Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Perfect 4th

A perfect 4th of July includes meditation, a swim, kibitzing some good bridge online, writing in my blog, firing up the grill for some good food and an extravagant fireworks show complete with music.

Now down to business... I think that Flannery is a fun convention to play although many experts don't like it because it gives away too much information. Flannery is an opening bid of 2 diamonds which contains 11-15 points, 5 hearts and 4 spades. It has several follow-up bids to enable you to get to the best contract.

We play a standard Flannery defense which rarely comes up (because not too many folks play Flannery!) Last week at the club, however, my RHO dealt and opened 2D, Flannery, and I was looking at:


With both vul. at imps I thought I would look for a fit and started trying to remember the Flannery defense. Ah...yes...Double = strong NT, 2H = takeout and 2N is for minors...So I bid 2N!

LHO jumped to 4H and Frank bid 5D. This seemed promising but RHO then bid 5H.

It turns out that 5D is a make and 5H went down 1 for plus 100. It was hard to evaluate this result, but I thought it was probably good as I didn't expect my opponents to find the 5D game. Wrong! Our counterparts bid 5D and made it so we lost 11 imps when our relatively inexperienced teammates failed to find the 5H call.

With this result under our belt I felt confident in our use (and effectiveness) of the defense, so when the same hand came up in the first round of the KOs in Palo Alto I trotted it out. RHO opened 2D in third seat and with favorable vul. I bid 2N:


The auction was the same--4H by LHO and 5D by partner! But wait...RHO stopped to double this time instead of bidding 5H.

This time the result wasn't so hot either. Frank went down 2 for minus 300 and a loss of 9 imps when 4H went down at the other table. (At least 5D made the week before!) This time Frank held:



When I asked him how this hand compared to the one last week he said that he had more diamonds (4-5) last week and thought the game would make. This time he thought it would be a profitable save against 4H but, as it turns out, all the cards were wrong. As sometimes happens, the cards were wrong for both sides so that neither game made!

Hmmm...maybe I'll tuck the Flannery defense back into the dark recesses of my memory...:-)

Senior Trials update: The online kibitzing of the senior trials has been fun today with a strong match between Assemi and Kasle. I was rooting for our friends Farid Assemi and Ed Wojewoda but they lost a close one. Unfortunately, our friends Gene Simpson, Hamish Bennett and Fran Dickman also lost.

Well...better go fire up the grill...

See you at the table!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

From time to time a playing partner asks to play Flannery - fine by me, provided we've agreed on opener rebids and discussed interference. Sounds as though you and Frank have solid agreements - far better than most gadget lovers!

One thought we should all consider is *when* to compete in the minors. When leftie opens Flannery showing the majors and overcaller has the minors, the risk of both sides finding a dangerous double fit goes up. And as Larry Cohen (Mr Law of Total Tricks) would expouse, double fits generate extra tricks - even beyond a nine card trump fit. So we should use some caution before quickly looking for a minor suit fit. Obviously, holding a 6-5 shape and with favorable vulnerability, the unusual-like 2 Notrump bid is perfect but with a 5-4 shape the bid faces considerable risk against A or B opponents.

That said, I'm all for Michaels bids with the relaxed 4=5 Spade=Hearts shape w/o adverse vulnerability. So I must profess, I'm a frisky bidder myself even though some of my less adventurous partners would like to check me into rehab...

Warm Regards, Michael