Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Irate opponent

A fellow showed up at our table last night who wanted to play what he called random bids over forcing 1C.  The idea was that his bid could mean anything from 0 high and 0 cards in the suit to a real suit.  His partner was supposed to raise him only to the 2 level or (even better) bid 1NT with a raise, regardless of how good his support was.  I suppose though he didn’t explain this that if he then bid another suit over 1NT it was his real one.  Who knows?

Regular readers will remember that we played against him before and he went for a bunch of numbers when he bid over 1C.  As he chatted I remembered him.  As you can imagine all his bidding was erratic and his partners kept leaving.  He would go through his routine again with  his next partner, at the same time making the case to us that this was not a pyschic and besides he was doing us a favour by bidding this way.

Now these methods are generally illegal and worse in a pickup partnership they are ridiculous and very likely (as previously) to lead to numbers and get his partner to walk away.  In the end after a long time of listening to him; we booted him.  He kept complaining to us but in BBO you don’t have to play against an opponent and you don’t have to listen to them either.  What do you think about booting opponents?

Our game started out rather well last night and I liked board 2.  Let me call it bidding one more. 

Do you have clear rules about forcing passes?  We don’t really but it is clearly in play on this hand.  You ((me) hold S 4 H A2 D KJ1042 C AJ963.  The auction starts

Linda West Colin East
1D 1S 2S 4S


Your opening 1D bid is limited and does not promise diamond length.  Colin’s 2S shows a limit raise or better and at least 5 diamonds.  What now?  I like 5C here.  You can have a top of the line hand (you are limited) and with the right hand from partner slam is a clear possibility.  Suppose partner has the DA and the CKQ.  Slam is likely then.  So you bid 5C showing him where your house is and Colin bids 5D.

Now your vulnerable opponent bids 5S.  What next?  I think a pass here is forcing asking partner to consider 6D or double them.  Although you don’t have 2 quick losers I think this hand has told its entire story and I doubled.

Colin held S 109 H K43 D AQ9765 and C 75 so as you can see 5D was the maximum and 5S doubled went for 500.  The 5S bidder held

S 87653 H Q106 D void and C KQ842.  The club cards figure to more useful offensively than defensive but partner may be short in clubs I suppose.  I think the vulnerability was just wrong for this bid.

Colin and I have started our discussion on forcing passes and he threatens to teach me undoubles where passing shows a desire to penalize the opponents and doubles don’t.  I look forward to this with some trepidation.

I always thought that 2C and 2D openers would be weaknesses in the system.  In fact they work pretty well as this hand shows.  I suppose it is because they are so limited and so precise.

Colin held S Q1065 H Q87 D J95 C AQ5.  I opened 2D in third chair showing diamond shortness and my LHO doubled asking for a diamond lead, I suppose.  Colin bid 2NT asking my shape and when I bid 3H showing 4-4-1-4 he could confidently bid 4S even though he was minimum in high cards.  My singleton diamond was very helpful to him.  I held S AK43 H KJ53 D 3 C K763 and this was quite a good score.

Playing with Colin you always have to be prepared for the inventive.  On this hand what do you think 4D means?  You have:

S K94 H K65 D AQ1032 C AQ.  You open 1C and Colin bids 1S which is game forcing and shows at least 5H.  You bid 1NT showing a balanced hand with 17-19 HCP.  Now comes 4D?  You have no agreement here other than over 1NT all bids are natural.  Put yourself in my son’s head and see if you can work it out.

This is what I thought.    He wouldn’t take up this much room if he wanted to make a slam try.  This is a transfer to hearts since he thinks it will play better from my side.  So I bid 4H.  Guess what?  I was right!

He held

S A H Q109872 D K84 C 974.

He was right with the CK offside the hand does play best from my side but he was wrong in not having a bit more ambition, since as you can see 6H from my side, is a pretty good contract.


DaveJuly 6th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

“What do you think about booting opponents?”

I think you can choose whom you wish to play against.

PaulJuly 7th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

“What do you think about booting opponents?”

The attitude of some opponents continues to amaze me. I do wonder what they hope to achieve when playing on a free site with nothing really at stake. Goodness knows what they are like in real life when a couple of masterpoints are available.

The methods are pretty silly too of course.

However, one of Norwegian Women’s pairs in the Europeans was playing “We always bid 1S at green vs red against a strong 1C”. But they were young.

Colin LeeJuly 7th, 2008 at 1:28 pm

One of the comments he made to me at the table was:

“At a national championships you don’t have a choice”.

He’s completely correct and it’s a primary reason I stopped playing in major tournaments, especially regionals / nationals due to the unpleasant nature of our opponents.

As I said to him: “Fortunately in BBO we CAN choose our opponents and we don’t have to play with people we don’t want to.”

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