"Tolson One Club"

 

Submitted by Fred Muise

 

May of this year (2000), John and Lynne invited us to join them in Pompano Beach, Florida for a week at their condo - Fun in the Sun - Off we went.

 

 We arrived at Fort Lauderdale Airport, meanwhile John and Lynn were circling the Miami airport.  After three hours of waiting, no John or Lynne.  What to do?? After several phone calls by Dianne without success, I remembered years ago when I was a boy scout, the motto was “If lost, stay put” …does that apply here? I think so !!  Airport was closing down and we were running out of change for the phone - finally they arrived and we were off.

 

After settling in and seeing some sights, it was off to play bridge.  Usually I play with Dianne, my partner in bridge and life, but John thought that the men and the women should play together for a change, we all agreed.

 

So John and myself sat down for a few minutes, so he could introduce me to his modified one club system.  Well, being an avid reader of bridge books and new systems, I was in for a real treat.

 

John explains his system as follows:

#1 - Give point count on first bid.

#2 - We don’t play:

*   Weak twos

*   Weak jumps and jump shifts

*   Reverses

*   Transfers

*   Splinters

*   Unusual No Trump

*   Negative doubles

*   Roman Key Card

*   Fourth suit forcing

*   New minor forcing

*   Flannery

*   One no trump forcing

*   Landy

     We don’t need them!

I am thinking… what is left?

 

Now he says, as responder, don’t use the pass card, we don’t need that either, even with zero points.

 

Now if you are think how bewildered I felt, just think what the opposition must be thinking after this
bidding sequence…

     John                                  Me

      N                  E                   S                   W

     *1S                 2D             **2S                 P

      P                   P

*John’s 1 spade shows 12 - 15 HCP, 4 or more spades.  **Me- Responder--NOT ALLOWED TO PASS.  I hold 2 small spades and 3 points.

 

I put my hand down and I don’t know who is more confused, me or the opponents.  East mutters a few words, inaudible to my ears which assured me they are pretty much in the dark as I am.  I just slump in my chair, pull down my hat and watch the results.  John, all smiles, as if he has just been doubled in a lay down grand slam, plays out the hand.  Yes, we went down 1 but E/W were cold for game.  At this point I remember a remark made by a veteran player at Bridge World when he was playing in a doubled contract against Dianne and Caroline, going down…”You people put bridge back 1000 years”.

 

I’m sure you are wondering how the game turned out.  Are you sitting down?   We came first.  Who needs all those books and lessons.

 

Here is the first hand of the evening at the “women’s table”.  N/S Vul

   Dianne                             Lynne

      W                  N                  E                   S

      1S                 2C                P                   P

      2S                 3C                P                   P

      D                  P                   P                   P

Dianne has an unbalanced 27 HCP hand and using the Tolson Club System could not open 2C, went into the tank, trying to remember what to bid, finally opens as above.  Well, as it turns out E/W cannot make game but ends up setting N/S 500 for a top board.

 

I think John’s book will be coming out soon.  ANY BUYERS??????

 

EDITORS NOTE - Thanks Fred for sharing John’s secret, many of us have being waiting for insight into the Tolson Club.