[BLML] Pear(-shape) of Davids Burn

Jerry Fusselman jfusselman at gmail.com
Sat Jan 16 03:53:37 CET 2010

 Robert Frick writes
> Suppose our partnership agreement is to open 1 NT with 15-17 HCP. However,
> because I like to play the hand, I always open 1NT with 14 HCP. My partner
> has never noticed, and my partner plays a learned system of responses to
> my 1NT that is not affected by my opening 1NT with 14 HCP.
> It seems to me that opening 1NT with 14 HCP is part of my methods. Right?
> Is it part of our system?

I note that your hypothetical is "I always open 1NT with 14 HCP."

In answer to your two questions, I am tempted to say methods, yes,
system, no.  I am tempted because each partner is allowed some
latitude for style.  But I think this would be the wrong answer in the

In the ACBL, I think what you describe is illegal.  You would announce
15-17 when your partner opens 1NT, but he should announce 14-17 when
you open 1NT.  You are varying your system by who opens.

You are not going to be able open very many 14 HCP hands with 1NT
before someone complains, and then you will have to admit that you
always open your NT-distribution 14-counts with 1NT.  Then partner
will have to announce the new range, and then you have illegal

In the ACBL, it is illegal to have a full-point difference in your NT
ranges.  If you open 25% of your 14-HCP hands with 1NT and your
partner opens 0%, then you may be okay provided both of you open 1 NT
on 95% of your 15-HCP hands with proper distribution.

Had you used weak twos for your example, the ACBL would probably allow
it most of the time, provided you kept within a rigid HCP range, like
5-11, in about 100% of the cases.  If you keep within a rigid range
for your weak twos, you are allowed a great deal of latitude for
passing in some of the cases.  With that one proviso, one of you can
be much more aggressive.  But not for opening 1NT.

Jerry Fusselman

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