SALON  Introduction

from Pik?ier 9, 1982

What is natu?ral bid?ding ?

There are few peo?ple in Po?land who can sensi?bly answer this question – and we should not be very sur?prised – be?cause al?most no?body has tried to. Thus, the situation can be de?scri?bed briefly: ig?no?rance, lack of knowl?edge, and a completely er?rone?ous view.

In „The Lambda Weak Opening Sys?tem” [1975] I wrote:

“This, among oth?ers, is the re?sult of low cul?ture of our bid?ding (sic!) caused by domi?na?tion of The Com?mon Lan?guage Sys?tem and de?par?ture from natu?ral meth?ods”

Weak Open?ing Sys?tems:

Sys?tems which open the bid?ding with the most fre?quent zone of strength  8–12 HCP.    

Common Lan?guage (Pol?ish club):

A pseudo–natu?ral sys?tem com?monly (90% of play?ers) used in Po?land sice 1964. Main fea?ture = a three way 1? (natu?ral, short, strong (18–21)) with nega?tive 1? re?sponse. Plenty de?tails and pe?cu?li?ari?ties. No gen?eral prin?ci?ples and in?te?grat?ing rules.

And today, I still up?hold fully that state?ment:

The dev?astation caused by the „Com?mon Lan?guage Style” in minds of bridge players in Po?land is colos?sal. Primitiv?ism, sche?ma?tism, some rudi?men?tary, ap?par?ently true rules – all this has been ad?vertised as a „modern natural sys?tem”, alleg?edly more pre?cise than others – and has been wrongly identi?fied as the es?sence of natu?ral meth?ods. Only few real?ize that The Com?mon Lan?guage (also called „The Pol?ish Club”) is only a lo?cal, pro?vin?cial prod?uct, al?most un?known, and rarely used by the world bridge com?mu?nity.

   Mean?while, the bridge world (West?ern) culti?vates natural meth?ods and un?der?stands them much bet?ter than the bridge Poland. It is clearly seen in pub?lished analy?ses of bid?ding prob?lems: sim?plic?ity, elegance, sub?tlety, and – un?no?ticed at first glance – accu?racy. This ap?proach to natu?ral?ity seems, however, to be more in?tui?tive than rea?soned. I have not found in the world bridge lit?era?ture any at?tempts to present a syn?the?sis of natu?ral?ity.

For in?stance:

the only en?try re?fer?ring to natu?ral?ity in „The Of?fi?cial En?cy?clo?pe?dia of Bridge”:

NATURAL CALLs:  Calls which re?flect the char?ac?ter of the hand and sug?gest a pos?si?ble fi?nal con?tract. A natu?ral call is con?trasted with Ar?ti?fi?cial Call. How?ever, some bids which have ar?ti?fi?cial mean?ings can be used as natu?ral bids.

Not even roughly outlined like the one I pub?lished in „Intro?duc?tion to WOSs” and in „The Lambda Weak Opening Sys?tem” (1974–1975):


What has been bid – is a con?tract to make (ie it has strength as?surance of mak?ing )


Driving the bid?ding high is a positive sug?ges?tion (strength),
while keep?ing the bid?ding low is a nega?tive sug?ges?tion (weak?ness).


Bidding a suit sug?gests length and con?cen?tra?tion of honors in this suit.


Bidding no trump sug?gests bal?anced distri?bu?tion (within the in?for?ma?tion trans?mitted so far), disper?sion of hon?ors and stop?pers in un?bid suits.


Exchanging in?forma?tion with partner is a posi?tive sug?ges?tion,
while avoid?ing such an ex?change is a nega?tive sug?ges?tion.


New suit car?ries a posi?tive sug?ges?tion, while old – a nega?tive one.

It is funny that the only at?tempt to eluci?date the es?sence of natu?ral?ity ap?peared in publi?ca?tions on WOSs – the sys?tems com?monly re?garded as very ar?ti?fi?cial and ex?tremely com?plex. An opin?ion – I must add – com?pletely un?founded, be?cause only the fun?da?men?tals are ar?ti?fi?cial, while the relay style of sub?se?quent bid?ding (ex?ces?sively used by many „non–pass?ers”) is usu?ally not re?quired.


If a NATURAL BIDDING STYLE exists (and it does!), it is much more ex?plicit in the WOSs (es?pe?cially in Lambda) than in The Pol?ish Club or in The Pre?cision Club. These two sys?tems are only al?leg?edly natural.

The pre?sented out?line of natu?rality re?flects my ex?peri?ences with Lambda, and it has been cre?ated, I pre?sume, out of my lazi?ness which forced me to look for univer?sal, yet simple and aes?thetic so?lu?tions.

I fully un?der?stand Zacha?rias Lich?ter, who said that:

In?tel?lect al?ways has an ob?ses?sion of fun?da?men?tal, struc?tural, and prin?ci?pal prob?lems, lead?ing back to sources. A real in?tel?lec?tual may be rec?og?nized  by the fas?ci?na?tion he has for what is sim?ple and ele?men?tary; his mental ef?fort being an inte?grat?ing factor, he searches for a prin?ci?ple, or meta?phori?cally, an ideal key fit?ting all the se?cret doors of the Uni?verse. The de?sire to find a unique solu?tion to a prob?lem is not a func?tion of stu?pidity, the strength of which de?pends on a fact that it can ac?cept any the?ory, even a de?mon?stra?bly bad one, pro?vided good prac?ti?cal result can be ob?tained us?ing it.

and I dare to supple?ment the prin?ciples of con?structing sys?tems with something which has been long observed in my re?search:


Maximal Aes?thetics Prin?ci?ple




The sim?pler and more beau?ti?ful some?thing is – the more true it is.


However, ideol?ogy is not the only rea?son be?hind my af?finity to natu?rality.

I consider the Natural Bidding Style to be a su?per?precise one !! (if only one is able to grasp its es?sence) and the only gen?er?ally true method !!

To grasp the es?sence of natu?rality!...

In Poland, and abroad, a group of polled ex?perts give sev?eral dif?fer?ent rec?om?men?da?tions „what to bid with this hand in this situa?tion”, each answer be?ing sup?ported by a dif?fer?ent pre?sump?tion (sic!).

For exam?ple:



because A



because E



because X




because B !


4? !

because F


5? !

because X !




because C !!


5? !!

because G


2© !!

because X !!




because D !!!


6? !!!

because H


pass !!!

because X !!!

and so on...

Their pre?sump?tions are usu?ally vague and only touch the sur?face of vari?ous as?pects. One may say that ex?perts „watching – see eve?rything sepa?rately”.  Why ? Be?cause they only have a num?ber of su?perficial pre?sump?tions at their dis?posal, without any logi?cally syn?the?si?zed set of the most im?portant can?ons of natu?rality.





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