Responding to 2 Opening
(Page of 2)

I am going to outline a different approach to responding to the opening of 2 – game forcing or pretty much.First of all a bit of digression. The aim of bidding is to reach the correct contract – this means the right level in the right strain. After a 2 opening, it is the choice of game or the decision between game and slam. This is usually achieved by both players describing their hands, and then one of them making a decision. In relay systems, only one player describes their hand, and the relayer then places the contract. The challenge after a 2 opening is that there is no bidding room – so that both players will not normally have the space to describe both the strength and shape of their hands in time to make the right decision.

I classified hands responding to a 2 opening into 3 groups:

1. Weak – up to a maximum of about 3 points.
2. Medium - 4-8 points
3. Strong – a classic positive

I found that the hands where it was most important for opener to know what was in the responding hands were those of medium strength. These are also the hands that come up most often. For the weak hands, it was often better if opener just described his hand. On the strong hands, we can play the auction as forcing to 4NT, and it is uncommon to stop below the slam level.

So we have the following basic responses:

2 - 2 weak or strong

All other responses show medium strength

• 2 - unbalanced, 2 suiter but with less than 5
• 2 - balanced 4-8 (includes all 5332). No Trumps should be played by the strong hand
• 2NT - 5+, not 5332
• 3 - 6+
• 3 - 6+
• 3 - 6+
• 3 - 1=4=4=4
• 3NT - 4=1=4=4
• 4 - 4=4=1=4
• 4 - 4=4=4=1

Bidding after 2 - 2

Basically opener describes his hand, from responder the next bid shows the weak hand all others are strong.Exception – if opener rebids 2NT/3NT we switch to our normal responses over 2NT.

Rebidding after 2 - 2

2 is a relay – we bid one under the longest suit. Thereafter the next bid is also a relay

2 - 2

2 - 2NT - shows

3 Relay

- 3 = 5+,4+

- 3 = 5+, 4+

- 3 = 5+, 4+

3 - shows

3 - shows + minor

3 - shows 5+ with 4+

3NT - 5-5 minors

Over all other responses, we play the next bid asks responder to describe his hand.If there is interest in more details, I will translate our system script and post them

Conclusion

I have been playing this basic idea for nearly 20 years now, and have had better results in the slam auctions and choice of games. What it prevents is the inclusion of a weak option in the 2 opening – strong or weak with .