Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, June 8th, 2023


jim2June 8th, 2023 at 1:31 am

In BWTA, it’s too bad that South does not know if partner has four spades.

bobbywolffJune 8th, 2023 at 2:34 pm

Hi Jim2,

Since you are lobbying for an initial 1 spade response ASAP by South, I understand your concern, but during the first round of bidding, notifying partner that the partnership is forced to game immediately does have a reasonable advantage over not. Therefore, when one adds another factor into account, being the less bidding necessary by the eventual declaring side also has advantages (different kind of minus pertaining to a better informed opening lead (by good opponents) as well as later defense, your suggestion, while, no doubt having merit, sometimes works the other way, besides the natural one of distortion of suit lengths,
often necessary to reach good slams instead of not so.

But, while afflicted with TOCM,also including perfect defense by the opponents, you need to play by what could be slightly inferior power bidding in order to ever make a difficult to impossible hand, a fact that healthy players often thrive on doing.

However, we always appreciate your take since it reminds ourselves of our own advantages.

jim2June 8th, 2023 at 4:44 pm

I was not lobbying for a 1S response so much as lobbying (again) for Flannery.

bobbywolffJune 8th, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Hi Jim2,


Although just sort of a random lobby since no 4-5 major was present and, in case
of any doubt, Flannery was an essential component of the Hamman-Wolff partnership, although to play it, we used 2 hearts as Flannery with 2D being a strong and very artificial 4-4-4-1 (17+) strong, any singleton opening, which lent itself to accuracy, but was slow in occurring.

Jeff SerandosJune 8th, 2023 at 8:02 pm

Hi Bobby,

I am intrigued by your comment of using 2H for Flannery. Very interesting. How did you communicate a weak 2H? Thanks!

bobbywolffJune 8th, 2023 at 8:41 pm

Hi Jeff,

The normal way, a slow pass.

Yes I am kidding, but, in truth it is merely a trade-off with the partnership making that decision, thinking the method they chose is more suited to their liking. BTW, my experience over the years would be fairly close in determining which of those two alternatives the better, but one thing for sure, it becomes very difficult to answer truthfully, but only deciding oneself or in conjunction with partner, which dance step to select.

jim2June 9th, 2023 at 1:06 am

bobbywolff –

Keep in mind that I specified BWTA. I was not talking about the column hand, just the BWTA bidding problem.

bobbywolffJune 9th, 2023 at 1:50 am

Hi Jim2,

Thus, you then prefer 2 diamonds as an initial choice by South, since Flannery was not an original bid by partner, allowing a slower, more confident route to explore the game choices as well as possibly making it more likely to get a spade lead.

jim2June 9th, 2023 at 11:09 am

Affirmative, IF pard has agreed to play Flannery.

If not, then it is a true bidding problem, one that was WHY Flannery was created and remains popular.