Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just How Much Definition is Possible Over 1NT?

I included a list of wildly descriptive options over 1NT using a 2-Under approach.  But, non of them included a double as an option.  I wonder how detailed one could get with a doubkle also included.

For example, consider one scheme:

2C = both majors or one major and a minor.  Advancer preferences major (2D for spade preference).  If Overcaller had both majors, we play in Advancer's preferred suit.  If Overcaller has a major-minor and Advancer preferences his major, we play in that major.  If Overcaller has major-minor but Advancer preferences the other major, Overcaller bids his major and Responder elects contract (possibly bidding 2NT for the minor).  This handles all hands with five of a major and 4+ of another suit (including the other major)

2D = four spades and longer minor or just long spades.  Advancer bids 2S if he would want to play spades opposite spades and a longer minor or 2D if he would prefer the minor in that situation.  Overcaller acts accordingly.

2H = just hearts

2S = just spades, stronger

X = both minors or just diamonds or 4414/4441 or 4144.  Advancer preferences minor.  If Overcaller has both minors, he passes Advancer's preference.  With just diamonds, he corrects 2C to 2D or passes 2D.  With 4414/4441, Overcaller bids 2H.  With 4144, 2S.

That's a lot of coverage.  Can even more be shown?

What about the same 2C as majors or major-minor.  X as both minors, just diamonds, or four of either major and a longer minor.  2D, then, could be 4-4 majors, 1-4 or 4-1 minors.  2M as natural.

If 2D is allowed as one major (either), then 2H could be 4414 or 4441 and 2S 4144.

These allow all but one Ripstra shape at the two-level.

How about double as canape major-MINOR, or one major?  Advancer bids 2C if he would prefer the minor in the major-minor canape, pass-or-correct.  With both majors, Advancer bids 2D (or to ask for the major); after 2D, Advancer can return to the minor.  After either 2C or 2D, Doubler can instead bid 2M as natural, one-suited.  2C is crunched Capp, still.  2H still 4414/4441.  2D as 1444 or one or both minors; if Advancer bids 2H, 2S shows one or both minors.  If Advancer bids 2S, 2NT shows both minors but 3min is one-suited.  (2D might promise four diamonds, perhaps, and thereby become a natural "treatment," GCC legal -- bid 3C immediately with just clubs.)  2S, then, as 4144, and all 4441 hands are handled.

The possibilities seem almost endless.  Granted, some of this is so tight that it hampers Advancer bidding his own stuff.  So, maybe the insane detail is best for pass-out or opposite a passed partner.  Or, maybe it is just a curiosity or a brainstorming start.  But, wow can you stack if you want to.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flags/Transfers After 2NT in 2/1 GF

An idea that might be worth considering.  In any 2/1 GF sequence where trumps have not yet been agreed but both major strains are possible, a 2NT call forces one-under calls by the other person, with 3C as a minor flag.

An example from BBF is 1S-2minor, 2S-2NT, ?  At this point, Opener rebidding 3C to agree Responder's minor, 3D for hearts (6-4 weakish), or 3H to rebid spades allows three-level agreement of all suits, which solves some problems.

Similarly, 1S-2H, 2S-2NT is a good start for this.

If only one major strain is possible, but both minors are possible, then bidding the minor naturally but always 3H for whichever major (and 3S as a confirm call) makes sense.  E.g., 1M-2C, 2D-2NT, ?

If all four suit strains are actually possible, one-under still might make sense, with 3S for clubs.  This hurts in club sequences but helps in all others.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two-Under Plus Fishbein Defense to 4C/5C

The opponents open 4C.  The standard defense is natural overcalls, plus double as takeout.

An alternative structure could allow for more description, at the cost of converting the takeout double for penalties:

X = both majors, or one major and diamonds
4(5)D = takeout
4H/4S = natural one-suited

After the double, partner assumes both majors and shows prewference in the two-under method; bid 4H with heart preference or 4D with spade preference.  If doubler had both majors, we get to the right major.  If doubler had the other major and diamonds, he now bids 4H after 4D spade preference, or 4S afetr 4H heart preference, and Advancer picks.  If doubler had a major-diamond two-suiter and Advancer prefers his major, we play there, which is probably OK.

This method could also be used in the event of a call that is practically forcing.  For instance, after P-1NT-4C, we could assume that 4C will never be played undoubled, in which case pass is forcing and the risk of not doubling 4C is solved.  Similarly, 4C (or 5C) after a strong, forcing opening might be a good time for this defense.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Two-Under Run-Out Pass

I am not familiar with every run-out method ever devised for a weak notrump doubled.  However, most that I have found require playing at the three-level if Responder desires to show both minors.  A two-under forcing pass may do better.

1NT-X-P = suggests run-out to a minor.  Opener responds by bidding:

2C = club preference
XX = diamond preference

If Responder started with a one-suited minor hand, he passes 2C with clubs, bids 2C after a redouble with clubs, or converts the redouble or 2C call to 2D with diamonds.  If Responder started with both minors, he passes 2C or converts the redouble to 2D.

Responder could also pass with a minor-major combo.  With, for example, 4H/5C, Responder could pass and then either (a) pass 2C or (b) convert redouble to 2H to show four hearts and longer clubs.  I'm not sure that I would do this, but it seems like a plausible move.

Responder might even opt to convert the redouble for penalties.  If, for example, Responder felt that 1NT XX'ed was a good bet if Opener prefers diamonds but would prefer to play 2D otherwise, then heck -- pass and pass.

If Responder has values, instead, he redoubles himself.  1NT-X-XX.  Otherwise, systems on.

Maybe this works; maybe not so good.  But, it's a two-under forcing pass option, and I like that as a theory discussion.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Two-Under by Strong Hand

The normal two-under approach has the person not bidding the two-under call bidding the lower suit if he prefers that but the one-up artificially to show a preference for the higher suit.  Thus, if 2C shows one or both majors, partner bids 2H with heart preference or 2S with spade preference.

If the stronger hand bids the two-under, you could reverse the meanings, indicating your least preferred suit.  Thus, if 2C was bid by a strong hand to show one or both majors, Responder/Advancer would bid 2H if he prefers spades but 2D if he prefers hearts.  As a pure coincidence, this happens to mean that the weak hand transfers to the suit he prefers.  If the strong hand has both suits, he accepts the transfer.  With only one suit, he bids that suit.  Using this "transfer to the suit you prefer" method, the strong hand always plays the hand when the strong hand is two-suited, and the strong hand usually plays the hand even when he is one-suited, as the transfer is to the least-preferred suit (which is more often what the strong hand actually has).

It might be rare for a strong hand to use the two-under approach, but it could happen.  For example, one might devise a scheme where a 3S rebid after a 2C opening is forcing beyond 3NT and shows one or both majors, and huge.  2C-2D, 3S-?  In that scenario, as an example, Responder could transfer to the suit he prefers, and the two-under scheme still works great, just with the two-under bidder more often declaring. 

Your reaction might be to suggest that transferring to the suit you prefer is easier to remember and maybe should be used all the time.  But, the most common use for a two-under (one or both of two suits) approach is in situations where the person bidding two-under is weak, and where therefore you generally want the lead into the stronger hand (and the less described hand hidden).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Different Multi

Two-Under for One or Both could also be used with an alternative style of Multi, if one were so inclined.

Consider a standard 2C approach.  Many use 2D waiting, plus Kokish.  Thus, with heart hands and strong balanced hands, Opener starts with 2C, bids 2H, and then makes a call at the three-level. 

Well, suppose, then, that your TWO CLUBS opening were multi, showing:

1. Weak with hearts,
2. Weak with spades,
3. Weak with both majors, or
A. Very strong, balanced
B. Strong with hearts primary

In that structure, Responder would assume weak and would normally bid:

I. 2H with heart preference
II. 2D with spade preference

If Opener has weak with majors, Responder's preference ends up the spot.  If Responder has just spades, he bids 2S next whatever Responder prefers.  With just hearts, he bids 2H or passes if Responder prefers hearts.

If Responder preferences a major but Opener has the strong hand, he next bids 2NT or higher, which shows the same thing that would be shown had Opener started a standard 2C, heard a waiting 2D, bid Kokish 2H, heard the 2S relay, and then bid.

If Responder has extras, sufficient for a game try opposite the weak hand, we are probably bidding a grand opposite the strong hand and can work it out.  But, assuming a weak hand, Responder can bid 2NT as an unwind.  Opener with a maximum for a weak hand bids 3D with both majors or his one major naturally.  With a minimum weak hand, Opener rebids 3C instead, and the same unwinds normally available are still available, just one level higher.

Responder with one-way extras bids 2D with interest only if Opener has spades and then bids accordingly, or with a hearts-only interest bids 2S as a paradox bid.  This seems somewhat better than regular multi because only one suit requires paradox bidding, and you get the bonus of the two-suited major hand.

If Opener has a strong hand of other varieties, he opens 2D, with 2H as the relay.  This does not preempt anything, because the hands where Opener would have wanted to rebid 2H are bid through a 2C opening.  Opener, after the relay, continues normally.

This alternative core for multi players might be better than the traditional approach, in that you ad yet another type of weak hand. 

(One might also use the "Rexfordized Kokish" approach with this multi, where the 2C opening following by 2NT is not the big balanced hand (bids those through 2D) but rather a MINOR-major canape hand.  See my articles here: http://cuebiddingatbridge.blogspot.com/2010/06/different-spin-on-kokish.html and here: http://cuebiddingatbridge.blogspot.com/2010/06/rexfordized-kokish-part-ii.html and http://cuebiddingatbridge.blogspot.com/2010/06/rexfordized-kokish-part-iii.html for details.)

Any thoughts from multi players?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


One concern with cuebidding is that the more you reveal to partner in a cuebidding sequence to fine-tune the contract, the more you reveal to the defense.  This is a tough problem to resolve.

So, I got to thinking on this problem.  There might be a way to structure cuebidding sequences so as to avoid disclosure of useful defensive info until after we have resolved less useful data sufficiently to warrant entering the extended discussion.  How?

Well, consider a normal cuebidding sequence using my methods.  Partner opens 1H, you bid 2C GF, partner rebids 2D, and you agree hearts with 2H.  Cuebidding now starts.

Using my methods, 2S is a cue showing spade control, 2NT is a trump quality denial cue, 3C is a cue of an interior suit -- clubs, and 3D is a cue of an interior suit -- diamonds.  Or:

Step 1 = spade cue
Step 2 = trump denial cue
Step 3 = club cue
Step 4 = diamond cue

Why the "Steps" analysis?  Well, the cue definitions are, in fact, steps.  But, the steps are defined by the call made rather than by some pre-ordained rules tied to steps.  Defining the cues by the call made means that the structure of cuebidding, if observed from the standpoint of steps, is not necessarily ideal.  (This same type of issue arises with showing stiffs, where the steps approach might be low-middle-high, but the strain approach might make the steps become low-middle-high or high-low-middle or middle-high-low, depending on the sequence.)

Well, suppose that one organized cuebidding by steps instead of by strain?  Maybe the acronym AORTA might work -- Agreed suit, Opener's suit, Responder's suit, Their suit, Asking bids.    In that structure, consider, again, the basic auction 1H-2C, 2D-2H.  Now:

2S = A = Trump denial cue
2NT = O = Diamond cue
3C = R = Club cue
3D = T = Spade cue
(4NT = A = RKCB)

This, then, could be reciprocated.  For example, consider the basic auction after 1H-2C, 2D-2H, 2NT (trump denial cue).  Responder uses the same AORTA approach:

3C = A = trump denial cue
3D = O = diamond cue
3H = R = club cue
3S = T = spade cue

This then kicks back even again.  Suppose 1H-2C, 2D-2H, 2NT(denial)-3C(denial), ?  At this point, we know that the partnership is missing a trump honor, at least.  Opener would restructure again:

3D = no trump honors
3H = diamond cue
3S = club cue
3NT = spade cue

In contrast, a step can become "closed."  E.g., 1H-2C, 2D-2H, 3C(diamond cue, but the 2NT bypass promises two top trumps)-3H(diamond cue, plus the bypass promises the missing third trump).  As Opener has shown two top trumps and Responder the third, the trump suit is "closed."  As Opener also showed two top diamonds and Responder the third, the diamond suit is also "closed."  Thus, with Opener next to bid:

3S = R = club cue
3NT = T = spade cue
A suit can become "closed" by cueing all cards or by a complete denial. 

Using this appproach, plus bypasses as denials, would seem to prioritize resolution of the solidity of trumps first, the solidity of Opener's second suit second, the solidity of Responder's suit third, and then lastly control of the fourth suit.  That might be ideal, in theory, as it might avert disclosure of useful info until later in the cuebidding auction.  As the steps approach simply restructures the sequences, the same number of calls would be available and used, such that it seems that the steps approach would be as efficient.

The tricks, though, would be:

1. Determining the best acronym, meaning the best structure of priorities (not really priorities in the sense of importance but in the sense of least-damaging-disclosures).
2. Deciding when serious (or frivolous) enters in as a step.
3. Thinking through the possible auctions and any nuances that develop from this sort of structure.
4. Maximizing the usefulness of jump cues in this structure.

Just thinking out loud, though, it seems easy enough to cuebid using this technique without much adjustment.  Simply make the trump denial cue (normally 2NT) the first step, use AORTA because it is easy to remember and sounds good, and keep 3NT as serious when you get to that point in the auction. 

If anyone likes this idea and tries it out, let me know how it works, even if trying it out means running through deals on your own and seeing what happens.

MINORS and major frag

One classic approach to handling patterns with 3145/1345/3154/1354 is to jump to three of a major (some play this as the stiff, some as the fragment).  The immediately-observed problem, however, is that focus on a strain with extras is difficult.  For example:


If Opener wants to suggest a slam move with a minor agreement, he bids the minor.  But, with heart agreement, Opener has insufficient space to pursue that strain.

Consider, then, Minor Suit Stayman.  Many will play that 1NT-2S, 2NT/3C/3D-3M shows both minors and a stiff in the indicated major, typically 5-5 minors.  In that situation, we have an abundance of space, especially when Opener indicates a four-card minor, as the strain for slam is already known. 

This structure might possibly be improved.  I am concerned a small bit with interference with what I am proposing, but that might not be a large problem.

The simple idea is to first make the immediate 3M (1NT-P-3H or 1NT-P-3S) show the 5-5 minors hand, slam interest, indicating the stiff.  Opener can resolve strain easily, by bidding the respective minor at the four-level, or perhaps Flags as RKCB with really good hands (meaning, 4H RKCB for clubs, 4S RKCB for diamonds).

Next, have 1NT-P-2S be the two-under minor or minors call.  If Responder is weak, he has one or both minors.  Opener will bid 3C with club preference (Responder passing with clubs only or both minors weak, bidding 3D with diamonds only weak) or 2NT with diamond preference (Responder bidding 3C with clubs only weak or 3D with diamonds only weak or both minors weak).

If Responder has the 3145/3154/1345/1354 hand and slam interest he bids 2S first, to isolate the sole minor that might be the strain for slam purposes.  After Opener's call, Responder next bids three of the (short or fragment, depending on style) major.  This way, space is opened up for Opener bidding the other minor as a flag if needed.


2NT(diamond pref)-3S(1S/3H)
4C = heart super-accept
4D = diamond slam move

3C(club pref)-3S(1S/3H)
4C = club slam move
4D = heart super-accept

3S = spades agreed slam move
4C = both minors slam move
4D = just diamonds slam move
4H = RKCB diamonds
4S = spades, but really poor slam cards (might be Moysian)

3S = slam spades
4C = slam clubs
4D = both minors slam move
4H = RKCB clubs
4S = spades, poor slam cards (Moysian?)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Three-Under for Three-Suit Situation?

Wow is this getting interesting to me.  OK, the challenge now is to find a common situation where a three-under call (sort of) is enhanced by the theory of three-under bidding.  A simple one is a redouble of One Spade!


To escape effectively, the three-under approach for three suits can be used.  The redouble makes 2S "three under" the three suits shown by the double, in the sense that it adds pass as the additional level.

If escaping Advancer has one or both minors and wants to play at two of a minor, perhaps two of the right minor if he has both equal minors, he passes.  Doubler then picks his minor of preference, bidding 1NT to show preference for diamonds, to allow this move by Advancer safely with either one minor or both minors.

This enables 2C or 2D to show, instead of just that minor, equal length with that minor and hearts.

With just hearts, Advancer bids 2H.

1NT by Advancer, then, could be used to show a desire to play 1NT.

Alternatively, 1NT could show hearts and an equal-length minor with a weak hand, scrambling-style, with 2C or 2D then showing the same pattern but enough stuff that the redouble does not negate game prospects.

This same basic structure could be used after 2S-X-XX, of course.  

Three Under, plus Responsive Asking Two-Under?

Is a "three under" approach possible and sensible as a means of including and asking bid?  Sure.  The situation would be one where Overcaller makes or doubles a three-under call, with room for Advancer to use the two-under call as an asking bid or relay on weak hands, other calls being invitational.

Consider your problem if the opponents open 2NT as a light opening, both minors.  This is a tough situation to defend, and I have thought long about the most effective defense structure to that opening.  Well, what about incorporating a two-under and a three-under plus asking approach?

Overcaller could bid 3D for both majors, values, or 3M with that major and values.  Advancer moves accordingly.  So far, rather normal.

We then add the two-under for Overcaller, who is light.  3C shows a lighter overcall with one or both majors.  If Advancer has spade preference, he bids 3D, which allows some unwind and a decision from Advancer.  With heart preference, 3H is the call, or 3S as a "paradox" call (I have interest in a heart game but not a spade game if you just have long spades).  4C would be the game-force unwind.

Next, consider the double of 2NT, a "three-under plus asking" double.  This shows a takeout hand, but the majors might be of different lengths (4-4, 4-5, 5-4, 4-3, or 3-4, or even 3-5 or 5-3 are possible).

Advancer, hearing this double, could bid 3M as an invitational call, agreeing the indicated major with tweener values -- he needs extras for game to be a good bet.  With equal majors and game interest, Advancer bids 3D after the double, asking doubler to pick the strain and level.

If Advancer has a weak hand and wants to get out at three of one of the majors, he bids 3C, a Herbert Negative asking bid.  Advancer has either a specific major he wants to play at the three-level OR a weak hand with equal majors, wanting to play the right major at the three-level.  Doubler bids 3H with longer of better hearts, 3D with longer or better spades.  After either, Advancer places the contract.

A similar approach could be used to compete over Flannery.  One could play that a three-under 2H cue of a Flannery 2D opening shows both minors.  If this were used, Advancer could bid 2S as a Herbert-negative two-under signoff, allowing the 2H cuebidder to pick his longest/best minor (2NT with longer/better clubs), to make sure that the contract ends up being the best minor fit if Advancer has equal minors.  The 2Nt call allows room, again, for Advancer to bid the Herbert Negative with the asking bid tool while maintaining the ability to get out at 3C.  If Advancer has game interest, he could bid three of his preferred minor, showing extras.

How about after a Roman 2S opening, showing clubs and spades?  Three-under for the reds is a double.  If 2NT is then Lebensohl-style, you end up in the same scheme.  After 2NT, doubler can bid 3C to show better/longer hearts, and the weak hands end up played in the right strain.

In summary, the three-under plus asking bids is a way to have the person bidding (or doubling) a call that is three-under his two known suits, with Advancer using a counter two-under call as a weak relay with an added asking-bid included safely, to enable other calls to have values attached.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Using 2- and 3-under as 2C Responder

Another possible use for the two-under or three-under (for transfers) might be in responding to a strong 2C opening.  Suppose that 2D is waiting and GF, 2H bust.  That leaves 2S, 2NT, and the three-level for positives, and possibly for "preempt-ish" hands.  Stacking is facilitated by some two-under and three-under techniques.

Two Spades as One or Both Minors

Here, a two-under approach is used, with a Smolen style of follow-ups.

Opener generally will bid 2NT if he wants to agree diamonds or Three Clubs to agree clubs, assuming initially a two-suiter.  After 2NT (prefers diamonds), Responder can use a "Smolen" style to unwind his hand, bidding 3C as a "transfer" to agree diamonds, 3D to suggest clubs, or 3M as shortness.

Two No Trump as One or Both MAJORS

With a one-suiter and a major, Responder uses a three-under, enabling transfers.  Opener assumes a two-suiter and picks his major of preference, bidding 3H to suggest hearts or 3C to suggest spades.  If Responder has both, he can bid 4C or 4D as shortness.  Or, to simply agree spades (possibly one-suited), he can transfer with 3H after 3C.  3D after Opener's 3C shows just hearts. 

If Opener shows heart preference (3H) and Responder has just spades, Responder can bid 3S in a simple version, which is no worse than the usual method where Responder bids his own suit.

If Opener wants to reject both majors and show a long minor, he bids 3D with diamonds or 3S with clubs.  If Opener has his own spade suit, and cares not if Responder has hearts, he bids 3C and then insists with 3S after a transfer.  If Opener has his own heart suit and cares not about a one-suited spade suit from partner, Opener can bid 3H and then after 3S bid something above 3NT.

Major-Minor Combo
With a major-minor combo, Responder bids 3C.  Opener usually shows which major he would prefer, bidding 3D to preference spades.  If Opener wants to agree both majors, he bids 3S.

If Opener bids 3H and Responder has hearts and a minor, he can bid the minor next as a slam move.  If he has spades and a minor, 3S does the trick.  Opener can then agree spades with 4C to ask for the minor.

If Opener bids 3S, Responder can bid up-the-line.  3NT = clubs and hearts; 4C = diamonds and hearts.  4D = clubs and spades; 4H = diamonds and spades extras; 4S = diamonds and spades minimum.

If Opener bids 3D to preference spades, Responder bids 3H with hearts and clubs, 3S with hearts and diamonds extras, 3NT with hearts and diamonds minimum, 4C with clubs and spades, 4D with diamonds and spades.

Other Three-Level Calls

This allows 3D, 3H, 3S, or 3NT to show other holdings, whether 4-4-4-1 hands or perhaps one-suited but weaker.  Thus, for instance, 2C-P-3S could be played as 1-4-4-4 or could be played as seven spades but a bust.  Something like that.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Two Under Plus Transfers? Or, THREE-under?

Just because I am thinking about it...

One could incorporate a "two under" approach with transfers into a THREE under.  For instance, suppose that partner opens 2NT.  You might play that a 3S response is a relay to 3NT, as the means of getting to 3NT.  Then, 3NT would be available as a THREE-under call to show one or both majors, game-only:

2NT-P-3NT = one or both majors, game only.

If Opener prefers hearts, he bids 4H.  In that instance, Responder would play spade contracts, unfortunately.
If Opener prefers spades (or equal preference), he bids 4C, after which Responder transfers to the suit we agree to play.

Using that approach might then allow Responder to use four-level calls (4C, 4D, 4H, and 4S) for other meanings, such as perhaps Texas showing 5-5 with that major and five or the opposite color minor, 4C as diamonds and hearts, and 4S as blacks, all slammish.

Again, this is not necessarily a matter of suggesting a good idea.  It is a matter of brainstorming methods.

A three-under with transfers to show both minors would be a heart call, which is perhaps rather rare to imagine.  A three-under for spades and clubs would be a club call; a three-under for reds would be a spade call.  These might make sense in the context of a cue or double of the opponent's suit.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Two-Under Reds

The two-under approach has some good apps when the two suits are both minors (and the artificial call is made in spades, with 2/3NT for diamond preference) or both majors (and the artificial call is clubs, with 2/3D for spade preference).

What about the red suits?  This would be of more limited application, as it is not easy to think of circumstances where you would want to dedicate a call to showing both reds or just one red suit and where ypou would want to give up another meaning for the call -- notrump -- that is two under.

An example of how it would work, whether useful or not, might be to ovbercall 2NT after the opponents bid and raise spades as a red(s) call:


Overcaller would have diamonds, hearts, or both red suits, with Advancer bidding 3C if he prefers hearts to diamonds.  That might allow 3D or 3H directly to show extras.

Another similar example might be in a more competitive auction.  Suppose that you open 1D and the opponents compete in spades:


This might be the way to show:

(1) diamonds, competitive
(2) four hearts, competitive
(3) THREE hearts, competitive

Responder would then "prefer hearts" if he doubled with five hearts.  That gives up showing clubs naturally for Responder, or Opener using 2NT possibly with clubs, such that it might not make sense to use this method.  My purpose, however, is more to discuss how it might work if you did, simply to think through the methodology.

The remaining, touching two-suiter is clubs and spades.  But, they do not really touch, as notrump is between them.  But, one could imagine nonetheless using diamond calls to show both and hence a heart response as club preference:

1NT-2D as spades plus clubs, or just one of them
1NT-2D-P-2H as club preference

Again, the usefulness of this tool seems dubious, but the mechanics is what interests me.  I find this interesting to think about because I did not think of the clubhs-for-major(s) parallel to the spades-for-minor(s) despite playing the latter for years now.  Maybe diamonds-for-black(s) or notrump-for-red(s) might fit in somewhere I have not yet recognized as a curious solution.

UPDATE:  After thinking this over with my morning coffee, I thought of something where a lot of this could be used; after a 1NT opening, if you wanted to be very precise:

X = red(s).  Advancer bids 2C if he prefers clubs.  Doubler then places the contract.  This handles reds, hearts, and diamonds.
2D = blacks.  Advancer bids 2H if he prefers clubs to spades.  Doubler then places the contract.  This handles blacks, clubs, and spades.

So far, all one-suited hands are covered, as well as two of the two-suited hands.

2C = majors, or either major and the non-matching color minor.  Advancer picks his major of preference, bidding 2D to preference spades.  This is a limited Crunched Capp, keeping the major-minor to a specific major-minor.

So far now, all normal two-suited holdings are covered, except both minors.

2M = canape with shorter major, longer minor
2NT = minors

This structure (again, only allowed if not GCC) allows the partnership to show any one-suiter (clubs at the three-level, which is a common problem), allows specific identification of the minor when major-minor, and allows showing canape major hands.

To make this fully GC legal, have 3C direct to show just clubs; 2D would then show spades, or spades plus clubs, such that 2D guarantees spades.
Again, this might not be ideal, and perhaps even more could be stacked on, but you may see the potential now and why I am thinking about it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Two-Under Double?

The two-under concept might also be applied to Precision/Neapolitan 2C openings and the defense thereto, or to 3C openings.

Double = one or both majors, competitive only.  Partner bids 2/3D (cheapest) with spade preference.
2/3D = majors, extras
2/3M = intermediate overcall.

This is the rough sketch structure.  Tweaks might include that the cheapest diamond call is Michaels-style and the double takeout-or-major.  The idea would be to solve a problem with a 2C opening, namely that 2M might make sense with a weak two hand up to an intermediate with six-bagger.  Forfeiting diamond overcalls and diamond responses to the double vastly improves major sequences.

Just a thought...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More on Two Under

The more I discuss the two-under concept with others, the more I like it.  a few schemes have come to mind over 1NT openings:

(1) Distinguishing Major(s) and Strength

2C = weak with one or both majors.  Partner bids 2D with spade preference, which allows Overcaller to bid 2H with just hearts.  Responder's direct 3C asks for unwind, strong hand.
2D = majors, stronger
2H/2S = one major, stronger

(2) Crunched Cappelletti plus canape

2C = both majors or one major and either minor.  Partner picks the major of preference, again bidding 2D with spades.  If you started with both majors, go to the major partner prefers.  With extras, raise that major.  If major-minor and partner picks the right major, go to that major or bid the minor with extras.  With major-minor and partner picks the wrong major, bid the other major; partner continues as if Cappelletti.
2D = hearts or spades, multi-ish
2H = four hearts, longer minor
2S = four spades, longer minor

(3) Crunched Cappelletti plus Stronger Majors

2C = same as for other Crunched Capp
2D = majors, values
2H = hearts
2S = spades

(4) Crunched Capp plus Crunched Minors plus transfers plus leaping Ripstra

2C = Crunched Cappelletti
2D = hearts
2H = spades
2S = one or both minors (2NT prefers diamonds)
2NT = majors, values
3C = 4414-ish, values
3D = 4441-ish, values

(5) Razzle-Dazzle

2C = Crunched Capp
2D = one or both majors
2H = 4H/longer minor
2S = crunched minors
2NT = majors, values
3C/3D = leaping ripstra

(6) specific minors crunched capp

2C = Crunched Capp, but if major-minor the minor is diamonds
2D = multi major one-suiter
2H/2S = major plus clubs

The 2C for major(s) and the 2S for minor(s) both get featured a few times.  But, the opportunities are quite vast for using this two-under method.