Sunday, August 20, 2006 8:06 PM

Equal Level Conversion III




            Unbelievable discussion in the Bridge World on a hand. Meckwell got to a vul 4game making +680 in a Bremuda Bowl because they play equal level conversion. ♠AQJxx Axxx x ♣QJx   opposite ♠x K10xxx xxx ♣Axxx  Meckstroth doubled the diamond opening , Rodwell invited in hearts and with everything onside and breaking he made +680. At 3 other tables , the auction went 1-1♠-P-P P and declarer made +140 in spades because everything was on side.


          The Bridge World went on ad nauseum that it was a systemic fix as the responders played 2 as a one round force so could not bid it. Maybe it is better if you can bid 2 not forcing they said. Other comments included that responder should lie and bid a “forcing 1NT” in an overcall situation in case partner had hearts for his overcall. What a load of gibberish !


          Why in IMPS is it necessary to bury your heart suit with a spade overcall ? You have 14 HCP and the 3 unbid suits so why are you showing a one suited hand with an overcall ? Even playing Rubber bridge a of a century ago,  I would have doubled with that hand. The best spot might be a club game for all the overcaller knows. I am not one to toot Meckwells horn,  but equal level conversion is the best idea that they have come with not to miss vulnerable games in IMPS. With AQJxx Axxx QJx ♣ x I would double a diamond opener in IMPS and overcall 1 in match points. In IMPS , I simply do not want to bury the heart suit in case we have game.


          Playing this equal conversion style , an overcall at the two level or even the one level in most cases imply a one suited hand unless you have a suit combination that does not lend itself to T/O doubles. If they open a minor , a T/O double promises both majors . If the opponents open a major , a T/O double promises the unbid major and a minor. I have a further rule with a 5 card club suit and a 4 card major. I prefer to overcall the 4 card major rather than bid 2♣ so as not to miss the major fit if partner does not have enough values to respond to the 2♣ overcall.


          IMPS is all about getting to your games. Overcalling with two or 3 suits is all about getting to the best partial ( a 5-3 fit ) . This overcalling style is another aspect of “modern bidding” that I do not understand. The Bridge World only endorses equal level conversion when the club suit is involved. They say leave equal level conversion to Meckwell. I would like to amend that. Leave it to Crosby also.