In the early stages of developing the game of bridge, a need arose for opening a weak Club as opposed to a strong, artificial 1 Club, which was employed mainly to obstruct the bidding of the opponents. The necessity was obvious to many bridge player and the concept grew and evolved to employ other opening bids to reflect a certain distribution of the holding and the strength of the holding.

Thus were, among other opening bids, Beta opening bids born, which were devised around the year 1958 and then compiled, organized and published by Mr. Pierre Collet of Belgium in his original publication Introduction au bridge scientifique, published 1958 in Bruxelles, V.S.G., Belgium and also in a revised edition in the year 1964 by publisher or Editeur Agon, with amazon.com code ASIN: B0000DSDGP.

The concept is based on the Canapé Principle. The concept is to inform the partner as quickly as possible the structure of the opening hand. Please compare with the Alpha Opening Bids, attributed to Mr. Bertrand Romanet of France around 1968.

Opening Bids Only - Source.

Bid Strength Shape
1 : 10-14 high card points Promises a 5-4-x-x plus pattern with a 5-card Major suit, or
  19 high card points plus shows any shape.
1 : 15-18 high card points Shows any shape.
1 : 10-14 high card points Promises a 4-card plus Heart suit.
1 : 10-14 high card points Promises 4-card plus Spade suit.
1 NT: 12-14 high card points Shows a balanced distribution.
2 : 11-13 high card points Promises a 6-card plus Club suit. (May also be selected to show both Minor suits.)
2 : 10-16 high card points Promise a 6-card plus Diamond suit. (May also be selected to show both Minor suits.)
2 : 9-11 high card points Promises a 6-card plus Heart suit, or
  11-13 high card points promises a 5-card Heart suit and a distribution of 3-5-3-2.
2 : 9-11 high card points Promises a 6-card plus Spade suit, or
  11-13 high card points promises a 5-card Spade suit with a distribution of 5-3-3-2.

The responses, if no opponent overcalls, consists of Relay bids and Canapé sequences to reach the final contract. In the original concept, if there was a direct overcall, which did not prevent the partnership from employing Relay bids and Canapé sequences, then the overcall was not considered to be obstructive and the auction proceeded as if no overcall had been made. However, if the direct overcall prevented the partnership from employing Relay bids and Canapé sequences, then the responses were considered to be natural and systems off.

 

Omega Transfer Openings

The student may also wish to research the other developments of Mr. Pierre Collet. He founded a bridge magazine, Bridge de Competition, in which he and other contributors , among other things, devised other concepts based upon the idea of a weak club opening. One result was the developement of the Omega Transfer Openings, which is a concept based upon the idea of employing the original Beta opening bids, in conjunction with transfer opening bids on the three level to show either a one-suiter preempt or a two-suited holding with a minimum of a 5-5 distribution and a maximum of 4 Losing Tricks.

See: Weak-Strong 1 Club Opening.

 

Omega Transfer Opening Bids

Some publications also include the following opening bids on the three level for the Beta opening bids, which are defined as transfer bids, but without additional information. It is only speculation that Mr. Pierre Collet, beginning in the year 1958, developed the Beta opening bids and made the decision to include the devised Omega Transfer Opening Bids in his re-issued and updated and expanded version, which was published in 1964/1965. This information has not, however, been substantiated and any additional or more non-speculative information would be appreciated. The additional opening bids are shown below;

Bid Losing Trick Count Meaning
2 NT: Promises 4 or fewer Losing Tricks A relay bid to 3 Clubs. Responder, without competition must complete the relay to 3 Clubs.
3 : Promises 4 or fewer Losing Tricks A relay bid to 3 Diamonds. Responder, without competition must complete the relay to 3 Clubs.
3 : Promises 4 or fewer Losing Tricks A relay bid to 3 Hearts. Responder, without competition must complete the relay to 3 Clubs.
3 : Promises 4 or fewer Losing Tricks A relay bid to 3 Spades. Responder, without competition must complete the relay to 3 Clubs.

The inclusion of these additional bids is presented only in a historical sense since the Omega Transfer Bids on the three level do not include the opening bid of 2 No Trump.

Any additonal and historical information from our visitors would be greatly appreciated since the search for these publications by Mr. Pierre Collet have been without result.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

 


     
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