Monday, January 23, 2012

False Heart Preference?

If you have been reading my new book, an idea might have popped into your mind.  If Overcalled bids Two CLubs as Crunched Cappelletti and happens to hold hearts and diamonds, and if Responder shows spade preference by bidding Two Diamonds, Overcaller might be tempted to pass Two Diamonds, at least in some situations (depending on vulnerability, seat, state of the match, scoring form, etc.).

This is something that you might want to discuss with partner.  If this is a possibility, then Advancer in some circumstances might want to give a false heart preference.  Consider, for instance, Advancer looking at a weak hand with 5-3-0-5 pattern.  Having heard Two Clubs, Advancer would normally bid Two Diamonds for spade preference, planning on playing in the major, whichever Overcaller-Partner has.  However, if Overcaller is allowed to make a "judgment pass" of Two Diamonds with both reds, then Advancer might opt to use a "judgment preference" himself.  With 5-3-0-5 shape, Advancer expects a huge likelihood that partner has the red suits.  He might be wrong, but the odds are high.  Advancer who playts with an Overcaller-Partner who likes the "judgment pass" could protect by showing "false heart preference."  If Overcaller-Partner has the expected red-suit two-suiter, this gets us to the right contract quickly.  If, however, Overcaller-Partner actually holds spades, or hearts and clubs, the contract will be acceptable but not ideal.

This might be cause for not allowing any "judgment" decisions.  But, as a person who once passed a Roman Two Clubs opening with 6-2-2-3 shape (it worked, as Two Clubs was the only makeable contract), I am also a realist.  So, I thought it a good idea to predict this "abuse" and to counter with the "abuse counter" of the "false heart preference."

By the way -- thanks to all who have already sent kind words about my book.

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