Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Finishing my blogland journey right here on Bridgeblogging

I realized that I had been talking about some of the great bridge bloggers across the web and I hadn’t mentioned any of the bloggers on Bridgeblogging. So I am going to remedy that right now with a discussion of some of the more frequent bloggers. Michael Yuen blogs a lot and all of it is interesting. It only has a little to do with him being captain of the Canadian Youth team, a lot of it relates to his knowledge and love of the game. I am starting with the problem in the most recent blog. You are supposed to bid the north-south hands. You get to bid the north hand and I will bid the South hand for you but you have to play my system. (Warning we play 12-14 notrump). I open 1◊ which shows four diamonds. You have

♠ 2

♥ K1086



Your turn. I am pretty sure you would bid 1H and I bid 1NT. This promises 15-17 HCP and a balanced hand (obviously). I can still have three hearts. Here are your choices. You can bid 2◊ Game forcing and asking about majors initially

3NT You probably have spades and I don’t have enough for slam

3 of a minor would be invitational so I am guessing you don’t want to do that.

You bid 2◊ and I bid 2♥ showing three hearts but I could still have four spades. Here are your choices

3♣ Emphasizes your fear of spades and directing the lead for the opponents against 3NT

3◊ Diamond support. Maybe expressing uncertainty about 3NT or looking for a diamond slam

3NT You probably have spades and I don’t have enough for slam

I assume you bid 3◊ otherwise why didn’t you bid 3NT in the first place. I bid 3♥.

I am willing to cooperate in a diamond slam if that is where you are heading and I have a heart control. Here are your choices

3♠ I will take it as a last try for 3NT but if you pull 3NT to 4D I will know it is a cuebid

4♣ Cuebid and pretty serious slam interest

4◊ still some slam interest but looking for opener to really take a push I would think.

5◊ Diamonds are likely better but I don’t have enough for slam

You bid 3♠ going for it and over 3NT by me you bid 4♣. I bid 4♠. What do you do? Do you bid the slam? Of course you do. There we are Michael. Partner has the right hand for you. I admit it is harder over a strong notrump

♠ A874

♥ AJ2


♣ A3

Next is my husband Ray. Ray’s best characteristic is that he can write very well and he is one of the best editors on the planet. He does however lack my imagination. His most recent blog talks about Frank Vine. I remember reading Frank Vine’s humorous stories and I am looking forward to this collection. I haven’t seen any of the stories yet. The story about North from the Bridge World Master Solvers’ club sounds like fun. The solver is always south and north is his long suffering partner. Ray likes to blog about books and the problems in the bridge world but when he blogs about championships he is very good. I hope I can convince him to do some blogging during the world championships. Our son Colin also blogs about the development of our system (which is on temporary hold). He should be back at it after Boston.

Judy Kay-Wolff has just started blogging. If you don’t know Judy let me telling you that besides being married to Bobby Wolff and being an avid bridge player Judy has several other wonderful characteristics. The first is that she is about the same height as me. My height is top secret but what Ray always says is that I dream of being five feet. Judy is an incredible shopper and bargainer. She is one of the most determined people I know and one of the nicest. In her latest blog she draws such a wonderful picture of bridge in the 60’s and 70’s that it makes me long to go back. I would definitely trade hand records for playing charades with the Truscotts. I read the comments and see that others also long for the old days.

Bob Mackinnon is for the technically inclined. If you want to be a better bridge declarer you can certainly learn something from him. He also has a lot to see about bidding. Bob and I have been in correspondence for several years and I enjoy the discussions. The problem in the current blog is how to play hearts missing five to the ace jack. You are in a slam and can only afford one loser. First I think about it in my non-mathematical way. The closed hand has all the trump and when you lead up to the KQ LHO takes the king with the ace. Would an expert declarer duck the ace with Ax? Playing against weak opponents I think I would take the finesse since AJ doubleton must be less likely. Anyway, read Bob’s blog for the answer.

Cam French would be censored in most bridge magazines. His articles are triple X rated about the dark side of bridge. He is an entertaining writer. Professor Silver is an occasionally blogger but his stories are always fun. I have played with him on BBO and he really plays just like he writes.

Bobby Wolff doesn’t blog that often but when he does it is always very interesting. I have (sadly) learned that there is much more cheating in bridge than I ever thought. I always knew there was a lot of politics. I responded to his last blog about bridge and the Olympics. He makes the important point that bridge is one of the few competitive activities that you can compete at the world level and still be comparably old. He also talks about how wonderful it is to represent your country. I know this to be true.

1 Comment

Cam FrenchDecember 19th, 2008 at 2:17 am

“Cam French would be censored in most magazines. His articles are triple X rated about the dark side of bridge.”

I did post several chapters of Collateral Damage on I can’t say that they were X-rated or triple X rated but hopefully they do start some tongues wagging. From the love and hate mail I have received, I can safely say that goal has been realized.

I thanked before (and will thank again) Ray and Linda for providing the forum to allow me to share the story. She didn’t say so but she was right in implying that said story was too hot to handle for some mainstream venues. That story aside, I think most of my bridge writing is not X-rated, but rather geared to the humour we can (and should) take from the game. As a reader prefer Kantar to Kelsey, Frank Vine to Cylde Love.

I think what Linda was alluding to was that the story (Collateral Damage) dealt with a sensitive issue. I take no pleasure in castigating the League for their duplicity and outrageous behaviour.

The pleasure, if it were ever to arrive would be an acknowledgement by the League of the miscarriage of justice that occurred in this case. In private correspondence (most unpublished by request) the expert community was very supportive.

Some like to shoot the messenger. I understand that Peter Weischel and Alan Sontag are not too happy about what I had to say. I get that, and don’t blame them in the least. I contacted them prior to publishing a word. I had intermediaries, with far more standing than I contact them for comments. The intent was all along to tell a story and let the chips fall where they may.

To say they were dismissive would be kind. Sontag’s words are not printable and Weichsel told me “go talk to the ACBL.”

Truth is – what can you say when some jerk (that would be me) drags out a 30 year old case where a world class pair won a National Title playing with chearters and when someone points that out – refuse to give up their ill-gotten gains? Giving it up would be the right thing to do, but they cling to it with tenacity. Let them keep it – they didn’t earn it, but maybe they desrve it.

I get the fact that raising the issue gets some backs up. That’s a bonus, not a downside. Who wants to write a yawner? This has made me many new friends and a few new enemies. Gravy.

I hope one day someone (from the ACBL) steps up to the plate and admits – we were wrong.

We can’t make things retroactively right, but we would like to acknowledge this blemish upon our game.

I wish the experts that emailed my tid-bits in private, would be on the record in public.

Hope springs eternal. Truth is, there is an overwhelming sentiment within the ACBL and its upper echelons to let sleeping dogs lie. Triple X me, I like to kick them. Now that’s a pleasure I can savour today.


Leave a comment

Your comment