Bones Principle

Jul 132002
 

N/S Vul
IMPs
Dealer: West
Lead: H4

Maestro
S J 8
H A K Q J 10 8
D Q 7
C Q J 6
samir
S A K 9 5 2
H 3
D A 9 3 2
C K 10 3
[W - E] ecam
S Q 10 4 3
H 4 2
D K J 6 4
C A 9 7
stans
S 7 6
H 9 7 6 5
D 10 8 5
C 8 5 4 2
West
1 S
Pass
Pass
North
2 H
5 H
Pass
East
4 S
Dbl
South
Pass
Pass

 

This week’s hands shall be devoted to what I expect to become an ongoing feature in this space, the 1100 Collection. Down 4 doubled vul or 5 non vul. Sticks and Wheels™. Of course I’m not talking about going for 1100 against the opponents’ vulnerable slam; any idiot can do that. Sticks and Wheels, judiciously employed, can be a deadly weapon at the game or even the part-score level.

Today we see Sticks and Wheels used to great effect against a non-vulnerable game. Gee, sitting North, makes a perfectly fine 2H overcall over West’s first-seat spade opener. A quick raise to game by an unpassed East (3H is the book bid in 2/1, 3S in SAYC, but 4S worked out OK this time), two passes back to our hero…Reader, ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for Gee. Holding six heart tricks, a bag of potpourri and a petrified starfish, he rises to the occasion with a 5H bid. The dream dummy nearly prevented this hand’s inclusion in the 1100 Collection, but luckily the defense slipped and opened the clubs, allowing him to escape for 1100. Bean counters who carp at the resulting 12 IMP loss are missing the point. If you can’t appreciate the beauty of bridge, why play at all?

Jul 052002
 


An experienced Gerard spectator maintains that the best way to play against him is to wait until he finishes bidding, then double — advice that resembles “buy low, sell high” in that you’re never quite sure when he is finished bidding. Nonetheless the Bones Principle can be a useful heuristic, as today’s hand demonstrates.

E/W Vul
IMPs
Dealer: North
Lead: CK

antai
S A K J 8 4
H 10 6 2
D A 7 4
C 9 3
nikkos
S Q 10 3
H K J 7 4
D J 3 2
C A J 4
[W - E] Maestro
S 9 7 6 5 2
H Q 8 5
D 10 6 5
C 7 6
brucexx
S
H A 9 3
D K Q 9 8
C K Q 10 8 5 2
West

Dbl
Pass
Pass

North
1 S
Pass
Pass
Pass
East
Pass
2NT
3 H
Pass
South
2 C
Dbl
Dbl

With both the North and South hands almost unlimited, at unfavorable vulnerability, and with a dead flat loser-rich hand, West makes a bold takeout double. (There are other possible adjectives here, like “suicidal.”) Nonetheless if Gee, sitting East, bids 2H, it’s unlikely that South, with his powerful hand, will allow him to play. His actual bid, however, is 2NT, which is promptly doubled. Now there’s nowhere to run but 3H, which loses three diamonds, three spades, a club and a trump for down 4. I book the blame for this disaster at about 50-50. Readers are encouraged to write in with their own assessments.