Monday, August 11, 2008

2NT - 3S Relay, and The Most Dangerous Convention in Bridge

How do you handle minor suit oriented hands when your partner opens 2NT? Most casual partnerships have no way of showing minor one or two suiters over this space-guzzling opening. I've cobbled together a somewhat simple set of responses to cover these hands.

When my partner opens 2NT*, my bid of 3S forces 3NT out of partner. Once partner rebids 3NT, my further actions define my hand.

*Note: All these bids are also used in the auction 2C - 2D - 2NT.

2NT - 3S - 3NT -:
4C = natural clubs, slam try
4D = natural diamonds, slam try
4H = shortness in hearts with both minors
4S = shortness in spades with both minors
4NT = transfer to clubs
5C = transfer to diamonds

Some partnerships prefer to switch the 4C and 4D responses, to show the other minor, to make opener declare more often.

The 4H and 4S bids show at most one in the suit bid, and at least 5-4 in the minors (usually 5-5).
There's also one important sequence in here that I forgot to mention: 2NT - 3S - 3NT - Pass. Sure, you could've just bid 3NT in the first place, so there has to be some special meaning to this sequence, right? Well, many years ago, the Pakistanis played this to say "I'm sorry I screwed up that last hand!" We have our own meaning for it... and we'll tell you if it comes up at our table.

Warning! The following is for people with strong stomachs and good memories only!

The following has been termed "the most dangerous convention in bridge." I play it with only one partner at the moment...

Over 2NT, 3S is the relay to 3NT, and 2NT - 3NT is a relay to 4C!

The shortness bids of 2NT - 3S - 3NT - 4H/4S now definitely show 5-5 in the minors.

Starting with 3NT shows 5-4 in the minors.

2NT - 3NT - 4C - 4D/4H are "transfers". These show three cards in the suit above. So you'd bid 2NT - 3NT - 4C - 4H with 3145 or 3154. Partner can bid the transfer suit to suggest a place to play-- he has a 5 card fit (or maybe a good 4 card fit) with your three-card major.

If you're 2-2(45) you rebid 4S.

So the whole scheme of The Most Dangerous Convention In Bridge:

Starting with 2NT or 2C - 2D - 2NT:

3S = relay to 3NT
4C = slam try with clubs
4D = slam try with diamonds
4H = 2-1-5-5, 2-0-6-5, 2-0-5-6
4S = 1-2-5-5, 0-2-6-5, 0-2-5-6
4N = transfer to clubs
5C = transfer to diamonds

3NT = relay to 4C
4D = 1-3-4-5, 1-3-5-4, 0-3-5-5
4H = 3-1-4-5, 3-1-5-4, 3-0-5-5
4S = 2-2-4-5, 2-2-5-4
4NT = I forgot the convention again! I really wanted to play 3NT!

Yes, we really have "I forgot" in the system notes.

1 comment:

salsero1899 said...

In the Netherlands (where I come from), there is a convention called Niemeijer complex, which is a more complex convention based on Puppet Stayman and handles minor suit slems perfectly.

After 2NT, 3s transfers to 4c for slem and following bids are cues for shortages. If opener bids something other than the 4c relay, it shows interest and cue (Ace or King). Partner may cue his bids to find any leaks.

Transfer for diamonds works the same, now 4c is transfer.

When you have 2 minors as responder and you have an interest in a slem but you can't figure out which one, you use 3c to ask opener for his majors.

2NT-3c-3d-4c = minor suit asking
2NT-3x-3NT-4c = minor suit asking

after the first auction:

4d = 5card unspecified minor, where 4 hearts asks the suit. 4s = clubs, 4nt = diamonds.

4h = 4 clubs
4s = 4 diamonds
4NT = no 4 or 5 card minor

The same goes for the second auction, but now 4NT means 44 minors.

After this, you have enough information to set the final contract or else use Blackwood RKC to obtain further information.