~Responses to a Strong 2C Opener

1. Controls: Aces are two controls; kings are one control.
~2D shows 0-1 control
~2H shows two controls (1 ace or two kings)
~2S shows three controls, always one ace and one king
~2NT shows three controls, always three kings You want the opening lead in a NT contract coming up to the kings. Systems are ON after a 2NT response. If you respond 2D, 2H, or 2S, systems are ON if opener next bids 2NT.
~3C shows four controls, 3D shows 5 controls, etc.

This system is based on the high values placed on controls to fill in opener’s suits. Often, if you show 3+ controls, opener can identify your holding. An ace and a king are probably more useful to opener when determining whether to make a slam try than just knowing you have 7 HCP, which could be two Qs and three Js.

2. Negative: You bid 2D unless you have a positive bid, commonly defined as a 5-card suit with two of the top three honors (or any three honors) and 8+ HCP. With such a holding you just bid the good suit. Some play that any reasonable 5-card suit is OK if you also hold 1+ aces and either 1+ kings (or two queens).

3. 2D positive, showing 3+ HCP and at least one king. Those who play this response bid 2H over 2C to show a weaker hand. The use of 1H to show a minimum (but not bust) response does away with any need for a second negative bid.

 4. Steps:
~2D shows 0-3 HCP
~2H shows 4-6 HCP
~2S shows 7-9 HCP (some people play 7+. These players do not respond 2NT, a method that I support). 2NT should be left for opener to show a balanced hand of 22-24 HCP with Systems ON. 3C could be used to show 10+ HCP.

5. Waiting: Responder makes the cheapest bid (2D) and then waits for opener to show either a balanced hand (NT) or a distributional hand (bidding the long suit). 2NT is the only bid that can be passed by responder; all other bids are forcing to game. After 2D (Waiting), if opener bids a suit at the 2-lvl, 3C is the
double negative, showing a very weak hand.

6. 2H. True Negative. This response uses 2H to show a hand holding less than a single K or two Qs. In this system, 2D would show at least a single K or two Qs. There is no need for a second negative with this system.



One Response to “~Responses to a Strong 2C Opener”

  1. Anita Persson Says:

    Playing Controls, 2 Spade means ACE and KING in the same suit, 2 NT means 3 Controls. What do you think about that?

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