Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

The Opening Ceremonies And All That Jazz

After a long and tedious plane ride, we arrived in Shanghai on Friday morning.  Friday was spent checking in, saying hello to a few people and mostly sleeping.  Our hotel room has an incredible view of the central square around the river and the Pudong River which runs through Shanghai.  In the evening they like incredible fireworks and the boats go slowly down the river all lit up.  My overall impression is of a counry that is awakening, of a beautiful dynamic city, a place full of all the energy of 18 million people most of whom seem to me to be entrepreneurs.

I did have some time to talk to Pamela about the system but it still seems like we are only scratching the surface of what is needed.  We updated the WBF convention card and it has now been handed out to the other 21 teams.

I think I am finally embracing the idea that I am playing.  Eric Kokish asked me how I ended up playing and I didn’t have an answer though.

Yesterday Pamela and I played 20 boards against 2 New Zealand ladies pairs including one playing the Moscito club.  It turned out to go very well and the system didn’t seem to give us any problem.  Here is one nice hand that came up, well a nice result anyway.  You can decide if you like my bidding.  Pamela’s was impecable.  Pamela held S void H Qx D 109xxx C J8xxxx.  On her right her opponent opened 3s and she passed.  It went 4S and I doubled.  Even though this is mostly for penalty she bid 4NT.  I bid 5C which was doubled.  I made the contract on a spade lead.  My hand was S Ax Hx xxx Dx AQx Cx KQxxx.  Do you agree with my double or was I just lucky?  I won’t give you my rationale right now but if you want to post a reply telling me what you think I will respond. 

Pamela had one of those hands you don’t often forget.  Perhaps it is easy to get to 7D on this hand but it still is fun.  She held AQ AKJxx AKQJxx void.  She opened 2C and I bid 2D showing some values.  She bid 3D and I bid 4D.  She bid 4H and I bid 5C (both cuebids).  She bid 7D.  I got to play the hand but that didn’t amount to more than a claim.  I held xxx Q10x 9xxx Kxx.  You may disagree with my bidding but you can see Pamela was once again impeccable. 

One last hand.  I held Jxx  K  xx  AQ10XXXX.  It goes a strong club, pass, a negative diamond (less than 9) your call.  I was quite distressed to notice that I was red on white.  The preempt meister (Ray) agrees with my 2C call.  It does take up so much nice space when they haven’t bid a real suit yet.  3C is just too rich at this vulnerability with such a ragged suit — i’s too easy for them to double and you may go for a number when they aren’t making anything.  Anyway they got to 3H which they didn’t make when they took the poorer line in the heart suit.  Perhaps they would have got it right in 4.

Feeling pretty good about our game we headed out to find some lunch.  There are little food stalls all around a central park near by.  We looked them all over and pointed at what we wanted.  Having now had Chinese food for breakfast lunch and dinner I plan to try to find something else to eat today.

Am I nervous about playing?  Probably less than usual.  Before I felt that I had such a strong partnership that I had to play perfectly (well as close as I could).  This time I know that there is going to be a bit of guessing and mistakes will be made.  In a funny way that takes the pressure off.  Pamela also has  excellent instincts and seems to know the right thing to do a lot of the time.  We also seem to be better than expected for a new partnership on defense.  I guess we shall see,

The opening ceremony was fun.  It was great to stand up and wave to everyone.  I think we looked smashing in our uniforms.  I always think that this is one of the highlight moments of these tournaments.  That perfect moment before you have hands that you would rather forget.

The Special Olympics has a lot of inspirational mottos pasted around the city.  One I remember is ‘We all participate We all win’.  I hope we do better than that but in some ways I feel that is also true.  It was amazing to see bridge players from 30 countries stand up as the role was called.

Leave a comment

Your comment