Friday, 17 December 2010

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG.................
Dear Rebecca,
Can you help me with some questions ?
I was playing bridge the other night with the self-proclaimed club professional, when the following deals occurred:
Board 11. After 2 passes I opened a light 1S in 3rd position ( still within the rule of 19) , only to see my partner slam down the 4NT card ( Blackwood enquiry ). My 5D ( one Ace ) response forced him to sign off in 5S. His hand was : AK10xxxx....Kxx.....Qx.....x . Three top winners in the minors were cashed by my gleeful opponents before I even blinked.
Board 16. After 2 passes I opened a weak 2S. No surprise then to hear my LHO double ( not alerted as take out or 18+ points ), and partner stepped in with 3 diamonds which was duly passed out. His hand turned out to be : Qxx....KQx.....KJ10xx.....xx. Result minus 200 for 2 down for another second bottom. When asked about this visionary bid, he simply replied : " I was expecting them to bid and reach 4H, whereupon I was going to whack down a double ".
Board 17. Here my RHO opened 1D, passed round to partner who made a protective bid of 1NT ( 11-14 points ), which I was happy to pass with 7 HCP and K108xx in diamonds. Due to a fortuitous lead of a low heart from AKxx to my partner's bare queen !.......12 tricks steam-rollered in. This converted a potential third bottom into a fortuitous near top. His hand was K10xx....Q......x.....AKQJxxx
Board 24. I opened fourth in hand 1S, and my partner bid 2C ( showing 10+ points ), but after a few more torturous bids we finished up in 3S going off one for a joint bottom. His hand was If my partner had bid a more sensible 2D, he might well have left my 2S rebid in for a good score.
So what I want to know is this :
1. Is my partner criminally insane to the extent he should be sectioned under the 199o Mental Health Act ?
2. Or should I be the one who needs sectioning having agreed to play with this man ?
3. Do self-proclaimed experts have a licence to bid what the hell they like, never to be accountable for the mishaps their lunatic bids create?
Years in desperate need, Skippy from Stockport
Dear Skippy,
Boy bones about it.... you certainly had a torrid time !
How he couldn't find an opening bid himself on board 11 beggars belief. Moreover, there was no need to rush to 4NT, with so many other forcing bids available to him. What a loose cannon.
As for board 16....well I'm truly perplexed by his bid. If he must bid, then a raise in spades is the most obvious move. Moreover if you have a minimum of 6 points, then the opponents only have a combined 23 count at best, which is clearly touch and go for reaching and making 4H. Best bid in my view is 3S and await developments.
The next hand surely warranted a double hoping to find you holding a biddable spade suit. If he hears a heart bid, then he can either go back to clubs, or try 2D/3D to enquire about you having a possible diamond stop with 3NT clearly in mind.
Clearly on board 24, your partner is fixated with indicating a point count rather than which long suit he has his points in. Even if 2D is seen as a weak bid in your system, he is best advised to use it as a waiting bid to see what you do next. This way he can certainly raise your 2NT to three with confidence. Bidding over your 2S rebid with 3D is wildly optimistic and undisciplined.
So " yes " is my answer to both question 1 and 2. His bids are classic splitter bids, guaranteed to split apart even the most rock-solid partnerships. Moreover, you should never play with anyone who talks complete bull-shit when attempting to defend the indefensible.
Yours I too have recently played with this man but I'm still undergoing therapy , Rebecca

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