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How Effective Is A Weak Two Diamonds Bid?

#21 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 08:40

FelicityR said:

4999' post='920678']
Whilst playing at home with a few friends this weekend, I have again noticed (in a session of about 30 boards) that the Weak Two in (6 card suit, about 6-10 points) is not as effective as a weak two in or .

It is something I have thought about previously, as it easier to overcall 2 than a weak two in s or s.

It is interesting to note that whilst European players I find use the 2 bid to cover a multitude of hands, from Acol strong two bids, Benji, Flannery or Multi 2, American players playing 2/1 or SAYC tend to keep the 2 as weak.

Is it such an effective weapon in a bridge player's armoury given its low pre-emptive level? I tried comparing it to a weak NT bid (12-14) which, I feel, has more of a pre-emptive impact than a weak 2 even though they are different types of hands.

Your comments as always would be appreciated. Thank you.

Depending on the quality of the diamond suit I would open either 2 or 3 HoldingAQxxxxxx I would open 2
However with something like KQ10985432 I would be more inclined to open 3As always it is the intermediate cards that sway the balance. The vulnerability would also have an influence on my decision.
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#22 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 08:53

There is a lot more to the bid than pure pre-emption.

Constructive aspects are showing partner a potential source of tricks for 3nt, lead directing and shutting partner up at a safer low level on a misfit.

It is still mildly pre-emptive but the main thrust of that comes from a responder who can either raise or jump, especially when their bigger hand is in 4th chair. How about a raise to 3 by partner to a 16 count 3-2-2-6 shape?

Depending on vul, shape etc. I do look for strategic reasons to open 3 instead of 2 as Phil mentions (but not with 8 of them). On occasion my 3 openers white vs red are pretty awefull, like a QJT98x with a QJTx on the side that don't fit any of the constructive issues so in general, opening 3 (on these or equal colors) is weaker than a 2 bid.
When a deaf person goes to court is it still called a hearing?
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#23 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 09:15

View PostPhilG007, on 2017-April-24, 08:40, said:

Depending on the quality of the diamond suit I would open either 2 or 3 HoldingAQxxxxxx I would open 2
However with something like KQ10985432 I would be more inclined to open 3As always it is the intermediate cards that sway the balance. The vulnerability would also have an influence on my decision.

Your trolling is really reaching the bottom of the barrel here, particularly given that the OP is obviously relatively new to the game and might think you were serious with this.

To Felicity, it is widely held that preemptive 2 and 2 openings are generally more difficult to defend than 2 almost irrespective of the meanings assigned to the calls. There are a few exceptions to this but it is not far from the truth for all preemptive methods generally to be found at club level and below. 2 as a weak 2 in diamonds is a highly effective call because the possibility of a fit in either major often causes difficulties for the opponents. 2 as a Multi is also effective, not so much because of the 2 opening itself (it is generally a disadvantage in comparison to a normal weak 2) but because of the addition of 2 further preempts for the 2M openings; you can expect the resulting 2 opening to be an effective weapon that a team playing 3 weak 2s will not have available.

Finally, I am not so sure that you are right in your classification of 2 openings. In my (limited) experience the Flannery 2 opening is more popular in North America than anywhere else and there are regulatory reasons for the Multi 2 not being taken up very strongly in the ACBL. Probably the next most common meaning for a 2 opening after these at a high level is Precision given the regulation restrictions placed on Wilkosz. This is also reasonably popular amongst elite American pairs.
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#24 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 09:38

from my signature - see 2:12 https://www.youtube....h?v=MKtEbW9wnZo
"definitely that's what I like to play when I'm playing standard - I want to be able to bid diamonds because bidding good suits is important in bridge" - Meckstroth's opinion on weak 2 diamond
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#25 User is offline   Left2Right 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 11:58

Beyond the weak two's preemptive value is its constructive value.
Consider these two hands.
North: 7 6 K 5 K Q 9 6 4 3 J 10 8
South: Q J 10 9 A 9 8 2 A 5 2 K 3

The point-counting novice sees merely 9 HCP in the North hand and 14 in the South, well short of the "opening hand facing an opening hand" game requirement that Goren wrote about.

After North's "weak" 2 call, a trick-counting South envisions the possibility of six diamonds, his ace and two more tricks from anywhere else in the hand, depending on whether or not the quality of the weak two is closer to the top of the range.

Because of this potential, multiple conventions have been authored over the years to take advantage of the cheaply stolen but constructively bid 3NT game (Feature, Ogust). And this also goes for weak twos in the majors.

So despite the relatively poor preemptive value of 2, system designers need to consider what all they are giving up before they try for the potential gain to be had by giving the 2 opening some other meaning.
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#26 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 12:46

We generated the game swing that sealed the county teams final by opening 2 on T8xx, Qx, KQxxx, xx partner had xx, AKJxx, Axxxx, x and because we started 2-(X)-3(fit) we managed to find 4= and ops never found their club fit, at the other table was 5-1 after ops bid clubs vigorously after a 1 opener (5 is -1 if you cash out correctly).
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#27 User is offline   Jinksy 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 13:28

View PostCyberyeti, on 2017-April-24, 12:46, said:

We generated the game swing that sealed the county teams final by opening 2 on T8xx, Qx, KQxxx, xx partner had xx, AKJxx, Axxxx, x and because we started 2-(X)-3(fit) we managed to find 4= and ops never found their club fit, at the other table was 5-1 after ops bid clubs vigorously after a 1 opener (5 is -1 if you cash out correctly).


Third seat opening? Or would you do that in first?
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#28 User is offline   odisseus5 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 14:01

I know another use for 2!D - 4441 distribution, relay 2!H asks for singleton
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#29 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 14:45

View PostJinksy, on 2017-April-24, 13:28, said:

Third seat opening? Or would you do that in first?


First, you really think partner would pass his hand which I gave in the post ?

Philosophically we consider that there are 3 people you can screw up in first seat, and we'll take the 2:1 odds, so we preempt aggressively in first seat.
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#30 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 17:51

The weak 2d bid works quite nicely as a preempt, especially when it is RHO that has the strong hand and partner can further the preempt at his turn before RHO gets to bid.

For anyone short of world-class status, there is no reason to mess with anything different. Your results won't vary that much.

If you really want to try something different just for kicks, then probably the two best treatments are Meckwell and Wilkosz. Wilkosz is 5/5 unspecified (with 2H and 2S as weak 2s). Meckwell is simply the base Multi bid; that is, a weak 2 in hearts or spades (with 2H as 5/5 H and another suit and 2S as 5/5 S and a minor).
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#31 User is offline   aawk 

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Posted 2017-April-24, 20:36

Weak openings bids are a great weapon in disturbing opponents bidding.

So how more weak bids at 2 level you can make the better it is.

For example :

2 = being game forcing or weak with 6 card (or weak with 5-4 in majors instead of a 6 card )

2 = being a strong nt pattern or weak with 6 card major (could also include semi game forcing with a 6+ card major)

2/ = weak 5 card major and a 4+ card minor
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#32 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-April-25, 01:58

View Postmiamijd, on 2017-April-24, 17:51, said:

If you really want to try something different just for kicks, then probably the two best treatments are Meckwell and Wilkosz.

You do not consider Mini-Multi + Muiderberg to be worth consideration for pairs looking at alternatives?!
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#33 User is offline   IGoHomeNow 

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Posted 2017-April-25, 03:04

I believe there are good reasons to play Flannery. These may not balance the downside of losing a weak 2D, but the reasons remain valid either way.

1. Playing 2/1 and holding 45 shape in the majors is awkward unless the hand has reversing values. Flannery avoids all the rebid issues after !NT and even 2C or 2D bids. Now the 2S bid is a reverse and there is no doubt. Furthermore, when you have 4513, 5431 or 5422, the rebid over 1NT forcing is a disaster. 2H is probably best except maybe with 5413. But that is a big problem because the 2H bid really needs to promise 6 cards if partner has any hope to evaluate his invitational hands.

2. With Flannery, it is possible to play 1S response as guarantees 5+ Once again, this makes things a lot easier when it comes to evaluation of hands.

3. Flannery also comes with a decent set of tools for exploration of slams and even making wise decisions about game.

4. Competing with a Flannery opener is on the awkward side. Penalty doubles are pretty easy to find if your decision to compete is wrong because opener's hand is so clearly defined. After all, you most likely will be deciding which minor to play in at the 3 level in an auction where fit is totally unknown.

5. Against weak players or unfamiliar partnerships, simply knowing what the defensive calls mean is not clear. This can lead to a total train-wreck by your opponents.
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#34 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2017-April-25, 12:35

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-April-25, 01:58, said:

You do not consider Mini-Multi + Muiderberg to be worth consideration for pairs looking at alternatives?!


Mini Multi wastes too many bids showing more or less the same hand. If you want to play 2D as a weak two in a major, better to use Meckwell's treatment.

Muiderberg is a treatment for the 2H and 2S bids when you use Multi or Meckwell. It's very similar to Meckwell's treatment; the only difference is that 2H shows H and a minor rather than H and another suit. Not a big difference.

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#35 User is offline   miamijd 

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Posted 2017-April-25, 12:47

View PostIGoHomeNow, on 2017-April-25, 03:04, said:

I believe there are good reasons to play Flannery. These may not balance the downside of losing a weak 2D, but the reasons remain valid either way.

1. Playing 2/1 and holding 45 shape in the majors is awkward unless the hand has reversing values. Flannery avoids all the rebid issues after !NT and even 2C or 2D bids. Now the 2S bid is a reverse and there is no doubt. Furthermore, when you have 4513, 5431 or 5422, the rebid over 1NT forcing is a disaster. 2H is probably best except maybe with 5413. But that is a big problem because the 2H bid really needs to promise 6 cards if partner has any hope to evaluate his invitational hands.

2. With Flannery, it is possible to play 1S response as guarantees 5+ Once again, this makes things a lot easier when it comes to evaluation of hands.

3. Flannery also comes with a decent set of tools for exploration of slams and even making wise decisions about game.

4. Competing with a Flannery opener is on the awkward side. Penalty doubles are pretty easy to find if your decision to compete is wrong because opener's hand is so clearly defined. After all, you most likely will be deciding which minor to play in at the 3 level in an auction where fit is totally unknown.

5. Against weak players or unfamiliar partnerships, simply knowing what the defensive calls mean is not clear. This can lead to a total train-wreck by your opponents.



There is a reason that hardly any world-class pair plays Flannery, and very few expert players use it. You give up more than you get.

What do you get? The ability to show 45 hands with 11-14 HCP more easily. It's not that big a benefit. First off, those hands don't come up that often. Second, when they do, you generally are OK opening 1H. If the opponents compete, partner has a negative double available. If partner bids 1NT, he doesn't have 4S, anyway. If partner bids 2 of a minor, you have a game force and can find your spade fit later.

The only real benefit comes when you are specifically 4522 and have to bid a two-card club suit after 1NT forcing. Big whoop. Flannery is a solution for a problem that really isn't all that bad.

Yes, low-level players may have difficulty bidding after an opposing 2D Flannery opening, but for more experienced players, it is probably easier competing vs Flannery that vs a standard 1H bid, because you know precisely what that player has.

What do you give up?
1. The weak 2D bid (or Meckwell or Wilkosz or whatever you like)
2. If the opponents buy the hand, they will be able to play it more or less double-dummy (you have just told them your shape and HCP count)
3. If the 2D opener becomes dummy (which does happen sometimes after asking bids), the opponents will be able to defend pretty much double-dummy

That's way too much for the marginal benefit.

Cheers,
Mike
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#36 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2017-April-25, 13:10

View Postmiamijd, on 2017-April-25, 12:47, said:

There is a reason that hardly any world-class pair plays Flannery, and very few expert players use it. You give up more than you get.


Levin-Weinstein play Flannery and they are one of the very best pairs in the world. There was a list of other world class pairs that played Flannery someplace, but I don't remember where. Certainly a minority choice, but everybody makes their own valuations on what is important and people make their own choices.
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#37 User is offline   m1cha 

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Posted 2017-April-25, 20:37

View Postodisseus5, on 2017-April-24, 14:01, said:

I know another use for 2!D - 4441 distribution, relay 2!H asks for singleton

How strong is that supposed to be? If it's weak (can have less than 10 HCP), it's a brown sticker convention and cannot be played universally unless you restrict it such that the singleton may not be one particular suit, say, not spades or not diamonds. If it's strong, where's the profit?
Why not play 2 and 2 as "pass or correct" (opener will correct if partner hit the singleton)? You may play 2NT to ask for the singleton and respond in the suit above the singleton.


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#38 User is online   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-April-25, 20:41

View Postaawk, on 2017-April-24, 20:36, said:

Weak openings bids are a great weapon in disturbing opponents bidding.

So how more weak bids at 2 level you can make the better it is.

For example :

2 = being game forcing or weak with 6 card (or weak with 5-4 in majors instead of a 6 card )

2 = being a strong nt pattern or weak with 6 card major (could also include semi game forcing with a 6+ card major)

2/ = weak 5 card major and a 4+ card minor



These bids are fun but the downside is that partner cannot continue the preempt. I think that this is a big disadvantage.

I agree with those who say that Flannery is a solution looking for a problem.
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#39 User is online   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-April-25, 20:45

View Postm1cha, on 2017-April-25, 20:37, said:

How strong is that supposed to be? If it's weak (can have less than 10 HCP), it's a brown sticker convention and cannot be played universally unless you restrict it such that the singleton may not be one particular suit, say, not spades or not diamonds. If it's strong, where's the profit?
Why not play 2 and 2 as "pass or correct" (opener will correct if partner hit the singleton)? You may play 2NT to ask for the singleton and respond in the suit above the singleton.


I thought that the standard method was to bid the suit below the singleton (well that is what I played 25 years ago anyway) and to be fair, the range is usually Mini Roman, 11-15. If playing it stronger you may as well put in into your Multi.
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#40 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2017-April-25, 21:53

A few things here.

1. Flannery works great. Steve and Bobby play it, so does Hamman and Bramley, and Rosenberg / Willenken played it when they were a partnership. There are also countless other 2nd tier partnerships that employ it as well.

2. I've been playing Fantunes 2 bids for the last year and I have found I do not miss weak 2 bids at all. Except for a weak 2S call, none of the bids seem to use up any space and the opponents seem to have room to maneuver. 20 years ago, people were more cautious entering the bidding, but now the same hands will overcall over a 2 bid than an opening one bid.

3. But to a newer player, weak twos are fine and and using a 2d opening is perfectly OK. However, because they aren't really that preemptive, a lot of good pairs play them slightly stronger; say 8-11, which aids in constructive bidding and doubling the opponents when its right.
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