The apple tree has always attracted human kind: Adam and Eve, Newton and... Eric Kokish. What? Yes, Eric has once written that if you shake an apple tree (well, a bridge tree?!), ten good dummy players will fall, but maybe only one good bidder.
Is the one good bidder the same apple that Newton received on his nose
(ok, maybe it fell at his feet)?
The pain Newton felt prompted him to invent the Law of
Gravity. The pain of going down one has also prompted Matthew
Granovetter to formulate the Law
of Granovetter, or should we say the Law of
bid a grand slam if you cannot count 13 tricks".
Well, after Newton came Albert Einstein who said that "Imagination is more important
than knowledge" and that the fast ball Newton saw
falling from the tree is actually a curve ball.
Then, in 1990, after winning a world championship in Geneva, Gabriel
Chagas who often throws curve balls has invented the Chagas Principle: "If you're lucky or good on the
first board, things are probably going to go your way".
So, all this gibberish means that if you think in straight lines, you
are applying the Law of Gravitynovetter.
And if you think in curves, if you let your imagination sometimes
supersede your knowledge, you are following the Chagas Principle.
In the second session of a Calcutta, you pick up your first hand:
Partner opens 1♣, you bid 1♥.
Partner jumps to 3NT, showing
long solid clubs. This is the time to imagine: if partner
or even Jx in hearts, you have a chance in 6♥. You have no
means to know,
you must imagine.
You were average in the afternoon, tonight you must make it happen.
The longer you think, the less you know
and the more you find that you have to plunge. You bid 6♥.
Dummy is one card short of your imagination but then again, dummies
always lack imagination. You take the ♦K lead with your Ace,
go to dummy with a ♠, play AK of ♣
a ♦ and a ♠.
The moment has come: Q of
trumps... holds. You ruff a ♦ and, imagining Jx
somewhere, you play K of trumps... for the J and Ace: +1430 (12 IMPS).
In the 3rd round, the opponents, after pre-empts (curve balls) from
your part, play 6♠ and 4♠,
go down in both contracts and you
gain 17 IMPS. You feel you can't lose now.
In the fifth round, white against red, you and your partner throw a
rising fast ball, one can't always throw curve balls, can one?
Partner plays AK of ♥ and ♥.
Declarer pulls trumps and
plays Q of ♣. You
cover. She takes the Ace and
plays... the J from her hand?! A mean sinker. One
down: + 13 IMPS.
Is this possible?
In the 6th round, the opponents climb up to 5♣
Declarer can escape for - 200, but makes also a mistake and you reap
+500, 6 IMPS.
After 7 rounds, you are + 61 IMPS. Halfway to go.
In the 8th round, you pick up:
4♠ is KCB and 5♠
asks for specific king(s); 5NT shows the K
of ♠ and does not deny another
king; 6♣ asks specifically for
the king of clubs and 6♥ denies it. What
do you do?
Do you know
if partner has the Q of ♠ or the Q of ♦?
You are at the crossroads: do you follow the Law of Gravitynovetter?
With this hand, you know
you can count only 12 tricks. Or
should you apply the Chagas Principle? Should you bid 7NT,
even if partner has denied the king of ♣? Should you
13 tricks even if you cannot count 13 tricks? Should you go
against the Law of Gravitynovetter?
you cannot miss: from board one, luck was with you.
Everything you have done turned out right, opponents have given you
tons of IMPS, you're riding a high wave of success.
In these special conditions, the Chagas Principle overrules the Law of
Gravitynovetter, don't go against the good
vibrations, remember the first board, you CANNOT fail, think
in curves, not in straight lines,
Imagination is more
important than knowledge, BID 7NT!!!
You win 10 IMPS and finish second overall, +84 IMPS.
In ordinary conditions, follow the law of Gravitynovetter: Do not bid a grand slam if you
cannot count 13 tricks. A fast ball on the nose
is a lot of pain.
In exceptional situations, forget Newton and follow the Chagas
Principle, think in curves, imagine.