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E-mail To Pinky About 2W-NMF

I have long regarded New Minor Forcing (NMF) as the best feature of the 2/1 System. I have resisted tinkering with it despite assurances that is is trivially simple to play Two-Way NMF. In fact, I can report no problems at all. And there is another treatment I can tinker with (like an awful lot of BW members), In that spirit for the sake of those who constantly tinker with conventions, I will share a recent email to one of my partners,

Email to Pinky:

Hi

Just checking in so to speak. See you at the Senior Center at 1:29 [the game is at 1:30 and her trip downtown is efficiently timed].

By the way, this auction came up yesterday with Hernando and me.

             Hernando        Spencer

            1D                   1H

            1NT                 2NT

            3NT

 However, contrast with this auction.

             1D                   1H

            1NT                 2C

            2D                   2NT

 

I forgot there is a difference. Fernando reminded me, as an aside after the hand, that the slower one showed 4-card support for opener's minor. Only two weeks into this 2-way stuff and I am already forgetting details. However, after the round I argued that after Opener shows a balanced hand with the 1NT rebid, Responder, if also balanced (no voids, singletons, or two doubletons) will never desire to show 4-card support for that minor. Note that with invitational values there is a third auction:

             1D                   1H

            1NT                 2C

            2D                   3D    

Again, if balanced (I argued) Responder will always bid one of the first two auctions and suppress his/her support for opener's suit because he/she will aim for 3NT. The third auction occurs in more obvious cases.

Therefore it seems natural and simple to use the first auction (the Quick 2NT) for Responder to say this:  "I am bidding 2NT directly because with my 11 points I happen to have a secure stopper in each unbid suit."

And the second auction alerts opener that one (or two) of the unbid suits is weak in responder's hand - presumably xx or xxx. But responder is balanced in either case.

Consider this hand for Responder:   xxx, AKxx, KJx, xxx.

This hand is weak in both unbid suits and also is not suitable for the 3rd auction. Use the slower route to 2NT.

Anyway, Hernando finally agreed that changing our legal contractual agreement was okay and now the first auction does indeed show a stopper in each unbid suit (his notes are as binding a contract as the Tablets of Moses – if violated the ground might open and swallow you whole).

Spencer

This is not a burning issue, I suppose, but I wonder if there are other useful ways to modify 2W-NMF to improve contract selection, and I invite comments below. 

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