Colin Lee — The Lee Club

Bidding over 1M – Game forcing

Um, is this the right room for an argument

So I left off talking about raising a GF bid at the one level – now at the moment, we are working in a, mostly, natural system so I’m not going to talk about relays or artificial bids.

The auction starts 1 – 1M –

The key question seems to be – what should partner expect when you raise to 2M. I’m of the opinion that 2M should be suit setting. You’ve found the suit you are going to play in and let’s start looking for slam. Based on that assumption you shouldn’t set the suit unless you are confident that it’s right. To be right it would be right to have 4 card support or a good 3 card suit with a roughing value; but, with 3 trumps and a balanced hand – let’s go ahead and rebid our NT value. With a good 5 card suit – we should bid that first.

So 1 – 1M – 1NT implies that you do not have 4 card support and have a balanced 16-18.
1 – 1M – 2M sets the suit and invites cuebidding – should show slam interest.
Interesting enough I think the jump rebid should show less values than the simple raise – you are stealing your own room – why do it when you don’t need to?

1 – 1M – 2M = 19+ Slam interest
1 – 1M – 3M = 16-18 No slam interest – in this sequence I would play 3NT as a trump asking bid. In the previous I would play 3NT as serious. There’s no point in play serious 3NT when one player has already denied slam interest.

I’ve told you once

Okay so now some of the time you are going to rebid 1NT even when you have 3 card support – do we need to play checkback now? The answer to this question is easier I think – why do you play checkback? The obvious answer is to find out if partner has support for either your 5cM or 4coM
The sequence: 1 – 1 – 1NT – 2 is not forcing in standard – in fact it shows a weak hand. You need an artificial bid (new minor, checkback, etc) to show an invitational / better hand; however, we are already in a game forcing auction! We don’t need an artificial bid to keep the auction going.

1 – 1 – 1NT – 2 shows 5 and 4 and is game forcing. We don’t have to lose our 2 bid – it can stay natural.

So if partner hasn’t denied 3 card support and I don’t have a 6 card suit (1 – 1M – 1NT – 2M should show 6) – how do I ask for 3 card support? Well now I can bid 2NT to ask partner to show something about their hand. I would expect partner to show me a 5 card suit or 3 card support (if he had a 6 card suit he would have bid it before 1NT; if I had a 4 card suit I would have bid it at the 2 level over 2NT).

No you haven’t. Yes I have. When? Just now.

1 – 1M – 1NT = 16-18 Bal
1 – 1M – 1NT – 2m / 2oM = 4 card suit
1 – 1M – 1NT – 2M = 6 card suit
1 – 1M – 1NT – 2NT = asking for opener to show lowest 5 card suit or 3 card support. (1 – 1 – 1NT – 2NT – 3 denies 3)
1 – 1M – 1NT – 3M = suit setting

There’s still a question of what to do with jump rebids and double jump rebids e.g. 1 – 1M – 1NT – 3m or 4m.

My first thoughts are that the 3 level should be used to show strong shapely hands; 5-5 with 2 good 5 card suits – say AQJxx xx AQJxx x would make sense to me. At the 4 level – I’m not sure yet. You probably still need Gerber and over you don’t have a bid so you can’t do something for every suit (unless you assume that 3 doesn’t show a 2 suited hand. Still thinking about this one; but I think it’s way less important than the rest of it.

Look, let’s get this thing quite clear. I most definitely told you.

So that about wraps it up for this sequence for now with the exception of what do other things mean over 1 – 1M? For the most part we can play everything as natural. There may be an advantage to playing mini-splinters or italian jump cuebids in this sequence. I’m going to think about this more; for now it’s all natural.

It’s Being-hit-on-the-head lessons in here

What a stupid concept


Roy HughesJune 22nd, 2008 at 8:22 pm

When the strong club opener raises a natural positive, I prefer not to designate any particular range as “no slam interest” since opener, opposite an unlimited partner, is not in a position to say that there is no slam. I prefer to designate ranges, starting with “minimum”. I agree that, in natural methods over a strong club, a raise should be a strong statement about strain, because it is the most expensive non-jump bid. Opener, by raising, should lose the right to make any further natural (length-showing) bids. Responder, however, should be allowed to show a new suit before cuebidding, to let opener judge the fit.
Here is a question that I don’t have the answer for. Suppose you play that the strong club opener gives a single raise with 19-21 and a double raise with 16-18. Will there be more slams, in total, that start 1C-1H-2H, or more that start 1C-1H-3H? Certainly slam is more likely when opener has 19-21, but there will be many more 16-18’s, and responder is unlimited, so I would not be quick to require opener to jump raise whenever he is minimum. (You might want to compare this with a similar question. Does a pair playing weak notrump have more slam slams that start with 1NT, or fewer?)

Colin LeeJune 23rd, 2008 at 6:25 pm

What you talk about is the reason I thought it was more useful to let opener try to describe how they liked their hand for slam tries (though honestly I’m probably going to change all of this to a slightly different system which does it all a lot better; but I’m trying the *natural* way for now).

I agree with you that 16-18 versus 19-21 may or may not be more slam oriented.. I’m not sure.. But I would say that GOOD 16s are more likely to get to slam than Bad 19s or even 20s. If I were to give you a bunch of hands from 16-21 points and ask you to rank them in order of slam interest – knowing that you have a 9 card fit in this major; I guarantee that some of the 16 points would be much higher than some of the 19-21 point hands – do I have a source of tricks, do I have controls; how are my spots? That’s why I decided to let opener have a say in their playing strength versus HCP.

Roy HughesJune 23rd, 2008 at 7:15 pm

I think I had better define my terms. By ’16-18′ what I really mean is the playing strength equivalent of a minimum 1C opener to slightly more. A little more than that is ’19-21′. Opener is free to apply positive and negative adjustments to the raw HCP figure.

I am assuming that in our natural methods over a strong club, opener may raise the 1M positive to either 2M or 3M, according to the strength of the hand held. (I am ignoring the issue of opener’s distribution; perhaps these raises should show a balanced hand, since side length or shortage may be too important to not be shown.) Under these assumptions, the question I was trying to address is: should opener make the single raise to 2M with hands in the weaker range, or the stronger? And I was making an argument for using the single raise on the weaker hands, because they are more common, and slam is not ruled out since responder is unlimited.

ColinJune 24th, 2008 at 8:19 am

I would have said that when opener has a good hand for slam then you are more likely to get to a slam. Yes responders hand is unlimited and can have better / worse hands – but I think it (somewhat) follows the same principles as transfers over 1NT – you super accept with a good hand. This lets you get some slams / games that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Let me try this another way – yes opener is more likely to have a minimum hand when they open; however, responder is likely to have a minimum hand too. A lot of those sequences are just going to bid game and never explore for slam (especially once opener shows a minimum). If opener shows a great hand – even with a minimum, responder may try for slam and now has room to explore, looking for the perfect hand.

It’s a tough question, it just occurred to me that if opener has a better hand – slam is much more likely since you are now in the 30+ point range.

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