My System -Malta 2013



1. Signals

On partner's lead: Attitude:  odd encouraging: even - discouraging: high even -I want a high suit back , low even - I want a low suitback    Beware a 4 might be high, a 7 could still be low: observe what's in dummy and what declarer plays

On declarer's lead: Count: high-low = even no. of cards: low + odd no.  Probably only realistically do this when no entry in Dummy for a long suit there, to tell you when to play your ace!

When discarding: McKenny. A low card in say Ds says I want a C. A high card in Ds, I want a S, assuming I am discarding on a H. So, to say I want a S, I could throw a high D or a high C, but even then, not always possible

When leading my suit to give you a certain ruff, a low card shows my entry is in the lower suit, a high card led shows I have an entry in the higher suit.

2. Overcalls

Simple overcall: 5+ suit, 8+ points

Jump overcall: Weak, usually 6 cards. But, in protective seat, ie 1C P P 2H is an Intermediate Jump Overcall, say 11-14 points

Fit Jump. In response to an overcall shows 4 + card support and a 5 card suit with at least 2 honours

1C P P 1Nt is 10-14 points and a good stopper.
1C P P X is ~ 15-19 points if balanced
1C P P 2NT would be 20 -22 points
1C P P 1H  would be 5 good Hs and 9+ points

Not really too sure about all this!

3. Cue Bid.
Michaels. 1C 2C shows both majors, preferably 55 but if non vulnerable could just be 5 4,with good HCP in the 4. At least 8 HCP, a bit more if vulnerable
1C 2NT shows Hs & Ds ,    preferably 55 but could just be 54. At least 8 HCP, a bit more if vulnerable
1H 2H shows  Ss & a minor, preferably 55 but could just be 54. At least 8 HCP, a bit more if vulnerable
1H 2NT shows both minors, preferably 55 but could just be 54. At least 8 HCP, a bit more if vulnerable

Unassuming Cue Bid  Opposite partner's overcall, a cue bid shows support for partner's suit & a strong hand, 10+ HCP
Opposite partner's double, a cue bid is a strong hand asking partner to choose the major

4. After Opponents open in a suit :  1NT = 16-18 HCP in direct seat, 10 - 14 points in protective seat. Transfers and Stayman still apply

5. After opponents open 1NT, X is for penalties and is to be left in, for penalties, however weak partner may be.. So, need 15+ points and a fairly certain source of tricks, say a long fairly solid suit. After this X, if opponents go on bidding, any more Xs are for penalties
2C is both majors, at least 5 4.  Partner chooses or says 2D if he wants overcaller to choose
2D, 2H or 2S are natural, a good 5 card suit/6 card, and at least 11 HCP
2NT is 5 5 in the minors. Partner chooses.

6. After a weak 2 opener: X = takeout, at least an opening hand . Partner replies 2NT /2S over 2H,  if <= 7 HCP = Lebensohl, then doubler bids 3C  .
2NT = 16+ balanced

7. After a weak 3:  X =  takeout
3NT = 18+ Hcp balanced
3 of a new suit to play
4 NT = both minors


9.After opponent  doubles for takeout;  Truscott 2NT  is 10+ points and 3 card support for the major
XX is 10+ points and no support.
a new suit is forcing

10. After an opponent's double, bid  1 level higher than normal if supporting partner's opener  So. 1H X 3H is preemptive

11. Responding to your partner's overcall, support to the level of the number of trumps you hold. ie. 1C 1H P 2H shows you hold 3 Hs, 0 - 9 points . With 10+ points, bid 2C.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1C 1H P 3H would show 4 Hs , 0-9 points


Negative. 1C 1H X shows at least 6 pointsand 4Ss. 1C 1H 1S shows 5 spades. . .1C 1D X should show both majors . 1H 1S X shows 6+ points, no support for Hs and no stopper in Ss.

Reopening X. . . . 1C 1H P P X. Above minimum opening, tolerance for Ds & Ss

15. Transfers. These apply after 1NT & 2NT openers & after a 1NT overcall.

??, a]] super accept & b] breaking played. ?? ie. a] 1NT 2D 3H says 14 HCP and 4 Hs. b]. 1NT 2D 2S shows 14 HCP , 4 Hs and a small - no AKQ - doubleton in named suit, here Ss - but could be Cs/Ds - 3C/D response

16. Stayman

Played over any natural 1NT or 2NT bid by partner . Weak stayman also played with, say, xxxx, xxxx, xxxx, x and very weak - leaves partner's 2D/2H/2S reply


20. Two level Openers

a]. 2C . . 8 1/2 Playing tricks [PT] Responses : 1. 2D= weak, <10 points, ie no slam . 2. 2H, 2S, 2NT, 3C, 3D = 9+ points, 5 card suits, else 2NT. What about 9+ points and a 4441 distribution??

b]. 2D . . 10 P T or 23 + HCP . Responses : 2 H < 7 points, ie no slam. Anything higher is positive

c]. 2NT. . .20-22 points

d]. 2H/S . Weak, 5-9 HCP and a 6 card suit . Replies : 1]. 2NT is Ogust - please describe your hand partner: 3C= weak HCP, 5-7, & only 1 of the top 3 honours; 3D= weak HCP , 2 honours; 3H = 8-9 HCP, 1 honour; 3S =8-9 HCP, 2 honours; 3NT = max, 3 honours

2]. A change of suit at the 2 level is NF, at the 3 level it is forcing

3]. A simple raise of the major is pre-emptive - not to be replied to!!

21. Slam Conventions

Roman Keycard Blackwood.0314

Quantative 4NT . 1NT P 4NT asks partner to bid 6 NT if max.   In Spain, 1NT = 12-14, so 4NT is 19 points: In Malta, 1NT is 16-18, so 4NT would be 15 points 

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