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 HCPs without a 5-card suit (a); and a bid of 2H as a positive response evidencing the same 8-9 HCPs 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 HCPs (d) ; and a jump to 3NT evidences a balanced hand with 25-27 HCPs (e).
Examples: Opener Responder
(a) 2C(1) 2NT(2) (1) Strong, Artificial, & Forcing
(2) 8-9 HCPs with no 5-card suit
(b) 2C 2H (3) (3) 8-9 HCPs with 5 or more Hearts
(c) 2C 2D(4) (4) Negative, 0-7 HCPs
2H (5) (5) A Natural Heart suit, 5+ Pieces
(d) 2NT (6) (6) A Balanced 23-24 HCP Hand
(e) 2C 2D (7) A Balanced 25-27 HCP Hand
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, Responders 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
(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
(Responder is similarly precluded from a
Jacoby transfer attempt to find a 5-3 Spade fit.)
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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
Responder holds: QJXXXX XX XXX XX
(k) 2C 2D
2NT 3H(9) (9) Jacoby Transfer to Spades
(l) 2C 2D
2NT(10) (10) The normal 23-24 HCP Balanced Hand
Stayman and Jacoby Transfer apply
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 than2H 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.
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