In first seat you hold:
♠ Q 8
♥ A J 8
♦ A K 10 5
♣ K 9 8 6
You open 1NT and your left-hand opponent intervenes with 2♦ showing the majors. Don’t you just hate that?
Bridge players have learned that it pays to compete over opening strong 1NT bids when they hold shapely hands. Generally, it’s best to compete with hands containing a long suit or with two-suited hands — usually with 5–5 or even 5–4 distribution — and appropriate values.
The object of the interference is not to get to game, but rather trying to obstruct the opponents and to do so safely. You hate it when they bid over your 1NT — turn the tables and do it to them!
For this to be effective, however, you need a system to define your bids. One of the most popular of these methods is called Cappelletti, a treatment that is also commonly known as Hamilton.
How it works
Double shows a good hand, either a very strong balanced hand or (better) a hand with a running suit that can be used to defeat 1NT.
|2♣||Shows any one suit|
|2♦||Shows both majors|
|2♥||Shows hearts and a minor suit|
|2♠||Shows spades and a minor suit|
|2NT||Shows both minors|
Three-level bids are natural and preemptive (weak).
Say your RHO opens 1NT (15–17) and you hold the following hands:
♠ A Q 9 5 2
♥ K J 10 4 3
♦ 8 6
♦ K 7
♣ Q J 10 4 2
♥ K J 10 7 3 2
♣ 6 5 3
♥ K Q J 10 7 4 2
♦ A Q 3
♥ K 9 2
♦ 8 4
When you fill out your convention card, don’t simply write “Cappelletti” or (worse) “Capp” on the convention card. Fill in what suits each bid shows on the appropriate line. For example:
Notice that this defense (Cappelletti) against the opponents’ 1NT openings is listed under the heading “vs. Strong,” meaning that you play it only when the opponents use a 15–17 (or 16–18) 1NT range. If you play a different system against weak 1NT openings (such as 11–14 or 13–15 HCPs), write it in the adjacent column, and write the word “Weak” on the “vs” line.
To read the full series in PDF format, click here.