Is Flannery Flourishing?

The developer, Bill Flannery isn't (1932-2000) but the essence of his creation seems to be enjoying a rebirth.

In part, this might trace to Steve and Bobby's enthusiasm for the idea.

There are three rather pro-Flannery posts on Bridge Winners. One from Steve is entitled "I Love Flannery (I'm serious)."

Steve's  introductory comments are:

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"Flannery is defined as an opening bid of 2♦ to show a mininum opening( 11-16 HCP) with 4 spades and 5 hearts. We play it is 4+ spades and 5+ hearts.Some of my favorite benefits are:

-1♥ 1♠ shows 5 plus spades. This makes it much easier to handle hands when opener has 3 spades and can raise to the appropriate level with out risking getting passed out in 2 of a minor.

-1♥ 1NT does not deny 4 spades. This makes it much harder to defend as the defenders are put in a position that they are guessing more about declarer's hand than in standard bidding.

-You can get to some difficult to reach 3nt's with an 8 card major suit fit when your shortness is facing strength.

-2♦ opening and the response preempts the opponents out of partscores, and suprisingly often out of 5 of a minor."

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Among other benefits, the 1H opening of a 11-15/16 pt 4=5=2=2 pattern s avoided.(And here is a useful adjunct: After rho's 1C (regardless of what it shows -- short, long or precision), use 2D Flannery when appropriate.) And Flannery, it seems to me, is particularly appropriate for imps.

What hasn't been discussed, I don't think, is the frequency of the holding relative to the weak 2D opening.

Bill, himself, allegedly believed (pre-computer era) that his Flannery creation occurred more often that a weak 2D opening.

Not actually so, but:

A prior, the frequency of occurrence for a typical weak 2D bid is a bit more than twice that of a Flannery call (1.95%/0.89%) in first chair but that advantage falls to 1.74 to 1 in 2nd seat and to 1.2 times in 3rd seat and to nil in 4th. And that weakness is further diminished (which is quite often) whenever a 3D opening is appropriate for a preemptive bid. It seems to me that the frequency issue is almost a wash. (One might consider 2D in first seat; Flannery in all others, but that's probably another subject.)

Obviously, how best to play the convention is paramount. A number of good ideas have been discussed on BW. I kind of like Doug Bannions's "it might be dumb" structure.

At the other extreme is Steve Robinson's exhaustive dissertation in his Washington Standard. It's all too much for me and my peergroup. Yet, his introductory comments relate to me:

"Opener can have 4-6 hand or a minimum hand 5-6 hand. Should not count Qx, Jx or stiff king for an 11 count.In 3rd or 4th seat, opener should have enough strength, at least 13 hcpts if 4522 (to handle an invitational response).Open 1H with Drury available."

All in all, I'm becoming a Flannery believer and I'm working on a response structure that fits my memory-bank and pay-grade -- "Goldilocks" -- not too hot , not too cool.