The origin of this conventional method is unknown. It is unknown also whether the word economou is a surname or a combination of surnames. The word itself carries no known definition in the English language. It is known that these features were first adopted in the United Kingdom. They were soon classified by the sponsoring bridge organizations as non-applicable.
The employment of this conventional method is only applicable if the player is the first player in rotation to make an opening bid. This conventional method is also known by the designation of Terrorist Two No Trump, which is the American variant of the conventional method. The difference, if any, is minimal and could pertain only to the length and/or strength of the holding while considering either a 2 No Trump opening or a 2 Spades opening.
This conventional method also employs the opening bid of 2 Spades for the identical and/or similar holdings. However, by an opening bid of 2 Spades, there is no alternative designation known as Terrorist Two Spades.
The concept behind this conventional method is to show, with the opening bid, a weak holding containing a long single suit. Instead of just making a preemptive opening bid, the intent of the conventional method is to push the level of bidding immediately to the three level. The generally accepted length for this unknown single suit is seven cards, although this number has been lessened to include those holdings with only a 6-card suit, but with the same amount of Losing Tricks as that of a holding with a 7-card suit.
Note: the opening bid can be either 2 No Trump or 2 Spades. If the partnership wishes to distinguish somehow between these two openings, the partnership can alter the requirements as needed. One suggested alternative is to open the holding with 2 Spades to show weaker values, whereas the 2 No Trump opening shows stronger values.
The following examples should illustrate this conventional method. West is the opening player:
West 76 KJ109865 A6 86
East KJ52 Q2 K1094 74
West East Meaning 2 The Economou 2 Spades opening bid shows a long, single-suited holding. The suit is unknown. Generally a 7-card suit. 2 NT The responder bids 2 NT to discover which suit. 3 The opener designates which suit. Pass If the responder has a minimum of two cards support, then the responder will pass with insufficient values for game. With game values, then the responder will bid game, either in partner's suit or in No Trump.
Agreement of 2 No Trump Shows Stronger Values
In case the partnership agrees to open 2 No Trump when the values are understood to be stronger (which is not a requirement), then the following example would be the complement of this agreement with regard to the above example. However, both examples fall within the agreement designated as Economou Two No Trump, Economou Two Spades, and Terrorist Two No Trump.
As the reader can easily determine, the total number of Losing Tricks is identical in both examples. In this second example, however, the number of cards in the suit is six, not the normally accepted seven count.
West 76 AQJ1097 Q65 86
East KJ54 62 K1094 74
West East Meaning 2 NT The Economou 2 No Trump opening bid shows a long, single-suited holding. The suit is unknown. (Possibly stronger values.) 3 The responder bids the next cheapest bid to discover which suit. 3 The opener designates which suit. Pass If the responder has a minimum of two cards support, then the responder will pass with insufficient values for game. With game values, then the responder will bid game, either in partner's suit or in No Trump.
1. These opening bids, intended as preemptive bids, can be employed for all four suits, if the partnership so agrees. 2. These opening bids can also be limited only to Major suits by 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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