By Peter Rhead
Responding to partner’s Unusual Two No-Trump
This week we examine your responses to partner’s Unusual Two No-Trump bid for double-suited five-five hands.
First of all, the Unusual Two No-Trump (2NT) complements Michaels Cuebid. The Unusual 2NT takes care of some of the two-suited five-five hands that cannot be handled with Michaels Cuebid. Partner’s Michaels bid shows a competing two-suited hand of at least five-five, one of which or both must be a major. The Unusual 2NT handles two-suited hands that cannot be shown by Michaels such as two five-five minors.
First a short review of the Unusual 2NT. Your left hand opponent (LHO) opens at the one level of any suit. You have the Unusual 2NT agreement with your partner. If your partner overcalls and bids 2NT, he has one of the following two-suited five-five hands. The Unusual 2NT overcall shows five-five in the TWO LOWEST UNBID SUITS.
After One Spade, 2NT shows Diamonds and Clubs (two lowest unbid suits)
After One Heart, 2NT shows Diamonds and Clubs
After One Club, 2NT shows Hearts and Diamonds
After One Diamond, 2NT shows Hearts and Clubs
From partner’s 2NT bid, you now know partner is two-suited and exactly what suits he has. The Unusual 2NT works the same way if your right-hand opponent opens at the one level of any suit. Remember, the bid is for the two lowest unbid suits.
Now that partner has shared his five-five information with you, your next bid is to tell partner which (if any) of his two suits you prefer, depending on the strength of your hand.
Guideline One: Either partner may proceed to part-score, game or slam if warranted.
Guideline Two: If you can support one of partner’s known suits, show it right away.
Guideline Three: Remember, the Unusual 2NT is for the two lowest unbid suits.
Guideline Four: Overcalling with the Unusual 2NT, partner should have either a weak point count (under ten) or an opening strong 1NT point count (15-17). Otherwise, he bids naturally per agreement.
Guideline Five: With a lower point count, you are looking for a part score or game opportunity because you may have a good fit or double fit.
Guideline Six: With the Unusual 2NT, there is no way to show a Spade suit. You must bid Spades naturally if you want to show them.
For more information, read “Michaels Cuebid” and “Unusual Two-No-Trump” in Barbara Seagram’s 25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know, page 127.
Next Week: Examples of responding to Unusual 2NT.
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to include it in this column.
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