Theory and Conventions

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M J Bridge

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Hands

Intermediate and above

The Lavings extension


If you accept the principle that responder must hold at least invitational values then it becomes sensible to modify opener’s list of available responses.


With this convention the continuations are almost completely natural, and distinguish between minimum and maximum holdings.


After 1NT, 2:-

2      shows a minimum hand with no five-card major;

2NT    shows a maximum with no five-card suit (note that this bid no longer denies a four-card major);

2,2  show a five-card suit in a minimum hand;

3 of any suit shows a five-card suit in a maximum hand.


The responses 2NT and three of a suit are forcing to game now that opener has shown a maximum opposite invitational values.

A Q 8 5 4

K T 7

J T 4

Q 5

Bid 2.

Show your five-card major in a minimum hand.

You

LHO

Pard

RHO

1NT

-

2

-

?








A Q 8 5 4

K T 7

Q J 4

Q 5

Bid 3.

Show your five-card major in a maximum hand.

This sequence is game-forcing.

You

LHO

Pard

RHO

1NT

-

2

-

?








A Q 5 4

K T 7

J T 4

Q 8 5

Bid 2.

Show your minimum hand with no five-card major.

With eleven or twelve points responder can still search for a 4-4 major-suit fit with a natural 2 or 2on the way to 2NT.

You

LHO

Pard

RHO

1NT

-

2

-

?








Bid 2NT.

Show your maximum hand with no five-card major.

This sequence is game-forcing.

Partner can still search for a 4-4 major suit fit with 3.

A Q 5 4

K T 7

Q J 4

Q 8 5

You

LHO

Pard

RHO

1NT

-

2

-

?









Responder’s continuations


Responder’s continuations will be found in their rightful place in the section on responder’s rebid, together with some example hands.



Of the various versions of 2 as five-card Stayman over 1NT that are available I like ‘The Lavings Extension’ - particularly at teams scoring - although I am led to believe that the originator of the convention stopped using it eventually.


At pairs scoring the loss of the weak sequences is a significant sacrifice.

In this context you might prefer ‘not promising invitational values’.


3 as 5-card Stayman has much to commend it in all forms of the game.


Alternatively stick with four-card Stayman which is readily refined so that 5-3 major suit fits will not be missed on game-going hands.

Responder’s first bid

Responder’s rebid

Context  -  You opened 1NT - LHO passed - intermediate and beyond - partner bid 2 - five-card Stayman - promising invitational values.

This page last updated 21st Oct 2019