Acol game forcing 2C opening bd

Partnership played 2C as a game forcing opening bid. Would this hand have qualified for an Acol 2C opening bid?

S A8
H 875
D ----
C AKQ96542

Comments

  • edited August 6
    Yes
    Edit... just noticed that it was clubs....
    So, not by agreement. The opener is not limited by partnership agreements though. However, if they keep doing this then it becomes an agreement by experience.
    With 16+ HCP its fine, or with 5 controls, but not if it is clubs i think
  • As a TD question: it is permitted to agree to open this hand as "strong" opening bid, so can be opened 2C.

    As a player/bidding/system question, this is not an Acol GF opening 2C, it does not have enough defence and enough tricks.

  • This hand has sufficient defensive strength that an agreement that this could be considered "game forcing" would be allowed (even though it has clubs and the bid is an artificial club bid). The line for "sufficient defence for a strong bid" is drawn at AAA, AAKJ, AKKK, or 16 HCP (on the AKQJ=4321 scale), so this hand is allowed to be used as part of a bid described with language that implies defensive strength.

    However, most players would not consider it a "standard" game forcing 2C bid, thus if the opponents ask, you could not describe it as one without additional clarification, as doing so would mislead them as to what the bid shows. (A sensible description would be along the lines of "game forcing, but might be a bit weaker than most people's idea of a game forcing bid, if so it's likely to have a long suit".)

  • @110113 said:
    Partnership played 2C as a game forcing opening bid. Would this hand have qualified for an Acol 2C opening bid?

    Along with everyone else I'm assuming that the agreement is that this is any game forcing hand, i.e. the fact that the suit held is the suit bid is coincidental, and they would still open 2!c with
    (a) the same hand with suits switched; and with
    (b) a genuine rock crusher with lots of lovely HCP.

    If so, then to agree to open this hand with 2!c is legal because it has at least 12 HCP and at least 5 controls.

    Disclosure of the expectations for the bid is key. As a savvy opponent I might try to probe about the minimum vales expected by asking something along the lines of "would AKQ to 7 and an Ace be enough?". The problem is that it's the less-savvy opponents who are prone to fall foul of their own assumption that "game forcing" equates to lots of lovely HCP; and such opponents probably wouldn't think to probe further if told that the bid was game forcing. So ais523 is spot on in saying that the description "game forcing" must be qualified in some way if both partners are on the same wavelength that this hand is within the tolerances for opening 2!c .

    Before anyone bothers to point it out, I am aware that there are allegedly lots of clubs where everybody does this and nobody would bat an eyelid :s .

  • The hand only has two defensive tricks - I was aware there was any legally (EBU or WBF) defining of 'sufficient defence for a strong bid'. It qualifies as a 'strong hand' under the Blue Book since it has 5 controls and is a pretty good hand that qualifies under a Benjamin 2 Club hand. (8 playing tricks in an unspecified suit: if the suit is not clubs then the hand may not be strong). It is a King above Average so qualifies as a strong hand under WBF quidelines I believe.

    Playing Acol (23+ points or game forcing) the hand does not qualify for a 2 Club bid. If your partnership WOULD open this hand 2C by agreement then you would have to qualify the explanation (23+ points balanced, game forcing with one or more major suits, or 9+ probable tricks in a minor suit and a strong hand).

    If I had no agreement with a partner then I would apply the criterion: If I open 1 Club and partner passes may I have missed game? I think that you would need partner to produce a bid before game is certain.

  • @weejonnie said:
    The hand only has two defensive tricks - I was aware there was any legally (EBU or WBF) defining of 'sufficient defence for a strong bid'. ...

    I assume you meant "unaware", as there isn't any such requirement. I think that when BarkerBridgeTD referred to a "player/bidding/system question" he was trying to make a point quite separate from what is permitted under the regulations. I could put it in a couple of ways:
    (a) experience of bridge players generally over the years has been that it is sensible bridge to require a certain minimum amount of defence when making a bid that is a partnership's strongest initial action (if one doesn't have that minimum, but has a lot of playing strength, the hand is essentially a good high-level pre-empt and better treated as such); or
    (b) if you were teaching bridge, you wouldn't advocate making the same bid with the hand posited as you would with the hypothetical rock crusher with lots of lovely HCP - you would want to set the minimum standard for your strongest opening bid rather higher in terms of defence outside the main suit.

    If I had no agreement with a partner then I would apply the criterion: If I open 1 Club and partner passes may I have missed game? I think that you would need partner to produce a bid before game is certain.

    Spot on, IMO.

    There are of course tactical reasons why one might not want to open 1!c , principally because it is not at all unlikely that it is the opponents who have a game. They can't bid and make their 4M game if you open the hand 5!c , for example. But keeping them out of their game by opening 2!c with less than complete disclosure, so that their mindset is that it cannot possibly be their hand, is not how bridge should be played.

  • TagTag
    edited August 7

    As already said, it's weak for a traditional 2C opener but, under current rules, it's a "strong" hand and it is legal to agree to open this hand with 2C. It is misinformation or a psych, though, if it is described as 10+ tricks in own hand and that's their agreement.

    Is it still illegal to psych a 2C opening?

  • On the other hand, if they then bid to 5C opposite a Yarborough, isn't the bid as described?

  • edited August 7

    If the opponents bid 5D or 5H over 5C is this hand happy for partner to choose between 6C and double.

    For me, a GF 2C opening is not prepared for the opponents to declare undoubled.

  • @Tag said:
    Is it still illegal to psych a 2C opening?

    No. Last para of 1.4.1 in the White Book.

    @BarkerBridgeTD said:
    If the opponents bid 5D or 5H over 5C is this hand happy for partner to choose between 6C and double.

    For me, a GF 2C opening is not prepared for the opponents to declare undoubled.

    I totally agree, but that is a matter of style rather than regulation. Having said that, I do think that it is a good rule of thumb that anything weaker than that requires a caveat to "game forcing" in describing the agreement.

  • [Martin] "With 16+ HCP its fine, or with 5 controls, but not if it is clubs i think"

    [weejonnie] "it has 5 controls and is a pretty good hand that qualifies under a Benjamin 2 Club hand. (8 playing tricks in an unspecified suit: if the suit is not clubs then the hand may not be strong)"

    The possession of a club suit is a red herring in this discussion. The question was whether the hand qualifies as an Acol 2!c opener. So long as it's correctly disclosed, it just scrapes in as a "Blue Book strong" hand, and which the principal suit is is immaterial.

    Weejonnie is right that it would be legal to have an agreement to open weaker hands than this with 2!c providing the principal suit is not clubs, but this would have to be clearly disclosed, and not described as an Acol 2!c, or a Benjamin 2!c.

  • @Abbeybear said:

    @Tag said:
    Is it still illegal to psych a 2C opening?

    No. Last para of 1.4.1 in the White Book.

    Thank you

  • Thanks Vix :)

  • Re: the "sufficient defence" argument, IIRC the "16 HCP or 12 HCP + 5 controls" requirement is intended to ensure that a strong bid has sufficient defence to not mislead the opponents into thinking that their own contracts can't make, but it's defined the way it is in order to be objective. (You can construct a hand fulfilling these requirements with almost no defence, such as!s AK5432!h K!d K!c 65432, but such hands would be very rare; a hand with 5 controls or 16 HCP is likely to have defensive tricks in it somewhere.)

  • I've had occasions when I've opened with a strong (16+) 1C and opponents have still had slam on. There are few guarantees in this game.

  • But nobody plays that a strong 1C opening is game forcing,

  • TagTag
    edited August 9

    Very true but my point was that having a "strong" hand doesn't imply that you have defensive tricks, merely defensive expectations.

  • I stopped arguing about what was permitted as a "strong" opening on the first line of my first response.

    Since the second line of my first response, I have been discussing what should be played as a Game Forcing 2C opening.

  • That's okay, since my comment on the 1C opener was aimed mostly at ais523.

    I agree with you, though, that a 2C opener should be a proverbial rock-crusher, very strong and semi-balanced or game-in-own-hand. The comment, "I'm glad I didn't pass your 3C" has occasionally caused me to lift an eyebrow.

  • Well, I play 3 weak 2s and so my 2C bid is wide ranging *and is announced as - this is our strongest bid but may not be all that strong.

    As this covers the traditional strong 2 as I was taught (8 winning tricks in a major, 9 in a minor), plus the traditional rock crusher.

    S AKQ109876
    H Void
    D KQ
    C QJ10

    This hand expects to make game in own hand with not much (if anything) from partner, so, for me 2C it is. 1S is an underbid and 4S is too...

    We also play 2D as a forced relay, so that the opener can describe their hand - 2S in this instance and on from there, depending on responders holding.

    However, 6H could conceivably be on for the ops.

  • @BarkerBridgeTD said:
    But nobody plays that a strong 1C opening is game forcing,

    One of the reasons why I like to play a strong club system is that one is not forced to make a choice at one's first turn as to whether or not to show a GF or nearly GF hand. All these questions like "is there a risk that we will miss game if partner passes a NF opening?" and "do I have enough defence?" just don't arise. One just shows something strong(ish) with 1!c and responder gets a chance to show what, if anything, he has and - with luck - whether it is likely to be useful, all at a relatively low level. Unless, of course, the pesky opponents wander in on bus tickets, which does frequently present a challenge.

    One problem with auctions starting with a strong GF or near GF opening is that on the grounds of frequency many partnerships probably don't have enough discussion about their methods after opening one of them. I had one of those last night - we play splinters, and I saw no reason why I couldn't splinter after a strong 2!c opening, a 2!d essentially waiting response and a major suit rebid. Partner thought otherwise. Not a regular partnership, but one where we'd spent some time discussing various sequences without bothering with anything after a 2!c opening apart from the immediate responses.

  • @BarkerBridgeTD said:
    But nobody plays that a strong 1C opening is game forcing,

    Which is why I submitted to the L&E some time ago that it was illogical to apply to strong 1!c openings the same standards (in terms of the minimum strength permitted under the regulations) that were applied to GF or nearly GF 2!c and similar openings. At the time, they didn't want to know. Now that the minimum strength requirements have been changed to something with which virtually any hand I can seriously contemplate opening a strong 1!c will be compliant, I'm a happy bunny. :)

  • "They didn't want to know" isn't quite fair. "They had a big argument about it" would be more accurate.

  • @Frances said:
    "They didn't want to know" isn't quite fair. "They had a big argument about it" would be more accurate.

    My apologies. I appreciate that the very brief response I had from the then L&E Secretary which led me to make the comment would not have been expected to disclose whether the suggestion was thrown out instantly or declined after hours of exciting discussions.

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