The origin of the original Astro conventional method and its designation derives from the personal names of the authors: Mr. Paul Allinger - Mr. Roger STern - Mr. Larry ROsler. The origins of the following variations remain unknown. They are all considered under the designation of Pinpoint Astro.

To distinguish between / among these variations it is generally acceptable to designate the differences as variants of the original version, which is defined as: to deviate from a standard, usually by only a slight difference. We present these variants in no particular order.

Considerations

These versions, or variants, should be applied to opening bids of 2 or even 3 No Trump, and also whether or not the strength of the holding is relevant to the state of vulnerability, and whether or not the same principles apply after two passes.

The following Variant I of the Astro conventional defense method initiates the overcall generally after a strong 1 No Trump opening (15/16-18 high card points) to show a two-suited holding. However, the concept can be adapted to be employed with any range of a No Trump opening and be employed either in the immediate seat or in the balancing seat. This variation is sometimes mistaken for the Brozel conventional defense method owing to several similarities between the two convention methods.

Using this Variant I of the Astro conventional defense method, the overcaller has a better possibility of conveying a more accurate description of the two-suited holding to his partner, generally designated as the advancer. The following schematic illustrates the meaning of the overcalls:

2 : Shows Clubs and Hearts.
2 : Shows Diamonds and Hearts.
2 : Shows Hearts and Spades.
2 : Shows Spades and a Minor suit.

It is strongly suggested that if this Variant I of the Astro conventional defense method is used by partnership agreement, the partners should read carefully the Landy Convention regarding strength and distribution requirements, and also the corresponding responses.

Note: This designated Variant 1 of the Pinpoint Astro conventional defense method and all forms of variations and/or modifications are somewhat dependent on the bidding system agreed upon by the partnership and can be altered or varied to meet the requirements of the particular bidding system.

Note: Some partnerships have agreed that the distribution of the holding, when overcalling could / may be reduced to 4-4 in both Major suits regardless of the state of vulnerability. Otherwise the distribution is generally 5-4, 4-5, or 5-5 depending on the state of vulnerability. This is entirely a partnership agreement in all employed variations of the concept.

Variant II is only an extension of Variant I in that this variation adds two bids as shown below:

2 : Shows Clubs and Hearts.
2 : Shows Diamonds and Hearts.
2 : Shows Hearts and Spades.
2 : Shows Spades and a Minor suit.
2 NT: Shows both Minor suits, Diamonds and Clubs.
Double: Shows an undisclosed one-suited holding.

Variant III is a simplification of the original concept as shown below:

2 : Shows Clubs and Hearts.
2 : Shows Diamonds and Hearts.
2 : Promises Hearts only and no second side suit.
2 : Promises Spades only and no second side suit.
Double: Promises Spades and an unspecified second suit.

After the double, the advancer has the possibility of passing, thereby converting the double to a penalty double. A pass implies sufficient length in Spades and generally two stoppers / winners in the other three side suits in order to use the length in Spades to lead to partner for the defeat of the No Trump contract.

If these requirements for the advancer are not present, then the advancer relays to 2, which the overcaller may then pass if the unspecified second suit is Clubs. If the unspecified second suit is not Clubs, then the overcaller will bid either Diamonds or Hearts. This action is considered non-forcing.

Variant IV of this concept has been adapted and employed by those bridge players using the Roth-Stone system as their partnership agreement. To conform with this particular bidding system, the concept of the original Pinpoint Astro defense method has been altered and/or amended. Note: There are two versions of Variant IV.

The First Version

Double: Shows Hearts and Spades, both Major suits.
2 : Shows Clubs and Spades, both Black suits.
2 : Shows Diamonds and Spades, both Pointed suits.
3 : Shows Clubs and Hearts, both Rounded suits.
3 : Shows Spades and a Minor suit. Advancer bids 3NT to ask for the Minor suit.

The Second Version:

Double: Shows Hearts and Spades, both Major suits.
2 : Shows Clubs and Spades, both Black suits.
2 : Shows Diamonds and Spades, both Pointed suits.
3 : Shows Clubs and Hearts, both Rounded suits.
3 : Shows Diamonds and Heart, both Red suits.

Variant V has been provided by Mr. Matthew Granovetter. This variation is shown below:

Double: Shows Spades and an unspecified second suit.
2 : Shows Clubs and Hearts, both Rounded suits.
2 : Shows Diamonds and Hearts, both Red suits.

This is a simplistic version of the concept and the responses as well as the length of the suits and the values are per partnership agreement as is the case with most variations.

Variant VI is more complex in nature and includes a multi-purpose overcall. This variation is shown below:

Double: A penalty double promising 15+ points. Partner must pass.
2 : Shows Clubs and Hearts.
2 : Shows Diamonds and Hearts.
2 : Shows both Major suits.
2 : Shows Spades or Spades and an unspecified Minor suit. 2 NT is the general asking bid.
2 NT: Shows both Minor suits.
3 : Preemptive.
3 : Preemptive.
3 : Preemptive.

The usage of the preemptive bid after a No Trump opening by an opponent is unique in this variation.

 

 

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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