After Our One-Heart Opening

by Denis Lesage

In a Bridge World article (Artificial Hearts), I propose a method whereby, after a one spade opening and a one-notrump response, a partnership could bid more precisely when they had a heart fit using the Gazzilli principle of a forcing and partially-artificial rebid of two clubs. The same principle can be used after a one-heart opening to reach spade fits. Players who raise responder's one-of-a-major response only with four cards risk missing a good four-three or five-three fit; those who often raise on three reach undesirable four-three fits. Under this proposal, opener can raise on three or four but responder will know opener's trump length before deciding whether to make a game-try. The proposed method assumes that opener, with 15=17 HCP and 5-3-3-2 will open one notrump; the usual general meanings of the one-spade and one-notrump responses are switched (the Kaplan Interchange); and a two-spade response to a one-heart opening shows a six-card suit and 5-10 HCP (after which a good contnuation method is opener's two notrump asking for Ogust-like replies). The method is also playable without the Kaplan Interchange.

#### Opener's Rebids After a One-Notrump Response

After a one-notrump response (which shows four-plus spades), opener's rebids from two hearts upwards are mostly standard, but a two-heart rebid denies three spades if the six-card heart suit is poor, a two-spade raise shows four-card support, three hearts and three notrump show six hearts but deny three spades.

A two-diamond rebid is limited to a minimum-range opening with fewer than three spades. It may be 2=5=3=3, but otherwise it shows four-plus diamonds.

A (Gazzilli-like) two-club rebid shows (a) any hand with which opener would have rebid two clubs in standard methods after a natural one-spade response; or (b) extra values with a standard two-diamond rebid; or (c) a minimum-range hand with (i) 3=5=3=2, (ii) 3=5=2=3, or (iii) four or five diamonds and three spades; or (d) a hand suitable for a standard two-heart rebid but with six weak hearts and three spades.

#### Responder's Rebids after Opener's Two-Club Rebid

After one heart - one notrump - two clubs, responder bids:

Two hearts: minimum, four spades, two or three hearts [opener may pass;, invite game with a suit bid at the three-level, with the same meanings after responder's two-diamond rebid; or bid two spades with the top range of a minimum, after which responder's two notrump asks for longer minor]

Two spades: minimum, four spades, singleton or void in hearts [opener may pass or bid two notrump as a puppet to three clubs, which opener may pass or correct to diamonds; with extras, opener bids as after his two-diamond rebid].

Other bids are standard.

#### Opener's Rebids After a One-Spade Response

After a one-spade response (which denies four-plus spades), opener rebids one notrump on any minimum-range hand with 5-3-3-2 or 4=5 majors with 2-2 or 3=1 minors; two clubs, two diamonds or two hearts with a minimum unbalanced hands, at least five-four if two-suited; ;two spades with a two-suited hand with extras or a game-force with 4=5 in the majors; two notrump with a balanced hand and 18-19 HCP; a three-level bid with the standard requirements after a forcing one-notrump response. Note that with 4=5 majors and 15-16 HCP, opener will choose from among one notrump, two hearts, two spades, and two of a minor on a three-card suit--if none of these are satisfactory, he can open one notrump on 4=5=2=2.

After one heart &emdash; one spade &emdash; two spades, two notrump requests clarification; with extras, opener bids his four-card minor or three hearts with four=five majors; with game-forcing strength and four=five majors, opener bids three spades. Over two spades, responder's bids of three clubs, three diamonds, and three hearts are not forcing.

#### Gains and Losses

Losses include the inability to play in two clubs after one heart - one notrump, and handling a minimum 2=5=3=3 after one heart - one-notrump (a two-diamond rebid may lead to a three-three fit).

Benefits include often avoiding the three-level when opener's rebid announces a minimum, defining the size of the spade fit, with two minimum hands exploring for a spade fit without bypassing two hearts, and the option of showing or denying three-card spade support when opener shows a strong heart one-suiter.

ESOTERICA

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