Squeezing The Dummy

Monday, January 09, 2006

Inverted Minors

Inverted minors are a great idea. The ability to establish a low level force and investigate level and strain is always a good thing if it doesn't come at too high a cost. Sadly, the standard followup structure is woefully inadequate. Valuable space is wasted showing stoppers instead of degree of fit, shape, hand orientation or concentration of values. The fact is, stoppers matter very little when compared to the rest of the things mentioned. Even if you have no stopper in a suit they don't always lead it (unless you tell them to with your auction). Here is a different suggested followup scheme that I think is a big improvement:

1-2= invitational or better raise
............-2=minimum (note all weak NT hand types are considered minimum)
..................-2=GF relay
.........................-2=5+ trumps balanced or semi-balanced
................................-2N=relay
.......................................-3=some 5332
.......................................-3//=5422 with 4 of the suit bid
.......................................-3N= 6322 or 7222
.........................-2N=4 trumps balanced
.........................-3=3 trumps balanced
................................-3 relay
......................................-3/3 are 3433 and 4333, 3N is 4423
.........................-3/3/3=shortness
..................-2=shortness
..................-2N=to play (opener can raise with 14 balanced)
..................-3=to play
..................-3x=shortness
..................-3N=to play
............-2=suit, unbalanced/semi-balanced GF
............-2=suit, unbalanced/semi-balanced GF
............-2N=18-19 balanced, 4-5 clubs
...................-3=waiting, start cuebids
...................-3x=shorntess
............-3=diamond suit, unbalanced/semi-balanced GF
............-3higher=shortness
............-3N=18-19 balanced 3 clubs

1-2=invitational or better raise
............-2=minimum (note all weak NT hands are considered minimum)
...................-2=GF relay
..........................-2N=5+ trumps semi-balanced or unbalanced.
................................-3=relay
.......................................-3= 5332, 6322 or 7222
.............................................-3=relay
...................................................-3=5332, 3N=6322/7222
.......................................-3/3=5422 with 4 of suit bid. 3N=2254.
...........................-3=4 trumps balanced.
...........................-3=short clubs
...........................-3/3=shortness
...........................-3N=4432
...................-2N=to play (opener can raise with a balanced 14)
...................-3=to play
...................-3x=shortness
...................-3N=to play
............-2=good suit, unbalanced/semi balanced
............-2N=good heart suit, unbalanced/semi-balanced
............-3=18-19 balanced 4-5 diamonds
...................-3=waiting, start cuebids.
...................-3M=shortness
............-3=good club suit, unbalanced/semi-balanced
............-3M=shortness
............-3N=18-19 4432

Advantages: Minimum and non-minimum hands are sorted out immediately. Sometimes if opener is minimum responder can just sign off or jump to 3N which will make the defense harder as they are in the dark. After strength is shown it is clarified immediately whether a hand is unbalanced/semi-balanced or balanced. Balanced hands can clarify if they have 3,4, or 5 trumps, and semi-balanced hands can show exact shape. With unbalanced hands opener can choose to emphasize a side suit or splinter with shortness and scattered values or no side 4 card suit. Responder always has the option of showing his own shortness. This follows more fundamental bidding, strength, shape, trumps, and shortness/concentration as opposed to stoppers. In my opinion, it is a much better use of the space gained by inverted minors.

Disadvantages: Sometimes the contract is wrongsided (no emphasis whatsoever is put on rightsiding the contract), and sometimes you get to a 3N contract with no stopper in a suit. Stoppers are not addressed when opener is balanced (unless responder has a shortness that he can show). Unbalanced hands do not necessarily guarantee 5+ trumps as 4441 is always possible. The main disadvantage is the memory work required, this system is not recommended with a casual partner.

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