After a Major-Suit Opening II

by Denis Lesage

The structure shown here assumes the basic treatments in After a Major-Suit Opening; thus, a hand with 5-3-3-2, five hearts, and 14-16 HCP (or a similar hand with 2=5=2=4 and strong doubletons) is opened one notrump.

After One Heart — One Spade

Opener rebids:
One notrump: ; 12-14 HCP; 5-3-3-2 or 2=5=2=4 with strong doubletons.
Two clubs: forcing; 12-16 HCP with four-plus clubs, or 15-16 HCP with three spades, or 17-plus HCP with two-plus clubs.
Two diamonds: 12-16 HCP with four diamonds, or 12-15 HCP with five diamonds; fewer than three spades.
Two hearts: standard.
Two spades: 12-14 HCP with four spades, or 12-15 HCP with three spades. [It is mandatory for opener to choose this if in range with a singleton or void.]
Two notrump: balanced hand; 19-20 HCP. [Then, responder can relay with three clubs and opener replies: three diamonds 3=5=3=2, three hearts 3=5=2=3, three spades 2=5=3=3.]
Three-level bids are standard except that three hearts and three notrump (which shows long hearts in a hand too strong for three hearts) deny three spades.

After One Heart — One Spade — Two Clubs

Responder rebids:
Two diamonds: artificial; any hand that does not qualify for a different bid.
Two hearts, two spades or three spades: standard.
Two notrump: 10-12 HCP; 2=5=3=3. [Then, responder can bid three of a minor to play or anything else below game to force.]
Three clubs or three diamonds: at least five hearts and five of the bid minor; slam-suggestive.
Three hearts: invitational; three hearts. [With four hearts, responder raises directly.]
Three notrump: game-raise of hearts; three hearts. [With four hearts, responder bids two notrump originally.]

After One Heart — One Spade — Two Clubs — Two Diamonds

Opener continues:
Two hearts: 12-16 HCP with four-plus clubs. [Responder can sign off in three clubs, invite with two notrump, ask with two spades (opener bids three clubs with a minimum or two notrump with a maximum), or force to game with anything else.]
Two spades: 16-18 HCP with 3=5=1=4, 3=5=4=1, 3=5=0=5 or 3=5=5=0. [Then, two notrump is a game-try, and opener bids: three of a minor with a minimum and four cards in the suit bid, three hearts|spades with a maximum and four hearts in clubs|diamonds, or four of a minor with a maximum and five cards in the suit bid.]
Two notrump: 17-18 HCP; 5332.
Three of a minor clubs: 17-18 HCP with five hearts and four of the minor, or 16-18 HCP with five hearts and five of the minor. [Then, responder's three hearts is not a weak preference, as he did not bid two hearts over two clubs.]
Three hearts: Similar to one heart — one spade — three hearts, but with three spades.
Three notrump: Similar to one heart — one spade — three notrump, but with three spades.

After One Heart — One Spade — Two Spades

If continuing the auction, responder can relay with two notrump, after which opener bids:
Three of a minor: nonforcing; four-plus in the suit bid; three spades; minimum.
Three hearts: four-plus clubs; three spades; maximum—forcing to four clubs.
Three spades: minimum; four spades.
Three notrump: four-plus diamonds; three spades; maximum—forcing to four diamonds.
Four of a suit: maximum; four spades; four of a minor indicates shortness, four of a major 4=5=2=2.

After Competition

If one heart is doubled, system is on if responder bids one spade and advancer passes; should advancer double or bid, system is off. If there is an overcall after either the opening bid or the response, system is off. If lurker doubles or overcalls after opener's rebid, system is on to the extent that available space allows.

Gains and Losses

The main gains are the precision added after opener's two-diamond rebid (where, in standard methods, a fourth-suit bid at the three level leads to a highly cramped auction), being able to show three-card spade support at the two level when opener has 16-18 HCP, opener's ability to show long hearts and to suggest three notrump both with and without three-card spade support, opener's being able to show significant extra values (16-18 HCP) without forcing to game or risking a premature end to the auction; and opener's being able to show a balanced hand with either 17-18 HCP and 19-20 HCP at the two level.

The major losses are not being able to land in two clubs and not having a space-preserving two diamonds by responder available as a fourth-suit bid. This awkwardness is minimized by opener's usually having the opportunity to refine the description of his strength and distribution enough for responder to place the contract comfortably.


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