This method has been attributed to Dr. Steven (Steve) Becker. The concept is a conventional defense method employed after the opposing side opens 1 No Trump.

Note: Ths following information has been provided and contributed by Mr. David Lubkin and is immensely appreciated. Quoted from his email message, dated May 14, 2016: Mr. Benjamin Jay Becker was my great-uncle. B (stands) for Benjamin. Ben led the Becker bridge dynasty. Alan Truscott once described him as a legitimate candidate for the title of best player of all time. His Life Master sons, Steve and Mike, went into the family business. Steve took over Ben's syndicated column. Mike is also in the bridge hall of fame. Ben's late brother Simon, and Simon's sons Murray and Bob, are also all Life Masters.

Note: The son of Mr. Benjamin Jay Becker, Steven Becker, is the bridge personality addressed on this web page.

Biographical Data

Dr. Steven Becker was born in New York City, New York, United States. While attending Queens College, from which he graduated in 1960, his devotion to the game of bridge continued to grow. In the year 1964 he accepted the position as an Assistant Editor for the American Contract Bridge League. He held that position until the year 1970, at which time he was appointed Executive Editor of the League’s monthly publication, namely The Contract Bridge Bulletin. He edited the magazine for three years before resigning his position when the decision was made that the organization relocate from Greenwich, Connecticut, United States, to Memphis, Tennessee, United States, in the year 1972.

Dr. Steven Becker continues to author bridge columns for King Features. At present his bridge column appears in about 200 newspapers nation-wide.

     

The range of the opening No Trump bid is regarded in the original version as being between 16-18 high card points. Over time partnerships have adapted the Becker conventional defense method for other No Trump ranges between 10 and 18 high card points. All continuances are according to partnership agreement.

This defense method shows a certain two-suited holding with varying strength which is generally in the two suits indicated below.

1. A 2 Clubs overcall promises length and strength of distribution in the two Minor suits.
2. A 2 Diamonds overcall promises length and strength of distribution in the two Major suits.
The following example should assist in clarifying and illustrating the concept of this conventional defense method.
 
North
AJ10x
KQx
Kxx
QJx
 
West
xxx
Axxx
Jx
10xxx
 
East
xx
x
AQxxx
AKxxx
 
South
KQx
J10xx
10xx
xxx
 
Auction - Both Vulnerable
South (D)   West   North   East   Meaning
Pass   Pass   1NT       Range is defined as 15-17 high card points and balanced distribution.
            2   The Becker conventional defense method is initiated to show both Minor suits.
Pass               South is unable to either employ Stayman (weak values) or initiate a transfer bid to either Major suit.
    Pass           West either corrects to Diamonds or passes if holding a better Club suit.

The distribution is generally 5-5, but may also be 5-4 with a solid suit according to the original version.. The amount of high card points is a matter of partnership agreement, but it is based on the strength used with the Landy Convention.

Note: Later revisions of the Becker conventional defense method include the allowance of distribution in regard to the state of vulnerability. The distribution can be 5-4 by favorable vulnerability. However, when vulnerable the distribution promises a 5-5 pattern unless a 4-card promised suit contains a minimum of 2 winning tricks such as KQJ and stronger values. The concept of the Losing Trick Count method has also been introduced in partnership agreements.

This conventional defense method is usually played at matchpoint duplicate and allows the overcaller and his partner to play on the two level. The strength and the distribution of the holding of the overcaller plus the corresponding responses of the advancer take precedent in any and all continuances. The intervenor sits normally in the direct seat after the No Trump opener, and the range of the No Trump opening should be determined before any continuances. Whether or not the Becker conventional defense method applies in the balancing seat after two passes is a matter of partnership agreement.

Opposite a bid by the partner of the No Trump bidder the advancer must make the decision whether to continue competing or not. Any action by the advancer following a competitive bid by third seat, even as a passed hand, the advancer, also a possible passed hand, must be based on a partnership agreement.

 

 

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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