Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another 1NT Overcalling Structure with Two-Under

In my book, Overcalling pponent's 1NT, I made a lot of suggestions for structure types for overcalling 1NT using 2C as "one or both majors."  The suggestions were not meant to be exhaustive.  Another idea occurred to me today that some might like.


2C = Both majors (longer or equal hearts), or just hearts, or just spades and a minor
2D = "Soft" Reverse Flannery (4H/5S, 4H/6S, or just 6+ spades)
2H = Hearts and a minor
2S = 4S, longer minor

Another version, which is not strictly the same:


2C = "Soft" Flannery (4S/5H, 4S/6H, or just 6+ hearts, or SEE BELOW)
2D = "Soft" Reverse Flannery (4H/5S, 4H/6S, or just 6+ spades)
2H = Hearts and a minor
2S = Spades and a minor

In this version, 2C followed by 2S would be "one or both minors" with values.  With a weak hand, bid 2NT or three of the minor immediately.  If partner prefers spades (bids 2D), Overcaller must bid 2NT, 3C, or 3D instead of 2S with the minor(s) hand.  The purpose of this structure is to allow Overcaller to make another descriptive call with the values hands and both majors.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More Uses for Two Under Bidding

Those of you who have picked up a copy of my new book, Overcalling Opponent's 1NT, will undoubtedly realize that the main focus is on overcalling the opponents' 1NT openings but that I dedicate some time to discussing other uses for the theory, in other unrelated sequences.  As I continue to think through permutations, new ideas come up.  I thought I would share.

How about after a 1NT overcall by the opponents?  Your partner, say, opens One Club, with a strong 1NT overcall.  A lot of us play Lair here, where 2C is sort of a replacement for a negative double.  Well, what about using the two-under approach?  In the simplified version, 2C would show one or both majors with a weak hand, typically a long one-suited major (either one) or a weak hand with both majors (5-5 at least).  Other calls, like 2D, 2H, and 2S, would then show the same pattern with extras.  This approach would be particularly good in dealing with a R.U.N.T. 1NT overcall for those who also picked up my new book, Really Unusual Notrump (R.U.N.T.).  Alternatively, a fit-showing style could be used, where 2C shows one or both majors, but if one major then with a fit for Opener's minor.  Hence, for instance, after 1C, you would bid 2C with either major and clubs (or both majors).

What about tweaking Drury?  After two passes, partner opens 1H.  You hold 3H/4S with limit values and are concerned about missing a 4-4 spade fit.  If Opener responds to your Drury call by acting as if he is responding to a one or both majors call, he bids 2D with spade preference (four spades) or 2H with heart preference (not four hearts).  If he does that, then your Drury bid could be bid with a heart fit ("just hearts"), with 4S/3H ("both majors"), or with four spades and a longer minor ("just spades").  In the latter event, if partner bids 2D, you bid 2S.  If he bids 2H, you also bid 2S and partner can decide what to do.  You would need an unwind for when Opener has extras, of course,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Controls, or Shape? Why not both!

I am of the opinion that cuebidding beats pattern bidding in the long run.  But, some either disagree or simply have their own preference.  It seemed to me that a partnership could opt to use either one, perhaps situation-dependent, by employing a trigger.

Consider, for instance, a classic 2/1 GF auction:


If spades are agreed for your partnership at this point, then some will use my methods and cuebid from this point forward, whereas others will prefer to have Opener complete his pattern and then cuebid from there.  What if, instead, the first step is a trigger?

For those who lean cuebidding but might want to allow a pattern-bidding over-ride, consider this structure:

2NT = complete pattern
3C = club cue
3D = diamond cue, no club cue available

In other words, 2NT triggers pattern bidding, whereas any other call would be cuebidding immediately.  2NT could either ask (please complete your pattern, Responder) or relay (please bid 3C so that I can show my pattern), perhaps with allowance of a relay-override in the latter situation.  You might even have a 2NT asking bid with its own one-step override (after 2NT asking for pattern, Responder bids 3C to override and demand cues whereas other calls show pattern).

If the tendency is instead pro-pattern, 2NT by Opener could override and demand cuebidding (again with a possible override if you want), whereas other calls would be pattern calls.

Monday, February 6, 2012

RUNT now available in paperback!

You can find the Really Unusual Notrump (R.U.N.T.) as a paperback now at Amazon:

Also, Amazon is running a sale (plus free shipping) on Overcalling Opponent's 1NT, which makes it even cheaper than the ebook.