Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

In search of good opponents

I have been thinking about bridge rating systems.  On BBO the only way to be sure that you have at least decent opponents is to play with people you know or people with stars.  It isn’t that there aren’t other really great bridge players, it’s just how do you find them.  The self rating system leads to a lot of problems since many "experts" are not such in my eyes.  Maybe BBO should post some guidelines for selecting each category.  If you use a rating system based on play like Okbridge there are some advantages but it is open to other problems especially cheating.  I suppose there is still some cheating on BBO but it seems much less than OKB.

This leads to the difficulty of picking random people as opponents.  When two strangers sit you get some very random bridge and often a revolving door of opponents as they fight with each other.   This leads to ridiculous hands like this one:

Both vulnerable the auction has started with 3 passes when Colin opened 1NT (13-15) in third chair.  Anonymous who was a passed hand saw this as an excuse to double on S AJ109 H J53 D A10 C 8742 and went for 800 even though he found his best fit, a 4-4 club fit.  This is a true story.  We soon had a new set of opponents which brings us to this interesting hand.

You have S 76 H A9764 D Q102 C Q108.  This time your excuse is that you are not vulnerable against vulnerable.  You pass and I open 1S, partner passes and Colin bids 2C game forcing.  This is your moment.  You bid 2H!  Here is my hand

S K10953 H K10 D A983 C K3

I passed which I thought showed some desire to defend but not a penalty double and Colin doubled on S A84 H QJ52 D 64 C AJ76.  On my club lead this hand went 4 down for 800.

Here is yet a third set of opponents going for a number and I even took a trick in notrump with S 1083 H 10987 D 8432 C 98

Colin held S 742 H AK62 D AK65 C A6.  At favourable vulnerability Colin opened 1C and saw the opponents crawl up to 3NT.  Colin made a sporting double and when I lead a heart we were able to set up the heart suit so I took a fourth round heart trick with my 10!  The culprit was East who invited to game over a strong notrump by his partner with S KQJxx and no other high cards.

Believe me there were more like these.  Here is a happier moment.  I am beginning to like the opening 2D bid and I learned a little about the dreaded Falenius adjunct.  Here is Colin’s hand:

S KJ7 H AK96 D A C 65432

Linda        Colin

2D             2NT

3C              3D

4D              ?

2D showed a limit hand with short diamonds, no 5 card major or 6 card clubs.  2NT asked and 3C showed 3-4-1-5.  3C asked controls and 4D showed 6 2-1 points.  Colin started mumbling about asking bids which will get us to the Falenius adjunct in a moment when he realized I could not have both the A and K of diamonds (holding only one) so to get to 6 controls I needed the SK, HAK and DA.  That meant we had 3 spades, 4 hearts, 6 clubs and 1 diamond amounting to more than enough tricks to claim in 7NT as dummy hit. 

Apparently the Falenius adjunct uses 4D as a way to set the trump suit and continue exploration for slams.  Assuming my response is below 4D, Colin would bid 4D as a relay to 4H (which can now be passed).  Any other bid sets the trump suit and allows further exploration.  Well, one way or another we might need some more methods here.

The European championships are on vugraph now and I would like to watch Catherine D’Ovidio but I am off to the dentist and I know this one is not going to be pretty since one of my teeth hurt, a very bad sign.

1 Comment

Claus HastrupJune 26th, 2008 at 10:46 am

“Maybe BBO should post some guidelines for selecting each category.”

BBO did that in their help section.

Unfortunately many people don’t know this, and in addition, being an advanced, expert or world class player doesn’t mean the same from country to country.

BBO’s view on ratings:

Leave a comment

Your comment