You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

It is not that I would bid 5♦ to ask. I was just providing something that is close to being possible to reach 7. If I did ask with 5♦ and received a no-control reply, then 6NT would be an obvious choice.

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

Dean, nice auction. But don't you want ♣Q, not ♠Q? Also see Josh's comments above. For 7♠ to make, you need three things: first-round diamond control (♦A or void), ♠K, and third-round club control. I don't see a way to find out all three, even if you start out with control-asking bid at 5-level.

4♠ - 5♦ (♦ control asking) 5NT (1st ♦ control) - 6♣ (♣ control asking) 6♦ (no ♣ control) - 6♥ (still not giving up 7) 7♠ (?)

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

Yes, we are getting closer and closer. The only major difference seems to be the issue of right-siding vs. lead-directing X that you are raising in another post. My guess is that right-siding in 2NT auctions is more serious than in 1NT auctions. But I don't have numbers to back me up.

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

Mike,

Thanks for the kind words on Denial Stayman.

For the 2NT-3♣ inquiry, your 3♦ is similar to Josh's. He switched the 3♠ and 3NT follow-ups to right-side the contracts. Your 3♥ is same as mine. No problem with 3♠ and 3NT as well.

So your method is good - you need to change only one thing to make everything work. Just beware of responder's 5-3 and 3-5 majors.

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

I do not think your method or Bob's method can handle 5♠-3♥ or 5♥-3♠. With these 5-3 or 3-5 hand types, if you start with 3♣, then, in addition to the problems you have when opener bids 3♦ or 3♥, he will also have trouble when opener rebids 3♠ (4 spades) or 3NT (5 hearts).

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

Thanks, Josh, for bring in the right-siding issue into the discussion. This is a good one.

When I checked my methods, we wrongsided the case when opener had both majors and responder had hearts.

To help memorize your method, I guess one can think of it as it goes up by the number of hearts: 3♦ = 0-3 hearts; 3♥ = 4 hearts; and 3NT = 5 hearts.

When opener rebids 3♥ (4 hearts, may or may not have 4 spades), responder, who has 5♠-4♥, will probably need to do a little foot dancing at the 4-level if he wants to play at a 5-4 spade fit, instead of a 4-4 heart fit. (It is not that 5-4 always plays better, but often does.)

5-3 and 3-5 can be important, especially when responder has 5♠-3♥-(41) or the like. Then, playing at 3NT, instead of 5-3 4M may look silly, when other methods (like big-club) locate the fit easily. Indeed, responder may want to tell opener that it is OK to play a 4-3 fit he prefers.

Now to right-side this 5♥-3♠ auction, below is an improvement of what I had earlier:

2NT - 3♦ (5+ hearts) 3♥ - ? 3♠ = less than 3 spades, puppet to 3NT 3NT = 3 spades (opener is free to correct to 4!♠)

2NT - 3♥ (5+ spades) 3♠ - 3NT = 5 spades, less than 3 hearts

2NT - 3NT = 5 spades, 3 hearts (opener is free to bid 4♥)

Comparing these two sequences: 2NT-3NT (5♠-3♥) and 2NT-3♠ (1 or 2 minors), if opener is offered an opinion as to move on or not, the former (5♠-3♥) is perhaps easier for him.

If you want to combine the 5M-5M slam try with 5♥-3♠, it is easy to do (you probably already know that):

2NT - 3♦ 3♥ - 3♠ (puppet to 3NT) 3NT - 4m = 5M-5M, short in m;

while a direct 4m is natural, 2NT - 3♦ 3♥ - 4m = 5♥-4m, slam interest

(But I am not sure why you are so concerned about 5M-5M slam try at 3-level. You must have taken care of other slam tries for other more frequent hand types.)

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

Steve, I think what Mark was asking is when responder has 5♠-3♥, what should he do? If he goes through the 3♣ inquiry, which I don't believe that is your intention, he will do fine when he gets from opener a response of 3NT (5 hearts), 3♠ (5 spades), and 3♦ (no majors, as you said). But he will have trouble with opener's 3♦ (at least 1 4-card major).

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

Thanks for all the comments. After reading them, below is a (cleaner) way to find all 4-4 and 5-3 major-suit fits when 2NT is opened. Please let us know if you can do better.

If responder is interested in opener's 5-card major, or he himself has 4-5 or 5-4 majors, he would start with the 3♣ inquiry (but he should not have a 5-card major alone):

2NT - 3♣ ? 3♦ = no majors or both majors 3♥ = 4+ hearts, no 4 spades 3♠ = 4 spades exactly, no 4 hearts 3NT = 5 spades

Opener's 3♠ and 3NT are self-explanatory. Over 3♥, responder can ask with 3♠ if he has 5 hearts (Opener's 3NT = 4 hearts exactly; 4X = 5 hearts). Over opener's 3♦ (no or both majors), if responder has no majors, he would simply bid 3NT. If he has a major(s), he would bid 3♥ to inquire further. Meanwhile, if responder has Smolen-type majors, he would bid 3♥ to show 4♥-5♠ and 3♠ to show 4♠-5♥, as he normally does. Thus

2NT - 3♣ 3♦ (no or both majors)- ? 3♥ = 4♥-5♠ or some 4-card major(s) 3♠ = 4♠ - 5♥ 3NT = to play, no 4-card majors

Again, we don't have trouble with 3NT or 3♠. Over responder's 3♥ (= 4♥-5♠ or some 4-card major(s)), if opener have both majors, there is an 8-card major-suit fit, so he could bid 4♣ to allow responder to transfer. (4♦ = hearts; and 4♥ = spades). If opener does not have any majors, he has two ways to say so: 3♠ = 3 spades; 3NT = 2 spades. Therefore, if responder has 4♥-5♠, he can act accordingly.

This version is cleaner in the sense that opener's first-round responses are similar to those in regular Stayman, and responder's Smolen responses are kept as same.

If responder has 3-5 or 5-3 in the majors. He would do the following:

2NT - 3♦ (5+ hearts, transfer) 3♥ - ? 3♠ = 5♥-3♠ 3NT = 5 hearts, less than 3 spades

2NT - 3♥ (5+ spades) 3♠ - 3NT = 5 spades, less than 3 hearts

2NT - 3NT = 5♠-3♥ (to play at 3NT, responder bids 3♠, which puppets to 3NT, and responder can show his minor(s) if he chooses to do so.)

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

Also, when responder has 3H and 5S? One way to get all these in is to use Bob's or my second version above for responder's 3♣ bid, and use the transfer 2NT-3♦-3♥-3♠ to show 5♥-3♠; and a direct 3NT over 2NT to show 5♠-3♥. I'll summarize them below in another comment.

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

That is fine. That there are numerous methods in use probably implies that there isn't a consensus out there. Bob also provided one below, which gave me an idea to produce another version:

Again, 3♦ covers both majors and no majors. Then responder's 3♥ = 4♥-5♠ or some 4-card major(s) 3♠ = 4♠-5♥ 3NT = no majors

Over responder's 3♥, opener bids: 3♠ = no majors, 3 spades 3NT = no majors, 2 spades 4♣ = both majors

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

Or 3244.

A fix is to have the 3♦ bid above cover two cases: no majors and both majors. Then responder's 3♥ = ask (opener's 3♠ = both majors; and 3NT = no majors) 3♠ = 4♠-5♥ 3NT = 5♥-4♠

This is ugly though. Worse yet, responder has to go through the unnecessary ask of 3♥ when he himself doesn't have any majors.

Are you aware of any method that does not reveal this much and is easy to remember?

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

If you are willing to treat invitational 4M-5m as one-suited 6m when opener does not hit your major, then it can be done via a variation of Stayman. See “Denial Stayman”, 1994 Nov/Dec issue of Bridge Today.

You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.

The idea of using 1NT-2♠ to locate shortness is certainly interesting. But how about a response structure to 1NT which allows you to discover all 4+-card suits and shortness before or at the level of 3NT? For example, with 4-3-6-1, responder would show 4 spades, 5+ diamonds, and short clubs. Opener's decision would be even easier. The structure, “Denial Stayman”, was published in 1994 Nov/Dec issue of Bridge Today.

Kai-Ching Lin

Congrats!

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

4♠ - 5♦ (♦ control asking)

5NT (1st ♦ control) - 6♣ (♣ control asking)

6♦ (no ♣ control) - 6♥ (still not giving up 7)

7♠ (?)

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

Thanks for the kind words on Denial Stayman.

For the 2NT-3♣ inquiry, your 3♦ is similar to Josh's. He switched the 3♠ and 3NT follow-ups to right-side the contracts. Your 3♥ is same as mine. No problem with 3♠ and 3NT as well.

So your method is good - you need to change only one thing to make everything work. Just beware of responder's 5-3 and 3-5 majors.

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

When I checked my methods, we wrongsided the case when opener had both majors and responder had hearts.

To help memorize your method, I guess one can think of it as it goes up by the number of hearts: 3♦ = 0-3 hearts; 3♥ = 4 hearts; and 3NT = 5 hearts.

When opener rebids 3♥ (4 hearts, may or may not have 4 spades), responder, who has 5♠-4♥, will probably need to do a little foot dancing at the 4-level if he wants to play at a 5-4 spade fit, instead of a 4-4 heart fit. (It is not that 5-4 always plays better, but often does.)

5-3 and 3-5 can be important, especially when responder has 5♠-3♥-(41) or the like. Then, playing at 3NT, instead of 5-3 4M may look silly, when other methods (like big-club) locate the fit easily. Indeed, responder may want to tell opener that it is OK to play a 4-3 fit he prefers.

Now to right-side this 5♥-3♠ auction, below is an improvement of what I had earlier:

2NT - 3♦ (5+ hearts)

3♥ - ?

3♠ = less than 3 spades, puppet to 3NT

3NT = 3 spades (opener is free to correct to 4!♠)

2NT - 3♥ (5+ spades)

3♠ - 3NT = 5 spades, less than 3 hearts

2NT - 3NT = 5 spades, 3 hearts (opener is free to bid 4♥)

Comparing these two sequences: 2NT-3NT (5♠-3♥) and 2NT-3♠ (1 or 2 minors), if opener is offered an opinion as to move on or not, the former (5♠-3♥) is perhaps easier for him.

If you want to combine the 5M-5M slam try with 5♥-3♠, it is easy to do (you probably already know that):

2NT - 3♦

3♥ - 3♠ (puppet to 3NT)

3NT - 4m = 5M-5M, short in m;

while a direct 4m is natural,

2NT - 3♦

3♥ - 4m = 5♥-4m, slam interest

(But I am not sure why you are so concerned about 5M-5M slam try at 3-level. You must have taken care of other slam tries for other more frequent hand types.)

Kai-Ching Lin

I suppose your follow-up after opener's 3♦ (no majors or 5♠) is the same as Bob Balderson's above?

So you would need bids other than 3♣ to take care of responder's 5♠-3♥ and 5♥-3♠, just like me, correct?

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

If responder is interested in opener's 5-card major, or he himself has 4-5 or 5-4 majors, he would start with the 3♣ inquiry (but he should not have a 5-card major alone):

2NT - 3♣

?

3♦ = no majors or both majors

3♥ = 4+ hearts, no 4 spades

3♠ = 4 spades exactly, no 4 hearts

3NT = 5 spades

Opener's 3♠ and 3NT are self-explanatory. Over 3♥, responder can ask with 3♠ if he has 5 hearts (Opener's 3NT = 4 hearts exactly; 4X = 5 hearts). Over opener's 3♦ (no or both majors), if responder has no majors, he would simply bid 3NT. If he has a major(s), he would bid 3♥ to inquire further. Meanwhile, if responder has Smolen-type majors, he would bid 3♥ to show 4♥-5♠ and 3♠ to show 4♠-5♥, as he normally does. Thus

2NT - 3♣

3♦ (no or both majors)- ?

3♥ = 4♥-5♠ or some 4-card major(s)

3♠ = 4♠ - 5♥

3NT = to play, no 4-card majors

Again, we don't have trouble with 3NT or 3♠. Over responder's 3♥ (= 4♥-5♠ or some 4-card major(s)), if opener have both majors, there is an 8-card major-suit fit, so he could bid 4♣ to allow responder to transfer. (4♦ = hearts; and 4♥ = spades). If opener does not have any majors, he has two ways to say so: 3♠ = 3 spades; 3NT = 2 spades. Therefore, if responder has 4♥-5♠, he can act accordingly.

This version is cleaner in the sense that opener's first-round responses are similar to those in regular Stayman, and responder's Smolen responses are kept as same.

If responder has 3-5 or 5-3 in the majors. He would do the following:

2NT - 3♦ (5+ hearts, transfer)

3♥ - ?

3♠ = 5♥-3♠

3NT = 5 hearts, less than 3 spades

2NT - 3♥ (5+ spades)

3♠ - 3NT = 5 spades, less than 3 hearts

2NT - 3NT = 5♠-3♥ (to play at 3NT, responder bids 3♠, which puppets to 3NT, and responder can show his minor(s) if he chooses to do so.)

Have we beaten the horse to death?

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin

Again, 3♦ covers both majors and no majors. Then responder's

3♥ = 4♥-5♠ or some 4-card major(s)

3♠ = 4♠-5♥

3NT = no majors

Over responder's 3♥, opener bids:

3♠ = no majors, 3 spades

3NT = no majors, 2 spades

4♣ = both majors

This is easier and better.

Kai-Ching Lin

A fix is to have the 3♦ bid above cover two cases: no majors and both majors. Then responder's

3♥ = ask (opener's 3♠ = both majors; and 3NT = no majors)

3♠ = 4♠-5♥

3NT = 5♥-4♠

This is ugly though. Worse yet, responder has to go through the unnecessary ask of 3♥ when he himself doesn't have any majors.

Are you aware of any method that does not reveal this much and is easy to remember?

Kai-Ching Lin

Kai-Ching Lin