Monday, October 6, 2008

Super Stayman?

The more I think about this, the more I like it.

My wife, who is a new player, quickly learned one of the core principles of bridge early. Gerber sucks. She hates Gerber. "Gerber is stupid!" Such a natural...

So, we ditched Gerber quickly. But, what should 1NT-P-4♣ show, then? Can't leave a bid without a meaning, after all.

Well, she also has this strange other rule -- 4NT is always Blackwood. I can live with that, I suppose. Blackwood has been tested over time. RKCB is too, well, Roman. As a former Catholic School Girl, which is a plus in some ways, she is not that keen on things Roman. Whatever. So, Blackwood it is.

But, this left no simple 4NT-as-natural-and-invitational, or "quantitative." She even laughed at that term -- "Quantitative." It is really a silly word. Why are other invitational bids not called "Quantitative?" 1NT is "quantitative" for that matter.

In any event, we needed a "slam invitational" bid. Her solution was that 4♣ was "Super Stayman," of sorts. Maybe "Baron," buts she's much too young to remember that name, and, being from Cleveland, much too power-of-the-people to have any positive reflection of title on her card. So, "Super Stayman" works.

How, precisely, does "Super Stayman" work?

4♣ shows slam interest. If Opener lacks slam interest, he bids an immediate 4NT. If he has slam interest, he bids 4-card suits up-the-line. If Opener rebids a suit (1NT-4♣-4♥-4NT-5♥), he promises a five-card suit. If Opener jumps in a suit (1NT-4♣-5♦), he promises a six-card suit. Opener can bid 5♣ with a five-card club suit and slam interest, or 5NT with 3-3-3-4 and a maximum, or 6♣ with six clubs.

Responder can reciprocate by introduction of suits herself. However, 4NT by either side, after initially showing slam interest, after a 4-level call (4♦, 4♥, or 4♠) is Blackwood (although you may use RKCB if that does not offend you as much). Opener can also do this, if he already showed slam interest (e.g., 1NT-4♣-4♥-4♠-4NT).

This works nicely. Notice how this also erases the need for 1NT-P-5NT as "Super Quantitative." She plays that as pick-a-minor-slam, which works fine also.

I like it. I mean, after years of thinking through cuebidding and asking bids and TAB's/CAB's and the like, maybe a lot can be learned from a newbie's simple observation that "Gerber is stupid."

Maybe she should run for office. "Bailouts are stupid" might turn out to be a winning idea...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another use of 4C could be Rosenkranz's Confit