Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, 24 June, 2024


bobbywolffJune 24th, 2024 at 1:27 pm

Hi Everyone,

Just trying to make my time on earth more valuable, but excluding the BS, at least as far
as mastering or butchering, our beloved game.

My real reason is to slip one factor, against the very good player (at least appearing so), who never saw an unusual convention he didn’t immediately incorporate into talking his easily dominated partner into playing, maintaining that he devised it, almost immediately, that morning after reading a bridge article or a sometimes boring newspaper bridge column, (choke) making sure his distanced partner had different bridge authors wherever he lived.

The convention suggested above (jumping to the 3 level to show a singleton does have advantages, but the give away, especially to adept opponents may not be worth the price, especially to, take no prisoner opponents, (attempt to lionize opponents and at the same time belittle their easily persuaded foes who, sometimes do not take time before deciding). Let’s just use instead the telling two words, “perhaps conned”.

Yea, that specific convention does have advantages, but sadly for both sides, certainly the
player on opening lead, and varied, depending on the cards and distributions effected and, of course, in both the positive and negative inferences which will certainly abound.

bobbywolffJune 24th, 2024 at 1:39 pm

Hi again,

And also, if deciding to play the above convention, perhaps the author should decide on whether it becomes necessary to insist or not that it is wise to use it, if the singleton is a minor suit rather than what to do with a 1-2-5-5 distribution, a more telling one with perhaps a MUCH greater need.

Jeff SerandosJune 24th, 2024 at 4:01 pm

Hi Bobby,

Everything you said makes sense so I am wondering what the bidding sequence would look like today without the short spades convention. If North uses Stayman, after 2C 2D, he knows the opps have at least nine spades. Does he just have to bid 3NT at that point and hope for the best? Or should he do something other than Stayman?



Iain ClimieJune 24th, 2024 at 4:04 pm

Hi Bobby,

Without the benefits of science, it presumably goes 1N 2C 2D (especially at pairs) and North just has to cross his / her fingers about the spades. West may well lead a club here, though.

Trickier at IMPS but bidding a short suit (see also 1N 2N (Transfer) 2C 3S to show short spades and a game going hand with at least 5-4 in the minors runs similar risks. With (say) a 1-3-4-5 12 count here, I’d sooner TX and then bid 3H as a fragment to explore 3N, 5m r even a Moyesian 4-3 H fit.





bobbywolffJune 24th, 2024 at 6:58 pm

Hi Jeff & Iain,

Since the opening lead has for many years been the largest bone of contention for some, both partnerships generally discussing them and back in 1940 a noted English bridge player
firmly predicting, that if only one player always led the right card, while on lead, he would win every Bridge World Championship ever held.

With that statement in mind and also knowing that even bridge cheats do not bat 100%, even after it is telegraphed, in choosing what to lead, makes me want to pay attention to the importance of it, not in the hope that any straight shooter will choose right more than a relatively smaller percentage than expected, but that likely just experience (much better against excellent opponents) to guide him or her.

In context I’d choose to emphasize minor suit length and thus choice as a practical guide to working backwards and giving that hidden information to the opponents, but not only because it is simpler, but rather the memory factor, (it makes more sense) in hopefully avoiding a disaster.