A short intro to my new idea:
The structure uses two strong openings -- 2C and 2D. 2D is spade-focused; 2D not.
So, you end up with, roughly...
5+ spades = 2D...2S
5+ hearts = 2C...2H
4 spades, balanced = 2D...2NT
Not 4 spades, balanced = 2C...2NT
4S, longer minor = 2D...3-bids
4H, longer minor = 2C...2S...3-bids
4S, 4441-types = 2D...other 3-bids
4H, 1444 = 2C...2S...3NT
Neither major, other unbalanced patterns = 2C...3-bids
Of course, lots more to this.
If you're willing to use two openings for strong hands -- which has important advantages as well as disadvantages -- then there are other ways to divide them up. For example, many years ago (The Bridge World, May 1970) Jon Nance proposed what he called "Symmetric Two Bids". His idea was to split the load more evenly between 2C and 2D -- using 2D to show 4+S encompasses 1/4 single suiters, 6/12 two suiters and 3/4 three suiters. He proposed using 2C to show long hearts or long C and 2D to show long spades or long diamonds. After partner's relay O bid his long major else showed his one- or two-suiter with the long minor. (So 2C-2D-2S showed 4+S and 5+C.) This has some strengths compared with using 2D to show 4+S but also some weaknesses: I think it's easier to handle competition when a specific suit is known, even though O will be forced to rebid S just to show that he has 5 or more of them (an issue faced by most full or partial canape methods).
Ah, but you are actually missing a lot of the benefit to the stacked approach. By structuring things the way I have, you have enabled immediate fit location earlier. For example, on all hands where Opener has 4+ spades and Responder also 4+, the fit is found immediately, allowing lower-level cuebidding. A parallel immediacy initiates heart sequences. Immediaacy in ruling out fit allows that strain as an artificial call, enabling better strain selection for alternative strains, for slam exploration below 3NT. Thus, the idea is not so much to enable a spread of burden but to enable more rapid and cheaper fit-location, to enable more cuebidding.
Also, I believe that the one simple extra bid available after a 2C opening is worth a lot more than it seems. It enables doubling up the 2C opening by way of another relay. If you take your number of situations, though, 2D covers roughly 1/2 of all unbalanced hands. You burden 2C with more one-suiters but alleviate 3-suiters, right? Well, the 2S relay eats up the remaining 3-suits and two of the two-suiters, which solves that perceived problem.
Plus, you miss out on the incredible advantage to splitting balanced hands between types.
The bottom line, though, is that the main goal of immediate fit location, or maximizing early fit location, if more key than anything. Being able to agree spades, for instance, and know as much as I will know is invaluable.
Consider, for example, that after a 2D opening promising spades, Responder can bid 2NT to agree spades and start cuebidding at a very low level. Furthermore, though, Responder's bidding has shown extras because he had several other immediate-spade-raise options. That is the true advantage.
Post a Comment