Without benefit of double points this week, or particularly smart play on my part, May has gotten off to a very quiet start. It began well enough on Monday, when Marilyn Sultz and I turned in a 58.33% effort, second overall in an eight-table game at the Airport Bridge Club and good for .56 point.
Tuesday with Mike Silverman, I had a pair of terrible mental lapses in a row – calling for the wrong card from dummy in one hand, missing a bid on another. We finished with 48.96%, out of the money, but even without my mistakes we wouldn’t have scratched. Celine Murray and I picked up .40 point on Wednesday with a 53.27% game, third overall. Disappointment dogged me with Flo Boyd on Thursday (41.90%, next to last) and with Ruth Wurster on Friday (46.49%, fifth of eight East-Wests) in a frustrating run of mismatched hands.
The following hand came up Thursday when Flo Boyd and I reached a table with two expert players – Judy Padgug sitting North, Bev Cohen South. I thought the bidding on this was interesting, but Judy disagreed. You decide. It’s Board 6, East-West vulnerable, East (Flo) is dealer. She passes. Bev Cohen bids a Club. I bid a Diamond with this hand:
Spades: Q-6; Hearts: A-10-6-4; Diamonds: A-10-9-8-3; Clubs: A-3
Judy Padgug doubles. Flo bids 3 Diamonds. Bev Cohen doubles. I bid 4 Diamonds. Judy Padgug doubles. Pass-pass-pass. It’s 4 Diamonds doubled vulnerable. Before I can start wondering why on earth I’m making what seems like a sacrifice bid in this situation, Judy leads a low Club. Flo puts down this hand. “Partner,” I say to Flo, “I love you.”
Spades: K-9-3; Hearts: 3; Diamonds: Q-J-7-6-5-2; Clubs: 9-5-4.
Luckily, the two outstanding trumps are split 1-1. Once they’re drawn, the rest is automatic. We lose to the Ace of Spades and either the King or the Queen of Clubs. With the overtrick, it’s a plus 910, one of our few triumphs on an otherwise dismal day of play.
Here are the other two hands.
Spades: J-8-7-2; Hearts: K-J-5-2; Diamonds: 4; Clubs: Q-7-6-2.
Spades: A-10-5-4; Hearts: Q-9-8-7; Diamonds: K; Clubs: K-J-10-8.
It wasn’t a top board (our only two top boards were defensive), but it was good for 6.5 out of a possible 8 game points. All the scores went to East-West. Top was plus 1100, which went to an East-West that doubled North-South at 5 Clubs and set them five tricks. (What would that be? A Diamond, a Heart, a Spade and three trumps?) Another pair that won an overtrick at 4 Diamonds doubled tied us at plus 910.
Beyond that, someone bid 5 Diamonds and made it (plus 600). A couple of them stopped at 3 Diamonds, making two overtricks (plus 150). The others let North-South take the contract. Four Hearts doubled, played by South, went down two (plus 300 for East-West). Four Hearts not doubled, played by North, went down three (plus 150 for East-West). Bottom board went to the East-West who let North play it at 3 Hearts, down only two for just plus 100.