Toledo Blade – 27 Jun 1971 by Nap Nassr

‘You’re not from around here, are you?’

Bridge students are taught that as soon as their bidding sequences give a hint of the possibility of misfit hands, they should slow down or even halt their bidding at a low level. Now there are actually two kinds of misfit hands. The one to beware of occurs when there is a situation in which two hands opposite each other in any given deal are unbalanaced, each containing two long suits and extreme shortages in the third and fourth suits. But the partnership hands do not fit. Opposite the long suits in one hand there are shortages in the partners’ hands. That means defenders may have length in suits that will greatly weaken declarer’s play.

Now there is another kind of misfit hand. But usually there is only one very long suit involved in each hand. Difensevely by itself each hand is considered weak, and holders are reluctant to misrepresent their trick taking power by a two-bid in a suit, demanding a final game contract.

But in a declarer’s hand their potentiality is considered unlimited. They hesitate to open with a game going bid in fear they may miss a slam. That is why it is virtually impossible to bid the hands scientifically. A few second guessing players will contend it is possible to reach the optimum contract by scientific bidding. Others will claim it can be no more scientific than rolling dice. Here is a hand played in a sociable rubber bridge game with the participants using standard American bidding principles:

Mrs. Jerome Kimmelman, holding the north hand, became the declarer. Her partner was Mrs. Henry Silvermain, who showed great faith in her partner by resisting an impulse to bid seven hearts. Mrs. Kimmelman followed the instinct of most rubber bridge players when they are strictly on a guess. She bid boldly. Declarer can claim 12 tricks on any opening lead after conceding the ace of trumps. There would be very interesting results from a hand such as this played in duplicate match play. Some norths would open with a four-spade bid. Some undoubtedly would wind up in six or seven spades. Others in six or seven hearts. Some in four hearts. It is almost certain there would be a mixture of plus and minus scores by the north-south pairs.