System Summary Form, 2020 USBF Invitational 2

Team: Harris Last Updated Jul 12, 2020 at 11:16
Players: Martin Harris - Miriam Harris-Botzum

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Bids that Require Advance Preparation


1. 1C opening: can be very short (4-4-4-1) because we need 5 D to open 1D.

2. 3C opening: at least 5-5 in the minors, 8-13 HCP (10-13 if Vul.).

3. 4m openings: at least 10 tricks with a solid suit in the corresponding major (C = H).


4. After ALL 1-level openings (not just 1C), we use TRANSFER RESPONSES to show an unbid Major:

After a 1C opening:
1D = 4+ hearts (if GF, will have 5+ H)
1H = 4+ spades (if GF, will have 5+ S)
1S = catchall: no 4+ major, bal or unbal.

After a 1D opening:
1H = 4+ spades (if GF, will have 5+ S)
1S = 5+ hearts.

After a 1H opening: 1NT = 5+ S:
* if GF, will have 6+ S or 5-5 shape.

After a 1S opening: 2D = 5+ H:
* If < inv.: always 6+ H
* If inv.: 5+ H
* If GF: must have 6+ H or 5-5 shape.

After opening 1H we also use Kaplan Inversion:
1S = 0-4 spades (it's like a "forcing NT").

5. 1M - 2PS: SPECIAL ALERT. This is a NF offer to play, but it's quite strong and could have only 2 card support. There are 3 hand types:

a. Mixed raise (4+ trumps) (8-11 pts).

b. 3-card limit raise (12-13 HCP) (3 in PS) (4+ cards in other major) (bal.)

c. 2 card inv. (12-13 HCP) (2 in PS) (exactly 4 in other major) (bal.)

6. 1S - 1NT: "Forcing NT," but the range is 0-11 or 14-29 HCP. 4 card support is common, and 5 H is possible with a GF. Most GF hands go thru 1NT, but it will never have exactly inv. strength (12-13). Includes all 3 card constructive raises, 4 card raises too weak for a mixed raise, and busts we choose to respond with, as well as normal "forcing NT" hands and most GF hands.

7. 1H - 1S. Kaplan inversion, so it's the same wide-ranging "forcing NT" as 1S - 1NT.

8. 1H - 1NT: Kaplan inversion, so 5+ S. Range is 0-13 HCP.

8. After we open in either minor, we play Michaels (or Flannery) against ourselves:

* 1C - 2C: Resp has 5 S and 4+ H with less than a GF (0-13).

* 1D - 2D: Resp usually has exactly 4 S and 5+ H with less than a GF (0-13). 6 H and 4 S is common, but can only be 5-5 if invitational.

9. 1C - 2D or 2H: TRANSFER to the Major. It's a two-way bid: either a WJS (5+ Major, 0-5 HCP) or a GF (canape: 4 card Major with a longer minor, unbal.).

10. 1D - 1NT: 0 to 13 HCP. Denies 4 S but often has 4 H. Tends to have 0-2 D but can have support. Strongly tends to deny 6+ C as Resp can show 6+ C immediately with any strength.

11. 1D - 2H: inv. D raise (12-13 HCP, either 4+ D or 3D with a singleton major) (can have 4 H but denies 4 S).

12. 1m - 2S: TRANSFER, 6+ C. After a 1C opening it's GF, but after 1D it's inv+.

13. 1D - 3D: wide-ranging raise (0-11 HCP, 3+ D) (can have 4 H but denies 4 S).


14. Many unusual doubles including in common, 1-level auctions. X is often NOT a Negative X. Sometimes it's a transfer; other times it shows a strong balanced hand; etc. If we alert a double, we strongly advise you to ask.

15. General Comp Philosophy: In comp, we give up many natural bids that normally would show a minor suit in order to have multiple, artif ways to: (a) raise partner's Major; and (b) show an unbid Major. When raising PS we usually can distinguish 3 vs. 4+ trumps, as well as weak vs. mixed vs. inv+.

16. In MANY competitive auctions our Responder uses TRANSFERS and/or SWITCHES. For example, we open 1m, you overcall 1M. Responder's bids are:

* 2C (inv.+, 5+ cards in the other Major).
* 2D (artif. GF) (bal., denies the OM).
* 2H (inv.+, 5+ C)
* 2S (inv.+, 5+ D).
We use a nearly identical structure after we open 1C and you jump overcall 2S.

17. Transfer advances after we overcall 1M.

18. If our auction has already created a GF, we use Pass-Double inversion. Pass = clear decision (either penalty or a slam try), while X = doubt / unsure. If we've found a fit already, the X often means, "I'm leaning toward bidding one more but it's up to you." This does not apply if we simply bid game under pressure, only if we made a GF call below game or Q-bid to say "it's our hand."

General Bidding Style


1. The base of our system is a 5551 structure: 5 card Majors, and 1D also promises 5. 1C can be a singleton (if 4-4-4-1), but it's usually 2+ C.

2. When our opening bid shows a 5+ card suit, we open very light: our 1D and 1M openings include most 10 counts. However, our 1C opening (which can be very short) generally shows at least 12 HCP (rarely a very good 11).

3. OTOH, we have no strong forcing opening, so all 1-level openings are unlimited. They're not forcing (we do occasionally pass them), but we often respond very light, including with 0 HCP.

4. 1NT = 14 to 17 HCP (any 14). 5422 and 6322 shapes are common, but almost never a singleton.

5. Our 1C opening is usually a weak NT (12-13), could be very short. We open 1C on all balanced or semi-balanced hands out of range for NT without a 5 card side suit (so 12-13 or 18-21). It also includes all 4441s.
When the 1C opening is unbal., there are three main hand types: (a) all 4441s, (b) 5431 with 5 C and longer D than S; or (c) 16+ HCP. Other unbal. hands in the 10-15 range with primary C open 2C, not 1C.
In 3 infrequent cases, the 1C opener can have 5D: (a) < 16 HCP, 4-4-5-0; (b) < 16 HCP, 2-4-2-5; or (c) 18-21 HCP, 5332 or 5422.

6. All of our 2-level openings are intermediate and natural, 8-15 HCP:

* 2C = 8-15, 5+ C with some shape. Must have 6+ C if only 8-11 HCP, but with 12-15 it includes some 5431s (only those where diamonds are longer than spades).

* 2D = 8-15, 5+ D, denies 4 S but can have other side suits. Usually 6+ D, but with 12-15 HCP, can be 5431 with 4 H.

* 2M = 8-15 HCP, 6+ M; denies 4+ in OM.

* These 2-level openings remove certain hand types from our 1D and 1M openings, specificallY:

7. 1M opening: tends to show exactly a 5 card suit. Opener can only have 6+ M if: (a) 16+ HCP; or (b) 4+ in OM.

8. Our 1D opening usually delivers exactly 5 D and usually denies 4 H. To have 6+ D, must have 16+ HCP or S as a side suit. To have 4 H, must have 16+ HCP.


9. We do NOT use 2/1 methods. There's always an artif. GF response, while most 2-level responses are conventional and weaker. Lots of relays.

10. We never make control bids in slam try sequences. Instead we use asking bids to pinpoint partner's shape, HCP range, key cards, etc.

11. We FREQUENTLY use judgment about what shape to show, as well upgrading or downgrading HCP ranges (unlike many pairs, we sometimes do downgrade). For example, with 5431 that includes a stiff honor, we might show 5422. Likewise, with Jxxxx or xxxxx in a Major, we often show it as a 4 card suit (this includes opening 1C instead of 1M).

Opening Leads AND Leads in the Middle of the Hand

1. Opening spot card leads vs. NT: MODIFIED ATTITUDE (low = serious interest: 5+ cards or HHxx). From 4 cards (Hxxx or xxxx) we lead lowest spot in the 6-8 range, or the 5 if not holding any of the 6 to 8. From 3 cards or shorter we lead highest spot (even from Hxx)

2. Honor leads vs. NT:
* A and K are standard.
* Q promises a 4+ card suit with the J.
* J shows 3 or fewer, with either Q or T if 3.
* Ten promises 4+ cards with either the J or 9.
* No power card.

3. Opening spot card lead vs. suits: 3rd from even, low from odd.

4. Honor lead vs. suits: Opening lead is Rusinow (K from AK, Q from KQ, etc.), except standard: (a) in partner's unraised suit, and (b) by a preemptor. In normal situations an Ace lead denies the King. At the 5-level or higher, Ace asks attitude, K asks count.

5. After the opening lead: we lead attitude on the first round of a suit vs. both suits and NT. For later rounds of a suit we usually lead original 4th, unless bridge logic requires otherwise.

6. Coded 9s and 10s (J denies) AFTER the opening lead, but NOT on opening lead -- vs. both suits and NT.

Defensive Signals

UDCA: Attitude, count, and discards are upside-down (low encourages or shows even #). Suit preference is standard.

When partner leads: we usually signal attitude. But when attitude is obvious we may give suit preference.

When following to declarer's lead: at trick 2 it's Smith Echo vs NT (high-low encourages). We also use Smith Echo on the first round of the trump suit vs suit contracts, but only if attitude about that suit is still in doubt.

When following to declarers lead later in the hand, we usually give suit pref early in the hand and count later, but it depends on which one we think partner needs more in context. This applies vs. both suits and NT.