2

My partner and I play a weak 1NT (12-14 HCP) and 1C can be real (5+ card) or 15-19 HCP. If we have a 5 card major, we open it.

Because we have a bid promising a balanced hand with every range. This has lead to our 1D opening always promising an unbalanced hand.

The Dutch (I think they are just the international) rules say that every bid which your opponents might not know the correct meaning of should be alerted.

I have been alerting the bid saying "my partner promises real diamonds either 5+ or any 4441 (with 4 diamonds) and always an unbalanced hand".

Is it nessecary to alert this in regular contract bridge?

1

Rules on alerts are specified by the sponsoring organization, and may well be different for games played under different organization.

The ACBL alert chart does not specifically mandate an alert for a 1D bid wqhich promises an unbalanced hand, but does require an alert for "Natural Calls Not Specifically Noted" which show "Unusual strength, shape, etc". The ACBL Alert procedure says:

The objective of the Alert system is for both pairs at the table to have equal access to all information contained in any auction. In order to meet this goal, it is necessary that all players understand and practice the principles of Full Disclosure and Active Ethics. Ethical bridge players will recognize the obligation to give complete explanations. They will accept the fact that any such information is entirely for the benefit of the opponents, and may not be used to assist their own partnership.

This procedure uses the admittedly "fuzzy" terminology of "highly unusual and unexpected" as the best practical solution to simplifying the Alert Procedure. "Highly unusual and unexpected" should be determined in light of historical usage rather than local geographical usage. To ensure full disclosure, however, at the end of the auction and before the opening lead declarers are encouraged to volunteer to explain the auction (including available inferences)

In light of that, I would be inclined to alert the 1D opening. Or I might ask a local director before the game if such a bid should be alerted. If in doubt it is always better to alert than not.

Note that one should never say more than "alert" until and unless an opponent asks for an alert to be explained. Offering an explanation unasked can itself be a violation.

In an informal game not sponsored by any organization, procedures are whatever the players agree on.

1

The 1D bid should not be alerted.

The 1C bid should be announced as "May be short".

Note that rebids of 1N after the 1C opening should be alerted (because it's 15-17). I don't know what your rebid of 1N after a 1D means, but quite possibly it should be alerted even if natural.

As a courtesy to your opponents, you should tell your opponents that you're playing weak NT with 1D unbalanced before the round starts, but this isn't required.

You are playing a fairly standard weak 1N (12-14) system; putting all your balanced hands in 1C isn't all that strange, particularly if you open 1D when you have a balanced hand with 5 diamonds.

  • 1
    Note, OP says 1D "promises" an unbalanced hand, either 5+ or 4441, no other 4-card pattern. a balanced hand with 5 D would be opened either 1NT or 1C, depending on strength, as I understand the OP. – David Siegel Aug 5 at 21:05
  • I too believe you are misunderstanding the system. OP clearly states that 1D promises an unbalanced hand, namely an unspecified singleton or void. This is definitely unexpected, in the extreme, so requires an alert plus a pre-alert so I can adjust my defense. In particular, the odds of 1C being a 15-19 NT are much higher than it being a 15+ hand with 5+ Clubs, so I really want to enable my 1NT defenses against that. Bonus - I can adjust them by strength to play weak / strong at 1 and 2 level. – Forget I was ever here Aug 5 at 21:20
  • I too believe you are misunderstanding the system. OP clearly states that 1D promises an unbalanced hand, namely an unspecified singleton or void, in many hands w/o 4D - much like the old Precsion 1D opening. This is definitely unexpected, in the extreme, so requires an alert plus a pre-alert so I can adjust my defense. In particular, the odds of 1C being a 15-19 NT are much higher than it being a 15+ hand with 5+ Clubs, so I really want to enable my 1NT defenses against that. Bonus - I can adjust them by strength to play weak / strong at 1 and 2 level. – Forget I was ever here Aug 5 at 21:34
  • Adding in 11-14 unbalanced hands with clubs (which are 1C openers in this system), I'm pretty sure that 1C is still more likely a club hand. Systems with a weak NT and normal minor openers don't have any alerts (except for the 1N rebid). Systems with strong NT but 1D unbalanced don't have any alerts (unless you count the 1C announcement). It's hard to see why having both would suddenly require an alert. – Alexander Woo Aug 5 at 23:06
  • I know pairs that play 10-12 1N, with 1D diamonds or 12-14 balanced, and 1C clubs or 15-17 balanced. (1D can be 5 clubs and 2 diamonds in a balanced hand, and vice versa for 1C.) They have been almost universally told by directors to announce, not alert, their 1C/1D openers. – Alexander Woo Aug 5 at 23:08
1

The ACBL Alert Chart states (line 1) that:

Natural Calls Not Specifically Noted [with] Unusual strength, shape, etc

must be alerted. Both your 1C and 1D opening bids imply unusual strength and shape requirements, and so must be alerted.

In addition the ACBL Alert Procedures guide states:

Systems that may be Fundamentally Unfamiliar to the Opponents

When you play a system structured along different agreements than [those described in the preceding paragraph], you should draw the opponents’ attention to your convention card before the round begins. In short, if you play a system that most players would not immediately recognize ... or one the opponents may wish to discuss before the auction begins ...), you are required to pre-Alert the opponents.

In my opinion your 1C and 1D openings are such a system agreement, and I would expect a pre-alert along the lines of:

  • All non-forcing openings intending to rebid 1NT or 2NT are opened with 1C.
  • Unbalanced hands of the same ranges with no 5+ Major or Club suit are opened 1D.

I am adamant on the pre-alert because the very advantage that you receive from this agreement is one that the opponents may wish to mitigate by modifying their defenses for.

I can easily conceive of defending your 1C opening as a 15-19 NT, and competing at the 2 level with our 1NT defense. This will interfere with your ability to distinguish between your 15-17 and 18-19 NT openings, and reduce your game bidding accuracy on 3NT and 4M contracts. I would enjoy seeing how that works out for you and partner.

;-)

TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

  • 2
    "Unbalanced hands ... with no 5+ Major are opened 1D." does not describe the specified system. A unbalanced hand with 5C, a 4-card major, 3D and a singleton in the other major would not be opened 1D, nor would other unbalanced hands lacking a 4+ card D suit. Some such hands would be opened 1C, with no intent to rebid NT. – David Siegel Aug 5 at 21:03
  • I wonder how this system opens a hand with 6D, 5C, and opening strength. I rather suspect 1D.Also your wording suggests that 4441 hands are opened 1D even if the short suit is D, but the OP says not. – David Siegel Aug 5 at 21:21
  • @DavidSiegel: Nope. My suggested pre-alert doesn't say or imply that. My comment to Alexander Woo's post does though. – Forget I was ever here Aug 5 at 21:32
  • "Unbalanced hands of the same ranges with no 5+ Major or Club suit are opened 1D." seems to imply that ALL such hands are opened 1D , and possibly that ONLY such hands are opened 1D. It seems that neither of those are correct. Why not pre-alert in terms of what 1D promises rather than what it denies? – David Siegel Aug 5 at 21:47
  • @DavidSiegel: No, that is a logical fallacy. When one states "A imples B" there is never a valid deduction that "B imples A". I have described a type of hand, and the bid that will be made with it. I have made no statement restricting that bid to those hands. – Forget I was ever here Aug 5 at 22:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.