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When is ACOL not ACOL?

edited April 2012 in All Things Bridge
I was asked by a new player what an opening of 2D meant. I wrongly stated that it was not an ACOL bid and anyone opening 2D had invented their own convention. I was wrong to say that firstly because I know from experience and past reading that someone, at some point, will have invented a convention for any opening bid possible. Bye the by, I came home, dusted off the book and read Benjamin 2C and 2D openings and also the multicoloured 2D opening. Two questions follow:

1. I have never come across anyone playing Benjamin or multicoloured 2D if anyone does play these conventions please tell me why?

2. How do we define ACOL? If you can have multiple subsystems and multiple conventions outside the standard conventions does there come a point where you can no longer claim to playing ACOL?


  • edited 6:40AM
    People play Benjamin because they want to play Weak Two's in the Majors and have to find a bid(usually 2C) to put their Acol 2's into. 2D then becomes their strongest bid.
    The Multi is played because it allows something else to be done with 2H and 2S and because it is hard to defend against. For example if it goes (2D) No (2H) what is 3H?
    It's best played as natural but if you have never discussed it there is muych scope for confusion.
    I had some opponents yesterday who described their system as Acol with 5 card majors and a 14-16 NT. I made a remark about the Trades Description Act. To me, these days, if you say "Acol" then you mean a weak NT and 4 card major system(many years ago variable NT was more common). It also used to mean Strong Twos but these days may easily include Weak Twos is D H and S. Yes, there does come a point where you are no longer playing Acol and if you move that way it is easier to say that you play a "natural" system.
  • edited 6:40AM
    The old Acol 2C let you find a game or slam in any denomination. The 2D, 2H and 2S bids took three bids all saying the same thing. Benjamin used the 2C opener to find the strong two suit and the 2D bid as a game force, This also released the opening 2H and 2S bids to be weak prreemptive bids (5 to 9 and a six card suit) and exceedingly useful they are. They can also be used as weak junp overcalls. Benjy is great and most of the Acol players in our club are now Benjy Acol players.
    Try it Balaclava I/ll bet you'll be converted.
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