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Bidding Bridge: A few words with Valerio Giubilo

leggi in Italiano »

Valerio, suppose to address to a beginner: how do you explain the basic features of the system played by Giubilo-Lauria-Versace ?

It is a substantially simplex system. We play five card major, fourth diamonds, preparatory club (by 2+ cards), game forcing 2♣, strong balanced 2♦. The last one is maybe a little particular, but it today belongs to many systems; its advantage is that, when the opening is not 2, the strong balanced hand is ruled out. That is: when you open 1♣ or 1 and later you show a strong hand, you haven’t a balanced hand. I.e. if you open 1♣ or 1 and after you show a strong hand, you sure have an unbalanced hand. To do not open 2 is meaningful by self.

Well, so your 2 opening is not Multicolor. But what do you think of this convention?

I did never play the 2 multicolor, and I hope never do it. I respect, of course, who plays it, but I don’t think this convention is effective. In a weak two opening, I think, it need tell at once to the partner what suit we have. It is more important that the partner know our suit than the opponents ignore it. is going to publish the “Gazzilli à la Lauria”, or the Gazzilli convention according to Lauria.

Say that Lorenzo invented an original development of the convention: rather complex but extremely efficient.


On the Lauria-Giubilo variant, Valerio, I have a doubt. After 1– 1♠(1NT), or after 1♠-1NT, the opener’s 2♣ can be a relay that allows the responder to ask on shape and strength, or to sign-off. So the responder too has to explain his hand, then building a fine structure, but, need to say, raising sometimes too high. For example:


2♣-2NT (4-7 HCP; 0-1 heart, 4 spades, at least 3 clubs)

3♣ (Sign off).

Here the overall strength is 15-24 and the trump can be 4-3. When the opponents reopen by double (that is almost always, at least in MP tourneys), they will find their diamond fit, or your poor and probably bad-broken club fit, then the punishment. Which advantages make this up?

You’re highlighting the flaws of the convention [laughing], but I explain to you the advantages of it. The hands in which there is low precision, or where it is reached a level too high, or there’s the risk to be punished, are much less than the ones where the system allows, by these sequences, to reach games otherwise difficult to bid, even better to reach the best game. The hands in which this convention gives advantages are statistically much more of those where you are in troubles. The gain, then, is given by the precision in bidding when the responder is not weak and the opener is strong: this allows to bid the best game, and this is enough to justify the fee that could be payed in the situation that you describe in the question. It must be said, furthermore, that in the same uncomfortable situation are the players that do not employ the Gazzilli and rise by the “natural” way to an unsafe height.


And now I submit to you  the perfect hand for the takeout double. Michael Lawrence says that the “perfect hand” for the takeout double is a 4441, and that with such shape eleven HCP are enough for enter any opening at level one.

South has opened 1; as West, Lawrence doubles with:

A1094 6 K982 ♣K1094: ten HCP by heads and with “body”. Is it enough for you?

Having: ♠6 A1094 K982 ♣K1094, and being vulnerable, would you double an opening of 1♠?

The double is the most meaningful call in the modern bridge. And I’m talking of all doubles. For a takeout double I would have the hand laid on by Lawrence: it is the one that every player dreams. The answer to the question is then that I double with both hands. Perfect shape, controls, excellent intermediate cards suggest to be active in the second case too, where the partner has to bid at level two. I have few doubts, and I have the awareness that the partner knows to find me with such hand.

Also with xx – AKxx – KJx – J10xx it is unlikely you find someone that does not double 1♠, even though I would prefer the other hand to do it.


Look through our collection:

The perfect hand for takeout double (1) >>

The perfect hand for takeout double (2) >>

The Gazzilli convention >>

by Laura Camponeschi (consultancy Paolo E. Garrisi)

March 11, 2011

read First part of Giubilo’s interview >>

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