By Val Rhead
Bridge conventions are useful tools to have in your Bridge bidding arsenal. Some conventions, such as Stayman and Transfers used after your partner’s No Trump opening, and Ace-asking bids such as Gerber and Blackwood, come up frequently. They are worth the space in your brain that you need to store them. Also, they are used by most other Bridge players although it always prudent to check with a new partner to be sure that he plays them.
However, some other Conventions should only be played with an established partner. I played with a new partner recently. She was a good player. She was familiar with many conventions. We went over them before we started to play. I opened One No Trump and I forgot that we were playing Texas Transfers (a jump transfer directly to game level). She jumped to Four Hearts. I liked Hearts. I passed. I had four little Hearts. She had two. She had five Spades (surprise, surprise!) and I had four. We went down, down, down. It could have been such a wonderful hand if I correctly had completed the transfer to the Four Spade game.
Texas Transfers are a useful jump transfer bid to game when you know you have a game but believe that slam is out of the question. It stops your opponents from inserting lead-directing bids that may defeat the contract. However, it comes up rarely, so it is best to use it only with a long-time partner.
There is another bid that you should definitely use only in an established partnership. I am talking about the Gambling Three No Trump bid. It is a delightful bid. I’ve got a few tops using it, but it comes up about once every three years. What you need for a Gambling Three No Trump opening is a solid six or seven-card minor suit and no stoppers in the other suits.
If partner has stoppers in all the other suits, he passes and you play in the Three No Trump contract. How does he know which is your long suit? He has no honours in one of his minor suits. You hopefully fulfill your contract by making the six or seven tricks in your minor plus a trick for each of the stoppers your partner has in your other suits.
If he doesn’t have stoppers in the other suits, he bids Four Clubs. If he has a strong game-going hand, he bids Five Clubs. He knows from your Three No Trump bid that you have exactly, ten points, Ace King Queen Jack in a long minor suit, so he is the Captain. If Clubs is not your long suit, you correct to Diamonds. But remember, your partner has to be familiar with this Convention or you don’t play it.
The use of Conventions can add a new dimension to the game of Bridge. However, if your partner misinterprets your Gambling Three No Trump bid and thinks incorrectly that you have a powerful Three No Trump hand and he passes without the required stoppers, you’re in a mess. The moral is that some conventions can be lots of fun, but only if used selectively with your established partners.
If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will include it in this column.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games for the Huntsville Club are Tuesday evening 7:00, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early. Contact Jan Roberts 705-635-2522 or [email protected] for information and partnerships.
The following winners are for Tuesday, Jul 17 with 21 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Linda Planeta and Margaret Sanderson; 2. Fay MacDonald and Yvonne Cox; 3. Liz Graham and Dorothy Russell; 4. Nora Robinson and Billie Anne Robinson; 5. Donna Jensen and Bill Jensen; 6. Mary Simonett and Kel Andresen; East-West 1. Jennifer Thompson and Gordon Duncan; 2. Art Insley and Don Evans; 3. Pat Pelletier and Nancy Mulhall; 4. Betty Fagin and David Bryce; 5. Ann Cassie and Bruce Cassie; 6. Susan Marshall and Jan Roberts
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]
The following winners are from Monday, Jul 16 with 30 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. A special congratulations to Liz Barnes and David Bryce for their 72% score. North-South 1. Lyn Walisser and Bev Howard; 2. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 3. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 4. Jinty Stewart and Jane Insley; 5. Mary Hogarth and Albert Eatock; 6. Fay MacDonald and Mary Whitehead; 7. Betty Rintoul and Hazel Bowes; 8. Anne Hampton and Bill Hampton; East-West 1. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 2. Ann Cassie and Bruce Cassie; 3. Kel Andresen and Jim Smith; 4. Gaye Kastning and Bill Kastning; 5. Andrea Killackey and Judith Arbus; 6. Art Insley and Don Evans; 7. Carol Anne Robinson and Nancy Barber; 8. Sandy Retter and David Scarlett
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