The origin of this defense method is unknown. The concept constitutes a communication devise employed after an opponent has opened a weak 1 No Trump of 12 to 14 high card points. The name does not specify the country of origin but rather the country possibly of most usage. Before the days of being required to announce the No Trump range, the immediate defender could communicate to his partner the strength of his holding by asking or not asking the range of the No Trump opening.

It was not particularly the strength of the holding of the defender, which was in question, but rather the act of communicating to the partner whether or not there were grounds to take action or not to take action. The action taken was generally the act of doubling, although a suit bid is possible. The following chart indicates the strength of the defender's holding according to the action taken:

Opener   Defender   Action   Meaning
1 NT   Does not ask for the No Trump range.   Pass   Communicates that the values are weak, generally fewer than 11 high card points.
    Does ask for the No Trump range.   Pass   Communicates that the values are stronger, generally in the range of 11 to 14 high card points.
    Does ask for the No Trump range.   Double   Communicates that the values are moderate, generally in the range of 15 to 18 high card points.
    Does not ask for the No Trump range.   Double   Communicates that the values are excellent, generally in the range of 19 plus high card points.

The range of the strength is a prior agreement between the two defenders and can range from a distributional 5 plus points to an actual No Trump opening.

This action by the defenders was declared unethical and constituted possibly unauthorized information. In order to counteract this method of communication, even in international events sponsored by the ACBL, the ACBL required that all No Trump openings be announced by the partner of the No Trump bidder. This action by the ACBL was later revised to announce only those No Trump openings, which did not show 15 to 17 high card points.

 

 

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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