The “AB” Multi 2D opening is different from the popular Multi-2D opening that you probably know. That popular “Standard Multi 2D” usually describes 2 types of hand:
- A Weak-Two in an unspecified major (so either 6-cards ♥ -or 6-cards ♠, each with 5-11 HCP)
- A strong balance 20-22 HCP. This is as a replacement of the traditional 2NT opening.
Going back in time, the use of Multi-2D can be traced back as far as the era of 1975. At that time, a Bridge player need to obtain a special license to use this particular opening. The reason was an obvious one. Imagine an opening that can open for either weak or strong and no known anchor suit that you can depend on. It was unusual for that time. Even at our modern time, the concept of “Brown Sticker” can consist of many of the nasty and weird conventions.
However, that particular opening bid has a few negative aspects (discussed in detail here).
Introducing the “AB” Multi 2D…
So, “AB” Multi 2D opening is the cure for most of those problems. In this opening, there is no unspecified suit. The anchor suit is the Majors. And furthermore, the elegance of the bidding sequence/responds makes this opening easy and logical to bid. That, despite represents multiple kinds of hand.
To be precise, “AB” Multi 2D opening is an opening bid that can describe 3-types of hand:
- A weak 2-suiter in Majors: ♥+♠, 55+, 5-11 HCP (the most frequent): Opener will rebid 3♥
- Strong Balance 20-22 HCP. May contains 5-cards Major: opener will rebid 2NT (or 3NT if opponent bids).
- A strong 3-suiter (4441) or (5440) with 17-22 HCP: opener will rebid 2♠, 3♣ -or- 3♠ to show 4+card holding on that suit. (i.e: natural bid)
And finally, before we go into more details, the “AB” on the name is the initial of “Arwin Budirahardja” – a Bridge expert from Indonesia that introduces this opening to me. You can read more about him at the end of this article. But not knowing him, you can also consider “AB” to be “A Better”, so the whole opening’s name read as “A Better Multi 2D”.
The architecture of the bid sequence
Firstly, let us start with how to respond to this opening bid.
Obviously, it would be some sort of relay bid. However, we can do a relay while passing a piece of information. In this case, the responder will need to tell the opener whether or not 4+card Spade is in the possession:
- 2♦ – 2♥ : [!] “Hey, partner, yes I have 4+cards Spade”. Remember this bid, as similar to “transfer”: bid Heart to show Spade.
- 2♠ – 2♠ : [!] “Sorry, partner, I do not have 4+cards Spade”.
That’s it. that’s the whole bid sequence for the responder. Simple, right?
Why Spade? Why not point or something? Keep reading, it will be very clear in the next few paragraphs.
Now, back to the opener:
Opener’s rebid after 2♦-2♥
- OK, the easiest is to bid 2NT to show the strong balance 20-22. Make sense.
- If the holding is a three suiter that includes 4-cards Spade, just re-bid 2♠, i.e: 2♦ – 2♥ – 2♠: 4♠. Easy and natural.
- If the opener doesn’t have Spade, just bid 3♣ to show a 3-suiter hand with 4-cards ♣. Very natural. At this moment, the responder will know exactly that the opener has 3-suiter 1444/0(544) hand. Set the trump or 3NT. Done.
- The opener can also bid 3♦ which show exactly 3-suiter with the void in ♠ or 045♦4. (Because the opener doesn’t have Spade, can bid 3♣ but chose not to. This means the Diamond is longer than the Club. Hence, 0454
Beware: the opener cannot pass here even the opener’s holding is of the 2-suiters in Majors. The reason? The responder can be strong . So, bid 3♥ only to show 2-suiter hand.
Opener’s rebid after 2♦-2♠
Similar to the above, the bidding’s trains of thought are:
- Since responder doesn’t have Spade. Do not bother to mention any of your Spade holdings
- Again, 2NT bid is to show the strong balance 20-22. Make sense.
- Bid 3♣ to show a 3-suiter hand with 4-cards ♣. And from here on just bid any 4-card fit until getting the fit. Otherwise 3NT.
- The opener can also bid 3♦ which show exactly 3-suiter with a short in Club (Since the opener has unable to rebid 3♣). So, (444)1♣or (544)0♣
Then to show a 2-suiter in Majors, the opener just needs to rebid 3♥ to show ♥ and ♠. With this, responder now just need to choose the preference of the suit and the level to play.
To know more details:
Firstly, read this to motivate you to embrace this great opening: Why 2D-Multi with Unspecified Major is bad?
Secondly, read the complete bid sequence here: “AB” Multi 2D Opening Bid Sequence.
The brief history of the “AB” from “AB” Multi-2D
The late Mr Arwin Budirahardja (deceased 2016) was the O.G. who shoot Indonesia to the Bridge elite in Bermuda Bowl 1975, finishing in the top 4. He has dedicated his life to Bridge not only by playing as an athlete but moreover, to the development of young players, especially in Indonesia. In 2005, he become the runner up of the Senior Bowl “d’Orsi” held in Portugal, only finishes behind the USA.
I personally become his Bridge student during the Indonesian youth training program around 1997-1999. However, he continued to be my coach even when I moved to Australia. As a result, I still remember all those many long Skype sessions. Just for the love of Bridge.
So, Mr “AB” was the one that introduces this better Multi-2D opening to me. And I play it ever since with some minor modifications. However, I do not really know who actually created the sequence. Around that time, the great Erik Kokish was also around as Indonesia national coach, so it might have been some work from him too. (Mr Kokish, or anybody who know the story more about this great opening, please contact me and I will add its brief history)
But most importantly, since my passion for Bridge will be nowhere near this level if it were not from the influence of Mr Budiraharja, I would like to name this convention after his initial. Not only to make it easier to refer to this particular opening but also to recognise his Bridge contribution to me and to youth bridge in general.