There is a conspiracy out there.

Even Troy Pate has stopped texting me about my star going out at the bridge table.

It has gotten so bad that I am afraid to bid or pass or lead.

Because everything I do is wrong.

And I feel like I am playing the same game I have always played. I know that I am in a slump.

But surely I will come out of it sometime. Surely I will.

Anyway, congratulations to Pat Keim and Linda Greenwood, who finished first N/S Monday.

Of course they did. My partner and I gave them four top boards.

One of them was Board 19. Let’s talk about that for a minute.

North was holding six spades to the king and very little else.

She opened two spades, showing a six-card suit and fewer than 11 points.

This weak two bid, especially in spades, throws a real kink in the bidding.

And that is the purpose.

The next bidder has to go to the three level for his first bid.

East had a major powerhouse: No spades; the ace, king, jack, and three little hearts; the ace, king, jack and two little diamonds; and the ace and king of clubs.

Twenty-six points without counting the void in spades.

Enough for game on her own.

After pondering for a long time, my partner bid four hearts.

South passed and so did I.

I had three spades to the ace; four hearts to the nine; two worthless diamonds and the jack and three little clubs.

The hand makes seven hearts all day long.

Several pairs bid six hearts, but only one brave pair went to seven for a score of 2,210 points.

Sue Wilson and Billy Bizzell were the heroes of that hand and of the whole day, coming in first overall.

Let’s look at how they bid it.

North opened two spades and East doubled. South passed, and West had to bid.

A takeout double means “take me out of this double and partner had to bid even if she had zero points.

So West bid three hearts. Even though her clubs were slightly better, partner wants to hear a major suit, if possible.

At most tables where the bidding went like this, East then bid six hearts.

But Billy Bizzell bid seven hearts, making it without a hitch and becoming the hero of the hour.

It is awfully hard to bid a grand slam when you know you have a baby slam.

And it’s not often that a grand slam makes.

But this time it did. Congratulations to Billy and Sue for their courage.

Sue’s lessons on conventions and my beginner lessons are going well.

We just hope we can get more people interested in actually playing with us.

We did not meet last week because of a function at the senior center, but we will be back on track next week.

Remember my beginner lessons are at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by Sue’s at 2:30 p.m.

Mark your calendars for the Christmas party Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. at Walnut Creek Country Club.

Get your partners, and plan on a lovely afternoon of bridge, a social hour and supper.

We have no life masters to celebrate this year, so we will just celebrate our love for the game.

Thursday’s winners: first, Billy and Shelby Bizzell; second, Linda Meyer and Sherry Owens; third, Krishnaprasad and Selby Corbett; fourth, Sue Wilson and Kaye Langston; fifth, Bill Warren and Al Takemoto. B — third, John and Judy Haverkamp.

Monday’s results: N/S first, Linda Greenwood and Pat Keim; second, Deas Linville and Agnes Gentry Cherry; third, Ginny Herlihy and Madelyn Percise. B — fourth, Lib Braswell and Linda Watson.

E/W first, Billy Bizzell and Sue Wilson; second, Doris Baddour and Sterling Jarrett; third, Bill Warren and Al Takemoto.