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


               2♣                                                                                 1 

   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


                       2  P

  Ex       2♣                3♣


                        1   P                  AKxx x KJ10xx xxx          Probably beat 3


2.       Allows the partnership a lead



ex             2

     2♣                    3NT




        AQx  KQxxxx  Jxx x



3.          Finds the fit fast



      2                   3                         

                 1 4                                  Axxxx Kxxx x AKx 


4.      Prevents dangerous "back ins " later 


                      P 3

       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

2                                     4

                       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



2                                         4

                        1 4

                                                             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    



2♣                        P

           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

2♣                                3♣


                   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 !!