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Inverted Stayman and Transfers

Han Peter's article http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/the-price-of-information/ inspired me to post a method I proposed over at re.games.bridge many years ago to reduce information leakage from Stayman. Basically, "one weird trick": when you have a balanced, invitational or better hand with one four or five card major, transfer with four and use 2 with five.

1NT-2: Drop dead in diamonds or Invitational or better with 4-4 majors or one 5 card major

1NT-2: Transfer to hearts, drop dead, or invitational+ with 4 or 6, or 5-5 majors invitational

1NT-2: Transfer to spades, drop dead, or invitational+ with 4 or 6, or 5-5 majors game force

Over 2, opener puppets to 2, then responder bids 2 or 2 to show invitational+ in the other major, or some number of no-trump to show 4-4 majors.

After the transfers, no-trump bids show the major was 4 cards. 1NT-2; 2=3 or 4 would show six+ as usual, and bidding the other major would show 5-5 or whatever your usual definition of such a sequence would be. Rebids in minors would need to fit in with your complete structure.

This eliminates any description of opener's hand on routine sequences. The cost, aside from unfamiliarity, is giving up any Garbage Stayman and allowing the opponents two artificial bids to double in the process of showing a five card major: 1NT-2; 2-2 showing game invitational or better with five hearts, leader's partner can double either clubs or spades. The same problem exists with Smolen and it would be interesting to quantify the effect using Han's method.

I have never used this method but Kurt Schneider says he has been playing something like it from approximately the time I originally proposed it, around 2000 (he perhaps developed it on his own.)

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