Sunday, August 10, 2008

Modified Two-Way Drury

Drury is a "must" convention for any partnership that may open light in third and fourth chair. Especially at matchpoints, it's good tactics to open the bidding in third chair with a hand like AKT96 K753 97 T5, but when your partner will gleefully leap to 3S with a hand like QJ83 T6 K542 QJ32, you'll go down hard (sometimes doubled) at the three-level.

Douglas Drury devised his now-famous convention in self-defense. He was tired of raising his partner Eric Murray's third chair openings to the three-level and watching him go for 1100. He felt much better being able to stop at the two-level for only 800!

As originally written up, responder would bid 2C with almost any maximum passed hand, and opener would bid 2D with any minimum. This got quickly amended by most tournament players to promise a fit with the 2C call, with opener's negative rebid being two of his major (known as Reverse Drury).

A further innovation was Two-Way Drury. Responder would bid 2C with a good three-card raise, or 2D with a good four-card raise. I played this this for a few years, until I learned of this modification:

2C = 4 card constructive or limit raise
2D = 3 card limit raise
2M = 3 card constructive raise

After P - 1M - 2C, opener can sign off in two of his suit, or bid 2D to ask which type of raise. With the constructive raise, responder returns to two of the major. With the limit raise, responder bids as naturally as possible. So, with

KT98 QJ52 J76 83

the auction would go (opponents silent)

P - 1S;
2C! - 2D!

but with

KT98 QJ52 A76 83

the auction would go

P - 1S;
2C! - 2D!

and with

KT98 QJ52 A763 5

the auction would go

P - 1S;
2C! - 2D!
4C (splinter).

Knowing partner's exact trump length is a very important thing for some players. I made the decision a while back that I'm not one of them. I decided that three bids (2C, 2D, 2M) to raise partner was a little too much wastage. The argument for two-way Drury is that on a lot of hands that would bid a natural 2D over partner's third chair opening would've opened a weak 2D in first chair. I decided to go with that argument... so now, with most partners, I play P - 1M - 2D as Reverse Drury, and P - 1M - 2C as natural!


RoboJenny said...

Nice post. I seem to play "two-way reversed" Drury right now, but never was sure what non-two-way or non-reversed meant.

Could you maybe tell me what the "fit" checkbox (on an ACBL convention card) for Drury is for? What form of Drury would check this box and what form would not?


McKenzie said...

As far as I can tell, the "fit" means the newer (only 30 years old) style that Drury promises a fit. So few people play that Drury doesn't necessarily show a fit that I think the checkbox is more confusing than helpful.