Welcome to Basement Bridge

Weekly updates from Kit Jackson offering hints and tips for the modern Bridge player. Enjoy!

Sunday, 12 February 2012


What if, what if what if???? A question I get asked a lot. usually when I suggest a bid and it's reason, but the questioner gets cold feet about my bold suggestion. Yes indeed what if? Moreover, what if we stopped worrying about the bad breaks and all the things that can go so terribly wrong? What if we used that spare "worrying" brain power instead to concentrate on what matters? You see, nothing will EVER be always right. Occasionally it will all go tits up.  So?


You deal yourself this hand and naturally open 1C with glee and optimism in every pore. Things get immeasurably better as partner has this hand


Oh yes! 7N is cold! how great! Yeah. But "what if..." this great hand is on your left instead? Now you could well struggle to make even your original 1C contract. So does this "mean" that it was therefore "wrong" to open 1C? Or that we should only bid when partner has the "right" hand? How on earth can we know?
The answer is that - most of the time - 99.9% - the reality will be somewhere between the two extreme possibilities: that partner has a hand that will help you make a Grand Slam, OR that your left hand opponent is going to slaughter the living daylights  out of you. The crucial point is to realise that there is NOTHING you can do about this. Fate will deal what fate will deal. You open 1C because that is your bid, not because it will turn out right on every deal, but because you MUST tell partner what you have. Every single time I bid 3NT I have absolutely no certainty that the contract will either A) make or B) be the best contract. I don't know how the "what ifs" are placed around the defenders' hands. Know what? I don't care. If I think, to the best of my available knowledge, that 3NT is the best thing to bid then I will just do it. I will be wrong or right. If I'm right - well and good. If I'm wrong I will fight and pray the defence gets it wrong and I get away with being "wrong". Otherwise shrug and move on. My plan is to be "right" about 60% of the time. Not EVERY time. This is not humanly possible. Like the man said: Treat success and failure... exactly the same. Remember: it isn't always your fault!

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