Friday, January 25, 2019

Don’t disappoint partner

Why do you play bridge? Or what do you like at bridge?

I know the answer to the last question: you like to have points. You like to play the contract. When you don’t have points, you lose interest. And if you have a series of bad hands, you start to complain. So when this hand arrives, first seat, you are out of concentration.

Obviously, partner chooses this moment to open 2♣.

You put your bid on the table carelessly, everyone can guess you've got nothing. Bad, bad!

You and your partner didn't discuss follow-ups to 2. You should have, but you don’t like it when it becomes complicated. You don’t have a spade fit, you have 3 points, you can’t pass 2♠, so you bid 2NT.

Partner continues to torture you with 3. What do you do?

Well, you have to decide. Are you a bridge player or not? Are you still grouchy about your last 2 or 3 bad hands? Do you see only your own hand? Are you going to rebid 3NT because you don't care? Do you still think this hand is BAD?

Don't forget you're in a PARTNERSHIP. Is there anything you can do to HELP partner? Can you tell him something that could maybe be music to his ears? Look at your hand calmly and think.

Partner has a strong hand with at least 5♠ and 4. What are the most important words in the last sentence?

Those words are AT LEAST. Partner has AT LEAST 5♠. If he has 6♠, your Qx would be very nice for him, right? How can you learn about that? Why would you want to learn? Why not TELL him something? Do you see?

Your 2NT rebid already denied a fit. I hope you would not have rebid 2NT if you had 3 cards in spades. Some masterminds holding 3334 would do that. That would be very bad, and very unpartnershiplike. I know this is not a word :).

SUPPORT WITH SUPPORT, said a world champion.

2NT said: Sorry, partner, I don’t have 3 cards in spades. Good bid from you. But now, what can you bid?

Do you think that Qx in spades is nice? I think so. But I have only 3 points, you say.

Stop thinking only about you, think about PARTNERSHIP. You have to imagine partner’s hand. Could he have 6♠? He could. Even if he has only 5♠ like AKJxx, your Queen is gold.

So tell him the good news: 3♠! Partner, I have Hx in spades.

Partner jumps straight to 4NT.

Is he crazy? Didn't I tell him I have nothing? You start to regret your 3♠. Why is he asking me for controls when he knows I have nothing? Because it is the only way for him to verify that your 3♠ bid was showing the Queen.

The 2 hands.

Spades break, a nice small slam with 23 points. If spades broke 4-1, that would be very cruel after this brilliant bid of 3♠ from you :).

You may be disappointed with your hand, especially after 2 or 3 in a row.

But remember: bridge is a democratic game. All players in your seat will have the same cards. So stop complaining.

One thing is certain: you should never disappoint partner by being lazy or sloppy. Even more: beware if that partner is your wife :).

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