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LC Standard -- Minor Openings
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An opening bid of1is assumed to be 4+ cards. The only time1is opened with 3 cards is with the exact 4=4=3=2 pattern (4-4 in the majors, 3 diamonds, 2 clubs). A1opening shows at least three cards in the suit. With 3-3 in the minors, open1. With 4-4 in the minors, I recommend1. With 4 diamonds and 5 clubs, I occasionally open1to avoid a rebid problem. (For example, with: 4 KJ2 AQ87 QJ654,I'd open1so as to be able to rebid2over a likely1response. That is much better than opening1and later reversing, rebidding 1NT with a singleton, or repeating the clubs).

Raising the minor

LC Standard uses the popular Inverted Minors convention. This convention reverses (or "inverts") the strength of minor-suit raises.

In "Standard," a raise from1to2(or1to2) shows 6-9, while a raise to 3-of-the-minor shows 10-12 (limit).

If playing "Inverted," then the raise from1to2(or1to2) is 10+ and the raise from1to3(or1to3is weak (typically less than 7). There is a gap for hands of about 8-9 points (too strong to raise to 3, but not strong enough to raise to 2).

In neither case should a minor be raised if responder has a 4-card major.

Here is an example of1-2: A2 K32 QJ10876 J2

Here is an example (nobody vul) of1-3: 2 654 875 K108765

When playing this convention, here are the discussion points:

Is it on by a Passed Hand?I'd say: YES.

Is it on after a Double or Overcall?I'd say: NO.

How high is the partnership forced after the raise from 1 to 2?
I recommend that you can stop in a partscoreifeither player's next bid is 2NT or 3-of-the-minor. Otherwise, it is Game Forcing. (Example of a NF auction:1-2-2NT-3)

How light can the raise from 1 to 3 be?I suggest relying on the vulnerability. At favorable, it can be something like Jxxxxx and out. At unfavorable, it would be much sounder, maybe up to AQ10xxx and out.

How many cards to raise?In clubs, usually 5 or more. In diamonds, 5 are also the normal requirement, but it can occasionally be done with 4 (since a 1 opener is usually 4+ cards).

What does it mean if opener bids 2-of-a-Major after an inverted raise (1-2-2)?I recommend that it shows a stopper/concentration (it is pointless to show a 4-card major, since responder should never raise a minor with a 4-card major). After this show of concentration, if responder bids 2NT or 3-of-the-minor, it can be passed.

There are more bells and whistles which can be added, but in my KISS style, the above is sufficient to use Inverted Minors.

Bypassing diamonds after1

If the responder to1has a 4+ card major and also has diamonds (4+), he responds as follows:

  • With a weak hand, bypass the diamonds and show the major at once.
  • With a stronger hand, bid up-the-line.

"Weak" means that the responder might bid only one time (planning to pass opener's rebid). So, usually, any hand up to 11 or so points should show the major and skip the diamonds. With 12+, bid the diamonds first (especially with 5 or more diamonds). With, say, AQ98and J432, I'd skip the diamonds no matter what my strength. Judgment should be used. Opener also bypasses majors after1-1and rebids 1NT with any balanced 12-14. If opener's rebid (after1-1) is 1-of-a-major he is assumednotto have 12-14 balanced.

Note: After1-1, opener will usually show 4 spades (even if he has a flattish minimum).

Notrump Responses

I recommend a simple schedule of 1NT for 6-10, 2NT for 11-12, and 3NT for 13-15. As usual, there are arguments to do this differently, but this is easy to remember and good enough. These ranges are the same in or out of competition. Of course, there is no 1NT forcing (nor semi-forcing) after a minor-suit opening bid.

Jump-shift responses

A jump to the 3-level in a higher suit (for example,1-3) is weak--something like QJ108765and less than 6 HCP. (If you prefer to use it as asplinterbid, make sure to both agree).

A jump to the 2-level (for example,1-2) should, in my opinion, NOT BE WEAK. However, in the 21st century, the majority of players use it as weak, and just to avoid an accident, I will reluctantly mark it as weak on the LC STANDARD convention card. This is a rare area of LC STANDARD where I am (against my best judgment) going with the masses. I'm afraid to mark it as something else--because if one partner studies this and the other doesn't, a disaster will likely occur.

A jump to3after1is natural and invitational (see responses to MAJOR openings, where this treatment was described). All other jump-shift responses are marked further down the convention card (under "Other Conventional calls").

A potential upgrade/gadget to the 2-level jump shifts isreverse Flannery.

In Competition

After an overcall, a cue-bid shows a limit raise or better [example:1(1)2]. A jump raise is weak [example:1(1)3]. Notrump bids retain the same range as without an overcall.

After a takeout double, Redouble is 10+ and 1-level responses are forcing one round.

A jump raise after a double is weak, while 2NT shows a limit raise.

There is an option (seeUpgrades) to use "flip-flop".

There is also an optional gadget (see Upgrades) to use a jump transfer to 3NT.

Next time, auctions beginning with the Strong 2 opening.

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