Off the rails

On Wednesday, I played in a bridge game, and the auction went really wonky. Here are the hands all arranged in the order Spades/Hearts/Diamonds/Clubs:

NORTH: Q983 / Q92 / J / A9873

EAST: JT765 / T83 / 98742 / VOID

SOUTH: K / KJ7654 / T / KQJ54

WEST: A42 / A / AKQ653 / T62


The auction proceeded as follows:

West (Partner) North East (Me) South
1NT (1) Pass 2H (2) Double (3)
3S Pass Pass 4C (4)
4D 4H (5) Pass (6) 5C
Pass 5H Pass Pass
Double Pass Pass Pass

Explanatory notes:

(1) Our agreement had this as 14-17 points and a BALANCED hand. The latter was not satisfied by this bid. (Maybe partner had a diamond in with the heart?)

(2) Transfer to spades. (Partner, please bid spades.)

(3) I’ve got hearts. Partner, lead them if you can.

(4) Seems to be a very aggressive action.

(5) A “raise” of hearts, since a game contract is higher reward and going down isn’t likely to be a disaster in this auction.

(6) Long pause, because partner’s auction completely befuddled me.

The director was called for both the action at (5), as well as on opening lead, when my partner led out of turn. The final result:their 5Hx was down three.

According to the hand record, 4S and 6D can be made our way, but starting the auction with 1NT created a train wreck on all sides.

Still, looking at both hands, I would not want to be in slam. The only reason it makes is because you have one spade loser (the SQ) when diamonds are trumps.

This is a good  example of why you shouldn’t use double-dummy analysis to determine whether you belonged in slam or what contract you belonged in. You can’t “results” it, especially when wild distribution causes the auction to run off the rails.

It works in reverse too… a reasonable auction is doomed to fail. The first hand that I played on Wednesday was the following:

NORTH: KT954 / KQT2 / 5 / QT5

EAST: Q862 / A5 / AQ6 / J987

SOUTH: 73 / J87 / KJT832 / 32

WEST: AJ / 9643 / 974 / AK64

The auction (if I recall it correctly):

North East (Me) South West (Partner)
Pass 1C 2D Double
Pass 2S Pass 3NT
Pass Pass Pass

Yeah. 3NT is hopeless. No long suit to set up and all finesses are wrong.

Hey, that’s what makes bridge both fun and infuriating 🙂


Carthage Teaching: 5 days

NU vs NU: 22 days

High Holidays: 31 days

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[M.A.P.L.E. V-27] Duplicate

Today was a day of duplicates. I will keep this post short, as it is Mobile Style. The posts on Saturday and Sunday will take this brief Sorry-Excuse form.

The first duplicate: I played bridge in the Gopher Regional tournament, partnering with Eric in the Intermediate-Newcomer session. Despite being a pickup partnership, we had almost no disasters.

And the hands were quite easy as I got to declare quite a few times.

I left the session with 2.67 red points, a new BBO contact, and a Golden Hand trophy!


After that, I ran into the annoyance of duplicate hotel names. There are 2 Embassy Suites in Bloomington, and I went to the wrong one!


Endmatter suspended due to Mobile Style.

[O.C.T.O.B.E.R. IV-29] Run the diamonds! #TBT

Last night, I went to Log Jam for Karaoke night. After singing “Fight Fire With Fire,” I hung out for a little while, chatting with some UW-Stout alumni. One of them was from Lake Geneva, which of course made me mention both this last Labor Day weekend as well as the bridge regionals that happen there yearly.

As a result, here’s a #TBT from a few years ago at the Ace of Clubs in Skokie. (Strangely enough, the specifics of this are not captured in any of my journals. I probably have my scorecard from the day somewhere in my archives back in Lincoln, however.)

Enjoy the garbled and the non-garbled versions of this recording, given below respectively:

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