The Blue Team Club System was devised by Mr. Benito Garozzo, who has won many championships during his bridge career. During his time as an active bridge player, Mr. Benito Garozzo was viewed by his peers as perhaps the best bridge player of his time. That is quite an accomplishment. Mr. Benito Garozzo was a major contributor in devising the Blue Team Club System.
The Blue Team Club was based upon a bidding system called Neapolitan, which was played successfully by many bridge players in Italy. However, since 1965, Mr. Benito Garozzo has gradually revised the Neapolitan and renamed it the Blue Team Club system. The picture below presents Mr. Benito Garozzo in the year 2000.
The Blue Team Club System is based on the principle that a 1 Club opening is forcing. The style of this system is called Canapé, and this means that the opener can/should bid the short suits before he bids the long suits. Canapé is a bidding method in which the opener bids his long suit on his rebid. This concept was developed by Mr. Pierre Albarran from France.
Blue Team Club was the main system of the Italian Blue Team before the Team switched to Precision. There were many variations of the opening bids and this was due to the modifications of the original version, which can no longer be pin-pointed. The following version is perhaps the closest to the original and shows only the foundation of the opening bids.
1 : 17+ high card points Shows any shape. A 1 opening bid followed by a No Trump jump rebid promises a balanced holding and 23-24 high card points. A 1 opening bid followed by a No Trump double jump rebid promises a balanced holding and 25-26 high card points. 1 : 12-16 high card points Promises a 4-card plus Diamond suit. 1 : 12-16 high card points Promises a 4-card plus Heart suit. 1 : 12-16 high card points Promises a 5-card plus Spade suit. 1 NT: 13-15 high card points Distribution: 3-3-2-5 or 3-3-3-4. or: 16-17 high card points Shows balanced shape. 2 : 12-16 high card points Promises a 5-card plus Club suit. 2 : 17-20 high card points Distribution: 4-4-4-1 or 5-4-4-0. 2 : 12-16 high card points Promises a 5+ Heart suit and 4+ Club suit. 2 : 12-16 high card points Promises a 5+ Spade suit and 4+ Club suit. 2NT: 21-22 high card points Balanced shape.
In essence, if the opener has a No Trump range, then the opener will open No Trump. It is that point range not covered by No Trump which the Blue Team Club System addresses. Secondly, a hand containing 17 plus points and which is unbalanced is opened with 1 Club, even though the distribution is 4-4-4-1. And thirdly, a hand with 8 plus quick tricks will be opened with 1 Club, even though the strength is less than 17 points, using the 4-3-2-1 count. It is very important to remember that the responses are step responses, attempting to impart as much information as possible before reaching the best contract. These are the basic principles of the bidding system.
Example 1 Opener Meaning
8 AQJ874 AKJ54 6 1 Forcing for one round; indicates 17 plus points (using 4-3-2-1 count); could indicate 8+ quick tricks.
Example 2 Opener Meaning
AK10 A108 AQJ103 65 1 Club forcing for one round; indicates 17+ points (using 4-3-2-1 count); could indicate 8+ Quick Tricks. This holding should be opened with 1 and not with 1 No Trump since the holding contains more values than 17 points. 1 Forcing for one round; indicates 17 plus points (using 4-3-2-1 count); could indicate 8+ quick tricks. This holding should be opened with 1 and not with 1 No Trump since the holding contains more values than 17 points.
Since the responder is forced to bid, he follows certain guidelines to offer descriptive information about his hand. This is done by showing the number of controls he possesses. Each Ace is counted as 2 Controls. Each King is counted as 1 Control. The meaning of each response is listed below.
Responder Meaning 1 0-2 Controls; fewer than 6 points. 1 0-2 Controls; 6+ points. 1 3 Controls; (1 Ace and 1 King, or 3 Kings for example). 1 NT 4 Controls; (2 Aces, for example). 2 5 Controls; (2 Aces and 1 King, for example). 2 6 Controls; (2 Aces and 2 Kings, for example). 2 Shows a 6-card suit with 2 honors; or shows 0-5 points, not forcing. 2 Shows a 6-card suit with 2 honors; or shows 0-5 points, not forcing. 2 NT 7 Controls; (2 Aces and 3 Kings, for example).
1. Any response starting with 1 Spade and above, showing at least 3 Controls, is a game-forcing response. 2. The negative 1 Diamond response allows the responder to pass at his next turn, unless the opener jumps in another suit. 3. If the opener rebids No Trump, the responder can use Stayman to find the best suit. 4. If the responder does a Jump Shift at his rebid, the responder shows a solid suit with 13+ points. 5. Jump rebids of 4 Clubs and 4 Diamonds by the responder are transfers to 4 Hearts and 4 Spades respectively.
Continuances after Interference
The chance of an intervening call was taken into consideration when using the Blue Team Club System. The overcall is generally on the One Level and normally does allow for a Weak Two Bid on the Two Level. Depending on the overcall, the responses are somewhat altered.
Opener Opponent Responder Meaning 1 Double Pass Shows 0-3 points. Redouble Shows 3-5 points. 1 Shows 4-5 points. All responses including 1 and higher remain the same. 1 1 Pass Equals the 1st Step Response. Double Equals the 2nd Step Response 2 A cuebid could equal 5 controls. Other responses are showing controls. 2 or 2 are the same as above. 1 1 1 1st cheapest bid = 3 Controls 1 NT 2nd cheapest bid = 4 Controls 2 3rd cheapest bid = 5 Controls, and so forth.
Caution must reign if the control-showing bid is identical with the opening bid by partner. Normally such a bid is not a support bid. Owing to this ambiguous situation some partnerships have agreed that a cuebid of the opponent should be preferable to show 5 controls. (Note: If the overcall is 2 Spades, then the partnership adjusts the responses of the responder.)
1 2/2/2 Following jump overcalls all responses have the same pattern. Pass A pass is the weakest bid and shows very few values. Double Shows about 6+ points. Suit Suit responses are one-round forcing. No Trump No Trump equals 3-4 controls. Cuebid A cuebid shows 5+ controls.
These are the basic principles for the Blue Team Club System. In order to clarify it further, the bridge player will have to buy the book for further explanations and examples. The intervening call does alter the bidding auction and disturbs the line of communication between the two partners, and therefore needs practice and experience. To begin introducing examples would mean making this short version into a long version, but the intent was to bring the basic guidelines to the forefront without writing a book. If you wish to make the Blue Team Club System a part of your partnership agreement, then an explicit understanding of the basics and knowledge of the advanced features should be fully understood.
If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.
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