The Debate Neil Rosen
Jacoby 2NT is Better than the Baron 2NT
Two top players debate a hot bridge topic. Tell us whose argument has won you over by emailing email@example.com
INEVITABLY AS times move on, things creating a simple statement imme- or singletons separately – a
improve. Bidding systems follow this diately that the hand has 13+ High marvellous way to aid slam
trend as much as technology, science etc. Card Points and a spade fit. The judgment (but this is an article for
The 2NT response used to be played alternative is to bid 2®, then 4´ another day!).
only as a natural bid. Fine for when you which is fatally flawed on two counts:
want to bid it, but in practice (particularly a) A classic Direct Game Raise 6. One further advantage of having
after partner has opened one of a major) should have a good suit so that Jacoby available is that if partner opens
quite ineffective as there is always an partner can judge slam prospects 1™/1´ you can use either Ordinary or
alternative bid available. over the jump to game. Roman Key-Card Blackwood:
The Baron 2NT bid came in during the b) There is ambiguity over the a) To use Ordinary Blackwood just
1940s, promoted as part of the Baron number of trumps held: does it respond 4NT directly;
system of bidding, by Leo Baron. It was show four or only three? Some b) To use RKCB simply bid 2NT
primarily to enable strong balanced hands argue that with only three you bid (Jacoby) then 4NT on your next
to be bid more effectively, a hand-type Fourth Suit Forcing first, others turn.
which needed much help to be bid at the disagree.
time as Fourth Suit Forcing had not been I am not going to fall into the trap often
developed sufficiently to enable these 3. It now allows Splinter responses to be found in this Debate feature of cherry-
hands to be bid accurately. However, times made on nice hands with support but picking some hands to promote my case.
have moved on . . . fewer than 13 HCP, i.e. 10-12 What I am doing is simply to suggest that
The Jacoby 2NT response to 1™/1´ is an approximately. This gives a huge edge Jacoby 2NT is a key aspect of modern
absolutely terrific convention, now being in slam bidding for major-suit bidding enabling slam explo ration to
played globally, where essentially the bid contracts – something the Baron occur much more easily than without it.
announces: 2NT players simply do not have! Much work can be done by partnerships
a) Game going values; 13+ HCP is to develop bidding when using Jacoby.
normal; 4. Those who play the Baron 2NT Below is a very brief outline of a possible
b) At least four-card support for system often choose to use a 3NT scheme of responses:
partner’s major. response to 1™/1´ as a ‘Pudding After 1™/1´ – 2NT:
Raise’. This shows four-card support, New suit at 3 level = natural side suit,
The advantages of playing this system are no shortage and about 12-15 HCP. at least 5-4.
numerous. Let’s consider just a few: When you stop to think about the 3™/3´ = extra values,
merits (?!) of this system, it should not usually six trumps.
1. The system is very simple to play. My take long to realise that it is clearly 3NT = 15+ balanced,
only observation is to remind you awful to have to start your slam forcing.
that it does not apply after passing investigations at such an unneces- New suit at 4 level = Splinter.
initially or after intervention. sarily high level – much better to 4™/4´ = Weakest bid
simply start with 2NT and await available (shows a
2. It takes enormous pressure off other developments a whole level lower! poorish minimum
sequences, such as the dreaded without good
‘Delayed Game Raise’ sequences so 5. An optional extra for those using controls).
common in poorly played Acol, e.g. Jacoby is to introduce greater pre-
holding the hand below: cision into direct Splinter raises, since I urge you to ditch archaic methods such
the 3NT bid is otherwise redundant. as the Baron 2NT and introduce Jacoby to
´ AQ72 With work you can show either voids your armoury! r
A new document concerning the forthcoming Blue Point scheme is available for
interested club and county event organisers to view at www.ebu.co.uk/
You can now respond 2NT to 1´,
38 English Bridge October 2012 www.ebu.co.uk