-2-3-3 should be forcing in Acol, but with a rusty partner I'd prefer 4 or 4 over 3.


The harm is that partner has AQJ counts 5 tricks and contracts for 13 when you only have 12 or 12 when you have 11
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#9 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 11:00

Hello again. I had to reply as this is an Acol question. Why is your partner opening 1 here instead of 1? With 5/5 in the black suits I usually open 1. There are a few reasons why I would not open 1 here: rebidding a poor suit as my next bid; and if game is on partner will have a better hand than me and you'd want the lead coming up to him/her.

It might be acceptable in 2/1 to open 1 here, but it doesn't fit well into Acol bidding. Let's say you open 1 and partner forces with 3 in Acol? What now? It's bad enough rebidding 2 after 2 but make that a level higher and it becomes impossible to describe your hand accurately.
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#10 User is online   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 11:50

Oh, I missed the Acol. My mistake. I think this hand hits a seam in a lot of methods, but if 2 doesn't even establish a game force I don't see the appeal at all. If 2 is natural it seems crazy for 1-2; 3-3 to be NF - wouldn't responder pass 3 with a minimum? Or is 3 forcing, but not forcing to game/4m? What contracts can you stop in after that start to the auction?
Also if 1M-2m can be invitational, what does 1M-3m show?

Douglas, you are quoting my example hand with 34. But I don't like 2 for the same reason I don't like 2 on my example hand. Also 1-2; 3-3 is not an auction I would ever inflict on partner without thorough discussion. Sure, it's GF, but is this a double fit? A cue for hearts? Shorter hearts with delayed spade support? Choice of games, or at least mild SI? A 'picture bid', something like KQ, AKJxx, xxx, xxx? I think partner is never going to suspect 54 on that auction.
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#11 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 13:16

View PostFelicityR, on 2022-January-29, 11:00, said:

Hello again. I had to reply as this is an Acol question. Why is your partner opening 1 here instead of 1? With 5/5 in the black suits I usually open 1. There are a few reasons why I would not open 1 here: rebidding a poor suit as my next bid; and if game is on partner will have a better hand than me and you'd want the lead coming up to him/her.

It might be acceptable in 2/1 to open 1 here, but it doesn't fit well into Acol bidding. Let's say you open 1 and partner forces with 3 in Acol? What now? It's bad enough rebidding 2 after 2 but make that a level higher and it becomes impossible to describe your hand accurately.


Old fashioned Acol does indeed open 1 on this and I think I would if not playing 2N as a raise. Playing 2N as a raise, I'd open it 1.
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#12 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 13:17

View PostFelicityR, on 2022-January-29, 11:00, said:

Hello again. I had to reply as this is an Acol question. Why is your partner opening 1 here instead of 1? With 5/5 in the black suits I usually open 1. There are a few reasons why I would not open 1 here: rebidding a poor suit as my next bid; and if game is on partner will have a better hand than me and you'd want the lead coming up to him/her.

It might be acceptable in 2/1 to open 1 here, but it doesn't fit well into Acol bidding. Let's say you open 1 and partner forces with 3 in Acol? What now? It's bad enough rebidding 2 after 2 but make that a level higher and it becomes impossible to describe your hand accurately.


I wouldn't worry about what to do if I bid 3. Firstly, it has been years since I ever had a hand suitable for a strong jump shift after partner has opened. Secondly, make the two of clubs the two of hearts and you'd open 1 and have the same problem. Is there not a risk of missing a 5-3 spade fit if you open 1 and opponents decide to overcall in a red suit, and opening 1 makes it easier for them to do that?
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#13 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 13:48

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-January-29, 13:16, said:

Old fashioned Acol does indeed open 1 on this and I think I would if not playing 2N as a raise. Playing 2N as a raise, I'd open it 1.


Playing 2 as a semi-artificial GF raise (as we do) I would also open it 1 and then raise clubs.
We would then bid comfortably to 4, with North knowing that I control hearts but not the minors.

I'm curious to know how things would develop after an Acol 1 here?
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#14 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 15:52

View Postpescetom, on 2022-January-29, 13:48, said:


I'm curious to know how things would develop after an Acol 1 here?


1-1
2/3 and you will end up in 4 once you realise nobody has a club control if you don't get there fast.

I haven't bid like that for a while, 1-2N would be our start (high card raise to 3 or better, unlimited)
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#15 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 16:43

 Cyberyeti, on 2022-January-29, 15:52, said:

1-1
2/3 and you will end up in 4 once you realise nobody has a club control if you don't get there fast.

I haven't bid like that for a while, 1-2N would be our start (high card raise to 3 or better, unlimited)


And if it was slightly different, how would you proceed in either scheme?


We would start as before, but now North no longer stops in game:
1 2
3 3
4 4NT
5 6
p

North could also splinter, but is a bit too heavy for our style.
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#16 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 17:03

View Postpescetom, on 2022-January-29, 16:43, said:

And if it was slightly different, how would you proceed in either scheme?


We would start as before, but now North no longer stops in game:
1 2
3 3
4 4NT
5 6
p


And how would your auction differ if the S hand was 5134 with the same high cards ?
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#17 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2022-January-29, 20:49

The lack of a game forcing major suit raise is probably the biggest hole in Acol. There's a reason that 1M-3M is game forcing in Goren. 1M-3M became limit in Standard American *after* the widespread adoption of Jacoby 2N.

Playing Goren with the original hand with the A replaced by a low spade has the same problem, except 4 is not quite as terrible since, with the weaker hand, slam is much less likely given partner couldn't manage a Benji 2 (or am I confusing Benji with reverse Benji?)
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#18 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted Yesterday, 03:58

View PostCyberyeti, on 2022-January-29, 17:03, said:

And how would your auction differ if the S hand was 5134 with the same high cards ?


The hand would now be too weak to raise clubs (the original hand is borderline already given the minimal HCP, but the shape narrowly clinches it) and S would have to rebid 2, over which N will probably signoff in 4.
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