24 English Bridge February 2018 www.ebu.co.uk
ver the next couple of articles I will take an
in-depth look at the Weak No Trump. We
will start by looking at how to defend
against it using a couple of mainstream defences.
We will then look at how to manage if you open a
weak no trump and the opposition has the temerity
to double it for penalties! (we've all been there I'm
sure).DEFINING THE WEAK NO TRUMP
DA balanced hand of 12-14 HCPs (some people
choose to open with a 'good' 11 HCPs -
particularly if non-vulnerable)
DNo voids, no singletons, not more than one
DThis can be expressed by stating the acceptable
4·3·3·3, 4·4·3·2, 5·3·3·2
The jury is still out on 5·3·3·2-whether to
include 5-card majors or not. My personal
preference is to open the major if it is respectable -
it contains two reasonable honours - otherwise to
open 1NT. Some people always open 1NT with any
5·3·3·2 - the main thing is to agree with your
partner. My preference when playing the Strong No
Trump is to open 1NT with all 5·3·3·2 shapes
including 5-card majors since the rebids after
opening 1M simply do not work well.
ADVANTAGES OF THE WEAK NO TRUMP
DVery high frequency. You gets lots of familiarity
here, so with tried and tested methods (Stayman,
transfers etc) you should be able to obtain good
results on a regular basis.
DPre-emption - you ramp the bidding up
immediately, so if the opposition want to
interfere they have to enter the auction at the
2-level rather than being able to make a simple
overcall at the 1-level. The Weak No Trump
If you could add one thing . . . by Neil Rosen
A DESIRE TO INTERVENE
Clearly if your opponents open 1NT they often
will end up scoring nicely - either by playing in 1NT
or finding other good contracts. One of the aims of
good competitive players (particularly at pairs) is to
dislodge them from 1NT as often as possible.
You may find a nice making contract of your own
or failing that at least shift them out of the high
scoring 1NT contract.
METHODS TO INTERFERE
Over the years many conventional defences have
been devised - Landy, Multi-Landy, Astro, Aspro,
Asptro, Pinpoint Astro, Ripstra, Cansino,
Needless to say, there are more - some recent and
some going back many a long year. I covered Multi
Landy in some depth in October 2012. This time I
will cover one of the most-played conventions
across the world - Landy. Next time I will look at
one of my personal favourites - Asptro.
Named after Alvin Landy, a top US bridge player
and administrator of much repute back in the 1940s
and 50s. The idea of the convention (used widely
after both a weak or strong 1NT opening) is to play
all bids as natural except for 2® which is used to
show both majors.
REQUIREMENTS TO USE LANDY
Obviously the weaker you are the more shape you
require. A rough guide would be a minimum seven
or eight points with 5·5 shape, rising to 10+ with 5·4
shape - these are very rough guidelines only.
Needless to say, the lower the values the more the
points should be concentrated in the two suits. A
minimum for the bid might be something like:
´KJ73 ™KQ1062 t987 ®5
I know, I know. It's only nine and I said 10 but
5·4·3·1 is nice and all the strength is in the two suits.