Advanced Bridge

 

Lesson 6

 

MARSHALL MILES CONVENTION OVER “2C” OPENING BIDS

 

     The traditional method of responding to a strong, artificial, and forcing “2C” opening utilizes a bid of 2NT as a positive response evidencing 8-9 HCP’s without a 5-card suit (a); and a bid of 2H as a positive response evidencing the same 8-9 HCP’s with a reasonably good 5-card or longer Heart holding (b).    Traditionally, as well, rebids by the Opening bidder of 2H following a negative bid of “2D” by Responder evidences a 5-card or longer Heart suit held by Opener (c); a 2NT rebid evidences a balanced hand with 23-24 HCP’s (d) ; and a jump to 3NT evidences a balanced hand with 25-27 HCP’s (e).

 

  Examples:      Opener        Responder

 

    (a)         “2C”(1)         2NT(2)   (1) Strong, Artificial, & Forcing

(2) 8-9 HCP’s with no 5-card suit

 

    (b)         “2C”            2H (3)   (3) 8-9 HCP’s with 5 or more Hearts

 

    (c)         “2C”           “2D”(4)   (4) Negative, 0-7 HCP’s

                 2H (5)                  (5) A Natural Heart suit, 5+ Pieces

                                         

                “2C”           “2D”      

    (d)         2NT (6)                  (6) A Balanced 23-24 HCP Hand

 

                                        

    (e)         “2C”           “2D”      (7) A Balanced 25-27 HCP Hand

                3NT (7)

 

     The above bidding sequences present multiple problems.  In example (a), should the partnership decide upon a No Trump contract, the strong opener hand becomes the tabled Dummy with the weaker hand thus becomes Declarer.   In example (b), the same problem of the wrong hand becoming the open hand exists should Hearts become the final contract.   Furthermore, Responder’s ability to utilize Stayman in example (f), or a Jacoby Transfer bid in example (g), in either instance in order to explore for a Major suit fit, is precluded in that an unsuccessful attempt will necessarily take the partnership beyond the 3NT level .

 

  Examples:    Opener     Responder

 

(f)        “2C”         “2D”   Responder holds:   XXXX  KXXX  XXXX  X

            3NT         ????  

                               (Responder must Pass. Opener might

   not have a 4-card Major and the  partnership inadvertently exceed the   

   3NT level as a result of the desired Stayman attempt, thus precluded.)

 

(g)        “2C”         “2D”   Responder holds:   AXXXX  XX  XXXX  XX

            3NT         ????   

                                   (Responder is similarly precluded from a  

       Jacoby transfer attempt to find a 5-3 Spade fit.)

                                                                                                                                                           - 16 -

 

     The Miles method of responding makes use of a reversal in meaning of either, or both, the Heart and No Trump bids by the Responder and the Opener with beneficial effects in both instances.   As you will see, the above-listed problems will be eliminated by means of this technic.

 

 

A.    Miles Rebids By the Opening “2C” Strong, Artificial, and Forcing Bidder -

 

           In the Miles system, subsequent to a “2D” negative 0-7 HCP response from Responder, when opener bids a rebid of “2H” it is a either a true Heart suit, else a hand where opener would have otherwise jumped to 3NT evidencing a 25-27 HCP count.   Opener, thus, uses a “2H” rebid as a 2-way response.; i.e., evidencing either a natural Heart suit, else a very strong NT hand.  Responder must then puppet “2S” to allow opener to show his real holding.   If opener bids 2NT, he/she has a 25-27 HCP balanced hand allowing for Staymen or Jacoby Transfers to be employed by responder without by-passing 3NT, and if opener rebids anything other than 2NT, he/she has a legitimate Heart suit.  Responder then acts accordingly.

 

    Examples:         Responder holds:   XXXX  KXXX  XX  XXX

 

      (h)   Opener          Responder

             “2C”             “2D”    (1) A 2-Way bid requesting a “2S” puppet

             “2H”(1)          “2S”(2) (2) A requested artificial puppet bid

       3H(3) or [4C or 4D](4)  4H     (3) A natural Heart suit

 (4) Hearts and Clubs or Diamonds; etc.

 

(i)    “2C”             “2D”    (5) A Balanced 25-27 HCP Hand which

       “2H”(1)          “2S”(2)      would have normally rebid 3NT

       “2NT”(5)         “3C”(6) (6) Stayman - Responder will exit at 3NT      

       if no Major fit is found

 

                      Responder holds:   XXX  KXXXX  XX  XXX

 

       (j)    “2C”             “2D”    

       “2H”             “2S”    (7) Jacoby Transfer to Hearts

       “2NT”            “3D”(7) (8) Check-back looking for 3 Hearts

        3H               3NT(8)

 

                      Responder holds:   QJXXXX  XX  XXX  XX

 

       (k)    “2C”             “2D”    

       “2H”             “2S”

       “2NT”            “3H”(9) (9) Jacoby Transfer to Spades

        3S               4S

 

----------------------------------------------------------

 

      (l)    “2C”             “2D”    

       2NT(10)                  (10) The normal 23-24 HCP Balanced Hand

                                       Stayman and Jacoby Transfer apply   

                                       as usual

                                                                                                                                                          - 17-

 

 

B.    Miles Bids By the Responder -  In the instances where responder would normally have made a positive response of either 2H or 2NT, he/she reverses these two bids.

 

          Examples:         Responder holds:   XX  KQXXX  KXX  XXX

 

      (m)   Opener          Responder

             “2C”             “2NT”(11)   (11) A positive 8-9 HCP Heart bid

              4H                                   holding 5 or more pieces - Opener who is likely to hold 3 or more pieces can then bid Hearts and the stronger hand thus remains the concealed hand.  A potential disadvantage to this singular possibility is that should opener not have 3 or more Hearts, and the end contract be in NT, then the opener will not be the declarer.

 

 

                            Responder holds:   XX  KQX  KXXX  XXXX

 

      (n)   Opener          Responder

             “2C”             “2H”(12)   (12) A positive 8-9 HCP NT bid

          3NT or 3S                              absent any 5-card suit. 

                                                Opener, who is now likely to want to exit into NT now remains declarer.

 

 

C.    Miles Bids By the Responder other than”2H” or “2NT” - The Miles convention retains the standard meanings of the responses of 2S, 3C, or 3D.   Each of these bids show a reasonable suit and a hand worth a positive response.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- 18 -