In a recent blog I noted that I was reading Mike Lawrence’s book The Complete Book on Overcalls, a 2009 overhaul after 30 years in the marketplace. In the blog post I noted that Mike stated “Good matchpoints is almost never good bridge. You have to learn to play badly.” That was simply his way of emphasizing that matchpoint competitive bridge has changed and the conservative advice from “back in the day” is often not effective in today's matchpoint battlefield.
In my light, lively and rollicking writing style I stated “Gee Mike, I have been saying that for some time, you reading my blog?”
It is really humor and not a cheap shot, just an absurdity aimed in my own direction. The funny thing is that I got an e-mail from Mike Lawrence yesterday saying that he had visited my blog for a “look.” He said “I did not go through more than a couple of items but it looks like you have done a lot.” Fortunately he took no umbrage at my weak humor, so “all's well that ends well.”
For those who may not know Mike’s accomplishments, he may be the one of the most celebrated bridge competitors ever. He is a member of the Bridge Hall of Fame, a member of the original Dallas Aces, and has won 3 World titles and 18 National titles. When they have credentials like that you can engage in humor (if you only pick on nice guys).
This may be a good point to reiterate my advice on competitive bidding. Yes it has changed, yes it has gotten much more aggressive, yes it lets some of us stragglers back in the game. Here is the kicker: It is not an “automatic game leveler.” Initially you will benefit from a more aggressive stance, but that advantage will disappear if you do not back it up with an effective risk reward system that tells you “when hold them, when to fold them and when to get out of Dodge.” Rely on intuition and windage? That will work about as good as it did last time. It may be a time to join me in a little study and get new standards that will refine your competitive risk reward analysis.
Mike did say that he has new software coming out on November 15 which analyzes 333 frustrating moments in the bidding. Apparently it is not just cutting edge stuff and relies, in large measure on common sense. Less cutting edge and more common sense sounds appealing. The cost $33.95 with postage. You are on your own, since I have not seen it prior to its release.