Monday was birthday Monday, and Gary Partin was all over it. He swears he comes only for the cake, and he got some good cake  Monday. Happy birthdays was in order for Tommy Bell, Linda Greenwood, Carole Ray and Peggy Seegars. Linda Greenwood was the only birthday girl present, besides Carole Ray, who gets all the Mickey’s cake she wants, so she got to take the leftovers home with her. Again, it was chocolate on chocolate and absolutely delicious.

For the last two games, we have had a Mitchell movement, so attendance is picking up. We welcomed Sally Barnes and Agnes Gentry Cherry from Wilson to the game Monday, and they took home third place N/S honors.

Congratulations to Maureen Prys and Sharon Stanley, who finished second overall in C Monday. Also, Sterling Jarrett and Shelby Bizzell had a terrific game last Thursday. Shelby is on a roll.

Monday’s hands were fascinating. Lots of voids and long suits. At least two hands contained eight card suits, and that is fairly unusual.

Board 11 was interesting. South, holding four spades to the queen; five diamonds to the king, queen; four clubs to ace, 10; and no hearts; opened one diamond.

North had eight solid hearts, ace, king, queen, jack, etc., two spades, ace, little and three clubs, king, jack, little. No diamonds.

After South opened one diamond and West passed, North bid one heart. Her point count was at least 22. And she smelled a slam.

South then bid one spade. North answered with four no-trump, asking for aces and the king of spades. South responded five diamonds, promising one key card, and North bid six hearts.

East led a small diamond, North played the king from dummy and West played the ace, which North trumped, making her queen on the board good. She drew trumps, and then led the jack of clubs, which East did not cover with his queen. So she led it ride and took the trick. She came back to her hand and finessed the queen again, and ended up making seven hearts. How sweet it is!

The novice game May 23 is shaping up. The deal is that experienced players must play with someone with fewer than 100 points that day. The idea is to have a mentoring game where novice players are paired with more experienced players to level the playing field and to provide a learning atmosphere.

We want to encourage newer players to join the game and to learn how much fun duplicate bridge can be. Tommy Franklin is directing and promises to bring a big chocolate cake. We are not charging novice players the usual $2 fee, and we may even put a punch in the punch.

It promises to be a fun afternoon. The focus that day will not be on winning, although some people will, but fellowship and fun instead. If you don’t have a partner already, get one and come to the game May 23.

Sue Wilson’s intermediate lessons and my beginner lessons will stop for the summer at the end of May, so this is the swan song for students. Let’s hope that they enjoy the game and come back for more over the summer.

Thursday’s winners: N/S first, Sue Wilson and Al Takemoto; second, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson; third, Bob Meyer and Bill Allgaier. C — second (tie) Linda Watson and Lib Braswell and Mickie Braswell and Sylvia Pritchard.

E/W first, Sterling Jarrett and Shelby Bizzell; second, Billy Bizzell and Selby Corbett; third, Lew Rose and Anne Michaux. B — second, Joyce and Troy Pate. C — second, Susan Best and Dianna Smith.

Monday’s results: N/S first, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson; second, Sue Wilson and Sterling Jarrett; third, Sally Barnes and Agnes Gentry Cherry. C — first, Maureeen Prys and Sharon Stanley; third, Linda Watson and Lib Braswell.

E/W first, Billy Bizzell and Selby Corbett; second, Bill Warren and Al Takemoto; third, Pat Keim and Doris Baddour. C — second, Peggy Womble and Carole Ray.