# Partnership Understandings Level 4

A reading of Section 7 B 1 of the Blue Book leads me to understand that a partnership playing Standard American, with a 1D opening guaranteeing min 4 cards, therefore a 4-4-3-2 distribution will be opened 1C with only 2 cards in clubs, is not allowed.

Is that right?

## Comments

• No, that's not right. What leads you to conclude that? Do you not think it is covered by "Any distribution that satisfies the requirements for a natural 1NT opening"?

• @gordonrainsford said:
No, that's not right. What leads you to conclude that? Do you not think it is covered by "Any distribution that satisfies the requirements for a natural 1NT opening"?

Yes, I had thought it would be covered by that, but the sub-section for option (i) starts with ‘ Forcing or not, showing ANY COMBINATION of the following hand types:
A) at least four cards in the suit bid
at least four cards in the other minor
C) any distribution that satisfies the requirements for a natural 1NT opening.

Does this not mean that C has to be in combination with either A or B?

That is what confused me.

• @SDN said:

@gordonrainsford said:
No, that's not right. What leads you to conclude that? Do you not think it is covered by "Any distribution that satisfies the requirements for a natural 1NT opening"?

Yes, I had thought it would be covered by that, but the sub-section for option (i) starts with ‘ Forcing or not, showing ANY COMBINATION of the following hand types:
A) at least four cards in the suit bid
at least four cards in the other minor
C) any distribution that satisfies the requirements for a natural 1NT opening.

Does this not mean that C has to be in combination with either A or B?

That is what confused me.

has got replaced by an emoji, don’t know how!

• @SDN said:

@SDN said:

@gordonrainsford said:
No, that's not right. What leads you to conclude that? Do you not think it is covered by "Any distribution that satisfies the requirements for a natural 1NT opening"?

Yes, I had thought it would be covered by that, but the sub-section for option (i) starts with ‘ Forcing or not, showing ANY COMBINATION of the following hand types:
A) at least four cards in the suit bid
at least four cards in the other minor
C) any distribution that satisfies the requirements for a natural 1NT opening.

Does this not mean that C has to be in combination with either A or B?

That is what confused me.

has got replaced by an emoji, don’t know how!

Should be b), computer!

• Any combination includes any single one.

• edited June 2018

That section has always seemed unnecessarily complex to me.

Isn't it mathematically equivalent (at level 4) to "any hand is allowed, unless it contains 7 cards in one major with no 4-card minor, or it contains 10 cards in the majors combined"?

A quick proof of this: in order for the opening to be invalid as an NT opening, it either needs seven cards in a major, a void, or ten cards split between two suits:

• If the hand contains 7 of a major, then it isn't a valid 1m opening unless it contains 4 of a minor too.
• If the hand contains a void in a minor, then either it has a 4-card minor or it has 10 cards in both majors.
• If the hand contains a void in a major, then either it has 7+ cards in the other major, or else it has 7+ cards in the minors (meaning at least one of them will be 4 cards long).
• If the hand contains 10 cards in two suits and at least one of them is a minor, then either it'll contain 4 in the minor, or it'll contain 7 in the major.
• If the hand contains 10 cards between the majors, there's no way it's valid (it can't have 4 of a minor).

Incidentally, this seems ridiculously permissive. I guess that's probably not a problem in practice, but the way the Blue Book is written at the moment, it looks less permissive than it actually is. (It took me a while to come up with a plausible bidding system that could violate 7B1; the most plausible I can come up with is "1 shows an unspecified major of at least 5 cards and no 4-card side suit", in which case the system would attempt to use 1 to bid 7222 and 7321 hands in a major, violating the rule.)

• @ais523 said:
That section has always seemed unnecessarily complex to me.

Isn't it mathematically equivalent (at level 4) to "any hand is allowed, unless it contains 7 cards in one major with no 4-card minor, or it contains 10 cards in the majors combined"?

That sounds to me as though you think it is permitted to open 1C with a 7141 hand. If that's not what you meant, it might be an indication that writing watertight regulations is harder than you might imagine!

• It'd be a pretty silly bidding system, but imagine a canapé system with minors reversed, i.e. 1 shows a single-suiter in diamonds or 4 diamonds with another, longer, suit, and 1 shows a single-suiter in clubs or 4 clubs with another, longer, suit. Such a system, as far as I can tell, is entirely compliant with 7B1 in the Blue Book (because the minor suit bids show "at least 4 cards in the other minor", as allowed by 7B1(i)(b)), and it would open a 7=1=4=1 hand 1.

If this bidding system is not permitted at level 4, what rule would it violate?

• Perfectly permissable.

• edited June 2018

@gordonrainsford said:
Any combination includes any single one.

Thank you for the clarification.

Though I would have thought that the language would be clearer if it said ‘any one or any combination....’ (Like ‘joint and several’ in legal parlance).

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