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The infamous 1D - 2C bidding scenario - what now, Mom?


My question is about 2/1 (2C is game forcing), which I have been playing recently, essentially the system outlined by Max Hardy.

A K x x
x x x x
A x x
x x

1D - ?

J x x
K J x
K Q J x x x x

What should West bid?  At the table, West bid 2C (game force).  West kept on bidding (reluctantly!) and we had a disaster.  How do we get to 3C?

The auction 1D - 2C is the toughest opening sequences possible when playing the 2/1 system -- tough enough that in Mike Lawrence's "Two Over One Workbook", he devoted over one-fourth of the book (page 72-122 out of a total 189 pages) just on bids beginning with your sequence!

First, let's take a look at East's hand: 11 HCP and a balanced hand. In the "old days", players would open this hand using 3 Quick Tricks as a criteria. While aggressive players still choose to open this hand in first seat, many would prefer to pass an 11-pointer unless it contains a singleton or a void (no body cards).  These day, the Rule of 20 is often used as a secondary criteria - failing miserably with West's holding.

Second, if you're playing 2/1 as 100 percent game forcing, then East's hand is a bit marginal to qualify for a 2 Club response.  Like West, East has 11 HCP.  Sure, East has visions of 3 Notrump with those long Clubs, but there's a problem.  Can you see it?  East has few entries into hand - the minor suit Kings!  Even with 11 HCP plus 3 questionable distribution points (7 card Club suit), East's lack of entries negates counting distribution points - even thought East believes the suit is self-sustaining.   Certainly East should not envision 5C, requiring 29 points.  What is the other problem here?  The opponents will likely take the first 4 Heart tricks and one Club before the declarer begins promoting Hearts - too late!

Let's say East/West agree to play an aggressive bidding style, so West opens 1 Diamond.  You mentioned you play "Hardy 2/1", so using that treatment the bidding would go (see "Advanced Bridge Bidding for the 21st Century", pg 39):


1D - 3C

Q 5
J 10 4
10 8 3
A Q J 8 5 4

Of course, these days players have lots of gadgets for jump sequences as this, such as the Criss-Cross bid or Weak Jump Shift.



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