Together with Geoff Hopcraft I’ve been experimenting with a homebrew big 1 opening: Beowulf. A 1 opening shows 15-17 balanced or any stronger hand. There are just two responses possible to 1: 1 showing any 6+ and 1 showing a bust. After that the bidding takes a surprising natural turn. So the relays and asking bids I’ve always been so very fond of have been sacrificed to robust natural proceedings. I can’t tell yet whether this is systematic imp positive, but if so, our competitive agreements more than make up for it. As always the 1 is the Achilles heel of conventional systems, ours being nebulous to the n’th power, for it can be as short as zero.
Here’s an example of Beowulf in action:
- 15-17 bal, or any 18+
- 6+ hcp
After 1 the auction switched to natural mode and Geoff launched himself to slam.
During the auction Geoff figured the side fit would provide enough tricks for slam. As the cards lie slam barely qualifies as questionable. In order to enjoy the long Geoff needed to discard one on the top . Then the two top would have to survive before ruffing a third one high. After that he had to draw the remaining trumps ending in dummy to enjoy the . But at that point there are still only eleven tricks (four , five and two ). The twelfth needed to come from the suit, but when the Ace proved to be off side we wrote -50.
I enjoyed the 3 bid best, I could show a big hand and my exact distribution, and we were just at the 3-level! I’ll keep you posted with more Beowulf action.