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UPS Convention
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Stayman is one of the most popular bridge conventions on this planet. With some variations or gadgets, this convention earned zillion of IMPs all over the world. 

But tell me, do you have feeling sometimes that you need more powerful weapon? How do you feel when you hold a slamish hand opposite 1NT opening and wouldn't it be lovely if you could know full partner shape before, let's say, 3NT?

Of all bright ideas of my bridge friends, this is probably the brightest one. I would like to present a convention to you, named UPS. It is not too complex, but I'll write only "raw" version in this post, and the rest will go in comments.

UPS is used instead of Stayman, so standard sequence will be:

1NT - 2

We'll assume that you play standard 1NT, balanced hand, no 5 cards in major (although, there is a version with 5 majors).

I am writing shapes from spades to clubs, I guess it's standard way.

UPS is GF convention, so you can't invite game later.

2 asks for distribution and possible shapes are: 4333, 4432 and 5332 with 5 cards in minor.

Let's clear 4333 shape cause it's the most simple - just bid a 4 card suit on 3rd level:

1NT - 2

  • 3 - 3334
  • 3 - 3343
  • 3 - 3433
  • 3 - 4333

Next, let's see 4432 shape.

You start by bidding your doubleton:

1NT - 2

  • 2 - doubleton
  • 2 - doubleton
  • 2 - doubleton
  • 2NT - doubleton

Responder continues with first available bid - relay. Next you bid your 3 cards:

  • 3 - three cards in
  • 3 - three cards in
  • 3 - three cards in
  • 3 - three cards in

Let's try with some sequence:

1NT - 2

2 - 2

3 = 4234

Or:

1NT - 2

2 - 2

2 = 3424

Or:

1NT - 2

2 - 2NT

3 = 2344

Or:

1NT - 2

2NT - 3

3 = 4432

And finally, let's see how do you bid 5332:

You start by bidding your doubleton and next:

  • Repeating doubleton suit is 5 clubs
  • Bidding first NT is 5 diamonds

Let's see it in action:

1NT - 2

2 - 2

2NT = 3253

Or:

1NT - 2

2 - 2NT

3 = 2335

Or:

1NT - 2

2NT - 3

3NT = 3352

Some pros and cons are obvious, like "I don't want to show my shape to opponents on 3NT", so some pairs play 1NT-3 (for example) as Stayman and 2 as UPS only with slam interest or similar interesting hand. Also, you may notice that opener is not always declarer, like in  Stayman.

Still, I think this convention deserves big attention and I would love to hear your comments!

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