By Peter Rhead
Examples of Weak-Two Bid Responses
Over the last two weeks we introduced opening and response strategies for the Weak-Two convention. The responder becomes the captain. Only he knows the potential of the two hands. Remember, the Weak-Two bid is based on a weak hand of about 10 points including two length points and a good suit of six cards.
Therefore, responder needs at least 16 points to consider bidding for a game or slam. With less than 16 points your side will have a part-score at best, so why up the ante with another bid? Responder should just PASS unless he can extend the preempt. With three-card support for opener, and equal or favourable vulnerability, he can extend the preempt by raising one level to make the opponent’s bidding even more difficult.
Consider that your partner has been dealt this hand and opens Two Spades.
Opening partner has ten points including two length points and a good six-card suit (three of the top five honours). Partner would definitely open this hand Two Spades in first, second, third and fourth seat. Partner also could overcall Two-Spades in second, third and fourth seat if you and your partner use the Weak-Two convention.
Now it is your turn as responder. Following are four examples of different responses from four different hands that you might hold. Today we will discuss the following four possible response bids. They are Three Spades, PASS, a New Suit and 2NT. You must bid one of them.
Response One: You have a hand with less than 16 points—even zero points but three-card Spade support for opener. Bid Three Spades. This is not inviting opener. He knows it just extends the preempt to make it more difficult for the opponents.
Response Two: You have a hand with less than 16 points and no three-card Spade support for opener. Just PASS. Your side is not going anywhere!
Response Three: You have a hand with 16 points or more. You know you have a probable game—maybe even a slam. You, the responder, bid a new suit. Opener now knows that you are looking for game or slam. The new suit forces opener to bid again for at least one round. Opener can support your new suit, or bid a control (Ace or protected King) in a new suit heading for No-Trump, or re-bid his Weak-Two showing nothing more to contribute.
Finally, Response Four: You have a hand with 16 points or more. You know you have a probable game—maybe even a slam but this time your response is 2NT which again is forcing. Your 2NT response has a completely different meaning. 2NT asks opener for a feature (Ace or protected King) in another suit with which responder might get to opener’s hand. You are heading for a No-Trump game or slam.
By the way, one of our readers correctly pointed out that in recent columns when referring to Ace or King, I should always say “protected King”. Thanks for the input.
For more information, read “Weak-Two Bids“ in Barbara Seagram’s 25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know, page 33
Next Week: Ogust Responses To A Weak-Two Bid
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. Go to ACBL.org and click on Play Bridge. Then follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to include it in this column.
Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.
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