Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Day 15 – the last day to better bridge on the Internet

This is my last day of wandering around the Internet and looking for ways to improve my bridge skills.  It has been a fascinating journey to date.  I am sure that I have not been to all the good locations.  If anyone has any suggestions about some websites, blogs or whatever that I have missed please let me know.  You can comment here or email me at

I am starting off today at an interesting site all about computer bridge

The 12th computer bridge world championship was held in Las Vegas during the Summer Nationals.  Wbridge5 defeated Jack 172-157 in the final 64-board KO match.  The picture shows the winner Yves Costel with his trophy.

Checking the convention card Wbridge5 was playing a standard system.  It doesn’t seem like system is a factor in the competition since they all seem to play a pretty straight forward card.  Only Bridge Baron was playing 2/1 and no forcing club bidders or whatever in the group.

There was only one deal that was intentionally inserted.  It is a hand from Reese’s 1958 book, “Expert Play”

A Q J 4

K 10 8 6 4 3

8 7 5



Q 7 2

J 7 4 2

K Q 9 6 3

The goal is to find the safest way to make 4 after a diamond lead. Some of the computers got it right but not all.  Answer below.

I move on to the bridge home page of Nikos Sarantakos.  He has a fair number of interesting deals and problems.  I try this problem from the 1996 US team trials and have no trouble doing better than Bob Hamman.

You hold as South:

 K 2

 10 4 3 2

 J 4 2

 K 9 4 2

North dealer, game all

Partner opens a “natural” 2, i.e. showing six or more clubs in a limited (11-15 HCP) hand, usually without a four card major. The bidding goes:









  2 4 5
5 5NT 6 ?

What is your call?


If you pass or double what do you lead?


Bob Hamman chose to double and led a club.  That didn’t work out well

The full deal was:

  Q 7 6  
  A K 10 9  
West Q J 10 8 7 6 East
8 7 6   A Q J 10 9 5 4 3
K J 8 5   A 9
Q 7 6 5 3   8
A Helgemo 53
  S K 2  
  H 10 4 3 2  
  DJ  4 2  
  C K 9 4 2  

  From here I head over to Malcolm’s Great Bridge Links

As you would guess this site has lots and lots of bridge links with a British emphasis.    I fill out a form to add as a link.  However this site needs some updating since lots of the links don’t work (the dreaded 404).

Ray went to Cambridge so I check out the Cambridge University Bridge website.  There are a number of articles.  You can checkout the Z Grubsza bidding system.  1C shows 0-9 unbalanced (you pass with 0-9 balanced) and go up in steps from there.

Here is a problem from one of the articles.  Noone vulnerable your partner opens 2D in first chair showing 24+ balanced or any game force.    RHO bids 4S.  What does a double by you mean in this situation.  If you like substitute 2C strong for 2D.

At the table South doubled for takeout and North took it as penalty and passed on a spade void with very unhappy results.

At David Babcock’s homepage I find a couple of interesting links.  Here is a link to Andy Robson’s bridge column

I read a few bridge columns and do the suduko too. 

Wandering around I find some writeups on Polish Club and  at the Edinburgh University Bridge Club

Check out the comparison between SAYC vs ACOL on the EU forum

and finally from Krzysztif Jassem (Polish internationalist) his 2005 revision


I should probably check out Precision too.  I find Oliver Clarke’s Precision Parlour.  It is aimed at the BIL group (beginners and intermediates) but the material goes well beyond that.  The asking bids start at Alpha and go to Sigma.  The Alpha bid is a primary trump asking bid in the strong hand’s main suit.  Colin is going to love this stuff and there is complex system notes to read. 

Then I come across the Wednesday Game

The Wednesday game sends out a set of computer dealt hands to clubs once a month.  Then they publish analysis, quizzes and play problems on the hands.  They have deals back to March 06.  You can look at the deals organized by 70 subjects.  I decided to look at the play of the hand archive and  I decide to try “reading the lead”  The first problem is not that tough but I could see that at the table you could play too quickly.  I am just going to show one suit and the play to trick one.  The auction has been 1NT-3NT.  East’s opening lead is the 6 and you diamond holding is



If East has lead 4th highest you can work out (using the rule of 11) that West has known higher so you need to put in the 7 to take four diamond tricks.

Well, Day 15 is the last day and there is no way that I can leave out our new website for teachers and students.

I admit that it’s focus is not experts (and I did write some of the content) but I wonder if I can find something that I can use.

There are definitely some amusing articles on the student side like Ray’s bridge on Broadway and Eddie Kantar’s humorous quotes.  I have some fun on the teacher’s forum.  I am interested in whether teachers are really teaching 2/1 as a second course to students.  I play both 2/1 and standard and I don’t really understand why you would want to teach one in a first course and another in the second course.  I am going to check back. 

But okay, this site is not about improving my game so much as helping me to understand how  students and teachers approach it and also the great enthusiasm that bridge teachers bring to their job.

Answer to 4 problem above

If hearts break 2-2 there is no problem on the hand and you can even afford a second heart loser.  So after playing a heart to the queen, finesse the J on the way back.  If the finesse loses then hearts are 2-2 and you will still make four.  If the finesse wins then you have only one heart loser and you can handle the break.

1 Comment

MaggieSeptember 26th, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Linda, it has been great fun following your internet exploration each day, thanks so much for finding all these wonderful sites.

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