This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bridge Questions to BridgeMatters

Older email addresses I've used for BridgeMatters and published on the web receive 1000s of spam emails daily, to the point I've had to disable some of them - you get your message bounced back if you send to them.

I've now setup a gmail account for your bridge questions - please email me at:

Bridgequestion (at) gmail (dot) com

I established this email account after I received a real letter, instead of an email, as somebody wasn't able to reach me.

Their question was on the bidding sequence 4H-5C-P-P;-?

At the table opener bid 5H with a shapely hand. When this hand came up on the vugraph, I noted some partnerships play double by opener here as "I have a 5H bid, but you decide whether to pass my double for penalties or bid 5H". In some of the ETM notes (e.g. Goldilocks) I call this the "Can't Bear It Double", and it is based on earlier work by others, including expert Robert Lipsitz.

The question asked in the letter was "if double was I wanted to bid 5H, what would 5H instead mean". It means I wanted to double for penalty, but was playing this stupid convention. Just kidding. It means "I opened a heavy and shapely 4H, to the point 5H should be a make and the best spot for us, if not higher". Thus the double shows a 5H bid based on shape, but the best spot (double or 5H) will depend on the location of partner's values.

Can't Bear It Doubles are played when you preempt with a game bid, or when you preempt, and partner immediately places you in game. In these circumstances, if the opponents bid over this, it is important to nail them when you can.

For example it goes 3H-P-4H-4S;-?

4H might be based just on shape, or it could be based more on power. Double caters to both hand types, with responder pulling the double if shapely, and passing the double on a power hand with tricks o'plenty.


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