Sunday, October 01, 2006 2:02 AM

Good Bad 2NT – Revisited




          There is nothing dark & mysterious about the good-bad 2NT . It was designed to bring back the “free bid” at the 3 level to show invitational values rather than just competing. The 2NT bid is in effect Lebensohl asking partner to bid 3♣ so you can make a competitive bid. The situation occurs when the opponents bid in the sandwich position thereby preventing you from jumping to the 3 level after partners response or negative double.


          What if you have a natural 2NT bid ( flat 18-19 ) to which you would have jumped if they did not interfere at the two level ? There are 3 alternatives we will discuss one by one. You can make a “card showing double” which I feel should just announce one stopper and if partner has an honour in the suit , the 3NT can be right sided with partner playing the contract. This bid shows a defensive hand and can be converted by partner with a suitable hand.


          The 2nd alternative is a 2NT bid which you know partner will take the relay to 3♣ but you bid 3NT over that bid. This is the hand where you are really serious about playing and right siding the NT. You have two stoppers in their suit and you would have jumped to 2NT if they had not interfered.


          The last alternative is to leap to 3NT directly with your 18-19 flat hand. This bid I do not like as you are pre-empting partner. This bid should be your normal gambling type 3NT bid with a long suit and a stopper.


          You can get fancy and bid 2NT and have partner bid 3♣ and you now Q bid. What should this mean ? I would interpret this as a forcing to game club bid. Either you have opened 1♣ or clubs are your second suit but you are too strong just to bid clubs at the 3 level. You relay to clubs and in effect Q bid in support of clubs. A direct Q bid would be strong support for partner or a Western Q bid.


          Do not forget the importance of the sandwich position in interpreting this bid. 1-1-2NT is natural because there has been no bid in the sandwich position preventing you from going to the 3 level. 1-P-1-2   ?  The opponents have prevented you from jumping to the 2 level in NT or jumping to the 3 level invitational. A free bid at the 3 level is now invitational and 2NT demands a relay to 3♣ so you can compete. 2NT is also handled as discussed above.


          The good bad 2NT was designed to prevent the opponents bidding in the sandwich position from taking away your invitational sequences. It was not designed for overcall situations although you could attempt something. I would not recommend it though. Do not go overboard with this bid. In balancing situations 2NT is quite often natural or scrambling after a double. The good-bad 2NT just allows you to compete better and brings “free bids” back into vogue.