The Blue Team Club System was devised by Mr. Benito Garozzo, who has won many championships during his bridge career. During his time as an active bridge player, Mr. Benito Garozzo was viewed by his peers as perhaps the best bridge player of his time.
That is quite an accomplishment. Mr. Benito Garozzo was a major contributor in devising the Blue Team Club System. The Blue Team Club was based upon a bidding system called Neapolitan, which was played successfully by many bridge players in Italy. However, since 1965, Mr. Benito Garozzo has gradually revised the Neapolitan and renamed it the Blue Team Club system.
The Blue Team Club System is based on the principle that a 1 Club opening is forcing. The style of this system is called Canapé, and this means that the opener can/should bid the short suits before he bids the long suits.
Canape is a bidding method in which the opener bids his long suit on his rebid and was developed by Mr. Pierre Albarran from France.
Blue Team Club was the main system of the Italian Blue Team before the Team switched to Precision. There were many variations of the opening bids and this was due to the modifications of the original version, which can no longer be pin-pointed. The following version is perhaps the closest to the original and shows only the foundation of the opening bids.
- 17+ HCPs Any shape
- 12-16 HCPs 4-card plus Diamond suit
- 12-16 HCPs 4-card plus Heart suit
- 12-16 HCPs 5-card plus Spade suit
- 13-15 HCPs Distribution: 3-3-2-5 or 3-3-3-4
- 16-17 HCPs Balanced shape
- 12-16 HCPs 5-card plus Club suit
- 17-20 HCPs Distribution: 4-4-4-1 or 5-4-4-0
- 12-16 HCPs 5+ Heart suit and 4+ Club suit
- 12-16 HCPs 5+ Spade suit and 4+ Club suit
- 21-22 HCPs Balanced shape
In essence, if the opener has a No Trump range, then the opener will open No Trump. It is that point range not covered by No Trump which the Blue Team Club System addresses.
Secondly, a hand containing 17+ points and which is unbalanced is opened with 1 Club, even though the distribution is 4-4-4-1. And thirdly, a hand with 8 plus Quick Tricks will be opened with 1 Club, even though the strength is less than 17 points, using the 4-3-2-1 count.
It is very important to remember that the responses are Step Responses, attempting to impart as much information as possible before reaching the best contract. These are the basic principles of the bidding system.
- 1 Club
- Indicates 17+ points (using 4-3-2-1 count)
- Could indicate 8+ Quick Tricks
Since the responder is forced to bid, he follows certain guidelines to offer descriptive information about his hand. This is done by showing the number of controls he possesses. Each Ace is counted as 2 Controls. Each King is counted as 1 Control. The meaning of each response is listed below.
- 0-2 Controls less than 6 points
- 0-2 Controls 6+ points
- 3 Controls (1 Ace and 2 Kings, for example)
- 4 Controls (2 Aces, for example)
- 5 Controls (2 Aces and 1 King, for example)
- 6 Controls (2 Aces and 2 Kings, for example)
- shows a 6-card suit with 2 honors, shows 0-5 points, not forcing
- 7 Controls (2 Aces and 3 Kings, for example)
1. Any response starting with 1 Spade and above, showing at least 3 Controls, is a game-forcing response.
2. Any response starting with 1 Spade and above, showing at least 3 Controls, is a game-forcing response.
3. The negative 1 Diamond response allows the responder to pass at his next turn, unless the opener jumps in another suit.
4. If the opener rebids No Trump, the responder can use Stayman to find the best suit.
5. If the responder does a Jump Shift at his rebid, the responder shows a solid suit with 13+ points.
6. Jump rebids of 4 Clubs and 4 Diamonds by the responder are transfers to 4 Hearts and 4 Spades respectively.
The chance of an intervening call was taken into consideration when using the Blue Team Club System. The overcall is generally on the One Level and normally does allow for a Weak Two Bid on the Two Level. Depending on the overcall, the responses are somewhat altered.
Opener Left Hand Opponent Responder
Double Pass – shows 0-3 pointsRedouble shows 3-5 points (possible values in Clubs) 1 Diamond shows 4-5 points
All responses with 1 Heart and above remain the same
Pass equals – the 1st Step Response. Double equals the 2nd Step Response. A Cuebid could equal 5 Controls.
Other responses are showing Controls 2 Hearts or 2 Spades are the same as above
In this situation:
Responder: 1st cheapest bid = 3 Controls
Responder: 2nd cheapest bid = 4 Controls
Responder: 3rd cheapest bid = 5 Controls, etc.
(A Cuebid could equal 5 Controls)
- Responses have the same pattern.
- Pass is the weakest bid
- Double equals 6+ points
- Suit responses are one-round forcing
- No Trump equals 3-4 Controls
- A Cuebid shows 5+ Controls
These are the basic principles for the Blue Team Club System. In order to clarify it further, the bridge player will have to buy the book for further explanations and examples. The intervening call does alter the bidding auction and disturbs the line of communication between the two partners, and therefore needs practice and experience.
To begin introducing examples would mean making this short version into a long version, but the intent was to bring the basic guidelines to the forefront without writing a book.
If you wish to make the Blue Team Club System a part of your partnership agreement, then an explicit understanding of the basics and knowledge of the advanced features should be fully understood.