Column 7B85   Main

Local Player Invents New Bid

  by Richard Pavlicek

A number of South Florida players began the new year with a trip to the Kissimmee Hyatt Regency Hotel for the Central Florida Regional Tournament, January 7-12. The area’s many attractions, particularly the enormous Disney World complex, provided an added incentive to draw a record turnout — an average of 273 tables per session. That is more than 1,000 people playing bridge in the same place at the same time!

Joe Adlersberg of Pompano Beach attended the final three days of the tournament and placed high in several events. Joe is an experienced player with many successes including a North American Championship under his belt. His bridge technique is quite sound, but not far and beyond that of the average player. Joe’s knack for winning instead comes from his excellent “table feel” — an intangible ability that many players lack. Joe is clever, resourceful and sometimes innovative as today’s deal shows.

6 S South
Both Vul
S A Q 10 7 5 4
D 4
C J 9 6 5 3


4 H
4 NT
6 S
1 H
4 S
5 C
S J 9 8
H J 10 2
D 10 9 7 3
C 7 4 2
TableS 3
H K Q 7 6 5
D Q J 8 6 5

Lead: H J
S K 6 2
H 9 8 4 3
D A K 2
C A 10 8

Adlersberg, North, responded to his partner’s takeout double with a bid I (and probably the entire bridge world) have never heard of: a jump to game in the enemy suit. Obviously, if he expected to make four hearts, he would have passed the takeout double and collected 1100 points (down four if he could win 10 tricks); so this bizarre bid could not be natural. What did it mean? Who knows! (Or, if you prefer, who cares!) In any event South, lacking four cards in any unbid suit, chose to bid four spades which was much to North’s delight.

Four notrump was Roman key-card Blackwood, an improved version of the ace-asking convention in which the king of the trump suit is counted as an ace. Five clubs showed 0 or 3 key cards. (Other responses: Five diamonds = 1 or 4; Five hearts = 2 or 5 without the trump queen; Five spades = 2 or 5 with trump queen.) North then proceeded to the odds-on slam which was easily made, losing only one club trick.

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© 1986 Richard Pavlicek