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COMPETING OVER 1NT OPENINGS II
BOB PATTINSON

It  was  noted  in  the  previous  article  that  Conventional  overcalls over  1NT   cover  various  combinations  of  four  hand  types:

  • balanced  15 +  HCP
  • single  suited
  • two  suited
  • three  suited

Of  the  four  conventions  examined  last  time  Uniclub   came  the closest  to  covering  these  four  hand  types  by  allowing  three  of these to  be  shown,  single,  two  and  three  suited  hands,  but  at  the  cost  of  losing  the  penalty  double. 

Four  more  conventions  are  summarised  in  the  table  below, with two  of  these  retaining  the  double  for  penalties,  and  all  four  conventions covering  both  one  and  two  suited  hands.

Anti A. Son 74
Tornalle DONT
Double = Penalty

1 or 2 suited hands
Double = Penalty

1 or 2 suited hands
Double = Club one suiter or Red two suiter
1 or 2 suited hands
Double = Single suited hand
1 or 2 suited hands

ANTI

2 =  either  's  or  the  majors
Advancer  bids:
2  to play if  single  suiter (pass/correct)
2/  to  play  if  majors,  or  in  3  if  not
2NT  enquiry  with  a  strong  hand

2 =  either a heart suit or spades  plus  a  minor
Advancer  bids:
2 to  play  if  's  ( pass/correct)
2
to  play  in  spades,  (or  hearts if necessary)
2NT enquiry  with  a  strong  hand

2's  plus  a  minor (  2NT  asks  for  the  minor)

2 =  natural

2NT = minor  two  suiter


ANTI in practice after a 1NT opening

  1
  2
Intervenor
Advancer Intervenor
Advancer
♠ AQT97
54
AQT3
♣ J9
♠ 6
KJ32
8762
♣ A542
♠ 32
KQJ765
87
♣ AKT
♠ AJ76
42
432
♣ J876
 2= 's or 's plus a Minor

2
♠ = 's plus a Minor
3
= 's
 2= play if 's


2NT = Ask for
Minor
Pass
2
Pass
 2

The  ambiguity  of   Anti’s  2  and  2  interventions  can  create  some  problems for  the  opponents.  On  the  other  hand,  these  conventional  bids  allow  the opportunity  for  lead  directing  doubles,  cue  bids  in  the  transfer  suit,  and  other such  conventional  bids  to  be  employed  by  the  opponents.  Defences  to  NT interventions  will  be  examined  next  time.

ooOoo

A. SON  74

This  convention,  developed  by  Swedish  internationals  Mats  Nilsland  and  Rolf-Eric  Andersson,  uses  Stayman  responses for  major  and  minor suits  and transfers normally  played  over  an  opening  1NT  bid.

Double
2

2
2
2
=
= either

=
=
=
Penalties
* Stayman for the Majors
* 3 - 3 in Majors plus a long minor
Transfer, at least 4 cards in 's
Transfer, at least 4 cards in 's
Stayman for the Minors


Responses  over  2C:

 2  =  no 4 card major
Pass
=
5+  's


   2/♠ =
major 2 suiter
       2NT =
5/5 in majors, good hand
       3♣/ =
natural
 2  =  4 cards in 's or  1-3  in  majors  3♣/ =
6 card suit + 3 card support
 2  =  4 cards in 's  3♣/ =
6 card suit + 3 card support 
 2NT  =
 Forcing with one 4 card major
 3♣/ =
Natural, no 5 card Major
       3 =
Minimum with both Majors
       3 =
Maximum, 5 cards in 's + 4 in 's
       4♣/ =
Exclusion, Void + both majors, slam try
       4 =
Maximum, 5 cards in 's + 4 in 's
 3♣/  =  Natural, forcing
     
 3/  =  Invitational, 5 card suit
     

This  convention  is  simple  in  that  it  follows  the  normal  system  used  by  the vast  majority  of  players  when  responding  to  partner’s  1NT  opening.  The  main difference  is  the  willingness to  search  for  4-3  major  suit  fits.  It  is  also  possible to  play  in  a  diamond  contract  at  the  two  level.   The  transfer  bids  ensure  the 1NT  opener  is  on  lead  if  the  intervening  side  buy  the  contract,  which  may gain  a  trick  in  the  play.

ooOoo

Tornalle

Developed  by  Torbjorn  Gustavsson  of  Sweden  to  enter  over  strong  NT  with  6 card  one  suited  hands  or  5-5  two  suited  hands.

 Double  = Club single suiter or Red two suiter
 2  = single suiter or Major two suiter
 2  = single suiter or Black two suiter
 2  = single suiter or  Minor two suiter
 2  = ♠'s and 's two suiter
 2NT  = 's and ♣'s two suiter

When  one  of  the  four  possible  two  way  overcalls  occur,  advancer  assumes  that partner  holds  the  single  suited  hand  and  accepts  the  transfer.

Tornalle in practice after a 1NT opening:

  1
  2
Intervenor Advancer Intervenor
 Advancer
♠ 65
AJT76
KQ987
♣ A
♠ Q98
432
65
♣ JT8765
♠ AQT98
K7
KJT98
♣ 8
♠ 43
T98
54
♣ AQ7654
Double = ♣'s or Red 2 suiter

2
= Red 2 suiter
2


2
2♠ = ♠'s and 's Pass


Tornalle  is  ideal  for  more  conservative  bidders  who  want  to  avoid  giving  away  any  penalties.  The  requirement  of  6  cards  for  one  suited  interventions  and  5-5  for  two  suited  hands  reduces  the  chance  of  penalties.   On  the  other  hand, the  opportunities  for  intervening  over  1NT  bids  are  greatly  reduced.

This  convention  does  have  the  advantage  of  allowing  the  intervening  side  to  play  in  the  minor  suits  at  the  two  level.

ooOoo

DONT  (Disturbing  Opponents No Trump)

Developed  by  Marty  Bergen  to  compete  over  strong  1NT   openings with  distributional  hands,  this  convention  aims  to  reach  part  score contracts  in  the  main,  seldom  game  contracts.  The  original  version is  as  follows:

 Double =
an  unspecified  6  card  suit  (Advancer bids  2C, which  is for  pass or convert, but  with  a  strong  hand  may  pass  for  penalties)
 2 =
Clubs  and  another  suit,  usually  5-5.  Advancer bids:
  • passes  with  Clubs
  • bids 2  with 3  cards  in  the  other  suits
  • bids  a  6  card  major
  • forces  to  game  with  a  2NT  enquiry
 2 =
's and a Major suit (Advancer bids as above) 
 2 =
Major 2 suiter. Advancer bids:
gives a simple preference
makes the 2NT enquiry
pre-empts with 3/
 2 =
Natural but with a weaker hand than making the Double first.

Intervenor's responses to the 2NT enquiry

Over  2
: 2NT

 3♣ =
Minimum: Advancer relays 2 and Intervenor passes/corrects to the second suit
 3// =
Maximum: Game forcing

Over  2: 2NT

 3♣ = minimum. with 's
 3 =
minimum. with ♠'s
 3 =
maximum,with 's  
 3 =
maximum, with ♠'s

Minors  responses show  weak  hands,  majors  strong  hands.

Over  2: 2NT

 3♣  = minimum, longer  's, or better 's if equal length
 3  = minimum, longer  's, or better 's if equal length
 3  = maximum,  longer  's, or better 's if equal length
 3  = maximum, longer  's, or better 's if equal length

Over the  years  DONT  has  become  more  popular,  and  many partnerships  now  use  it  as  a  defence  to  weak  NT  as  well  as strong.  The  original  requirements  have  been  adjusted  to  allow  more frequent  interference  over  1NT  openings,  examples  being:

 Double  = 5 card suit
 2♣//  = 4 - 4 distributions
 2  = strong 5 - 5, ♠'s and another suit
 2NT =
strong 's and a minor

If  using  4-4  distributions  it  is  important  that  the  four  card  suits  are  of  good  quality.  Note  that  DONT is like  UNICLUB  outlined  in  the  first  article,  except  that  in  the  latter  convention  2  shows  a  3  suiter  with  ♠'s,  and  2NT  a  3  suiter  without  ♠'s. 

DONT in practice after a 1NT opening:

  1
  2
Intervenor Advancer Intervenor
 Advancer
♠ KQT3
K64
T7
♣ AJT3
♠ 9762
AK92
K32
♣ 85
♠ AJ973
AK6
72
♣ AQ4
♠ 864
QT9
KT63
♣ J96
2♣ = ♣, 2 suiter

2
= second suit
2 = 3 cards //

Pass
Double = single suit

2
2

Pass

Both  hands  are  from  teams,  on  example 1,  2  made,  as  against  1NT  by  opener,  and  on example 2  a  similar  result  occurred.

To  summarise,  select a defence  to  1NT  which  suits  your  partnership style  of  bidding,  in  terms  of  complexity  and  competitiveness.  Remember  that  good  results  can  come  from  competing  on  the  right  type  of  hands,  and  not  competing  may  be  more  costly  in  the  long  run.  Next  time  counter  defences  to  1NT  interventions  will  be examined.


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