Thursday, 26 April 2012

Onwards, upwards ...

I'm glad to say that I've sorted out the Amazon problem, so you can now buy - without confusion - from Amazon or direct from me.

There are still a number of other sites claiming to be selling the book but permanently out of stock. I'll try to sort those out in due course.

The website revision is my next big task - I talked a bit about it in my reply to Gavin in the post What did go wrong?.

Reviewing the material available this morning made me realise how powerful shunts were and how easy they would be to import into any system if you and your partner are psychologically up for it. Did I give up on them too easily? No, they were not right for my partnerships, and maybe other partnerships too. But I do think they deserve a full write-up in the 'alternative' section of the website.

Another thing on the to do list is to get in touch with those Chilleans who have dropped out of the circle due to my apparent inactivity for three years!

Best wishes


Takis said...

We are still using shunts, given our only source of information so far is the [outdated] website (until our book arrives, that is) and I agree that it is a powerful addition to the system.

Still, it's not without problems, given that natural 2NT is easily lost in competition.

Mois├ęs said...

I read it. It is interesting how it turned out.

Anonymous said...

On page 113 the 1NT opening bid is described as 20-22 playing points, balanced or no five-card major.

It should be 20-22 playing points, no major, balanced or both minors with 5431 or 5422 shape.


Alan Williams said...


Thanks, yes you are right. I have a couple of corrections to publish - I'm working on the revised chillibidding site right now and hope to have it up in the next 48 hours. On that there will be an up-to-date list of corrections.


Anonymous said...

The first hand on page 139 has east's response as 1S, it should be 1H.

If I've properly understood the book (not necessarily so:) the auction should proceed:
1C 1H
1S 2N
4H and then as given.

Pleased to hear about the revised web site.


Alan Williams said...


Yes, well spotted again.

Your bidding fix is not quite right as the 4H bid would be an Exclusion Ask rather than a splinter, and the whole point of the example would be lost.

A better fix might be to move the H4 to diamonds in East's hand.

Many thanks

Anonymous said...

2N is 7+HCP?

In similar auctions e.g. 1S-2N, 3S is minimum, typically balanced or near so.

In this context balanced hands are 18HCP with 4432 or 19HCP with 4333 and are worth game on high card strength alone.

With, say 4252 shape, then the minimum is 17HCP, combined 24+HCP with 4-4 fit. With a 5242 shape, then the minimum is 16HCP, a 5-4 fit and 23+HCP. Either way worth a 3D trial bid.

On the basis that 3S is available as a waiting bid then 4C, 4D & 4H are available as splinters.

On a different topic there are auctions where the bidding is compelled and we have a choice of raise. For example 1S-2D, 2S now 2N, 3S and 4S are available. I think they all agree spades but what is the difference?

4S looks like a strong hand but no real prospect of slam opposite a limited hand. Probably denying first round controls.


Alan Williams said...

Hi Michael

Can you give a page reference for your query '2N is 7+ HCP?' please.

On your points about more splinters and different ways to raise in a compelled auction, Geoff and I have been working on this area recently and I will blog about it shortly.

The revised Chilli bidding site is about to go up, and your corrections and others will be on that.


Anonymous said...

On page 37 it says "2NT opposite a natural suit bid and bid by an unlimited hand ... is an unlimited fit bid promising values for at least the three level."

The 1H bidder is unlimited so this rule applies. I based 7+ on the assumption that 4-6 HCP is a minimum and doesn't have the strength to commit to the three level.

1C-1H,1S-2S with 4-6 HCP and 3 or 4 spades is pretty limited, more so than a traditional 1S-2S auction showing 5-9 HCP & 3-5 spades. There is plenty of room to explore for game if opener has any extras.

Similarly 3S would be 4-6 with 5 spades.

That leaves 2NT to cover the 7+ hands.

Anyway that was my reasoning:)

BTW the new site looks good.


Alan Williams said...


OK, I get the point now. What you are saying is that, in the auction 1C - 1H; 1S - 2N, 2S must show 7+ HCPs, and that there are very few hands, if any, that opener could hold with which we would then not want to be in game.

I think that's substantially right. I have a few thoughts, though.

First, the reason this apparent anomaly arises is because we have sliced a number of hands off the bottom of 1C and moved them over to 1D.

There is a set of overlapping hands that could go either way e.g. a 16-count 4252. It would be simpler and neater if we kept 25 playing point hands all in one or the other, but the current division seems to work well (and avoid some regulatory issues).

The second thought is that both players are aware of these system inferences, and so can do the right thing.

And I do believe there are some hands where we would want to stop in 3S. Consider a minimum 5242 hand with a diamond suit worth showing as a trial e.g. KQxx. If this faces a minimum 4414, the 23-point game is now looking thin and responder should sign off in 3S.

My third thought is that I fully agree with the idea of more splinters by exploiting waiting bids. The problem here is that 3S doesn't sound like a waiting bid ... we're not compelled, and we have made a bid of the agreed trump suit ... can't be forcing, can it? It doesn't feel safe.

Light bulb moment
I think the real problem here may be that we have kept the stated nominal minimum of a 1C opening as 16 HCPs, whereas (with 25 playing points) it should be 17. That would in turn lead to a minimum response being 3-5 and 2NT showing 6+.

Glad you like the new website.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the analysis. The problem arises because after a 1S opening if you are balanced you are minimum whereas in this auction balanced cannot be a minimum.

I see your point that you want 3S by both bidders to have the same meaning, either waiting or to play. Given it must be available as to play for the responder it has to be made the same for opener.

I think your solution is correct, 2N=6+ HCP & 4+S. Bid 2S with 4 spades and 4 or 5 HCP, surely not 3 otherwise 1D. With only 3 spades the range for 2S is 4-6 HCP. 7+ go via 2C/2D.

It make sense that hands without a primary fit need a bit more. I'd been thinking that 2N in general had the same HCP requirement as the equivalent 2C bid. Its main virtue was it was a simple rule:)