Join Bridge Winners
Reisinger Final Round “A much bigger problem”

Kit reported in his article about a trick one BIT/UI situation that may or may not have led to a different outcome without the BIT/UI in question.

IMHO this is just the tip of the iceberg of a much, much bigger problem.

Carding (and to a lesser extent leads) unavoidably comes with a high level of subtleness. Any BIT becomes a significant part of any signal, and logical inferences can (like it or not) be made. Accordingly, a prudent thing to consider would be to ban agreements like Smith-Echo (SE), Obvious-Shift (OS) and Suit-Preference/Lavinthal (SP/L) all together. Of course, even more generic carding such as attitude, count comes with toxic, but not nearly in the same dimension as aforementioned. I can assure you I am not on a crusade, but I think the last few months have opened the door to these kind of transparent discussions in the open forum. Perhaps you still find such perspective shocking and radical? 

Let me elaborate further why.

Number one, they are all somewhat ambiguous, highly situational, rarely automatic, and with a fair amount of hierarchy to consider (especially if one decides to combine them). I believe Fantoni-Nunes version of “Slawinski-syle leads” really demonstrates the analogy. BIT in SE, OS, SP/L situations are almost as problematic as adding (cheating) horizontal or vertical tabling of cards to a lead/signal convention.

Few examples:

i) In NT you play SE, but not applicable if the distribution, lie of the suit is “known” at trick one, then OS takes over. When declarer plays a suit in trick two, you might then have a different definition of what suit is OS. Perhaps, if no suit is OS, then SP/L comes in. There is just no way to go through this process without BIT. Au contraire if count is the only signaling option, most defenders will then play in normal tempo.

ii) This hand is from SF S2 (#19) of the 2015 Reisinger. Peter Fredin (North) and I (South) playing against Ron Pachtmann (East) and Piotr Zatorski (West)

I want to make it perfectly clear that nothing I write here is an accusation of anything (in any way, shape or form), simply using this hand as an example.

3NT North
NS: 0 EW: 0

7 (2nd highest from a bad suit) went to the Q,9 (smaller BIT, but it should be said that Fredin is in Sontag's corner, playing very quickly in trick one) 10. Fredin played the 6 and Zatorski (wrong name on BBO) had a problem. It could be absolutely crucial to rise with the A (it was on this hand).

Due to the 90 sec-180 sec BIT and playing low, the issue now becomes two fold.

1) It is now clear that Zatorski has the A and accordingly it would be of way less value for him to signal count to partner. In normal tempo, count might be the priority signal as  A) The heart suit e.g the lead and the 9+BIT pretty much clarified that suit, and B) it is unknown who holds A

2) At what point does the BIT "rise with the A " transcend into a BIT for "are we using count" or "are we using OS" or "are we using SP" ?

On the actual hand Zatorski played a fuzzy 4 (no idea what the intention/meaning was).

Fredin won the Q and changed suit playing Q

RP won immediately and returned a  which lost the board. Did RP have access to more clues than he was entitled to here?

Our 1N was 15-17. RP more or less knew the heart suit. Also, the spade suit was clear, and declarer played Q from his own hand (and must have the K unless declarer exactly QAKQJQJ ) partner producing the 8. 

Lets hypothetically say that E/W play UDCA, and Zatorski plays the 2 (even #) this after the BIT.  Would anyone have a problem with the diamond shift? IMHO, BIT during the play is much more difficult than during the auction, as one has more "logical alternatives". All these agreements give defenders additional clues (even if its subconscious and with absolutely no malice) and more information normally leads to more accurate play. It would be my strong recommendation to take a closer look at these 'BIT by default", conventions and agreements. They do really open a nasty can of worms. 


Getting Comments... loading...

Bottom Home Top