LEBENSOHL

The Lebensohl convention was designed by mr. Lebensohl as a defense against opponent's interference after a 1NT opening bid, the Stayman and Jacoby conventions being more or less obstructed by overcalls.
In order to be prepared for such interferences, we agree here also upon the general MAF-rule that opponent's overcalls are noticed, but neglected, as to the future bidding, as long as these responses are not influenced by the overcall.

A response of 2NT is here, just like it is often in other circumstances, conventional. It is a conventional start of a bye-pass and asks for a simple relay of 3.

Like many other conventions Lebensohl too comes in various tastes. Commonly the responder must be rather strong (>8), because he will end up in a 3-level contract anyway.

In MAF Lebensohl discriminates between several types of hands. To facilitate memorizing the agreements, I have brought in some logic, please study next summary carefully and try to understand why certain options have been chosen
I distinguished between three properties of the responder's hand: 1: the strength in hcp's, 2. the covering of the overcall suit, and 3. the distribution. After this I tried recognize only two types of hands. This was partly succesful (I had to make 3 exceptions, in order to get all outof the possibilities). Yet I think the scheme may help you reconstruct the convention while playing bridge.

The details of the convention are described in the Lebensohl diagram. The most important part of the convention is rendered in green characters. It appears the convention starts at 2.

**
This a MAF addition again to the Lebensohl convention (I nicked a piece of the name, 'sohl', to use it somewhere else, but in return I add some funny gadget to the convention). The 2 bid was made free, because you achieve the same goal through 2NT, 3, PASS as Jacoby did before. So now 2 may be used to show hands for a limit raise and some power in the overcall suit.
One could also say:

In the MAF-fe Lebensohl the responses: 2 and 2NT have converted their original meanings.

It is not difficult to guess why this convention is described here, while many others are not. We copied the the "by pass principle", described before, and part of the name as well for MAF's so-called "Sohl responses" to 1-level opening bids. We think therefore that we have to enable you to see what the real Lebensohl is like, in case you did not know that already.




 
LEBENSOHL-CONVENTION
OPENING OVERCALL response REBID 2nd response response rebid 2nd response  
1NT 2 DOUBLE   cannot execute the planned bid, so I may have some points
  2 transfer to hearts, no stops in required >=0
2 © transfer to spades, no stops in required >=0
2 transfer to NT, limit raise, stop in required 8-9
2 NT   controls in and in the suit of the next bid >=6
  3     relay
  pass   6+ no stops in required 6-9
3 6+card , no stops in required 8-9
3 © 5+card ©, no stops in required 8-9
3 5+card , no stops in required 8-9
3 cue: 1 stop in  10-12*
3NT to play, 2 stops in 10-12
3   5/4-cards in / ?, no stop in 10-12
3 5/4-cards in / ?, no stop in 10-12
3 © 4/4-cards in ©/, no stop in 8-9
3 4/4-cards in ©/, no stop in 10-12
3 * cue: no stop in > 12
3NT   to play, but no stops in , distribution: ~4,4,3,2 10-12
4 limit call, 6+card , but no stops in 10-12
4 limit call, 6+card , but no stops in 10-12
4 ©/ to play 10-12
* If the overcall was conventional, then this bid does not count.  


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

return to:   "DEFENSE AGAINST OPPONENTS"