Responding to 1 of a Major with a 3-card Minor

My partner opens 1 of a Major, and I have 4-card support, but shape 4-3-3-3, and 10+ HCPs. Not sure whether a contract in the Major or NTs would be best, or indeed whether or not Game is on, so I respond 2C, postponing a decision until partner has rebid.
Should the 2C bid be alerted?

Comments

  • Blue Book 4C1a states that a minimum response in clubs or diamonds is considered natural for alertability purposes if it shows 3+ cards in the suit bid. Additionally, I don't think that this treatment is particularly unusual or unexpected. As such, I don't think it's alertable (although of course you would have to explain it if asked despite the lack of alert).

    If the bid could show only two clubs, then it would be alertable.

  • TagTag
    edited February 20

    You might get a similar situation playing 5-card majors and a forcing 1NT of 1S-1NT-2C

    Again, the 2C bid could be on three cards and needn't be alerted, since it's deemed to be natural with 3+ cards in the suit.

    Another fairly common situation is when partner opens 1S and you have 3433 shape, with four hearts and too strong to respond 1NT. 1S-2C needs no alert.

  • I don't think it should be alerted because it might be three cards, but it might well need to be alerted because it could conceal four-card support. That seems "potentially unexpected" to me, and the kind of thing that the opponents are entitled to know.

  • I would assume that any change of suit over an opening bid 'could conceal four-card support.'

    Alan

  • Delayed game raises have been common practice for decades.

  • A few days ago I changed suit over an opening bid with 7-card support. I still don't think that makes my bid alertable, though; sometimes you've just got to find a way to force, and in many Acol variants, there aren't any ways to make a forcing raise directly.

  • Happy to stand corrected, then. It would never occur to me to hide four-card support, and I thought the "delayed game raise" with four cards has been dead for decades.

    Say the auction continues something like:

    1H - Pass - 2C - 2S
    Dbl - 3S - 4H - ??

    If 4H could be based on four (or more?) card support, that makes a huge difference. But I'd never consider that unless I was alerted to the possibility, and you'd prefer not to ask in these situations for fear of giving UI.

  • The delayed game raise is still really useful in individual tournaments (or with an unfamiliar partner), because it's one of the few conventions that can be used without explicit agreement and is unlikely to be misinterpreted by a partner who doesn't know you're using it. It also seems to be a fairly widespread explicit agreement upon the players I play against, perhaps because they don't want to learn artificial conventions for solving the problem it solves.

    Perhaps this just boils down to the usual problems with the alerting system: what one player finds normal, another player may find unexpected. (Normally, though, anything used in Traditional Acol goes unalerted; perhaps that principle should be changed, though, given how unusual some of its calls are nowadays!)

  • TagTag
    edited February 20

    With a weak hand and huge support for partner's suit, making some vacillating bid can be your only option. You're always going to game but there might be more if partner has a big hand. Forcing continuations after partner also changes suit or, worse still, raises your dummy suit can be problematic.

  • @ais523 said:
    The delayed game raise is still really useful in individual tournaments (or with an unfamiliar partner), because it's one of the few conventions that can be used without explicit agreement and is unlikely to be misinterpreted by a partner who doesn't know you're using it.

    I would mis-interpret it. I would assume secondary support because I haven't seen anyone knowingly use a DGR for more than quarter of a century.

  • Most club players do not play Jacoby 2NT. I haven't seen the latest version but it wasn't even in Year 2 of the standard EBED course in 2014, what are they to do with a flat 17-count and 4-card support for partner's major? So bidding a 3-card suit with game+ support for partner will be normal for those without any bid to show a forcing raise.

    What is unusual in the original post is that the 3-card suit might be bid with invitational values. I think most people would raise to 3 relying on partner to bid 3NT if that was a possible alternative contract. The problem with not alerting is that occasionally the opponents will misjudge the level of the fit and miss a profitable sacrifice. So perhaps it should be alerted and, if asked, explained as 'Could be a 3-card suit with 4-card support and invitational values' although that means that an awful lot of perfectly normal bids will be alerted for this rare occurrence.

  • I use bergen raises & jacopy 2nt with one partner. if i make my other partners do a dgr, it may be easier to teach them bergen ect. unfortunately, or fortunately according to your own views, my other partners play simple acol but use 5 card majors. very hard to get them to learn anything extra - they put it in the too hard basket.

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