Monday, January 23, 2017

The F Factor

I wrote many bridge articles in my time (see my blog), but there is one I didn't write. I had the idea but never wrote it.

With the evolution of the world to become slowly (2 steps forward, one step backward, said Obama recently) a better place, with equality and justice for all, women proclaimed there is a woman's way to do things, different from men, with more empathy, more understanding. They organized marches and manifestations to demand more women at high levels of business, government, etc.

So to keep pace with that movement, I came with the idea of creating a new version of RKCB, the FRKCB, F standing for Feminist. In a slam sequence, 4nt would ask first: Do you have the Queen?

Now there is a new thing in meteorology that again starts with F. No, it is not Feminist, but sort of. They call it wind chill factor, or wind factor, or whatever, that we can all regroup under the word Feeling. You look at a thermometer and read minus 10. The weather woman will add that this minus 10C actually feels minus 14C.

In the summer, you look at the same thermometer and read 30C. The same weather woman will tell you now that you will feel 34C because of the humidex factor, again that Feeling thing.

Would you believe I saw it happen also at bridge recently? First I have to tell you that, in my club, everybody plays the old fashion way: partner opens 1something, if responder jumps to 3 of that same suit, it is the gold old limit raise.

Why do I mention that? Nothing new, you say? Yes but, at my club (maybe at yours too), there is a twist: they all play limit raise game forcing. Facing a limit raise, they all bid game. Don't ask, I stopped a long time ago trying to explain that to them. When they see +420 on Bridgemate, that is all they want to know. And if they see -50 or -100, they say Nothing works today.

So when opener passes this limit raise, you know you are generally heading for a minus score, that will feel like a zero.

Yesterday, at my club, RHO opens 1, I pass and his partner, a woman, bids 3, all pass.

She tables dummy:


When asked why she didn't go to game with 13 points and a fit, she answered: I didn't feel like it.

That's when I understood that the Feeling thing had spread to bridge.

Do I have to tell you declarer made just 3? Did I have to tell you we got a cold zero? And that zero looked like a zero, it walked like a zero, it felt like a zero, it was a real ZERO.

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