Unusual vs. unusual bridge convention

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This is an offensive bidding convention designed to deal—and defeat —  with the often problematic interference bid of 2 No-Trump after an opening in a major suit. Such a 2 NT interference bid promises a distribution of at least 5-5 in the minor suits and invites partner to bid either 3 Clubs or Diamonds, whatever the partner’s preference. This interference often makes it difficult for the partnership which opened the auction with a one bid in a major to find their ideal contract, even though they very probably have the majority of the points. The defensive interference takes a lot of bidding space away from the original bidders.

The idea of the “unusual vs. unusual” bidding convention is to fight fire with fire, to steal a page out of the opponents’ book, turn the tables on them and take bidding space away from them for a change.

Here’s how it goes:

North opens 1 Spade and East follows with the irksome 2 NT bid. As the South partner of the 1 Spade opener, you should:

Bid 3 Clubs if you have at least 10 high-card points and have a five-card Heart suit. This bid takes the place of the normal 2 Hearts bid you would have made without the interference. It gives the original opening Spade bidder a chance to support Hearts at the 3 or 4 level if he has support in that suit.

Bid 3 Diamonds if you have a limit raise in Spades, the suit in which your partner opened, with 10-plus points and Spade support. This bid takes the place of the normal 3 Spades limit raise that would have been made without the 2 NT interference.

Bid 3 Hearts with a weak hand (6-9 points) and a six-card Heart suit, and

Bid 3 Spades if you have at least 3 Spades and 6-9 points, which would have been a normal weak raise to 2 Spades without the defensive 2 NT interference.

The advantage of all of these bids is that they take the normal 3 Clubs or 3 Diamonds bids away from the responder to the unusual 2 NT original interference bidder. So the original 2 NT bidder still doesn’t know if partner prefers Clubs or Diamonds. If they want to continue bidding and interfering, now they have to go to the 4 level, which is more risky and raises the possible level of pain on them.

Unusual bids are fought with unusual means – thyat’s why the convention is called “unusual vs. unusual.”

Return to the Bridge Burglar’s Guide to Bridge Bidding Conventions

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