Two-Over-One GF -- Part 9 (After a 2D or 2H response)

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 09/01/2011
Level: Intermediate

PART 9 (The Response is 2 DIAMONDS or 2 HEARTS)
In recent months we've been discussing the 2? response to 1-of-a-major.

What if the response is 2? or 2??

Not too much changes. The auctions we will be examining this month are:




All three responses are still "natural," but while the 2? response might be only a 4-card suit, the 2? response guarantees at least five hearts.  Of course, the only 2/1 auction with a 2? response is:1?-2?.  Why does it guarantee five? We don't fool around with the majors (the same way we don't open a 4-card major). Without 5 hearts, we manufacture a 2/1 response in one of the minors (usually a 2? response). When we are making a 2/1 response, and don't have any five-card suits to respond in, the suit we lie about is a minor. We will always have at least a 4-card suit to respond with (because if our only 4-card suit was support for partner, we would begin with a Jacoby 2NT response).

What if partner opens 1? and we have something like: ?Qxx ?AJxx ?Axx ?Kxx?  Assume there is no systemic response available that shows a balanced 13+ (some use 3NT for this).  Assume 1NT is not completely forcing. Then what? Don't "lie" with the 4-card heart suit. Instead, lie in a minor, preferably by responding 2?. Partner won't play you for a 3-card suit, but he will be in no hurry to drag you into 5? without exploring for other contracts. You will surely be correcting back to spades. Summary: The 2/1 response is almost always 4+ cards (Natural) in a minor, but very rarely 3 cards if stuck. The 2? response (which comes only after a 1? opening) guarantees 5+ hearts.

After the 2? Response:  The auction has started either 1?-2? or 1?-2?. Opener bids naturally/normally as in previous installments of this series. Jumps are specialized (see last month's article). Opener shows his shape. There isn't as much space after a 2? response, particularly after 1?-2?. If opener doesn't have a 6-card heart suit to rebid, he could be stuck. For example: ?6 5 4
?A J 7 6 5
?A 2
?A 4 2
There is no perfect rebid after 1?-2?. Two hearts would show six cards. Two notrump, while right on strength/shape, feels funny with no spade stopper. Bidding spades or clubs with three, or raising diamonds with two doesn't make sense. So, it is a question of "which lie" to tell. Some pairs lie by repeating the 5-card heart suit. I'd prefer to lie with 2NT. If partner raises to 3NT and they run five spade tricks, life will go on. However, this isn't likely to happen. When partner bids 3NT, he surely won't have a singleton spade (if he did, he would have had some other more descriptive bid available at his second turn to bid out his shape). I'd rather keep the 2? rebid as guaranteeing six cards. I draw the line at rebidding 2NT with a small doubleton. The alternative in that case would be to raise partner's minor on three cards. Remember, that both players will head towards five of the minor only as a last resort (preferring to explore for 3NT or four of the major).

After the 2? Response:  Nothing special. The only 2/1 auction with a 2? response is: 1?-2?. Rebidding 2? "promises" 6 or more. Rebidding 2NT would tend to be exactly 5=2=3=3 shape. Bidding a minor shows 4+ cards there and does not promise extras. 


What would you rebid as opener after 1?-2?-??

A) ?K J 8 7 2 ?6 3
?A Q J 6 2

B) ?A K Q 6 5 2
?K Q 2
?A 7 2

C) ?A K Q J 7 4
2 ?K 6
?9 8
?5 2

D) ?A Q J 5 3
?K 8 5 4
?A K Q

E) ?J 7 6 5 4
?K Q J
?A Q 6 5

F) ?A K 6 5 2
?A 2
?A Q 9 2
?7 6

G) ?K Q 9 8 7
?K 8 6
2?A 9 8 2

H) ?A K Q 9 8
?J 9 8 7
?K 6 2

I) ?A 9 8 7 5 ? 5 2 ? K Q 3 ? A 3 2


A) 3? (I don't recommend, as some do, that this shows extra values. Already in a GF, just bid out shape).
B) 2? (Repeat the 6-card suit--don't jump when it isn't solid. You can raise diamonds later if need be.)

C) 3? (As per last month's article)
D) 2? (Bid out your shape, don't jump. No rush to raise diamonds).

E) 3? (Don't distort by rebidding notrump with a singleton).

F) 3? (Support with four).

G) 2? (Majors first--you might have a 4-4 heart fit).

H) 3? (Splinter raise).

I) 3? (The least of evils--avoid a 2NT rebid with a small side doubleton)

What would you rebid as opener after 1?-2?-?? 

J) ?K J 8 7 2 ?6 3
?A Q J 6 2

K) ?A K J 6 5
?3 2
?K Q 2
?8 7 2

L) ?A 8 7 4
2 ?K Q 6
?9 8
?K 5 2


J) 3? (Bid out your shape)

K) 2NT (To show a 5-3-3-2 hand)

L) 3? (Since 2? guarantees 5, you can raise with this kind of hand).


Next month:  1?-2?

Larry's 2/1 Workbook

BMS 2/1 Webinars by Michael Berkowitz

 Larry's audio presentation to the ABTA on 2/1 GF in New Orleans, 2010