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Namyats

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Namyats

In the card game bridge, Namyats is a conventional agreement to open hands with a long major suit that are too strong for a direct preemptive opening with a 'two-under' transfer bid. When the long suit is in hearts, opener bids 4 and when in spades bids 4. Accordingly, the method was originally named 'Four Club and Four Diamond Opening Transfers'; it is also referred to as 'Mitchell Transfers', after the developer of this bidding method, Victor Mitchell. The name 'Namyats' is the surname of Mitchell's bridge partner, Samuel Stayman, spelled backwards. In England, this convention is known as 'South African Texas', a name borrowed from a similar variant on the Texas transfer convention played over 1NT opening bids.

Opener Responder
Bid Meaning Bid Meaning
4 Opener has a long heart suit and a strong hand 4 slam interest
4 to play
6 to play
4 Opener has a long spade suit and a strong hand 4 slam interest
4 to play
6 to play
When playing Namyats, a one-suited hand too strong for a preemptive opening, like  9   A K Q 10 8 6 5 3  4  A J 7 is opened with a 4 bid. This allows the partnership to explore for slam by deploying a conventional one-step (4) relay response. In case partner has no slam interest a two-step response is made that completes the bidding. Also, a slam can be bid directly over the opening with sufficient strength. The responses to both Namyats openings are summarised in the table.

The advantage of Namyats is that it allows the partnership to narrow the range of hands opened in a major suit at the one-level and rebid in a later round. Also, the method may prevent the opponents to enter the bidding despite having a cheap sacrifice against the major suit game indicated by the Namyats opening. Disadvantage is that the 4 and 4 bids are no longer available as preempts, although proponents of the method argue that this is hardly a disadvantage as such preempts are hardly made in practice out of fear to bypass a making game in notrump.

See also

  • Namyats description on Bridgehands
  • Namyats description on BridgeGuys
  • Alan Truscott on Namyats in The New York Times

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