be ‘pass or correct’ with no game ambition
and 3t can be artificial, showing a good IN A NUTSHELL
‘raise in partner’s suit’ leaving a raise in by Jeremy Dhondy
the suit as slightly less in terms of points.
The 2NT Bid PSYCHING
Usually played as both minors (at least 5-5). What is a ‘psyche’? Reason Two is an irrational and erro-
Again, some partnerships may choose a A deliberate and gross mis-statement of neous belief that it is cheating – it isn’t.
different variation whereby 2NT shows either honour strength and/or suit A third and more serious reason is
any big two-suited hand (at least 5-5). length. Opening a 12-14 no-trump on ‘fielding’ The psyche needs to be as
an 11 count is not a psyche nor is open- much a surprise to partner as it is to the
The 3®/3t Bids ing a Weak Two on a five card suit (they opponents and if you psyche a lot then
are deviations). this is hard to achieve. If you take an
These show a good-quality suit (at least Suppose I psyche accidentally? unusual action opposite what turns out
six-card long) and 10-15 HCPs approx. Then you haven’t psyched. If you open, to be a psyche by partner, then your
say, a Weak 2t, and then remember you action may be deemed by the director to
are playing a Multi, you have not psy- be ‘green’ (meaning that nothing unto-
´ 74 ´ AQ8 ward has happened), or ‘amber’ (mean-
ched because it was not deliberate. This
™ K6 N ™ Q75 ing it is a bit suspicious), or ‘red’ (mean-
W E is a misbid.
t K87 S t A963 ing it is unacceptable and you will have
® AQJ652 ® 874 Are there any bids I can’t psyche? the score adjusted).
At Level 4 or above you can do what you A good example of a ‘field’ is if your
want. There used to be a regulation that partner overcalls 1NT showing about
South opens 1NT, and West bids 3® you could not psyche your side’s 15-18 points and you hold an 11- count
Multi-Landy. The merit of the bid is strongest bid but that has not applied with a good five-card suit. If you fail to
obvious, as East has a very easy 3NT for many years. Our regulations forbid bid game or double the opponents’
response. psyching a Multi 2t at Level 3 or below action, then you can expect the tourna-
(see Orange Book Section 6). ment director to ask you some direct
The 3™/3´ Bids I psyched a few times near the end of questions.
the event and the director was not Must I get psyches recorded?
These can vary according to partnership amused. No, but it is a good idea to do so. That
agreement as either weak or strong. I Frivolous psyching of the sort that sug- way a pattern emerges. To give one
recommend playing them as pre-emptive gests you no longer have any interest in example a player some years ago ticked
(seven cards and 5-9 HCPs approx.). the event spoils it for others and is not a box on the recording form to indicate
One of the big plusses of this system is allowed (see Law 74). he had not psyched a particular bid with
that it copes with several key hand types:
So why do some players get upset by that partner in the previous year or so. A
psyching? look at the forms recorded later showed
a) Both majors;
Reason one is if they feel they have been he was being economical with the truth
b) A five-card major plus a minor at
made to look stupid but they should and it was his third similar psyche in
least four-cards long;
console themselves with the fact that it twelve months – and that was only the
c) A single-suited major.
works a lot less than 50% of the time. ones recorded!
Give it a try! r
2012 INTER-COUNTY LEAGUES NATIONAL FINALS
THE INTER-COUNTY Leagues National Final was conceived by Graham Jepson, who ran the event for the first five years of its existence.
It is a one-day teams-of-eight event open to the champion counties of each division of the five Regional Inter-County League Teams-
of-Eight events: the Northern Bridge League (‘NBL’); the Midland Counties Leagues (Dawes League, Porter Cup and Markham Trophy);
the Eastern Counties League (‘ECL’); the Western League (South Western Counties); the Metropolitan Cup (South Eastern Counties).
Each of these regional events has a slightly different format, but the common feature is that they all consist of three divisions, with
every county generally having one team in each division (i.e. there is no promotion / relegation, but every county ‘A’ team competes
in Division 1, etc.). The National Final consists of three events (divisions). Division 1 is contested by the five champion teams of the
respective 1st divisions of the Regional Leagues. Similarly the five Division 2 champions (county ‘B’ teams) and the Division 3
champions (county ‘C’ teams) compete within their own categories.
This year’s winners were: Division 1: Merseyside & Cheshire (Dave and Jean Keen, Alan Stephenson, Stuart Matthews, David
Stevenson, Liz Commins, Christopher Pope, Andy Prothero – photo on page 49); Division 2: Yorkshire (Stuart Davies, Paul Belsten,
George Bak, Gill Copeland, Janet and Ted Latham, John O’Sullivan, Malcolm Robinson); Division 3: Sussex (John Jackson, Leon
Northeast, Andy Ryder, Giles Faulkner, Shirley Saunter, Peter Buttery, Malcolm Wright, Andrea Galpin).
www.ebu.co.uk October 2012 English Bridge 25