Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Developing a lot of empathy for bridge students

In the last few days I have been working on learning two different systems.  My friend and bridge expert, Mary Paul sent me ten pages of notes describing her bidding approach.  I am used to hundreds of pages of notes so you wouldn’t have thought that would be a problem.  But many of her concepts and structures are different than I am used to.  This means I need to work through exactly what she means and what all of the implications are. 

At the same time my son Colin and I have gone back to a forcing club system.  It is being developed on the fiy.  It is as complex and different as it could possibly be.  We have now decided to play canape and four card majors with many artificial continuations.

Working from minimal notes and Colin’s brief verbal explanation we tried to bid hands.  I spent the whole time having no idea what the auctions meant and no idea what I was supposed to bid on a hand.  I would look through the minimal notes Colin had sent and it seemed never find what I wanted (sometimes it was there somewhere and sometimes it was missing).

So I know understand the problems faced by my mentee, Kathy.   I know what is like to have no idea what you are supposed to do and no idea what the auction means as I am learning new concepts.  It isn’t easy. 

Kathy and I need to document “our” bidding system.  I am going to start a system book for us.  (Wow, that will be the third set of notes I am writing).  It is a lot easier when you have something to refer to that has the answers written clearly.

And even with notes it can be hard to realize just what the auction actually means, what all the implications are and what you should do now.  This is not about knowing how to play or having the judgment to decide whether to make a game try or push for slam.  This is about learning a new language.

After this I should be able to play most constructive systems.  But if you want to play another new system with me, don’t call me I will call you.


Paul GipsonNovember 12th, 2008 at 10:17 pm

I played Blue Club for many years and I never really understood what the auction 1S-1NT-2H showed. It is conspicuously absent from the Garozzo Blue Club book, but it seemed that it could be 5 spades and 4 hearts, or 4 spades and 5 hearts. The Italians would not bid 1H-1NT-2S with 5 spades and 4 hearts unless extremely maximum with concentrated values.

Aside from this major (sic) concern, I quite liked playing canape.


lindaNovember 13th, 2008 at 11:25 pm

I am starting to like canape too and I really like playing a forcing club. It just takes some getting used to.

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