Friday, 11 June 2010

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG.......................
Dear Rebecca,
I am straight from a class for beginners, and completely new to duplicate bridge. However, I have been really shocked at the way some so called experts play the game.
They bid suits they haven't got. They play in NT when they know they have a 4-4 fit in the majors. They bid contracts they know they cannot make.
Can these be the actions of players who claim to have brains and/or card sense ? Please enlighten me.
Yours totalled baffled, Ann B. Mused
Dear Ann,
You have so much more to learn.
Yes, it does make sense to tell partner what you hold, and to finish up in the right contract. However, there are many reasons why deceptive bids are made, and why NT provide a better resting place than a suit contract.
For instance, deceptive bids might well be used to (a) inhibit leads, (b) create more bidding space, (c) obstruct opponents, and (d) ask for a stopper in that suit. Often by bidding a void or a singleton, you are merely showing a first/second round control in that suit. And as for settling in NT as opposed to a contract in hearts/spades, where a fit has been identified, this might well be the result of good judgement. If say you have the same 3 top losers, then 430 scores much better than 420. Moreover, in NT there is no risk of losing top tricks in side suits to irritating little ruffs.
Finally, as for bidding unmakeable contracts, these actions often prove very profitable, even when going off 2 or 3 doubled. Providing the penalty you incur is less than the score the opponents were likely to make, the sacrifice bid is both necessary and imperative. Then, there will be other occasions, where the opponents will choose not to double, to bid on blindly, and to find themselves in unmakeable contracts. Good players believe in two maxims : (i) faint heart never wins a thing, and (ii) one has to speculate to accumulate.
I don't mean to sound patronising, condescending and insulting, but whoever taught you bridge ought to be shot. Clearly, the idiot failed to adddress the real fundamentals of the game, which has left you with no understanding whatsoever about the essential tactics, ploys and deceptions used.
Yours shaking my head in disbelief, Rebecca

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