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Smolen transfer is a convention. Its prerequisite is Stayman. This convention is alertable.

Smolen transfers is a convention for showing game-forcing hands that are 5-4 in the majors after a 1NT opening.

Convention Edit

After opener opens 1NT, bid 2 (Stayman) with 5-4 in the majors.

  • If opener shows a four-card major, raise it.
  • If opener bids a negative 2, bid the shorter major at the three-level.

Opener's rebids after the transfer bid Edit

After responder bids a 3-level major (over 2), opener may:

  • Accept the transfer by raising the long major suit
  • Deny the transfer by bidding 3NT with a doubleton.
  • Bypass the transfer by bidding 4 to show a maximum and a good fit.
    • With a six-card major, responder may retransfer by bidding the suit directly below the intended game bid.

Thus, 1NT-2-2-3-3 or 1NT-2-2-3-4 are accepted transfers.

One complaint with Smolen transfers is that it is impossible to show an invitational 5-4 hand (at least in hearts). With four suit transfers, the minor suit rebids after Stayman are less important and therefore Quest transfers allow invites by exchanging 3 with 3 as a transfer to hearts.

Note: Some bid the shorter major at the two level for those opening 1NT with a 5 card major. Responder with 4-3 in the majors and game going values can use the three level to bid the shorter major. Either a 4-4 or 5-3 fit can be found this way.

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