Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, January 4th, 2022


jim2January 18th, 2022 at 12:32 pm

On BWTA, many partnerships I have encountered play “systems on” after 1N overcalls (allowing North to respond 2C Stayman) or otherwise have specific bids to reach major suit fits. Given that, the “quixotic to minimize” wording seems odd to me.

bobbywolffJanuary 18th, 2022 at 3:23 pm

Hi Jim2,

While no doubt, on the BWTA, a 1NT choice by South over his RHO’s 1 diamond is a possibility (even with 18 hcps instead of the normal maximum of 17, but due to the balanced nature of 4-4-2-3) we chose “quixotic” (an impractical decision) to describe what others may emphasize, holding 4 cards in both major suits, suggesting to many that with RHO opening the bidding in the overcaller’s doubleton, it materially swung the chances of playing a 4-4 major suit fit a better opportunity for success.

Suppose North held only 4 small in a major suit, but the right point count (a good eight or nine hcps, plus of course a five card suit (almost surely clubs in this case) might tempt a cooperative partner to merely choose 2NT as an invitation rather than go through the mechanics of going through a systemic method of exploring an eight card major suit fit.

To fall in the trap of above, while exploring alternative contracts, especially when playing against strong competition, one of the caveats worth respecting, at least IMO, is to give away as little as possible to “listening opponents” when roads seem to lead away from needing to do so.

Here, and with only a doubleton in one’s RHO opponent suit and, of course, holding both 4 card majors, seems to suggest a take out double rather than an overweight 1NT.

No doubt a close decision, but if and when partner chose 1NT as his response to “double, then an immediate raise to a NT game would and should be, obvious.

BTW, since I am looking at the hand, it is always a tried and true advantage to make sure that I will gain the right to say “I told you so”, a phrase you have probably not had to listen to during your illustrative bridge career, in spite of your “dreaded” disease” of TOCM TM, certainly a malady, at least as heinous as any other could possibly be (at least to an avid bridge player).