This convention was named for Mr. Monroe J. Ingberman, born 1935 and died 1985, of White Plains, New York, United States, who was a mathematician and bridge player. He was also known for fragment or splinter bids and the Three No Trump response as a forcing Major raise.

Words by Professor George H. Sorter - Quoted

Professor Ingberman recently lost a 30-year valiant battle against Hodgkin's disease. During those 30 years, and despite almost continuous chemotherapy, Professor Ingberman earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Northwestern University, writing a notable dissertation, taught mathematics, and was considered by many the best bridge theoretician in the world.

A few years ago, he was persuaded to devote his rigorous analytical ability, keen insight, and high standards to research and teaching in accounting. The world of accounting theory sorely needed his talents and will miss him greatly, but not nearly as much as his colleagues and countless friends, and none as much as I, who was privileged to enjoy his friendship for almost 30 years. G.H.S. The editor wishes to associate himself with the comments of Professor Sorter concerning Professor Ingberman, and like everyone else who knew him, feels his loss keenly.

Note: Mr. George H. Sorter and Mr. Monroe J. Ingberman, in collaboration with Mr. Hillel M. Maximon, authored a book with the title Financial Accounting: An Events and Cash Flow Approach, ISBN-10:0-07-059739-1 / ISBN-13: 9780070597396, published by McGraw-Hill Companies.

Note: Mr. and Professor Monroe J. Ingberman was also a contributing Editor to the Bridge Encyclopedia and also to the Bulletin published by the ABC.

Note: When Mr. Ira G. Corn, Jr. organized the Dallas Aces, consisting of Mr. James Jacoby, Mr. Robert (Bobby) Wolff, William (Billy) Eisenberg, Robert (Bobby) Goldman, and Mr. Michael (Mike) Lawrence, he hired Mr. Monroe J. Ingberman to work with the team members as their first coach.

Note: His obituary was printed in The New York Times, June 30, 1985. This article has only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Principle of the Concept

The concept of the Ingberman convention deals with bidding situations, in which the partner reverses and the responder is holding minimum values of 6/7 high card points. The point count, from the perspective of the responder is insufficient to guarantee game and the responder must communicate this information to his partner, in the case that the partner, who has reversed, also has minimum values.

The opener may have only 15/16 high card points for the reverse, and there must be an escape sequence available to the responder to avoid a final contract, which may be too high for the partnership to make. The following illustrations should clarify this concept of Mr. Monroe Ingberman.

West East
1 1
2 2 NT

The second response of East of 2 No Trump is artificial and is a Relay bid, and it is strongly indicating a holding of values insufficient for game or around the minimum response of 6/7 high card points, with no substantial support in Clubs and/or Diamonds. East is communicating to West that if West holds minimum values for the Reverse, then West should accept the Relay of the 2 No Trump second response and bid 3 Clubs. East can then pass or correct to 3 Diamonds for the final contract. If West, on the other hand, has more than a minimum requirement for a Reverse bid, then with the expected minimum values held by East plus the extra values held by West, the partnership, captained by West, should attempt a 3 No Trump final contract.

A correction by East to 3 Diamonds would be the following auction:

West East
1 1
2 2 NT
3 3

East could have a holding such as the following:


in which case, East is simply taking a preference for the Diamond suit. The number of trump cards between the partnership could possibly be only seven, meaning some sort of Moysian fit, but which would prove to be a better contract than No Trump, or the lesser of two evils.

Mr. Monroe Ingberman realized that this concept is definitely not perfect as is all conventions, and included the following bidding sequence to indicate a possible auction, whereby a partnership agreement is definitely required in advance to handle such bidding sequences:

West East
1 1
2 3

The question is whether the second response of East of 3 Hearts, after the Reverse bid shown by West, is forcing for one round, semi-forcing, invitational, game-forcing or non-forcing. His conclusion was that the agreement should be a partnership understanding. The general partnership agreement is that such a bidding sequence should be treated as semi-forcing. The two following illustrations should assist in understanding this feature. West could hold the two holdings shown below or something similar:


In this case, the best option of West is to simply pass 3 Hearts.


In this case, the best option of West is to bid 4 Hearts.

Mr. Monroe Ingberman, however, logically and mathematically surmised that if the Reverse bidder held holdings such as the following:


then, with a maximum of values, the Reverse bidder, after the partner has communicated minimum values and little suit support by bidding 2 No Trump on the second round, should simply bid 3 No Trump as the final contract since the high card points held by both approximate the values needed for game.



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.