Multi-2NT Responses to Partner’s Opening Major Suit Bid
In order to gain a competitive edge on deals where Responder has at least 4-piece support for Opener’s Major suit opening, many players adopt Bergen raises; i.e., “3C” evidencing 7-9 HCP’s, “3D” 10-12 HCP’s, and 3 of the Major suit preemptive. These bids, combined with “2NT” Jacoby (opening count) and Splinter Bids with a side singleton or void offer a strong armamentarium for almost any support holding by Responder. In these bidding sequences, Opener retains the Captaincy and directs the partnership into its final destination.
In the Multi-2NT responses system, however, the roles are reversed, and Responder becomes the Captain after Opener describes his/her holding with a rebid wherein Opener evidences his/her Losing Trick Count (LTC) followed by the Responder captaining the team to its final destination. This system retains the preemptive direct double raise, but telescopes the Bergen “3C” and “3D” responses and the Jacoby 2NT into a single package system wherein the Responder takes control over the final contract.
In this system, Responder, having four or more pieces of Opener’s Major suit accompanied by at least 8 HCP’s (9 or fewer losers) bids “2NT” (an alertable bid). Over “2NT” Opener then bids:
(1) “three of his/her Major” – Evidences a 7-or 8-Loser hand with no personal interest in game from Opener’s perspective if Responder holds minimum values (any 7-9, 9-Loser Hand; or any 10-12, 8-Loser Hand);
(2) “3C” – Evidences a 6-Loser hand (one trick better than a minimum opening count) with interest in game if Responder holds 10-12 but not opposite 7-9;
(3) “3D” – Evidences a 5-Loser hand which forces to game, even if Responder holds a minimum of 9-Losers. This bid denies a side singleton or void;
(4) “3NT” – Evidences a 5-3-3-2 shape with 5-Losers;
(5) “The Other Major” or “Four of a Minor” – Evidences a singleton or void in that suit, 5-Losers, forcing the partnership to game but with a strong interest in Slam.
Responder’s follow-up bids are reasonably straightforward:
(1) Over Opener’s simple same-suit rebid – He/She can “Pass”, “Raise”, or “Cue-Bid” with Slam interest;
(2) Over Opener’s “3C” (6-Loser) rebid – He/She can “Sign-Off” at the 3- or 4-Level of the Major, or show “Slam interest” with any other bid;
(3) Over Opener’s “3D”, “3NT”, or “Splinter” – He/She can “Sign-Off” at 4 of the Major, start “Cue-Bidding”, or ask for “Key Cards”
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Coping with Interference
(1) Over a Double (of 2NT) – Bids retain their normal meaning with a “Redouble” suggesting defending;
(2) Over a Bid (Where normal responses are still available) – a “Double” substitutes for the interfering bid which was made, a “Pass” for a lower one, and/or the use of “The ‘DOPI’ Convention” (Where “Double” shows a 5-Loser hand, Pass a 6-Loser hand and the nest higher-ranking suit a 7-Loser hand) – all by partnership agreement
There are, as in the case of most bids, advantages (gains) and disadvantages (losses) in the use of this Multi-2NT System.
Advantages of the Multi-2NT Responses over The Jacoby 2NT System
(1) Avoids losses resulting from lead-directing Doubles made by the Opponents over previous three-of-a-Minor Bergen responses;
(2) Presents the capacity of using three-of-a-Minor for other purposes;
(3) Gains some Slam-exploration space when Opener is weak and Responder is strong;
(4) Distinguishes Opener’s strength-level immediately when he/she has a short suit and Responder holds game-forcing values;
(5) Provides less incentive for the Opponents to attempt disruption
Disadvantages of the Multi-2NT Responses when Compared to
The Jacoby 2NT System
(1) Deprives Opener of the ability to show a strong second suit (as he/she can with a bid of 4 of a Minor after a Jacoby 2NT bidding system bid);
(2) Requires a strong Opener to show a Minor suit Splinter Bid one level higher than after a Jacoby 2NT bid.
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