AUG_08_EB_p13 Swanson 15/7/08 5:19 pm Page 13
John gets lucky
with the new laws
AT the start of the evening’s session, Julie waved across at him and said ‘It’s
before announcing the movement, the your turn.’
Tournament Director asked for everyone’s Without bothering to look up, John apo-
attention: ‘As you may know, the new laws logised and opened (so he thought) 1♥.
come into force this evening and there are When the TD saw what had happened,
two changes that affect all of you. Firstly, he looked down, smiled at John, and
when you are a defender and partner fails said: ‘I knew I could rely on you to offer Mike Swanson
to follow you may now say: “Having none?” me my first challenge. The insufficient
just as you always have been able to do as bid law is one that has changed slightly,
dummy; secondly, at the end of a hand and I do believe that you have found that West North East South
you should now shuffle your cards before change. Firstly, West can accept the 1♥ bid Julie John
returning them to the board. All of the but, if he doesn’t, we go into new territory. 1NT Pass 3♦
other changes only apply when someone Can I ask if you play a 2♥ response to 1NT Pass 3♥ Pass 4♦
contravenes the laws.’ as natural?’ Pass 4♠ Pass 4NT
The TD added: ‘I wonder who will ‘No, we play transfers.’ Pass 5♥ Pass 6♦
manage to test me for the first time on ‘Then, if 1♥ is not accepted, John can All Pass
one of the new law changes?’, as his gaze replace it with any legal bid or a pass. In all
moved unerringly towards John. instances except one, Julie will be silenced After Julie’s 4♠ cue-bid, John decided to
Julie looked pleadingly across the for the rest of the auction. The exception is go for broke and ask for aces and, when he
table to John and implored ‘Please don’t a new bit of law: if John makes a bid that found partner with two, he bid 6♦ to give
let it be you!’ has the same meaning as his insufficient her a choice of slams.
1♥, perhaps even with more precision as Julie thought for a while before passing.
to point count or suit quality, then the She knew that 6♥ would be a better score
N/S Game. Dealer North. bidding may proceed without penalty; if (and she would be playing it!) but on
♠A82 John thinks this is the case, then I shall reflection she decided that her extra trump
♥A73 have to take him away from the table for a would make 6♦ a better bet; just as well,
♦J942 few moments to see whether I agree with as 6♥ can only succeed on a club lead.
♣K82 him.’ After the opening king
♠ KQ95 ♠ J 10 6 4 West chose not to of spades lead, the play
The insufficient bid law
♥ 2 N ♥ 10 6 5 4 accept the 1 ♥ bid, if didn’t take too long:
♦ 10 3
♦65 only to allow the Tour- has changed slightly. John just drew trumps
♣ Q 10 7 6 5 4 ♣AJ9 nament Director to use and threw dummy’s
♠73 his new bit of law, and John took up the small spades away on his heart suit,
♥KQJ98 TD’s offer to step away from the table. wrapping up twelve tricks for a near top.
♦AKQ87 After establishing that John thought he ‘That must be some sort of record, bid-
♣3 was opening the bidding the Director ding hearts insufficiently and then never
asked him to explain what bid he was now bidding them in the legal auction,’ observed
contemplating. Julie with a wry smile.
West North East South ‘We play three-level transfers over 1NT. ‘And even I couldn’t have managed that
Julie John A 3♦ bid would show an opening hand before these new laws came in,’ replied
1NT1 Pass 1♥ and at least five hearts headed by two of John as he absentmindedly sorted his cards
12-14 the top three honours,’ said John. before returning them to the board.
‘Could be as strong as an Acol Two?’ ‘Maybe August will be your lucky month
After he had picked up and sorted his hand asked the Director. then,’ said Julie with an absolutely straight
John went into a trance; he could see that ‘No, if I was that strong I would just ask face, so that poor John hadn’t a clue
it wasn’t strong enough for a strong 2♥, for aces,’ replied John. whether she was just referring to the
but what should he do after 1♥ – 1♠? If ‘In that case I will allow it.’ bridge table.
he rebid 3♦, Julie might be compelled to
bid 3NT on 6 points and a misfit, so maybe
a 2♦ rebid would be better. winners list & more
Eventually the rest of the table got www.bridgeassistant.com/web_b2e.html
impatient with John’s catatonic state, so
www.ebu.co.uk August 2008 English Bridge 13