Saturday, 17 October 2009
NO FEAR BRIDGE...................................................( By Johnny Supremo ) This concept is usually applied to a crusade to encourage newcomers to enter the world of duplicate bridge. The idea is that the regular and experienced players attending are all under strict instructions to be warm, friendly, courteous and sympathetic. However, my idea of no fear bridge brings me onto my next bit of advice.............. Lesson 8 : Don't be afraid to double. When opponents sense you are new to the game, there will inevitably chance their arm to steal part-score contracts. So if you believe that you and your partner hold the majority of points, and that your hand has (i) obvious potential to take a few side suit tricks as well as chances to make one or two ruffs, or (ii) enough points and trumps to make life horrible for the opponents.........then be bold and wield the axe. When the points are divided 20-20, and the opponents have bid up to the three level, the conditions may be right to stick in a double. Take it from me, hungry doubles of part-score contracts provide rich pickings. So what, if on occasions the contract makes despite best defence ! So what, if on other occasions it makes because of sloppy defence ! The key to successful bridge is to be brave but not foolhardy. Let the opponents know that you're not the type to roll over and die, or to let them walk all over you. Let them know you mean business, and that you have that predatory instinct. If you allow fear to affect your judgement, then you will miss out on those juicy + 500, 800 and 1100 scores. Moreover, you must get into the maths of match pointed bridge. Let's take for example, a hand where you bid up to a makeable 3D ( going to 4D would be a bit chancy ), and you sense the field score is likely to be +110 your way. Then, you are shocked to see your vulnerable opponents bid on to 3H. If this is left undoubled going 1 off, you only score +100, and how many match points are you going to get from that ? Answer: sod all. So the maths tell you that your best option is to double this contract, earning +200 for a well-earned top. Just because you're new to the game doesn't mean you have to play the part of a pussy cat.......it's so much more enjoyable to behave like a lion.