The Crash convention was devised by Mr. Christopher (Kit) Woolsey and Mr. Steve Robinson, and was originally devised as a means to enter the auction with weak two-suited holdings after an artificial 1 Club opening by the opponents. However, it was soon discovered that a slightly altered version could easily be employed against a No Trump opening by the opponents.

Features of the Concept

This conventional defense method is generally used against a No Trump range of 15-17 high card points. As with the original conventional method the designation of Crash is a formation of Color, RAnk, SHape. The overcalls are intended to communicate at least one of these features. This conventional method is generally used against a No Trump range of 15-17 high card points, but can be adjusted to suit the needs of the partnership.

     
     

Designation and Concept

The designation of the Crash defense method is a formation of Color, RAnk, SHape. The overcalls are intended to communicate at least one of these features. The guidelines are shown below, which communicate the following information. The employment of the double is treated separately in order to be more informative.

Note specifically the difference in the definitions of the double for an unpassed and for a passed hand. All other

Opponents open with 1 No Trump - Overcaller may not have passed previously:

Double: Penalty oriented if the overcaller has not previously passed.
Double: Shows a two-suited holding of the same shape, pointed or rounded, if the overcaller is a passed hand.
 
South   West   North   East   Meaning
Pass   Pass   Pass   1 NT   Normally the range is 15-17 points.
Double               Promises a two-suited holding of the same shape, either Hearts and Clubs (rounded) or Spades and Diamonds (pointed).
2 : An artificial bid and shows a two-suited hand, either both red suits (Hearts and Diamonds) or both black suits (Spades and Clubs).
2 : An artificial bid and shows two suits of the same rank, either both Major suits (Spades and Hearts) or both Minor suits (Clubs and Diamonds).
2 : This is a natural bid and shows a one-suited holding in Hearts.
2 : This is a natural bid and shows a one-suited holding in Spades.
2 NT: If bid by an unpassed hand in the immediate position, then this shows a two-suited holding or the same shape, pointed or rounded. Pointed suits are Spades and Diamonds and rounded suits are Hearts and Clubs.

Example 1

East   South   Meaning
KJ65
AQ4
K75
A83
 
73
KJ1087
AQ982
5
   
1 NT       The range of the No Trump opening is explained as showing 15 to 17 points.
    2   The Crash Over No Trump conventional method is initiated. This is an artificial bid and shows a two-suited hand, either both red suits (Hearts and Diamonds) or both black suits (Spades and Clubs).

Example 2

East   South   Meaning
AQ5
KJ65
A84
K75
 
KJ1087
73
5
AQ982
   
1 NT       The range of the No Trump opening is explained as showing 15 to 17 points.
    2   The Crash Over No Trump conventional method is initiated. This is an artificial bid and shows a two-suited hand, either both red suits (Hearts and Diamonds) or both black suits (Spades and Clubs).

The bridge student will notice that the same overcall is made on both examples. In Example 1 the overcaller, South, is two-suited in both red suits, Hearts and Diamonds. In Example 2 the overcaller, South, is two-suited in both black suits, Spades and Clubs.

The Double and an Overcall

When the immediate overcall is a double, then this is for penalty if the overcaller is an unpassed hand. This is an important element and must be strictly observed. If the overcaller has not had a chance to bid or call before an opponent opens No Trump, then an immediate double by this player is for penalty. The partner must pass.

However, if the intervenor is a passed hand, then the intervenor holds insufficient values for a penalty double. For this reason the intervenor is communicating other information, namely that the holding consists of a two-suited holding of the same shape, pointed or rounded. Pointed suits are Spades and Diamonds and rounded suits are Hearts and Clubs. This double by a passed hand is artificial and forcing.

Example

South   West   North   East   Meaning
KJ1087
73
AQ982
5
 
xx
xxxx
xxx
xxxx
 
xxx
xxxx
xx
xxxx
 
AQ5
KJ6
K84
A753
   
Pass   Pass   Pass   1 NT   The range of the No Trump opening is explained as showing 15 to 17 points.
Double               Since South is a passed hand, then the double shows a two-suited holding of the same shape, pointed or rounded. Pointed suits are Spades and Diamonds and rounded suits are Hearts and Clubs. This double by a passed hand is artificial and forcing.

The defender in the fourth seat, or the player sitting to the right of the No Trump bidder, is the player, who sits in front of the No Trump bidder. In the case that this player holds the stronger of the two defensive holdings and doubles for penalty, then the opener or No Trump bidder, if becoming the declarer, has additional information and is in a position to successfully use this information to not only make the contract, but also overtricks, since the No Trump bidder is able to infer the location of the missing values.

For this reason the double in this position is not logical. In this position in the auction the defenders to a No Trump bid by the opponents should assign the double an artificial meaning, namely that it shows a two-suited holding of the same shape, pointed or rounded. Pointed suits are Spades and Diamonds and rounded suits are Hearts and Clubs.

Note: As with all No Trump openings, the opponents must check to discover the No Trump range of their opponents. With a strong No Trump opening range between 15-17 high card points, it might not be prudent to chance game unless the distribution of the hand of the overcaller and his partner prove favorable.

Note: In competitive bidding sequences, using the Crash convention, an action is very much dependent upon the partner of the No Trump opener passing. If the partner of the No Trump opener bids, then it is up to the defending partnership to decide any and all continuances, especially to what degree such bids continue to be forcing or even systemic.

Continuances

After an artificial two-suited overcall, 2 - 2 - 2NT, the advancer may have a poor fit. If the partner of the No Trump opener passes, then the Crash overcall is forcing and partner must bid. With a poor fit, the partner will bid the better suit holding of the presumed two suits. In the case of a poor fit, it is better if the partner makes the cheapest bid possible to obtain further information. By making a Relay Bid, cheapest possible bid, the partner gives his partner the chance to further describe his holding.

Since the partner of the overcaller does not know exactly which one suit or which two suits are being indicated, the partner should first assume, make a relay bid, wait for further information, and then make the appropriate decision. With poor values, the partner will first discourage game, but with some moderate to good values, and discovering that there is a fit, the partner may attempt game.

Opener   Intervenor   Partner   Advancer
AK2
Q987
Q65
AQ6
 
7
KJ1065
AK984
54
 
Q10543
J102
108732
 
J986
A432
73
KJ9
1 NT   2   Pass   2
Pass   2   Pass   4

In the above example, the advancer of the overcaller will assume a poor fit. The partner will make a relay bid, the cheapest possible, because he does not know which two suits the overcaller is indicating - either both red suits or both black suits. The partner will assume first the two Red Suits. The partner awaits further information.

Since the No Trump bidder has limited his hand, and has received no encouragement from his partner, he passes. The overcaller then continues the bidding to further describe his hand and bids 2, indicating both Red Suits. After the 2 rebid, the advancer now correctly evaluates his holding, realizes that they have 9 trump cards, and bids 4. The contract of 4 is makable since the No Trump bidder is sitting to the left of the overcaller, who then can begin to finesse correctly against the values in the dummy.

This example should be helpful when the overcaller bids a natural overcall and when he bids an artificial overcall, regardless of the suit or No Trump overcall. In each case, the partner of the overcaller should await further information from his partner by making the cheapest bid possible. It must be admitted that the Crash Over 1 No Trump conventional method is risky and that the advancer must first make an assumption, which could be incorrect.

 

 

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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