CONFI stands for CONtrols FIt. It was devised by Dr. George Rosenkranz to bid slams with two balanced hands.
(reference: Bridge World Magazine, January 1975).
A balanced hand is defined as either 4333, 4432, 5332 or even 5422 shape.
There are 12 controls in a deck. An ace equals two, a king equals one. To search for a slam, the two balanced hands must have at least 10 controls between them. The expected minimum number of controls for balanced hands are given below:
HCP Controls HCP Controls
- 0-6 0
- 7-9 0
- 10-12 1
- 13-14 2
- 15-16 3
- 17-18 4
- 19-20 5
- 21-22 6
- 23-24 7
- 25-26 8
- 27-28 9
- 29-30 10
CONFI works as follows:
1. After opener or responder makes a limited NT bid, the cheapest "meaningless" bid starts CONFI.
2. The first duty of the NT bidder is to tell the partnership how many controls she has. This is done in steps.
1st step = minimum number of controls (or less)
2nd step = one more than minimum
3rd step = two more than minimum etc
NOTE that with two or less controls than expected opener should demote her hand to the lower range.
3a. If opener does not show a minimum, and there are enough controls (10+) for slam, responder bids a biddable suit (at least four to the A, K, Q) up the line. With support, opener raises. Without, support, opener bids a biddable suit if she has one, else bids NT.
If responder does not have a biddable suit, or there are not enough controls for slam, he bids NT. NOTE that if opener or responder later bids a suit that they have bypassed, this shows that the suit was unbiddable the first time (poor quality, or rarely, a three carder).
Also, rebidding a suit shows a five carder.
3b. If opener shows a minimum, responder can bid the cheapest NT (or pass if opener's response was in NT) to stop the slam try, if there are not enough controls for slam.
3c. If opener shows a minimum, responder can bid a biddable suit (at least four to A, K or Q) up the line. With less than the minimum number of controls, opener bids NT again to warn responder. With more than a minimum number of controls, opener bids as in (3a). NOTE that a NT rebid by opener can show either less than a minimum number of controls or no biddable suits.
4. Examples. Assuming that 2NT opening equals a balanced 21-22, and over 2NT the responses are
- 3 Stayman;
- 3, 3, 4 and 4 transfers;
- 3NT to play;
- and 4 Gerber.
This leaves 3 as the CONFI. Assume that after the sequence 2-2; 2NT (23-24) or 3NT (25-27) also have the same structures.