Sunday, November 23, 2003 6:55 PM





          Bidding judgment comes from years of experience playing the game. Sometimes it can just be a result of partnership understandings . Game tries are a good example of partnership understandings . I tend to cheat on my jump raises if I have a close decision .




                can be a little lighter then the Goren 16-18. I do this so that partner does not feel obligated to be pushy with game tries that quite often can lead to bad games and blown partials. The Cabays have a different partnership understanding. They can have a healthy simple major raise so responder is quite often obligated to make pushy game tries.


          In the recent Edmonton IMP pairs competition , Lisa held this hand xxxx x Kxx AQ10xx  and Stan open 1 . Lisa bid 1 and Stan raised to two spades. Lisa now made a game try despite a stiff in partners suit and weak trump and 9 HCP’s . She hit Stan with Kxxx Axxxx AJ10 K   15 HCP in controls and zero wasted in hearts so he bid game which made for 620 and we lost 8 IMPS as many pairs did not get to game. I would have stretched and bid 3 with Stan’s hand but they were on the same wavelength in accordance with their methods.


          Understandings on what constitutes a penalty double of 1NT is a partnership understanding . I held KQJ9xx xx AKJx x with everyone vul RHO opened a strong NT . I doubled which shows a strong NT equivalent or a hand too strong to overcall. LHO passes and partner passes and the 1NT bidder redoubles which is alerted as systemic. I pass the redouble as does LHO . What do you do with xxx Kxxxx xx Qxx ? Giving you opponent some credit for holding some HCP’s they have clarified partners double for you. It can not be a flat 18 HCP type of hand because the points do not add up . It must be a good single suited double . You were willing to gamble 1NTx out as it is not game . The redouble changes the situation so you take out insurance in IMPS by bidding 2♣ . Partner bids 2 and they bid 3♣ which ends the auction. Looking at the results later , two pairs played it in 1NTXX making for 14 IMP losses for the doublers !!


          Opening light is a matter of Bridge judgment . It is a well known “pigeon shooting “ tactic to open light all the time because there is a certain advantage in firing the first shot . Weaker players have more problems in bidding competitively because they have not yet built up all the requisite understandings.


          I only open light with a purpose . The suit must be good or I have quick tricks or a 5-5 or 6-4 distribution. I do not open flat hands just for the sake of opening light . I pass bad 13’s and most flat 12 HCP hands. For example I would not open Qxxx KJxx Qxx Ax . One diamond can not stand the opening lead or bidding competitively. A belated double can introduce my majors and I need an opening bid by partner to produce game . Yet I would open xxx x Kxx AK109xx as I have a suit and some defense with my controls. I would choose to pass KQxxx xx KJ K10xx as it is Ace less , the KJ is frozen and I have no spade spot cards. This hand is borderline so I have no qualms if partner decides to open that one.