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How New Convention Charts Apply to Existing Mid-Chart Conventions

One thing I have been trying to figure out is – what stuff will the opps now be able to play that I need to prepare for. Clearly the trend is to allow more creative systems, and while that is good, it does present a challenge for us B players (and maybe above) who often compete in Regional Team and Open Pair events. Open pair events will now use the Open+ chart when they are concurrent with a Gold Rush.

To begin my research, I reviewed the current ACBL mid-chart database of written defenses, available here:

http://www.acbl.org/tournaments_page/charts-rules-and-regulations/tournament-specific-regulations/defense-database/

Anything in the database has been pre-approved, and has a written defense available in the database. Today, these must be pre-alerted, and opps must provide the written defense if asked. Players may refer to the written defense during bidding. At least, that’s my understanding.

After assessing the conventions in the database with the new convention charts, it seems that many of them will be available in Open or Open+ games without requiring a written defense. Is it fair to conclude that we may no longer refer to the written defenses, even if we bring them ourselves? And therefore, partner and I have a lot of work to do in learning these defenses or devising our own, perhaps based on some smart meta-rules.

Here are the conventions from the defense database, together with my assessment of where they fall on the Open and Open+ portion of the new convention charts. (Start of each entry is the number/letter identifier in the defense database.)

Of course the following is not exhaustive, as players are free to use other treatments that will now be allowed, in many cases without pre-approval.

Comments / corrections are welcome!

1A. 4C Opening showing Solid major plus outside A or K: Allowed

1A. 4D Opening showing Solid major, no outside A or K: Allowed

1B. 2H Opening showing 3-suited, short D, 11-15: Allowed

1C. 2S Opening showing 5-5 minors: Not allowed in Open (rule 7). Allowed in Open+.

1D. 2/3 level Opening showing a Transfer preempt: Not allowed in Open (rule 7). Allowed in Open+.

1E. 2C Opening showing Weak in D or any strong: Not allowed in Open (rule 7). Not sure about Open+???

1F. 3 level opening Showing an unknown solid suit. Allowed, because this is not a preempt.

1G. 4 NT opening Showing a strong Minor Suit: Allowed.

1H. 2H Opening showing Weak in H + S: Allowed, because it promises 4+ in the bid suit, therefore not artificial. But in 1st or 2nd seat the HCP range shown cannot be more than 9 (rule 11).

1I. 2D Opening showing 5=4 Majors, Weak: Not allowed in Open (rule 7). Allowed in Open+.

1I. 2D Opening showing 4=5 Majors, Weak: Not allowed in Open (rule 7). Allowed in Open+.

1J. 2H Opening showing 5=4 Majors, Weak: Allowed, because it promises 4+ in the bid suit, therefore not artificial. But in 1st or 2nd seat the HCP range shown cannot be more than 9 (rule 11 or 13).

1J. 2H Opening showing 4=5 Majors, Weak: Allowed, because it promises 4+ in the bid suit, therefore not artificial. But in 1st or 2nd seat the HCP range shown cannot be more than 9 (rule 11 or 13).

1K. 2H Opening showing H + another, weak: Allowed, because it promises 4+ in the bid suit, therefore not artificial. But in 1st or 2nd seat the HCP range shown cannot be more than 9 (rule 11 or 13).

2A. 2D Opening showing 5-4 Majors, weak: Not allowed in Open (rule 7). Allowed in Open+.

2B. 2H Opening showing 5-4 Majors, weak: Allowed, because it promises 4+ in the bid suit, therefore not artificial. But in 1st or 2nd seat the HCP range shown cannot be more than 9 (rule 11 or 13).

2C. 2 NT Opening showing C or D, weak: Not allowed in Open (rule 7). Allowed in Open+ segments of 6 or more boards with pre-alerts and pre-approved written defense.

2D. 2D Opening showing a Weak 2 in H or S or various strong hands (Multi): Not allowed in Open (rule 7). Allowed in Open+ segments of 6 or more boards with pre-alerts and pre-approved written defense.

2E. 2S Opening showing C or D, weak: Not allowed in Open (rule 7). Allowed in Open+ segments of 6 or more boards with pre-alerts and pre-approved written defense.

3A. 2C Opening showing H or S, limited: Allowed because this is not a preempt.

3B. 1H Opening showing 5+S, 11-21: Not allowed in Open or Open+ in games with less than 6 board segments (rule 3). Allowed in Open and Open+ games with 6 or more board segments with pre-approved written defense.

Note that the section on written defenses begins “Two classes of methods are particularly difficult to defend against, and these methods are allowed only in events governed by the Open+ Chart ...” Not mentioning the Open chart may be an oversight as rule 3 also allows openings requiring pre-alerts and written defenses in 6+ board segments.

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