Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Day 14 – So many deals to read about

I start off today at the South African bridge club.  Bridge by Sid and Abby.


There is a monthly bridge quiz with an archive of hands dating back to 1997 to keep you busy.  The hand this month is interesting but the explanation and title are misleading.  It is not a temp problem really.  It is a problem of deciding who is the danger hand and therefore who you need to let in first in notrump. 

There are a number of useful tools especially for bridge clubs.  For example there is a movement for an odd number of teams where every team will play every other team.  It is apparently called the American Whist Movement. 

Here is one of their jokes (from Tuna – Tony Reus)

What Does Your Bridge Playing Wife Make You For Dinner

A man in Tarritville, Connecticut, filed for divorce because his wife left him a note on the refrigerator which read: “I have gone to the bridge club. There’ll be a recipe for your dinner at 7 o’clock on Channel 2.”

At Jeff Tang’s bridge site There were some interesting articles including a John Lowenthal hand.

I remembering playing in a regional pairs game against John and he found an incredible defence.  Here is Jeff’s “John Lownethal hand” from a match on OKBridge.  Lowenthal was playing with Stanhope against Garozzo and Lea Dupont (I used to love watching those matches).

There is also the 1997 Bridgeur Best Play of the Year.  I have seen this hand before but it is worth looking at again.

Dlr: West Vul: Both

West Kaplan East Helgemo
2 Pass 4 6
All Pass      


West 92 East
84   QJ105
KQJ84   A1053
5   3
K10753 Helgemo QJ64


West led the K and Helgemo ruffed. He drew one round of trumps and led a spade to the 7! East won and returned the 5, but Helgemo let it ride to the 9. If East had returned anything else, Helgemo could still cross to dummy and lead the 9 to finesse against East’s remaining honors, smothering West’s 8 in the process.   An example of an extreme intrafinesse.

Looking up intrafinesse on google gets me to the Robert Crosby’s The Bridge Library at the Alberta Bridge Site.

I wonder if I can find any of my “master” cards from the ACBL.  It looks like the site hasn’t been updated in a while and not all the links work but there is still a lot of interest.

There are a monthly bidding quizzes you can try (from 2002-2006).  There are a selection of deals to watch on “vugraph”.  But the most interesting thing is are the articles in Coaches Corner.  Ray and I have been talking about negative doubles over interference over 1NT.  Excerpts from the article:

For years , a double of a natural bid at the two level was penalty . The modern trend is to play them as negative with strict suit requirements. I disagree with that treatment. I prefer the double to show cards 7 HCP & upward with no clear cut action availablePartner should always bid 2NT with a stopper in these auctions after a D.S.I.P. double unless he wants to convert for penalty. Otherwise , he scrambles by bidding his lower ranking 4 card suit or a 5 card minor if dealt that.I had a hand tonight ♠AJxx 109x Q10 ♣J10xx , partner opened a strong NT with RHO overcalling 2♥ . What do you do ? You can pass or bid 2♠ to compete. Playing D.S.I.P. doubles , you can double . You hit partner with 17 HCP’s & AJxx of hearts ! Just 800 for your side against a partial making your way . A bad bidder just got caught speeding when you might have rescued them.

Obviously this approach has pluses and minuses and you do lose the penalty double.

At Harold Schogger’s I happy to notice that the book of the month is Bridge Squeezes for Everyone by David BIrd.

I like this book too.  I always felt that a variety of squeezes and endplays should be accessible to advanced bridge players and this book does a great job of it.

The site is not pretty but there is some fun stuff on it.  I try a few little fun things (check it out) and then read the debate in the August 2007 EBU magazine about whether or not your should open 1NT with a 5 card major. Playing 2/1 I found that it worked much better to open a notrump with a five card major.  Playing standard with weak notrump as I do with Ray it is optional.  Ray and I actually open majors with good five card suits only.  Heather Dhondy’s argument is that you may not find the 5-3 major fit when you want to play game.  It is true that sometimes you are better off playing in four of a major and partner with a balanced hand may not bother to try for a fit with only 3 card major suits but I am not sure those hands usually play better in a suit.  Anyway I am not convinced by her argument.  It might be worth running a simulation to decide when and if you should open the major.

There is quite a good archive of bridge hands and articles but the best thing on the site is The Bols Tips definitely worth reading.

It’s time to head over to Fifth Chair and take a look at their website.

They say that:

Fifth Chair’s website is a multi-faceted resource for bridge players of all levels. Bridge teachers will also find materials tailored to assist their efforts

Let’s see then.  They have system discussion for Acol, SAYC and 2/1 (Okbridge style) and a fair number of articles on bidding and conventions.  In fact this site is useful for teachers and learners but doesn’t have much for experts.  Not surprising but disappointing given the objective of the site.

I find much more to do at … where nothing new ever gets done.

started by the old guard from the Durham University Bridge Club with the aim of humour (not ridicule)/  Unfortunately they have go on hiatus.  Come on guys we need more of this.  (Maybe I should send them some articles … I certainly see enough poor bridge!)  I read the Poor Bridge of the Year 2006 article.  He bid, She bid.

I can’t possibly describe the article but I really do laugh out loud.  It’s great.  The articles on this site are so well written I am starting to think that the English schooling system must be far superior to that of North America.

I move on to Prism Signals by John Sheehan

This is a free online book.  The first thing I learn is that every hand pattern has to have exactly one number (called the index) that is different  form the others either an even number (and 3 odd numbers) or an odd number (and 3 even numbers).  So the unique number if you are 5-3-3-2 is 2 – an even number.  If your number is odd then you are considered to have an odd parity and if your number is even an even parity.  You can use this to deduce declarer’s most likely hand patterns.

This is going to take a long time and I don’t think it is going to be something I want to use.  I head over the home page of Migry Zur Campanile

There are a number of articles, tournament reports and stories.  While many have intgruing titles for now I decide to read the article about multi 2D.  The article concludes that using 2D as a weak 2 in the major works quite well but when you add the strong option it doesn’t work nearly as well.  However you need a good use for 2H and 2S.  In the end he suggests just using weak two bids.

At the San Diego Masters Club site there are some interesting things.

There is a free downloaded book on sqeeze play by Marvin French with some interesting nomenclature e.g.  a lonely threat: a threat in a hand containing no other threat.  Warning this is not for squeeze newbies.  Not too much else but I do read an article on balancing over a strong notrump suggests that you should alwayas balance nonvulnerable (unless 4-3-3-3) among other things.  I do think I probably don’t balance enough but surely this is more matchpoints than imps. 


has an interesting library a la Marilyn Hemenway.  I notice that there is an article with the title hand analysis which has a theme Ray and I talk about all the time.  Its under the heading just take the tricks you need for game baby.  It is amazing how often people go down when they actually have the tricks they need.  I like the article on bridgisms.  These are what I have often called metarules.  Rules that apply in any auction.  Here is one she suggests in a noncompetitive auction.

Bridgism 1. If there is one unbid suit, the jump asks for a control in that suit.

And I end today at Ted’s Bridge World

I first look at the articles on the every day bridge scene.  When double was king talks about his 75% evening game to win a 2-session Open Pairs.  The article showed the value of doubling their contracts.  Matchpoints?  no brainer.

Here is one example.

Dlr: West Vul: Both

West North East East
    1 1S
DBL 2S pass pass
2NT Pass 3C pass
pass 3S pass pass
double All Pass    


West 7 East
73   J954
AJ982   K4
7   K1095
QJ1052   A64

The good guys are East-West.  2NT was takeout showing extra shape and they got a very good score for +300.  Do you like North’s 3S bid?  Note to self – keep that double card handy.


There is so much more on this site including simulations and some handy software and some cartoons too.


1 Comment

BeckySeptember 24th, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Well of course she didn’t get the email! Don’t you know that no one emails any more…they TEXT!

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