13 April 2012

The Weak Micheals Menace

There is a problem invading our bridge clubs. It taints the minds of our beginners and preys on progressing talent. Holding people back. Wasting potential.

It is Weak Michaels.

Making such a highly descriptive bid when you have so little chance of declaring is detrimental. The opposition either bid the normal contract and play it better than the room or worse, forewarned of the bad breaks, avoid a marginal and doomed enterprise.

Oh, but but but! What about when you're favourable? They never double and you find great sacrifices!

You mean like this:

Vul: EW
Dealer: East
K T 8 3
5 2
Q J 5 4
K 9 4
9 7
K 9 4 3
A T 9 2
A T 5
A J 6 5 4 2
K 8 6
J 2
Q T 8 7 6
7 3
Q 8 7 6 3

Partner, sitting West, opened 1. After South bid the convention that should not be named I doubled 3 times in a row while our opponents flapped their way to 3.

Declarer played the dummy for all it was worth and managed 6 tricks losing a spade, two diamonds, three hearts and a club.

The pedants will of course gently point out that EW have a cold game in two denominations. That may be but of the 28 pairs that tried such a thing only 3 survived the poor breaks to bring their contracts home.


  1. One swallow does not make a summer :)

    1. Nor will it finish a pint but you have to start somewhere!

  2. I hate weak Michaels. I never got any noticeable advantage from it - and I think that the advantages of playing it as "constructive", say 11-14 HCP, means partner is much better placed to bid games knowing that you are 5/5 than if you make a simple overcall in one of your suits (invariably the suit they don't have support for!).

    I'm sure there are hands when each point range is better than another but my experience shows that using as constructive is better.

    On another note, how about the club player's Michaels bid on 5/4 shapes?