Once the bidding systems were created and evolved the bridge community and generally all bridge players adopted the universal approach of opening a strong holding with 2 Clubs. This strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bid may be defined by the partnership in various fashion, but the fact remains that the holding is almost universally defined as being able to win a minimum of eight tricks as a stand-alone holding. The definition will vary minutely from partnership to partnership.

With this universal definition of the strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bid it becomes difficult for the opponents to enter the bidding, to compete for the contract. When confronted with such a strong opening the competition, more or less, took a back seat and agreed upon competing in such as manner as to obstruct, if possible, the bidding sequence and the exchange of information between opener and responder.

Any competition also included the possibility of making a sacrifice since the general and accepted principle during the early stages of the development of the concept rather mandated that any such opening should be game-forcing. A third element, which was part of the defender's strategy, was to compete is such a manner as to have the player on lead play a card of a certain suit. Any idea of introducing a competitive bid was purely lead directional.

Since the defenders had so few guidelines for competing against a strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bid, Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott, a prolific bridge writer and columnist for the New York Times, and bridge theorist, devised a method for competing and interfering with the bidding sequence of the opponents, which would exchange information about the holdings.

The photograph of Mr. Alan Truscott below was taken in the year 1964.


The Truscott Defense Method

This method targeted mainly two-suited holdings, which could be shown with one bid on the two level. This method also proved to be a measurable calculation for the defenders to assess the possibility of a sacrifice.

Note: This method is also known as simply the Truscott Convention, but this designation does not define the original concept of Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott, who devised and originated several other defense methods, also against strong, artificial opening bids on the one level.

The devised defense method is as follows and the reader should bear in mind that this defense method of Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott has only an application following a strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bid by the opponents. The original version of this concept stipulated that the competition should occur in the immediate seat. By partnership agreement the partnership can decide also to employ the same defense methods following an artificial first response by the responder following a pass by the first defender.

Double: A double promises both Rounded Suits - Clubs and Hearts.
2 : Promises both red suits - Diamonds and Herts.
2 : Promises both Major suits - Hearts and Spades.
2 : Promises both black suits - Clubs and Spades.
2 NT: Promises both pointed suits - Diamonds and Spades.
3 : Promises both Minor suits - Clubs and Diamonds.

It is important for the defenders to always be aware of the situation for the particular board before contemplating any competition. Both defenders must be aware of the state of vulnerability and make a calculated guess as to the level of competition when intending to sacrifice before being eventually doubled. The shape of the distribution should also conform to the level of a possible sacrifice before any continuation in the auction would be effective.



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.