This device, or conventional method was conceived and developed by Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott, who was born April 16, 1925, and died September 4, 2005. He was a bridge player, translator of several foreign bridge publications, author, and the bridge columnist for The New York Times for forty-one years from the year 1964 to the year of his death in 2005. He served also as the Executive Editor for six Editions of The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, beginning with the publication in the year 1964 and concluding with the Edition in 2002.

Mr. Alan Truscott was born in Brixton, which is a district in the London Borough of Lambeth in South London, England. Attending the University of Oxford beginning in the 1947 he represented the university in both sports of chess and the game of bridge. His achievements at the bridge table are too numerous to present here.

     

Designation of the Concept

Lemmings are small rodents, usually found in or near the Arctic, in tundra biomes. They are subniveal animals, and together with voles and muskrats, they make up the subfamily Arvicolinae (also known as Microtinae), which forms part of the largest mammal radiation by far, the superfamily Muroidea, which also includes rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils.

 

The actual meaning of the designation of Lemming may never be known. However, one of the several definitions, as is wont in any language, is to re-define the name of the animal and provide a human attribute to it. The word lemming is also used in the English language to indicate a member of any large group (bridge community) following an unthinking course towards mass destruction.

In colloquial English the word lemming refers to a purchased or wished-for item, which results from reading an enthusiastic post about or promotion for a new fabulous and wonderful product.

Parameters for the Concept

The application of the Anti-Lemming conventional method is a bidding method to avoid a game contract of 3 No Trump when holding a Major suit weakness. One partner opens with 1 No Trump (range per partnership agreement) and with no competition the responder holds game values, but has serious doubts about one or both Major suit holdings.

The following schematic illustrates the possible bids containing the vital information for the partnership to decide and determine a more preferable contract. The purpose is to avoid at all costs a No Trump game contract, which can be defeated when holding weak Major suits.

Opener   Responder   Meaning
1 NT       Range defined by partnership agreement. In this presentation the range is 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    2   Stayman conventional method asking for a 4-card Major suit.
    2   Jacoby transfer bid to Hearts, which must contain at least 5 cards.
    2   Jacoby transfer bid to Spades, which must contain at least 5 cards.
    2 NT   Note: This bid may be included in the partnership agreement as an invitational raise, but it is not a bid of the Anti-Lemming conventional response method.
    3   Anti-Lemming response, which defines a shape of a 3-card Heart suit and a weak doubleton in Spades. The weak doubleton is understood as having no honor card, even as a partial stopper. Game values are present, but the responder needs to communicate the weakness in the Major suit.
    3   Anti-Lemming response, which defines a shape of a 3-card Spade suit and a weak doubleton in Hearts. The weak doubleton is understood as having no honor card, even as a partial stopper. Game values are present, but the responder needs to communicate the weakness in the Major suit.

Example of Anti-Lemning Responses

Example 1
North
AJ86
K85
QJ65
A9
 
South
974
62
AK92
KQ87
North   South   Meaning
1 NT       Range is agreed to be 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    3   Anti-Lemming response, which defines a shape of a 3-card Spade suit and a weak doubleton in Hearts. The weak doubleton is understood as having no honor card, even as a partial stopper. Game values are present, but the responder needs to communicate the weakness in the Major suit.

Conclusion Following Anti-Lemming Response

As soon as the information has been communicated to the No Trump bidder about the weakness in the Major suits, then the No Trump bidder must determine the best possible contract. Some considerations are presented below.

North   South   Meaning
1 NT       Range is agreed to be 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    3 /   Anti-Lemming responses, which define a particular shape of the Major suits with the additional information that game values are present.
3 NT       The No Trump bidder has stopper(s) in both Major suits and bids game in No Trump.
4 /       It is possible that the holding of the No Trump bidder allows a game contract with a Moysian fit of 4-3 distribution. Note: this decision is generally made on the quality of the suit.
4 /       The No Trump bidder may also be forced, owing also to weakness in both Major suits, to decide upon playing a contract in a Minor suit. This rebid by the opener is considered not forcing. Only if the responder holds additional values will the responder decide upon a game contract in a Minor suit.

Additional Application of the Anti-Lemming Responses

The following auction should be studied in detail since the conventional method of the Anti-Lemming responses are employed in the second round of bidding.

North   South   Meaning
1 NT       Range is agreed to be 15-17 points and balanced distribution.
    2   This is the Stayman conventional method asking whether partner holds a 4-card Major suit.
2       The No Trump bidder denies possession of a 4-card Major suit. The distribution can be deduced as 3-3-3-4.
    3   Anti-Lemming response. On the second round of bidding the responder is able to communicate the holding of a 4-card Heart suit and a weak doubleton in the Spade suit.
    3   Anti-Lemming response. On the second round of bidding the responder is able to communicate the holding of a 4-card Spade suit and a weak doubleton in the Heart suit.

Following the Anti-Lemming response on the second round of bidding the No Trump bidder has also a more accurate description of the distribution of the responder and can determine better the final contract. Even in this application of the conventional method the responder promises opening values.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

 


     
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