Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, May 20th, 2022


jim2June 3rd, 2022 at 10:08 am

Was South’s second bid a sign-off? If so, why did North bid on?

If 3H was not a sign-off, what WAS the sign-off bid?

bobbywolffJune 3rd, 2022 at 2:28 pm

Hi Jim2,

No doubt, I felt the same way you obviously inferred when North carried on.

Likely, and to give North the benefit of the doubt, perhaps the try of 2NT first, showed a maximum invitation (or even a game force), allowing partner to accept with that shapeless and basically minimum hand (perhaps holding the jack of hearts caught his fancy).

However, until we see a hand North refuses to bid on, we will unlikely ever know for sure, but the good news is that others are not required to play that method a game force, if and when, they decide to develop a similar weak two response method.

His vulnerable acceptance was indeed the surprise to me as well and fit the description of Sun Tzu’s extraordinary moment, but also I didn’t go far enough to question their possible specific implications.

jim2June 3rd, 2022 at 6:02 pm

I asked because perhaps the sign-off sequence is to bid 2H (letting opener correct to 2S, if necessary) meaning that the 2N includes an invitation.

I also wondered if 3D over 3C was another opportunity to tell opener to sign off.

bobbywolffJune 3rd, 2022 at 10:17 pm

Hi Jim2,

Again, no doubt to the fairly recent makeover to the new normal, “make every effort to define different formerly wasted (no specific meaning, random higher bids), and to some, nothing less than magnificent opportunities to describe different features, therein allowing lead directing passes and doubles,, not to overlook telltale hitches, difficult to prosecute, etc, etc. etc.!

Perhaps soon there might (should) be a survey taken with concrete examples, pro and con, helping determine “friend or foe”.

My offhand vote, before a result, would be a resounding overall loss, at least among top level players, but perhaps not so, for a very few innovative and well agreed specific.

Some like chocolate, others vanilla, but to do so accurately needs to NEVER forget that everyone at the table is listening, and by doing so, will that information be of greater use to the defense (opening lead ongoing further) than to the older style depicted by the long ago simple ‘baseball” expression” “Hit them where they ain’t” or perhaps even worse, “RBI’s turning into “Results becoming ineffectual”.