Precision Club

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Precision Club is a bidding system in the game of contract bridge. It is a type of strong club system that was invented by C. C. Wei and used to good effect by Taiwan teams in the early 1970s. Their success kicked off a wave of experimentation with strong club systems around the world.

The central feature of the Precision system is that a bid of 1♣ is used (with the exception of a balanced 22-24 high card points) to open any hand with 16 or more high card points (HCPs), regardless of distribution. An opening bid of one of a major suit signifies a five-card suit and 11-15 HCPs. A 1NT opening bid signifies a balanced hand (no five-card major suit) and 13-15 HCPs. Because all opening bids except 1♣ are limited, the responder almost immediately knows the hand potential and the chances for a part score, game or slam.

After the success of Taiwan (Republic of China) teams in 1970 and 1971 Bermuda Bowls with the system, the entire Italian Blue team switched to Precision club and won yet another World Olympiad in 1972. The modifications to the system were made chiefly by Benito Garozzo and he titled it "Super-Precision".

In North America, Precision sees relatively limited use as compared to Standard American and later 2/1 game forcing. Precision is generally more efficient (and precise, as the name would suggest) than Standard American. The main opening bid of 1 club is artificial and it has some optional artificial sequences that must be memorized by the partnership (although it can be played "naturally" as well) , and this has led to its reputation as an advanced player's bidding system. However, as experience has proven so far, the more "natural" 2/1 is often bloated with various gadgets to cope with its main deficiency (which is the 12-20 range for the opening bid), leading to many memory errors, bidding misunderstandings and general guesswork that would be avoided by the simplest version of Precision.

The most notable today's pair who plays Precision club are multiple world champions Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell.

Main opening sequences

  • 1♣: Conventional, 16+
    • Responses:
    • 1: 0-7 or any 4441
    • 1, 1♠, 2♣ 2: 8+, 5-card suit
    • 1NT: 8-10, balanced
    • 2, 2♠: 4-7, 6-card suit
    • 2NT: 11-13 or 16+, balanced
    • 3♣, 3, 3, 3♠: 4-7, 7-card suit
    • 3NT: 14-15, balanced
  • 1: 11-15, 2-card suit
  • 1, 1♠: 11-15, 5-card suit
  • 1NT: 13-15, balanced
  • 2♣: 11-15, 6-card suit or a 5-card suit with a 4-card major
  • 2: Conventional (Mini-Roman), 11-15, 3-suited hand with singleton or void in diamond
  • 2, 2♠: Weak two bid, 8-10, good 6-card suit
  • 2NT: 22-24, balanced
  • 3♣, 3, 3, 3♠: normal preempts
  • 3NT: Conventional (Gambling), solid 7-card minor suit leading with AKQ, no outside strength

Precision today

There have been many variations since 1969's 'Precision Club'. 3NT is played as 'Gambling' (where it used to show 24-27HCP) , 1♣ - 1 is not anymore a 4-4-4-1 (Impossible Negative), and the "Unusual Positive" is used instead. Also, many systems using relay bids are precision-based, opening a strong club.

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