Blue Team (Italian: squadra azzurra) became the popular name for the Italian International Bridge Team, which had many international successes during the years 1956 to 1975. The captain and the members of the Blue Team devised a bidding system, which is still played today. The Blue Team Club was the result of the efforts of the Italian Bridge Federation, Mr. Carl Alberto Perroux, the team captain, and the team members, who dedicated themselves to the study of the game of bridge.

Note: Mr. Carl Alberto Perroux was born in the year 1905 in the city of Modena, Italy, and died in the year 1977. In the Daily Bulletin, No. 6, covering the 8th Philip Morris European Pairs Championships, conducted in Rome, Italy, March 21-26, 1995, a short synopsis is presented about Mr. Carl Alberto Perroux. These few brief paragraphs are presented below. This Bulletin issue has only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Mr. Carl Alberto Perroux did not play in any of the teams successful championships, yet he was perhaps the most important single member of the team.

A trial lawyer in private life, Perroux was non-play- ing captain of the team through the fifties and early sixties and was responsible for turning a group of talented individuals into, firstly three partnerships and, secondly a team.

He was noted for his tough discipline and was said to check that team members went to bed early during tournaments (fine with your bulletin team) and on their own (not so fine).

Players who broke the rules were benched, even if it hurt the team in the short term. Perroux was also a President of the Italian Bridge Federation.

Note: The original members of the squadra azzurra were: Mr. Walter Avarelli, Mr. Giorgio Belladonna,Mr. Pietro Forque, Mr. Benito Garozzo, Mr. Massimo D'Alelio, and Mr. Camillo Pabis Ticci. Other members of the squadra azzurra were added in following years: Mr. Eugenio Chiaradia, Mr. Guglielmo Siniscalco, Mr. Dano De Falco, Mr. Arturo Franco, and Mr. Vito PittalĂ .

The picture below shows Mr. Carl Alberto Perroux. He was born in the year 1905 in Modena, Italy, and died in the year 1977. He was the contract bridge official, founder, and long time non-playing captain of the Blue Team of Italy, which was the most successful team in Italian bridge history and also by international tournaments. He was a criminal attorney in private life and, as such, he demanded discipline and accuracy from the team members. He was the captain of the team during the 1950s and also the early 1960s.

     

Requirements

As the designation implies, the opening of 1 Club communicates the following information:

1. The opening bid is forcing for one round unless competition interferes with any communicative normal responses.
2. The opening bid promises 17 plus high card points, without any distributional points, using the Work Point of 4-3-2-1.

Note: Subtle differentiations were made for this particular opening bid in that the bid is sometimes, however infrequent, based on a distributional factor which may define a 1 Club opening with slightly fewer than 17 points, or a weaker 1 Club opening with exactly 17 points.

Responses

The responses to a 1 Club opening show controls by steps, counting an Ace as 2 controls and a King as 1 control. The bridge student will notice that the response method is outlined to include its theoretically possible limit of communicating 7 controls.

Response Controls   Points
1 : Shows 0-2 controls.   Shows fewer than 6 points.
1 : Shows 0-2 controls.   Shows 6 points plus.
1 : Shows 3 controls.   Shows at least 10 points.
1 NT: Shows 4 controls.   Shows at least 12 points.
2 : Shows 5 controls.   Shows at least 16 points.
2 : Shows 6 controls.   Shows at least 20 points.
2 : Shows a 6-card suit. Shows 2 honors and fewer than 6 points in the bid suit.
2 : Shows a 6-card suit.   Shows 2 honors and fewer than 6 points in the bid suit.
2 NT: Shows 7 controls.   Shows at least 24 points.

Immediate Overcall on the One Level

If there is an immediate overcall on the one level after a 1 Club opening, the Blue Team Club bidding system compensates for this action.

Opener   Overcaller   Responder        
1   1   Pass   equals 1st step response:   Promises 0-2 controls, fewer than 6 points.
    1   Double   equals 2nd step response:   Promises 0-2 controls, 6 points plus.
    1   Pass   equals 1st step response:   Promises 0-2 controls, fewer than 6 points.
    1   Double   equals 2nd step response:   Promises 0-2 controls, 6 points plus.

All other responses retain their original meaning and are showing controls. All responses on the two level are made as if there had been no direct overcall.

Immediate Overcall on the Two Level

If there is an immediate overcall on the two level after a 1 Club opening, the Blue Team Club bidding system also compensates for this action.

Opener   Overcaller   Responder        
1   2   Pass   equals 1st step response:   Promises 0-2 controls, fewer than 6 points.
    2   Double   equals 2nd step response:   Promises 0-2 controls, 6 points plus.
    2   2 / 2   forcing for one round:   Shows good suit with values.
    2   2 NT   shows 3 or 4 controls:   Shows a stopper in opponent's suit.
    2   3   cuebid:   Shows 5 or more controls

Using the guidelines of the Blue Team Club bidding system, a 1 Club opening is forcing to 1 No Trump at least, if the first response is 1, and to 2 NT, if the first response is 1. If there is any other first response, then the partnership is committed to game.

Any jump rebid by the opener in a suit is game-forcing. If the opener rebids 1 No Trump or 2 No Trump, the Stayman convention is system on, and the responder can ask for a 4-card Major suit.

If the partnership is committed to game, then the first rebid by the responder will be his best suit at the lowest level, and any following rebids by the responder will show any features he may hold.

Openings of 1 Diamond, 1 Heart, or 1 Spade

These opening bids are natural, limited bids, and promises 12 to 16 high card points, and at least a 4-card suit.

Responses

Jump Raises are limited raises.
A 2 No Trump response is invitational, 11-12 points, 4-3-3-3 distribution.
Jump Shifts indicate a (semi)-solid suit and 13 points or more.
Stronger holdings are bid according to the Canapé principle.
Responder's first bid suit may be artificial if the second suit is a higher-ranking suit.
Any response at the two level is forcing for one round, or at least to 2 No Trump.

Opening is 1 Heart or 1 Spade

Opener   Responder    
1   1    
1 NT   4   Second-round jump by responder, hows first suit is the trump suit, and responder shows control in Clubs.
         
Opener   Responder    
1   2    
2   4   Second-round jump by responder, shows first suit is the trump suit, and responder shows control in Diamonds.

Any second-round jump by the responder decides the Trump suit as the first bid suit by the opener, and shows first round control in that suit, which has to be a Minor suit. This is known as the Blue Team Four Club - Four Diamond convention.

Note: If the opener has a maximum opening of 1 Diamond, 1 Heart, or 1 Spade between 14 and 16 high card points, then the opener can make a jump rebid or even a reverse rebid. However, if most of the points are located in the bid suits, then it is preferable for the opener to make a strong rebid.

1 No Trump Opening

A 1 No Trump opening bid promises either of two holdings:

A. 1 NT   13-15 points   Shows a Club suit and exactly 3 cards in each Major suit. The distribution is either 3-3-2-5 or 3-3-3-4. Balanced holding, or
B. 1 NT   16-17 points   Balanced holding.

The responder should respond when holding either values based on high card points and/or distribution.

1. Minor suit responses are completely aftificial.
2. A bid of 2 Clubs promises 8-11 points.
    a. if the opener has a strong No Trump, 16-17 points, then the opener should rebid 2 Spades.
        * a rebid of 2 No Trump by the responder asks for a Major suit.
        * Minor suit rebids by the responder are non-forcing.
    b.   with the weaker No Trump range, the opener will make another Two Level rebid to describe the strength and Club length.
        * any rebid by the responder then become non-forcing, only invitational .
3. A bid of 2 Diamonds by the responder shows a minimum of 12 points, and is completely forcing for one round and/or to game.
    a. if the opener has the stronger No Trump range, he bids a 4-card Major suit.
    b. if the opener has the stronger No Trump range, and no 4-card Major suit, his rebid is 3 Clubs.
        * after a 3 Club rebid by the opener, the responder can ask about the Minor suits by rebidding 3 Diamonds.
    c. if the opener has the weaker No Trump range, and the responder has bid 2 Diamonds, the opener rebids 2 No Trump to show the weaker No Trump range.
        * the responder rebids 3 Diamonds asking opener to further describe his holding, his strength, and the number of cards held in the Club suit in 4 steps.
4. Jump responses by the responder to the Three Level show 6-card suits headed by 2 of the top 3 honors with 6-7 points support. Jump responses of 4 Clubs transfer the opener to 4 Hearts, and Jump responses of 4 Diamonds transfer the opener to 4 Spades.

Opening of 2 Clubs

A 2 Clubs opening indicates a good Club suit with at least a 5-card Club suit, and a minimum of 12 to 16 points. In the case that the opener holds a second 4-card suit, then the opener has a minimum of 15 points.

Opener   Responder    Meaning
2   2   Artificial, requests partner to bid a second suit.
2 NT   Indicates no second suit and stoppers in two outside suits.
3       Indicates no second suit and only one stopper in an outside suit.
    3   Asking rebid of opener to rebid his stoppers.

Any other two level response besides 2 Diamonds are natural and non-forcing responses. Jump responses to the three level are completely game-forcing.

Opening Bids on the Three Level

Any suit opening on the three level is a natural preempt showing at least 7 playing tricks. The responses are the same with normal preempts. If the partner has 2 playing tricks and stoppers in the other unbid suits, the final contract should be 3 No Trump. If the partner has 3 playing tricks and entries in his holding, then game should be attempted.

Slam Attempts

Any and all slam attempts are considered under the employment of the Roman Blackwood conventional method. This means that only the 4 Aces were counted as Key Cards. This means that a response over 4 No Trump of 5 Clubs shows 1 Ace or 4 Aces. A response of 5 Diamonds shows zero Aces or 3 Aces.

Note: Certain situations in the Blue Team Club bidding system created circumstances where a bid of 4 No Trump becomes a natural slam invitation. This invitation can be rejected and the partner will sign off in the agreed suit, or the partner may pass the 4 No Trump bid, or the partner can accept the slam invitation by bidding an additional feature or Key Card.

 

 

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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