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Week 0212 : 15th July 2024

ASPTRO CONVENTION

This is a defence to a 1NT opening that, as the name implies, takes an element from both ASPRO and ASTRO. 2♣ shows hearts and another suit while 2 shows spades and another suit. The method has the advantage that two bids are available to show both major suits instead of one, thus improving definition. When holding both majors, some partnerships prefer to treat their longer suit as the anchor suit, others use the shorter. Anchoring into the shorter major is the more popular method.

On Hand 1 you bid 2♣, showing hearts and another. You intend to pass if partner makes the relay reply of 2 (denying heart support).

On Hand 2 you bid 2, showing spades and another. You intend to rebid 2♠, promising a fifth spade, if partner makes the relay reply of 2.

With Hand 3 you bid 2♣ or 2 depending upon whether you anchor to the longer or the shorter major.

Despite the theoretical possibility of showing all the two-suited hands via Asptro, in practice you rarely get to play in the overcaller’s minor. Even if you do, it is often at the three level, which can be too high.

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