Finding Fits at a Lower Level
by Denis Lesage
After a one-club opening and a major-suit response, splitting opener's 18-19-point balanced hands into two groups allows finding fits at a useful level. For this to work, opener, with four spades, rebids either one spade or two spades after a one club -- one heart start. This method works better with short-club openings than it does with more standard methods like Bridge World Standard, as benefits will occur more frequently if more balanced hands in the 18-19-point range are opened one club rather than one diamond.
Without three-card support for responder's major [but, nowadays, frequently a singleton in responder's major], nor four cards in hearts after a one-spade response, opener rebids two notrump; since opener has at least eight minor-suit cards, responder can discover opener's exact distribution at the three-level, and, in investigating minor-suit slams, there is no need to by-pass three notrump unless an adequate fit has been found.
With three-card support for responder's major or four hearts (or both) after a one-spade response, opener rebids two diamonds; this is useful when responder has a weak hand and a five-card major [as he will play in three of a major only if there is an eight-card fit; otherwise, the contract will be two notrump] or also when responder is in the slam range [as he can set trumps with three hearts or three spades, after which the next bid is a key-card-ask].
One club -- One of a major -- Two notrump
After one club -- one of a major -- two notrump, responder rebids:
(1) three clubs, artificial and game-forcing; then, opener bids three diamonds | three hearts | three spades | three notrump with three of the other major-one of the bid major-4=5 with a stopper the other major | three of the other major-two of the bid major-3=5 | three of the other major-two of the bid major-4=4 | 2=2=4=5 with at least queen-low of other major. If a minor-suit fit is found, responder can invite slam with four of that minor.
(2) three diamonds, to play
(3) three hearts or three spades, natural slam-try with six cards in responder's major or five in the other major.
One club -- One of a major -- Two diamonds
After one club -- one of a major -- two diamonds, responder will almost always rebid either two of the major (showing four cards in that suit) or two of the other major (with five or more cards in the originally-bid major).
A. With a balanced hand, opener then bids:
(1) two notrump after one club -- one heart -- two diamonds -- two spades (five plus hearts) or after one club -- one spade -- two diamonds -- two spades (four spades)
(2) two spades (no spade stopper) or two notrump (spade stopper) after one club -- one heart -- two diamonds -- two hearts (four hearts)
(3) two spades (with four hearts) or two notrump (without four hearts) after one club -- one spade -- two diamonds -- two hearts (five plus spades); responder's two notrump (nonforcing) or three notrump over opener's two spades deny four hearts.
After opener's third bid of two spades or two notrump, responder may bid a game or bid:
(a) three clubs, a puppet to three diamonds, over which opener may pass, bid three hearts or three spades to play, or bid three notrump showing slam interest in clubs
(b) three diamonds, natural with slam interest
(c) three hearts or three spades, a natural slam-try announcing an eight-card fit, over which the next bid can be used as a key-card-ask
B. With a natural reverse, opener bids:
(1) three clubs: minimum, nonforcing with 2=2=4=5 and less than queen-low in the unbid major, or with three of the other major-one of the bid major-4=5 and no stopper the other major, or 4=6 in the minors
(2) three diamonds: minimum; nonforcing; with 5=6 in the minors
(3) three of the bid major: extras; game-forcing; three of the bid major-one of the unbid major-4=5
(4) three of the other major: extras; game-forcing; three of the unbid major-one of the bid major-4=5, no stopper the unbid major
(5) three notrump: extras; game-forcing; 2=2=4=5 or three of the unbid major-one of the bid major-4=5, with a stopper the unbid major
(6) four clubs | four diamonds: extras; game-forcing; 4=6|5=6 in the minors
(7) four of the bid major: minimum; three of the bid major-one of the unbid major-4=5
After one club -- one of a major -- two diamonds
After one club -- one of a major -- two diamonds, responder's rebids other than two of a major are:
(1) two notrump: four cards in the bid major; at least five clubs; 5-6 HCP
(2) three of any suit: game-forcing; natural; six-plus-card semi-solid or solid suit.
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