Stage 2 Conventions by Neil Rosen
Defence against Weak Twos and the Multi
AS THE years have ticked by, I find that an Thus over a weak-two bid a jump whether to continue to bid once partner
increasing percentage of the bridge overcall should be strong, whereas has responded at the three-level. If you
playing population now play some sort of over a strong-two bid a jump overcall pass, partner invariably has 8 or 9 points
‘germ warfare’ whether it be: should be played as weak! and game is missed, whereas if you bid
then he always seems to have a mere 3 or 4
a) Weak Two bids in three suits • A 2NT OVERCALL points and game will fail. How frustrating!
b) Weak Two bids in the majors (Benji This is natural (good 15-18 HCP) So with real values (8+ points and a
style) with a balanced hand and at least one five-card suit, or 9+ and a four-card suit)
c) The Multi (originally referred to as stopper in the opponent’s suit. Please the doubler’s partner should bid three of
the Multi-coloured 2t) note this is not the unusual 2NT. his suit. If the doubler’s partner is weaker
d) Some form of two-suited Weak Twos Responses should be exactly the (0-7 points approx.), he must start with
(Lucas style). same as if you were responding to an the 2NT artificial response which asks the
opening bid of 2NT: Stayman (or doubler to bid 3® for the moment –
The need to have an organised defence is puppet Stayman) and transfers etc. unless particularly strong.
absolutely vital so you do not just get should still apply. For example:
• A TAKE-OUT DOUBLE
Defence vs Weak-two Bids This is the area where most improve- ´ 62 ´ 754
ment has developed over the years. ™ KQ76 N ™ 83
There have been many defences that have I use Lebensohl-style responses, t KQ32 S t A9864
been played over the years – Hackett being similar to those after intervention ® A Q 10 ® J76
among the most popular ones. To my over 1NT (see my last article in issue
mind, easily the most sensible defence to 245) but slightly different. Using a
play is to treat a weak two in exactly the weak 2™ opening as an example, the West North East South
same way as if the opponents had opened scheme works like this: 2´
with one of that suit. The most important Dble Pass 2NT Pass
addition to this, however, is to incorporate After (2™) – Dble – (Pass): 3® Pass 3t All Pass
Lebensohl-style responses once we double i. 2´ = natural, 0-7 HCP.
for take-out. So the scheme is as follows: ii. 2NT = artificial, 0-7 HCP (The East-West can now stop at a safe level since
doubler is required at this stage to the 16-HCP doubling hand knows his
• A SUIT OVERCALL bid 3® unless he has a very strong partner to have only 0-7 HCP.
At the two level, a good five-card suit hand, 19+ approx.).
and the equivalent of an opening iii. 3®/3t = natural / invitational, Defence vs Lucas-style Bids
hand. 8-11 HCP approx.
At the three level, a six-card suit should iv. 3™ = cue-bid of opponents suit; Many play 2™ as five hearts and a minor
almost always be held and again the this is forcing to game and and 2´ as five spades and another suit
equivalent of an opening bid. acts as Stayman. with a weak hand.
Do not make an overcall with a v. 3´ = natural (usually 5+ spades); The style here should be to defend as if
weak hand yourself – this just leads can be played as invitational the opponents have opened with a natural
to calamity and disaster! or forcing depending on weak-two bid. Thus suit bids are natural,
partnership agreement. double is take-out, jump bids are strong
• A JUMP OVERCALL I play it as forcing; to invite, etc.
e.g. (2t) – 3™ / or (2™) – 3´ bid 2NT then 3´ over Again, it is very important to incorpo-
This should be a ‘strong jump over- partner’s 3® response – rate the Lebensohl-style responses once
call’, traditionally about 16-18 HCP simple! you have doubled these bids.
and always with at least a six-card I can sense some of you reading this (I
suit. The key here is that when you double hope some of you still are!) feeling that
Note ‘strong over weak and weak partner is forced to respond. It is very this is all a bit ‘expert’. In reality Lebensohl-
over strong’ as a maxim to guide you. difficult in normal methods to judge style responses are efficient, easy to learn
22 English Bridge April 2013 www.ebu.co.uk