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Flannery

The Flannery convention is the use of an opening bid of 2to show an 11-15 point hand with five hearts and four spades. 

[Notes:     1. Some partnerships will use 2 to show this hand type; and
                2. Some partnerships play "Reverse" Flannery.  Here, the 2 shows an
                    11-15 point hand with five spades and four hearts.] 

Responses:
  • Pass, 2, 2♠, 3♣, 3 – to play
            *  Over 2or 2♠ opener may raise with a maximum and a minor-suit
                void.
            *  If responder bids a minor on the three level, opener bids 3NT with a fit
                (ace or king doubleton, or queen to three).
  • 3NT, 4, 4♠ – to play
  • 3, 3♠ – invitational
  • 4♣, 3 - transfers to 4, 4♠ respectively
  • 2NT – forcing bid. The opener describes his hand more precisely:
    • 3♣, 3 = 3 cards in the bid suit (i.e., 4-5-1-3 and 4-5-3-1 distribution, respectively)
    • 3 = 4-5-2-2, 11-13 points
    • 3♠ = 4-5-2-2, 14-15 points with weak minor-suit doubletons
    • 3NT = 4-5-2-2, 14-15 points, but good minor-suit doubletons
    • 4♣, 4 = 4 cards in the bid suit (i.e., 4=5=0=4 and 4=5=4=0 distribution, respectively)
    • 4 = a 6-card heart suit, for those who play this variant
(Note: Responses and rebids to the 2♥ are the same as for the Flannery 2 convention, except that to sign off in hearts responder simply passes.)

Defense:
The standard defense to Flannery 2 is to play that a 2 overcall is a three-suited takeout (with shortness in hearts). Double of 2 shows the equivalent of a strong 1NT opener and is penalty oriented. A 2NT overcall is unusual for the minors, while suit overcalls other than 2 are natural. An alternative is to play that a double shows a balanced hand in the 13-16 range, and 2NT shows a stronger balanced hand. See next entry. All delayed doubles are for takeout, all doubles facing a partner who has acted are for penalty.

(Note:  The Flannery 2 bid is not as easy to defend as its 2 counterpart. The usual practice is to play that the double of 2 shows the strong 1NT and that 2♠ shows a three-suited takeout. The assumption (not always valid) is that the long spade suit is the least likely hand one might hold.  It is also possible to use a double and a 2NT overcall to show moderate and strong balanced hands.)

By means of the responses, the opener can further describe his Minor suit holding. However, the bridge player must be aware that in selecting to add the Flannery Two Diamond convention to his list means that the Weak Two Diamond bid must be dropped. Both conventions can not be applied at the same time and mean something different.

SOURCES
 - "Conventions", The Official ACBL Encyclopedia of Bridge, 7th ed. Horn Lake: American Contract Bridge League, Inc., 2011, page 284-285. Print
- Wikipedia contributors. "Flannery." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 Aug. 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.