HomeLibraryConventionsBergen And Jump (Limit And Preemptive) Raises By Brent Manley

# Bergen And Jump (Limit And Preemptive) Raises By Brent Manley

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Bergen raises became popular in the 80s and are now widely played. They let you make pre-emptive, mixed and limit raises efficiently, though they seem to commit your side to the three-level whenever you have four trumps facing a major-suit opener. (This is a mirage: you are at liberty to make a simple raise of 1 to 2 with:Â Â J 7 6 4 Â Q 10 3 Â J 9 2 Â K 8 6

Indeed, I would consider it an error in judgment not to do so.) Facing a pre-emptive raise, there are no game tries available. I suggest opener uses the four calls between partnerâ€™s call and game as slam-tries, codified according to the reverse Romex pattern: an unspecified shortsuit slam-try, and three long-suit slam tries, with 3NT showing spades in the heart auctions.

Opener might have: Â A K J 7 6 4 Â A J 3 Â 2 Â A K 6

For his short-suit slam-try via 3NT-4-4. Responder can, as before, ask, sign-off without asking, or show concentrated values in return. After 1 – 3 – 3NT bid 4 on:Â Â 9 5 3 2 Â K Q 9 4 Â 10 9 4 Â 8 3

Opener can bid 6[ without further ado on the example hand above. Exactly the same logic applies after a limit jump-raise as after a pre-emptive raise, the only difference being the values that opener will require to make his slam-try.

After the Bergen sequences, opener has more room to explore. Before we look at his additional actions, letâ€™s just mention in passing that while there are (at least in theory) two schools of thought as to whether the 3 or 3 response should be the limit, the other being the mixed, or 6-9 HCP raise, there is only one tenable position to hold here. The Mixed Raise is wide-ranging, since some would make the call over a 1 bid on:

Â 7 6 Â Q 10 3 2 Â J 9 2 Â A Q 9 2

As well as on a club suit such as Â K 10 9 2. That being so, you need space to ask partner whether he was serious or joking with the Mixed Raise â€“ hence 3Â should be allocated to that call to give opener room to enquire with 3. By contrast, the range for a limit raise is very narrow. With a high-card range of 10-11, opener should not need space to ask more questions. (For the record: this general rule about making the limit raise the call directly below the trump suit holds in other common sequences such as â€˜Unusual over Unusualâ€™.)

So after our Mixed Raise we can sign-off in partscore or game, or use the first (cheapest) step as a range-ask (responder signs off, bids game, or cuebids with a maximum). In the sequence 1 – 3 – 3, the last call is a game try focusing on hearts. Openerâ€™s actions above three of the major are Reverse Romex slam tries, as in our other sequences. (Step one for unspecified shortness, with three long-suit slam tries, and this includes 1– 3-3NT).

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