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The Best Alternative to Flannery 2?
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Playing 2/1 Game Forcing, you pick up a hand with 4522 distribution and 14 high card points. You open 1 and partner bids forcing 1NT. Now what? You can't bid your spades; that's a reverse. You can't bid 2 or 2 since you only have two. What should you rebid? American bridge player William Flannery invented Flannery 2 in order to avoid the difficult rebid, but there is an alternative for those who absolutely despise Flannery - it is called Kaplan's inversion and it is probably one of most elegant convention I've ever played.

This is how this fabulous convention works:

  • 1 - 1 = 0-4, below GF (you start with 1-2 if holding a balanced hand with 4)
  • 1 - 1NT = 5+, F1

After 1 - 1:

  • 1NT = 4 11-15 or 35(32) 11-13 (2 relays for clarification)
  • 2 = Gazzilli (various 16+, 15-19 balanced or weak with clubs)
  • 2 = natural or 2533, weak
  • 2 = 65, weak
  • 3 = 65, intermediate

After 1 - 1NT:

  • 2 = Gazzilli (various 16+, 15-19 balanced or weak with clubs)
  • 2 = 3/4, weak
  • 3 = 3/4, invitational

After 1 - 1 - 1NT - 2 (a relay most often showing 8+):

  • 2 = 35(32)
  • 2 = 64
  • 2 = 54
  • 2NT = 45(04) 11-13 (subsequent 3/3 are P/C)
  • 3 = 4504, 14-15
  • 3 = 4540, 14-15

 

Pros:

  • you will always locate the 5-3 spade fit,
  • right-siding the contract when playing in a 5-3 spade fit,
  • stronger hand plays 1NT after 1-1-1NT-pass,
  • possibility of showing 65 hands accurately, after opening 1,
  • slight lead problems for opponents who don't know how many spades responder holds after the auction begins with 1-1... and ends in ...3NT,
  • possibility of finding many spade 4-3 Moysians (which is especially valuable if playing MP - 2 being always a top),
  • many various pros that Gazzilli 2 (and 2NT) rebids offer per se.

Contras:

  • sometimes opener should rebid a natural 2 with 2533.
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