My regular bridge partner came out to get me for another exciting game at the Vanderbilt Bridge Club. This was quite an ordeal for him as he lives in Antioch, so must make a round trip from there to Lebanon and back to Nashville, then reverse it later that day. Though I must wear a black eye patch due to a local dermatologist, we start out on our – well, mine anyway – big day out. All I needed was a parrot sitting on my right shoulder to complete my pirate costume. Arrgh.
The first hand began with a bang.
I am South and opener. East-West are vulnerable, and we are not. I bid three hearts, pass by West. Partner, North, raises, and rightly so, to four hearts, and when it comes back around, West doubles. It is passed all around, and now West leads the ace, then the king of spades. They hold, and she hesitates. If she noticed her partner’s eight and then two follows, she knows that I also have two.
While she is still in thought, I begin to send out little ESP messages…. “Lead a diamond, lead a diamond.” Sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
It worked. I take the ace and lead the one trump on board, picking up the queen and ace in one trick, leaving me the good jack, so I lose only one more spade and win the rest of the tricks for a score of 590. It was a top board through no skill on my part…unless you count ESP.
Look what happens if she does lead another spade. I will play low, East will trump with her singleton queen, I will overruff with the king, still leaving out the ace.
West probably never dreamed her partner would have an honor in my suit and think I could easily overruff her, but it would cost me another trick.
In this round of three hands, I next held a similar hand in spades and wound up in game. Hand records said both hand could make only three so, boy, am I having fun.
Until the last hand of the round, that is.
North, my partner, opens the bidding with one diamond. East bids two clubs. Now comes my problem.
Some players would make a negative double with a four-three in the majors.
So you lie about missing the fourth card in the heart suit. To bid two spades is lying about missing one spade. Passing means you don’t have enough points at all when you may have enough to get to game.
I take a deep breath and bid two spades. After all, when he rebids, perhaps I can find another bid myself to get us to game.
I am hoping my eye patch will fall below to my mouth before I say something I really regret. I did say, “Uh, that’s a forcing bid.” I refrained from adding it would have been about lesson four in the beginner’s manual. So we got a bottom score on this one. Arrgh.
Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]