Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, February 8th, 2020


Bill CubleyFebruary 22nd, 2020 at 5:17 pm

Bobby, we are just back from a river cruise. Seldom in any year do we get conventions in bridge columns. Maybe Stayman appears once a year. So thanks for the Lebehnsohl hands.

I have learned from reading countless playing tips over the decades, but getting real bidding explanations is very special.

clarksburgFebruary 22nd, 2020 at 5:48 pm

Hello Bobby
When your 15-17 1NT is overcalled by 2C, how do you recommend reacting?
No different than over any other suit?
Double is Stayman and systems on?
2NT means / shows?

Patrick CheuFebruary 22nd, 2020 at 5:51 pm

Hi Bobby,Would North’s double here be for take-out(and less than 9/10 pts) as regards West’s natural bids? Even though playing Lebensohl it shows a full raise to 2N by North..some might play double of 2S as penalties and 2C,2D and 2H just for take-out? I stand to be corrected..

bobbywolffFebruary 22nd, 2020 at 6:56 pm

Hi Iain,

Thanks for your very kind words.

First, I am surrounded by a super bridge team of easy to get along with people, who more than just understand the expert game and IMO put it to maximum use.

Our combination should, and I hope does, present what is going on with the high-level game, as well as, at the least, not overlook the relative enthusiastic novices who tend to be all “ears” especially when hearing both sides to many close and sometimes contentious issues.

However you and all of our other great contributors to our site have been nothing short of very progressive additions to any bridge curriculum for all of us to ponder and discuss.

Obviously it will not last forever, but I sincerely hope that I will be fortunate enough to be so proud of what our site contributes to the future of our game. If only someone in the top administration of our game can at least try to allow bridge to seep into our overall USA educational school system.

If they do, and it has been already been proven in Europe and all of China (to which I suggested, (when representing the WBF as President) in 1993 while at the People’s Hall of the Republic to their top political leaders, and since then, starting over 10 years ago, it is now available in their schools to over 250 million of their students and, like eleven countries in Europe, to which I had nothing to do with, continuing to get rave notices from the teachers, students, and best of all, the parents of those kids.

BTW, I have grown to truly love and thus look forward to the back and forth daily exchanges to which you often lead us giving up your precious time and wit.

A huge thank you and total respect to all involved.

bobbywolffFebruary 22nd, 2020 at 7:18 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

My answer is yes, a double of any natural overcall or one which shows specific suits, is take out, showing values (6+) or at least enough to indicate that our side has at least half of the total of 40 hcps always somewhere.

And although it is not exactly the same as Stayman, of course, the first priority of the 1NT opener would almost always be bidding a 4+ card major suit, with instead, a cue bid of the opponents suit (or at least one of his suits) a stronger bid, asking for as much information as partner can provide normally with the same priority. While holding s. Kx, h, Kx, d. AKJxxx, c. Qxx I would choose 3NT, as I am sure our group would then understand what I am trying to transmit.

Of course, 2NT would be Lebensohl, but I’ll leave if up to the reader, assuming your partnership is playing that popular convention.
to learn the various aspects of it. (too long and laborious to describe them all).

The only serious negative aspect of playing Lebensohl is the loss of 2NT (a fairly common natural bid) as only invitational. It is possible to play penalty doubles when opponents overcall your partnership’s 1NT opener, but on balance, I do not recommend it, mainly because of frequency of occurrence, which is thought to be (and FWIW, I agree).

bobbywolffFebruary 22nd, 2020 at 7:29 pm

Hi Patrick,

The method you describe is likely as good as any other, with not much difference between the details. However, when faced with a close choice of deciding an exact convention or system, try and keep it as consistent and logical as possible, to not to be forgotten or even just confused..

Remember, you heard it first, HERE.

Good luck and when you reach my age, you’ll know what that means as far as memory is concerned.

One forget, every 10 sessions or fewer, is worse than playing all natural 1950 type few conventions type bridge, making no forgets the priority, especially when starting a new partnership.

No doubt only one forget is inexcusable, if winning is one of the chief goals.

bobbywolffFebruary 22nd, 2020 at 7:50 pm

Hi Bill,

Perhaps my age is not only creeping up on me, it is overwhelming my mind.

Forgive me, since I, for whatever useless cause, thought your wonderful letter was written by Iain.

I apologize and hope you can create a new convention, called Cubley Transfer and pretend that I wrote the above letter to you instead of Iain.

Thanks much and BTW do you know a good psychiatrist in LV, since I may be of dire need of one.

However, before I close, the reason for my mistaken identify is simply because his handwriting looked to be Iain instead of Bill.

Bill CubleyFebruary 23rd, 2020 at 3:33 pm


Your reply reminds me that I must be the Rodney Dangerfield of bridge. A partner of mine called my 4 Diamonds response to the Gambling 3NT as the Cubley Asking Bid. We discussed what to do with a big hand as a response. It asks for shortness.

At least Shannon smiles when she sees me.

Jump on a plane to Savannah and play in Hilton Head this week!