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2[DI] Opening = Weak With Majors How do you defend?

#1 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 06:58

Recent discussions have me wondering what are some common defenses to a 2 opening which shows a weak hand with the majors. In the US we don't face such opening regularly, so nothing is common or standard, but I'm sure some of you from places with more liberal system regulations must have a variety of defenses.

What are the defenses? Does it matter if the opening shows 4+/4+, 5+/4+, 4+/5+ or at least 45 either way?
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#2 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 07:05

If one of the suits is known to be 5, a bid in that suit shows both minors. If both are known to be 5, 2 shows longer/better clubs.

Maybe a jump overcall 3/ shows some strong single-suiter in a minor, for example asking for a stop in the other major, or 3 showing clubs and 3 showing diamonds. I think the first is better.

Otherwise just natural. 2NT=17-19, x=13-16 or some monster hand.
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#3 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 07:09

See above. I just add that if 2/3M overcalls can be natural if there's no known 5 card suit.
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#4 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 07:23

Don't your defenses include mention of sequences such as:

2-P-2-DBL;
2-P-2-P, P-DBL;
2-P-2-P, P-2NT; or
2-P-P-?
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#5 User is offline   Ant590 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 07:29

Similar to the above posts I play:

Dbl = (12)13-15bal or big hand
2 = weak t/o to minors
2 = constructive+ t/o to minors
2NT = natural
3M = stopper showing, looking for 3NT (probably not the best use, but fits with meta-rules of system)

Edit: after 2 - pass - 2/ we "pretend" they have opened normal 2/2 and bid accordingly
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#6 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 07:29

2-P-2-DBL;
As against a natural 2 opening (if 2 and/or 3 would be conventional in direct seat it also applies here, though).

2-P-2-P, P-DBL;
As when balancing against a natural weak two by a passed hand (see above, though).

2-P-2-P, P-2NT;
As above. (probably both minors. If 2 would show both minors with longer diamonds, this shows longer clubs).

2-P-P-?
Not sure. I think t/o of diamonds.
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#7 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 07:54

Crunch time at work, so not much time to post:

Here's one thing to think about (particularly if the 2 opening could be based on a 4/4 pattern). Many Scandinavians who face these methods ltos more than we do recommend playing X as penalty oriented.

In this case, you probably don't want to use 2NT as a natural bid. You might consider something like the following:

X = Penalty
2 = Takeout of Hearts (3=1=4=5 / 3=1=5=4 would be prototypical)
2 = Takeout of Spades
2N = Puppet to 3
3 = Minors
3 = Natural
3M = Stopper ask
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#8 User is offline   Gerben42 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 08:03

Since it is known that some would open 2 with four small in one suit, I prefer:

Dbl = "points"
2 = Natural
2 = T/O for the minors
2NT = Natural
3m = Natural
3M = Intermediate, good 6-card

2 dbl 2M dbl = T/O

Recently we were cold for 6 and 6 after 2 (2x down 6 at favourable).
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#9 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 08:22

hrothgar, on Dec 7 2009, 08:54 AM, said:

Crunch time at work, so not much time to post:

Here's one thing to think about (particularly if the 2 opening could be based on a 4/4 pattern). Many Scandinavians who face these methods ltos more than we do recommend playing X as penalty oriented.

In this case, you probably don't want to use 2NT as a natural bid. You might consider something like the following:

X = Penalty
2 = Takeout of Hearts (3=1=4=5 / 3=1=5=4 would be prototypical)
2 = Takeout of Spades
2N = Puppet to 3
3 = Minors
3 = Natural
3M = Stopper ask

Shouldn't you switch 2 and 2 so that intervenor bids the suit/fragment that he has, leaving open the possibility of playing in 2M? Or, do you mean for these to be forcing to the three-level?
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#10 User is offline   suokko 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 08:25

Gerben42, on Dec 7 2009, 04:03 PM, said:

Since it is known that some would open 2 with four small in one suit, I prefer:

Dbl = "points"
2 = Natural
2 = T/O for the minors
2NT = Natural
3m = Natural
3M = Intermediate, good 6-card

2 dbl 2M dbl = T/O

Recently we were cold for 6 and 6 after 2 (2x down 6 at favourable).

We use similar but 2NT is the minors and 2 is natural.

Also all doubles later on are t/o oriented.

But no agreements if one suit is known to be longer because none has played that way. It is always 4+4+ or 5+4+ either way. I guess we would change bid of longer major to show some unbal strong hands (maybe OM+m 2-suiters).

If opponents play 4+4+ variant it is in IMPs quite much double them and see how much plus you collect defense.
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#11 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 08:27

Gerben42, on Dec 7 2009, 09:03 AM, said:

Since it is known that some would open 2 with four small in one suit, I prefer:

Dbl = "points"
2 = Natural
2 = T/O for the minors
2NT = Natural
3m = Natural
3M = Intermediate, good 6-card

2 dbl 2M dbl = T/O

Recently we were cold for 6 and 6 after 2 (2x down 6 at favourable).

So, you can bid a natural 2 directly, but not a natural 2? Does this mean that 2-P-2/3-P, P-2/3 is also natural?

After a natural 2, are spade bids cue-bids or natural?

After 2-2-P, where 2 is takeout for the minors, is 2N by advancer natural, some sort of good/bad, or something of a scramble (asking intervenor to bid his longer minor)? How strong or weak can this minor suit takeout be? Is 3M by advancer a cue-bid or natural or a stopper showing?
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#12 User is offline   Bende 

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Posted 2009-December-07, 09:09

TimG, on Dec 7 2009, 02:58 PM, said:

Recent discussions have me wondering what are some common defenses to a 2 opening which shows a weak hand with the majors.  In the US we don't face such opening regularly, so nothing is common or standard, but I'm sure some of you from places with more liberal system regulations must have a variety of defenses.

What are the defenses?  Does it matter if the opening shows 4+/4+, 5+/4+, 4+/5+ or at least 45 either way?

...

Don't your defenses include mention of sequences such as:

2-P-2-DBL;
2-P-2-P, P-DBL;
2-P-2-P, P-2NT; or
2-P-P-?

Against 2 = 4+/4+, we play

dbl = 15+ balanced
2 = natural
2 = natural
2NT = takeout for minors

2-P-2-DBL = balanced
2-P-2-P, P-DBL = takeout
2-P-2-P, P-2NT = weaker takeout for the minors

2-P-P- is perhaps more tricky.
dbl = takeout
2 = natural
2 = natural
2NT = natural?
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#13 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2009-December-08, 11:05

TimG, on Dec 7 2009, 01:23 PM, said:

Don't your defenses include mention of sequences such as:

2-P-2-DBL;
2-P-2-P, P-DBL;
2-P-2-P, P-2NT; or
2-P-P-?

I don't have that discussed, but I would say those are take-outs for the minors.

Except for the last, of course. In that case I'd play all natural, with dbl = cards.
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#14 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-December-08, 16:31

Are these the kind of defenses that partnerships with system notes have? Although I wouldn't expect quite the detail required by ACBL for inclusion in the Defense Database, I expected more detailed agreements. I do understand that some of the defense can be covered by meta agreements, but still I expected more.

Not that I am complaining about the quality/quantity. Part of this exercise was to find out what kinds of agreements people who play in more permissive environments have and part of it was to start toward a complete defense that could be submitted for approval by ACBL. For the latter, I was fully aware that I would have to put things together.
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#15 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2009-December-13, 14:16

Here's what I'd suggest. I'll assume that 2 could be only four cards in either major. Generally if the opening shows a specific five-card suit (i.e. 2 showing 5+ and 4+) then I tend to defend it as a transfer preempt, which means I give up playing in their five-bagger and use that as a cuebid. The version where either major could be four is potentially more difficult, so that's the one I'll deal with here.

Directly over 2:

Double = 15+ balanced, or any 18+ hand not suited to other calls
2M = natural, a good 5+ card suit, at least opening values
2NT = minor suit takeout, minimum of 4-4 in the minor suits and opening values
3m = natural three-level overcall (as over a weak two bid)
3M = stopper showing; suggests a running minor suit and weakness in the other major
3NT = to play, usually a long minor and major suit stoppers rather than a balanced hand
4 = extreme minor two-suiter, typically 6-5 or better, decent hand but NF
4 = extreme minor two-suiter, at least 6-5, forcing to game (ask partner to pick suit)
4M = to play, long and strong suit with a good hand, not caring about bad break

After 2-Pass-2M:

Defend as if a natural weak 2M was opened. If you play lebensohl after 2M-X then, lebensohl is also on after 2-Pass-2M-X.

After 2-Pass-3M or 2-Pass-4M

Double is takeout-oriented, but mostly for the minors. It shows a good hand with relative shortness in the suit "raised" by RHO. Other calls are natural. Doubles at the four-level will often be left in (i.e. more of a "cards" double, although certainly not promising a trump stack).

After 2-X-2M or 2-X-3M/4M:

As if partner had opened a strong notrump and opponents overcalled 2M (or 3M, 4M). If you play lebensohl or rubensohl, that method is on here. The other major is still a possible place to play in this auction. Pass here is not forcing.

After 2-Pass-Pass:

Double is general values. This is not a penalty double and usually shows a good balanced hand, but it will often be left in since the hand is an apparent misfit. 2M and 3 are natural. 2NT shows a strong 3 overcall, not suitable to defend 2X (partner bids 3 with a weak hand and otherwise cuebids a stopper or bids 3NT). 3 is a stopper-ask. 3M is natural and strong. If a bid of 2M/3 is made over 2 here, continue as if a weak two in diamonds were opened, so 3 is the cuebid, major suit calls are natural, etc.

After 2-X-Pass, where pass is suggesting to play 2X:

Pass to defend 2X opposite partner's presumed strong notrump. 2M is natural (five-card suit) and suggests a contract. 2NT shows a weak 3 bid (wants to play 3) whereas a direct 3 is game-going and natural. After various continuations, 3 becomes the cuebid (so for example 2-X-Pass-2NT-Pass and 3 shows a normal strong notrump, whereas 3 shows extras and is forcing and artificial).

After 2-X-XX, where XX suggests to play 2XX:

As after 2-X-Pass above.

After 2-X-XX, where XX asks opener's better major:

As if partner opened a strong 1NT and RHO bid 2=majors. Feel free to pass with weak hands as 2XX will not be left in here.

After 2-2M-(any):

Bidding the other major acts as a cuebid. Other calls are natural, with new suits being forcing as usual over a 2M overcall.

After 2-2NT-Pass:

3m is natural (4+) and fairly weak, just taking out partner's takeout bid. 3M shows a stopper and game values, asking partner to bid 3NT if possible. 3NT is to play. 4m is a distributional invite.

After 2-3m-Pass:

A 3M shows a strong holding in the major suit bid. This might just be stopper(s) for notrump; it does not necessarily promise a playable suit. Otherwise, 3NT is to play, bidding the other minor is natural and forcing, raising to 4m shows a distributional invite, and jumping to the four-level is a splinter in support of partner's minor.

After 2-3m-Pass-3M-Pass:

3NT shows the other major stopped. 4m shows a minimum without control of the other major. Other calls are basically natural with a maximum hand. Bidding four of advancer's major shows a fit and offers to play 4M if advancer has a real suit (if advancer corrects to 5m, it's to play).

After 2-4m-Pass:

4M shows an ace in the bid suit and a fit, asks partner to bid slam if not void in this major. Five of a minor (or 4 over 4) is to play. 4NT denies a major suit ace but shows enough high cards in the minors that slam is possible if not off two major suit cashers.

-------

Perhaps the defense should also include what to do after 2-Pass-3m or 2-X-3m, but since these continuations were not even defined in the original post I can't comment on them.
Adam W. Meyerson
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#16 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-December-13, 14:50

After 2-P-2M-P-P-? are balancing actions as if by a passed hand, or would double here be a takeout double with something like opening bid strength?
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#17 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2009-December-13, 15:23

We play an initial double shows a good weak no trump (13-15 or so) or a similar strength minor overcall. Subsequent doubles are takeout and double and bid a minor after partner responds in another suit don't show extras.

A direct bid in a major is natural.

A direct bid in a minor is better than a direct double.

2NT is 16-18 or so.

If partner is a passed hand then double starts at a strong no trump and 2NT is stronger.

The rationale for this defense particularly the double is that before adopting this method we seemed to reasonably frequently miss a game (usually 3NT) when we both had approximately balanced 13 counts and yet neither of us had a sensible entry into the auction.

Potentially entering the auction with these weaker hands is dangerous but it doesnt seem to work out that way. At least in terms of frequency getting to the good games seems to out weigh significant penalties.
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#18 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2009-December-13, 15:25

After 2-P-2M-P-P:

Double = takeout with roughly opening values; includes length in the other major
New suit = natural, weaker than direct action
2NT = weak takeout for the minors, typically around 8-11 hcp
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#19 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2009-December-13, 18:27

Actually I don't think doubling 2 with a weak notrump is particularly dangerous, and as Cascade points out it will help you on those hands.

My defense will do a lot better when we have the strong notrump however, because we get the opportunity to defend when it's right (which it often will be). I also think it's advantageous to be able to show a minor-suit oriented takeout directly, since the opponents will often raise to the three level quickly on this auction, making it difficult to clarify hand type if we start with a double that just shows some point range. And some of the weak notrump hands can double back in when 2M passes back.

It's possible that I'm underestimating the frequency/magnitude of the potential losses when we hold the weak notrump hand in direct seat, but I suspect that in a substantial percentage of these cases we're fine defending 2M anyway. It might be worth generating some hands to compare the two defenses, as well as to determine the frequency of wanting to play in a major suit after the 2 opening by opponents (both Cascade and I assume that it's worth devoting several calls to in our defenses).
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#20 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2009-December-13, 18:40

awm, on Dec 13 2009, 11:16 PM, said:

Directly over 2:

Double = 15+ balanced, or any 18+ hand not suited to other calls
2M = natural, a good 5+ card suit, at least opening values
2NT = minor suit takeout, minimum of 4-4 in the minor suits and opening values
3m = natural three-level overcall (as over a weak two bid)

Hi Adam

I think that you'd do significantly better if you used 3 to show both minors.

2NT to show the minors is really inefficient, since you need to use both 3 and 3 to show preference.

If you used 3 to show the minors, responder can pass with club preference or bid 3 with Diamonds.

In turn, this lets you use 2NT as a puppet to Clubs which will allow you to show a LOT more hand types.
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