Ekrens Weak Majors

Suggested defense

Double: 'partner I can penalize at least one of the majors'
(also incl. generally strong hands)
2NT 15-17 with or without major stoppers
All others natural.

Ekrens weak majors

The Ekrens weak majors opening
as played by OleVL, Peter_Milthers and HFolke.
Originally invented by Norwegian player Bård Olav Ekren as a 2 Diamonds opening showing a weak hand with 4+ 4+ major suits, later changed by others to a 2 Hearts opening showing the same.
It has been on the convention card of several Scandinavian players, fx Geir Helgemo at Bermuda Cup and other international tournaments. (If it's good enough for Helgemo, it's good enough for us). We have changed the convention to a 2 Clubs opening which is slightly better/safer. We always use the 2 club opening if the hand is according to definitions. Therefore, if we don't open 2C you know that we don't have 4+ 4+ in majors (or have <4hcp vul).

We play Modified Ekren 2 club opening showing 4+ 4+ in majors, 0-11 hcp (4-11 hcp vul).

Responses by partner after opponents pass:
pass I prefer to play my own club suit
2 diamonds  'How many hcp have you got partner?' (strong)
2 hearts 'I prefer hearts' (0-12(13) p)
2 spades 'I prefer spades' (0-12(13) p)
All others natural. 2 diamonds is the only strong bid. Partner will normally pass all other bids.

After 2 clubs - double - all bids are non forcing
pass clubs are probably better to play
2 diamonds my diamond suit is probably better to play
2 hearts, spades Preference
Redouble 'Choose major partner; I don't care'
All others: Preemptive

After 2 Clubs - pass - 2 Diamonds - pass 2 Clubs-opener must show his hand

2 hearts <6 hcp
2 spades 6-7 hcp
2 NT 8-9 hcp
3 clubs 10-11 hcp and exactly 4-4 in majors
3 diamonds 10-11 hcp and exactly 5-5 in majors
3 hearts 10-11 hcp and longer hearts than spades
3 spades 10-11 hcp and longer spades than hearts

This convention looks like a crazy toy for players who like to present 4-digit gifts to their opponents, but actually it is a very constructive and useful weapon in the tool kit of the modern bridgeplayer. Having played it for 4-5 years I recall only few catastrophes (but they are there for sure, I just tend to forget them) and many IMP gains. It is especially difficult for the opponents to find their sound game contracts in major suits

For further reading (click)

Convention courtesy of HansF