2NT    opening  bid, responses, rebids etc.

This opening is used relatively much less frequently, then the other 2-level openings. This is partly caused by the natural rule which says:
The higher an opening bid, the less the bidding room.
Most of the various types of hands, we wanted to distinguish between, could luckily be stored in the lower multi way opening bids.
As a matter of fact the 2NT bid is not really needed any more. If you think MAF will get simpler by making the 2 opening and the 2opening somewhat less multi-way, by moving a few meanings to the 2NT opening, then I do not agree with you. Firstly you should maintain the complementarity between these two opening bids, which makes them so easy to memorize. Secondly you should think again about what was said before about the bidding room; this makes it very difficult to realize.

As stated elsewhere too, in MAF we do "Majors Always First". Having still no opening bid through which we can inform our partner about holding an exact 5,5 distribution in the major suits, it seems a good idea to consider to use the 2NT opening for this purpose.

Being in circumstances that nothing yet is known about the responder's hand, a the 2NT opener needs considerable strength in addition to his beautiful distribution to do the opening bid. It is clear that he will have to play at least 3© or 3. He cannot afford to go more then 2 or 3 down, which among other things depends on the partnership's vulnerability. In MAF it is appointed that the a 2NT opener needs 8-14 hcp's. With 8-9 hcp's the opener should seriously consider also a 2© opening bid, enabling the responder to pass or show a 4-card spades. With stronger hands (>=15) the opener must choose between the 1© opening and the 3 opening.

2NT two 5-cards:  © and a: 8-10   HCP's
type frequency of 2NT
absolute relative
a: 0.191 48.28
b: 0.0.205 51.72
total: 0.397 100.00
b: 10-14   HCP's
responses are discussed in the next diagram.


As said before the bidding room is small after a 2NT opening. Consequently you can only discriminate between 5 types of responding hands, as is illustrated by the next table. I gave up the 3NT bid fully consciously, because I cannot imagine the matching hand.

2NT 5,5 in ©/ 10-14*   pass no doubleton major suit 0-10
2NT 5,5 in ©/ 10-14   3 fit in ©, control asking >=15
?? control, etc    
2NT 5,5 in ©/ 10-14   3 fit in , control asking >=15
?? control, etc    
2NT 5,5 in ©/ 10-14   3©/ the best fit 0-10
pass a little preemptive      
2NT 5,5 in ©/ 10-14   4©/ the best fit 10-14
pass to play and make      
* There is a risk that this too preemptive. Your partner will have an average of 9 hcp's, and so many times less. Anyway the opponents will have problems to find their suit.

If you arrived here because you wanted to read about the "sohl principle" then we give you the opportunity to link to various other paragraphs where remarks are made about "sohl":

1-Sohl 1-Sohl 1©-Sohl 1-Sohl 2©/-Sohl 2NT-Sohl 3NT-Sohl
the SOHL overview
In the last table all aspects of the 2NT opening have been discussed. The opening is much similar to the WHIMS 2NT response on 1-level minor suit openings.
Both conventions share some comparable advantages:

In the bidding sequences you may observe another important advantage of the opening which is emphasized here:

After the 2NT opening it is possible with a 3 level bid in a minor suit, accordingly at a very low level:
                              1. to establish the trump suit
                              2. make the bidding game forcing, unless refused
                              3. to start by the same action the exchange of controls, unless refused
                              4. to enable the holder of the two 5-suiters to refuse the invitation for a slam try
In fact the 3-level responses in one the minor suits may be considered as sohl-responses because they meet most conditions for that kind of responses. Only the various possible meanings are not defined in advance.

It's recommended to have a look too at the WHIMS convention. This similar (shifted in phase) convention is described there in a different way.

An overcall of 2NT on a 1-level-opening bid can never have similar meaning as the opening bid of 2NT.
Such an overcall is always conventional, Ghestem. It points to a 2-suited hand with at least 10 hcp's, the relevant suits being the two lowest ranking suits of the three non-opening-suits.

If you want to see examples of bridgames in which the matter, treated in this section, is practiced you should click on examples and choose for the appropriate convention or for any typical opening bid.