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THE DRURY CONVENTION
A. BACKGROUND:†† After two previous passes at the table, the third player may sometimes opt to open the bidding relatively freely; i.e., with several HCP's less than that normally required.† This is partly because of the negation of the responsibility of a rebid (partner has already passed), partly because the bid made may inconvenience the forth player who has yet to have the opportunity to open the bidding (the player who is likely to have the best hand at the table), and partly because partner may utilize the information for lead directing significance should that team ultimately become defenders of an eventual contract by the opponents.
In third seat, after two successive passes, one may open with any holding which would otherwise be good enough to be a sound overcall (even as low as 8‑9 HCP's).†† If the answer to the question, "IF MY RIGHT‑HAND OPPONENT WOULD HAVE OPENED 1‑CLUB, USING THE† SUIT† QUALITY† TEST, WITH THIS HOLDING, WOULD I HAVE WANTED TO OVERCALL?", is yes, one should open the hand in third seat.
SUIT QUALITY TEST ‑ A suit is strong enough for an overcall if‑ THE LENGTH IN THE SUIT + THE NUMBER OF HONORS IN THAT SUIT (THE JACK AND TEN ARE COUNTED AS HONORS IF HIGHER HONORS ARE ALSO HELD) = THE NUMBER OF TRICKS TO BE BID.††† Thus, if the suit quality = seven (7), the hand would qualify for a super‑light third seat opening bid at the one‑level.
††††††††††† †XX††† †††††† AQXXX †††††††† AKQX
EXAMPLES:††††††††† AKlOXX††† †† KIOX†††††† †††††††† XXX
†††††††† (a)†††††† QXX††† † (b)† XX†† †††††† (c)†† XXX
†XXX††††† †† QXX† †††††††† QXXX
†††††† In third seat, players who use a 5‑card major system are likely to open 1H with (a), and 1S with (b & c).†† Their reasons are simple.†† They want to direct the lead if they become defenders, and their opening pre‑empts most of the bids at the 1‑level from their opponents.†† In addition, they are not afraid of being raised on 3‑card support with the 5-card holding as in (a) or (b) above, or even such a fine 4‑card suit as in (c).
In forth seat, after three successive passes, the same principal of opening with a less than sound opening also applies, especially, when the RULE OF 15 (Lesson 15), is employed.
NOW LET US TURN OUR ATTENTION TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE.
B. PURPOSE:††† After passing, the responder to a third or fourth‑chair opening bid faces two special problem in describing his/her hand:
(1) A simple change of suit is no longer forcing (opener knows responder has less than
opening values), so responder cannot make a temporizing bid; opener my pass.
(2) The opener may well have opened the bidding on a sub‑minimum hand so that a jump†††††††
†††††† response by responder could easily get the partnership too high.
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Suppose you pick up (JXX†† AXX†† KQXXX†† JX) and after passing, partner opens 1S in third or forth chair.†† What response do you make?†† Does partner have a full opening count or perhaps a third-position sub-minimum 10-12 HCPís?†† If you just raise to 2S it is an underbid, and if partner has a 14‑15 point true opening bid, opener would pass and you could be playing in a final inferior part‑score contract.†† If , on the other hand, you bid 3S, and opener has a hand as in (b) or (c) above (a sub‑minimum opening), 3S is likely to be too high.†† In short, responder does not have a good bid available which will describe the maximum previously-passed hand with support for opener's suit.†† Determining the nature (full or sub‑minimum) of partner's third or forth seat opening is crucial in finding the best level of the final contract.†† Utilizing the Drury Convention enables responder to show his/her fit and values WITHOUT jumping to the 3‑level.
C. REQUIREMENTS:†† To use the Drury Convention, the responder must have both:
a. A previously passing 10‑12 point hand (one just short of the values needed for a minimum
†††††††††††† opening bid) and:
b. Either:††††††††† (1) A fit for opener's Major suit third or forth‑seat opening bid or,
†††††††††††††††††††††† (2) A good 6‑card Club suit that responder expects to rebid irrespective
of opener's response to the Drury Convention.
D. INVOKING THE CONVENTION:†† Responder bids an Artificial "2C" in response to a third or forth chair opening bid.† This 2‑Club response does NOT say anything about responder's Club holding (unless Clubs are subsequently rebid by responder); but simply asks opener whether or not he/she has a full opening bid.
E. RESPONSE BY OPENER:†† Opener's primary obligation is to inform responder as to whether or not a full opening bid is present.†† The Rebids by the responder are as follows:
1.††† "2D" ‑ An Artificial response denying a full opening bid thus evidencing a sub‑minimum
opener.†† This bid, being artificial, says nothing about opener's Diamond suit.
2.††† 2H or 2S ‑ A repeat of openerís suit evidencing a full opening count.
3.††† 3C or 3D ‑ A natural rebid with more than full values for the original 1H or IS opening.
4.††† 3H or 3S ‑ A game-force and slam-interest opening hand with.
F. RESPONSE BY RESPONDER:†† Responder, knowing the sub‑minimum, normal, or slam interest value of opener's hand, now takes control and either bids:
1.††† 2H or 2S ‑ in response to the artificial "2D" response by opener denying a full
2.††† 3C ‑ A drop dead 6‑card Club suit with no support for partner's stated Major suit.
3.††† 3H or 3S ‑ Invitational to game
4.††† 4H or 4S ‑ A sign‑off in response to opener's full opening bid.
G. †SIGNIFICANCE OF RESPONDERíS BID OTHER THAN "2DĒ:† †Since responder is a previously-passed hand, his/her bid is not forcing and can be passed. opener is, therefore, relieved of his/her normal obligation of an opening bidder to keep the bidding open by rebidding something.
H. OPENER'S RESPONSE TO "2C" AFTER INTERFERENCE BY THE OPPONENTS: A pass should signify a sub-minimum opening and anything else signifies a full normal opening bid.