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Gazilli – What is it Good For?

I blow hot and cold over Gazilli. I known many (most?) of the top Italians, whose judgment I respect enormously, think it’s an indispensable convention, but it seems to me like a solution to a non-problem (much like Flannery).

I get the idea that it is better to name a suit naturally first and then indicate a strong hand via an artificial 2 rebid, than to open an artificial strong 1 and hope to be able to show a suit on the second round as long as the opponents haven’t intervened aggressively. But these strong hands are perfectly adequately described in a wide-range opening-bid system such 2/1 or Acol by a second-round jump shift.

I also get that, in theory at least, the jump shift is freed up for a different hand-type – something similar to a top-of-the-range non-1 opening in Precision – and that this could add extra definition in 2/1 or Acol. But Belladonna and Garozzo, in their book on Precision, describe a jump shift as showing a hand with 4 to 5½ losers, and Reese, in his book on Precision, gives the following similar example: 6 AQ10843 AQJ108 5. I would jump to 3 with that hand over a 1NT response playing 2/1 or Acol anyway. And it seems to me a bad move to weaken the requirements for a jump shift any further: that pushes the bidding up to the three-level on perhaps a combined 21-22 HCP with no evidence of a fit (and indeed with some likelihood of a potential misfit).

So my question is this: what is the point of Gazilli? If one accepts that the use of an artificial 2 rebid precludes finishing in a contract of 2, and probably also 2, but that that is a price worth paying (which is in itself debatable), then is there a better use for the 2 rebid? At the moment I’m considering using it over a 1 opening as a sort of Checkback bid for hearts (responder replies 2 with three spades, otherwise 2 with three hearts, 2 with four hearts, 2NT with both minors, 3 or 3 with a long minor and 3 with five hearts), but I’m not convinced that this is playable.

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