Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Harvest

Hello Chillians

It's been much too long since I blogged here last. As I predicted, my life has rather been taken over for the last few months by things unrelated to Chilli. This will continue for a few weeks more, so this blog has some news but little bridge substance.

Having got all the bad news out of the way, let's look at some good news. First, Geoff, Peter and I have been giving the system some extensive run-outs, and as a result come up with some fine tuning. Well, fine tuning is the correct description for most of it, and all in the direction we like here at Chilli Towers - simplification. It includes a little tweak to the high-level fit bids that I can't believe I didn't think of five years ago, so much easier does it make the system description.

There is one big change though. We've proved fairly comprehensively that shunts are technically complete and admirable, and I'm very happy I thought of them. We've also proved that they make us feel very tired when we play them, and that we spend most of the time in fiercely competitive auctions worrying about whether we've selected the right bid. That's not how it should be. And one or two of you are at this very moment thinking 'Yes, I always knew that' and you were right.

So we have put them to one side for the moment in our Twiddly Gadget storeroom, and replaced them with a much simpler tool that is a complete doddle to drive but provides much of the shunt goodness.

I'll have to leave you in suspense on this and the other changes, which I promise I will come back too in the next blog and update on the website when I get my life back.

Another bit of good news is that Michael is back from China for a few weeks holiday, and has been running his excellent critical eye over where we are with the project, and his summary is very encouraging.

So I am taking a solitary two-week holiday at the end of September, when I'll set up camp somewhere on the coast of Britain and start writing the book. I have so much material now, I can't wait to get started.

And when I get back I will do a little more for Chillians everywhere. I will set up a forum so that we can better organise theoretical discussions, and also organise some online sessions so that even if you can't find anyone far-sighted/brave/naive/foolish to play Chilli at the table, we can still all enjoy a game.

Best wishes
Alan

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Alan! I do hope everything is ok with you. It has been a long time and I'm ashamed to say that ChilliBidding.org had dropped off my favourites toolbar, but it's back on now and I look forward to updates when you are properly back in circulation.

As you can probably guess I muttered a (barely audible) "phew!" to myself when you dropped in the news about shunts - and I do feel guilty because I know they are close to your heart. I confess that I was starting to get a little nervous that so much system was going down the shunt route: there seemed a desire to disturb a number of additional auctions in order to launch the shunts.

So I now look forward to looking again at Chilli with fresh enthusiasm.

Best wishes

Jeff

Alan Williams said...

Hi Jeff

It's great to be back - or at least nearly so: just another few weeks of complete madness, and then I can settle into some serious Chillidom.

I'm glad too we've dropped shunts - great theory, lousy psychology. But I'll have to take mild issue with your 'desire to disturb in order to launch shunts'. It's true we needed some sort of better disturbed rules than previously before we could make some of these sequences disturbing.

But it was also clear that it was not sensible to treat 1C - 1D or (1S) dbl in the same way as other neutral sequences. And not wanting to invent special rules for them, disturbance seemed like the best option once we had a better set of rules.

Anyway, more on all this in my next blog/book/forum.

Best wishes
Alan

Anonymous said...

Yes, sorry about that, Alan. I was harsh and I think a little insulting. My only excuse is that I panicked when I saw sequences moving away from the simplicity of neutral auctions, but now appreciate that your motives with, for example, the takeout doubles were really to get away from neutral rather than move towards disturbed.

Again my sincere apologies.

Good luck with the book and forum -I genuinely hope that they are a success and help to promote Chilli.

Regards

Jeff

Alan Williams said...

Jeff

Absolutely no insult taken, nor apology needed. Thanks for all your interest and support.

Alan

オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lino said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lino said...

Hi Alan

any news for chillians

Lino

Alan Williams said...

Hi Lino

The book is nearly done, and I'm very excited about it. But I've been unable to put any time into it for the last six months because of various other projects, not least opening a shop in our tiny little village.

But please keep encouraging me!

Best wishes
Alan

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan,

When I saw the date of your last blog post I was a bit disappointed. Hopefully your answer to Lino's comment gives me hope. Therefore I wrote this comment in order to encourage and motivate you as well.

Cheers

Alan Williams said...

Hi Anax

Thanks for your encouragement - much appreciated and needed.

Alan

Referee said...

Add another round of encouragement! How will we be able to get the book when it's finished?

Lino said...

Hi Alan

meanwhile waiting for a new chilli book please let me know the meaning of:

After opening 1H or 1S (max 15) and partner bids 1S or 1NT are 2C/2D rebids invitationl or forcing to 3NT too?

best wishes

Lino

Alan Williams said...

Hi Lino

The book is complete! I just have to decide the best way of distributing it.

Inside it you will find the answer to your question, but knowing the rate at which I carry out small tasks like the one above, here is a preview.

In the last year we have adopted a slight reversion to a Chilli One idea of limitation. So while 2C and 2D remain as invitational and compelling respectively when bid by an unlimited hand, they have become natural and non-forcing when bid by a limited hand.

In your specific sequence of 1H/1S - 1S/1NT; 2C/2D, opener is limited so these rebids are now natural.

From there you have to follow through some logic as to suit length and the auction type ...

With a hand shape such as 3451 or 3415 there is no guarantee that you will improve things by rebidding the minor after partner responds 1NT to your 1H, and our theoretical conclusion from analysing all shapes, and backed up by results over a year, is that the rebid of two of a minor should promise five in the original major.

Yes, I know that sounds very familiar! I'm not proud.

More news on the book soon.

Alan

Takis Pournaras said...

Congratulations on finishing the book. I hope we do hear from you soon.

Les Roche said...

Hi Alan!

Really looking forward to the book ... any more news?

Gavin Tillman said...

Hi Alan. Glad to see the book is nearly done. I have been playing the system a little while now. Although pard and I have the odd misunderstanding (confusion between asks and sign off took us to 6NT and a nice top!), our results are starting to improve.

In terms of publication, a good company for low volume niche books is www.lulu.com. If I were to publish something I would consider using these guys. I bought one book and the quality was pretty good.

Cheers
Gavin

Alan Williams said...

Hi Les and Gavin

See the new post What can possibly go wrong?

Best wishes
Alan