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
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
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
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.