New Minor Forcing (NMF)
Hereís a simple enough hand:
♠ A65 ♠ KJT3
♥ A74 ♥ 93
♦ KQJ3 ♦ A82
♣ 765 ♣ KT32
A typical auction might go 1♦ 1♠, 1NT 2NT, 3NT, and, though the resulting contract is not iron-clad, it is the best game contract available and it is favorite to make. Now, letís tweak it a little:
♠ A65 ♠ KT932
♥ A74 ♥ 93
♦ KQJ3 ♦ A8
♣ 765 ♣ AT32
Once again, Responder has an invitational hand, but this time he has 5 Spades. He would like to invite to game, and he would like to offer Partner a choice between Spades and No Trump Ö this is where New Minor Forcing comes in, as in this auction:
In this auction, 2♣ is the so-called ďNew MinorĒ and it is artificial, typically showing at least an invitational hand with 5 Spades. The characteristics of the sequence are:
- Opener bids a minor;
- Responder bids a major;
- Opener rebids 1NT;
- Responder bids the other minor, which is artificial and forcing for one round.
The auction commences with 1♦ 1♠, 1NT 2♣, as per the above Ö what is your rebid with the following hands? Remember that the goal is twofold here Ö choose between Spades and No Trump Ö and choose between game and part-score.
♠ K54 After Partnerís NMF, you will obviously want to show your 3-card
♥ A4 Spade support. You may also want to have a good excuse ready as to
♦ KJ87 why you didnít raise 1♠ directly to 2♠, but thatís another story.
♠ 987 Here, your Spade support is lousy and your hand is square Ö so,
♥ A62 nobody should object to that 1NT rebid Ö but when Partner checks
♦ KQT6 back with 2♣, you can withhold that Spade support no longer. And,
♣ KQ3 as your hand is so good, you are supposed to jump to 3♠ with this
hand, showing extras. This treatment has a benefit on hands where you donít jump Ö if you had merely bid 2♠, as in the previous hand, you would be denying extras, allowing the contract to subside whenever Partner is only invitational values.
♠ K5 Partnerís NMF bid is not just a check-back for 3 Spades Ö he might
♥ KJ76 well have 5 Spades and 4 Hearts, so a Heart contract is not out of the
♦ KJ32 question. So, after Partnerís 2♣, you would bid 2♥ here, just in case.
♠ K53 Here, we have not only 3 Spades, but also 4 Hearts. Which are we
♥ KJ76 supposed to show? We would show the Spades first, at least on this
♦ KJ32 particular hand. If Responder is merely invitational, then 2♠ is where
♣ QT probably belong Ö if Partner has more stuff, we may get a chance to
show the Hearts later.
Minor Suit Auctions
The auction commences:
This is the full hand:
♠ Q87 ♠ K4
♥ K62 ♥ AQ764
♦ 5 ♦ 9432
♣ AKJ743 ♣ Q8
With this hand, Responder would like to invite to game, and also keep open the possibility of a 5-3 Heart fit. Sound familiar? Yes, of course! Itís another New Minor Forcing situation. So, the prescribed approach here is to bid 2♦.
♠ K4 ♠ QT8732
♥ K642 ♥ Q3
♦ A7 ♦ Q85
♣ QT543 ♣ A9
In this sequence, East shows an invitational hand with 6 Spades without going to the 3-level Ö just as well on this hand, as 3♠ would be in some jeopardy.
♠ K4 ♠ QJT7
♥ A642 ♥ 3
♦ K7 ♦ AQ5
♣ QJ543 ♣ AK962
Eastís 3♣ is forcing, at least the way that most people play the convention. With a weaker hand, letís say the same hand without the AQ♦, he would have rebid 3♣ over 1NT.
♠ K43 ♠ QT72
♥ AT6 ♥ K32
♦ KQ7 ♦ A
♣ QT94 ♣ AK632
In this auction, West shows jump support for Spades, and thus a maximum. But it turns out that East is actually on a slam hunt in Clubs Ö the point here is that East has no way, in currently standard methods, of creating a force in Clubs, other than going via NMF. But, after 2♦, West crosses his intentions by leaping to 3♠ Ö so East is now forced to bid 4♣ to show interest in a Club slam.
This last auction illustrates the
downside of allowing Opener to jump to the 3-level whenever he has 3 of
Partnerís major and a maximum Ö occasionally (fortunately not very
often) it will turn out that East was not interested in the majors at
all, but in a minor suit slam.
For examples of New Minor Forcing from actual play, please follow this link to the Archives
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