Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Day 6 Better Bridge on the Internet “Hello” to BBO and ecatsbridge

BBO is no stranger to me.  I play bridge on BBO and I watch vugraph.  I occasionally use BBO as a chat room and for bidding practice with a partner.  I have reviewed my past deals and even checked out how some friends have been doing.

Today I decide to check out the BBO Forum.  It is an organized active set of forums although it is clear that some forums are much more popular than others.

I am an American election junky so I take a quick glance at the water cooler (off bridge topics) and see a discussion on Sarah Palin.  I am not going to talk politics here (even though I want to) and just say that without regard to skills, style, her personal life etc. I personally love three things about her:

1. a woman candidate 2. 44 is considered young 3. she knows about Canada and like us

Unfortunately no one has commented since August 29th though so it isn’t very relevant at this point.

Back to work I of course go immediately to interesting bridge hands (what a surprise) and no surprise I find the discussions very interesting.  Here is the first hand I look at:

You are east, playing imps with no-one vulnerable in second chair.  You have

S A8xxxxx H 7xxx D void C Qx

question 1: do you open

answer: not me.  It seems to me that second chair is the very worst place to preempt in spades with four hearts on the side, regardless of any other considerations.  I notice that mostly everyone else agrees with passing without giving a reason.

The auction continues 3D on your right and 3H by partner, pass to you.  What now?  The choices seem to be 4H or 4D.  I have a lot of offence in some ways but 4D seems a bit rich to me.  Could we have a slam?  I try to imagine some possible hands for partner like …


This hand needs some breaks to make.  If partner has six good hearts, a club control and ideally something in spades he would have bid 4H most of the time.  So slams seems possible but remote.  I would bid 4H.  Most of the responders don’t agree with me.  I still think that after a preempt is not the time to be looking for a pushy slam that is likely to need decent breaks. 

Interesting that 3S was not given as an option but that doesn’t really show the quality heart fit.

The auction continues with more interesting questions at

So now I know 2 great bridge forums: and  the bridgebase forums.

I have been here before but I recommend looking at he bridge library.  There are a few interesting articles mostly by Fred Gittleman but the star on this site in the deal of the week.  Fred wrote a book for Master Point Press based on some of these deals Master Class: Lessons from the Bridge Table which is quite wonderful but working through the deals online on BBO is a great way to improve my bridge and yours too.   There are several other really good features as well including several deals from Bridgemaster 2000 (which I own and use).

I decide to visit another author Jerry Helms at


Jerry is author of Helms to HELLO

The main feature of the site is the Ask Jerry columns from the articles Jerry writes for the ACBL Bulletin and some in 2007 for the Better Bridge magazine and some for Better Bridge magazine.

Moving along I visit an old friend  This site was developed by Anna Gudge and Mark Newton who are lovely people.  This is the very best site for keeping track of what is happening in the broader bridge world.  If you are interested in the details of bridge at the World Mind Sport Games in Beijing this is the place to go.  Right now there is a list of events, competitors and most interesting the WBF convention cards for each pair.  If you are interested in what some of the world’s best pairs are playing have a look.   It looks there are about 71 countries competing in the open and of course some countries will have very weak teams in this Olympiad year but for them it is all about participation.

Anna and Mark run many of the world’s SIMS (similtaneous pair events) and if you want to see the results in the World Wide Bridge Contest held in June 6th 2008 it is all there (there does seem to be a UK focus).

I finished up with a quirky page just for fun.  It is Michael Arnowitt Bridge Sanctuary.  Michael describes himself as an intermediate player.

THere is some fun on this site.  I loved the Congratulatory letter form the ACBL on becoming a life master with translation.  He also has a section on quotes from Zia.  Some including my favourite is attributed to Bridge My Way (another MPP book).  Here is his Russian Bridge Joke

A Russian Bridge Joke

Stalin is playing bridge with three other generals. Stalin bids 1 Club, the next general bids 1 Diamond, the next general 1 Heart, the next general 1 Spade; Stalin bids 1 Club, all pass.

(This joke was told to me by a bridge official of one of the former Soviet republics.)

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