Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, July 18th, 2020


Bruce karlsonAugust 1st, 2020 at 10:39 am

BWTA: with the void, it would nit take much to make that very weak sketchy hand into a strong one. Ergo, I am uncomfortable opening pre-emps with a void. I certainly am not questioning your judgment but am curious as to your thoughts on voids/pre-empS.

bobbywolffAugust 1st, 2020 at 2:29 pm

Hi Bruce,

As I have seen you do often, the questions you ask, together with your now opinions and why, will allow you to advance quickly, up the ladder with, if you continue to do so, an undetermined limit to your ceiling.

With today’s discussion, the first thing to keep in mind is that in bridge, especially in making bidding decisions while early (first round particularly), our game is nowhere near a perfect exercise in precision.

Far from it, and when looking at a potentially good playing hand, but not rich in high cards
and of course, as usual dependent on the vulnerability, high-level players, almost always, including the best ones, opt to make it difficult for their opponents to exchange critical information by, if they have a chance, preempting immediately.

IMO, almost every high level player will open, usually 3 clubs (longest suit) because his or her opponents are likely to have a very good major suit fit plus a surplus of the high cards, therefore from his point of view, starting the bidding at the three level has much more upside than it does down.

Only experience of these situations allows these choices to be made, since it is practically impossible to prove anywhere near what the various chances, happen to be.

Remember, distribution, not high cards, suggest this type of choice, and while when following through, yes, the opponents may do better to stop and double you, they will more likely than not, have the bidding available to get that done, keeping your intention alive and from every corner of the globe being chosen, in spite of not being an automatic choice among the vast numbers of wannabe good players worldwide.

Sure, once in a while it is wrong, even sometimes (but rarely) disastrous, and it would be nice to be able to bid, on this hand, 3 climonds instead, giving partner a choice for preference, but since that is illegal, one has to roll with that punch and select, what else, his longest suit.

Good luck and keep on first wondering and then asking what and why, to first think and then do. In that way it will not take a player and bridge lover like you to start choosing both the right constructive bids to make when it is your side’s hand and, at the same time, how to be a very tough opponent, when that shoe fits.

BTW, on this hand and on this bidding EW would have a much better chance to defeat this hand if 3 clubs was not opened. However, that is only a result, and IMO unlucky, but just part of our wonderful and very unpredictable, game.

bobbywolffAugust 1st, 2020 at 3:19 pm

Hi again Bruce,

Please forgive a gross error above, when I say the opponents will most likely have the ability to stop and double you, NO they will not.

IOW, they will not have the ability to stop and double you once the bidding begins, unless their cards dictate a TO double by one and a pass by the other, not usually dealt to them and, funny, if that happens immediately with a penalty double passed back to the 3 club bidder he will have a good chance to save himself by then bidding 3 diamonds and possibly securing a safe haven. IOW, the odds favor the preemptor.