A book to help bid­ding judg­ment

Cecil Whig - - & & - By Phillip Alder

Neil Kimel­man from Canada has just com­pleted his tril­ogy about bid­ding with “The Right Bid at the Right Time” (Mas­ter Point Press). The book con­tains more than 80 tough bid­ding prob­lems, both con­struc­tive and com­pet­i­tive. Af­ter the reader de­cides what he would do, Kimel­man an­a­lyzes the pros and cons of each pos­si­ble call, some­times gives the orig­i­nal full deal and has “lessons to learn.” In gen­eral, the ad­vice is sound, but a few times he makes de­bat­able rec­om­men­da­tions. I found one deal where he said that a penalty dou­ble of three spades led to mi­nus 730. He did not de­scribe the play, though, be­cause de­clarer had a two-way guess for the club jack that he must have got­ten right. If ei­ther de­fender had held the club 10, they would have been plus 200 for a nice score. (To be hon­est, the set­ting was a team game, not a pair event, when a close dou­ble into game should be avoided.) In to­day’s deal, taken from a team event, what should North re­bid over one no-trump?

While you are con­sid­er­ing that, “Out of Hand, Out of Mind” by Bill But­tle (Mas­ter Point Press) is a book con­tain­ing 141 color car­toons with bridge themes, some fun­nier than others, of course. Back to the deal, North ought to re­bid three di­a­monds (although three no-trump is fea­si­ble). This says that North is try­ing to get to three no-trump, but would like South to have some help in the suit and, prefer­ably, hearts well held -as he does here. Fi­nally, yes, I prob­a­bly would have re­sponded two no-trump, not one, with that suit­able South hand, and hoped for the best in the black suits.

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