The invasion of Jeremy Flint

June 12, 1966

A 37-year-old handsome blond six-footer from England is now at the halfway point of his six-month assault on the American world of bridge, and the results thus far are impressive. Jeremy Flint was a member of last year's British International Team and of several others that have represented Britain in big league competition. Here on a visitor's visa, he hopes to compile such an outstanding record of victories that he will be able to launch a new system, teach it in a chain of schools and make a fortune for himself and his backers.

In the U.S., Flint has been playing with Peter Pender, and they have won several regional championships, including the Men's Pairs and Open Teams in Richmond and the Masters Pairs in Nashville. They finished second in the Men's Teams at the spring nationals in Louisville.

Unfortunately for Flint, what little publicity their victories have received has gone primarily to Pender because, as an American, he is better known here. In addition, Flint is handicapped as a lecturer by a British accent that many Americans find more difficult to understand than the Russian accent that was such an asset to Ely Culbertson. Finally, as a potential third strike, there is the fact that playing so often does not leave Flint time for the kind of work essential to building public acceptance.

He is an ingenious theorist who contributed many ideas to Terence Reese's monstrously artificial Little Major. The system he will sponsor here is far simpler, but it will include one of the artificial conventions that has been widely accepted in other systems. The Flint Convention is a means of stopping at three of a major when partner opens with two no trump. Normally, since any response to two no trump is considered forcing, you cannot bid three spades with some such hand as

[9 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[6 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[4 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[3 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs].

You can pass two no trump, and probably be set, or you can bid three spades and end up in four and be defeated most of the time at that contract.

Flint's solution is an artificial three-diamond response that commands partner to bid three hearts. If responder's hand is like the above example, he corrects to three spades, and the opener is expected to pass. If responder's hand really includes a heart suit, he passes the three-heart rebid.

One trouble with the convention is that this situation does not come up very often. Another is that sometimes the opener has such an exceptional fit that game is indeed makable. To cover this contingency, Flint added a few special gadgets that make possible results as spectacular as the following:

North-South vulnerable North dealer

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]

WEST

[Queen of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]

SOUTH

[10 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[—— of Clubs]

EAST

[5 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

NORTH

2 N.T.
3 N.T.
6 [Heart]
PASS

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

SOUTH

3 [Diamond]
5 [Club]
6 [Spade]

WEST

PASS
PASS
PASS

Opening lead: 2 of clubs

The three-diamond bid was a command to North to bid three hearts, but North had the exceptional hand that permits a different response. His three no trump bid announced strong four-card support for both majors. Suddenly South's mouse of a hand became a potential lion and he roared into action with an unusual jump—a void-showing bid expressing mild interest in slam. That told North that every card except his queen of clubs was pure gold, so North bid six hearts. South corrected to six spades to gain the advantage of playing a 4-4 fit and to permit possible vital discards from the North hand on the heart suit.

South capped his optimistic bidding with a fine safety play—and a very necessary one. He ruffed the opening club lead, led the 10 of spades, and when West covered with the queen he let West hold the trick. This left South in complete control. He could afford to win West's shift to a diamond, ruff a second club and lead his last trump. South's remaining diamonds were discarded as North drew the trumps, and six heart tricks added up to the slam.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)