24th BERMUDA BOWL; October 18, 1979. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Roberto Assumpçao bridge columnist for a Sao Paulo newspaper, walked into the Daily Bulletin office recently and offered us this column:
Being an old bridge player with a good sense of observation, I am very much interested in how players from various countries react to situations, I have come to the conclusion that we latins are the worst in imagining things, always
gambling on our partner’s hands. If our imagination says they have such and such an ace, we go ahead and bid the game! only to find partner has the 10 instead .
I remember back in 1956 when the first book on the Roman Club System appeared here in Sao Paulo. This system was played by Avarelli and Belladonna, participants of the famous Italian Blue Team which won 16 World Championships. The owner of the book invited all the strongest players to a meeting so that they could read the book together.
By the third session we had already modified two bids and inserted several others. After all, to play as the book ordered us to just wasn’t as much fun.
And now we’ re going to give you readers a chance to use your imagination. At the end of a duplicate game the following hand appeared: void in spades, singleton heart, ten diamonds with the ace and king, and King second of clubs. How would you open the bidding with this hand?
| A K Q x x x x
J x x x x
A K Q 10 9 x x
Q x x x x
| J 10 9 x x x
J 10 x x x
A K x x x x x x x x
I opened the bidding with 1, 3 by West, 4 by North. East passed and I asked 4NT. North answered 5 and I bid 6, which is the only correct contract. But, after a long huddle by West who ended up passing, who went into a trance was my partner’. Sure enough, only he knew that spades were worth more than diamonds and he bid 6.
East passed, I arrived at the conclusion that disaster was inminent and took out to 7 which everybody passed. With a heart lead, I showed the hand and conceded one down. Wanting to kill my partner, I opened the traveling score and, being the last to play the hand, I was able to see the wreckage.
The top was 50 plus one. Second best result was mine tied with one other the rest were goin down 5 or more!
It was difficult to get information on the various auctions because everyone was fighting. Five Souths had opened 2 (strong) based on having a three loser hand. Their partners could find no way of stopping before reaching 6 or 6NT and you can see the disasters that occured as there’s no communication between the hands.
Three others with more fertil imagination, decided to open 2NT. West may have twitched, but passed, North very naturally, gave 7NT direct and is s till going, down.
But the most fantastic of all was the opening bid by one South of 3, West, seeing the bluff, bid 4 North interpreted the hand in the most rational way possible. West had given a cuebid to show a void in hearts. Logically then, if one of the heart honors was missing it would be finesseable in the East hand. Without further delay North
bid 7. Now I understand why one of the partnerships had changed during the game.
Finally I went to see what had happened to the pair that had stopped in 5, I found the little old lady and asked, «How did the bidding go at your table? She replied, Oh, Roberto, it was so simple: I just opened 5 and everybody passed»