You will hear of many defenses against an opponent’s notrump. This is because one tries to open the most descriptive bid of one notrump as much as possible. This includes any balanced distribution with the shortest suit an unstopped doubleton.
A hand with two stopped doubletons and not five four in the majors can also be opened one notrump with 15 to 17 points.
Names such as DONT, Cappelletti, Landy, Hello and many others will add to the confusion of what to do against one notrump bid by the RHO.
So far, I covered a simple transfer system and DONT. DONT is the most versatile and secure of notrump overcalls and Landy is versatile and simple.
Landy: Double is 15 to 18. Two clubs shows the majors, two notrump shows the minors and diamonds, hearts and spades are natural.
The bidding: West, in first seat, with 17 high card points opens one notrump. North has something useful to say because he is five-five in the majors and wants to make his shortness in the minors useful.
He bids two clubs showing the majors and South bids two spades. East and West have nothing to say and South plays the contract there.
The contract: Two spades by South
The opening lead: Three of spades
West wants to cut down the ruffing value of South’s hand, the short trump hand. One of declarer’s tasks before drawing trump is to take ruffs in the short trump hand (the South hand). Leading a small trump is better than the ace.
The play: Declarer has no short hand ruffs and continues drawing trump. He will lose a spade, two hearts, one diamond and one club, making the contract.
The result: Two spades by South making for +110. West can make one notrump for +90.
Note: Do you have a question or a hand of note that occurred at your bridge table? If yes, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer it. The questions may appear in a future column.