by Denis Lesage

The ILLIZZAG article published in the May 2014 Bridge World was about differentiating among opener's minimum (MIN), extra strength (EXTRA), and game-forcing (GF) strength ranges after a one-of-a-major opening and a one-notrump response. The same general structure can be applied after a one-heart opening and a one-spade response with a few modifications. As one spade is unlimited, it is necessary to have a low-level, artificial, game-forcing responder's rebid after opener rebids two clubs, two diamonds, or two hearts. It is convenient to use two spades for this purpose. As this will no longer be available in the natural sense, if responder holds six-plus spades and 6 to 9 points, he responds two spades to the one-heart opening (opener then rebids as if responder had opened a weak two-bid in spades).

After a one-spade response, opener rebids:

One notrump: with 12-14 HCP, and distribution that is balanced (hence 5-3-3-2), 2=5=4=2, 2=5=2=4, or 1=5=4=3 or 1=5=3=4 when the singleton is a high honor. [Responder's continuations can be adapted from the structure described in the April 2014 Bridge World article, Hybrid Rebids After One Notrump.]

Two clubs: forcing for one round; a balanced hand with 18-19 HCP or MIN with (a) a two-suiter with hearts and a minor, or (b) 0=5=4=4. [Responder may then bid two hearts with a minimum and a doubleton heart, bid two diamonds to play in opener's minor, bid three of a minor as a signoff, or invite game with two notrump or three of as major. With game-forcing strength, responder bids two spades, and the bidding then reverts to natural. In any sequence, opener's two-notrump continuation shows the 18-19-HCP hand-type.

Two diamonds: Artifically shows EXTRA. [Responder can show weakness with two hearts, two notrump, or three of a minor. With enough for game, responder bids three hearts natural or two spades artificial [over the latter, opener bids two notrump or higher (but not three spades), showing the same hand-type the bid would have shown directly with GF strength.]

Two hearts: MIN; six-plus hearts.

Two spades; MIN; four-card support, or three-card in a hand with a singleton or void. [Two notrump by responder artificially asks for a further description.]

Three spades or four spades: Standard, four-card raise.

Two notrump: GF. Puppet to three clubs, after which opener bids: three diamonds with four diamonds, three hearts with four clubs [over either of those, responder's three spades asks about three-card spade support--three notrump denies that support], three spades with a void-splinter raise [then, three notrump asks which, and four of a minor shows a void], or four clubs|diamonds with a singleton-splinter raise short in the bid minor.

Three of a minor: Natural; GF; at least five-five.

Three hearts|three notrump: GF; six-plus hearts; denies|affirms three-card spade support.

Four of a minor: Six hearts and four of the bid minor.

Gains and Losses

The main losses are (a) a two-spade response cannot be used for other purposes, and (b) two clubs as opener's rebid is not available as a final contract. The gains are added precision in describing opener's EXTRA and GF hands.


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