XYZ, the convention by Bernard Marcoux

Bernard Marcoux
Bernard Marcoux

Source: The Most Beautiful Game

In this article (quite long, sorry about that – but I promise it is worth it), we will examine a convention that is called XYZ. Many top players play that convention. My partner and I have been playing this for a great number of years and we have worked a lot to develop and refine it.

Why xyz? What does that mean?

1x 1y


1any 1any

The only important thing is that opener’s rebid is at the one level, either a suit or NT.

So, when the bidding goes that way, a 2 rebid by responder is artificial, forcing opener to bid 2.

Opener Responder
1 1
1♠/1nt 2!

ALERT! If they ask, you say: partner orders me to bid 2 (or, if you have to self-alert, artificial, forces 2 by opener)

This relay generally initiates INVITATIONAL sequences. Responder can show a number of hands with invitational strength. But this relay can also be used for this:

Opener Responder
1 1y
1z 2
2 Pass

The 2 forces opener to bid 2 and responder then passes.

A direct 2 rebid by responder is artificial and Game Forcing, even if opener’s first bid was 1:

Opener Responder
1/1 1
1/1nt 2!

ALERT! If they ask, you say: Artificial, Game Forcing.

So if you want to play 2as responder, you cannot bid 2 directly. You have to use 2 and pass over the forced 2 rebid by opener.

The general structure is this:

  • A 2 rebid by responder is artificial and asks opener to bid 2. Responder will then pass or show different invitational hands.
  • A 2 rebid by responder is artificial, game-forcing, and asks opener to describe his hand.

What do we lose? After xyz, we cannot play 2. Who wants to play 2

Invitational sequences Click Here to Continue Reading