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A PHREAK IN THEIR SUITS
By: Mike Dorn Wiss

Originally Published in Canadian Bridge Canadien, 1995


Readers who have read me over the years will know my delight for those rare hands with either gang-splinters (two singletons) or gang-sploids (two voids).

Fred Gitelman (who along with George Mittelman now comprise Canada's number one pair) is my good friend and former partner. He too knows my affinity for freaks, and accordingly emailed me his favourite hand from New Orleans, one which split the difference between stiffs and voids, having one of each.

You pick up, with none vulnerable:

Left hand opponent opens 1(!), partner passes, and right hand opponent responds 1!! Now what the heck do you do?

When Fred gave this as a bidding problem to a significant number of expers the consensus opinion was PASS. To these experts both Fred and I concur: PASS is moronic. If however, you still choose to do so, perhaps feeling anything else is moronic(the opponents, after all, have bid both your suits), LHO bids 2, partner passes, and RHO raises to 3. NOW what do you do? (Even tougher, since we all realize your opposite hand opponent -partner- has a slew of hearts in a hand not worth a preemptive jump overcall of the opening bid.)

Thought about it long enough? Fred found a jump cue bid at his first turn - he jumped all the way to 6! LHO doubled with indignation and led the Q!. Sheri Winestock, Fred's partner in life as well as business, tabled:

LHO managed to keep the right ace in the endgame and the one-suit squeeze failed to produce an overtrick. Drat.

No doubt some of you are curious what yours truly bid over 1, since you already know PASS was little more than a fleeting consideration. Well, in fairness to your curiosity, and in the jovial spirit of the time of year in which this article will be published, let's just say that my auction WOULD have resulted in an overtrick!

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