Congratulations to Jocelyn and Stephen who won the Rising Stars competition, pictured with Phil and Sandra who were runners up. 26 pairs took part.
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The introduction of announcements is the most important change to the rules of bridge for a long time. It should considerably reduce the need for questions to be asked during the auction.
Announcements will replace alerts in situations where players are using common conventions e.g. Stayman and Red Suit Transfers.
Announcements will also be used to notify your opponents of the range of your 1 No Trump Opening bid.
When your partner opens 1 No Trump you must immediately state (announce) the range. You do this by saying ‘12 to 14’ or ‘15 to 18 ‘ or whatever is your agreed opening range.
Do not wait to be asked or for your right hand opponent to bid or pass. You must also add if it is your agreement ‘may contain a singleton. If your opponents need further information they can ask or consult your convention card.
You open 1 No Trump. Partner remembers to announce the range and then bids 2♣ You announce this as ‘Stayman’ if it is asking you to bid a 4 card major if you have one or 2♦ if you do not. For the purpose of announcements Stayman is defined as a 2♣ asking bid to which the ONLY permitted responses are 2♦, 2♥, or 2♠.
The response of 2♦ denying a four card major needs no alert or announcement.
You open 1 No Trump. Again Partner is on the ball and remembers to announce the range. He then bids 2♦ or 2♥. At the moment these bids are alerted but they are nearly always a transfer to hearts or spades. If you want to be sure you have to ask and this can cause ethical problems if you ask and then pass.
In future when partner bids 2♦ or 2♥ intended as a transfer you announce it as ’Hearts’ or ‘Spades’. Your response of 2♥ or 2♠ to complete the transfer needs no alert or announcement.
From the 1st August 2007 ALL Opening Two Bids will be alerted or announced. This applies to natural as well as artificial bids.
Natural Opening Two Bids will be announced as ‘Weak’, ‘intermediate’, ‘Strong - forcing’, or ‘Strong - not forcing’.
‘Weak’ - typical range is 5 to 10 high card points.
‘Intermediate’ - typical range is 11 to 15 high card points.
‘Strong - forcing’ - 16 + high card points, forcing to at least 2 NT.
‘Strong - not forcing ‘- 16 + high card points, can be passed.
If an opening two bids promises more than one suit it must be alerted even if the suit bid is the longer or stronger.
Any Opening Two Bid which is not natural will continue to be alerted as at present. This includes an opening Acol 2 ♣.