Editorial by Marti Ronemus
“A Failure to Communicate!”
As we slide through the end of August and head for September, we have many observances to look forward to. We were excited about the Eclipse, but wait!! There’s still more.
There’s Happy Cat Month. Those of us who know and love cats will enjoy this (and know that if they ain’t happy, we’re in trouble!) Then, for those who can tolerate ambiguity (an important skill for bridge players), we have both National Waffle Week and National Nutrition Week falling at the same time. Also, for those kids returning to school (or those who are responsible for those kids!) there’s Backpack Safety Month, a reminder that you can’t carry more than you actually weigh in your backpack. Have you seen what some of those kids lug around?
Perhaps the best of all though, is Pet Rock Festival. Or so I thought.
Surely most of us are old enough to remember the Pet Rock craze. Talk about much ado about nothing. When I saw this observance, with a link yet, I must admit to being excited. Think of all the comparisons to bridge conventions I could make! The nostalgia I could bring in. Dreadful puns were appearing in my head full blown.
So, I clicked on the link to their website, and guess what? It's not PET ROCK day, it's pet ROCK DAY. It's a rock festival to raise funds for homeless pets. Huh. What now?
Now, it’s all about communication! Those folks didn’t clearly communicate their objective and mission statement. What about us? Do our bids actually reflect the hand we are holding? Do we take advantage of the opponents’ signals and carding as they attempt to communicate with each other? With the help of our Vu-Bridge contributors, let’s sharpen our communication skills.
We begin with MATTHIAS HUBERSCHWILLER who has six excellent hands for us. His topics? How to recognize when we have two chances, rather than just one. How to take advantage of the opponents when they make a bad lead. (Sometimes I feel my only chance is if They make a mistake… know what I mean?) Why mirror hands are such a trial. A mirror hand is where all suits are the same length in each hand. What to do when your own trump are the only suit that can betray you. And finally, how to use a cross-ruff, which is one of my all-time favorite techniques.
Next up is BEN NORTON. All six of Ben’s hand are built around a central theme: We will have to decide before playing to trick 1 whether we will finesse or find another way. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, because we tend to look for a finesse. They are often the easy way out, and should be postponed unless there’s no other option. BEN also has some nifty bids for us: Splinters! Reverses! Cuebids! Grand Slam Try!
I have six hands for you also. Each one uses a different technique, and you can be sure you’ll see a Strip and End Play, a Cross-Ruff and a Dummy Reversal, plus a couple other treats.
And if this isn’t enough, Matthias has two quizzes for us. He has one of his Bid-A-Hand, which we just love, plus one on Hand Evaluation.
So enjoy, play these hands and you’ll be ready the next time a slam appears in your life.