The Gazzilli convention (by P.E. Garrisi)

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The “Gazzilli” is a convention of Leo Gazzilli from Milan, 1959 Italian open teams champion and 1973 and 1975 runner up. The convention permits the opener showing his 5-4 two suiter by 16-17 points: good hands but not eligible for reverse or jump sequences, as this one:

♠A109xx KxKQ10x ♣Ax

After the opening in the major suit and the response at level one, the opener rebids 2♣; the responder asks by 2 and the opener shows his holdings.


As it may be expected, there are almost as many Gazzilli as bridge players; the one which will be presented here is an author’s original published in “La logica del bridge naturale (The logic of natural Bridge)” – 1984 Mursia, not translated in English. This book has been written by Giorgio Torielli, an university teacher, and Franco Di Stefano. The latter, most responsible for the technical part of the book, is a World Master, 1975 European open teams champion, three times MEC champion, (European Common Market) and many other national titles holder. Di Stefano is a bridge teacher and a journalist too, and also has written the old Italian Standard, with Giorgio Belladonna, and the new one, with Enzo Riolo.

The reader must be aware that the Gazzilli we are introducing is an original, however it’s not necessarily the best one, today.


1♠-1NT; 2♣-2. THEN:

2♠: Spades-minor by 12-15 points

2: Spades-Hearts 16-17

2NT: Spades-minor 5-5 by 16-17

3♣: Spades-Clubs 16-17

3: Spades-Diamonds 16-17

3: Spades-Hearts 5-5 by 16-17

3♠: One suiter 16-17. The suit is leaky, otherwise the opener would have made the natural 3♠ jump instead starting the Gazzilli.


1-1NT; 2♣-2. THEN:

2: Hearts-minor by 12-15 points

2NT: Hearts-minor 5-5 by 16-17 points

3♣: Hearts-Clubs 16-17

3: Hearts-Diamonds 16-17

3: One suiter 16-17 (as 3♠ above).


– 1-1♠; 2♣-2. THEN:

2: Natural by 12-15 points

2♠: As 2, with three cards support

2NT: Hearts-minor 5-5 by 16-17

3♣: Hearts-Clubs 16-17

3: Hearts-Diamonds 16-17

3: One suiter 16-17 (as 3 above).

3♠: Hearts-Clubs 16-17 and three cards support

3NT: Hearts-Diamonds 16-17 and three cards support


The use of Gazzilli clears the opener’s holding in which is not Gazzilli:

1♠-1NT; 2/2: never over 14 points

1/1♠-1♠ (1NT); 3♣/3 (or 3 if the opening has been 1♠): always 18+


Paolo Enrico Garrisi

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