The sex bidding scandal continues

March 24, 2009 at 9:16 am 1 comment

Pardon me for not having written for a few days. Bit of a shock and I’ve had to have a lie-down. You see, it seems possible that I agree with Phil Markey. I happen to recall the day we last agreed on anything…and it isn’t about the lolly jar. It was the 2000 NOT, day 3, lunchtime. Being the girl on the team naturally I was making the sandwiches while the boys discussed the bridge. Phil said he liked the way I buttered the bread for the sandwiches – with little chunky bits of butter, not all smooth and flat. That’s how I like my butter too.

To think within the same decade – just – we have agreement on something else. I never thought I’d see the day.

Sartaj made the following comment to the last post re bidding approaches:

Hamman said in an interview that he has learnt with the years that there are three types of auctions
1) Declarative – You show your hand and leave it to partner
2) Interrogative – You take charge and ask partner questions
3) Cooperative – Both you and partner exchange information.

I believe most players and partnerships have either a positive or a negative bias attached to at least two out these three categories. Which leads us to believe in our distinct “style”.
In my partnership, I’m aware that Tony has a positive bias for cooperative auctions while Cathy, it appears you have one for declarative.

The ideal bidding system would have the capacity for all three modes. And its users would have the judgment and the ability switch to the right mode based on the specifics of the situation.

Hmmm. I’m not sure that it takes a many times world champion to make the point that there are these types of auctions and that all have some place in system. Elementary my dear Hans.

One assumes, further, that there will be bias attached –

(1) because it is unlikely that each of these types of auction should equally be used,

(2) because it is unlikely that a system will permit equal use. As Sartaj points out, there is only so much room.

On top of that, maybe, as Sartaj suggests, some aspect of personal taste will come into it.

Perhaps, if it comes to that, not so much personal taste as WHAT IS BEST FOR THE PARTNERSHIP. My partnership has introduced some high level highfalutin methods but I’m not at all sure that they are best for the partnership. My partner would like not to have to guess so often, but he is good at guessing. To take away from our system something which was performing well, is a doubtful strategy in my opinion.

Then again, there are other sorts of auctions which Hamman apparently doesn’t include in his view of the world, though I can think of at least one which is near and dear to the American heart: the guerilla auction, a one-bid auction which supposes that there is more to be gained than lost by fixing all three other players at the table.

This might take the form of a psychic call – for which US players still have a predilection, I would have thought – or it might be a high-level preemptive action. Does Sartaj disagree that the psyche is still common-place amongst experts in the US? I dare say he will give his views on this.

Frankly I don’t believe that Hamman, or any other player of his calibre thinks that all bridge bidding is about partnership. But I will stand corrected if one of them writes in here and states as much.

The comments to the last post really do invite a lot of discussion, so there is certainly more to come. Stay tuned.


Entry filed under: bidding, thoughts on bridge. Tags: , , , , , .

Should bidding be like sex? Australian Playoff concludes today

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. sartaj  |  March 25, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    “Frankly I don’t believe that Hamman, or any other player of his calibre thinks that all bridge bidding is about partnership”
    He doesnt. Thats why he categorizes the auctions as having three categories. For 30 years he has stood by strong club, four card majors,strong notrump. (Not sure if Zia has insisted on 5M though). He creates his share of action.

    The stronger the team, the less and less they psyche. It comes from a sense of responsibility to the team. And probably from a fear of losing their paycheck.

    However, there are a few standard diversions which are almost universal amongst say the top 5 teams in the world.
    a) Opening third in hand. On yarboroughs, four points, eight points. Especially non-vul.
    b) The semi-psychic strong NT in third seat based on a long suit.

    Which reminds me of a hand from the playoff where i held in third seat, at favourable

    and gave some consideration to opening strong NT when it went pass, pass. But i wasnt able to pull it off in tempo so settled for 1C. A few minutes later, the opponents played 3H making 4.
    So much for psyching to win points, when just sitting there ended up being enough !


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