Here’s a hand Marietta Kalman and I encountered relatively early in the game at the Airport Bridge Club on Thursday. It was Board 9. East-West vulnerable. I’m North and I’m the dealer. I need only a quick look at this hand to know what to bid first:
Spades: K-Q-7-5; Hearts: 8-7-6-4-2; Diamonds: 9; Clubs: Q-7-2.
I pass. East – Nancy Kessler – passes. Marietta bids 1 Diamond. West – Carlton Stone – doubles. I bid my five-card suit – 1 Heart. Nancy passes. Marietta jumps to 3 Diamonds and we all pass. Carlton leads the King of Hearts. In the end, we take only 8 tricks – down one. It turns out to be a low middle board.
Although other Diamond bidders suffer bigger shellackings, a couple of them make 3 or 4 Diamonds. The best result, however, comes from the 3 No Trump contracts. In one instance, North bid the No Trump. I couldn’t quite see doing it, but maybe it was in response to the 3 Diamond bid. In the other (Judy Padgug, playing with newly-back-from-Florida Meg Klamp), South, Judy, bid a Diamond, got a double from West and a Heart bid from Meg, then went straight to 3 NT. She had 8 tricks off the top, she said, and expected her partner would give her one more. Here are the other hands:
Spades: J; Hearts: A-J; Diamonds: A-K-Q-J-10-7-5; Clubs: 9-5-4.
Spades: A-9-8-3-2; Hearts, 5; Diamonds: 9-4-3; Clubs: A-J-8-3.
Spades: 10-6-4; Hearts: K-Q-10-9-3; Diamonds: 6-2; Clubs: K-9.