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As I read some of my comments on some of the polling questions for the nascent "Bridge Winners Standard', I realize that I am more cynical than I generally am, which says a lot. 

If the purpose of these polls is to lay out a framework for simple, constructive 2/1 auctions, then I support the effort and will contribute. 

However, if BWS is intended to encompass all of a convention card, then I think the staff is going about the process in the wrong fashion. It reminds me of two people who meet at the partnership desk and have 1/2 hour before game time to fill out a card. They spend 20 minutes on responding to 1N and 2N and spend 10 on major suit raises. The boards are set down and it's evident how unprepared they are.

 

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I moved to Texas last year and in the past few months, I have invested time with two new partners.

1. On the first (strong club), we've spent about 4 hours of discussion. After agreeing on a general approach, his priority was carding, and we spent a considerable amount of time on leads, exceptions, middle game, etc.. 

2. On the second, we probably spent 20 hours over the phone. While we agreed on 2/1, I'd say that there was no more than 1/2 hour spent on actual 2/1 sequences. Its not that we are taking everything for granted, its because an uninterrupted constructive sequence in this era of bridge is unusual. We put most of our time and effort into competitive sequences.

In fairness, for both partners, I already had a set of notes saved as a Google doc used previously that facilitated the discussion

So how would I go about polling? There are two logical ways, and neither are being utilized.

Both should start with asking high-level questions:

A. General approach and NT ranges.

B. What does an opening bid look like? What is our overall style? Light? Sound? Light in specific seats / colors? 

 

Then, you can branch into two modes:

1. Define your high-level use cases. Think of these as simply "responses". Examples:

A. 2 - 2

B. 2N - 3

C. 1 - 3

Then, you can elaborate on specific sequences in greater details and perhaps develop meta-rules. Some examples are:

A. Can we stop in 4m after we have created a game force?

B. When we have the choice between a direct and a delayed action to make the same call, which is stronger?

 

2. The other idea is to spend a lot of time in the weeds on specific sequences and agreements, but these should be auctions that have a high degree of frequency, like what are our continuations when we overcall? Or, when we open and they overcall.

Later, you can circle back to what a jump to 3N by opener means, because, it probably won't come up anyway.

 

Thanks, Phil

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