Page 0013

Traps for the Unwary by Michael Byrne

Opening 2® (Part I)

FOLLOWING ON from last time when we opening is passed by partner the next After a 2® opening and 2NT rebid, the

looked at opening 2NT, this month we hand will often bid 1´ (but relying on bidding proceeds in exactly the same way as

take a step up and look at the strongest bid your opponents to rescue you from your after a 2NT opening, so Stayman and

you can make in Acol – the game-forcing errors is a rather risky strategy). Transfers apply, enabling you to get to your

2® opening. (For the purposes of this On the flip side of the coin you some- 4-4 or 5-3 major-suit fits as usual. It also

article I am assuming that you play Acol times get people opening 2® with hands puts the bidding on a sound footing as it

and not Benjaminised Acol.) that might produce a lot of tricks but places you and partner in more familiar

There are many popular misconceptions cannot properly be described as strong: territory, and you should aim to get there:

about the 2® opening, primarily that you Even holding two

need precisely 23 or more points to open it. ´ 2 This hand will ´ AQ doubletons it is far

As with most bidding, this is an accurate ™ A K Q 10 9 7 6 4 3 2 clearly produce ™ KQ97 better to open 2®

point range for the balanced hands, but t 54 ten tricks op- t AQJ65 and re bid 2NT,

should be tempered with a touch of ® Void posite a Yar- ® KQ which will keep you

judgement on the distributional ones. borough, but it low when partner

When considering opening a shapely hand is a gross dis- has nothing, and

with 2® just ask yourself the question: ‘If I tortion to open 2®, as it is essentially pre- help you find a 4-4 heart fit if one exists.

open with a one-level bid and the bidding emptive in nature. The most sensible What about balanced hands of more

goes all pass, might I have missed a game?’ course would be to open 4™ to deter a than 25 points? Ostensibly you would open

This sort of hand is often treated poorly: cheap sacrifice, or perhaps 1™ to disguise 2® and rebid 3NT (25-27) over a 2t

the nature of the hand if you were feeling response, but such a sequence is very

´ AKQJ865 Yes, it’s only 20 sneaky. A 2® opener must be reserved for unwieldy and should be avoided at all costs

™ AK73 points, but partner hands of power and quality that only need if you have a sensible suit to bid. Such

t Void only needs two a few cover cards to make game or a slam. sequences come up very rarely, however,

® K2 hearts and three (The 2007 regulation changes make it and are not worth worrying too much

spades to the ten illegal to open 2® on hands below 16 HCP about. If your worst problem in bridge is

in a zero count for unless they satisfy the Rule of 25 or have that you keep picking up balanced 25

you to wrap up seven spade tricks, two eight clear tricks and opening points.) counts, then you are a lucky player indeed!

hearts, two ruffs and the king of clubs after What about balanced hands? Well, they Let’s review the dos and don’ts of the 2®

a favourable lead. If you open 1´, you may are very simple: with 23+ points, open 2®. opening:

then have to write down the unusual score A minimum rebid of no-trumps indicates

of +230 – and have some explaining to do! 23-24 and is non-forcing; partner can pass

So the definition of a 2® opener should if he has nothing, but should raise you when Do:

be: ‘23+ points, or any strong hand that he has a queen or even a jack in a long suit. • Open 2® whenever you have 23+

can reasonably expect to make game As with all balanced hands it is OK to points, or any strong hand that can

opposite a very poor hand that will pass a add a point on for long suits if you have reasonably expect to make game

one-level opener.’ good controls: facing a hand that will pass a one-

Two-suited hands are often powerful if This powerful level opener.

you have a fit in either suit: ´ A J 10 22-count is easily • Remember that if partner opens 2®

Again, this hand ™ AQ worth an opening and rebids 2NT you can pass, as he

´ A Q J 10 8 5 is more likely to t K J 10 2® bid; treat it as a is showing 23-24 balanced only.

™ Void produce slam ® A Q J 10 5 23-count and re- Don’t:

t AKQ76 opposite no points bid 2NT. The club • Open 2® when you have a bad

® K2 than it is to go off suit is worth one hand with a long suit that should

in game, so 2® more point, and the intermediate cards will be opening a pre-empt.

should be the right be useful. If partner has nothing, then • Forget you can add on a point for a

opening. There is also a subtle point about you’ll play in the same 2NT as if you long suit in no-trumps, or treat a

which suits you have: if you held a void in opened it, but you will hit the jackpot when 5-4-2-2 hand as balanced if your

spades and a heart suit, then it would be partner is able to raise you holding, say, the points are spread out. r

less crucial to open 2® as even if your 1™ queen of diamonds and jack of hearts. August 2012 English Bridge 13


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