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Weak (Kamikaze) NT

Dear Greenville Area Players,

At the Christmas party game in Greenville on December 9, there were several occasions when Bruce and I were able to use our weak no trump bid. Most of our results using this bid were great, but several opponents expressed negative opinions about the bid.

Instead of disliking it, some of you should consider fighting fire with fire. Here are the parameters of the weak NT bid:

Open 1 NT with 10-12 HC points, except with unfavorable vulnerability or in the pass out position--then your HC point count should be 13-15.

Partner's options (with no intervening bids) are to pass,
bid 2 clubs (non-forcing Stayman),
2 diamonds [ALERT] (forcing, Stayman-like bid, enough points for game, but does not guarantee a 4-card major),
2 hearts (to play),
2 spades (to play),
2 NT (invitational to 3NT),
3NT (to play),
4 clubs (Gerber),
4 NT (quantitative).

If left-hand opponent bids a suit, partner can
bid (e.g., bid own suit to play, bid opponent's suit for Stayman), or
double (always for penalty).

If left-hand opponent doubles, partner can
redouble [ALERT] (which says HELP! I have a terrible hand! Please bid your 4-card suits up the line. This is an SOS or rescue redouble),
pass [ALERT] (showing 9+ points), or
bid a suit (see partner's options above).

The ADVANTAGE of the weak NT bid is that it prevents the opponents from being able to communicate anything about their hands at the one level. If they do come in by doubling or bidding, they will be at the two level; and they will not know the strength of the opening NT bidder's partner's hand.

The DISADVANTAGE of the weak NT bid is that you give up a strong opening NT bid, with all of its bells and whistles (Stayman, transfers, etc.). You will need to devise a way to communicate a 15-17 point balanced hand. This is not a problem for Bruce and me because we play Precision and open all 16+ point hands with "one club."

Perhaps someone who plays 2 over 1 can devise a strategy for the 15-17 point hands so that Standard American and 2 over 1 players can use the weak NT bid. Anyone?

Best wishes,

Nancy Zeller