The Smith Conventional Method Defense Against Preemptive Opening Bids by the opposing side was devised by Mr. Curtis Smith, who was born in the year 1925, and is of Conroe, Texas, United States. He was born in the year 1925 and died November 28, 2007. In honor of his contributions to the bridge community the American Contract Bridge League published a full obituary in the January 2007 issue of the Bridge Bulletin.

He was a contributor of articles to the Bridge Bulletin published by ACBL, and also the author of the publication Bidding Through Logic. The reader should not confuse Mr. Curtis Smith with the developer of the Smith Echo, which is an attitude signal given at the earliest opportunity by the partner of the opening leader against a No Trump contract declared by the opposing side. This concept is attributed to Mr. T.R.H. Lyons of Great Britain and also to Mr. I.G. Smith of Great Britain, who presented practically the identical attitude signal in the December 1963 issue of the British Bridge World.

Note: The photograph below presents Mr. Ira Rubin and Mr. Curtis Smith together. The date of the photograph is unknown. Any additional information as to the bridge personality of Mr. Curtis Smith would be greatly appreciated.


Concept of the Smith Convention

The concept behind the Smith conventional defense method following a preemptive bid by the opposing side is closely related to the conventional defense method designated as Cheaper or Lower Minor. Therefore, the Smith conventional defense method is designated as a variation of the Cheaper or Lower Minor conventional defense method.

The distinction between the two similar conventional methods is the fact that the only bid permitted after a preemptive opening bid is a bid of 4 Clubs. Generally, this competitive defense method is employed following a preemptive bid on the three level. However, several partnerships have also included all preemptive bids on the two level, and this inclusion is entirely a choice of the partnership.

Note: This conventional defense method is only employed following a three-level preemptive bid by the opposing side in any suit, either Major or Minor suit. The concept is seldom employed following a preemptive bid on the two-level, but can become a feature of the individual partnership agreement.


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The above example represents a text-book example of the application of the Smith conventional defense method against a preemptive bid by the opposing side.

Note: Since the 4 Clubs bid by South is one-round forcing the advancer must bid in the case that the responder, or partner, of the preemptor passes. All continuations are per partnership agreement.



If you wish to include and of these features, 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.