Coping with NT Interference – Answers

Poor old 1NT opener.  It used to be that a 1NT opening intimidated the opponents.  “I’ve got 15-17 high card points! Just let us have this auction to ourselves and we might let you in next hand.”  Nowadays though, frisky opponents have the nerve to bid over your 1NT opening, making your auction harder.  “But I wanted to transfer” says Responder, “what do I do now?  I know, I’ll double to tell my partner that ol’ meanie on my right stole my bid.”  And thereby the opponents get their bids in and make your life harder with little risk of paying consequences.  So, what do we do about it?  Do we give up?  Do we say “it’s over?”  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor…oh, wait, that’s Animal House.  My answer is “No!  It’s not over!”  This worksheet describes a way to bid after interference while preserving a penalty double in most situations.  Sometimes you can get a good board penalizing the opponents on a hand where you don’t have a game yourself, such as when the responder has 7 or 8 points and 4 cards in the opponent’s suit.

If they double the 1NT bid:

  • XX means “I want to defend, they are in trouble and you are making 1NT easily.”
  • All of your other systems (Stayman, transfers, Texas) are on as if the double never happened.

If they bid 2C over 1NT:

  • Double is Stayman, the only “stolen bid double” in our system.
  • All other systems are on.

If they bid 2D, 2H, 2S over 1NT:

  • Double is penalty oriented.
  • New suits at the 2 level are to play and natural.
  • New suits at the 3 level are game-forcing, promising at least five cards.
  • A cuebid is Stayman, game-forcing.
  • Texas transfers are still on.

Basically, we revert to Goren style bidding, without transfers.  We might have to make a guess on invitational hands whether to go for penalties or to show our suit(s).