Interference After Our 1-Of-A-Major

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 03/14/2014
Level: Intermediate

In this article, we discuss what happens when the Opponents interfere after our side has opened 1 or 1

We'll start with their overcall. If you want to sound modern, you can refer to these auctions as "in comp." That is short, of course, for "in competition". And that means the opponents (darn it!) are in our auction again.

They Overcall

If they overcall, single raises are unchanged in meaning.

 1 (1) 2

2 = normal meaning (6-10 and support)

If they jump overcall, no special agreements are needed:

 1 (2) 3

3 = just a raise (but probably not a 6-count on the 3-level, maybe 7+ - 10). A cue-bid of 3 would show a much better raise (in this case, enough for game).

New suits are natural and one-round forces:

 1 (1) 2

2 = natural, forcing (but not to game—even if you play 2/1 game forcing).

What about a jump raise in competition?

 1 (1) 3

In "Standard" this would be a limit raise. The modern (better) treatment is to use this jump as weak (4 trumps and at most 7 points in support). I'd make this bid with something like:

5 2
K J 6 5
9 8
7 6 4 3 2

What do you do if you really have a limit raise (A 2
K J 6 5
9 8
Q 6 5 3 2
)?

 1 (1) 2

Cue-bidding the opponent's suit should show a limit-raise (or better) in support. It shows at least 3 trumps and 10 in support. Opener can attempt to sign off in 3 of the major with a minimum. Of course, this cuebid says nothing about spades—it is just a coincidence that you have the ace in this example. If the cue-bidder has the "or better" he bids again after opener tries to sign off.

They Double

Again, the single raise is unaffected (but see Bromad below). What about jump raises?

 1 (X) 3

The jump raise should again be played as preemptive, something like 0-7 points and 4-card support (I wouldn't have "0" if vulnerable!). What if you really have a limit raise?

 1 (X) 2NT

This conventional raise (called "Jordan") is the modern (recommended) way to show a limit (or better) raise after the opponents double. A redouble also shows a good hand (10 ), but denies 3-card support. For a summary of all major-suit raises in and out of competition, read my article for Better Bridge.

What about bids that are not raises? A new suit should be natural, and most players use it as forcing if it is on the one-level, non-forcing otherwise. So:

 1 (X) 1

1= Natural, 4 or more spades, forcing one round

 1 (X) 2

2= Natural, 5 (usually 6) or more diamonds, Not forcing (you would redouble with 10, so this is usually less than 10)

Most of the people I teach and write for would be best off stopping here. Rather than learning fancy conventions, make sure you have all the basics down. Everything above (how to cope with a 1 MAJ opening in competition) is everyday bridge. You have to have agreements with your partner.

Warning: This section is intended for advanced players, or those with ironclad memories (or a death wish).

The top experts are implementing a treatment that is gaining in popularity. When a 1 or 1 opening is doubled, they are using a convention that has many different names; I call it BROMAD (more in a moment). After 1-MAJ (DOUBLE) :

A raise to two of the major is very weak – about 3-7 points in support and 3-card support.

A bid (artificial) in the suit 1-under is a better raise–about 7 -10 points in support.

So, After 1 (Double) :

2=A lousy (preemptive-type) raise with 3 trumps [with 4, you'd bid 3]
2=A legitimate raise with 3 or maybe 4 trumps (7 to 10)

Examples after 1 (Double) :

4 3
K J 3
7 6 5 4 3
4 3 2
: bid 2 as a super-light (preemptive) raise.

With,

A 5 3
K J 3
7 6 5 4 3
4 2
: bid 2 (one-under) to show a legitimate raise.

Both of these actions are alertable, of course. Marty Bergen developed this idea in the 1980's and named it Bergen Raises Of Major After Double (BROMAD). In recent years, the idea has been expanded so that all bids starting with 1NT (after they double 1-MAJ) are artificial. 1NT shows clubs, 2 shows diamonds, etc. The one-under bid is still a good raise, and the direct raise is still weak. This "expanded Bromad" is sometimes called "transfers after opponents' takeout double."

This expanded version is spelled out here:

After 1 (X): {Similar schedule after 1 is doubled}

1NT = clubs. Could be just a club suit, or might be K Q 10 3 intending to later raise spades (while getting in the club feature first—maybe to direct the opening lead, or to help partner evaluate his hand for competing in spades).

2=Diamonds. Again, could be just diamonds, or might be a spade raise with diamond cards.

2=Hearts. (Heart suit, or a spade raise with heart cards).

2=One-under – so a good raise (7 -10)