Questions and Answers

Question 30

Small query. In the discussion of the hand from the '81 Portland Bowl you give the auction for the first hand. The second example has no auction. I venture, tentatively, to suggest the issue of total tricks – or otherwise – will not occur the second time as, in the real world, E will not open (unless using some variant of Lucas, of course) & N/S sail uninterrupted into their game. On the other hand, some might add up the points in the N hand, add length and decide the rule of 20 applies and open the hand (!). Then E's bid is now an overcall (with either example), then maybe S doubles (?). Spotlight on W. In the first example W has basically zero, so maybe even 3H is a bit pushy. 2H plenty? Now the undisciplined 5H gets unlikely. In example 2 however, W is bringing in the K10 of trumps so now maybe it is worth the extra push. So now 5H not so outlandish. The problem with all hand evaluation systems is they get used by the unwary as an excuse for not thinking , whether its Milton, Banzai, Losing Trick Count – whatever.

Second small query: have you looked at the earlier book TNT by Joe Amsbury? My recall is that its not nearly so prescriptive (I lent it to a so-called friend about 20 years ago...).

Keep up the great work.

Kit Jackson


You are right. If we move the HK from East to West, the bidding will be different, and most likely the contract will not be 5H doubled. But the point with the example was to show that the Law's claim is false. How many tricks the two sides win is not a function of how many trumps they have together. Other factors are more important, like distribution, entries, from which side the contract is played, etc.

Thank you for mentioning Amsbury's book. If we get a chance to read it, we certainly will.

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