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Why is the accepted point range for bidding as it is?

Today I'm not explaining but asking. Probably my question is answered somewhere, and equally probably it is not exhaustively or completely convincingly answered.

Normally, for "natural" bidding systems, and except for preemption, the opening bid is accepted to require at least about 11-12 points, and response from partner, if not interfered, should guarantee not less than 5-6.

Surely there is not only one reason for each of these minimal value but several combined reasons. 

Could a so widely accepted limits be somehow changed without loss? I am particularly interested on trying to diminish both of them.

For instance one may believe  that opener should guarantee a little more than an average (10hcp) to ensure a good probability to reach a positive score. But we all know that a negative score can also be a winner one.

 

Any help or reference on this subject would be greatly welcome. Thanks in advance.

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