Friday, September 06, 2002 1:08 AM
Tactics - 2/1 In competition
One aspect of bidding I have always disagreed with in standard bidding is that 2/1 in competition reverts to Standard American and shows 10+ pts. . Wrong , wrong and wrong. In the first instance HCP’s in competition should not be the criteria for a 2/1 , the suit quality should be . Bidding a 2/1 in competition should be a game force with one escape hatch . This exception should be a good suit and it does need a 10+ HCP criteria to bid . It should be more like a negative free bid except that it is forcing to game unless rebid . As long as your suit is good , you do not need 10+ HCP’s to bid 2/1 . This is similar to negative free bid theory but not quite. Throwing out splinters in competition clarifies the 2/1 . A jump shift in competition is weak and a long suit.
Ex AQJ10xx xx xxx xx xxx x xxx AK109xx
1♥ 2♠ 1♥ 2♣
Kxxxx xx AQx Jx Do not bid 2♠ with this hand even though you have 10 HCP after the opponents make a two level overcall . This is a negative double or even a pass after partners 1♥ opener.
Qxx x AKx Jxxxxx This is not a 2♣ 2/1 bid even though you have 10 HCP . Over a heart overcall bid 1NT or double
Some people like Peter Jones or the Bartons go too far and will not bid a 2./1 in competition without a forcing to game hand . This goes to far the other way . You have to get in their with your suits. I was trying to convince Peter Jones to be less rigid so I came up with a Dave Lettermans top 10 reasons why a systemic understanding that a suit bid and rebid should not be forcing to game :
Subject: Dave Lettermans Top 10
The 10 most obvious reasons why a good suit that is rebid should not be forcing to game …
1. Allows the partnership to compete and push the opponents higher
Ex 2♣ 3♣
1♦ P AKxx x KJ10xx xxx Probably beat 3
2. Allows the partnership a lead
AQx KQxxxx Jxx x
3. Finds the fit fast
1♠ 4♦ Axxxx Kxxx x AKx
4. Prevents dangerous "back ins " later
2♣ P 3♣ DBL
1♠ P AQxxx x KQxx Qxx
5. Prevents the opponents from jamming you out of your game
P x AK10xxx xxxx xx
1♠ Axxxx xxxx x AKx Have a chance for 6♥ and 2/1 forcing to game types would not even be in the auction unless he backs in 4♥ ( risky vul )
6. You can jam the opponents out of their game and find sacrifices
KJxx x AKxxxx xx 4♥ makes and 4♠ goes 1 down or also makes
7. Makes slam bidding easier as fit found at a lower level
1♠ 4♣ AKxxx AQx Axxx x
8. Clarifies negative doubles ( do not make a negative dbl with 1 suit or 1 suit with a fit for partner )
Can bid 2♠ instead with QJ10xxx and a fit for partner with negative double range HCP’s . A negative double might be converted for penalty and a disaster with a 2 suited fit could occur
9. Gets you to those nice 3NT's that make with a running 6 card minor
2♦ xx Kxx AQ1098x xx
1♠ 3NT AQxxx Axx KJx Kx
10. Daves #1 reason you should not play them forcing to game in competition - Lee Barton does J The rest of the World does not !
With a strong hand with a rebidable suit that you want to force to game you just have to bid a phony suit or Q bid the opponents suit . A small price to pay indeed . If partner does anything but rebid the suit its forcing to game anyway to give away a little to gain a lot . The only obligation is for partner to rebid the suit and resist the temptation to raise partner which misrepresents his hand .
AKJxxx xxx xx xx Partner opens 1♥ and RHO overcalls 2♦ and you bid 2♠ . If partner bids 3♣ do not give her preference as that misrepresents your hand.
You must bid 3♠ to show a weak hand .
xx xx xx AKQJ10xx Partner bids 1♦ and RHO bids 1♠ and you bid 2♣ . Partner bids 2♦ . Do not bid 3♣ as it is not forcing . Bid 2♠
as a Western Q bid to steer the hand to 3NT .
There are a lot of good inferences and understandings that you have when a 2/1 is forcing to game . Why throw all those out and start bidding with 10 pts just because the opponents have overcalled ? You are in effect letting them destroy your system . As long as you can get your good suits in quickly , then make negative doubles with your 10,11,& 12 HCP hands . Even passing will work out better then making a 10 pt 2/1 with bad suits !!