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Transfers Over 1 Openings Part 1

Bob Pattinson

Introduction

Most bridge players use transfer bids over 1NT openings, so the principle and advantages of the transfer approach is well recognised and experienced. Transfers allow a second bidding opportunity to show the shape and strength of the responding hand, and ensure that the stronger opening hand declares the final contract.  Those players taking up the challenge of playing transfers over 1 openings will find that the same principles apply and it does not take long to begin automatically alerting transfer responses to 1 openings.

Why Play Transfers over 1 Openings?

As 1 openings occur more frequently than any other opening bids there is an obvious advantage in building the bidding system around this bid.  Playing an opening 1NT within the 14-16 range means that 1 openings, with a minimum holding of two clubs, cover four hand types:

  • 11-13 balanced

  • 17-19 balanced

  • 5+ clubs unbalanced

  • 4414 with a singleton diamond

This approach allows a simple four step structure for describing balanced hands with a three point range for each step:

Points Range

Opening Bid

Rebids by Opener after 1 opening

Examples

11-13

1

Accept major suit transfer at one level with 2 or 3 card support to show

balanced 11-13

K76

A9

QT87

KJ42

1 : 1 = 4+ hearts

1 = 2 or 3 hearts

14-16

1NT

17-19

1

After a major suit transfer rebid 1NT to show 17-19 balanced.

Over a 1 response (no 4 card major) rebid 2NT to show 17-19 balanced

AQ3

QJ86

KQ6

KT7

1 : 1 = 4+ spades

1NT = 17-19 balanced

20-22

2NT

The other major advantage of using 1 openings to describe balanced hands is that it now frees the 1 opening to be always semi-balanced or unbalanced, guaranteeing at least four cards:

Semi- balanced shapes


Unbalanced shapes


Balanced hands with 4 Diamonds can be opened Via the 1 route:

5422, 6322, and 7222


4441, 5431, 5521, 5521, 5540, 6421, 6331, 6430, 6511, 6520, and 7321


4333, 4432, and 5332.

Also after an opening bid of 1 a rebid of 1NT by opener cannot be balanced and maybe used to describe a range of options.

Responding to 1 Openings

There are a number of different approaches used by partnerships playing transfers over 1 openings. This article sets out the basic structure to help partnerships try this convention. Some partnerships only accept a major suit transfer with 3 card support. This article suggests that 2 or 3 card support is equally effective, and has two extra advantages:

  • With 17-19 points opener can rebid 1NT over a major suit transfer and this allows the bidding to stay lower if responder has a minimum hand, eg a balanced 6 count with poorly scattered values, or a poor 6 card suit with just 4 or 5 points


KJ6                  QT5432

AQ                   K54

QT87               43

AJ42         87

1                       1 Opener rebids 1NT to confirm a 17-19 balanced

1NT                     2 and partner re-transfers to the safe 2 contract  

2

  • Now a jump rebid to 2NT can be employed to show other combinations such as 17-19 with 4 card major suit support and a good 6 card club suit

AJ97                QT5432

7                      K54

AQ                   43

AKJ965           87

1

2NT

3

1

3

4

Opener jumps to 2NT to show 6-4 shape in the black suits, and despite minimum points responder re-transfers and raises to game, expecting the long clubs to provide extra tricks.

The table below summarises the basic structure of one level transfer responses to 1 (2+); options available for the 1NT response and other two level bids will be covered in a second article.

Transfer Response

Opener’s Rebid

Responder’s Follow up

1 = 4+ Hearts

1 = 2 or 3 hearts, balanced 11-13

2 = 4 hearts, 11-13

3 = 4 hearts, 17-19

1NT = 17-19 : balanced

(with 14-16 would open 1NT)

1 = < 4 spades : transfer to 1NT (6-11:  opener will be stronger, even if only 11-13)

1NT = 4-4 in the majors (6-11)

2/ = canapé : longer minor : 6-11

2 = to play : 5+ suit : 6-11

Over the 1NT (17-19) system on

1: 4+ Spades

1 = 2-3 spades: balanced 11-13

2 = 4 spades : 11-13

3 = 4 spades : 11-13

1NT = 17-19 :  balanced

1NT = 6-11 : balanced

Other rebids as per hearts above

1: transfer to 1NT: no four card major: 6-11 or stronger balanced hand ; or 6-11 : long minor;

or 13+ with 5+ diamonds and a 4 card major

1NT = 11-13 : balanced

2 = 11-16 : unbalanced : 5431 or 6 clubs

2NT = 17-19 : balanced

2/ = long minor : 6-11

2/ = 13+ : 5+ diamonds and a 4 card major


The following examples show how these bids work in practice:


Opener

Responder

Opener

Responder

KJ5

AJ

QJ98

T975

976

KQ52

K7

Q642

J76

JT7

AQ

KQ876

QT85

K985

J76

A2

1

1=  2 to 3 ’s & 11-13

1NT = To Play

1 = Transfer to

1 = Denies 4 ♠’s

P

1

1 = 2 to 3 & 11-13

P

1 = Transfer to

1NT = 4/4 in Majors 6 to


Opener

Responder

Opener

Responder

K82

QT9

KQ832

K8

J742

K7

AJ9

T976

KJ73

Q97

A432

K9

Q986

A6

75

QJ876

1

1 = 2 to 3 ♠ & 11-13

1 = Transfer to

1NT = To Play 6 to 11

1

2 = 4 ’s & 11-13

1 = Transfer to

P

Opener

Responder

Opener

Responder

AJ8

JT6

QJ7

A432

T976

KQ5

3

QJ765

987

AQ5

K65

K865

65

J64

QT8765

AJ

1

1 = 2 to 3 & 11-13

1 = Transfer to

2 =  5 ’s, Offers a choice of a 5 -2 or better fit or a possible 4 -3 fit

1


1NT = Balanced 11 - 13

1 =  Multiple options refer to previous table


2 = 6 ’s no 4 card major

Summary

This initial article on transfers over 1openings has explained one of the more popular versions of the one level transfer responses and the rebids available to opener. As in all transfer methods the key advantage of playing transfers is the opportunity to describe different hand patterns with the second round of bidding.


The practical examples above aim to provide the flavour of how this can work after a 1 opening.


The next article will discuss some of the options available for 1NT and two level responses to 1 openings when employing transfers.


TipsToEnjoyBridge

www.cbai.ie

http://bridgeonlineworldcup.com/

http://http://www.southmunsterbridgescene.com/

www.bridgecongress.com


www.diarmuidreddanbridge.com


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www.fob.ie

www.bridgeireland.com


http://www.greatbridgelinks.com/

www.nibu.co.uk