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That Nebulous Diamond



The 1D opening bid is well known as a strong club system’s weak point. This is inevitable in the absence of the natural 1C bid which does so much work in Standard systems. The 1D bid is expected to do nearly everything that is done by 1C and 1D. This scheme uses other opening bids to share that work-load. Opener can classify simply the hand type that he holds. Opening bids of 1D through to 3C all show 10-14 points.

Astute readers will note that this is, essentially, a strong club version of Jorj Club, Posted here. Further explanation of some of the sequences can be found by referring to that Post. It is a re-think of something I wrote in 2003, posted as a reply in an earlier Post here.

The 1D bid is used to show natural 1D opening with 5+cards in the suit or a balanced hand with 4432 or 4333 shape, but possibly 2335 with either minor. The high-card strength of the balanced hand can be shown in sub-ranges of 10-12 and 13-14 points.

The 2C bid is used to show a 6+ card club single-suiter.

The bids 1NT, 2D, 2H and 2S are used to show the shapes which are usually incorporated in a natural 1C or 1D opening bid, the three-suiters and the 45+ shapes. These hands are given scant treatment anywhere. All we need to know about the bidder’s hand can be found by making the 2D strong response to 1NT or 2NT over the others. Other replies are natural and not forcing, but often correctable.

Following an opening bid of 1C and a 1D response, showing 0-9 points, opener’s 1H is the strong continuation, all 20+ points. Responder can give a second negative, 0-5 points, or begin a natural description. Opener’s other rebids are natural and limited to 15-19 points.

Auctions following the other opening bids are described below.


Opening Bids.

1C__________All 15+ points

1D__________10-14 points, balanced OR 5+ diamonds, no 4-card major, any club length.

1H/S________10-14 points 5+ card suit.

1NT_________10-14 points three-suiter with both majors.

2C__________10-14 points 6+ clubs no 4-card suit

2D/H/S______10-14 points 4-card suit, lower-ranking 5+ card minor. The 2H and 2S bids may include a three-suiter short in the other major.

2NT*________10-14 points 5+5+ in diamonds and a major or both majors. 3C is the strong reply, others are correctable.

3C*_________10-14 points 5+5+ in clubs and a major. 3D is the strong reply.


*As jump overcalls these bids have the same meaning but when made over a possible suit, that suit is denied, so they show a specific two-suiter. The cue bid of a major is used to show a minor two-suiter. It is a corollary, that an opening bid of 1H or 1S, will not contain 5+ cards in a minor.


Auctions beginning with 1D.

The strong artificial, Positive reply to 1D is 1H which shows all 10+.

Double or redouble replaces 1H as the Positive reply when 1D is overcalled but now promises 12+ points, new suits are not forcing.

Other replies are limited to 6-9 points in uncontested auctions, 6-11 points over intervention.

1S shows 4+ spades and is not forcing. No longer lower-ranking suit.

1NT shows 4+ hearts and is not forcing. No longer lower-ranking suit.

2C denies four cards in a major and is either longer or of equal in length to responder’s diamond holding.

2D denies four cards in a major and shows longer diamonds than clubs.

2H and 2S show a four-card suit with a long minor.


The 1D opener’s rebids after a 1H Positive reply.

1S_____10-12 points, balanced. Opener’s strong continuation is 2C, shape ask, 1NT is to play.

1NT_____13-14 points, balanced and can be passed. 2C is shape ask, other two-level bids are natural not forcing.

Other rebids all show 10-14 points and deny a four-card major.

2C_____5+ diamonds, 4+ clubs.

2D_____6+ diamonds, no three-card major or 4+ card club suit.

2H/S____6+ diamonds, three cards in the bid major but not the other one. Not 4+ cards in clubs.

2NT_____6 or 7 diamonds, 3-3 in the majors

When there is intervention either before or after the Positive reply, opener’s first two steps show the balanced hand, minimum bids in each of the five denominations have the “natural” meaning as above. Pass of rho intervention is step one and double or redouble is step two.

When opener shows a balanced hand and is asked to describe it, replies in the five denominations always have the same meaning. Clubs shows clubs only, diamonds shows diamonds only, hearts shows hearts, spades shows spades and NT shows both minors. When there is intervention on describer’s right, pass shows the denomination below and double or redouble shows the last bid denomination.


Other opening bids

In response to 1H or 1S no special methods are required.

In response to 1NT, the Positive reply is 2D, any 12+. Opener bids 2H with a low, club, shortage 2S, shows 4414, and 2NT shows 4405 with 0-2 controls etc. Opener will not hold five cards in a major. 2H or 2S is to play, 2C denies 4+ cards in a major and is correctable to 2D.

In response to 2C, the Positive reply is 2D, two of major shows a 5+card suit and is not forcing. In reply to 2D, 2H or 2S shows a three-card suit, 2NT shows 3-3 in the majors, 3C shows 2227 or a more extreme single-suiter, 3D shows a three-card suit, no three-card major, low shortage, then 2263, 1273, 0283, etc.

In response the 2D/H/S, the Positive reply is 2NT. In reply to 2NT after 2D, the first step shows low shortage, the second 2245 etc. After an opening 2H or 2S the steps show, long clubs, long diamonds, 4144 or 1444, three-suiter with five clubs, three-suiter with five diamonds 0-2 controls, etc. New suits are natural, not forcing, and correctable.

In response to 2NT, 3C is the Positive reply. Opener bids 3D with both majors, and bids a major with that major and diamonds. Other replies are correctable.

In response to 3C, 3D is the Positive reply. Three of a major is correctable.

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