Mike Kisiel never fails to taunt me with magic number 800. That’s either down three doubled or down four doubled, depending on the vulnerability. John Ziemer has begun to inflate that figure to 1,100, down an extra trick doubled, a result not totally unknown to me.
The biggest disaster of all lately, however, has been a minus 1,920. It came early in the game with Selina Volpatti on Friday, Aug. 29, at the Bridge Centre of Niagara in St. Catharines, Ont. It was Board 13 against Ed Hills and Bob Forster. Both vulnerable. North is the dealer. I’m sitting North and I pass with this dog of a hand:
Spades: K-6-4; Hearts: 9-7; Diamonds: 6-5-4-2; Clubs: J-8-3-2.
Ed, who’s East, bids 1 Spade. Selina doubles. Bob redoubles. I think for a few seconds. Do I even have a bid with this terrible collection of cards? I decide not. I pass, figuring Selina will come up with a suit. But after Ed passes, Selina also passes. The contract is 1 Spade redoubled vulnerable.
Ed proceeds to make 4 Spades. 1,920. I’ve never seen that score before. According to the hand record, it’s supposed to make 4 Spades. According to the club’s list of results online, all but one of the 16 tables played it in Spades, making 3, 4 or 5. Only three of them bid game and one of them went down one. The odd contract was 4 Diamonds by South, down two.
At any rate, Selina said I should have bid something. I said I had a pathetic hand and she should have taken out the redouble. And once I saw the hand records, no question, she should have gone 2 Diamonds. But not seeing her hand at the time, I accepted the blame, and I still wonder if I should have made a bid, which would have been 2 Clubs. Here are the other hands:
Spades: 2; Hearts: A-6-4-3; Diamonds: A-Q-J-9-3; Clubs: A-9-6.
Spades: A-Q-J-9-3; Hearts: 5-2; Diamonds: K-8; Clubs: Q-7-5.
Spades: 10-9-8; Hearts: K-Q-J-10-8; Diamonds: 10-7; Clubs: K-10-4.