Thursday, March 25, 2010

MICS Ideas for 2/1 GF

I have had people ask, in the past, whether the Modified Italian Canape System has anything to help with a normal 2/1 approach.  I think so.

First of all, one could opt to play MICS only in fourth seat, as a pass-out structure.

More likely, however, some may be interested in certain aspects of MICS for improving some auctions in normal 2/1 GF.  In my new book, I describe a means of converting from 2/1 or standard to MICS.  However, some may want to go part way only.  Within MICS are three opening bids (2D, 2H, and 2S) that could easily be added to any standard system (or any of these three), with benefits to the standard system, by alleviating some of the problem hands in standard bidding and creating some new and unexpected opportunities for big gains.

For example, consider the 2D opening (minors, intermediate).  For a few years, I played a 2/1 system with a friend where 2D was MICS but the rest of the system standard.  This made for some fun results when we opened 2D (better game and slam bidding, quite a few lucrative penalty doubles against them), and it greatly improved our 1D sequences.  (The ACBL Bulletin ran an article by me about that one specific MICS method for standard or 2/1 systems.)

Similarly, the 2H and 2S openings have their own merits and are somewhat like a case-specific (known minor), heavy Muiderberg approach.  Lots of great penalty doubles, tight games and slams, and the like.  These two bids also gain advantage of helping to enable less costly use of Gazilli and other similar 2C rebids, or transfer rebids.  These help alleviate some high-reverse problems.  Even if the bids are isolated to fourth seat, or to red-on-white, or to IMP games, or whatever, the tools are useful imports into a standard or 2/1 approach.

Finally (I'm sure there is more), understanding the different response structure for MICS intermediates may cause you to have the same reaction I did.  Namely, I changed my response structure when I use Michaels or Cappelletti or other two-suited overcalls.  You might just find that you also re-think how you handle the advancing of these popular bids.

As MICS in its entirety is GCC legal, individual components of MICS, added to standard or 2/1 GF (or precision) are also GCC legal.

I also mention in my book that the MICS 2-level intermediates (and the 1D opening) can very easily provide an alternative Precision core, one that I think is much easier to use, without the need to actually convert to canape. 

Thus, I think there is something in MICS for everyone, even the timid.

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