~Some 2/1 Bidding Sequences

Mike Lawrence, the second youngest World Master of all time, recently wrote two Two-Over-One articles for the Bridge Bulletin. In these articles, Mr Lawrence posed and answered two questions:
~Is a 2/1 response absolutely forcing to game? His answer, “NO.”
~May you ever bid 1NT when you have a game-going hand? His answer, “YES.”

Since I agree with both his answers, having found his explanation of some representative responder hands “spot on,” I will paraprase his two articles here.

~The sequence 1m-2m should be treated as forcing and as game-invitational or better. This applies to each of the following bidding sequences:
~~1C-2C or 1D-2D. These are Inverted Minor bids, showing 5+ club support and 4+ diamond support, respectively, promises 10+ HCP, denies a 4-card major suit, and initiates a sequence to show stoppers in the unbid suits with the expectation of playing in a NT contract if all suits are covered or in the agreed minor if the unbid suits are not covered, as revealed by subsequent bidding.
~~1D-2C. This sequence denies a 4-card major suit, promises 10+ HCP, and initiates a search for stoppers in the unbid suits for a NT contract. The default contract if a NT contract is counter-indicated is aa club or diamond contract at the appropriate level.
~~1C-2D. This sequence is best played in the same manner as 1D-2C rather than as a weak jump shift or as a strong jump shift.

In his discussion advocating bidding 1NT with some hands that contain opening hands (rather than a 2/1 sequence), Mr Lawrence discussed the following hands (in each case, opener has bid 1S):
~S QJ8 H 8764 D K98 C AQJ Bidding sequence 1S-1NT, 2C-4S
~~Responder knows what the trump suit is almost assuredly to be (spades)
~~There is no chance that partner will pass; responder will always get the opportunity to bid 4S on his second bid
~~The second-round bid of 4S will show 3+ spades and a minimum opening hand
NOTE: Those who use Berger Raises would bid 3NT over the opening 1S bid; this jump to 3NT shows exactly three spades, an opening hand without slam interest, 3-3-3-4 shape (no ruffing values). Opener is asked to evaluate his hand to decide whether a NT or spade game (or better) is indicated.

~S K94 H 54 D K54 C AJT74 Bidding sequence 1S-1NT, 2S-4S
~~Responder probably intended to make a limit raise in spades in round two (by jumping to 3S), but the knowledge of a 9-card spade fit and a super secondary club suit fit makes 4S a better bid.

~S KQJ H 54 D QJ74 C QJ63
~Responder probably plans to jump to 4S in round two and would certainly do so over opener’s second bid of 2C, 2D, or 2S. The diamond and club suits are too weak for a 2C or 2D direct response to a 1S opener.

~S QJ H 7542 D AK C Q8654
~If opener rebids spades, you will likely jump to 4S with 12 HCP and a ruffing value. Note that in each of the three examples above, the trump suit is known to be spades as soon as partner opens. Not so with this hand. With 12 HCP, responder should force the bidding, but not to game until a fit can be found and the hand can be reevaluated. A three-level contract may be the practical place to play.


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