RESPONSES TO AN OPENING 2D

  • As with an opening 2NT, there is no invitational raise.
  • These sequences are often artificial, to get contracts played the right way up.
  • System remains on after a double, but the default agreement is that SYSTEM IS OFF after an overcall. This is in line with other strong, balanced openings (1NT, 2C). However we do have a small amount of cut-down system in those circumstances, as per the second table below instead: RESPONSES TO AN OPENING 2D AFTER AN OVERCALL

  • Passto play, weak with diamonds
    Pass after doubleOstensibly promising a non-horrible four-card suit, willing to play in diamonds if partner has some too. Opener is expected to redouble if holding four-card trump support or a very good three, e.g. AKx. However the fact that partner isn't allowed to pass out the double means that there's a second option: it might also be a waiting bid on a hand with a diamond void! There's unlikely to be ambiguity because even if the opponents pre-empt in diamonds, the assumed hand type will be doubling for penalties, while the second hand type (void) will probably keep bidding.
    RedoubleTo play, with a strong five-card suit. The 2D opener isn't allowed to pull the redouble. If the opponents try to run, all doubles are for penalties and no one is allowed to play the hand in an undoubled part-score.
    2H(a) transfer to no-trumps, either weak or slam-going or (b) with spades (including a hand that's 5-4 in the majors)
    2Stransfer to clubs
    2NT, but different responses if doubledtransfer to diamonds, game-forcing. (A hand that wanted to make a weak take-out in diamonds would simply pass the opening bid.)
    2NT after doubleCan't be a transfer to diamonds because such a hand would pass or redouble. Instead shows a game-forcing 4441 hand with a singleton diamond.
    3CFive-Card Stayman, game-forcing and promising a four-card major
    3Dtransfer to hearts
    3H, 3Stransfer to 3NT
    3NTmassive two-suiter in the minors
    4Cmassive two-suiter in the majors
    4D, 4H, 4S, 4NTtransfer to 4H, 4S, 5C and 5D respectively.
    5 of a suitSolid eight-card suit, which has to be at least AKQxxxxx, and nothing of significance in the other three suits. AKxxxxxx isn't enough because if missing three cards including the queen, there's a 22% chance of a 3-0 trump break. Partner's response is to play, even if it's in a different suit.
    5NTQuantitative invitation to 7NT, wanting to play the hand. Unlikely to have a five-card suit, because such a hand has the option of transferring and then jumping to 5NT.
    any slamTo play and not a transfer, possibly holding extreme shape and concerned about an opposition sacrifice. The vulnerability will obviously make a big difference. Opener should be more cautious about an unexpected raise to seven than if responder had gone via a 3M 3NT relay sequence.

    RESPONSES TO AN OPENING 2D AFTER AN OVERCALL

    2NT.Mutant Lebensohl, forcing opener to bid 3C. The existence of this option doesn't change the meaning of other bids because it's only available when the opponents overcall 2H or 2S, so the rest of the system has to be able to cope with a bidding framework that either does or doesn't include Mutant Lebensohl.
    Cue-bidGame-forcing, expected to be a probe for 3NT. If this interpretation is or becomes impossible, then instead it was asking about opener's four-card suits.
    New suitNatural, at least a five-card suit, game-forcing. (This is in line with the equivalent situation after a 2C opening, rather than the one after a 1NT opening.) Makes no promise as to suit quality.
    Jump shift to four of a minor or 4NTAce-asking.
    Other jump shiftTo play (even if below game) and possibly pre-emptive.
    DoubleTake-out if below 4S. To make a takeout double and then keep bidding even when partner pulls it is game-forcing and natural (showing only a four-card suit) up to 3NT and a slam try above it, agreeing partner's suit. If you really want to play in a part-score, either bid Mutant Lebensohl or else pass and hope partner finds a reopening double, then make your non-forcing bid. Those are the only two ways of making a non-forcing response... everything else is forcing.

    FINN AND DAVID'S DEFENCE TO AN OPENING 18-20 BALANCED 2D

  • All such bids are to be assumed to be weak and pre-emptive, so a reply from partner is non-forcing. Obviously this only applies to a strong opening, with Weak Twos being treated like any other Weak Two and so on.

  • Doublethe majors
    Suit (any level)Natural
    minimum club bidclubs and a major
    minimum diamond biddiamonds and a major
    No-trumps (any level)the minors
    Jump to 3NTto play, with a long minor
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    Copyright 2015 Finn Clark.