January 22 2014

[button link=»http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/do-you-open-all-12s/» size=»small» window=»yes»]Bridgewinners[/button] is a recognized American bridge forum that allows its Associates (its free for everyone) to post notes or make inquiries to experts. A few hours ago one of its users published a question that must haunt many of the not so expert bridge players that inhabit our planet:

What Constitutes a Strong 2 Opener for You?

The other day while kibitzing a team game, this hand was opened : A10987542  Corazon A3  DiamanteAQ

A lively discussion ensued in the gallery.  It was a 4th seat decision this time, but what I’m interested to know is what if it was 1st or 2nd?  Indeed, K&R hand evaluator puts the hand at 23.35.  However, Danny Kleinman’s evaluation puts it at 19. 

It’s both heartening and disheartening at the same time to see such a discrepancy in the valuation assigned to these 13 cards.  But if two such respected sources differ so greatly, I hoped a discussion about 2 openers would help clear up the issue for those of us who regularly unearth more questions than answers.

 And please share what your preferred definition of a strong 2opener is so that we might learn.  If it depends on with whom you are playing, please answer as to your preferred approach.

IS A10987542  Corazon A3  DiamanteAQ  A 1st OR 2nd SEAT 2 OPENER? 

These are some selected answers: All Comments [button link=»http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/what-constitutes-a-strong-2c-opener-for-you/» size=»small» window=»yes»]Click here[/button]

Martin Henneberger : My initial instinct was to vote no. Then I started to try and construct a sequence where I could open 1 spade and be able to show the playing strength of this hand and could not. Bidding 4 spades after a 1nt response doesn’t do the hand justice. An artificial jump shift will just distort and convolute matters. There will be no bid to “describe” what I hold. Rebidding this hand over a 2/1 response will create it’s own nightmare. I am convinced 2cl will lead to a smoother path and vote yes. As always the old adage rings true, “before making your bid, plan your rebid”.

Peter Lipp : Partner needs so little to produce slam, and while it may be difficult to reach in any case, it seems almost impossible after starting 1.  With the strong club system I play with my regular part, I am in an advantage since I have no choice for the opening bid 🙂 and may have an easier path depending on the answer…

Henry Bethe :   Opening 2 bids when not done with overwhelming high card strength should, IMO, satisfy the following: more honor tricks than losers and a good chance for game opposite a hand that is not a total misfit with a useful minor honor. This hand has 4.5 honor tricks, 3.3 Losers, and will almost always make game opposite a spade quack. I would not open 2 if the long suit were a minor, although I have no idea how to handle the hand. Then again, my experience handling eight-card minors in good hands is of necessity limited.

Richard Whitehead: The old Acol 2-bids basically covered strong distributional hands that were worth 8 playing tricks: that is, perhaps not quite worth a game-force but also a bit too strong to be comfortably handled by opening one. There is a category of hands there for which Standard American doesn’t have a great treatment. More modern approaches are to encompass these hands in a Benjy or Multi structure, to accommodate weak 2 openings. If you just put them into the 2 opening, as Standard American does, you can just about cope, but you do get these periodic discussions about what 2 shows.

The discussion just begun… you will be able to find more answers as the hours pass by…

All Comments [button link=»http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/what-constitutes-a-strong-2c-opener-for-you/» size=»small» window=»yes»]Click here[/button]