Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

The Rabbi’s Rule, it worked in Sydney

I was reading an article in the October ACBL Bulletin written by Rabbi Leonard Helman talking about his recent experiences with the Rabbi’s Rule.

Before I continue let me tell you some things I found out about Rabbi Helman.  Did you know that he was recognized by the state of New Mexico for his many contributions as a rabbi and a bridge player but also as an attorney and tap dancer and was designated in 2004 as one of Sante Fe’s living treasures! Here is the URL to the page put up in his honour by Sante Fe.

Leonard Helm, living treasure

Rabbi Leonard Helamn

I knew Rabbi Helman had made contributions to youth bridge in North America but when I was in Austrlia I found out that he had also donated awards for youth bridge in Australia.  Called the Helman-Klinger award they honour Ron Klinger’s contribution as a bridge author.

Well, Rabbi I played a hand against Jenni and Tom Carmichael and guess what the rule work.  Check out Tom’s bridge blog

Tom Carmichael, blog about nothing but more bridge than other nothing

Here is a picture of Tom with Joel Woolridge,  winners of the 2008 WBP Pairs


I was declarer on Board 16 when this hand came up.


♠ 964

♥ AK7

◊ 653

♣ K1054



♠ Q5

♥ Q6

◊ AQJ872


Playing matchpoints, Jenni on my right, vulnerable against not, opened 2♠ and in the balancing chair I bid 3◊.  She lead the ♣ 7.  I can’t help but notice that 5◊ looks pretty cold if the finesse is onside.  Ray took a prettty cautious position.  But then I am not really playing against them, I am playing against the wimps in part-score.  I have got a favourable lead and I might be able to shake a spade on a heart.

This was my thinking, maybe a little muddled but here goes.  Jenni is very unlikely to hold the  ♠AK or even the ♠KQ since she didn’t lead one.  It looks like a tenace to me, probably ♠AJ.  She has opened a weak two bid at unfavourable vulnerability without a great spade suit.  She could easily have another honour.  The only one missing is the ◊K.  So it seemed reasonable that she might have the diamond honour, despite the pre-empt.  What I didn’t want to happen is for her to get the diamond king and a ruff.  You can see where this is heading.  I played a diamond to the  ◊A and the stuff king came falling unhappily from Jenni’s hand.  I now took all the tricks.  +190 was worth 82%.

Jenni’s hand

♠ AJ10832

♥ J5

◊ K

♣ 9762

So at least in Sydney, the rabbi’s rule works some of the time.

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