Director Please! by Mike Swanson
John Lands on His Feet
‘I HATE PLAYING against people who placed to make a two-suited overcall. He his error by Julie, so he bid 2´ to show that
play Precision Club. They seem to do knew that Double, 1t and 1NT showed he had the black suits rather than the red
nothing but wave the Alert card all the different combinations based on responses suits, while knowing that Julie would think
time and I just find it intimidating. Why to the Roman Blackwood convention (see that diamonds was his second suit.
can’t the EBU insist that everybody plays a footnote*) that nobody seemed to play any When West doubled 2´ and East
natural system,’ said John complainingly. more (not to be confused with Roman alerted, Julie felt compelled to ask, as a
‘Isn’t that a little bit unfair? After all, Key-Card Blackwood). He remembered take-out double would not be alerted. East
they have a 1® bid to show a hand with that he used to play CRO (colour, rank, replied: ‘Well, quite honestly I am not sure,
16+ points and a 2® bid to show clubs, odd) with one partner and RMC (rank, I don’t think we have had an auction like
whereas we have a 1® bid to show clubs mixed, colour) with another – but which this before!’
and a 2® bid to show 23+ points. And applied to his defence to a strong club? If Julie decided to make an advance
anyway we have a special defence to a only he had looked at his convention card sacrifice by leaping to game and, after
strong 1® which you won’t forget, will before they started, but of course now was much thought, East emerged with a
you?’ replied Julie forebodingly. too late as he knew that it was not per- double thus making it impossible for West
mitted to use it as an aide-mémoire. He to do anything other than pass.
tossed his much-used mental coin and The play of the hand was quite
E/W Game. Dealer North. decided to plump for RMC and so bid straightforward, even for John, and the
´ KJ985 1NT to show two suits of the same colour. contract went one down for a very good
™ 765 After Julie had alerted the 1NT, West match-point score.
t 432 asked what it meant, to which Julie replied: The Director was soon on the scene at
® 10 9 ‘It shows two “odd” suits, so either spades the request of John’s opponents. ‘John had
´ 2 ´ A3 and diamonds or clubs and hearts.’ spades and clubs but Julie told us that he
™ K Q 10 9 N ™ AJ82 John knew only too well that Julie would should have had diamonds as his second
t Q 10 8 6 S t AKJ97 be right so now all he could hope for was suit, yet he never made any attempt to
® J872 ® Q3 that somehow they would land on their correct her explanation!’ complained West.
´ Q 10 7 6 4 feet. West doubled to show 5-8 points and ‘But Julie’s explanation was correct. I had
™ 43 no five-card suit and Julie bid 2™ which got the system wrong as you can clearly see
t 5 John alerted. from our convention card,’ said John.
® AK654 East now turned to John and asked about The Director fought back the urge to say
the 2™. John knew that he must answer on something about John’s forgetfulness.
the basis of their system agreement, so he ‘John is correct, you are only entitled to
West North East South said: ‘ It’s a relay bid. If I have hearts and know what he is supposed to have, not
Julie John clubs then partner wants me to pass, but if I what he actually has got and I am satisfied
Pass 1®* 1NT* have spades and diamonds she wants me to that the score should stand.’
Dble* 2™* Dble* 2´* bid 2´ and then leave it to her to decide ‘Well, that’s another convention we
Dble* 4´ Dble All Pass what to do next.’ won’t be using in future, even if you have
* Alerted West now doubled to show a better-than- landed on your feet again. At least you
minimum hand and commit his side to were lucky at cards, but you know what
When East opened 1® John looked at his game. John knew that he had to carry on they say,’ observed Julie.
hand and realised that he was perfectly bidding as if he hadn’t been made aware of John wasn’t quite sure what they did say
but he knew it couldn’t be good. r
Although staff of English Bridge and the staff of Danby Advertising (Advertising Agent for English Bridge) take all *Roman Blackwood was created by the Italian
reasonable precautions to protect the interests of readers by ensuring as far as practicable that advertisements Blue Team in the 1960s. In the original version, in
in the pages of English Bridge are bona fide, the magazine and its publisher, the EBU, cannot accept any under-
response to 4NT 5® shows 0 or 3 aces, 5t shows 1
taking in respect of claims made by advertisers, whether these advertisements are printed as part of the maga-
zine, or are in the form of inserts. Legal remedies are available if redress is sought, and readers who have com- or 4 aces, 5™ shows 2 aces either of the same rank
plaints should address them to the advertiser or should consult a local Trading Standards Office, or a Citizens or the same colour, 5´ shows two odd aces. Later,
Advice Bureau, or their own solicitors. Readers should note that prices advertised may not be accurate due to
some players opted to make the responses of 5™, 5´
currency exchange rate fluctuations, or tax changes.
and 5NT show two aces on the CRO or RMC scale.
www.ebu.co.uk June 2013 English Bridge 11