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45 - January 2024

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WHY YOU PRE-EMPT

You do not pre-empt primarily to keep the opponents out of the bidding. In fact, as soon as your left-hand opponent bids (over your pre-empt), you’re happy.

Now, the main upside of pre-empting – namely forcing the opponents too high or into the wrong contract – may occur. While the main downside of pre-empting – namely getting doubled and “going for a number” – won’t happen.

On this deal from a world championship, East’s 5 pre-empt jostled North-South into the inferior game. 5 Spades would have made easily. What about 5 Hearts?

WNES
1NT(1)Pass5(2)5
(1) 12-14.
(2) Putting on the pressure.

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Andrew Robson

Andrew Robson OBE is England’s best known bridge player. Andrew has represented England for some 30 years. His many competitive successes include winning the World Youth Team Championships, the European Championships, and the Gold Cup on no fewer than eight occasions.

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