Erroneous in my play; flawless in my analysis­ a new Bridge superhero has emerged.
I am The Fallible Genius­ no one can result better than I can.

All The Wrong Guesses

The round has just been called and I frantically try to air­dry my hands while running back to the table from my washroom break. I ascertain that my opponents have been waiting for awhile, because they give me a stern look probably thinking I was late because I was outside smoking. No matter, I am here now.

I quickly sort my cards and pause for a glance at the board. Thank goodness I'm in third chair­ I have some extra time to sort up my hand. Partner starts with ONE CLUB and righty fumbles out a green card. My hand is sorted now and life ain't so rushed.

Vul: Us
Dlr: Pard
S K 10 8 6  H 8 7  D 10 9 8 6  C A 10 4

I bid ONE SPADE and lefty bids a quick TWO DIAMONDS. Partner goes into a bit of a huddle and produces THREE DIAMONDS followed by a fast PASS by righty. 3D is an undiscussed bid in this sequence. I suppose he has a slam­probing hand with good spade support, but I can't be sure. All that I am sure of is that I want to slow partner down. I bid THREE SPADES.. PASS.. pause.. pause.. PASS(!).. PASS.

I can't really believe this auction happened, but I hope that when dummy hits, there will be more explanation. Lefty leads the DA.

Vul: Us
Dlr: Pard
PARD (dummy)
S A 7 5 3
H K J 10 9
D -
C K Q 8 6 3




S K 10 8 6
H 8 7
D 10 9 8 6
C A 10 4

In all fairness to partner, his hand was very hard to evaluate. Voids are always hard to evaluate because they can either be really useful or incredibly horrible, depending on what partner has in that same suit. For example, a hand with a diamond void will allow the loss of no tricks in diamonds so long as that hand still has trumps remaining. On the flip side, a diamond void can pose communication problems with partner's values in diamonds, making it more difficult to set up diamonds for secondary winners.

The 2D call has indicated that the void should be offensively useful and so it should be evaluated as a fantabulous feature of the hand. The big question here is: should North bid to game on his hand? I think it is very close, but there is a point in favour of bidding to game.

If North bids game it might make or it might go down. Even if it is going down, the opponents might still save in 5D. This may leave N/S in the dark about whether to bid 5S or to double 5D and N/S might still guess wrong. Instead, if North uses a 4D splinter bid to give the best description of his shape, then South will have the maximum amount of information to decide what to do.

If North decides to not bid game then an invitational 3S should be enough. What my partner did here was force to game and then change his mind! Oh well, I feel reasonably content playing where we are, even though it won't take much to make 4S.

OK, enough bidding analysis. It's time for me to pause and plan the play. Maybe you should do the same?

The Fallible Genius - a chronicle by Brad Bart
January 18, 1998