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Mugford Triple Multi 2/3 Diamonds

Back last century, Joey Silver showed a group of us a hand that rated to be a decent weak 2 opener that some mumbled might be worth opening at the three level because of a side club suit that was, IIRC, four to the nine-eight. Not enough for Joey. He opened 4 and then made a real case for it at favourite vulnerability. I think it was then that I realized that big-time Bridge and the local club game had been split like an amoeba. A. Totally. Different. Game.

The ACBL cocoons players from the more complicated versions of a tournament player's toolkit. But I see here at BridgeWinners that folks from other countries don't have such over-parenting. So, I thought I'd throw out my ideas for a multi-system that is tested only in home games. It works pretty well and there's much room for refinement. I hope it might see life in Real Competition. Some day. Some where. Not here. Ever. Sigh.

Mugford Triple Multi 2/3 Diamonds (MTMTTD for not much shorter) is a system of calls that lets you open 2 with a pre-emptive hand in anything but clubs, and 3 as a pre-emptive major one-suiter. Here's the basic calls as I play it ...

2: Flawed Weak 2 or Flawed Weak 2 or Standard 3 Preempt NOTE: Could add 21-22 NT

2: Disciplined Weak 2 (2 of top 3, 6 carder, no four card side suit) NOTE: 2 of top 4 in 3rd chair

2: Disciplined Weak 2 (2 of top 3, 6 carder, no four card side suit) NOTE: 2 of top 4 in 3rd chair

2NT: Standard (or refined when adding 21-22 to 2)

3: Standard

3: Flawed 3-level Preempt in  or

3: Disciplined 3 Preempt (3 of top 4, 7-8 carder)

3: Disciplined 3 Preempt (3 of top 4, 7-8 carder)

The whole thing started because I clutch to my disciplined weak two's in majors like the sixty-two year old man that I am. But I live in a world where the whole room in a pairs game all believe in Joey Silver fervently. To play disciplined weak two's with all their advantages (I know I'm picking specific hands, but three aces and honour-doubleton in the indicated suit makes 3NT a probable laydown. And variations on that are not as rare as one would think), but it's anti-room. So, I tried to come up with a plan to pair the two bids. The cost? A one-step 3 pre-empt that let's you also fine-tune the three-level major-suit pre-empts.

Flaws. Everybody has them. Most hands do too. You get your choice of flaws. We play that a flawed hand has a second four-card suit, mostly not impressive. I haven't QUITE joined the 5-4 community, although the response system below caters to them. I STILL like to have six-card length in the anchor major. Others in our little home Bridge group prefer the flaw be five-card length, with or without the side suit (although statistically, they MOSTLY have them). Perhaps YOUR flaw is HCP-based. Maybe your flaw adjusts a semi-weak two of 8-11 HCP to 4-10. Or whatever floats your boat. Obviously, playing ANY flaw is probably counter-productive. This is Bridge, not poker.

I honestly don't bother with the strong NT variants. This is a quick in-and-out bidding situation amongst old friends, none of whom will be scared into inaction for fear of running into a half-the-deck monster. Others may refine and use the NT nuclear option.

Over 2...

2: Pass or correct

2: support, pass or correct

2NT: Describe further

... 3: Good weak 2 of a major, but only five cards. Or a pretty good six-carder without the top honours requirement. Or ... pick your flaw

... ... 3: asks for further clarification, then

... ... ... 3: shows spades in the five-card flaw system. It shows a side-suit in clubs in another flaw system. Or ... pick your flaw clarification

... ... ... 3: shows hearts in the five-card flaw system. It shows a side-suit in diamonds in another flaw system. Or ... pick your flaw clarification

... 3: Standard 3 Preempt

... 3: Weak, not-too-broken 6-card  suit or ratty 7-card  suit NOTE: These are SUPER FLAWS

... 3: Weak, not-too-broken 6-card  suit or a ratty 7-card  suit NOTE: These are SUPER FLAWS

... 3NT: Strong NT if included

3: To play opposite non-strong NT

3: Pass or correct, support for both  or

3: Pass or correct, minor support for , decent support for  and

3: To play, as are other bids through 4

Over 3D...

3: Pass or correct

3: To play

3NT: To play

4: To play or cue bid for the unknown suit (depending on style. I prefer QB)

4: To play or cue bid for the unknown suit (depending on style. I prefer QB)

4: Pass or correct

4: To play

4NT: RKCB for the 'unknown' suit

OVER INTERFERENCE of no more than one level ...

Pass and correct bids at the level, takeout doubles of the overcalled suit through 3, QB's ask for stopper to play cheapest NT

OVER INTERFERENCE of MORE than one level ...

Bids are natural. Doubles TEND to be co-operative.

MTMTTD is not a perfect system nor is intended to be. It gives me back my disciplined weak two's (and weak three's) and let's my partner, who believes in the playing fees entitlement approach to bidding to have his fun too. It aids a bit on defence when we land there after getting in the first blow. Imagining partner's hand is refined. Given whatever system you play at the four-level for openings, it allows you to truly refine showing your major-suit openings all the way to four of the major. The cost? Well, there is the delayed approach to finally showing a diamond pre-empt. And the forcing structure at the two level is lumbering and resolves fairly high too often. But we play lots of fast arrival, so it fits with what we do. I've occasionally taken a fling at opening with five cards in the major and it's a scary, but fun, ride. Wouldn't want to trot this out with a championship at stake, playing those five-card flaws.

And, of course, this is very much a pairs convention. I know the guy across the table enjoys adventure and play problems, so I have one person to answer to. Having teammates changes the calculus. How much it changes is up to the reader.

Critiques welcomes. GM (Hope I got the formatting right in try 3)

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