This is the "Princples" chapter of the "Blue
Club System" which is worth considering from general
perspective, regadless of what you are playing (assuming
you are playing bridge :-).
you are here, you have to first read parts of my correspondence
with the actual authors of these principles -
Mr. Arturo Franco and Mr. Marco Pancotti:
In the bidding system area, I have seen a document named
"Garozzo Principles". It's
> the first chapter of a book about Blue Team Club
that I and Arturo Franco (one of the
> old Garozzo's partners) wrote about 5 years ago
an published in the site
> First, they are the "Arturo Franco's"
principles. I suppose Garozzo would agree (he
> cooperated with Arturo in the development of the
system) but he never wrote them.
> I wrote them after a long discussion with Arturo
(who is my bridge partner) and they
> are Arturo's ideas, while Daniel J. Neill translated
> >> Thank you very much for all this information!
I will IMMEDIATELY
> >> put this information on the site!
> Second, you never mentioned the original document
and the real authors. So, please just
> link our site and give us the credit. It's a free
book, but the authors are still to be mentioned.
>>> ABSOLUTELY! Thank you again! Please, rest
assured that ALL these changes are
>>> being reflected today!
> I'm sure the "credit" problem was due
only to a misinformation.
Garozzo "has cooperated in the development of the
system" as part of the letter says, so I'll leave
the menu item the same (since those are principles Mr.
Garozzo uses and "has cooperated in the development
of", but I provide a link to Arturo Franco
and Marco Pancotti's website (as AUTHORS of
the Principles) where you can download the entire
Book "Blue Team Club", part of which are the
principles discussed below.
have a lot to learn from this book, whether you like
Strong Club systems or not. Here is the website:
cards don't always play the same way. On offense, a
queen is somewhat useless in with two low cards, however
it is a certain trick with an ace and king. On defense
a suit headed by three major honors might not come to
a trick, whereas a hand with a double fit, each to concentrated
honors in a long suit, on offense, produce a quantity
of tricks absolutely disproportionate in respect to
their HCP total. Two mirroring 4333's require a huge
number of honors to develop tricks, but the presence
of a singleton or void reduces drastically the strength
necessary for game or slam in a suit.
are, these, all familiar principles to any player agonista,
but they seem to be forgotten when other used systems
the hands in the world championships one can observe
with what frequency occur game and slam swings in hands
where the partnership that play 5-card majors has had
to opened one of a minor only to, after having found
a fit in a major, not find a further way to communicate
the distributional values of the actual hand.
certainly the incorrect application of the law of tricks
is a clear sign of ignoring the fact that bridge is
a game of suits. The breakdown of high cards and the
presence of unusual distributions carry such an importance,
in truth, on the play of the hand, such that renders
nearly insignificant the use of the law of total tricks.
Larry Cohen, in his books, places
such and so many conditions for a correct application
of his laws, to render obvious how imprecise the Law
is in the absence of the distributional information.
be able to take correct competitive action, in fact,
it is necessary to know the suits and the distribution
of partner’s high cards and to inform partner likewise
of one's own high cards and suits. Otherwise the appraisal
of the offensive and defensive potentialities of the
deal could be based alone on absolutely generic considerations,
and so often lead to wrong competitive choices.
always, obviously, does the auction allow the exchange
of all necessary information. A good system, consequently,
tries to anticipate the problem through a structure
of openings and responses that permits a rapid transmission
of the essential elements of the hand in terms of distribution,
strength, and honor concentration.
Blue Team, to this regard, adopts the following schemes:
qAll openings other than 1§ are limited
to 16 points. In competition, therefore, the opener
can hold an aggressive stance, if the makeup of his
hand demands, knowing he isn't tricking his partner
on the high card strength and defensive strength of
qNo-trump bids, whether by opener or responder, maintain almost always
natural significance and describe balanced hands with
distributed honors or concentration in the short suits,
also sometimes with a 3 card fit for partner’s major.
qThe openings of 2§ and 2¨ place the opener with 6+ cards and at least 2 top honors. They constitute
a robust foundation for competition in the minors, an
area in which the natural systems, and in particular
those with 5-card majors, show weakness.
limited nature of the opening permits direct and conclusive
bidding that does not give out information, to the enemy
side, of the actual distribution. It is possible, for
example, to respond 1NT, to the opening of 1¨, with four of a major, where opener, when
she has a 4-card major, systemically has a balanced
hand with just 4 bad cards in the major. Or there is
frequently the sequence 1ª-2/3ª, in a 4-4 fit, that hides completely a 5-card
side suit in which, all the same, the defensive side
decides to reopen, with bloody results.
emphasis on the importance of the strength of the hands
is illustrated by the different ways to bid the 12-16
HCP hands. The system makes the distinction between
weak, average, and reverser hands.No hand can be characterized as a reverse unless
it is in the positon to take by itself 8 tricks (or
7 ½ in a one-suiter). Thus, a reverse sequence shows
a strong hand (15-16 HCP), with concentration of honors
in the long suit.
is difficult, moreover, for a one-suited hand with dispersed
honor strength or a 2-suiter with 9 cards in the suits
to produce 8 tricks with only 16 HCP.So reverse sequences guarantee long 2-suiters
or strong 1-suiters, hands in which it is fundamental
to value the honors that are “in” (high honors in the
to devalue the honors “out” (Aces and intermediate honors
on the ouSIide of the declared suits).
normal hands with good strong honors, the system allows
the responder to know, in the second round, whether
the hand should be considered minimum or maximum, always
limited by the fact that it wasn’t opened 1§ and a reverse was not made.
precision that derives from this approach allows an
accurate assessment of game and slam, superior to a
number of natural systems. The huge range of opening
strength is in fact handicap in natural sequences, where
a same level change of suit can come from a hand with
17-18 HCP while reverses can be made with less than
of this approach the system cannot include conventions
like Multi 2D or Michaels that don’t show immediately
the suits on which it is based, nor can it accommodate
weak NT, that, often, ends with exercising against ones
own side the preemptive effect that was meant to hinder
the Blue Team Club, finally, there will not be found
relay sequences in which one of two players is completely
passive and knows nothing of the distribution of the
partner. Where the distributional relays are seen, the
responder has the essential elements to judge if her
own cards are “in” or “out” and therefore the ability
to promote or hold back her partner’s ambitions.
a competitive contest dominated by aggressiveness, this
principle is an inviting reminder, for the effectiveness
of proper bridge, to not forget good sense and knowledge
of the fundamentals of the game.
the Blue Team Club the bidding is not intended exclusively
to destroy Openents’ bidding. All the openings and
responses are always with the objective of limiting
the strength and precise distribution and the goals
are, at the same time, constructive and destructive.
should be solid, and the structure of responses is already
aggressive enough and is oriented toward finding game
“to the limit”. The 2-level openings surely have a preemptive
effect, but they do not expose the opener to excessive
risks and guarantee a sufficient solidity to bid game
or slam without fearing a nasty surprise in some suit
length or suit quality of the opener.
jump overcalls always show a solid hand, 1-suited or
2-suited, under the limits of a reverse, but with characteristics
of strength and distribution to render improbable a
heavy penalty and plausible the assignment of a final
Blue Team does not mean giving up disturbing the opponents’
bidding. Indeed, in the system, for example, is seen
the overcall in a 4-card major, to permit intefering
with hands where one can’t double and where a 5-card
minor is to weak to be bid.The opening of 2NT is strongly preemptive, whereas
as in overcalling is seen the use of Ghestem to show
two-suiters that, in favorable vulnerability, can be
very limited in high card strength.
that are looked down upon by the Blue Team are the sub-minimum
openings, the 2-level openings with no restriction on
suit quality, the conventions that do not immediately
name a suit, the weak jumps, the weak preempts, the
weak NT and the myriad of gadgets invented meant only
to create a chaotic situation, and to cost one’s own
side disastrous penalties.
attitude suggested by the system is to take maximum
advantage of the assets of the same system, without
trying to win also where the Blue Team Club does not
offer a particular advantage. To win at bridge don’t
expect to win points at all the hands, it is sufficient
to score as well as possible for one’s own side and
to punish the opponents each time they err.
principle should be applied not only to offensive bids,
but to defensive bids as well. In Blue Team each suit
opening bid is limited to 16 HCP and the opener, in
the second or third bid, is always in the best position
to show her own strength, showing if she has a reverser
hand, a maximum, or a minimum. The result of this approach
is soon responder is in a great position, when he can
exclude slam, to make the final call.
system therefore encourages following direct sequences,
that don’t allow the enemy into the auction and that
do not give out distributional info.
partnership Hamman-Wolff, which has always played a
variant of the Blue Team Club, has always avoided opening
1¨ with a good 4-card major to allow the responder to hide her own 4-card
major and proceed directly to 3NT. A sequence 1¨-3NT, in Blue Team, is extremely efficient in how much it reveals about
opener's hand, about which only one thing is known,
and can be carried out with a vast variety of distributions.
the four card major opening, always anticipating a fit,
allows simple and rapid quantitative sequences, that
reveal nothing of the presence of a 5-card side suit.
weak jump overcalls and responses are instead avoided,
because, when the opponents get to NT,they can rapidly isolate the “dangerous” hand
and play against the partner, certain of the fact that,
most of the time, the only communications available
is in the overcalled long suit.
studying the system it is good to remember the three
base ideas. One will discover very soon that each sequence,
each architectural choice, each convention in fact,
is always the application of one or more of these principles.