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Unifying 2/1 -- Conclusions

Everyone won’t be happy with what they are about to read.

In order to have a concise, short, playable system, there have to be compromises and sacrifices.

We’ve read every poll with every comment. There are lots of interesting and sophisticated methods/treatments out there! However, our mission is to propose a KISS system that requires no more than a few minutes of study/work/memorization. It can be used not just for “100- or 1000-point players”, but top experts, too. Suppose Jeff Meckstroth and Jill Meyers wanted to play in just one event. Who wants to go through tons of system discussion about 2/1 GF? Just opt for “Bridgewinners 2/1 Style” and off they go. Of course, for long-term serious partnerships, more agreements and depth would be desired.

One size can’t fit all. Our conclusion is that there are 2 main camps. Let’s label it this way:

  • 2/1 GF SHAPE: Priority is on distribution and finding the right game contract (game before slam).
  • 2/1 GF STRENGTH: Priority is on strength and the game-versus-slam decision.

Perhaps it is my Precision background, but I am firmly in the “SHAPE” camp. I believe the focus should be on finding the right game (a playable fit or 3NT). Having a system that caters to scientifically-reached slams, requires a very high skill/experience level and sacrifices in game-bidding accuracy.

Still, I would like to present both ways. Using the poll comments and results (strong-majority votes were important in the selection process), we are about to post the “conclusion” – subject to detection of any major flaws. We wanted to keep that publication short and sweet – so it is separate from this preamble.

Here are the two options for playing 2/1 GF to start a partnership:

BW 2/1 GF SHAPE (which was generally the majority preference)


BW 2/1 GF STRENGTH (the minority, but a reasonably-sized minority)

A new partnership just picks which of the two and no further discussion is needed.

Think of this as a new partnership saying, “RKC – yes – which way? 1430 or 0-3, 1-4?” Or, “Lebensohl – FADS or the opposite?”

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