Dealing with MAFIA - nothing personal, it's just business
(Page of 2)

Another Precision article.  Asking for help/ ideas on how to fill a few gaps in the 1! - 1D - 1M structure

For those, if any, who are not familiar with the term "Mafia" (in Bridge), it's an acronym for "Majors Always First" : bidding a 4-card major before a  5+-card minor.

This one has to do with the Precision sequences that begin (16+) - 1 (0-7) - 1M and the bids that ensue.

It appears that the modern trend is to play that one rebids a 4-card Major after 1-1 before rebidding a longer minor (assuming the hand isn't better described by a NT rebid).  For example, one might rebid 1 after 1 - 1  holding something like  Kx,  Qxxx,  AKJTxx,  A  instead of initially rebidding 2!.  The flip-side of this is having a rebid 2 or 2  after 1 - 1 deny possession of any 4-card Major.  ( I guess the theory or reasoning behind this is that it can be difficult to locate 4-4 major suits after a rebid of 2m without risking rebid distortion and getting too high in the process.)

In order to accommodate the possibility of opener's 1M rebid as being on a 4-card suit, the following rebids by responder are reportedly used:  1)  1 /1 = 0-7  4+ s and denies 4+ ,  2)  1NT = 0 to 5, less than 4s, less than 3s,  3) 2 artificial = 6-7, fewer than 4s and fewer than 3s, and  4) 2  artificial  = 5 - 7  fewer that 4s but with exactly 3s.

After the 2 rebid, opener may bid 2 as a relay to have responder further clarify his/ her hand, and such rebids have been described to some degree.

Opener's Rebids after the 2 response showing 3-card support seem to be to rebid 2 of the major, even with a 4-card suit, 3M as invitational with 5-card M, 2OM = natural/  4+ cards in suit, and have 2NT and 3m (4-6) as being GF.

The problem(s), as this writer sees it (them) is that, as written, opener doesn't seem to have way to invite game after the 2! 3-card raise bid by responder if responder is max.  Passing 2M on a minimum and playing in a 4-3 M fit might be OK at imps, but at match points, could this not be a potentially risky proposition, particularly if the 4-cd M is not particularly good and the 3-card support ain't so great either, and the ruffs are likely to be taken by the "long" trump hand?  At match points, and even at imps, don't we need to have some way to invite on hands that should have play for game opposite a 6 or 7, or to at least get to the best part-score if it's not the 4-3?  Or, is it the obligation of the 2 bidder to take another bid (what) with a max good 6-7?

And how about that old (14)(53) hand, especially those with 19-plus: what are the continuations?  The weaker ones might be OK in the 2M 4-3 fit.

I am asking for help on how to fills these perceived gaps.  Perhaps they are not gaps: I don't know.  They would appear to be.  Or perhaps I just don't know all of the follow-up bidding sequences here.  My sources have included several write-ups on mecklite,  SMP (Thanks Dan Neill, nice book), a number of classic books on Precision including Precision Today, Wei-Radin (who only use the 2 convention), Viking, and a number of others avail online.  I am not proposing a possible solution for this issue: I am asking for any help anyone is will to share to complete these structures and fill in these perceived gaps in the system

TIA (Thx in advance), and best wishes to all for the holidays

DHK