Wednesday, September 28, 2005 3:16 AM

Hand Evaluation - Forcing Pass 2♣





            The forcing 2♣ bid is a unique bid with respect to forcing pass theory. It’s the only action in Bridge that turns on forcing passes with one bid. Forcing pass theory with 2♣ openers needs to be modified slightly in my opinion. It is obvious Bridge that the opponents can not buy the contract undoubled or we can not pass below game. The double by the 2♣ opener should show  all the balanced NT hands or 3 suiters but not a trump stack. Double by responder initially can show a negative , penalty or controls depending on your partnership agreement.


            3 more actions to define with the context of forcing pass theory by the 2♣ opener. The direct bid , the pass & the pass & pull. I think the direct bid by the 2♣ bidder should be the weakest bid possible so if made at the game level  not forcing. Even if partner responded 2 or a positive response , the 2♣ opener bidding at the game level does not setup a force on partner. The auction goes 2♣-P-3♣-3 

4 by the 2♣ bidder. Is this bid forcing ? Since partner has made a positive

response does she owe another bid ? The answer is no because of the pass & pull aspect of forcing pass theory. If the 2♣ opener wants to make a slam try or force to higher levels, the pass is the stronger bid of choice. If the 2♣ opener now pulls partner’s bid or double to a new suit , she is stronger than bidding it directly so maybe even a grand slam try.


            Meckwell have modified their forcing bid structure to have a pass interpreted as a relay to a double. After the obligatory double , a bid means a two suiter. Without that understanding , it is just standard pass & pull theory. In forcing pass theory , the pass & pull is always the strongest action available. I prefer the pass at the two or three level to be played a la Meckwell. Partner must re-open with a double so now a bid shows a two suiter. This is because I open strong two suiters with 2♣ rather than at the one level. At higher levels game or higher, the pass just means that I am setting up a “pass & pull” scenario to show a slam try.


            There are two more bids to describe in these types of auctions. The Q bid & the NT bid . If at the 3 level , why not have 3NT to play by opener ? The 3NT bid is probably based on a long minor with a stopper in their suit. An initial Q bid by the 2♣ opener,  is not allowed as that is natural exposing a psyche in 2♣ theory. If later in the auction , a Q bid should imply a fit for partner.


            Special attention must be given when the opponents jam your auctions with the boss suit spades. 4NT by the 2♣ opener has to be interpreted as a Q bid & show any two suiter combination. A double at the game level of the opponents suit is penalty so has no systemic meaning. It could mean lets just take our plus or describing the NT range of hands. Responder can still pull to 4NT as a relay to clubs so a direct pull by responder would be a slam try. This Lebensohl understanding by responder should apply in 2♣ auctions also.