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Unusual 2 No Trump

#1 User is offline   Laird 

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Posted 2004-October-21, 08:00

Hello All

... I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that for me this is not a good convention.

When I apply it all that seems to happen is it spurs my ops into makeable major suit contracts that they had no intention of entering or spurs my partner into unmakeable minor suit contracts( usually doubled) :unsure:

Can anyone please explain the optimum conditions for applying this convention ie

... only against vulnerable opps?

... when you have sufficient control cards?

... as a pre - emptive ploy?

What would be a good typical situation showing hand types for the application of this convention.

thank you

John
UDCA...'You take the High Road an I'll take the Low Road'...
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#2 User is offline   nikos59 

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Posted 2004-October-21, 08:48

First of all, 2NT Unusual is not for the minors but for the
2 lowest suits, so sometimes your pard may be led to
a heart contract -makeable or not. Then, you may also
want to consider the whole array of 2suited overcall,
so that you get the chance to play more frequently
in a major.
A simple but not very efficient scheme is
2NT - 2 lowest
3D - 2 highest
3C - the other combination
but there you forego your minor weak jump overcalls.

Americans will tell you to play Michaels but the minor is not
specified in Michaels. A compromise is to use the cuebid to
show the majors / the other major plus clubs and 3C
for "the other combination"

I strongly recommend *not* to refrain from 2suited overcalls.
The received wisdom is that they give declarer a blueprint
of the distribution etc. if the opponents get to declare the hand,
but I need to see hard facts to get persuaded of its
inefficiency. Say your partner holds Kx and Qxxx in your two
suits -he knows he holds gold. If you show one suit only,
he knows a looot less.

Another received wisdom is to play your 2suited overcalls weak
or quite strong but not in the middle (i.e. not a plain opening bid
hand). This argument has some merit but it loses much of its
merit if you are playing against real people and not Eustachian monks.

A very rough guide as to the force is 5 to 7 losers, acc. to vuln.
Pard can evaluate by how many losers he can cover -he will
assume you have no honours in the short suits.

ns
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#3 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2004-October-21, 09:02

The usual 2NT is cleary a double edged sword that can cut both sides. The fact that you have realized that is the first step to using it more safely. Worse than pushing your opponents to a makable game (which they might have reasched anyway).. it gives them huge clues as to how to play the hand as well, and allows them to often find the only winning line.

It will take several replies to this thread to start buildig a picture of how to use unusual NT effectively to turn the odds into our favor. So I thought I would start with just a few examples of what to look for.

Scoring: IMP


West North East South

 -     -     -     1
 2NT   3    3NT   4
 Pass  Pass  Dbl   Pass
 5    Dbl   Pass  Pass
 Pass  

At imps, vul versus vul, south's hand is a litte shy for this 2NT bid. The main problem is the quality of the hearts and the fact that he has two defensive tricks. I am not surprised that your partner bid 2NT with this hand, as did one other, but those who chose to stick in a bid, bid 1. I agree.

The problem here is West not only bid 2NT, he took it upon himself to pull 4X, that was going down. So it really wasn't the 2NT bid that earned -9.5 umps, it was the pull of 4X, which was going to win 4.5 imps.

So first rule. Vulnerable, yo should have good quality suits, and if you have describe your hand, your partner is the captain.



Scoring: IMP


West North East South

 -     -     -     1
 2NT   3    3NT   4
 Pass  Pass  Dbl   Pass
 5    Dbl   Pass  Pass
 Pass  

At imps, vul versus vul, south's hand is a litte shy for this 2NT bid. The main problem is the quality of the hearts and the fact that he has two defensive tricks. I am not surprised that your partner bid 2NT with this hand, as did one other, but those who chose to stick in a bid, bid 1. I agree.

The problem here is West not only bid 2NT, he took it upon himself to pull 4X, that was going down. So it really wasn't the 2NT bid that earned -9.5 umps, it was the pull of 4X, which was going to win 4.5 imps.

So first rule. Vulnerable, yo should have good quality suits, and if you have describe your hand, your partner is the captain.


Scoring: IMP


West North East South

 -     -     -     1
 2NT   3    3NT   4
 Pass  Pass  Dbl   Pass
 5    Dbl   Pass  Pass
 Pass  

At imps, vul versus vul, south's hand is a litte shy for this 2NT bid. The main problem is the quality of the hearts and the fact that he has two defensive tricks. I am not surprised that your partner bid 2NT with this hand, as did one other, but those who chose to stick in a bid, bid 1. I agree.

The problem here is West not only bid 2NT, he took it upon himself to pull 4X, that was going down. So it really wasn't the 2NT bid that earned -9.5 umps, it was the pull of 4X, which was going to win 4.5 imps.

So first rule. Vulnerable, yo should have good quality suits, and if you have describe your hand, your partner is the captain.


Scoring: IMP


West North East South

 -     -     -     1
 2NT   3    3NT   4
 Pass  Pass  Dbl   Pass
 5    Dbl   Pass  Pass
 Pass  

At imps, vul versus vul, south's hand is a litte shy for this 2NT bid. The main problem is the quality of the hearts and the fact that he has two defensive tricks. I am not surprised that your partner bid 2NT with this hand, as did one other, but those who chose to stick in a bid, bid 1. I agree.

The problem here is West not only bid 2NT, he took it upon himself to pull 4X, that was going down. So it really wasn't the 2NT bid that earned -9.5 umps, it was the pull of 4X, which was going to win 4.5 imps.

So first rule. Vulnerable, yo should have good quality suits, and if you have describe your hand, your partner is the captain.


Scoring: IMP


West North East South

 -     -     -     1
 2NT   3    3NT   4
 Pass  Pass  Dbl   Pass
 5    Dbl   Pass  Pass
 Pass  

At imps, vul versus vul, south's hand is a litte shy for this 2NT bid. The main problem is the quality of the hearts and the fact that he has two defensive tricks. I am not surprised that your partner bid 2NT with this hand, as did one other, but those who chose to stick in a bid, bid 1. I agree.

The problem here is West not only bid 2NT, he took it upon himself to pull 4X, that was going down. So it really wasn't the 2NT bid that earned -9.5 umps, it was the pull of 4X, which was going to win 4.5 imps.

So first rule. Vulnerable, yo should have good quality suits, and if you have describe your hand, your partner is the captain.


Scoring: IMP


West North East South

 -     -     -     1
 2NT   3    3NT   4
 Pass  Pass  Dbl   Pass
 5    Dbl   Pass  Pass
 Pass  

At imps, vul versus vul, south's hand is a litte shy for this 2NT bid. The main problem is the quality of the hearts and the fact that he has two defensive tricks. I am not surprised that your partner bid 2NT with this hand, as did one other, but those who chose to stick in a bid, bid 1. I agree.

The problem here is West not only bid 2NT, he took it upon himself to pull 4X, that was going down. So it really wasn't the 2NT bid that earned -9.5 umps, it was the pull of 4X, which was going to win 4.5 imps.

So first rule. Vulnerable, yo should have good quality suits, and if you have describe your hand, your partner is the captain.



Scoring: IMP


West North East South

 -     -     -     1
 2NT   3    3NT   4
 Pass  Pass  Dbl   Pass
 5    Dbl   Pass  Pass
 Pass  

At imps, vul versus vul, south's hand is a litte shy for this 2NT bid. The main problem is the quality of the hearts and the fact that he has two defensive tricks. I am not surprised that your partner bid 2NT with this hand, as did one other, but those who chose to stick in a bid, bid 1. I agree.

The problem here is West not only bid 2NT, he took it upon himself to pull 4X, that was going down. So it really wasn't the 2NT bid that earned -9.5 umps, it was the pull of 4X, which was going to win 4.5 imps.

So first rule. Vulnerable, yo should have good quality suits, and if you have describe your hand, your partner is the captain.


Scoring: IMP


West North East South

 -     -     -     1
 2NT   3    3NT   4
 Pass  Pass  Dbl   Pass
 5    Dbl   Pass  Pass
 Pass  

At imps, vul versus vul, south's hand is a litte shy for this 2NT bid. The main problem is the quality of the hearts and the fact that he has two defensive tricks. I am not surprised that your partner bid 2NT with this hand, as did one other, but those who chose to stick in a bid, bid 1. I agree.

The problem here is West not only bid 2NT, he took it upon himself to pull 4X, that was going down. So it really wasn't the 2NT bid that earned -9.5 umps, it was the pull of 4X, which was going to win 4.5 imps.

So first rule. Vulnerable, yo should have good quality suits, and if you have describe your hand, your partner is the captain.

--Ben--

#4 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2004-October-21, 09:11

Any preempt, unusual 2NT or anything else, can drive opps to games that they may not bid otherwise. You must look at your hand and check whether that thin game might actually be there or not.

Suppose you're NV and opps V, and it goes

pard RHO you LHO
pass 1S ...??

With

KJx
---
AQxxx
QJTxx

you should bid 2NT because if opps overbid to 3NT, 4H or 4S, they quite probably won't make it. And what's more, pard might even double. With

xx
x
KQJxx
KQJxx

an overcall of 2NT runs a much more serious risk of seeing opps bid a 4S which might make on marginal values. It can perhaps be better to bid 2D on this hand.
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#5 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2004-October-21, 12:57


"Bridge is like dance: technique's important but what really matters is not to step on partner's feet !"
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#6 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2004-October-21, 13:25

Chamaco, on Oct 21 2004, 02:57 PM, said:

Ben, on which basis do you select 2Nt then bid at the 5 level in the first hand, and you prefer a direct 4NT with the second hand ?

Is it because the second is more preemptive so you want to avoid their info exchange and with the first you can afford to bid "slowly" since you are going to end at the 5+ level anyway ?

Is it not better to leave the 4NT more indetermined in terms of "sheer powwer" so opps will ahve to guess whose hand it is ?
We'll also leave partner in the dark, but I think based on frequency we'll gain more on the (more frequent) weak hands when opps do not know how much values we really hold for the U2NT ?

Hi Mauro,

I also showed one more hand where I consdiered a 4NT bid but rejected it...

Now to the question. I am going to the five level (at least) on both hands. If you need a name for the difference in the approaches, it is still the old relialble (for me) principle of fast arrival. When the bidding goes

(1M)-4NT <<--- partner, and oponnents will know I am bidding on distribtuion

when it goes

(1M)-2NT-(?)-(?)-(?)-then me force to the five level, it is on both distribution but more importantly strength...

If you bid 4NT with that first monster you will miss too many slams, unless you simply bid them yourself. Your partner will not be able to coopererate adequately. In addtion, he might take a save ofter their 6 contract before you lay down the hammer.

As far as keep the opponents versus partner in the dark... I find I like my parnters as informed as possible during the auction so htye can make good decisions. If that occassionally helps the opponents, I will have to live with it. On hands like this, they have to guess right at the five level... bid/defend? Stop on a dime in 5 fo a mjor, or press on to six. Truth is, they will have to guess with very limited infomation. The weaker I can be, the stronger partner can be. Partner may have a fit for me, he may not... We didn't raise each other up the five level, we just went. The LAST GUESS is on them, just where I like it.

Ben
--Ben--

#7 User is offline   Gerben47 

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Posted 2004-October-22, 08:55

Another impressive reply from inquiry! Great examples!

I agree with Inquiry and not with Nikos about the intermediate ranges.
The point of the "don't bid unusual 2NT with an intermediate hand" is this:
If partner gives a preference, you don't know what to do.

Example:

No one vulnerable, RHO in first seat opens 1 and you have:

Ax
KQTxx
x
QJTxx

A nice hand for unusual 2NT you'd think: 5-5 in the lowest unbid suits. You bid 2NT and partner bids 3. You have 5 losers which is pretty good, but partner was forced to pick one of your suits so he might have nothing, or he can have something but not enough to force. Conclusion: you don't know what to do next.

This hand should bid like this:
1 opener as before, but now 1 overcall. LHO bids 1 and partner volunteers 2. Now you know that partner has something. RHO bids 2 and you jump to 4.

This shows your long second suit and desire to play 4 which basically needs two key cards from partner to make, or it is a good save to whatever they can make in Spades. LHO bids 4 and partner can now make a well-judged decision: double, pass or bid 5.

And on another day: Partner does NOT volunteer 2 but passes instead. RHO bids 2 and you bid 3. You will not go past the 3-level but you offer two suits to partner who knows you have this inbetweenie and can use that information to make a well-judged decision whatever happens next.
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do!
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