Lee Club (the second go around)
My intentions over the next while is to post our system notes, hopefully in a somewhat interesting fashion and hopefully get feedback from any readers. I’ll also be discussing thoughts and changes to the system as we work them in – especially our more interesting discussions.
The Lee Club bidding system is designed to get the maximum out of the major suits and to use the strong club system to be able to bid strong hands at a lower level than in a *standard system*. The main goal of this system is to bid frequently, get in on most hands and be able to compete quickly and aggressively.
The goal is to make these notes as interesting as possible and not to have a standard dry piece of paper as well as to get as much information across as possible in an easy to read and understand way. Hopefully people reading these notes will not only be able to understand the system but also get some insight and enjoyment out of reading them. I also believe that notes that are written out in sentences (rather than merely sequences) are easier to remember and comprehend. Sequences are frequently scanned and rescanned before comprehension. With full sentences there is a requirement of initial comprehension which improves long term retention.
So – why a forcing club with 4 card majors? 4 card majors mean that we bid majors more often. They are higher suits and will tend to win the part score battle faster. We can even talk the opponents out of their suit with our first bid. 4 card majors also solve some of the major problems with precision – like short diamond hands or hands with five clubs and a 4 card major. These aren’t problem hands in this system. We don’t have an ambiguous one diamond opener. This system promises two diamonds with a one diamond opener (unfortunately with 3325 you end up opening a diamond – otherwise you’d have three). We like a forcing club because it allows us to bid lower AND because it causes our opponents to do stupid things like ridiculous overcalls and go for 800 constantly. For some reason a forcing club is like a red flag to a bull and all idiots just charge at it. It reminds me of a story (frequently told by my father and referenced recently on Linda’s blog) – Paul Soloway was playing (with a client) against Linda and Ray in a nationals. Ray opened 1NT – the client doubled on a balanced 13 count and Linda redoubled for penalty. Paul had to run, was doubled and went for a large number. At the end of the hand, Paul said to his partner: “It’s because of people like you who double on hands like that that I play weak no trump”.
When we first started playing forcing club on BBO we frequently got opponent’s that liked to bid over 1C with every hand. One guy had ♠2 ♥QJxx ♦JTxx ♣KT87. Over 1♣ he felt compelled to bid and trotted out with 1♠. I bid 2♣ – natural and game forcing and his partner decided with QTxxxx of spades and an outside A and K that 4♠ was a great bid – unfortunately the rest of the spade suit was in Linda’s hand and 4♠ went for -1100 into +100 (since 3NT was going down). So with that I say – it’s because of people like that who bid on hands like that that I play a forcing club.
Well that and I think it’s technically superior in many ways to a forcing 2C opener and having much smaller limits on opening bids is way better; but I’m getting ahead of myself.
So – I did this once before and things were going well; you might ask – what happened? Well work and life got in the way and my trip to the Nationals in Boston was canceled so we decided to put all this on hold for a while. Having had a longer conversation with Linda about the system it was felt that the system was too complicated as a first go around for us. With limited experience with forcing club systems and even less experience with 4 card majors and canape, it just seemed to make sense to start with a simpler system before getting into more of the complexities.