Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Granovetter Principle

 I recently played in the NAOBC teams tournament (0-5000). We reached the quarter-final but, sadly, our luck ran out there.

Along the way, there were some interesting slam hands. This one was an exemplar for what I call the "Granovetter Principle." It's common sense, of course, but it was drilled into me on a similar hand by Pam Granovetter during an online bidding practice session.

Here is the hand on which, surprisingly, we gained 17 IMPs when my counterpart received a less favorable lead and went down in the same contract:

The essence of the principle is that, when you are in a control-bidding sequence, as soon as you know that slam is safe, bid it. Don't pass the buck to partner, however enthusiastic he may have seemed so far. Because, if he simply signs off in a game contract, you won't know what to do any more than you know now. In fact, you may think he's showing doubt and so pass, when all he's saying is that he has nothing more to say that you haven't already heard.

In this case, after Dan bid 5, I had an "obvious" 5 bid. But if I bid 5 and Dan bid 5, I wouldn't know any more than I already did. So, with Pam's advice swimming in my head, I just bid 6

Elementary, my dear reader.

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