Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Playing with one of the dwarves

No I am not the dwarf.  It was Ray.  He stayed up late, very late watching what I believe was a poor performance by his team, Manchester United and was transformed into Sleepy.  During the event today he committed a record number of irregularities, two of which were notable.  The first I call “the lucky one”. ( I am really sorry about this opponents.)  It accounted for our best board of the day (100%).  Ray held

963 Q1093 QJ842. 

The auction went

Me North Ray South
    pass 1
pass 1 pass 2
dbl pass ?  


Ray who was busy yawning did not see the double and he passed.  The opponents played in 2 doubled and a flustered Ray led the J.  Here is the whole hand


  Unlucky Opponent  
Board 18  Q1063  
Linda   Ray
A875   J
102   963
K75   Q1093
AK96   QJ842
  Unlucky Opponent  

As you can see on a spade lead this hand goes for 800 (we actually played safe for 500). 

The “interesting” irregularity occurred when Ray played both the K and a small heart at the same time when the lady finessed hearts into him.  We found out that there was no significant penalty when Ray chose to win the finesse with the king.  The other heart was just a spot; he could lead anything he wanted and the heart just stayed on the table exposed until Ray eventually played it.

There were definitely moments when both of us wanted to be anywhere but at the bridge table but I know we will look back on this event with fond memories.  It seems to me to be remarkable that we can go so far away from home and find ourselves surrounded by wonderful friends.  Isn’t bridge the greatest game!

Michael Wilkinson gave me an interesting “fairy” hand.  It was written down on a piece of paper but when I went to play I promptly lost it.  But Michael I think it went something like this and I think I got the answer in a small flash of inspiration.  I only looked at the problem for a minute or two  so  here is a facsimile, I am sure it isn’t as Michael gave it to me but probably still in the spirit of the problem. 

Board 18  AXX  
XX   QJxx
  DD You  


You are playing 3NT ( double dummy); LHO sensing that a heart lead will not work (the heart suit blocks) leads a club.  You have to rise since otherwise the DD opponents will take four hearts and the K.  How do you make this hand?

My answer…. please confirm Michael….

You play diamonds.  Sooner or later RHO has to discard a heart.  As soon as they discard their first heart you have to stop playing diamonds and give up the K.  This is a  Goldilocks hand, one heart discard is just right but two is too many.

I do think this is an interesting problem and it was fun to work it out.  I just hope it is more or less the problem Michael gave me.

Jenni and Tom Carmichael of Atlanta were a last minute entry.  They played in the event after traveling for about 25 hours playing yesterday with almost no sleep. 

I confess that my dwarf name today was Grumpy, but Ray and I wanted to let everyone know what fun we had on a beautiful day in Sydney.   Thanks to Nick Fahrer who came with us for lunch and tried to keep us from grumping at each other.  And congratulations to the winners Peter Reynolds and David Appleton  who had a huge score of  248 VP out of a maximum of 300 for an average of more than 20 VP out of a maximum 25 each round. 

For all the results at the Sydney tournament:


Michael WilkinsonOctober 27th, 2008 at 7:02 am

The actual hand was from the qualifying of the SNOT – Khokan Bagchi spotted it from the deep finesse analysis on the hand record.





J765 Q

A7653 KJT8

T2 QJ874

T8 K52





Linda LeeOctober 27th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

So I did get it right! Thanks Michael its a cute problem and I enjoyed it.

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