For an overview of this series, click here
We start with the easiest section of all. If you don't know your NAMES, you are in some trouble. Actually, many players know their names, but fail to write them on the convention card (is it beneath them)? Please enter both your full name and your partner's full name on your convention card. Your opponents might want this information, and they are entitled to know. I've been putting my full name (and my partner's) on my convention card since my first duplicate at age 14. What could be easier?
GENERAL APPROACH can be something such as:
Strong-Club System (or Precision)
or, more likely,
Standard American or just "Standard"
In this case, I egotistically propose "LC Standard
It is the system that this series will be based upon. It is really "Standard American with 2/1 GF and a handful of modern treatments and conventions." If you are not familiar or comfortable with 2/1 GF, I suggest your priority should be to learn it. It is what all the top players use, and I believe it will be the new "standard" for everyone. Don't get left in the dust. "Two over one" is a better and easier system than what you may have learned many years ago. Please don't be a fuddy duddy who thinks: "I'm too old to change." For my complete series on 2/1 GF, click here.
Next to "Two Over One:", we check the box "Game Forcing" as shown above. I am not a believer in "Except when Suit Rebid." Let's keep it simple and agree that a 2/1 response (by an Unpassed Hand, of course) is 100% game forcing. In competition (if the opponents double or overcall), a 2/1 response is not GF.
Next to "VERY LIGHT:", I propose not checking any of the boxes. Sure, in 3rd seat, and at favorable vulnerability, I advocate being aggressive. However, I would consider that to be "normal winning bridge"--not something that would invoke the words "very light."
The FORCING OPENING is 2. It shows a strong hand, but not a Game Forcing hand. If Balanced, it will be 22+ (since a 2NT opening tops out at 21). If it is unbalanced, there is no exact number of HCP required. We will revisit the 2 Opening (and responses) when we get to that section of the card. For now, our only obligation is to mark it as our "Forcing Opening."
Summary of this first section:
In less than 20 seconds, you can write your full names, the system name, check the 2/1 GF box and the 2 FORCING OPENING.
We'll need considerably more brain power next month as we move into the 1NT section.
For a view of the entire LC Standard card and a prettier format of this series, see the "translation" at Bridge Winners.