The Benjamin convention was devised by Mr. Albert Benjamin of Glasgow, Scotland, who was born April 1, 1909 and died January 17, 2006. Mr. Albert Benjamin liked the Weak Two Bids so much, that he decided to alter the concept somewhat.

The concept is also known as French Two Bids and also Unnamed Strong Two Bid Openings. As a feature of the Acol bidding system, the Benjamin Two Bids are employed to indicate an opening, which almost guarantees a game holding.

As mentioned, the original designation has also become known as the French Two Bids and also the Unnamed Strong Two Bid Openings via adoption. These multiple designations arise from the fact that the concept has found a certain popularity in European countries and have been given national designations, which have then been translated.

Note: His father was born in the country of Sweden and his mother emigrated from Siberia, Soviet Russia. Mr. Albert Benjamin qualified to represent Scotland 28 times in many tournaments against England. He also authored the daily bridge column for the Glasgow Evening Citizen. He was one of the leading bridge personalities from the country of Scotland.

The fundamental aspects of the concept are shown below with continuations.

Opening Meaning
2 Promises a holding with 23-24 high card points and a balanced distribution or
Promises a holding with 20-22 high card points and one solid to semi-solid single suit or
Promises a holding with a very strong two-suited holding.

The one feature about the 2 Clubs opening is the fact that the holding is evaluated within 1.5 tricks of a game contract. However, other partnership agreements have concluded that the holding be within one trick of a game contract.

Responses to a 2 Clubs Opening

Responses Meaning
2 : A negative response promising fewer than 8 high card points.
2 : Promises a 5-card plus Heart suit and at least 5 high card points plus.
2 : Promises a 5-card plus Spade suit and at least 5 high card points plus.
2 NT: Promises a balanced distribution and more than 8 high card points.

Since the 2 Clubs opening promises a holding, which is within at least 1.5 tricks of a game contract, this does not mean that all partnerships have the understanding that this particular opening is game-forcing. If the responder indicates a second negative bid by partnership agreement, then the partnership may stop the auction short of a game contract.

The situation becomes game forcing if the opening is 2 Diamonds. This opening is made on an evaluation shown below:

Opener Meaning
2 Promises a holding with a minimum of 24 to 25 high card points and a balanced distribution or
Promises a holding with a minimum of 23 high card points and an unbalanced holding.

Responses to a 2 Diamonds Opening

Responses Meaning
2 : Promises a 5-card plus Heart suit. Point count is not indicated.
2 : Promises a 5-card plus Spade suit. Point count is not indicated.
2 NT: Shows no 5-card Major suit and fewer than 6 high card points.
3 : Promises a 6-card plus Club suit. Point count is not indicated. Shows Minor suit slam possibility.
3 : Promises a 6-card plus Diamond suit. Point count is not indicated. Shows Minor suit possibility.

Variation

A variation of the Benjamin 2 Diamonds opening is that the first responses of the 2 and 2 are reversed, in the case that the opener does not have a balanced distribution and does have a longer suit in one of the two Major suits. By reversing the order of the first response, the opener will become the declarer instead of the responder.

 

 

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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