All old people in the country played the same boards Monday. It was a senior pairs game, and although I don’t know the age cutoff for being eligible, I am pretty sure we all qualified. Sterling Jarrett offered to check players’ IDs before the game.
Thanks to Rohan Shreenath for making all the boards according to an American Contract Bridge League printout, a tedious task that Rohan has done more than once. Anyone who is planning to play the boards cannot make them, of course, so we have to find a nonplayer who is willing to take the time to make 28 boards.
Usually, computer-generated hands are a little atypical, and although these hands were not all skewed, many of them were, with long suits and voids occurring often.
Board 24 was one of the most interesting. N/S had the black suits and E/W, the red ones. North as dealer opened one club; East overcalled one heart; South bid one spade, and we were off to the races.
West, holding five diamonds to the king, queen, jack, bid two diamonds; North bid two spades; and East bid five diamonds since he was holding six diamonds to the ace/10. South bid five spades, and West bid six diamonds. North, holding two aces, doubled, and the contract was set one for a measly 100 points.
But get this: The way the cards lay, N/S can make six spades if declarer can finesse the queen the right way. So if that happens, E/W should bid seven diamonds as a sacrifice. Even if they go down two doubled, it’s still only 300 points, better than letting N/S get a slam bonus.
But get this: Six clubs N/S also makes, even though East has no clubs. Again, declarer must find the queen of spades.
And it’s always better to play the contract in a major suit whenever possible.
It is so crazy that so many contracts can be made with the same cards.
Migeon Knowles has been observing the game for several weeks, and she can’t believe how such varied results can come from the same hands. That is the fascinating thing about duplicate bridge. Very, very seldom do all players land in the same contract on the same board. If they do and make the contract with no extra tricks, it’s called a square board.
Congrat-ulations to Sharon Stanley and Maureen Prys, who placed in Monday’s game. Also, Susan Best and Dianna Smith placed in Thursday’s game, along with Mona McConnaughey and Maureen Prys. These bridge students are really doing well.
Last Thursday, I opened one no-trump with 17 points. My left hand opponent bid two hearts, and my partner doubled. West asked me what partner’s double meant, and I explained that partner had wanted to bid hearts to transfer me to spades, but since East had bid hearts, he doubled to show me that East took his bid.
I dutifully transferred to spades, holding four of them to the ace/10. My partner was holding eight spades to the king/queen/ jack. He knew I had to have at least two, since I had opened a no-trump. He also held the ace of clubs, a singleton diamond and a singleton heart. So he bid four no trump, asking me for key cards. I responded five hearts, showing two aces, and partner went to six spades.
East doubled and led the ace of hearts, the only trick he took. I happily pulled trumps (there was only one out) and made the rest of the tricks. That was a fun hand to play.
Next week we play two charity games, one for the Salvation Army and one for an bridge league charity. More points are up for grabs, so come on out and play.
Thursday’s results: N/S first, Sue Wilson and Kaye Langston; second, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson; third, Billy Bizzell and Selby Corbett; fourth, Lew Rose and Anne Michaux; fifth (tie) Sterling Jarrett and Shelby Bizzell and Ginny Herlihy and Doris Baddour. B—fourth, Mona McConnaughey and Maureen Prys. C — second (tie) al Takemoto and Bill Warren and Susan Best and Dianna Smith.
Monday’s winners: N/S first, Sue Wilson and Cathy Howell; second, Al Takemoto and Bill Warren; third, Bill Allgaier and Peggy Seegars. C — second overall, Pat Keim and Linda Greenwood.
E/W first, Doris Baddour and Sterling Jarrett; second, Carole Ray and Shelby Bizzell; third, Krishnaprasad and Selby Corbett. C —f irst, Maureen Prys and Sharon Stanley.