Magazine article The Spectator

Mind Games

Magazine article The Spectator

Mind Games

Article excerpt

I HARDLY ever dare make 'psychic' bids. Last time I tried, the only person I managed to fool was my partner, who leapt to game in my 'suit' and went for a huge penalty. It was a sobering reminder that, however much fun psyching might be, it's best left to the experts, who know exactly how and when to do it.

And no one knew better than Adam 'Plum' Meredith, the brilliant and eccentric Irish player who won the world championships in 1955. As one of his partners said, 'For Plum, a three-card suit is not only biddable, it is rebiddable. More, it is playable.' In particular, Plum liked to obstruct the opponents by opening a spade at every opportunity - regardless of his spade holding. The following hand was classic 'Plum':

Most people would either pass or bid a diamond. Not Plum: he opened a spade. His partner, Joel Tarlo, bid two clubs. …

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