The origin of this defense method against an opening by opponent of 2 Diamonds (Multi) is unknown, but the concept could prove advantageous to many bridge players. The Liberty defense method versus the Multi offensive method is employed when the opening bid of the opponent has multiple weak possibilities with no known suit, as shown in the examples below. Compare.

This defense method is designed to increase the possibility of penalties while also providing, at the same time, some blocking bids.

The main feature is the Liberty Double made directly over the Multi bid. This double is a takeout of any suit but the suit bid. Another technique used is for overcalls to be light at the two level or at three level of a Minor suit, as long as it is in a suit the Multi opener would not be long in, if holding the weak hand. The purpose of this is to block the opponents from finding their fit in a situation where they may have a game.  

Direct Bidder Structure

Double is takeout of any suit but the suit actually bid by the Multi opener, which means not the suit or suits shown, but the suit actually bid. The double is made aggressively with shortness in a suit the Multi bidder could have, and support for the other three suits. The double is made conservatively with shortness in a suit the Multi bidder can not have. The double can be made with primary length in the suit bid and extras, too good just to make a simple overcall. This double is called the Liberty Double.

Overcalls are natural, but overcalls at the two level or three of a Minor in suits that cannot be held by the Multi opening, that is when having a weak hand, are light and limited to about 10 to 14 high card points.  Overcalls at the three level of a Major or higher, or in suits that can be held by the Multi opening, when weak, are never light, but generally about 13/14 to 18/19 high card points.

Jump Overcalls are natural, containing good values and a long suit.

Jumps to 3 No Trump are natural, promising about 19 to 23 high card points, but review Pass Then Double below for other option if Multi opening has a strong hand type.

4 No Trump shows both Minor suits.

Pass followed by Double shows a strong, balanced hand or the equivalent.

Pass followed by No Trump promises a strong No Trump balanced hand, generally about 15 to 17 high card points if the bid is 2 No Trump, and 17 to 20 high card points if the bid is 3 No Trump. It is a hand that does not want to double since it is not too defensive in nature.

Pass followed by a suit that the Multi opener could have had is natural, limited by not having overcalled before.

Pass followed by a suit that the Multi opener could not have promises that suit and another suit, also limited by not having overcalled before.

If the Multi opening does not contain at least one strong hand type, such as 15+ high card points, then passing and next doubling is limited with about 14 to 16 high card points, since with more high card points it is dangerous to pass the Multi bid in case it is passed out. If the Multi opening does contain a strong hand type, then the pass followed by double is unlimited to upper range.

Cheapest No Trump is artificial, it shows:

a) Takeout for the opening bid suit, but consider the option of passing first then next doubling if the Multi opening is very unlikely to be passed by the responder. The takeout bid shows extra values, such as 15 plus high card points, if the Multi bidder can be long in the short suit, if holding the weak hand types for their Multi bid.
b) If it is a 2 No Trump bid, it can be a good overcall in a Minor suit that is both not the opening suit bid and not a long suit that can be held by the multi bidder, that is if it is weak.

Fourth Seat Bidder Structure

Double is takeout, but it will often not have a perfect shape for a takeout double. 2 No Trump is lebensohl by the partner if your partnership normally plays lebensohl after a takeout double of Weak Two bids.

Overcalls are natural, including a bid in the suit responder bid.

No Trump bids are natural, 2 No Trump is 16 to 18 high card points, a non-jump of 3 No Trump is 17 to 23 high card points, a jump to 3 No Trump is 19 to 23/24 high card points.  If the fourth seat bidder is a passed hand, a jump in No Trump is for the Minor suits and the cheapest No Trump bid is a two-suited takeout of responder’s last bid suit.

Jump Overcalls to four of a Minor suit are leaping style and promises the suit bid, and the highest ranking suit not bid by the responder.

Jump Overcalls in a Major suit and jump overcalls at the five level or higher in a Minor suit are natural, showing length and values.

The Liberty Double

In the following description, the partner of the doubler will be called the advancer. The Liberty Double shows takeout for any suit but the one bid.

After a Liberty Double

2 No Trump by the advancer is lebensohl, if your partnership normally plays lebensohl after a takeout double of Weak Two bids.

1. Advancer can double a suit bid to show values and suggest a pass with length in the suit doubled. If the reply to the lebensohl 2 No Trump, the Liberty Doubler does not bid 3 Clubs if short in that suit, but instead bids 3 Diamonds.
2. If the Liberty doubler doubles again, it is a passable takeout double, unless the takeout of that suit is impossible, in which case it is penalty. 2 No Trump is still lebensohl in reply to the second double.
3. If the Liberty doubler next bids the suit originally doubled, it is natural and shows that suit plus extra values, since he otherwise could have just overcalled the suit. A bid in the suit now being bid the opponents is the cuebid by either doubler or advancer.
4. Other suits bid by the Liberty doubler imply shortness in the suit now being bid by the opponents.
5. With length in the suit now being bid by the opponents the Liberty Doubler either passes or bids No Trump.
6. Suit bids by advancer, aside from a cuebid in the suit now being bid by the opponents, are natural, and are bid as if opposite a takeout double of the suit now being bid. However, if the Liberty doubler’s takeout suit is still unknown, then the advancer should prefer pass or double with length in the suit now being bid by the opponents, to help flush out the opponents.  In replying to the advancer’s suit bid, if the Liberty doubler is short in the suit the advancer bids, then a correction is made to the cheapest suit bid or to No Trump with considerable extra values. Other calls show extra values and imply no shortness in the suit bid by advancer.
7. Once the Liberty doubler defines which suit is for takeout, all doubles by either partner then suggest penalty.

Advancer can double a suit bid to show values and suggest a pass with length in the suit doubled. If the reply to the lebensohl 2 No Trump, the Liberty Doubler does not bid 3 Clubs if short in that suit, but instead bids 3 Diamonds.

If the Liberty Doubler doubles again, it is a passable takeout double, unless the takeout of that suit is impossible, in which case it is penalty. 2 No Trump is still lebensohl in reply to the second double.

If the Liberty Doubler next bids the suit originally doubled, it is natural and shows that suit plus extra values, since he otherwise could have just overcalled the suit. A bid in the suit now being bid the opponents is the cuebid by either Doubler or Advancer.

Other suits bid by the Liberty Doubler imply shortness in the suit now being bid by the opponents.

With length in the suit now being bid by the opponents the Liberty Doubler either passes or bids No Trump.

Suit bids by advancer, aside from a cuebid in the suit now being bid by the opponents, are natural, and are bid as if opposite a takeout double of the suit now being bid. However, if the Liberty Doubler’s takeout suit is still unknown, then the advancer should prefer pass or double with length in the suit now being bid by the opponents, to help flush out the opponents.  In replying to the advancer’s suit bid, if the Liberty Doubler is short in the suit the advancer bids, then a correction is made to the cheapest suit bid or to No Trump with considerable extra values. Other calls show extra values and imply no shortness in the suit bid by advancer.

Once the Liberty Doubler defines which suit is for takeout, all doubles by either partner then suggest penalty.

Responding to Overcalls by the Direct Bidder or by the Fourth Seat Bidder

New suits are forcing, if below game level and made by an unpassed hand.
2 No Trump, if available, is artificial, acting as a cuebid.
If 2 No Trump is unavailable, bid a new suit below game to force.
Jump new suits are splinters, showing shortness in the suit bid.

Bidding After Direct Bid of the Cheapest No Trump

The cheapest No Trump is takeout of the suit bid, with extra values, if the Multi bidder cannot be long in this suit, or, if 2 No Trump, a strong overcall in a Minor suit that the Multi bidder cannot have and is not the opening bid suit.

If the cheapest No Trump bid is simply takeout, not strong for a Minor suit, the responder shows support for a takeout suit at the appropriate level.

A bid of the short suit is like a cuebid, completely artificial and asks partner to describe his holding. If the short suit is bid and rebid, it is to play, but shows good values. With a very long suit and without good values the short suit can be jumped, for example in the bidding sequence: 2 Diamonds - 2 No Trump, which is a takeout of Diamonds - Pass - 4 Diamonds shows very long Diamonds without good values.

If the cheapest No Trump bid is 2 No Trump, and it can be a good overcall in one or both Minor suits, the partner does not bid past a Minor unless he has values to play in at least 3 No Trump or four of the Minor suit. In this case a bid of the Minor suit at the three level is simply giving the partner a chance to pass. The most common situation is the following bidding sequence: 2 Diamonds (Multi, weak in a Major suit) - 2 No Trump (takeout of Diamonds with extra values or a good overcall in Clubs) - Pass - 3 Clubs (giving partner the chance to pass with the overcall in Clubs).

Except for bidding a Minor suit cheaply, the partner of the 2 No Trump bidder should bid as if the 2 No Trump bid was just showing shortness in the suit opened and then wait and see what the 2 No Trump bidder rebids.

Liberty versus Multi Examples

Multi 2 Diamonds, where 2 Diamonds is a Weak Two in a Major, or some strong meaning: a) Direct Structure
Pass: This call can promise a strong balanced hand or equivalent, but limited to 15/16 high card points, if the Multi 2 Diamonds does not have any strong hand types.
Double: This is a takeout of any suit but Diamonds. However, if the takeout is for Clubs then extra values are held, possibly 15 plus high card points Diamond overcall.
2 or 2 : These two bids promise good overcalls in the respective Major suits.
2 No Trump: This bid promises extra value and is a takeout of Diamonds or a 15 plus high card points overcall in Clubs, but if short in a Major suit, then not Diamonds. Else it is preferable to double.
3 or 3 diamonds: These bid are light and limited overcalls, promising about 10 to 14 high card points.
3 or 3 : These bids promise respectively a long Major and extra values.
3 No Trump: This bid promises 19 to 23 high card points and a balanced holding.
3 or 3 diamonds: These bids are natural, promising extras values and respectively a long Minor.
4 No Trump: Promises both Minor suits.
5 or 5 diamonds: These bids promise respectively a very long suit with extra values.

Illustrations

South   West   North   East   Meaning
2 diamonds   2   Pass   2 NT   2 shows Hearts and decent values.
Pass   4           2 NT is forcing.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   3   Pass   3   3 shows moderate Clubs and limited values.
Pass   3 NT           3 is forcing.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Double   Pass   Pass   Liberty Double for Takeout.
2   Double           Double is takeout of Hearts, which East can pass.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Double   2   Double   West: Liberty Double for takeout.
Pass   Pass   Pass       North: 2 to pass or correct.
                East: promises values.
                West: this pass shows Hearts.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Double   3   3   West: Liberty Double for Takeout.
Pass   3 NT   Pass       North: 3 to pass or correct.
                East: promising Spades and short Hearts.
                West: showing Hearts and short Spades.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Double   2   Pass   West: Liberty Double for takeout.
Pass   Pass         North: 2 to pass or correct.
                West: showing Hearts and insufficient values to bid 2 NT.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Double   2   Double   West: Liberty Double for takeout.
2   Double         North: 2 to pass or correct.
                East: showing good values.
                West: this double is for Takeout, but can be passed by East
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Double   Pass   2 NT   West: Liberty Double for takeout.
Pass   3   Pass   Pass   North: 2 is lebensohl; possible shortness in Diamonds.
Pass              
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Pass   2   Double   North: 2 = to pass or correct.
2   Pass   Pass   Double   East: Double if for takeout
              East: second Double is for penalty.
South   West   North   East    
2   Pass   3   Double   North: 3 = to pass or correct.
Pass   3 NT   Pass   Double   West: to play, indicating insufficient values to defend.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Pass   2   Pass   North: 2 = to pass or correct.
2   Pass   Pass   Double   East: indicating a strong and balanced holding.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Pass   Pass   2 NT   East: 2 NT is a two-suited takeout.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Pass   2   Pass   North: 2 is to pass or correct.
Pass   3       West: 3 promises Clubs and a second suit.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Pass   2   Pass   North: 2 is to pass or correct.
Pass   2       West: 2 promises Spades with limited values due to first pass.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Pass   2   Pass   North: 2 is to pass or correct.
Pass   2 NT       West: 2 NT promises a strong, balanced holding and insufficient defense values to double at first bid.
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Pass   2   Pass   North: 2 is to pass or correct.
Pass   2 NT   Pass   3   East: 3 is a Transfer to Spades, not a cuebid.
Pass   3   Pass   3 NT   East: attempt at game knowing long suit of opponents.

Liberty versus Multi Examples

2 Spades showing Either Minor or a Weak Preempt
South   West   North   East   Meaning
2   Double   4   Double   South: 2 Spades bid shows a Minor suit.
Pass   4       West: Liberty Double for takeout.
        North: 4 Diamonds is to pass or correct.
                East: this double shows values.
                West: a natural bid to play.
South   West   North   East    
2   Pass   3   Double   South: 2 Spades bid shows a Minor suit.
3   Double       North: 3 Clubs is to pass or correct.
        East: this double is for Takeout.
                South: 3 Diamonds is correcting.
                West: the double shows values and is for penalty.
 

Liberty versus Multi Examples

2 Spades: Random Any Suit Preempt
South   West   North   East    
2   Double   Pass   Pass   South: Random any suit preempt.
3   Double   Pass   3   West: Liberty Double for Takeout of any suit besides Spades.
        South: preempt for Diamonds.
                West: second double may be passed.
                East: promises values and length in Hearts.
South   West   North   East    
2   Double   Pass   Pass   South: Random any suit preempt.
3   3   Pass   4   West: Liberty Double for Takeout of any suit besides Spades.
Pass   4       South: preempt or natural for Spades; Heart shortness.
                East: cuebid for Spades.
                West: promising game-going values.
 

Liberty versus Multi Examples

3 Diamonds showing Preempt in Hearts or Diamonds
South   West   North   East    
3   Double   Pass   3   South: Two-way showing Diamonds and/or Hearts.
Pass   4       West: Liberty Double for takeout.
        East: promising values and preference in Spades.
                West: not a cuebid, but natural.

 

 

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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