The following system notes were kindly offered into the Weak Two Archive by Marvin French, an American correspondent of rec.games.bridge and are based on his article. They are published as received with minimal editing to conform to HTML format.
Responder assumes that partner has a weak two bid in hearts, and bids according to his method of responding to weak two bids. If he would have passed a weak two bid opening in hearts, he now bids 2H. One drawback of this convention is that responder cannot raise hearts preemptively, because opener may not have a weak two bid. Other than that, responder makes his normal response to a weak two bid if he has too much to bid 2H.
If the right hand opponent (RHO) bids or doubles, responder usually assumes the opening was based on a weak two bid and bids, doubles, redoubles, or passes accordingly (but 2H over a double is a forcing "positive response" in hearts). Even if RHO bids spades, however, responder cannot raise hearts preemptively. Opener could have a notrump hand, or even a strong two bid in spades if RHO is lying to create confusion.
With a 21-22 HCP notrump hand, opener rebids in notrump. In the unlikely event that responder has made a positive response to a weak two bid type opening (i.e., has bid 2S, 2NT, 3C, or 3D), opener must jump in notrump in order to show the 21-22 HCP notrump type hand. A 3NT rebid over 2NT shows a weak two bid sort of hand with a solid heart suit. A 3NT rebid over a three-level new suit bid shows some support for responder's suit (a practice that all weak two bidders should employ). Likewise, a 2NT rebid over a 2S response shows a weak two bid with some spade support.
With a weak two bid in hearts, opener passes a 2H response. After any other response, opener rebids in accordance with the usual weak two bid bidding sequences. He must not otherwise bid again, not even in a competitive way with an extra good weak two bid:
South West North East 2D Pass 2H 3C 3H - strong two bid in spades, heart suit too Dbl - optional double, 21-22 HCP notrump hand Pass - weak two bid With a strong two bid in spades, opener rebids in spades to show a one-suited hand, or (as with 3H above) shows a second suit: Opener Responder 2D 2H 3C - spades and clubs Opener has already shown a spade suit, so now shows a second suit.
If opener verifies a weak two bid, responder proceeds in accordance with the usual bidding sequences for weak two bids.
If opener shows a 21-22 HCP notrump hand by bidding 2NT, the bidding proceeds in accordance with normal bidding following an opening of 2NT, except that a major suit response to Stayman shows a five-card suit:
Opener Responder 2D 2H 2NT 3C 3D - no five-card major (five-card minor) 3H/3S - five-card major
We can't play that 3D shows diamonds and 3NT shows clubs, because we must leave room for responder to show a five-card major.
If opener has had to jump in notrump to show a notrump hand because of partner's positive response, the partnership is committed to slam.
If opener shows a strong two bid sort of hand, the bidding proceeds naturally, with a minimum notrump or minor suit rebid by responder showing a "second negative," usually 5 HCP or less:
Opener Responder 2D 2H 3C 3D - second negative Opener Responder 2D 2H 2S 2NT - second negative A minimum bid in a major suit is natural, however: Opener Responder 2D 2H 3D 3H - natural
Opener has spades and diamonds. Responder could have bid 3NT as a second negative with nothing worth showing.
There is no danger of opener's passing any notrump bid, because all these sequences show an unbalanced hand. Responder may therefore sometimes bid notrump with substantial values when he has no good suit to bid. If so, he must reveal these values later in the bidding (which may not be easy).
Responder must continue bidding until game is reached, no matter how weak his hand. One reason is that opener may have a 6-4 hand in an auction like this:
Opener Responder 2D 2H 2S 2NT - second negative 3C
Opener "rebids" spades with game in hand, holding S-AKQJ84 H-A7 D-4 C-AKQ2, because he wants a chance to show this 6-4 holding. If responder has S-6 H-5432 D-8743 C-10843 and unilaterally passes 2S (or 3C), she will miss a good club slam.
Another reason for making this opening game-forcing is that opener has an unbalanced hand. Responder cannot know if an outside king is worth anything or not. Since he can't evaluate such a hand, the opening might as well be game-forcing.
The strong two bid in hearts may be based on a balanced hand if 1) opener wants to be in game for sure, and 2) opener has one or more tenaces on the side and wants to make sure of playing the hand. A 25-30 HCP notrump hand opens with 2C, 21-22 with 2NT.
Responder assumes that partner has a weak two bid in spades, and proceeds accordingly. If she would have passed a weak two bid opening in spades, she now bids 2S. One drawback of this convention is that responder cannot make a preemptive spade raise, because opener may not have a weak two bid hand.
If the right hand opponent (RHO) bids or doubles, responder usually assumes the opening was based on a weak two bid and bids, doubles, redoubles, or passes accordingly (but 2S over a double is a "positive response" in spades). Even if RHO bids hearts, however, responder cannot raise spades preemptively. Opener could have a notrump hand, or even a strong two bid in hearts if RHO is lying to create confusion.
With a 23-24 HCP notrump hand, opener usually makes a minimum rebid in notrump. In the unlikely event that responder has made a positive response to a weak two bid type opening (i.e., has bid 2S, 2NT, 3C, or 3D), opener must jump to 4NT in order to show the 23-24 HCP notrump type hand. A 3NT rebid after a three-level suit response shows a weak two bid with support for responder's suit. A 3NT rebid over a 2NT response shows a weak two bid sort of hand with a solid heart suit.
With a weak two bid in spades, opener passes a 2S response. After any other response, opener rebids in accordance with standard weak two bid sequences. For example:
Opener Responder 2H 3D 3S 3NT - offers a choice
The 3S rebid confirms a weak two bid in spades, whereupon responder offers opener a choice between a contract of 3NT or 4S. If opener had diamond support, by the way, he would have bid 3NT instead of 3S. With a 23-24 HCP hand (unlikely, when responder has the good hand that 3D indicates), he would jump to 4NT over the 3D response. Finally, with a strong two bid in hearts he would have gone to the four-level on the second round (i.e., 4H, 4D, 4C).
With a strong two bid in hearts, opener rebids in hearts to show a one-suited hand, or shows a second suit:
Opener Responder 2H 2S 3C - hearts and clubsOpener has already shown a heart suit, so now shows a second suit.
If opener shows a 23-24 HCP notrump hand by bidding 2NT, the bidding proceeds in accordance with normal notrump bidding sequen- ces. If opener has had to rebid 4NT to show such a hand because of partner's positive response, the partnership is committed to slam.
If opener shows a strong two bid sort of hand, the bidding proceeds naturally, with a minimum minor suit rebid (or 3NT, whichever is cheaper) by responder showing a "second negative," 5 HCP or less.
Opener Responder 2H 2S 3C 3D - second negative 3S - natural Opener Responder 2H 2S 3D 3NT - second negative There is no danger of 3NT's being passed, since opener is un-balanced.
The popular "Gambling 3NT" opening shows a solid seven-card minor with little outside strength. Besides being rather restrictive as to suit quality, the notrump contract is played from the wrong side. Not only is the lead through dummy's strength, but the xposure of that hand lets the opponents put up a "double dummy" defense. If responder can't support a 3NT contract, the bidding ends up at the dangerous four level.
Marvin 2S shows the same sort of hand, or (nine times as frequent) a semi-solid (KQJ or AQJ) seven-card minor with one ace or king outside. The hand must contain at least one ace, so responder can count on seven playing tricks. Besides a solid minor, opener could have:
S-32 H-A7 D-KQJ10876 C-J2 or S-K3 H-9 D-962 C-AQJ9432 or S-875 H-92 D-AQJ7652 C-A
A third-seat bidder might cheat with an eight-card suit or regard an AKJ10 suit as solid.
Responder bids 3C to sign off, whereupon opener will pass with clubs, or rebid 3D with diamonds. If responder would raise clubs but not diamonds, she responds 3D. If she would raise diamonds but not clubs, she bids 3C. If she would raise either equally (or diamonds higher than clubs), she raises by bidding 4C or more. Opener can correct if responder bids the wrong suit.
A response of 3H or 3S is forcing. Opener bids 3NT to show Qx, xxx, or better support, so responder (perhaps fishing for a notrump contract) need not have a real suit (e.g., respond 3H with S-A7532 H-J76 D-A87 C-K2). Although this response must be alerted ("That is an asking bid, not a telling bid."), its ambiguous nature can make it useful as a lead inhibitor, or as a complete psych when an opposing game is feared.
A 2NT response asks for clarification. Opener bids 3NT with a solid minor, or indicates where the outside high card is located when the minor is only semi-solid:
3NT - solid minor suit
3C - club suit, high card in diamonds
3D - diamond suit, high card in clubs
3H - high card in spades, may have either minor
3S - high card in hearts, may have either minor
Opener's rebid will usually give responder the information she needs to place the contract. These bids are designed so that opener's LHO cannot double to direct a lead through the high card (perhaps an unguarded king).A 4C response asks opener to show a short suit:
Opener Responder 2S 4C? 4D/4H/4S/5C - short suit 4NT - no short suit
A 4D response asks for a major suit preference ("Ripstra"), and 4NT is Blackwood (5C or 5D with one ace--must have one--5H with two).
A game response is a sign-off, but a jump to 5C may be corrected to 5D. Jump to 5C with S-Q9 H-AKQ D-A764 C-6542.
If the 2S opening gets doubled, presumably showing a spade suit, responder may choose to make a forcing pass. She would pass, for instance, with S-972 H-QJ543 D-A2 C-A53, giving opener a chance to bid notrump if he has spades stopped:
South West North East 2S Dbl Pass Pass 2NT - spade stopper 3C/3D - no spade stopper Suppose there is an overcall and responder cue bids: South West North 2S 3C 4C South now bids 4D with solid diamonds, 4H with a high card in spades, 4S with a high card in hearts, 4NT with a high card in clubs. Similarly: South West North 2S 3D 4D 4H - high card in spades 4S - high card in hearts 4NT - high card in diamonds 5C - solid suit When the cue bid is in a major, opener has less room to show his hand and responder may have to guess opener's minor: South West North 2S 3H 4H 4S - high card in spades, unknown minor 4NT - high card in hearts, unknown minor 5C/5D - natural The 5C/5D bids show either a solid suit or a high card in the unbid minor. South West North 2S 3S 4S 4NT - high card in spades, unknown minor 5C/5D - natural The bidding here is so crowded that opener can show an outside high card in spades only.
With a normal weak two bid in spades, you can use the Marvin 2H
opening, which shows a strong two bid in hearts or a weak two bid
The complete text of Marvin 2S comprises three single-spaced pages.
It includes procedures for coping with competitive action by the
MARVIN 2S was published in Popular Bridge magazine, August 1980,
included in an article entitled "Two-Way Bids." It was also
published in The Contract Bridge Forum, February 1992, within an
article entitled "Multiplex Bids."
www.chrisryall.net/bridge/weak.two/marvin.htm © Chris Ryall 1987-2008