This sometimes mysterious art is an ‘indefinable something’ that denotes just about every attribute of an expert player: ‘instinct’; ‘the drawing of correct inferences from any departure of rhythm by the opponents’; ‘the ability to coax maximum performance from partner’; a ‘poised demeanour that does not give away anything’… and so on.
In the Round 9 match between Israel and Sweden, Matilda Poplilov demonstrated that she has a sharp eye for what is going on.
|2♠ *||All Pass|
2♠ Pass or correct
When the tray came through with West’s bid of 2♠ , East noticed a reaction from North before she passed, so she decided to try an unusual move by passing! (When Jan Van Cleeff and I were writing The Mysterious Multi we decided against mentioning this type of gambit, as we want to encourage players in North America to use the method and this type of thing might be frowned on by some lawmakers!) Declarer managed 3 tricks, -250, which looked quite a decent result.
|2♠ *||Pass||3♥ *||Pass|
|4♥ *||All Pass|
2♣ Pass or correct
4♥ Maybe they can make a lot of tricks in spades
Although 4♥ was one down North/South could indeed make a lot of tricks in spades, so West’s excellent decision not only prevented a serious loss, it brought in 5 IMPs.
(In Passing we recommend that with this type of hand North should bid 3♠ to avoid the problems that arose at both tables.)