Study 7G81   Main


Forcing Style Expansion


  by Richard Pavlicek

This is an expansion of my study on Forcing vs. Limit Style to include issues specific to the Pavlicek System, either the full or short version. The area of concern is responder’s rebid after a one-level suit response, and the bidding thereafter.

Forcing Raise to Three of Minor

When opener rebids 2 C or 2 D (either his first suit or a new lower minor) responder’s raise to three is game forcing. This radical change from standard bidding is implemented to provide a way to force, while retaining third- and fourth-suit structures for invitational hands.

1.
S 2
H A K 9 6 4
D A 6 2
C K J 10 7
Table S A K 7 4 3
H 3 2
D 7 5
C A Q 8 3

1 H
2 C
Pass
Pass
1 S
3 C
Pass
...

Opener should continue with 3 D (ace or shortness) after which the excellent 6 C should be reached.

2.
S K 7 6
H 2
D A K 10 9 8 4
C J 5 3
Table S 4 3 2
H A K Q 5 3
D Q 7
C K 10 2

1 D
2 D
3 NT
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 H
3 D
Pass
Pass
Pass

Opener cannot pass 3 D, so 3 NT is the logical choice with a spade stopper and reasonable hopes in clubs.

3.
S Q 2
H 9
D A 8 7 3
C A J 10 8 7 6
Table S A K 7 5
H 4 3
D K Q 2
C K Q 9 2

1 C
2 C
3 D
6 C
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 S
3 C
5 C
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

Establishing a game-force early with 3 C (unlimited) is a boon to slam bidding. When opener bids 3 D (side suit or stopper) responder is aware that heart control is the concern for slam. In forcing auctions jumps to five in a minor are analogous to standard bids of five in a major, so 5 C sends the message and opener obliges. With two losing hearts opener would pass.

How To Invite

With invitational values, responder must bid a third suit (semi-natural) or the fourth suit, then follow with a preference or raise (unless opener’s third bid indicates a superior strain).

4.
S K 9
H A J 7 6 4
D 8 2
C K J 8 5
Table S A J 8 2
H 3 2
D 7 5
C Q 10 9 6 3

1 H
2 C
2 S
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 S
2 D
3 C
Pass
Pass

East has too much potential to pass 2 C, but 3 C (GF) would be a severe overbid; hence 2 D. Opener’s rebid of 2 S (best of a bad lot) explicitly rejects the game invitation, after which responder knows the best landing spot.

5.
S A J 7
H 2
D A K J 9 8 6
C 8 4 2
Table S K 10 8
H A J 9 8 3
D Q 7 5
C 5 3

1 D
2 D
3 S
5 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 S
4 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

Responder chooses the more natural third suit to prepare an invitation. With an excellent hand, opener propels the auction with 3 S (cannot be four after 2 D) to pinpoint the club deficiency for notrump, then takes a chance on game after the preference.

6.
S A K 6 2
H 2
D 4 3
C A Q J 10 7 6
Table S 4 3
H A Q 9 7 6
D J 7
C K 9 5 4

1 C
1 S
3 C
5 C
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 D
4 C
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

Responder has too much for 2 C and not enough for 3 C (GF) so 2 D. Opener shows his 4-6 pattern, which at the three level does not define strength (could be a minimum or extras) and is forcing. Responder shows the invitational direction, and opener accepts.

7.
S 4
H 9 7 2
D A Q 3
C K Q 10 9 7 6
Table S A K 8 6 2
H 5 4 3
D K 8 2
C J 2

1 C
2 C
3 C
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 S
2 D
Pass
Pass
Pass

Responder chooses a semi-natural third suit, and without a heart stopper opener has little choice but to repeat his clubs. Bidding the same suit three times is an exception to opener’s “three-level forcing” principle, so responder checks out.

Study 7G81   MainTop   Forcing Style Expansion

Mark-Time Rebids

At opener’s third turn, with no extra shape to describe and no desire to declare notrump, he can mark time by repeating the major he bid at the one level. This does not show five cards and does not define strength, so it is forcing.

8.
S K Q 8 7
H 2
D 4 3 2
C A Q 9 8 7
Table S J 3 2
H A K 8 7
D 7 5
C K 10 5 2

1 C
1 S
2 S
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 D
3 C
Pass
Pass

After the fourth-suit 2 D, bidding 2 NT would be folly, and 3 C (forcing) would show six. Therefore, opener marks time with 2 S, allowing responder to make his invitation, which opener of course will reject.

9.
S A 4 2
H K J 10 8
D 2
C A Q 10 9 7
Table S Q 8 5
H Q 2
D A Q J 8 4
C 8 4 3

1 C
1 H
2 H
3 NT
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 D
1 S
2 NT
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

With a bare minimum, opener would bid 2 C (NF) which does not show six at the two level; but with a nice hand, 2 H (forcing) is clear. Opener intends to accept any invitation but is not keen on notrump unless responder suggests it. So he does, and the game is reached from the right side.

10.
S K 10 8 4 2
H 3
D A Q J 9 7 6
C 5
Table S J 3
H K Q 10 9 8 2
D 5
C A 7 6 4

1 D
1 S
2 S
3 S
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 C
3 H
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

Mark-time bids do not deny extra shape, so opener follows the same path. When responder invites in hearts, opener reveals his true shape with minimal values, and responder wisely passes. If opener had extra values (with 5-6 shape) he should jump to 3 S over 2 C.

Marking Time in a Minor

Auctions may also require opener to mark time by repeating a minor suit at the three level, but there’s a distinct difference: Mark-time bids in a minor are nonforcing.

11.
S 8 2
H 4 2
D A Q 9 7 6 5
C A J 9
Table S 9 6 4
H A J 10 8
D J 10 2
C K 10 4

1 D
2 D
3 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 H
3 C
Pass
Pass
Pass

Responder is worth an invitation and deliberately bids his stopper suit (compare Example 5) as a feeler for notrump. Opener’s diamonds are hardly worth a third mention, but with no heart preference and no spade stopper he marks time with 3 D, which ends it all when responder is inviting there. Note how this adheres to the “three bids in the same suit nonforcing” principle.

12.
S 2
H K J 7 6 2
D K J 10 5
C A 4 3
Table S A K 8 7 3
H 3
D Q 9 7 6
C 8 7 2

1 H
2 D
3 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 S
3 C
Pass
Pass
Pass

The most awkward sequence is shown by the first four bids above. After a fourth-suit 3 C, special treatment is required: Unless opener has three spades (then 3 S always) the solution is to rebid 3 D any time opener would pass a 3 D invitation. Hence it does not show more than four, and responder should pass if inviting in diamonds. Any other third bid by opener is natural and accepts the game invitation.

As explained in Forcing vs. Limit Style, if an opponent bids (doubles are not bids) our structure reverts to a limit-jump style with only new suits by responder forcing and presumed natural. Also, by common sense, if responder is a passed hand, any natural bid that would otherwise be forcing is then only invitational.

Study 7G81   MainTop   Forcing Style Expansion

© 2020 Richard Pavlicek