Let’s hear it for Theria McPhail and Anne Pate who tied for second place E/W with Linda Watson and Lib Braswell. Both pairs had a 57-percent game. Congratulations, ladies.

Joan Hackmann made her duplicate bridge debut Thursday, playing with Kathy Jones. Nobody ever forgets their first time at the table. Once that hurdle is over, the rest is smooth sailing.

We are all so glad to have many of Sue Wilson’s intermediate students taking the plunge into the game. Lessons are wonderful, but nothing beats playing with people who are more experienced than you. It is the best (though sometimes painful) way to learn.

And Shreenath and Mrs. B, two students in my beginner class, came to the game to observe his brother, Krishnaprasad for several rounds, even though I told him it is dangerous to watch Krishna, who does some wild things sometimes. Shreenath has been observing players online with Bridge Base, and he has put all my beginner students in touch with this resource. It is so heartening to see new players taking an interest in the game.

The transfer is a very useful tool when partner opens one no trump. Its purpose is to keep the strong hand from being exposed in the dummy. The weaker the hand, the better the transfer.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the worst hand ever: the king and three small clubs; six spades to the eight; and three small hearts. My partner opened a no-trump. As bad as my hand was, I knew spades would be a better contract, since my partner had to hold at least two spades to open a no-trump. To transfer partner to spades, you bid the next lowest suit, hearts. So I bid two hearts, prompting him to bid two spades, which he did. And I passed as fast as I could.

To transfer after a one no-trump opening, you must hold at least five of the suit you are transferring to, preferably a major suit. You might have six or seven of them, but you must have at least five. Point count doesn’t matter. You could have zero points or 20 points. Though it is very artificial, the transfer convention is useful, but partner must announce that it is a transfer.

Thursday, I opened my hand to find 10 clubs headed by the ace, king, jack, 10 ...; the ace singleton of spades and two worthless hearts. Eventually every other person playing North in the room found this lovely surprise in his hand. It was hard to keep a straight face. I kept counting the clubs and counting the clubs and kept getting 10. I have never had 10 in a suit in my life. Only four times have I had nine, and two of those were very recent. I had game in my hand, unless one of the opponents was holding all three outstanding clubs, and that was very unlikely.

My right hand opponent opened one heart, and I bid five clubs. I made six because of the lead. When I got home, I googled the odds of holding 10 cards in the same suit. The chances are .0004. I don’t think this will ever happen to me again. But what a feeling.

Thursday’s winners: N/S first, first, Sue Wilson and Billy Bizzell; second, Dayle Pond and Tempie Pierce; third, Al Takemoto and Bill Warren. B — second, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson.

E/W first, Krishnaprasad and Selby Corbett; second (tie) Anne Pate and Theria McPhail and Linda Watson and Lib Braswell. B — third, Sherry Owens and Shelby Bizzell.