Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Nine A Dancing

On January 2nd Ray and I were playing bridge together against Tom and Judy Dawson.  Tom and Judy are long-time friends who are not only bridge players but world-class collectors of playing cards.  Tom is also an amateur historian who knows a lot about  the history of bridge in Canada.

Ray and I have both taken a vow of silence.  By that I mean that no matter what, we won’t yell at each other.

I am sitting North with both vulnerable.  This is my hand

Silent Wife



Ray is in first chair and he opens 3 .  We play that an opening 3NT is a minor-suit preempt and shows an eight-card suit with the quality varying based on the vulnerability.  So 3  at this vulnerability shows seven decent clubs. Judy on my right bids 4S and I am left to ponder my action.  I have an easy double.  I have enough of a surprise in trumps that I am certain I can beat this hand, maybe several tricks. It looks like I have good defense.  Ray is quite likely to have a club trick.  Tom passes and Ray thinks for a brief moment.

Whatever could he be thinking about?  Then he bids 5 .  What is he doing?!  Judy doubles this and everyone passes.   Judy leads the  A.   I remember my vow of silence and when I put down dummy I do not say a word but I do scowl.   I have enough faith in Ray’s preempting skills to believe he has a reason for his actions.  Still, I can’t think of a reason for him to pull my double.

I am not surprised when Ray ruffs the  A.  Ray lays down the  A and seems untroubled when Judy plays the  3 and Tom shows out.  How many clubs does he have?  Maybe he started with eight to the ace empty and decided to treat it as a three-level preempt, vulnerable.   Or maybe Ray was playing a deeper game.

Next Ray cashes the top two diamonds and comes back to his hand with a spade ruff.  He leads a third diamond.  Judy ruffs in front of dummy with the  Q.

It looks like Ray started with:    void   xx   xxx   Axxxxxxx.  Judy seems to think so too and she plays the  A.  Ray follows with the  3 and Tom plays an encouraging 9 and then Ray claims!

This is the whole deal


Silent Wife
Sneaky Ray



I was glad that I was a silent wife.  But I can’t resist saying, “I did have a great dummy for you.”

Tom and Judy take it in good spirits too.  Ray had fooled us all.  With a nine-card suit he decided to walk the dog.  It isn’t Ray’s style to preempt and then bid again.  I should have figured it out.  He had done the 9-card suit “two-step”.

While I might be able to figure out a hand that makes sense with this auction where I can defeat 4  and he is going down in 5 , when you have nine of them you don’t sell out to a game.

In later discussion he did say that he thought that the right action on his hand was to bid 5  in the first place but in honor of an old friend of ours who used to create auctions like this he thought he’d try it out.  Best wishes, Bambino. 

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