Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020


Iain ClimieFebruary 5th, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Hi Bobby,

On BWTA there is probably a case for bidding 2D even if 1NT is Non-forcing (or 2C with 4-5-1-3 which is even better). Occasionally things will go wrong (e.g. partner is 3-1-3-6 when passing 1N works better) but a little imagination can pay off. Out of interest, what is the usual upper limit on the strength for Flannery (which isn’t popular this side of the pond)?



Robert LiptonFebruary 5th, 2020 at 3:48 pm

Traditionally, Flannery uses 11-15.


Iain ClimieFebruary 5th, 2020 at 4:06 pm

Cheers Bob, many thanks.


Bobby WolffFebruary 5th, 2020 at 4:23 pm

Hi Iain & Robert,

Yes, I agree with about 11-15, or slightly higher since in one bid getting both major suits into the game at a more or less defined minimum type opening values is often a tactical bonanza.

Then adding that values, complete with bow tie preemptive value makes Flannery (at least to me) a most favorable choice to play.

Anytime a partnership can both deftly describe important suits together with specific value in one bid, especially when it seems to come up about once every forty hands or so (not always in first or second position, but, if so, even more effective).

Of course, having to give up another meaning, but either giving up either especially 2 diamonds or even a weak 2 heart bid has certainly seemed, at least to me, to be more than just worth it.

Well, perhaps I am overdoing it, but once in love, better to always continue, especially when one has to distort as an option the remedy, suit lengths, which tend to psychologically hurt as much or more than actual, even when they do not occur.

Bobby WolffFebruary 5th, 2020 at 5:07 pm

Hi again,

Just looked up the mathematical tables and if I have calculated how often exactly 4 spades and 5 hearts show up, is about one in seventy rather than one in forty and then of course, when Flannery represents the relative narrow point range necessary, it severely limits its appearance. But then that is counter balanced, by either partner holding that combination, but that is then counter, countered by someone else opening the bidding before, and etc., etc. etc., signifying confusion. BACK TO SQUARE ONE!

Oh well, when one loves something he or she tends to favor it in various ways. However, not being a mathematician, allows me to hope to be wrong in interpreting those tables.