Congratulations to Kitty Sauls and Shelby Bizzell, who finished first overall at last Thursday’s game. Kitty always acts like she doesn’t know how to play and that any success she has is due to her partner’s performance, but we all understand that Kitty is an intuitive player who is self-effacing and humble. Kitty has a real understanding of the game. She should play more often.

In the same game, Ed Wilson and Bill Allgaier were first N/S. These two are on a roll lately, understanding each other better and better. Congratulations to all.

Monday, Anne Pate and Theria McPhail came second E/W with a 58-percent game. Way to go, ladies.

In my beginners’ class, we have been studying the double, a very handy bid which comes up five or six times a day when we play. There is a big difference between the take out double and the business double; it’s important to know which one is intended. There is another kind of double that we haven’t covered yet: the negative double.

Twice last week a player intended to use the negative double, but he got so excited he doubled his own partner, and the director was summoned. That cannot be done.

The negative double is supposed to work like this: Partner opens a minor; his left hand opponent bids a heart or a spade and you have four of the other major. So you double to indicate that you have the other major suit, but only four of them. If you bid the suit, you are saying you have five of them.

Anyway, not one but two players on the same board doubled their own partner’s major instead of their opponent’s major. These things happen.

Another player was beating herself up for not trumping high and letting her opponent take the setting trick by overtrumping. These things happen, too. She learned a valuable lesson and won’t forget it.

In Phillip Alder’s syndicated bridge column in Sunday’s News-Argus was a fascinating hand. South holds seven spades to the ace, king, queen, jack, 10, nine, eight; the ace, king, queen of diamonds; and the ace, king, queen of clubs. No hearts.

It is seven spades cold unless opponents ruff the first trick. So South would be tempted to open seven spades. But, wait. If partner has the ace of hearts, it makes seven no trump, a higher score by ten points.

So South opens four no-trump, asking his partner for aces. When North bids five clubs, showing no aces, South settles for seven spades.

West holds the ace and king of hearts, so he might be tempted to double or at least to lead the ace of hearts, hoping to get one trick.

According to Alder, one should not double a grand slam contract unless he has a void. In this particular deal, East has a void in diamonds and should double the contract. And West should try to figure out where the void is instead of leading the ace of hearts. Since he holds six diamonds, West could guess that his partner’s void is in that suit, and by leading a diamond, E/W can set the contract.

And that is the only way the grand slam can be set. East would be a hero and South would be wearing sackcloth and gnashing his teeth.

All games in April are charity; some are bridge league charities and some are local charities. We are contributing to Literacy Connections, Reach Out and Read and the Salvation Army. Charity games offer bigger payoffs in master points. So come on out and play.

Thursday’s results: N/S first, Bill Allgaier and Ed Wilson; second, Sue Wilson and Billy Bizzell; third, Anne Michaux and Lew Rose.

E/W first, Kitty Sauls and Shelby Bizzell; second, Tommy Franklin and Selby Corbett; third, Sterling Jarrett and Barbara Ann Vinson. C — second overall, Anne Pate and Theria McPhail.

Monday’s winners: N/S first, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson; second, Billy Bizzell and Sterling Jarrett; third, Al Takemoto and Bill Warren. C — second, Bill Allgaier and Pat Keim.

E/W first, Krishnaprasad and Selby Corbett; second, Anne Pate and Theria McPhail; third, Doris Baddour and Cathy Howell.