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Bridge Techniques by Eric Rodwell 2010-2014

The Topics Collection is a monthly publication, comprised of a series of articles that explore various aspects of modern bridge theory. Authors such as Eric Rodwell and other world class bridge players and journalists provide in-depth explanations of concepts that will take your bridge game to the next level.

Please note that after 4 years (48 Topics) we decided to pause our monthly publications. We felt that by now we have covered all the important subjects of modern bridge theory. However, if new and interesting theory is developped we may design a corresponding Topic.

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Topic 00: Support Doubles & Redoubles

by Eric Rodwell 2010-09-15

You open 1 with:


  • A 4 3
  • 10 8 7
  • K Q J 4
  • K 9 2


Bid Dbl, showing 3crd spade support.

Support Doubles & Redoubles - one of the more popular conventions of modern bridge - were invented by Eric Rodwell. This topic explains all ins and outs. Register now
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Year One: Topics Bundle 01-12

Topic 01: Negative Free Bids  

by Eric Rodwell 2010-09-15

Partner opens 1, righty 2, you have:


  • A Q 8 6 4 3
  • 7 2
  • 8 5
  • J 10 2


Bid 2 (non forcing).

The bridge world can roughly be divided in those who play Negative Free Bids and those who don’t. The author belongs to the second group. Member login

Topic 02: Smith Echo

by Eric Rodwell  2010-10-15

Topic 03: Muiderberg Two Bids

by Jan van Cleeff 2010-11-15

Green against red you have: 


  • K 10 8 6 3
  • 5
  • K 4 3
  • J 10 9 7

 
Your hand perfectly matches a 2 opening bid: 5-10 HCP, 5crd spade plus 4+ in a minor (Muiderberg

Muiderberg or Dutch Twos is an opening gadget from the low countries. Nowadays the whole world seems to play either this convention or something similar. Member login

Topic 04: Serious NoTrump 

by Eric Rodwell  2010-12-15

You open 1 on:


  • A Q J 8 7 6
  • 2
  • A Q 3
  • A 7 6


Partners responds 2 (2/1 gf), you rebid 2 and partner raises to 3.

Bid 3NT as a serious slamtry. With less HCP you could cuebid or even sign-off to 4.

When to go to slam and when not? The Serious NoTrump is another idea developed by Eric Rodwell, and helps you to answer that important question. Member login

Topic 05: Fourth Suit Forcing

by Eric Rodwell  2011-01-15

As opener you have:


  • A K J 3
  • K J 2
  • 6
  • K Q 10 8 7

 

1-1 // 1-2 (4th suit)

Bid 3 showing extra's with three card support and diamond shortness.

Everybody plays Fourth Suit nowadays, but there are quite a few grey areas. Novice players for instance often think that bidding the Fourth Suit always asks for a stopper in that suit. But there is so much more to it than that. Eric Rodwell looks at the best options in this topic. Member login

Topic 06: Lebensohl  

by Eric Rodwell  2011-02-15

Partner opens with 1NT (15-17). Righty overcalls 2 and you have:


  • A J 10 4 3
  • 2
  • K 8 4 3
  • 9 4 3


Bid 2NT (Lebensohl) transfer to 3 and then 3, invitational.

Lebensohl is a ‘must have’ for any serious partnership, especially when you have to defend against all kinds of weak twos. Member login

Topic 07: Gazzilli à la Lauria

by Lorenzo Lauria 2011-03-15

You open 1 on:


  • K J 8 7 4 2
  • Q J 8 4 3
  • A J
  • -


After partner response of 1NT you bid 3, precisely showing 6/5, 12-14 HCP.

Gazzilli is a new way of limiting opening hands. Lorenzo Lauria, one of the best players in bridge history, is happy to share his version of this sophisticated convention in this topic. Member login

Topic 08: Roman Key Card Blackwood

by Eric Rodwell  2011-04-15

Topic 09: Dopi & Ropi 

by Eric Rodwell  2011-05-15

You have this hand:


  • K Q 7 6
  • 2
  • A K Q 9 4 3
  • K 3


Partner opens 1 and you bid 4NT (RKC). Lefty spoils the party with 5, Partner passes. Sign off in 5, you are lacking two Key Cards.

In the process of asking for aces or key cards they get nasty and interfere. What next? Counter with Dopi & Ropi the Rodwell way. Member login

Topic 10: (non) leaping Michaels

by Eric Rodwell  2011-06-15

Green against red you have:


  • Q J 10 9 3
  • 2
  • K Q 10 9 3
  • 7 2


Righty opens 1 and you bid 2, showing 8+ HCP, a 5crd and a long minor.

How to treat two-suiters when opponents pre-empt? Eric Rodwell describes a method which gains substantially against the field: (non) leaping Michaels. Member login

Topic 11: Last Train     

by Eric Rodwell 2011-07-15

Topic 12: Flannery    

by Eric Rodwell  2011-08-15

Your partner opens 2 Flannery and you have:


  • 2
  • K 2
  • 10 8 7 4
  • A J 10 8 7 6


You bid 2 preference, but partner bids 3, extra's with a 4-5-0-4 shape. Now you bid 6 (!) as all your points work.

How to treat opening hands with both majors but without reversing values? Flannery, an evergreen on the American continent, gives the answer. Eric Rodwell describes his preferences. Member login
Year Two: Topics Bundle 13-24

Topic 13: New Minor Forcing / 2-Way Check Back

by Eric Rodwell 2011-09-15

Partner opens 1 and you respond 1 with:

 

  • A J 10 4 2
  • 5 4
  • 9 8 5 2
  • A K



Bid 2 New Minor Forcing / Check Back over partner's 1NT rebid.

New minor forcing is used on the second round by responder after opener has rebid 1NT and is primarily used to discover if opener has 3-card support for the Major. Using NMF promises at least game invitational values. Member login

Topic 14: Namyats

by Eric Rodwell 2011-10-15

On first position you have:
 

  • A 3
  • A K Q J 8 7 4
  • J 3 2
  • 9



Open 4, Namyats.

Too strong for an opening on the four level? Then Namyats (Stayman spelled backwards) may come in handy. Member login

Topic 15: Optional Kickback

by G.J. Paulissen 2011-11-15

1-2 // 4-4



Here 4 is Optional Kickback asking for key cards and a minimum or maximum.

Optional Kickback is a brand new device in slam bidding. This method conveys a combination of the exact number of key cards and hand evaluation (minimum/maximum). Member login

Topic 16: Smolen

by Eric Rodwell 2011-12-15

You bid 2 Stayman over partners 1NT 15-17 with:
 

  • J 10 8 7 6
  • A 7 6 5
  • 2
  • A 10 3


Partner denies a 4crd Major with 2 and now you bid 3 Smolen, 4 and 5, game forcing.

Partner opens 1NT. You bid 2C Stayman and opener denies a four card major by bidding 2D. How to proceed with 5-4 in the Majors and a game forcing hand? Smolen-over-1NT is the answer. Member login

Topic 17: Ogust over Weak Twos

by Eric Rodwell 2012-01-15

Partner opens 2 weak and you have:
 

  • K 9 2
  • K Q 4
  • A Q 10 8 7
  • A 8



Bid 2NT Ogust. On any non-minimum you bid RKC.

How to react when partner opens with a weak two? Preemptive and constructive responses, Ogust covers it all. Member login

Topic 18: Drury

by Eric Rodwell 2012-02-15

Partner opens in third seat with 1 and you have:
 

  • K 5 3
  • K Q 9 7 6
  • J 8 6 5
  • 8



Bid 2 and jump to 3 - invitational - when you hear a non-minimum.

How serious is partner when he opens in third or fourth position? Drury 2C (and 2D) is a handy tool to check partners values. Member login

Topic 19: Good / Bad 2NT

by Eric Rodwell 2012-03-15

You open 1 on:
 

  • 9 3
  • J 2
  • Q J 10 8 6 5
  • A K 10



Partner responds 1 and righty interferes with 2, weak. Bid 2NT and after partner's compulsory 3, you bid 3: weak opening with long diamonds.

Good/Bad 2NT is a useful device in competitive auctions. That way opener is able to make a clear difference between a weak hand with a long suit or a stronger hand with a long suit. Member login

Topic 20: Wolff Sign-Off

by Eric Rodwell 2012-04-15

Partner opens 1 and you respond with 1 on:

  • 10 9 6 5 4
  • 8 7 6
  • Q 9 4 3
  • J



When opener rebids with 2NT (18-19 HCP) you bid 3 (Rodwell-Wolff S.O.) and pass on 3 or .

How to make a difference between weak and strong hands when partner makes a 2NT jump rebid? Wolff Sign-Off provides the solution. Member login

Topic 21: Lead Directing Doubles

by Eric Rodwell 2012-05-15

LHO opens 1, RHO bids 4 splinter. You have:

  • 7 4
  • 10 8 6 5 4
  • A Q J 4
  • Q 2



Bid Dbl, asking for a lead in the lower unbid suit.

Doubling used to be for penalties. Nowadays a double often asks for a specific lead. Eric Rodwell takes you by the hand. Member login

Topic 22: Walsh

by Eric Rodwell 2012-06-15

Partner opens 1 and you have:
 

  • A 9 6 5
  • 6 2
  • K J 9 7 6 3
  • 10



Playing Walsh, bid 1. With less then an opening always give preference to your 4crd Major.

With a weak hand responder tends to skip a minor suit. This is an excellent idea, but has some consequences for further bidding. Member login

Topic 23: Raptor 1NT

by Eric Rodwell 2012-07-15

RHO opens 1 and you have:
 

  • A J 8 7
  • 2
  • A 9 3
  • K 10 8 7 6



Playing Raptor, overcall 1NT, 4crd Major plus a long minor.

Quite a few experts dedicate a special meaning to the 1NT overcall: a four card major plus a long minor. Bas Drijver, a world classs player from The Netherlands, is much in favor of this approach. Member login

Topic 24: Inverted minors

by Eric Rodwell 2012-08-15

Partner opens 1. What do you respond on:
 

  • 8 7
  • A 4 3
  • Q 9 7 6
  • A J 10 8



Bid 2inverted, showing 10+ HCP, denying a 4crd Major.

With game (invitational) values and a good fit in opener's minor suit 'Inverted Minors' comes in handy: 1c-2c or 1d-2d gives lots of space for exploration on a relatively low level. Member login
Year Three: Topics Bundle 25-36

Topic 25: Mixed Raises

by Eric Rodwell 2012-09-15

Partner opens 1, righty passes and you have:
 

  • J 10 7 6
  • A 2
  • J 9 7 6 5
  • 10 3


Playing classic Bergen raises, you bid 3, as a Mixed raise.

A Mixed raise is a bid that shows at least 4-card support for partner. It is called ‘Mixed’ because it shows more than a Preemptive raise and less than a Limit raise. What sort of hand is worthy of a Mixed raise? Eric Rodwell deals with this and related questions in this Topic. Member login

Topic 26: Obvious Shift

by Eric Rodwell 2012-10-15

Partner leads ♠A against 4. From the bidding you now that declarer has a stiff spade. You have:


♠ 9 7 2  9 6 2  A K Q 4  ♣ 8 4 3



Playing Obvious Shift you follow with the ♠9: 'I love diamonds'.

This Topic deals with the Obvious Shift principle. Learn what Eric Rodwell, Matthew Granovetter and others have to say about this rather popular though controversial piece of Modern Carding. Member login

Topic 27: Bidding in 4th Position

by Eric Rodwell 2012-11-15

Lefty opens 1♠ - Pass - Pass - ? 
Your bid please with:
 

 

  • 9 4 3
  • K 8 6 5 4
  • A J 8
  • K 3


Balance with 1NT; 2 would be a serious mistake. More on this in Topic #27: Bidding in 4th Position.

Bidding in 4th position applies to an almost endless number of auctions, where it is your turn to bid after partner and right hand opponent have passed. This situation is also referred to as ‘balancing’. However, Eric Rodwell limits this Topic to 1-of-a-suit - Pass - Pass. Member login

Topic 28: Cappelletti

by Eric Rodwell 2012-12-15

Righty opens 1NT (15-17 HCP).
Red against green what action would you take with:
 

  • 2
  • Q J 10 9 7 6
  • A 10 7 6
  • 8 7 ?


Playing Cappelletti I recommend 2Club. Check our Topic No. 28 why.

Cappelletti refers to a defense to opponents’ 1NT opening. The main issue is “should a double be for penalty?”. If the answer is no, then double can be used to show a variety of hands in addition to those shown by overcalls at the 2-level. Read all about it in this Topic No. 28 on Cappelletti. Member login

Topic 29: Heeman (responding to 1NT)

by Wim Heemskerk 2013-01-15

Partner opens 1NT (15-17 HCP). You have this hand:
 

  • Q 10 7 5
  • 8
  • 7 5
  • A Q 8 6 4 2


Playing Heeman respond with 2Heart transfer. And over 2Spade rebid 3Club showing an unbalanced hand with four spades and five (or more) clubs with invitational values.

 

Topic No. 29, Heeman, is an elaborate and complete method over 1NT. It includes a new type of Stayman, a new type of Transfers, all invitational sequences, extensive game and slam explorations and is difficult to lead against. Member login

Topic 30: Exclusion Blackwood & Lackwood

by Eric Rodwell 2013-02-15

You open 1Spade with


Spade Q J 10 7 6  HeartDiamond K Q J 8 7  Club Q 2



Lefty bids 4Heart and partner jumps to 5Spade (Lackwood), asking for a heart control. You therefore raise to 6Spade.

Exclusion RKC is used when ‘asker’ has a void. He wants partner to show keycards but to EXCLUDE the ace of the void suit. Lackwood is a convention Mr. Rodwell devised him self. ‘Lack’ means you are saying you lack control in a specific suit, and that partner needs a control in that suit to bid a slam. More on this in Topic No. 30. Member login

Topic 31: Jump Invitational Raises

by Jan van Cleeff 2013-03-15

Partner opens 1Spade, righty passes. Your bid with:

Spade 4 2  Heart K 5  Diamond 10 5 3  Club A Q J 10 5 3



Bid 3Club, a classic Jump Invitational Raise, showing 8-11 HCP with a six or seven card in the bid suit and no direct fit with opener.

JIR’s cater hands which are fractionally too weak for a (non-jump) response at the 2-level – assuming that you play 2/1 game forcing. The power of a JIR is that it offers a crystal clear hand type in one bid. Such efficiency resulted from decades of evolution in bidding theory. Check this Topic no. 31 on JIR's. Member login

Topic 32: Proceedings after doubles on Stayman and transfers

by Eric Rodwell 2013-04-15

You open 1NT (15-17). Partner responds 2Heart transfer to spades. Rigthy doubles for the lead. You have this hand:
 

Spade A 3  Heart A Q 10 9  Diamond A K 5  Club 9 5 4 2



You have hopefully 7 winners, if the top cards cash and the KJ of hearts are in the doubler’s hand. Therefore redouble.

When RHO makes an artificial bid, you will often wonder if making a lead-directing double is advisable. There can be doubt about doubles of some artificial bids, but almost everyone plays a double of a Stayman or transfer response to LHO’s NT opening bid shows the doubled suit (L/RHO = Left/Right Hand Opponent). Member login

Topic 33: Kirchhoff trials after 1M - 2M

by Jan van Cleeff 2013-05-15

Topic 34: Transfers in competition

by Eric Rodwell 2013-06-15

Topic 35: Developments after a strong 2♣ opening

by Eric Rodwell 2013-07-15

Topic 36: Minor suit transfers

by Eric Rodwell 2013-08-15
Year Four: Topics Bundle 37-48

Topic 37: Developments over a 2NT opening

by Eric Rodwell 2013-09-15

Topic 38: Camouflaged splinters

by Joris van Lankveld 2013-10-15

Topic 39: Mini Multi

by Eric Rodwell 2013-11-15

Topic 40: Rusinow Leads

by Eric Rodwell 2013-12-15

Topic 41: Responses to a forcing 1NT

by Eric Rodwell 2014-01-15

Topic 42: 2NT opening weak with both minors

by Eric Rodwell 2014-02-15

Topic 43: Turbo – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

by Marek Wójcicki & Włodek Krysztofczyk 2014-03-15

Topic 44: Transfer responses after a natural 1♣ opening

by Anders Wirgren 2014-04-15

Topic 45: Bidding after opener raises partner’s one-of-a-major response to two

by Eric Rodwell 2014-05-15

Topic 46: Mayday, mayday!

by Simon de Wijs 2014-06-15

Topic 47: Fit bids

by Eric Rodwell 2014-07-15

Topic 48: 2♥ opening showing both majors

by Eric Rodwell 2014-08-15