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Lloyd’s Leap — A Novel Approach

  by Richard Pavlicek

Bridge is a game of many systems: Goren, Schenken, Precision, Kaplan-Sheinwold, etc. — a list I could continue for the length of this article. None of these systems has taken hold in its entirety, but many have spawned ideas that are now accepted in standard bidding. The great diversity of input has given the experts a lot to think about when deciding which method is best.

The latest system to come across my desk is “Lloyd’s Leap,” which is about as eccentric as the name implies. As devised by Lloyd Jones of Boynton Beach, the opening-bid structure includes a strong, forcing one club (17-22 points); ambiguous one diamond (12-16); five-card majors (12-16); and super-strong two clubs (23 and up). To that extent it is in the ball park. The weirdness lies in the responses, almost all of which are artificial showing point count (in some cases also a singleton or void). The higher you respond, the more points you show.

Jones offers today’s deal as an example of coping with interference. North’s double (not for penalty) showed 12 points or more; five clubs was natural; and the rest were control-bids with clubs as the agreed suit. I find these interpretations dubious, especially six hearts which commits the partnership to seven clubs, but all’s well that ends well.

7 C South
Both Vul
H A 8 6 5 2
C Q 8 7 6 4 2

3 S

5 D
6 H

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

Lead: S Q
H K J 10 4
D 9 7 2
C A K 10 9 5

The play brings out an important point. Declarer must diagnose the heart situation (whether or not to finesse), so he should try to count the other suits. Routine play reveals that West began with two clubs and one diamond, and the bidding suggests seven or eight spades; therefore, he has two or three hearts. Consequently, declarer should win the heart king first, after which there is no guess when the queen pops.

I do not recommend the Lloyd’s Leap system but applaud Mr. Jones for his creativity. Perhaps some of his ideas may develop a future following. No one thought much of Fulton’s steamboat either.

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© 1990 Richard Pavlicek