Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Interesting Suit/Lead Situation

Eichenbaum and I have added a new twist to "Suit/Lead."

I open a minor; partner responds a major; my RHO doubles.

Now, for the trivia buffs, this was a situation where Eichenbaum and I years ago (while drunk) came up with an insane set of agreements, eventually published (for God knows what reason) in Bridge World magazine.  Today's version is much better, I think.

The idea is that calls at an above 1NT, up through Responder's suit, are Suit/Lead.  An example might explain this.

1C-P-1S-X
?

Opener can redouble as a support redouble.

If Opener has four hearts, he has several options.  First, he might transfer to hearts, by bidding 2D.  This shows a hand that leans "extras plus lead."  In other words, Opener has a hand with a non-minimum and the Ace or King in hearts.  A solid, lead-catering, maximum heart raise.  This call will help when partner ends up leading against whatever my LHO might intend on bidding, will help when partner is considering game in a jammed auction, when partner considers inviting game in a non-jammed auction, and when partner considers doubling.

If Opener has four hearts but not this, meaning poor trumps (no ace or king) and a weak hand, he bids 2H directly.  "Fast Arrival." 

If Opener has a desire for a diamond lead, or a reverse, he bids 2C, one-under diamonds.  Responder will assume bad hearts and a desire for a diamond lead -- if Opener has a reverse he will make noise later.  so, with something like xx-Qxxx-AKJ-Kxxxx, 2C stands out.

With real clubs, Opener just bids 1NT, a relay to clubs.

If Opener has a hand that doesn't quite qualify for any of the above, he makes the closest call, defaulting to 2H when in doubt.

What if Opener's minor was diamonds?  Same basic approach, but Opener's 1NT call (relay to clubs) might just be a minor two-suiter.  He cannot make that call as a pure lead-director unless he is willing to solo-compete to 3H if the opponents intervene.

If Responder's major was spades, one additional "transfer" pops in, a "transfer" to hearts, which adds more definition to the calls.

We are fairly inclined to believe that this will be a winner in the long run.  There is some risk to disclosure, of course, but this really seems good to us. 

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