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Conventions, conventions. Is bridge as we know it already dead?

You have ventured out to the local club for the annual Christmas Party.  At about round 5, this hand appears:


After a 1 opening to her right, the player holding this hand overcalls 1.  It goes 1NT to her right, partner bids 2, and opener passes. She then bids 3.  After going down in this, not too comfortable contract, she explains that she could not raise spades or pass because partner only promised 4.

On the next board (same opponents), the auction goes (my side passing): 1, 3, 4. Upon questioning before the opening lead, opener informs us that they play Bergen Raises,* but opener doesn't know what 3 shows.  After the lead, Dummy, South, hits with:


No, because of insurance issues, this club does not permit Christmas cheer!

Mercifully, the portion of the Unit website containing player ranks is down today, and I am unable to verify what I strongly suspect--these players have, indeed, achieved the coveted rank of Life Master.

There were several other events like these, including a player with over 2500 master points who didn't think Qx was sufficient support to let partner play in a rebid spade suit.


*Just in case someone reading this has not encountered Bergen Raises: After a 1M opening, 3M is preemptive, 3 shows approximately a 4-trump mixed raise, and 3 shows a 4-trump limit raise.  3 and 3 are sometimes switched.  I don't care for them, but they are a fad item in my area.  At least they are not as bad as the other current fad: stolen bid.

Don't worry about it, Buddy. Club bridge has always been like this. The Life Masters of the '70s where just as skilled as these players.
Buddy, you had no business playing in this game. They're far too tough for you!
The rule makers should design quizzes on common conventions and forbid a partnership from playing a convention until both partners have passed the quiz on it.
The rule makers should forbid a partnership from playing any conventions until both partners have passed a quiz on basic natural bidding.
Buddy, you're overreacting. Put the hand back in the board, and go on to the next board!

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