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Helgemo-Helness system

#1 User is offline   audina 

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Posted 2021-June-13, 14:10

You can find Helgemo-Helness convention card at http://www.abfevents...emo-Helness.pdf

They play a 5 cards 1 and 4 cards for 1 opening and a variable 1NT. Except for the variable 1NT, if I understand correctly this system is called swiss acol? But I can't find anywhere online nothing that explains how this system works.
do they paly 2 over 1 GF? Is 1NT rebid to 1M forcing or not?
Any information on the system is appreciated, Thank you.

This post has been edited by Gerardo: 2021-June-15, 19:14
Reason for edit: Fix Helgemo last name

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#2 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-June-13, 14:45

View Postaudina, on 2021-June-13, 14:10, said:

You can find Helgemon-Helness convention card at http://www.abfevents...emo-Helness.pdf

They play a 5 cards 1 and 4 cards for 1 opening and a variable 1NT. Except for the variable 1NT, if I understand correctly this system is called swiss acol? But I can't find anywhere online nothing that explains how this system works.
do they paly 2 over 1 GF? Is 1NT rebid to 1M forcing or not?
Any information on the system is appreciated, Thank you.


Well it clearly says in the system summary they play 2/1 GF so presumably they play a forcing notrump
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#3 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-June-13, 15:15

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-June-13, 14:45, said:

Well it clearly says in the system summary they play 2/1 GF so presumably they play a forcing notrump


I don't know what HH play. That being said, it is pretty common to play a semiforcing 1NT response after 1 of a major in 2/1 GF systems. In fact, that is part of Bridge World Standard 2017 which is based on polling preferences of a panel of experts, and votes by the readership, most of whom are good, very experienced tournament players.
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#4 User is offline   audina 

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Posted 2021-June-13, 15:39

View PostCyberyeti, on 2021-June-13, 14:45, said:

Well it clearly says in the system summary they play 2/1 GF so presumably they play a forcing notrump

when they are playing the weak NT, how can you play 1NT forcing or semi-forcing over a 4+cards 1 opening? if you open 1 with 4432 with 15hcp and partner bids 1NT you can't bid a 3card minor you would have to many problems, wouldn't you?
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#5 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-June-13, 16:25

View Postaudina, on 2021-June-13, 15:39, said:

when they are playing the weak NT, how can you play 1NT forcing or semi-forcing over a 4+cards 1 opening? if you open 1 with 4432 with 15hcp and partner bids 1NT you can't bid a 3card minor you would have to many problems, wouldn't you?

Could you open 4432 15 count 1nt?
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#6 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-June-13, 17:27

View Postaudina, on 2021-June-13, 14:10, said:

If I understand correctly this system is called swiss acol?

HH play 2/1 GF which is not Swiss Acol. Also, I think Swiss Acol is per definition a weak-NT system, but maybe that is not universally agreed.

Anyway, the term "Swiss Acol" is primarily used in Germany and Switzerland, it is not what Scandinavians are likely to call their system, even if they play something similar to Swiss Acol. From what I can Google it seems that Swiss Acol is a very well-defined system, for example it implies a specific version of Stayman.
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#7 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-June-13, 17:31

View Postaudina, on 2021-June-13, 15:39, said:

when they are playing the weak NT, how can you play 1NT forcing or semi-forcing over a 4+cards 1 opening?

Indeed. You can't play it as forcing when you play strong NT either, although I suppose you could call their 1NT response to 1 semi-forcing (it must be 5-11 or so since they play 2/1 GF).

They could play the 1NT response to 1 as forcing but I don't think they do.

I wonder how they respond to the non-vulnerable 1 opening. Since 2/1 is GF, and balanced hands with 14+ points can be opened 1, it seems that responder can't bid anything sensible with a balanced 9-11 points. Maybe they improvise a 1 response on a 3-card suit, or try to avoid opening 1 with a 4-card suit and 14-16 points?
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#8 User is offline   audina 

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Posted 2021-June-13, 18:17

View Postjillybean, on 2021-June-13, 16:25, said:

Could you open 4432 15 count 1nt?

1NT is variable, when 1st or 2nd seat favorable is 10-13hcp, and in other positions you have the same problem with 14 counts and the same distribution, in the convention card 1 is 3+ and 1 is 4+ so they must open 1M if they have exactly 4432 outside the NT range
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#9 User is offline   kreivi68 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 06:53

View Posthelene_t, on 2021-June-13, 17:31, said:

Indeed. You can't play it as forcing when you play strong NT either, although I suppose you could call their 1NT response to 1 semi-forcing (it must be 5-11 or so since they play 2/1 GF).

They could play the 1NT response to 1 as forcing but I don't think they do.

I wonder how they respond to the non-vulnerable 1 opening. Since 2/1 is GF, and balanced hands with 14+ points can be opened 1, it seems that responder can't bid anything sensible with a balanced 9-11 points. Maybe they improvise a 1 response on a 3-card suit, or try to avoid opening 1 with a 4-card suit and 14-16 points?


I am from Finland I have played this kind of system. Although we had a weak NT opening (12-14) and a semiforcing 1NT response 1M opening - but the problem is the same. We decided to tackle this in the following way: if opener has 15 HCP and balanced hand, he has to decide before making an opening bid whether it is good 14 or bad 16. So with 15 HCP opening bid is either 1NT (good 14) or 1M (bad 16). If responder bids semiforcing NT after 1M opening, opener has just enough to invite with 2NT. Not the perfect solution because the range of 1NT opening and 2NT invite gets wider - but it worked ok.
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#10 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 07:30

View Postkreivi68, on 2021-June-14, 06:53, said:

I am from Finland I have played this kind of system. Although we had a weak NT opening (12-14) and a semiforcing 1NT response 1M opening - but the problem is the same. We decided to tackle this in the following way: if opener has 15 HCP and balanced hand, he has to decide before making an opening bid whether it is good 14 or bad 16. So with 15 HCP opening bid is either 1NT (good 14) or 1M (bad 16). If responder bids semiforcing NT after 1M opening, opener has just enough to invite with 2NT. Not the perfect solution because the range of 1NT opening and 2NT invite gets wider - but it worked ok.


This sort of thing is OK, we have the same problem, essentially we decide if a 19 is a good 18 or a bad 20 (1x-1y-1N 15-bad 19, 2N opener good 19-21) so that we can use 1x-1y-2N for other big hands, and while it tests your declarer play occasionally, it usually works out.
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#11 User is offline   audina 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 09:06

View Postkreivi68, on 2021-June-14, 06:53, said:

I am from Finland I have played this kind of system. Although we had a weak NT opening (12-14) and a semiforcing 1NT response 1M opening - but the problem is the same. We decided to tackle this in the following way: if opener has 15 HCP and balanced hand, he has to decide before making an opening bid whether it is good 14 or bad 16. So with 15 HCP opening bid is either 1NT (good 14) or 1M (bad 16). If responder bids semiforcing NT after 1M opening, opener has just enough to invite with 2NT. Not the perfect solution because the range of 1NT opening and 2NT invite gets wider - but it worked ok.

When they play strong NT it is possible that they pass all 12-14 balanced over the 1NT response and that they tend to upgrade 14 counts, the vast majority of Italian pairs play this way in a 5M 2/1 context, is risky but it is playable, when they are playing the weak NT (10-13) I don't think they can put any 14 count in there as 1NT is already wide, they must be real confident in their declarer skills if they are bidding 2NT with any 15 in a hand were you are likely in a misfit. By the way, over a 1H opening do you support with 3 card heart suit or do you bid 1NT?
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#12 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 11:46

View Posthelene_t, on 2021-June-13, 17:31, said:

Indeed. You can't play it as forcing when you play strong NT either, although I suppose you could call their 1NT response to 1 semi-forcing (it must be 5-11 or so since they play 2/1 GF).

They could play the 1NT response to 1 as forcing but I don't think they do.

I wonder how they respond to the non-vulnerable 1 opening. Since 2/1 is GF, and balanced hands with 14+ points can be opened 1, it seems that responder can't bid anything sensible with a balanced 9-11 points. Maybe they improvise a 1 response on a 3-card suit, or try to avoid opening 1 with a 4-card suit and 14-16 points?


You hit the key question: what is 1s over 1H? If artificial, problem solved I think 🤔
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#13 User is offline   audina 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 13:02

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-June-14, 11:46, said:

You hit the key question: what is 1s over 1H? If artificial, problem solved I think 🤔


I think they would have to write on the convention card that 1S is artificial if they played like that, as well looking at the rest of the system it looks like they prefer natural to artificial bidding
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#14 User is offline   kreivi68 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 13:04

View Postaudina, on 2021-June-14, 09:06, said:

When they play strong NT it is possible that they pass all 12-14 balanced over the 1NT response and that they tend to upgrade 14 counts, the vast majority of Italian pairs play this way in a 5M 2/1 context, is risky but it is playable, when they are playing the weak NT (10-13) I don't think they can put any 14 count in there as 1NT is already wide, they must be real confident in their declarer skills if they are bidding 2NT with any 15 in a hand were you are likely in a misfit. By the way, over a 1H opening do you support with 3 card heart suit or do you bid 1NT?


It depends. Heart raise is ok with three-card support, if responder has a short side suit, good controls or strength is concentrated to hearts.
With balanced hand and lots of queens and jacks best bid is 1NT.
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#15 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 13:13

View Postaudina, on 2021-June-14, 09:06, said:

When they play strong NT it is possible that they pass all 12-14 balanced over the 1NT response and that they tend to upgrade 14 counts, the vast majority of Italian pairs play this way in a 5M 2/1 context

Not sure where you pulled this from. IME the majority of Italian pairs will only pass the 1NT response with exactly 12 balanced and are quite reluctant to upgrade 14 counts (also because opponents tend to complain when they do).
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#16 User is offline   audina 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 13:55

View Postpescetom, on 2021-June-14, 13:13, said:

Not sure where you pulled this from. IME the majority of Italian pairs will only pass the 1NT response with exactly 12 balanced and are quite reluctant to upgrade 14 counts (also because opponents tend to complain when they do).

I'm Italian, that is were I pulled from, it's incredibly rear to hear someone alert 1NT as forcing or semiforcing in Italy, if you look at the convention cards of most Italian junior or open pairs almost no one play 1NT as (semi)forcing and like in the rest of the world most top players play 1NT as 14+-17 and a common trend among top players is to open 1NT with 5M332 14/15hcp and open 1M with 16/17hcp. Forcing 1NT in italy is like inverted minor suit raises or support dbl, they are increadibly common in the rest of the world but no one plays this stuff in Italy.
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#17 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 16:27

View Postaudina, on 2021-June-14, 09:06, said:

When they play strong NT it is possible that they pass all 12-14 balanced over the 1NT response and that they tend to upgrade 14 counts, the vast majority of Italian pairs play this way in a 5M 2/1 context, is risky but it is playable, when they are playing the weak NT (10-13) I don't think they can put any 14 count in there as 1NT is already wide, they must be real confident in their declarer skills if they are bidding 2NT with any 15 in a hand were you are likely in a misfit. By the way, over a 1H opening do you support with 3 card heart suit or do you bid 1NT?
I could be wrong, but isn't Gazzilli very common after 1M-1NT in Italy? That helps distinguish between the 14-15 and the 16-18 balanced hands, if you opened 1NT on 10-13.
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#18 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 19:42

View Postaudina, on 2021-June-14, 13:02, said:

I think they would have to write on the convention card that 1S is artificial if they played like that, as well looking at the rest of the system it looks like they prefer natural to artificial bidding


I'm sure you are right. But 1S artificial would solve a lot of problems. But then, my personal opinion is that 2/1 GF is a fine system for constructive hands and if used properly for that end is quite effective; however, that same system is rather inadequate when bidding weaker hands, non game and slam. IMO, if you try to have it both ways you lose too much of the value of 2/1 without enough gain. It is better to simply live with the results and take advantage of its benefits.

The way to do that is to add a number of hands into the 1NT forcing bids - and make it 100% forcing.
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#19 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-15, 10:32

View Postaudina, on 2021-June-14, 13:55, said:

I'm Italian, that is were I pulled from, it's incredibly rear to hear someone alert 1NT as forcing or semiforcing in Italy, if you look at the convention cards of most Italian junior or open pairs almost no one play 1NT as (semi)forcing and like in the rest of the world most top players play 1NT as 14+-17 and a common trend among top players is to open 1NT with 5M332 14/15hcp and open 1M with 16/17hcp. Forcing 1NT in italy is like inverted minor suit raises or support dbl, they are increadibly common in the rest of the world but no one plays this stuff in Italy.


I'm Italian too, but people passing 1NT with 13-14 is not at all common in my experience, nor is aggressive upgrading. What you are saying now I basically agree with.
Almost nobody plays (or ever has played) a fully forcing 1NT response. Effectively most play 1NT as semiforcing, but the term is rarely used: some have never heard of it, many consider it to be synonymous with non-forcing or just an oxymoron. Most are comfortable that what they are doing is 'normal'. The regulations don't help either, as non-forcing is no action whereas forcing should be announced (without screens) and anything else (semiforcing?) alerted. In practice there is almost never an alert.
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