Brown Sticker convention

Hello all;

If possible I would like to have your opinions on whether the following 2D opening is considered as Brown sticker convention

( A pair is playing it as a partnership agreement and their all bids are alerted accordingly )

2D =
a) 6-10 hcp 6cH
b) 15-16 hcp 5Cl-4D-4H ( void SP)
c) 15-16 hcp 5D-4Cl-4H ( Void SP)
d) 20-21 hcp Balance (5cM possible)

2D = pas 2H ( 0-13 hcp with any dist. ) pas

pas = 6-10 6cH
2SP =15-16 5D-4Cl-4H ( Void SP)
2NT = 20-21 Balance w 5cM poss.
3CL = 15-16 5Cl-4D-4H ( void SP )

2D pas 2NT ( 14+ hcp with any dist. ) pas

3CL = 15-16 5Cl-4D-4H ( void SP)
3D = 9-10 6cH
3H = 6-8 6cH
3SP =15-16 5D-4Cl-4H ( Void SP)
3NT= 9-10 6cH ARD(J)xxx
4NT = 20-21 Balance ( 5cM poss.)

As far as I know "Suction- interference to 1nt opening ) " is also regarded as BSC ( please correct me if not )

Looking forward to receiving from you.



  • to make it clear

    2D------------ pas -------- 2H ( 0-13 hcp w any dist) -----------Pas

    2D --------------Pas----------------- 2NT ( 14+ hcp w any dist) -------- Pas

  • Interesting. It looks like a wierd kind of multi to me. To quote C1 from the Blue Book, the pair is allowed "one or both of a) and b) below"

    a) any meaning or meanings as long as they all show a strong hand (16+ HCP, or 12+ HCP and 5 controls)

    • If the 5-4-4-0 options show strong hands, all options except weak with hearts fall under a), so that would be permitted. As reported, some 15 point hands with leass than 5 controls might qualify, in which case a) only covers the strong balanced hand.

    b)At most one from the following four options; - the weak hand with hearts is covered by
    b) iv) - Any combination of meanings that show either or both of
    1) At least 5 cards in a suit, specified or not, which must not be the suit opened and/or
    2) At least 5-4 in two suits, either or both of which may be specified or not, but both of which must not be the suit opened.

    So, if the void was in diamonds we could sneak the 5-4-4-0 hands in under b)iv)2) alongside the heart suit under b)iv)1)

    It's worth noting that the 5-4-4-0 hands do qualify under b)i) and b) iii), but we can't combine those with b) iv). So it doesn't quite seem to be licensed at level 4 without a small tweak.

    I don't think it's brown sticker though, 9 A 3 a) categorises that as "any bid of 2C through 3S that : Could be weak (tick) AND does not show at least four cards in a known suit - It does promise 4 hearts.

    Actually I realise as writing this that the strong balanced hand might not have 4 hearts - there's a further footnote which seems to note this exception, so not brown sticker.

  • The 2!d Multi opening is not a Brown Sticker Convention but it isn't quite permitted at EBU Level 4, and that is down to the different definitions by WBF and EBU in regulating what each considers a "Strong" hand. (Some 15 HCP hands are not "Strong" in EBU-land but they are all "Strong" in WBF-land and presumably ABF-land where I recollect you to be.)

    Your 2!d opening would be allowed in EBU-land at Level 5.

    The "Suction" defence to a natural 1NT opening is also not a Brown Sticker Convention and it is also permitted at EBU Level 4. This is all because there are no restrictions at WBF Category 3 or at EBU Level 4 on any defences to a natural 1NT opening.

    So, if you are playing to WBF Category 3, both your Multi and Suction would be permitted.

    Most TDs in England will never need to concern themselves with Brown Sticker Conventions and HUMs as they are a criteria only at EBU Level 5, and Level 5 is allowed only at a very small number of National events.

    Barrie Partridge - CTD for Bridge Club Live

  • Brown Sticker is defined in the Blue Book 2017. On page 30:

    The bid always shows at least four cards in a known suit if it is weak. If the bid does not show a known four-card suit it must show a hand a king or more over average strength.

    Option (a) is weak with a known suit, the other options are King pr more above average. So 2D is not Brown Sticker.

    Brown Sticker only applies to opening bids and overcall, so the responses and continuations do not make the system Brown Sticker.

    2D is nearly EBU level 4 - the 15 HCP would need 5 high-card controls.

  • Where does the term "Brown Sticker" come from?

  • @JeremyChild: "Brown Sticker" is part of the WBF's systems policy, relevant for events under WBF rules (comparable to the EBU's Level 5). In some events, there are limits to how many Brown Sticker conventions you can play (either 0 or sometimes a higher specific number). WBF colour-codes convention cards according to how highly artificial the system is; I think they used to (maybe still do) put physical brown stickers on convention cards using Brown Sticker conventions to warn that, e.g., "this system is mostly natural but one of its bids is really weird".

    This particular opening is clearly not Brown Sticker; it's not two-suited, not an overcall and not a psyche, so the only relevant prohibition is WBF Systems Policy 2.4a. This has an explicit exception: "Where all the weak meanings show at least four cards in one known suit, and the strong meanings show a hand with a king or more above average strength, it is not a Brown Sticker Convention." For HCP-based bidding systems, "average strength" is defined as a flat 10-count, so the only "weak meaning" is "6-10 hcp 6cH", which contains 4 cards in a known suit (hearts); the other meanings all show 13+ HCP so the details don't matter.

    Under EBU rules, this convention would be level 5: a hand like - KQxx KQxx KQxxx would be a 2!d opening showing (among other things) diamonds, with only 4 hearts, 15 HCP, and 3 controls; at level 4, that would not be usable in the same opening bid as a weak single-suiter in hearts. (To be legal, the bid would need to guarantee 1 more HCP, 2 more controls, or 1 more heart.)

  • @JeremyChild said:
    Where does the term "Brown Sticker" come from?

    WBF system policy classified systems as Green (natural/standard, nothing to see here = 2C strong ART), Blue (strong/blue club = 1C strong ART), Red (artificial, e.g. 1D = strong ART), Yellow (highly artificial/unusual, HUM, e.g. forcing pass). There is a space on the WBF system/convention card for a sticker of the appropriate colour. These colours mainly relate to 1-level opening. Brown Sticker relates to 2/3-level openings and would require a further sticker - but now disclosure requirements are more onerous.

  • Note the WBF system policy
    has replaced "King above average strength" by "13 high card points or more".

    As David Burn said elsewhere (but now I can't find it on BridgeWinners), HCP is adopted as a lingua franca for regulation and disclosure.

  • As others have said, the 2D opening is not 'Brown Sticker' under WBF definitions

    'Suction' is also not Brown Sticker under WBF definitions, which for the most part only apply to opening bids and overcalls of a natural 1-of-a-suit opening.

    (Suction fails if it includes showing a 'two-suiter' without at least 4 cards in each of the two suits)

    Whether either is allowed where you play depends on local regulation.
    In England (EBU) any defence is allowed to a 1NT opening, including Suction
    The 2D opening would only be allowed at Level 5, although if the 3-suited options were 16+ HCP it would be OK.

    The responses being played are not relevant.

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