Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Inverted Use of Two-Under?

An auction discussed a while ago between friends just occurred to me as offering an interesting use of two-under bidding.

Opener started with One Spade.  Responder bid a forcing 1NT, and then Opener's RHO intervened with a nuisance Three Clubs.  Opener then bid Three Hearts, to Responder.


4C was agreed to be the "expert call" of choice-of-games, possibly with 2S/3H.  That meaning, however, deprives the partnership of a cue-raise to suggest slam interest.  One alternative would be for 4C to be a heart flag and slammish, 4D a spade flag and slammish.  But, that forfeits the choice option.

Two-under bidding allows both meaning to be employed.

Responder would bid 4C as "one or both majors," meaning (1) a cimple raise to 4H, (2) a simple raise to 4S, or (3) a choice hand.  Opener indicates choice, bidding 4D with spade choice.  After choice is indicated, Responder bids 4H or 4S.  If he needed choice indicated, he bids the major Opener selected.  If he did not, he bids whatever major he intended all along.

With slam interest, instead, Responder can bid the major directly.  Hence, an immediate 4H or 4S would be a slam move in the indicated major.

4D would be natural.  Or, 4D could be a "choice, and slammish" call.


4D(spade preference)-(P)-4H = just hearts

4D(spade preference)-(P)-4S = just spades or needed choice made

4H(heart preference)-(P)-P = just hearts or needed choice made

4H(heart preference)-(P)-4S = just spades

3H-(P)-4H = heart fit, slammish

3H-(P)-4S = spade fit, slammish

3H-(P)-4D = diamonds (option 1) or choice-and-slammish (option 2), depending on partnership agreement

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Four Clubs General Slam Invite

A discussion with Ken Eichenbaum inspired a thought for better structuring Opener's rebids after he opens three of a major (in first or second seat) and hears partner bid 4C as a general slam invite.  The structure:


4D = Honor cue (Ace or King) in diamonds.  Might have shortness also.  Responder can bid four of the other major to ask for shortness, if any exists.  Opener can show the shortness after a signoff anyway if he has "extras."

4OM = Honor cue.  4NT asks for shortness, if any.  Persisting after signoff again shows shortness and extras.

4NT = Honor cue in clubs, shortness in other major.

5C = Honor cue in clubs.

5D = Honor cue in clubs, shortness in diamonds.

If Opener has no honor cues (repeats major), Responder can ask for shortness by bidding +1 (4NT after 4S, or 4S after 4H).


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Modern Approach to Two-Over-One

Congrats to Ken Eichenbaum for his release through Master Point Press of his new ebook, A Modern Approach to Two-Over-One.  The description follows:

For those of you who wish to expand your horizons, this book may be the answer you have been looking for.

A Modern Approach to Two-Over-One was written for the player who already uses a basic two-over-one approach, but is looking for more comprehensive methods to “glue” his system together. Special modern treatments and conventions are introduced to help cover the outer edges of the bell curve, allowing you to intelligently explore those “hard to reach” places.
We can no longer live in the past with limited tools. If you want to be competitive in this modern age of bidding, get out of the stone age and enter the twenty-first century!

If you are interested, this ebook (and a sample) can be found at

I imagine that a paperback version will probably also be released.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What the?

Two things confound me.  One is simple; the other complex.  Just venting, though.

The first.  Why on earth do some people get confused about this auction?  If you open 2NT, you play some type of Stayman and transfers, maybe more.  But, for some reason a lot of people get confused when the auction is 2C...2NT or 2C...Kokish...2NT and are not sure.  What the?

The other is the implied cue.  I bid a suit.  You bid a suit.  I rebid my suit.  You bid the third suit.  I bid the fourth suit at the four-level.  I like your second suit a lot. 

Or, you transfer and bid 3NT.  I bid a new suit at the four level.  I have a great hand for your suit.

However, sometimes some people are mystified.  What the?

There are tons more.  These two just seem to have come up a lot.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Opener's Checkback?

An auction from BBF that I misunderstood initially made me think in a way that was relevant only in the auction I saw while in my own world.


Obviously, this auction in a natural auction world shows 4144, 4054, or maybe 4153 shape.  However, there might be some cause for using this 2C rebid for a different cause, opting to pass 1NT with the prior patterns.  I mention this not because I think the merits are there but because the sequence intrigues me theoretically.

One plausible alternative meaning is a hand with a diamond rebid but three hearts, maybe 4351 or 4360, to enable finding the 5-3 heart fit that might exist.  Another possibility is to have 2C handle hands where a 3D jump might make sense, to avoid the three-level unless this is necessary.  These could also be somewhat combined, where for instance Responder is free to introduce hearts (or Opener to rebid hearts) when Opener bids 2C, as this wouyld be forcing.  Hence, you could have:

2C-P-2H as a fifth heart and acceptance values or

2H  as a third heart and maximum values for the sequence.

This might be all the more relevant if the partnership uses Mini-Roman (ugh!), where the 4-1-4-4 or 4-0-5-4 option is already off the table.