This method of opening No Trump is an integral feature of the Romex Bidding System, devised by Mr. George Rosenkranz - (aka Jorge) - of Mexico City, Mexico, and Mr. Phillip Alder of Hope Sound, Florida, United States. Mr. Phillip Alder co-authored the three publications outlining the features of the Romex Bidding System.
Mr. George Rosenkranz, who was born August 20, 1916, in Budapest, Hungary, and his birth-name is Mr. György Rosenkranz. He later moved to Switzerland to study at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, known in German as Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. After his education years he voluntarily left Switzerland to relocate to Quito, Ecuador. However, when the United States entered the world war he accepted the offer of the Cuban President Mr. Fulgencio Batista to allow all war refugees to remain in Cuba. In the year 1945 Mr. George Rosenkranz relocated to Mexico City, Mexico.
Outline of the Concept
The concept is that the opener may show a relatively strong holding, which is unbalanced, and which can be made on any distribution except 4-3-3-3, 4-4-3-2, or 5-3-3-2 holdings. The strength is restricted to exactly 18 to 21 points and must have at least five controls and which has only four to five losers.
The designation of losers in the Romex Bidding System is defined as follows:
1. in any suit shorter than three cards, a loser is counted for each card that is not an Ace or King, 2. in any suit longer than two cards, a loser is counted for any of the three top honors that are missing, 3. no suit may have more than three losers.
The following two examples should illustrate this principle:
Losers AKQ876 0 AK9 1 K5 1 43 2 Total: 4 Losers KQ109 1 AK72 1 AQ85 1 7 1 Total: 4
These two examples represent ideally an opening of 1 No Trump, because all the requirements are fulfilled regarding point count, the number of losers and the number of controls.
The Responses To a 1 No Trump Opening
The concept behind the first response to a 1 No Trump opening is to show immediately the number of controls held. The number of controls is counted in the following manner:
1. Each Ace counts as 2 controls, 2. Each King is counted as one control.
The number of controls is shown together with the point range and is shown in the following schematic:
Opener Responder Controls and Point Range 1 NT 2 Shows 0-1 control with 0-6 points. 2 Shows 0-1 control with 7-15 points. 2 Shows 2 controls. Either 1 Ace or 2 Kings. * With 1 Ace or 2 controls and fewer than 6 points, the proper response is 2 Clubs. 2 Shows 3 controls. Either 1 Ace and 1 King or 3 Kings. 2 NT Shows 4 controls in two suits. Either 2 Aces or Ace-King combination plus an outside King. 3 Shows 4 controls in two plus suits. Either an Ace and 2 Kings all in different suits or 4 Kings. 3 Shows 5 controls. Either 1 Ace and 3 Kings or 2 Aces and 1 King. 3 Shows 6 controls. Either 3 Aces or 2 Aces and 2 Kings, or 1 Ace and 4 Kings. 3 Shows 7 controls. Either 3 Aces and 1 King or 2 Aces and 3 Kings.
In the case that the responder holds a semi-solid independent suit of a 7- or 8-card length containing no void, and less than two controls, the responder may make a natural jump to four of this suit, either in a Major or a Minor suit.
Rebids by the Opener Over a First Response of Two Clubs
Since a first response of 2 Clubs shows 0-1 control and 0-6 points, the No Trump bidder attempts to find a low level contract as quickly as possible, in which to play. When the responder shows such a poor holding, the No Trump bidder immediately knows that a game contract is not viable even when holding a maximum of 21 points. The possible options and the guidelines are included in the list below.
1. If the opener rebids 2 Hearts or 2 Spades, a Major suit, then the No Trump bidder promises a good 5-card or longer Heart or Spade suit. This rebid is non-forcing and partner may pass. 2. If the opener rebids 3 of a Minor suit, including Clubs, then the No Trump bidder promises a good 6-card or longer Club or Diamond suit. If the rebid is 3 Clubs, then the responder may become, by default, the declarer. This rebid is non-forcing and partner may pass. 3. If the opener rebids 4 Hearts or 4 Spades, then the No Trump bidder shows maximum values and three or less losers, which practically guarantees a holding containing game values even with no help from partner.
Two-Suited in Both Minor Suits
In the case that the No Trump bidder opens a Dynamic No Trump containing two suits in the Minor suits, and in order to continue the auction, certain requirements should be fulfilled. The No Trump opening should contain either:
1. a holding with 4 losers including at most two quick losers in a side suit, or 2. a holding with 3 losers or less. 3. and the distribution should be either: 2-1-5-5, 3-1-5-4, 2-2-5-4.
The following example should clarify this necessity:
Losers Responder KJ 1 K8 1 AK107 1 AQ1085 1 Total: 4 1 NT 2 2 NT
By rebidding 2 No Trump, the opener shows both Minor suits and a distribution of at least 5-4, preferably by favorable vulnerability, and a distribution of 5-5 by unfavorable vulnerability. In the following example:
Losers Responder AK 0 8 1 AK1074 1 AK1085 1 Total: 3 1 NT 2 3 NT
By rebidding 3 No Trump, the opener again shows both Minor suits and a distribution of at least a distribution of 5-5 by any vulnerability, and a 3 loser holding and maximum values.
No Trump bidder holds both Major Suits
The concept is similar when the No Trump bidder holds both Major suits. The options include:
1. If the No Trump opener has a 4 loser holding, the opener can jump to 3 Hearts after a 2 Club first response. The responder is then allowed the opportunity of choosing or making a preference of either Major suit. If the preference is Hearts, then the responder will pass. If the preference is Spades, then the responder will correct to Spades. This preference will determine the final contract. The opener is then required to pass with a 4 loser holding. The following example illustrates this choice.
KQJ75 AJ1076 K9 A
1096 K3 10874 8654 1 NT 2 3 3
2. If the No Trump opener has a 3 loser holding, the opener can jump to 3 Spades and the responder must make a preference on the four level and insures game either in Hearts or Spades. The responder is not allowed to pass this rebid since the opener has game-going values in his holding. The responder only makes a preference. The following example illustrates this choice.
AQJ75 AKQ1076 9 Q
1096 K3 10984 8654 1 NT 2 3 4
3. If the No Trump bidder has a 3/4 loser holding and the distribution is 5-5-3-0, then the opener may choose to rebid the 3-card Minor suit on the four level. The following example illustrates this choice.
AKJ107 KQJ103 A75
1096 K6 10984 8654 1 NT 2 4 4
The rebid of the No Trump bidder becomes problematic if none of the above distributions are present. However, with a 4 loser holding, the opener should continue to bid to find the optimal contract. The catch-all rebid of 2 Diamonds was created to have the responder further describe his holding. This rebid is a Waiting Bid and is one-round forcing. It is employed for the following situations:
1. The opener may hold both 4-card Major suits and is unable to bid as above, which requires that the distribution be at least 5-4 and sometimes 5-5. 2. The opener may hold five cards in both Major suits, but has a total of 5 losers, which is insufficient to employ the above auctions. 3. The opener may have a 6-card Heart suit and a 4-card side Spade suit, or the converse, and the danger is that the responder may make a preference for the 4-card Major suit and the partnership may end up playing in a Moysian fit of 4-3. 4. The opener may have a 5-card or longer Major suit and a 5-card or longer Minor suit and has no bid even with a 4 loser holding.
2 Diamonds Waiting Bid
In order to continue the auction and to clarify these conditions, the 2 Diamonds Waiting Bid became a feature of the Dynamic No Trump opening.
The Responses to a 2 Diamond Rebid by Opener
Examples could be given for each of the following conditions, but the explanations should clarify the distinctive holding of the responder.
1. If the responder holds either a 4-card Major suit with one honor or a weak 5-card Major suit, possibly with no honor higher than a 10, then the responder should rebid this Major suit on the two level. 2. If the responder holds either a 5-card Major suit with 2 honors or a weak 6-card Major suit, possibly with an honor of Queen or less, then the responder should jump to the three level. 3. If the responder does not hold any distribution described above, then the responder should show a 5-card Minor suit, if possible. 4. If the responder has neither a 5-card Minor suit nor a 4-card Major suit, possible distribution 3-3-3-4, then the responder should rebid 2 No Trump.
Rebids by the Opener Over a Two Diamond First Response
The first response of 2 Diamonds shows 0-1 control with 7-15 points and is game-forcing. The No Trump bidder has several options, which follow:
1. The opener will rebid a 4-card or 5-card Heart suit. 2. If the opener has a 5-card Heart suit and a 5-card Spade suit, the opener is required to rebid the Spade suit first before bidding the Heart suit. 3. If the opener has a 4-card or 5-card Heart suit and a 6-card Minor suit, even if that suit is Clubs, the opener is required to rebid the Minor suit before bidding his Major suit, as in the following example:
A A874 AQ KJ10973
Q964 QJ5 AJ10 Q64 1 NT 2 3
4. If the No Trump bidder has a 4-card or 5-card Spade suit, then the opener will first bid the Spade suit unless the opener has a Heart suit, which is longer than the Spade suit. If the Minor suit is a 6-card suit, then the opener should first rebid the Minor suit before bidding a 4-card or 5-card Major suit. Since the partnership is committed to game after a first response of 2 Diamonds, then the bidding sequence describing the length of the suits becomes a priority in case that a slam attempt can be discovered. This also means that the opener need not make any jump bids to show and sort of distribution. 5. If the opener indeed makes a jump rebid after a first response of 2 Diamonds, especially in a Major suit, then the agreement is that this jump promises at least a 6-card suit. If the opener jumps to 3 Hearts, then this rebid shows exactly a 6-card Heart suit and a 4-card Spade suit. If the opener jumps to 3 Spades, then the opener shows exactly a 6-card Spade suit and a 4-card Heart suit.
concept is set up so that all other rebids remain identical to the 2 Clubs response. The following description refers to one specific auction, where the No Trump bidder shows both Minor suits with moderately strong values, as in the case:
Opener Responder 1 NT 2 2 NT
The holding of the No Trump bidder is at least a distribution of 5-4 in the Minor suits by favorable vulnerability and at least 5-5 distribution by non-favorable vulnerability. This results in a possible distribution of: 2-2-4-5, 2-1-5-5, or 3-1-4-5. On the other hand, if the holding of the responder contains one of the top three honors, Ace, King or Queen, in either of the Minor suits, the responder can rebid 3 Clubs as a one-round forcing bid, which requests that the opener describe his Major suit distribution. The following schematic allows the opener to describe his distribution exactly.
Opener Responder 1 NT 2 2 NT 3 3 Shows a distribution of 2-2 in the Major suits. 3 Shows a 3-card Heart suit. 3 Shows a 3-card Spade suit. 3 NT Shows a singleton and a doubleton in the Major suits.
As soon as the responder is informed of the Major suit distribution, the responder can then either set the final contract in either a suit contract, a No Trump contract, or even explore the possibility of a slam, all dependent on the holding of the responder.
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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