Nancy Evins: Sometimes there are even psychos in bridge

Nancy Evins • Updated Jun 4, 2017 at 2:00 PM

I hear from people who have read my column, most of whom do not play bridge, it seems.

The one I am most glad, I have not heard from was my old partner, who was a psychopharmacologist. That is a medical doctor who researches in pharmacology.

I had written about him, using his title in another column some months ago, and though some dictionaries separate the first part from the second I am glad that he did not read the words as psycho pharmacologist since it sounds like a pharmacologist who is psycho.

He was a very intelligent man but stubborn. He demanded to know why he should bid four clubs over the last no trump to ask for aces. No amount of explaining would satisfy him.

But the weirdest play came about when we were playing in North Carolina and the declarer, a woman, bid one club. My friend bid two clubs, which is Michaels for showing at least five hearts and five spades. 

The next opponent passes, and I am sitting looking at a hand with two points, Q x x of spades, so I obligingly bid two spades. Opener now bids three diamonds, and my partner bids four diamonds. A pass by opponent, and I think he is showing a control in diamonds and is looking for slam. I bid four spades to close him out.

It goes back to opener, who now bids five clubs. He doubles and that closes the auction.

I lead the third card from my queen of spades and after the ball was over, my partner had set the five club hand because he had six clubs. The woman partner of declarer was furious and called the director who came over and calmly asked to see my hand.

He commented, “ She did the best she could with three spades.”

Then he added, “and it seems that with all the bidding, you all could have figured out he forgot Michaels and had clubs and diamonds.”

The very next hand, he and I found a fit in a major suit, and he asked for aces using the regular Blackwood convention. I showed him one ace, and he went to slam.

Besides my fit in hearts, I had six diamonds to the king, queen and jack, and the woman who was so upset over the last hand, laid down the ace of another suit.

My partner did not make any facial expression as dictated by rules and played the hand carefully, making the contract.

When it was over he said to me, “You told me you had two aces and you just had one.”

He had forgotten Blackwood also.

I exclaimed, “You mean you were missing two aces?” Then I asked, “So who held them?”

The woman who was furious the first hand was going into an apoplectic spasm as she said, “I did.”

I asked, “Then why didn’t you lead them?”

She glared at me and then at him, “because I thought the fool was void in diamonds and I didn’t want to set them up.”

Those words got her reported to the director, and I refrained from calling my partner, “psycho.”

Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]

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