29 August 2011

Complicated Systems

There's a special sort of joy reserved for a pair that when sat against you, takes twelve alertable bids to reach the six level only to deliver you +200; down four. Schadenfreude of course but why do they introduce such complexity?

Sometimes instead of pinning up that endearing caricature drawn by your favorite nephew you get chilly from the breeze coming through the gaping hole. Nothing is perfect. The most common reason for not learning these systems is worry. Worry that the masonry (memory) won't take a hit like that.

Though you may get it wrong you might also get it right. Ever scored up a match where you team mates mournfully comment: "Their system got them to that contract, we didn't expect you to get there"? So often if you haven't the agreements to find the right spot you lose.

The better your system, and of course the better you play it, the fewer the hands on which you lose. Your opponents may be fighting with knives but that's no reason not to bring along a pistol. Just ensure you know which end does what.


  1. Well with knives it is difficult to go wrong. With a pistol there is always the chance of a hangfire.

    And if I know opponents have a pistol, I'll bring a machinegun out with disruptive distributional bids. Let's see if they really know their system.

  2. What about all the times pairs with well-discussed and memorized complex systems get where others don't...time after time?

  3. @Anonymous: There's nothing like an arms race to keep the game interesting.

    @Bill Kilmer: That's what I was trying to get at, by playing a strong complex system you give yourself a chance to get it right. If the system is no good it doesn't matter how well you play it or remember it.

  4. A board played against a certain NZ womens rep pair?