Magazine article The Spectator

Zia's Tips

Magazine article The Spectator

Zia's Tips

Article excerpt

THE GREAT Pakistani player Zia Mahmood is always giving me bridge tips - but sometimes I'm not sure whether he's pulling my leg or not. One of his tips is to double the opponents whenever they bid 1NT'-2NT-3NT'. I've tried this out a few times, but it has backfired as often as not. When my partners ask me what on earth I was doing doubling, I feel it's too feeble to say `Zia told me to', so I mumble some flimsy excuse.

Another bid Zia swears by is what he calls the `Palo Pique'. This means that if you're sitting in third position and there are two passes to you, you should open a spade without looking at your hand. Zia has made me promise to try this out, so playing social bridge the other day, I did just that. It turned out I had more of a 2f opening, but at least spades really were my suit:

The K was led. …

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