Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, December 25th, 2021


bobbywolffJanuary 8th, 2022 at 6:51 pm

Hi Everyone,

Although it is unusual for me to first enter, when no one has yet asked a question, nor, for that matter, brought up the burning question on the table (bridge variety, that is).

But, what about North’s decision to not open a game forcing (or close) bid, but merely only a one level bark.

True, most times someone will come to the aid of the opener and keep things going, but then North went the other extreme, jumping to what I would call a poor percentage slam, particularly so when an opponent, not partner, has shown some life.

While not intending to severely criticize that auction, (often done), it merely emphasizes tactics rather than pure science, but only good fate may be kind enough (here in scoring it up) to restore consistency of action with reality.

Who, among us, either heartily or not, agrees with North’s action, and if so, should we leave it to our opponents or perhaps a stretching partner, to do something sometimes damaging to themselves, in what happens here, that it may go completely unnoticed as to the tremendous swing that was and is involved.

jim2January 8th, 2022 at 7:30 pm

I never get hands as good as that, so I have no idea what I would bid.

Iain ClimieJanuary 8th, 2022 at 8:09 pm

Hi Bobby,

A perfect hand for the old Roman 2D 5440 or 4441 17 to 24 pts but these things are very rare. The problem here with 2C is 2c-2D or even 2C-3C. In The first case you risk losing a major fit, in the second a partner with AQJ9xx in C is going to be very difficult to restrain.

Opening my 1D could easily see the hand passed out though with an easy game missed.



clarksburgJanuary 8th, 2022 at 9:54 pm

Kinda awkward, playing Standard strong 2C, to still have two suits to show after artificial 2C and likely artificial response.
So if two suits is awkward, three suits must be super awkward!
So, this ordinary Club player wouldn’t dream of opening that hand with 2C. But I would expect that say 95% of Club players would open 2C in a flash.
Note: I learned this viewpoint here Bobby, several years ago, in a Q and A about strong two-suiters. Your preferred solution was to be playing a strong club system.

Patrick CheuJanuary 8th, 2022 at 9:59 pm

Hi Bobby, I would like to open 2C with this 2 loser hand,as for Iain’s hypothetical partner holding AQJ9xx would it always go 2C-3C? Like to hear Jim make a bid…well any Bid! 🙂 Regards Patrick

jim2January 8th, 2022 at 10:47 pm

I suppose I could utter a bid, but the odds of me making one … 🙁

bobbywolffJanuary 9th, 2022 at 1:11 am

Hi Jim2, Iain, Patrick and to Clarksburg,

Who I will repeat, I still do and to Iain the Italian 2D opening did require 17+ points but it was always a random 4-4-4-1. to which my favorite partner and I also included.

Perhaps I have a select memory, but I never remember reaching an inferior contract with the 2 diamond opening and in truth, some 40+ years ago many worldwide top players invented similar systems “nicknamed” “fertilizer” where all the opening bids were very weak, with an instead opening pass, a random good hand, worth at least an opening bid in today’s normal mode and through the years a relatively standard number of hcps or Charley Goren points and or honor tricks, according to Ely Culbertson.

“Fertilizer” was short lived, but the proponents of it were dead set for having their systems allowed, and were for a time, until, at least to me, to do so would change the game so much (in the main way of. radically raising what going set would cost) in order to allow those shenanigans to which many good worldwide players would have liked to have done.

To me, it would have done even more damage to our game than has the Pandemic, which, in truth, might have forever simply quashed it similar to what unlucky Jim2 has had to attempt to survive.