Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, May 27th, 2020


jim2June 10th, 2020 at 10:43 am

In BWTA, if the opponents are Vul and the game is MPs, passing 2S double is very tempting, since +200 would beat all partscores.

At 2S doubled, the Board (East) is unlikely to have much in the way of entries and spade length to deprive South of at least one trump trick. That is, South has a lot of face cards to play over soft Board honors, while North’s voluntary double suggests at least a smattering of high cards.

I would probably bid 3C anyway in all other conditions. TOCM ™ could – after all – always make the opponents spades 6-3 with pard void. Only the +200 chances could offer to balance such risks. If I do bid 3C, however, TOCM ™ will surely make pard 2-5-4-2, I’ll hear a conversion to 3H, and pard will sweat out either +140 or -50/100 for an average or below average result.

Bobby WolffJune 10th, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Hi Jim2,

First, I always adore your self-evident, always imaginatively accurate, two way description of both the pros and cons of either bidding or declaring a hypothetical contract, especially when stricken with TOCM TM, since directly in today’s hand BWTA, either the penalty double of the opponents contract or sometimes even picking the suit (2NT or 3 clubs) as a takeout becomes critical in determining a wide ranging, excellent to disastrous result, which, no doubt, will play a major factor in your final score, whether rubber, IMPs, or matchpoint event.

Of course, because of your chronic TOCM TM, you likely do not care nor likely even look for your final score allowing you left with only the participation and theory with our favorite game, instead of your final standing, to which others become used to have their satisfaction determined. In other words the purity of the game is your goal, not self-adulation.

Cutting to the chase, I tend to agree with all three paragraphs of your discussion, keeping in mind that I have no real experience, only yours, in dealing with TOCM TM, but understand, not without empathy, your view of what to always expect, but to bravely do so with head up and no complaints (reminds me a little of Rudyard Kipling’s great poem “IF”, of advice to an adolescent boy growing into being a man,).

The only other possible advice I might add, is when and if, that particular hand occurs, the specific pair sitting EW as opponents should become important, both as to their known abilities. aggressive tendencies, and, if possible, especially matchpoints or IMPs, a guess as to how they feel about playing against your partnership and whether or not their attitude is strongly against being “fixed” expecting you, as usual, to both bid and play the hand to best advantage, causing them to at least try and get their pair away from you declaring a NT contract (IOW, West may possess less than he should for his intervention, causing you to then sweat it out defending 2 spades doubled).

HOWEVER, do not try this at home could be a caveat, written on that prescription.

Of course, the dreaded TOCM TM may also influence the immediate above, likely rendering my opinionated exception null, void not to mention, worthless.