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Opening 2 Diamonds Your Opinions Appreciated

Poll: 2 Diamonds (49 member(s) have cast votes)

What Do You Like Your 2D Opening To Mean?

  1. Flannery (6 votes [9.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.68%

  2. Roman (17-24) (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Roman (11-15) (2 votes [3.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.23%

  4. Ekren (3 votes [4.84%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.84%

  5. Weak 2 (Specify Restrictions) (18 votes [29.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.03%

  6. Multi (Specify Variations) (20 votes [32.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.26%

  7. Any Strong Hand (2 votes [3.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.23%

  8. Intermediate (4 votes [6.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.45%

  9. Mexican (3 votes [4.84%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.84%

  10. Other (Please Specify) (4 votes [6.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.45%

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#1 User is offline   jgillispie 

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Posted 2014-January-28, 15:59

What is the best use of the 2 opening? If possible, please include your own variations on existing conventions, reasons that one convention is superior to another, % of frequency, etc.

The current system in context is SAYC with majority of conventions. But suggestions for other systems are appreciated.
(No comment)

#2 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2014-January-28, 16:18

Sam and I use 2 as a natural intermediate two bid (10-15 hcp, 6+). In general I've found that intermediate twos, showing a six-card suit with a minimum opening hand, are extremely effective. Partner can usually make very good decisions over these bids, whereas opponents have a lot of tough choices whether to sell out or risk an overcall at a higher level than the field. In the context of a strong club system, the combination of 2 intermediate with 1 showing balanced/three suited patterns seems much superior to a traditional "precision 2" with a natural 1.

In context of a natural (not strong club/diamond) system, I still think intermediate twos are a winner when they come up. But I'm not happy passing with weak two bids, especially in a major. My preference would be to play 2 as "weak two in a major" combined with 2M natural intermediate (6+ suit not good enough for jump rebid). This treatment has worked nicely when I've used it, but the system regulations in the US are very anti-multi, so I usually end up just playing a natural weak two (which I think is much better than Flannery or Mini-Roman or some sort of strong bid). The weak 2 can be a pretty effective bid, especially if you are willing to use it with five-card suits when your hand is otherwise appropriate.
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#3 User is offline   jallerton 

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Posted 2014-January-28, 16:27

For the question to be meaningful, you have to specify the basic system.

Playing a strong club or diamond system has a different knock on effect to the 2-level openers than does a natural system.

I'd suggest adding a couple more options played in various parts of the world:

18-19 balanced
A weak 2-suiter in a major and a minor.

Like awm, I prefer natural and intermediate in the context of a strong minor system.

#4 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2014-January-28, 17:19

I am not going to address all the options, in part because I agree with jallerton that system context is important.

Roman was invented, in the strong variety, not because of its intrinsic merits but because the system in use (the Roman Club) couldn't handle strong 4441 hands. In other words, it was a patch for a problem, rather than being 'wow, what a good way to handle these hands'.

4441 hands are rare. 17+ hands are rare. 4441 17+ hands are very rare, which means that devoting an entire opening call to them makes no sense unless you see such hands as impossible to bid.

They can be difficult to bid, but generally speaking standard-based bidding methods can cope reasonably well with them, altho there will often be a need to make a slight distortion, such as bidding an appropriate number of notrump.

Mini-roman arises far more often, simply because 11-15 hands are more common than 17+ hands. However, standard methods should have no problem bidding these hands. Strong hands can be problematic because simple rebids may be non-forcing, and who likes to reverse or jumpshift with 4=4 shape in the bid suits, not to mention an unbid 4 card suit that may never be shown. These problems don't arise with the weaker openings, so using mini-roman is inventing a (bad) solution to a non-existent problem. FWIW, whenever I play against anyone with mini-roman on their CC, I assume I am playing against a weak pair, and I don't think I have ever been wrong about this.

Flannery: I played it for years, and it definitely does 'solve' a problem. 4=5=3=1 or 4=5=2=2 hands are a problem in standard methods in which a 1N response is forcing: I don't see them as a problem for those who play 1N as passable.

Many 2/1 players like to use opener's 2 rebid as promising 4, which is why 4=5=3=1 is a problem. If you play it as 3+, then you can rebid 2 on 3 and hope to survive. You'll usually be no worse off than had you opened flannery anyway. However, if 2 can be 2+ or even 1+, then this is a potential problem since you may end up violating Burns Law of Total Trump....the opps have more trumps than you do, and flannery would usually allow you to avoid that...but not always.

My own experience has been that the problems of the minor rebid over a forcing 1N aren't as bad in practice as they may appear on paper, and that flannery doesn't solve all of them anyway. Add to that my view that other uses for 2 help with other problems, and I don't miss flannery at all.

Multi: being a North American, I don't have the exposure to multi that players from the rest of the world have. I have played a fair amount of international bridge, and multi is allowed in our national team trials, so I have played it a few times and encountered it even more often.

I like it. My experience playing it has been limited to using it in only two ways. My early experience was that it showed either weak 2 or a strong 4441 (strong roman). I disliked it because while the strong variety was rare, one's structure had to cater to it, thus largely eliminating what I see as a huge plus for multi....the ability for responder to pre-empt to the 4-level with adequate support for both majors....since opener might hold, say, a 21 count 4441 we might be in an inadequate fit, while missing a good slam in a minor, should I just jump.

I persuaded my partner to ditch the strong option, and was happier.

Later I played, in a different partnership, multi as a weak weak 2 and 2/ as 9-12. This had implications for our 1 level openings as well as the 2-level. I don't think I played this enough to really say how effective it was.

While this may be boring, my personal preference is a natural weak 2 in diamonds. It has mildly preemptive value and allows us to bid a hand that might otherwise be forced to pass or to overbid/distort via 3. I like a complex response structure, and also like being able to do it with a side 4 card major (with a response structure that caters to this) but that is irrelevant to my basic preference for the usage.

I haven't ever played the 18-19 romex 2. I have good friends, who are advanced and not expert, who use it, but I don't read much into that. Duboin-Sementa played it when we played them in the round-robin stage in Philadelphia in 2010, and that suggests there is real merit to it, even tho the one time it came up was a disaster for them. It would free up the 2N jump rebid for other me that is its main attraction but, as I say, I don't have experience with it.
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#5 User is offline   PrecisionL 

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Posted 2014-January-28, 17:23

I checked other - In several partnerships I use the Pit Bulls Approach for a 2 Opener:
Acol 2 and Blue Team 2 combined:
a) Strong Balanced with 5 or 6 & 20+ hcp, or
b) Any 4441 hand with 17+ hcp (BTC Approach), or
c) 4-losers or less with primary, or
d) 4-losers or less two suited with and a shorter side suit
This is a rare bid, about once every 3-4 sessions.

Ref: http://www.edmontonb...r/ACOL%202D.htm

In my Strong Club partnerships I use 2 as an intermediate 2-bid: 10-14 hcp and 6 or 5 and 4, no 4-cd major.

This post has been edited by PrecisionL: 2017-March-05, 19:49

Ultra Relay: see Daniel's web page: https://bridgewithda...19/07/Ultra.pdf
C3: Copious Canape is still my favorite system. (Ultra upgraded, PM me for notes)

Played a Mosca (Nightmare-Fantunes-Millennium like) system with canapé, 11-14 NT with Keri Invites and Intermediate 2 bids (10-14), & 15+ 1 opener with transfer negatives @ 1-level & transfer positives @ the 2- and 3-levels. Canape after opening 1 or 1 (into a minor suit only).

Santa Fe Precision published 8/19. TOP3 published 11/20. Also Magic experiment (Science Modernized) with Lenzo. Rakesq, Keylime & I working on Jan Eric Larsson's Cottontail Club.

#6 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-January-28, 19:40

Where is 32519 when we need him?
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein

#7 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2014-January-28, 19:45

A couple of less common methods:

Both minors, intermediate (14-16 or so). I have played this for decades as part of several approace. It is critical to my mics canapé and is integral to a flamingo minor core alternative to Precision minor structure, but it also helps with a standard approach to make minor two suit ranges more manageable.

Power opening with 4+ spades. This is part of Super Standard and my own New Frontiers. Either offers a much more effective strong opening structure.

Diamond - Spade two Suiter intermediate. Allows interesting re bid by Opener to unwind major strength and shape better with the addition of solving on high reverse problem (the others solved by roman 2M).

If anyone wants more information on these let me know.
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#8 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 02:23

You can see what the top European players prefer by examining the system cards from the European Team Championships. There were 97 pairs in Dublin, 2012, and the most popular uses were:

28 - Multi with some strong options
26 - Multi without strong options
7 - Mexican (18-20 balanced)
7 - weak two
7 - generic game forcing opening bid (c.f., SAYC 2C opener)
4 - Precision (three-suiter short in diamonds, 11-15)
4 - Ekren
3 - Wilkosz (weak, any 5M, 5m)

The rest were unique, including petepunt's preferred use as a club pre-empt.

The preference for Multi was similar in 2010.
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#9 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 03:33

I don't think Flannery should be played in order to solve rebid problems after a forcing 1NT. If 1NT if forcing, you have to have a rebid for the 5332 hands anyway so it's not like Flannery makes your 2m rebids that much cleaner. You could play a 14-16 1NT opening, mandatory with 5M332, in combination with a sound (13-16) Flannery and nonforcing 1NT response and I actually played that with Shogi for a short while but I've never seen anyone else playing this. Even Leon Jacobs who advocated (advocates?) a 14-16 1NT to keep the minor suit rebids clean, doesn't play Flannery but just pretends that the Flannery hands don't exist, I think.

I think the reason for playing Flannery should be that
1-1= 5+ spades (or you could play KI).
1-1NT= 4- spades (now more difficult for opps to decide if a spade lead against NT is appropriate).
1-2m // 2 = some artificial bid that patches whatever wholes you have in your 2/1 structure
1-(2)-dbl = 5+ spades
1-(2)-dbl = 5+ clubs (or if you don't like NFB: play dbl as 5+spades and 2 as clubs).

Max Hardy said that Flannery players should still respond 1 on a 4-card suit in case opener is 4-6. For non-Flannery players he recommended responding 1 on a 3-card suit, btw. But I think that is misguided. The whole point of playing Flannery is that 1 denies spades (unless reverse strength). So with 4-6 you either open Flannery or forget about the spade suit, depending on honour placement.

I think I would be playing either IMPrecision or some kind of Multi if I were to put a lot of effort into a new partnership now. I used to hate multi because in the Netherlands it is played by weak players who find it more important to learn Multi than to learn basic stuff like for example responding to a t/o doubles. Mexican is something that I have some sympathy for although I never played it.

Wilcosz is OK but I am not sure if it is so sound to open a Polish 2 on HHxx-HHx-x-xxxxx so maybe it would be good to play a Precision 2 in the context of Polish Club. But I have never seen anyone playing this so presumably they get away with treating those hands as balanced. 4405 is a problem but that is a relatively small hole in the system. You could play 2 as (41)35, then, if you insist on 1=4+.

A natural weak 2 works quite well but if playing a system with a strong artificial 2 opening it is not necessary as you can just put the weak diamond hands into the 2 opening. Besides, most of the hands that are suitable for a 2 opening can also be opened 3 when nonvulnerable. I am not sure that I would like to open 2 on a 5-card suit in 2nd seat - I would think that it would damage our own bidding too much.
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#10 User is offline   lycier 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 03:44

I would like to play Hardy style two over one --- 2 as weak two bid.

#11 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 05:54

View Postpaulg, on 2014-January-29, 02:23, said:

petepunt's preferred use as a club pre-empt.

Wow, why?
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#12 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 08:06

View Postgwnn, on 2014-January-29, 05:54, said:

Wow, why?

Peter Goodman (petepunt) is often on BBO playing in the JEC matches, why don't you ask him. I'm sure there is a good reason.
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#13 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 08:48

In the context of playing a normal sort of 2/1 system with a strong 2, I like to open 2 as a bid that fills gaps in what partner wants to play, such as a classic multi, or natural. For real preference, though, 4+4+ in both majors wins - it's fun, works well, and must occur at least 3 times as often as anything else.

Edit - However, both majors is better to be a 2 bid, and I should be switching to this unless I need 2 to include strong 3-suiters.

#14 User is online   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 09:20

I think it is best used filling whatever gaps there are in your system. Many people dislike bidding 1x-1y-2N on a flat 18, Mexican 2 will fix that. Precision has a gap for 4414 or similar, it uses 2. If you have no overpowering need to fill a hole, you have a choice, we simply play it natural and weak (and hyper aggressive first and 3rd) as we find that the weak 2 actually causes significant problems when the next hand is 4-2 in the majors with 12-14 points and have had opps play in lots of silly spots.

#15 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 11:21

"well, it depends on your style" is, as the people above have said, Just Not Discountable - especially as you extend style to system.

Having said that, in a world where they don't play WeaSeL over 2, unless system has a hole to fill, I prefer weak undisciplined diamond. If I'm in a place where I get to bid funky 2M calls, I might switch to a mini-multi 2, because once I funkyise the 2M calls I have a hole to fill (weak 2 in a major). In my world, where neither of the above apply, I play a weak 2, and grumble about the WeaSeL defence.

#16 User is offline   RunemPard 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 12:41

Many players here in Sweden play 2 as a str/weak multi with 2H/2S as intermediate and 2NT as showing 2-suiters. It is much better IMO though to not bid these purely based on HCP though. My partners and I typically open garbage preempts in multi, good preempt-bad opening at 2, and rebids of a major show extras. It is kinda nice to never have to worry about upgrading or downgrading when rebidding majors though.
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#17 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 13:00

2d multi weak 2 in a major or strong balanced nt (a <GOOD 20>/ 21) OR ANY 4441 4450 (NOT INCLUDING 5 card major hands)

(A GOOD) 19+ (avoid using with more than a couple of unsupported Q/J) AKxx AKxx Axxx x I would open 2d)

in conjunction with this 2d opener I use 2h/s openers as:

2h to show a 4441 4450 short spade 16-18 no 5 card heart suit

2s to show a 4441 4450 short heart 16-18 no 5 card spade suit

2n 22/23 balanced

2c followed by 2n 24/25


the frequency of the 2h/s bids is relatively small but solves many bidding headaches when they occur and the addition of the 4441 type hands to

the multi melds in nicely and does not interfere with the other auctions. Expanding the bidding the 4441 types to include 4450 types does not

increase frequency much but it strongly increases slam bidding due to the difficulty of trying to show 4441 4450 otherwise especially on hands where

one would hate to be passed out in 1c or 1d :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

out of the remaining options the classic weak 2 seems like the best bang for the buck


#18 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 14:38


we play a 11-14NT opening, that denies 4 spades (excluding 4333),
and use 2D as Erkren Style, to have a bid for 11-14 hands with 44
in the mayors, we lately added the req., that you need 2 diamonds
in 1st / 2nd seat as well.

Seems to work reasonable well.

With kind regards
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)

#19 User is offline   Cthulhu D 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 21:39

I used 2D as an assumed fit (diamonds + major) pre-empt, in part because we play 2C as weak diamonds or strong. Prior to that I played it as an assumed fit pre-empt with both majors.

#20 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-January-29, 23:13

There are a number of different 2 openings which people call "Mexican". I prefer the one from Rosenkranz's last few books on Romex: strong, multiple hand types, either 1) balanced, 21-22 HCP, 7 controls, 2) balanced, 27-28 HCP, 10 controls, or 3) unbalanced, GF, primary diamonds, one or two suited, two, rarely three, losers or better, at least six controls.


2: 0-9 HCP, usually fewer than four hearts, no slam interest opposite the 21-22 balanced hand (which opening will have some 85% of the time).
2: 10+ HCP, 3+ controls (usually), slam interest opposite the 21-22 balanced hand.
2NT: transfer to clubs, normally 0-3 HCP, 6+ clubs, fewer than 4 cards in a major, but possibly a major two suiter
3: "Special Stayman", at least 4-4 in the majors and only game interest.
3: transfer, 0-9 HCP, exactly 5 hearts, fewer than 4 spades.
3: transfer, 0-3 HCP, 5+ spades, signoff.
3: balanced game only hand, exactly 4 hearts, fewer than 4 spades.
3NT: at least 5-5 in the majors, game interest only.
4: 6 or more hearts, to play in 4
4: 6 or more spades, to play in 4

This is played in both a regular Romex (5 card majors, artificial 1NT, strong 2m, weak 2M) context and in a "Romex Forcing Club" (forcing 1 (similar to Precision), mini NT, 5 card majors, 2 handles the "Precision 2 hands, 2 natural intermediate, 2 natural weak) context.
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