Monday, November 12, 2007

A New Yummy Toes Situation?

In my book, I noted that a Picture Jump supporting a minor might be done but that no "Yummy Toes" asking bids would be used. I now think that this is lazy, and I have thought this through some more, with a proposal to consider.

Take, as an example, a simple auction of 1S-P-2C-P-3D. The 3D call is a Picture Splinter, showing (1) good trump support, meaning two of the top three honors, (2) a great holding in the major (at least two of the top three honors), (3) a stiff in the splinter suit that is the Queen or worse, and (4) no first-round or second-round control of the fourth suit (at best the Queen).

Asking bids can be effective IF a few parameters are agreed and, at a minimum, if the Picture Splinter is below three of Opener's major. This will happen when the supported minor is clubs and there is a 3D or 3H Picture Splinter, or when the agreed minor is diamonds and there is a 3H Picture Splinter.

The first parameter is that Responder can bid three of Opener's major to agree that major, with Opener "answering" that bid using a new tool -- the trump answer. Opener has already shown three of the top four in the trump suit. Opener will bid his quality in steps: STEP ONE is two of the top three, plus the Jack. STEP TWO is three of the top three. STEP THREE is all four top honors. After Opener defines his trump holding, Yummy Toes kicks in, modified. The "yu" asking bid, "your suit," has been replaced by the trump answer and is thus "done." The "mmy" or "my suit" question concerns the "agreed" minor, asking in that minor in the same way as a normal "our suit" answer. The "toes" questions are both handled like "their suit" questions -- asking for the Queen. The priority is first to the fourth suit and second to the stiff.

The second parameter is that 3NT is a playable contract and, therefore, will not be an asking bid. The third parameter is that four of the opened major is a playable contract and, as well, will not be an asking bid.

The fourth parameter is that other calls agree the minor and are Yummy Toes asking bids. However, we drop the "my suit" as that is "our suit" and add two "their suit" asks, in the same priority as above (fragment, then stiff).

Thus, assume the example auction of 1S-P-2C-P-3D. The bids would be as follows:

3H = "Yu" (YOUR SUIT) asking bid; agrees the minor; Opener bids in steps indicating which top honor he lacks (A, K, Q, J, none)
3S = Sets spades, trump ask
3NT = to play
4C = "T" ask (THEIR SUIT) for the first priority -- fourth suit (No Q, Q)
4D = "T" ask (THEIR SUIT) for the second priority -- stiff (No Q, Q)
4H = "Oes" ask for the agreed minor (OUR SUIT)

You may also opt to wrap-around answer. However, you may want to discuss parameters for wrapping, as you may not want to bypass thereby the last, best escape, which may be back to Opener's major.

You may also want to consider whether additional (similar or different) techniques might be effective after higher Picture Jumps. Flag thinking might be useful there.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Note on Alerts (ACBL)

After a very lengthy email discussion with Mike Flader, I have finally gained some advice regarding the alert procedure as it would be used to advise the opponents during a cuebidding sequence using the tools I have proposed.

The Alert Procedures leave much to be desired. However, it appears that most cuebids below 3NT do not require an alert, even though they are not usual methods. However, Flader suggests that the 2NT "cuebid," showing poor trumps (fewer than two of the top three) should be directly alerted. Further, he suggests that a failure to bid 2NT, inferring thereby at least two of the top three trump honors, should be post-alerted.

None of this can be gleaned from reading the ACBL rules as to alerts. Thus, I am sharing this information. If anyone wants a copy of the Flader email response, let me know.