Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just a Quick Comparison

Years ago, I learned the Greek alphabet by accident, as I needed to know the Greek alphabet to understand Precision. Alpha Asking Bids, Beta Asking Bids, Gamma Asking Bids, blah-blah-blah. It all sounded very intriguing. But, it seems that I was always running out of space to ask the questions I needed to ask.

So, a deal popped up on BBF. Opener holds AKxx-Axx-x-AKxxx. Playing Precision, Opener starts 1C and is graced with an uncontested auction somehow. Responder bids 2D, a transfer positive (5+ hearts, 8+ HCP's), pretty standard modern Precision so far, right?

So, off to the asking bids:

2H (hearts are trumps -- how many controls?)
2NT (3)
3H (how good are your hearts?)
4C (HHxxx)
5C (how good are your clubs?)
5H ( third-round control)
6C (what kind of third-round control?)
6D (a doubleton)

No more space! And, not a single question about spades. Sure, Responder might have xxx-KQxxx-Axx-xx, were even slam is not assured, or QJxx-KQJxx-Ax-xx, where a grand is fairly impenetrable. This asking-bid approach seems flawed. I tried messing around with the choice of what first to ask, but the same end problem existed -- space vanishes.

So, let's try a simple cuebidding sequence after Opener sets trumps, when Responder has the golden hand:

1C (strong, forcing, artificial)
2D (positive with 5+ hearts, 8+ HCP)
2H (hearts are trumps)
3D (no spade control, no club control, two top hearts, diamond control)
3H (spade control, club control, at least one first-round black-suit control, the third top heart honor)
3S (third-round spade card -- the Queen)
3NT (serious interest)
4C (the club Queen)

Wow -- both or just one black queen can be shown here, below game! Further, there is plenty of space for showing black-suit jacks, both of them, below 5H.

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