Mark Blumenthal

Bridge Tip # 9

When you realize your partnership is in trouble as the opponents have been  doubling you for penalties at a low level, you and your partner should pass  any undoubled bid rather than trying to run to what you think might be an hereto undiscovered  better strain.

 You and your partner should  bid  bid suit bid four card suits  up the line in an attempt to find a fit as opposed to  bidding a higher five card one. For example, say you have QJ,  75 , KJ762,  AKQ4 and decide to open one no trump1NT.  The bidding goes double, pass, pass to you. Partner may have from 0 to 8 points. If near the lower number partner almost  certainly lacks a 5 card or greater suit to run to. You feel the opponents may be able to take the first ten tricks so you decide to run. You should bid 2C instead of 2D. If your partner has a fit the opponents may not double  that. If they do, and it is passed around to you, you can still decide to bid 2D without raising the number of tricks you need to take  make your contract. If you indeed have a club fit and you had bid 2D you would have had to go to the three  level to bid it.   In  1963 my partner , Steve Rzewski   and I played  against Canadian soon  to be expert  Joe Silver and Steve Reiter   in a 50 – 80 MP pair regional Obviously at that time none of us were known as good players.  Joe, with whom I later  became pretty friendly,  did  not know each other. Every contract Steve or I bid  bid was getting doubled, and we knew we were in danger of going for a big number. Steve bid something. It went pass and I passed. Then it went pass! Both Steve and I audibly let out our breaths. The contract went down a few, but the result was not a disaster. That was the first regional I won. Joe and Steve were second. Had  they had doubled us they would have won the event.



JudyJanuary 26th, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Great minds think alike. I always smile when I recall Norman’s poetic admonition: “No double — No trouble!”

Mark BlumenthalJanuary 28th, 2009 at 4:48 am

My mother regularly played auction bridge with a group of ladies for many years. They didn’t allow doubles so I guess they had no troubles.

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