This chapter describes a variety of interesting gadgets you might see, or wish to adopt.
Mathe Defense To A Big Club¶
After a strong 1♣ opener, Mathe is the simplest commonly-used defense. In the simplest version, double is the majors, 1N is the minors, and suits are natural. A slight improvement is:
- Double shows the majors
- 1♦ is a transfer to hearts
- 1♥ is a transfer to spades
- 1N shows the minors
- 2♣ shows clubs
- 2♦ shows diamonds
The added transfers force the big hand to lead.
Some also use this defense over a standard strong 2♣ opening.
Lead-directing Raise Over Partner’s Preempt¶
When partner opens a weak two-level bid, you generally want to raise to the three level if you have three-card support and a few values, in order to be as obstructive as possible. This is called reinforcing the preempt.
However, it often happens that the auction goes something like:
2♥ - (3♦) - 3♥(you) - 3N
Now your partner is on lead and unless he has a great suit he’s leading into stoppers. Meantime you’re sitting there with the Ace of spades. If only partner knew to lead spades so you could return a heart.
We change the agreement about what a new suit by you means; it shows a lead-directing raise. Partner is authorized to correct to 3♥ for you if necessary. So in this case you bid 2♠!(heart raise, lead-directing). You also might do this for example if you had three hearts and ♠KQ52. 2N remains feature-asking but can also be used to keep the bidding open for your next bid when you really do have a good hand.
You can optionally vary this system as follows:
Over interference of a double or a two-level bid after our two-level preempt:
- Double (redouble) is a runout. Opener bids the next suit up, pass or correct.
- 2N! is Ogust.
- New suits are a lead-directing raise, not forcing.
You may wish to research the “McCabe Adjunct” for more variations.