The game of bridge offers one player to open the auction. The game of bridge also offers the opponents of the opener to compete, interfere, intervene, or overcall even after an initial pass. This is a competitive and defensive action and is generally based on a devised and developed conventional defense method.
The attempt has been made to list these defense methods on this web page. The attempt is to list them in alphabetical order owing to the fact that many defense methods have no official designation. The intent of the defense method is made clear in the description. The attempt has also been made to list defense methods to defense methods or methods for the responder and/or advancer, which are continuances in a competitive auction.
The reader, student, and visitor must please remember that these defense methods are only suggestions and recommendations, and that these defense methods do not always carry an official, or even semi-official designation. Many of these defense methods must be submitted to sponsoring organizations of national and international tournaments in order to become permitted as part of the partnership agreement.
Any bridge player wishing to add their defense method to this list can do so for the benefit of other bridge players. All contributions will be credited with the name of the contributor.
Important Note: This list is alphabetical and is in no manner categorized or classified.
Advanced lebensohl deals with the bidding situation created for the responder of the opener, who has opened the auction in a suit, and there is an immediate overcall of 1 No Trump. This variant of Lebensohl was devised by Mr. Glenn McIntyre of Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
Astro Defense Method - Astro Convention
This conventional defense method uses the bid of a Minor suit overcall after a strong No Trump opening or a weak No Trump opening to show a particular distributional holding and can be employed either in the immediate seat or in the balancing seat. The terminology comes from the names of the bridge players, who devised the convention: Mr. Paul Allinger - Mr. Roger STern - Mr. Larry ROssler.
This conventional defense method was devised by Mr. Alvin Roth and Mr. Tobias Stone, two successful bridge personalities, partners, and authors. This version of the Astro defense method, employed after a No Trump opening by the opponents, shows a two-suited holding of two known suits.
Half Astro Defense Method
This is a variation on the concept of the Astro conventional method devised by Mr. David Collier of Manchester, United Kingdom. Source is his online BlogSpot. The significance of the designation is unknown.
Grano-Astro Defense Method
This variation of the Astro conventional defense method following a 1 No Trump opening bid by the opposing side is credited to Mr. Matthew Granovetter. This variation expands also upon the original version not only with the employment of the double but also with the expansion of the number of possible overcalls.
Modified Astro Defense Method
This variation, or modification, of the Astro conventional defense method is used to expedite the description of a Major suit two-suiter after a strong 1 No Trump opening to show a two-suited hand. The range of the No Trump bid is limited by the range of 15-18 high card points.
Pinpoint Astro Defense Method
Using these modifications or variants of the original Astro conventional defense method, the overcall may have a better possibility of conveying a more accurate description of any two-suited holding to partner.
Bergen Impossible 3 No Trump
Mr. Marty Bergen has suggested using a bid of 3 No Trump during the auction in order to perform a sacrifice against the opponents, when it appears that the opponents have a game contract in a suit. The concept is the expectation of not making a contract of 3 No Trump, and therefore the name of this convention or method.
Bergen Jump Cuebid as a Transfer to Three No Trump
Mr. Marty Bergen developed this conventional method to cover a certain situation which arises after an intervening overcall on the One Level, which is an important element to consider before implementing the jump cuebid as a transfer to 3 No Trump.
BROMAD - Bergen Raise Of Major After Double
As soon as the auction sequence begins it becomes inevitable that the opponents attempt to compete, often with a takeout double. The auction has been disturbed, and the relay of information has developed some speed-bumps. In order to overcome this situation, the concept of BROMAD was developed to indicate certain holdings. This concept was developed by Mr. Marty Bergen, bridge personality, bridge theorist, bridge author.
The origin of this concept is unknown. The concept states that whenever a Major suit opening by partner is doubled by the immediate opponent, then certain coded raises may be employed per partnership agreement to communicate specific information.
Collante - Sticky
The designation of collante is translated into English as sticky, and the designation for this approach is therefore also known as Sticky. The origin of this cotinuation method is unknown. This conventional method is employed mainly in the French System known as le système français, but which can also be easily adapted as an optional online and/or partnership conventional method in other bidding approaches. The agreement is that if partner opens 1 Club, which is followed immediately by an overcall of 1 Diamond, then a response of 1 Heart shows exactly a 4-card Heart suit (or a minimum thereof). (Note: by extension, if partner opens 1 Club, and the opponent overcalls with either 1 Diamond or 1 Heart, then a continuation of 1 Spade by the partner shows exactly a 4-card Spade suit, or a minimum thereof).
Note: The English version is posted on this website.
Common Sense Defense
This article, written by Marinesa Letizia, in the Bridge Bulletin published November 1997, presents a common sense and logical defense alternative to those situations, where the 1 No Trump opening has been overcalled and there is interference.
Continuations by Responder After No Trump Overcall
Many defense methods are individual, and they are generally admitted by sponsoring organizations. One of these defense methods by responder following a defense method by an immediate overcall of 1 No Trump follows. The concept involves the agreement that the responder can employ the Stayman convention and also Jacoby Transfer bids. The explanations are included on this web page. Source: bb/12/14/47.
Note: the logical reason for such a concept is that the responder can right-side the contract in case partner declares. The No Trump overcaller must then lead up to the dummy.
1. Partner opens the auction with 1 Diamond promising opening values. 2. The immediate opponent overcalls 1 No Trump, the range of which does not necessarily need to be announced. (Check with the club owner and/or the sponsoring organization.) 3. The responder can continue with Stayman by bidding 2 Clubs asking for a 4-card Major suit. This continuation demands that the responder holds 4 cards in each Major suit or a 3-card Major suit with 2 top honors. For example: KQx - QJxx - xx - xxxx is generally considered a minumum holding. 4. The responder can also continue with Jacoby Transfer bids of 2 Diamonds and 2 Hearts. This demands that the responder hold at least a 5-card suit in that suit. (Note: with a 6-card Major suit and game values, then the responder can transfer on the four level in order to block the advancer. 5. Individual bridge partnerships have expanded upon this concept and include the Cappelletti and also DONT conventional methods. Note: in several circumstances the concept can be altered to a certain degree to accommodate other opening bids by partner, even those opening bids on the two level. Note: the partnership agreement should also take into account as to whether the responder is already a passed hand.
This conventional method was originated by Mr. John Trelde and Mr. Gert Lenk, both of Copenhagen, Denmark. The concept is a system of jump overcalls, which promises a two-suited holding after the auction has been opened by an opponent in a suit on the one level.
Defense Method to an Artificial Two Clubs Opening Bid
Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott, a prolific bridge writer and long time bridge columnist for the New York Times, and also bridge theorist, devised a method for competing against a strong, artificial two Clubs opening bid by the opposing side, which would exchange descriptive information about the holding. This method targeted mainly two-suited holdings, which could be shown with one bid on the two level. This method also proved to be a measurable calculation for the defenders to assess the possibility of a sacrifice.
Note: This method is also known as simply Truscott, but this designation does not define the original concept of Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott, who devised and originated several other defense methods, also against strong, artificial opening bids on the one level.
Defense Method Against DONT
This is a defense method to be employed by the responder of the No Trump opener after an immediate DONT-oriented double by the opponent. These guidelines to defend against a DONT-style double are suggestions only for a possible defense method.
Defense Methods to Three Level Preemptive Opening Bids
Defending against preempts on the three level have encouraged bridge partnerships to devise several methods to counteract and counter-attack, intending to share as much information as possible with the limited bidding space available. Some of these partnership agreements are simple, sometimes radical, methods and some have evolved into conventions of their own standing. Note: this is a list only of possible defense methods against preemptive openings. The designations of the possible methods are not linked on this web page. The different defense methods must be independently reviewed.
Dirigo System: A New Approach to Competitive Auctions
This conventional method employed in competition was developed by Mr. Dave LeGrow of Pennsylvania, United States, in the year 2005. Website. The designation itself is taken from Latin and means I lead. The Dirigo System is a competitive bidding system that consists of an initial Transfer Overcall. It is activated when the opponents are first to open the bidding. If the first bid (or double) by the competing (non-opening) side is not a notrump bid (or double), it is intended as a transfer to the next highest suit. All subsequent bids by the competing side are natural. The intent of this system is to enhance the ability of the competing side to describe hands without having to make initial compromises. It permits the competing side to more fully engage in the auction and to neutralize the advantage that many aggressive (weak opener) systems provide. The link is a .pdf file and will be automatically opened by your browser.
Fishbein Defense Method
Generally referred to as the Fishbein convention. This convention was devised by Mr. Harry J. Fishbein. The concept of the Fishbein convention allows the player directly following the preemptive opener to make a penalty double. The double is not a takeout double and the partner must pass this double.
French Defense Method
The origin of this defense method is unknown. The concept constitutes a communication devise employed after an opponent has opened a weak 1 No Trump of 12 to 14 high card points. The name does not specify the country of origin but rather the country possibly of most usage. Before the days of being required to announce the No Trump range, the immediate defender could communicate to his partner the strength of his holding by asking or not asking the range of the No Trump opening.
Gambling 3 No Trump - Defense Method
The attempt has been made to not only describe the conventional method, but to also present possible defense methods for the competition.
Gardener No Trump Overcall
Developed by Mr. Nico Gardener, born in the year 1908 in Riga, Latvia, and later became a resident of England devised a competitive method, whereby an immediate overcall of 1 No Trump forced the advancer, if possible, to a relay of 2 Clubs. After the relay the holding of the overcaller would be clarified. The foundation of the conventional defense method is to show a one-suited holding. If the overcall is always weak, the French refer to it as the Sans Atout Comique. See also Comic No Trump Overcall.
This conventional defense method was devised by Dr. William Konigsberger and Mr. Derrick Deane, both of Geneva, Switzerland, approximately in the years 1938 and 1939. These two bridge personalities and game theorists were involved in the evolution of the game of bridge in Europe, especially in devising methods to communicate information by bids and calls to partner, upon which logical and reasonable deductions could be more easily made.
The Ghestem conventional method is a concept to show a strong two-suited holding after an opening by the opponents. This concept was devised by Mr. Pierre Ghestem of France. He was born on February 14, 1922, and died on April 11, 2000.
Note: A variation carries the designation of Ghestem Modified and is similar to the original Ghestem conventional method, but with one exception. If the opening suit of the opponent is 1, then the overcall to show both Major suits is no longer 3, but rather 3. With this variation, the 3 is left available to be used for other purposes such as an intermediate jump overcall or even a weak jump overcall.
Inverted Ghestem - Questem
The origin of this concept is unknown. The foundation is that the cuebids and the 3 Clubs bids of the concept Ghestem are inverted. This variation supposedly offers the partnership a better advantage in the bidding, and which does not lose the 3 Clubs response as a weak jump overcall. The information is provided by the Pattaya Bridge Club in a .pdf file format, which will automatically be opened. This information has also only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.
Good Bad 2 No Trump
The presentation of this concept appears in the book authored by Mr. Larry Cohen in his publication entitled To Bid or Not to Bid - The Law of Total Tricks beginning with page 119. The content of this web page is an excerpt from this book and posted to the Internet with the direct permission of the author.
This defense method was devised by Mr. Charles R. Greenwood and Mr. James (Jim) Stambridge of the Deva Bridge Club , also Deva Bridge Club, in Christleton, Chester, England. This information has also only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.
Jordan Two No Trump - Jordan 2 No Trump
This conventional response method following an opening bid by partner of a Major suit, followed by a double by the opponent, allows the responder to convey accurate information about suit length and the amount of values held. This conventional method was devised by Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott.
Jump Cuebid Overcalls - Non-Jump Cuebid Overcalls - Andersen's Cuebid
The origin of this defense method is unknown. It is also referred to and known as Andersen's Cuebid, and is assumed to be a reference to Mr. Ron Andersen and his various publications, one of which is titled Killing Their No Trump,
Kantar Cuebids - Kantar Cue Bids
This cuebid was devised by Mr. Edwin Bruce Kantar (aka Eddie Kantar). The designation can also be written as Kantar's Cuebid or Kantar Cue Bid. The cuebid can be employed in several bidding sequences, but the cuebid always shows one of two possible shapes and is limited in its employment.
Liberty Double versus Multi
The origin of this defense method is unknown, but the concept could prove advantageous to bridge players. The Liberty defense method versus the Multi offensive method is employed when the opponents opening bid has multiple weak possibilities with no known suit.
Mathe Bids Against Strong, Artificial 1 Club Openings
This conventional defense method was developed by Mr. Lewis L. Mathe, also known as simply Lew, of Canoga Park, California, He was born in 1915 and died in 1986. He is also the originator of Mathe Asking Bids. The Mathe conventional bids are generally to be employed in the immediate seat following the strong, generally artificial 1 Club opening since the partner of the strong 1 Club bidder must respond with zero values. However, the Mathe conventional bids may also be employed in the fourth seat following a weak response by the partner of the opener.
McDow Over No Trump
Conceived by Mr. Thomas McDow of Rock Hill, South Carolina, United States, in the 1990s when a student at Yale University. Mr. Thomas McDow operates also an online blog appropriately title McDow Over NoTrump.
MeckWell Escape Bids
The concept behind these so-called escape bids has been developed and devised by Mr. Eric Rodwell and Mr. Jeff Meckstroth. The concept behind this agreement comprises a so-called escape system, which is employed after one pair has opened the auction with a bid of 1 No Trump or one pair has overcalled a suit opening by the opponents with 1 No Trump and the opponents have used the call of double for penalty.
This convention allows one partner to inform his partner about a 2-suited hand. Devised by Mr. Michael Michaels of Miami Beach, Florida, United States. Distributional hands are very powerful, and this convention instructs the user how to use this tool.
Variations: Since the inception and development of the basic parameters of this particular concept to communicate a two-suited holding with one bid, the concept itself has been expanded, revised, and modified to form new versions based on the original concept. Following are various versions developed by bridge players, especially within the global bridge community, listed in alphabetical order.
Extended Michaels Cuebids Over Minor Suit Openings
Also known as Spear Cuebids, the designation given to the concept by the developer Mr. Jack Spear. This information has been contributed by and courtesy of Mr. Jack Spear to this site in the year 2008 and is presented in its original version in a .pdf file format and will be automatically opened by your browser.
Note: The concept of Extended Michaels is also presented in the publication The Intermediate American Bidding System, American Bridge Series, Volume II, 1998, authored by Mr. Chris Hasney and Mr. Jerry Pottier, Publisher: Trafford Publishing, ISBN -10: 1-55212-210-7.
French Michaels Cuebid
The French version of the Michaels Cuebid conventional method deals only with the opening bid of 1 Club by the opposing side.
Italian Michaels Cuebid
The Italian version of the Michaels Cuebid which shows an exact distribution of both Major suits.
A version of Michaels Cuebids and which is employed only following a Weak Two bid in a Major suit opening by an opponent. Developed by Mr. Mark David Feldman of New York City, New York, United States.This is a method whereby the player makes a jump to four of a Minor suit over an opposing Major suit Weak Two bid, and sometimes preempts on the three level, to show a two-suiter.
Developed and devised by Mr. Gordon Bower in the year 1999 and presented on his website. Addressing a certain weakness of the Michaels Cuebid method, this approach combines the features of Michaels Cuebids and the features of the Roman Jump Overcalls.
Michelangelo: A Better Alternative
This write-up on an alternative option to the Michaels Cuebid is presented on his website. The date of the revised version is dated December 2010. The web page will be opened by your browser in a new window. This information has also been only archived and preserved on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.
Modified Michaels Cuebid
This variation is played mostly in Canada, especially around the area of Quebec and has been contributed to this website by Mr. Lyse Mercille, Mr. Pierre Gauthier and Mr. Kamel Fergami, to whom we owe our thanks for contributing this variation of the Modified Michaels Cuebid convention for presentation on this site.
The origin of this conventional defense method is unknown. This conventional method is employed after the opponents have opened the auction with one of a Major suit. The rank of the Major suit is not relevant with the application of Specified Michaels.
This method or modification of the Michaels Cuebid conventional defense method is based on the same principle of the Michaels Cuebid except that a jump cuebid of a Minor suit opening bid by the opposing side shows both Major suits and a jump cuebid of a Major suit promises the other Major suit and an unspecified Minor suit.
Top and Another Cuebids - T and A Cuebids
This conventional defense method was developed by Mr. Gene Hendricks. The defense method consists of a cuebid, generally an immediate cuebid of the opening suit bid by the opposing side, which can be employed both according to the principles of both the Michaels Cuebid and the Unusual No Trump overcall, both of which are defense methods.
Michaels Cuebid - Defense Method
The continuances for the responder of the opener following an immediate Michaels Cuebid are presented. A Michaels Cuebid generally shows a two-suited holding. The responder can continue to compete by employing bids, which convey certain required information. This information can also be found on the website of Shelagh Paulsson of Quebec, Canada. This information is only preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.
Multi 2 Diamonds Opening - Kleinman Defense Method
This method of defense against a 2 Diamonds opening by the opponents, employing the Multi 2 Diamonds convention, was devised by Mr. Danny Kleinman, an expert bridge player, a bridge author, and a bridge theorist.
Multi 2 Diamonds Defense Methods - Multi 2D Defense Methods
The origin of this defense method is unknown.
The origin of this defense method is unknown.
Nilsland Defense Against 1 NT Doubled- Nilslandske slinkningar
The English designation of Nilsland Defense or the Swedish designation of Nilslandske slinkningar is a defense mechanism against a double after a 1 No Trump opening, devised by Mr. Mats Nilsland of Malmö, Sweden. This conventional defense method can be used after a 1 No Trump opening has been doubled or 1 No Trump overcall has been doubled.
NAMYATS Defense Method
The conventional method of preempting on the four level presents largely any competition. This suggested method allows the competition to enter the auction on the four level.
Responses to a Takeout Double by Your Partner
The responses to a takeout double are dependent upon the situation. For example, the situation must be clear as to whether the advancer has previously passed or whether has the responder bid over the takeout double. The more preferred responses are presented to the bridge player and these responses are based upon the holding itself.
Sandwich No Trump
The origin of this conventional method is unknown, but is closely aligned and related to the conventional methods of Michaels Cuebid and Unusual No Trump in that the defense method also communicates to partner a particular distribution.
Sharples Against No Trump Opening
Although the Sharples convention, devised by Mr. James and Robert Sharples, is originally a method of responding to a No Trump opening by the partner, Mr. James Sharples and Mr. Robert Sharples, both of Caterham, England, also developed a method of defending against a No Trump opening by the opponents. This is a link to their first online version.
Sharples Against No Trump Opening
This is their online version 1 of the defense method against No Trump as devised by Mr. James Sharples and Mr. Robert Sharples.
The exact origin of this variation is unknown. Mr. Pier Massimo Fornaro of Italy, website, author of the bidding system La quinta maggiore Milano: Sistema dichiarativo di bridge agonistico, published in the year 2009, ISBN-13: 9788889466452, published by Casadelibri in Italy.
The origin of this conventional defense method is unknown. The Suction Redwood conventional defense method is employed against an immediate overcall of No Trump by the opponent on the one level.
Trap Method Against Strong 1 Club Openings
The origin of this conventional defense method is unknown, but this defense method was popularized by Mr. Anthony (Tony) R. Forrester of Upton Bishop, England. It is a defensive bidding system employed after strong, artificial One Club openings.
Modified Trap Method Against Strong 1 Club Openings
The origin of this conventional defense method is unknown. It is a modified version of the Trap Defense Method and contains in addition bids on the two level to show distribution not capable of being shown by the Trap Defense method. As with the original concept, the modified version is a defensive bidding system employed after strong, artificial One Club openings.
Top and Bottom Cuebids - Bottom and Bottom Cuebids
The origin of these cuebids are unknown. They are employed after a suit opening of any opponent and not after any No Trump opening by the opponents. The direct cuebid of the suit of the opponent may be employed in direct seat or in the balancing seat. The concept behind this method is to show that the two suits of the cuebidder are known to be the highest unbid suit and lowest unbid suit of the suit of the opener.
Touching Escape Bids
This conventional method provides a so-called escape method in particular auctions, whereby partner has opened the bidding with a bid of No Trump, followed by an immediate penalty double. The escape bids represent possible actions by the responder.
Unusual No Trump
This conventional defense method was devised by Mr. Alvin Roth and Mr. Tobias Stone. The Unusual No Trump is a conventional defense method designed to show two suited hands in competitive situations with one bid. The logic and reasoning behind the convention is to consume bidding space and to describe to your partner the distribution of your hand as quickly and as accurately as possible.
Super Unusual No Trump
This web page contains and excerpt from the book authored by Mr. Larry Cohen in his publication titled: To Bid or Not to Bid - The Law of Total Tricks beginning with page 118-119. This information has been contributed to this website by Mr. Larry Cohen.
Defense Method Against Unusual No Trump Overcalls
There are several defense methods to counteract the impact imposed on the partnership once it is forced to compete on the three level. One variation is presented on this site.
This is a presentation of a defense method to Unusual No Trump over a Major suit only. Both Major suits are considered and separately treated regarding continuances after a competitive Unusual No Trump bid. This defense method for the responder is presented in .pdf file format and will be automatically opened in a new window.
The concept of the Wenble conventional competitive method was developed by Mr. Michael (Mike) Wenble and licensed by the English Bridge Union in the mid-1970s. Following a 1 Club or 1 Diamond opening bid by the opposing side the intervenor is able to enter the auction when holding certain combinations, which indicate strongly that any competitive bid may result in a positive score or at least a more favorable score.
The origin of this defense method is unknown. The defense method can be employed following the opening bid by the opposing side of a suit on the one level to show a two-suited holding. The evaluation of the holding is generally based on the same parameters, upon which other, similar defense methods are based. The employment is dependent upon the state of vulnerability as is the normally required length of the two suits.
The origin of this conventional method is unknown. This conventional method is employed by the defense as a defense mechanism after one opponent has opened the auction with an opening of a strong 1 Club.
If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.
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