Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Day 11 of bridge on the Internet … visiting momma

I am going to start off the day at the ACBL website.

I feel like I am going to see "mother".

There is no doubt about it, there is a lot of stuff on this site besides looking up your masterpoint total.

On the front page there is a mention of the new laws with a link to where you can read what has changed.

There is a notice that you can make recommendations for the Bridge Hall of Fame. I see that Jerry Machlin won the 2008 Blackwood contributions to bridge outside expertise at the table. I am interested to see that Canadians Sami Kelela and Eric Murray and later Shorty Sheardown won the Von Zedtwitz award for bridge old-time stars.

I look at the list of common conventions and see a small selection of bridge conventions, each one a page from the ACBL Bulletin’s Play Bridge feature.

There’s a calendar where you can find bridge tournaments worldwide. There are some super resources for teachers. Include an article which describes a study which showed that teaching bridge to kids makes you smarter. There is everything from detailed lesson plans to a template for printing business cards.

I find out the ACBL has about 160,000 members but there is nothing on the site that I can find that is going to make me a better bridge player. Should there be?

I am disappointed to see that the links that used to be on the site seem to be gone.

Ready for some chat I head over to Bridgetalk at, another active bridge forum. There are two major forums on bridgetalk, one on the laws and one general bridge talk. I am surprised to see that the forum discussing bridge laws is the active one. I register for the forum but I am going to have to wait to get permission to become a member. While I am sorting that out I ace a funny little quiz with questions like what is a Chinese finesse.

There is a poll on site. Today’s question is what is your favourite game, imps, match points or rubber bridge. I am not surprised to see that imps has the lead. There is also a link to computer humour. There is nothing about bridge here but as a former computer scientist I can empathy with this joke.

An artist, a lawyer, and a computer scientist are discussing the merits of a mistress.

The artist tells of the passion, the thrill which comes with the risk of being discovered. The lawyer warns of the difficulties. It can lead to guilt, divorce, bankruptcy. Not worth it. Too many problems.

The computer scientist says "It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. My wife thinks I’m with my mistress. My mistress thinks I’m home with my wife, and I can spend all night on the computer."

Back at the bulletin boards I see a discussion on whether it is legal to bid 2C showing a random hand. It was described as 4 plus in at least one suit but not a club one suiter. There was a bit of chat about

Somebody has posted a problem. Everyone vulnerable. Your partner opens 1♥ in first seat.  Your hand is

♠ Axxx
♥ xxx
◊ Kx
♣ AQx


You are playing 5 card majors and forcing 1NT but a 2/1 os not forcing to game.  What do you call?

1♠ seems normal and I find everyone else thinks so too.  Is there another shoe to drop?

There is an interesting discussion about whether you should whether  after an opening 1♣ bid 1NT should show 8-10.  That has never worked for me.  I just don’t know what to do with a balanced 6 or 7.  Someone suggested transfer Walsh, which means apparently that 1♠  shows a 1NT response.  I guess 1◊ shows hearts and 1♥ shows spades and you aren’t allowed to hold diamonds.  There is a lot more, check it out if you are interested.  And comment here if you have something to say about transfer Walsh.

From here I figure since I have seen momma maybe I should see go see my home unit, Unit 166 at

There is various useful things on this site but the thing that really pleases me is an online version of the kibitzer.  John Carruthers does a great job as the editor.  Andy Stark a Masterpoint Press author has written a column called Buy Me Some Peanuts and Crackerjacks which talks about who Robert Levi and Dan Jacobs won the Silodor open pair event at the 2007 Spring Nationals.  Apparently Robert passed on some advice: "bid a lot for the lead, play the vulnerability and go for the cheapest minus score."  Seems good advice to me.

There are many more articles.  So even if you aren’t a member of Unit 166 go and have a look it will be worth it.

You know what is my personal favourite bridge resource on the Internet.  It is the New York times.  If you type in almost any bridge person or concept, you can find a series of articles from the New York Times from the current Phillip Alder columns way back in time to Alan Truscott’s column.

The link above will get you to hundreds of columns.  But let’s try soemthing fun.  I type in Linda Lee, New York Times bridge and guess what up come an article by Alan Truscott.  There is an article from March 27 1992 which mentioned that Ray and I were runnersup in the National Mixed Pairs.  That was kind of cool.

Typing in Eddie Kantar brought up a lot more articles.  The top article is titled

When a Champion Can Write, World Titles Meet Book Titles.

He reviewed the book Kantar on Kontract and of course he loved it.  As he said most deals are funny and he tells a story from the book.

Anyway, you try it.  It is a great treasure for bridge players and it contains the history of our game.


Richard van HoutenSeptember 17th, 2008 at 9:58 am

Mrs Lee,

Just to tell you that I like your writing very much, your queste on internet gave me a lott of new options for reading about bridge.


Richard van Houten (the Netherlands)

Paul GipsonSeptember 17th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

I’ve played Transfer Walsh for some years and feel that it is a major improvement on standard. T-walsh adherents do debate the best use of the 1S response – I use it to show diamonds and 1NT as natural, but many use it to show diamonds OR a balanced 1NT response and then use the 1NT bid to be a game force (e.g., Welland does this).

One day I’ll write it up on my blog.

Linda LeeSeptember 17th, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Thank you so much Richard. It has been a lot of hard working (ask my colleague Becky who I complain to all the time) so I am glad it is worthwhile.

Linda LeeSeptember 17th, 2008 at 8:32 pm


Please do write Transfer Walsh up on your blog and let me know when you do. I am quite curious about it.

Paul GipsonSeptember 18th, 2008 at 7:47 am

Your wish is my command.

Details at

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