Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Ray Still Has It

It has become impossible to drag my husband out to a bridge game of any sort in recent years.  He doesn’t like many things about bridge tournaments (like people’s behavior, the frequent director calls looking for an edge, committees and the like).  And who can really blame him.  It can be a lot of work to deal with the nonsense.  But over the last while when pressed he said that he would play online.  So yesterday I took him up on that promise.

We had fun despite the fact that I was not at my personal best.  But Ray did shine.  I have found that spouses are always ready to pounce and I could hear the grumbling on this hand before dummy came down.

Dealer: N

Vul: EW




















I wasn’t sure what to do with the North hand at this wonderful vulnerability.  I considered a weak two bid in spades and maybe that would have been the best approach.  Anyway I didn’t want to take too long thinking about it and I decided to pass and await action.  East opened 1NT which was going to be a pain.  Because if West bid 3NT I would have to do something clever to get both suits in.  I could try 5 and when this was doubled, redouble.  Ray would know what to do.  Ray passed and West bid 2 , transfer.  I thought I would double this for now and then bid hearts later.  East passed and Ray made the surprise bid of 4 .  He told me later how he found this bid.  He figured that if I was doubling 2 missing the AKQ I had a lot of spade length and some other strange things about my hand.  Wonderful!  You have to admire his thinking.  West ventured 5 and I bid 5 .  East doubled to end the auction.

Ray was feeling a little aggrieved that his clever bid had been punished until dummy came down.

Ray had another bidding triumph on the last board getting to a slam in 3 bids (5 if you count bids by the opponents).  We didn’t see any results at the time since we were the first to play the board and he asked me to check how we did.  We won almost 10 imps, dear.  Here is the deal:

Dealer: W

Vul: EW


♠ A963



















West North East South
pass pass 1 DBL
pass 2 3 6
all pass

East opened 1 in third.  I like 1 a lot better if you plan to bid at all.  Ray doubled and I thought I showed some values with 2 .  When East continued with 3♣, Ray thought my values were likely to be in the majors and he jumped to the spade slam.  AS you can see it did have 12 top tricks, making it Linda proof.

By the way, Ray, despite the fact that our opponents jumped to and made a very lucky spade grand not even knowing about the trump ace, we still ended up with plus imps overall.

Now I need your help readers.  Ray needs some encouragement.  He is a good bridge player and even if we only play online I want to play with him.  Wifely wiles go only so far.  Send your comments or emails his way.  Mark your ballots YES for Ray should play bridge.


Judy Kay-WolffOctober 29th, 2010 at 1:13 pm


(an old American Movie).

RAY, we need people like you. Your feelings are no different than mine when it comes down to behavior, committees, personal agendas, politics and I could go on and on.

You read my blogs. I don’t pull any punches.

Since the day we married. Bobby has played with no one but his little bride here in Las Vegas. I am not very gracious about parting with him. Hard to find a replacement of equal value.

However, if it is any inducement (and you have time to take a trip to LV for a sectional or regional), I will arrange a six man team with you and Linda and OFFER UP BOBBY WOLFF AS YOUR PARTNER as I sit off a session or two and Linda and I can go to the jewelry shops and shoe stores. HOW IS THAT FOR AN INDUCEMENT TO GET BACK INTO BRIDGE?

Though we rarely see you, Bobby and I have a very special affection and respect for you as you helped us non-stop get through the final publication of The Lone Wolff, which has given us enormous pleasure.

So, consider it a debt well paid off?



SallyOctober 29th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I did notice Ray was in a very good mood this morning, and it was the first thing he talked about when I came into the office. So I think, secretly, that he had fun too!

Ray LeeOctober 29th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

There’s another reason I don’t play much any more even online, and this session illustrates it. What do you think of East’s bidding on this second deal, at this vulnerability? Does it look odd to you? Now let me tell you that the same player earlier had found a double dummy lead from Kx into a blind auction, to be the only player who defeated 4H. And finally on a third deal, with

KQ9xxx A AQJ109x —

he opened 1S, rebid 2D over his partner’s 2C response, and then jumped to 7S when his partner gave preference to spades. Partner came down with a stiff diamond and the ace fourth of trumps, and declarer then proceeded to take a line requiring diamonds to be 3-3, rather than drawing trumps and eventually taking a ruffing finesse against the DK. By now you won’t be surprised when I tell you that diamonds were indeed 3-3, and the ruffing finesse would have lost (in fact it was worse than that — he ruffed out diamonds without bothering to draw trumps, as though very confident there was no overruff available for the defense, and the auction suggested that Linda had club length, making me a favorite to have longer diamonds). That’s the ‘lucky’ grand Linda mentioned.

I’m not pointing the finger at anyone here; maybe the guy just didn’t know that a 50% shot is better than 36%. Maybe he just got lucky and found a great lead against 4H. And maybe he doesn’t know that psyching and then coming out again at the 3-level red against white on a 5-5 8-count is unlikely to be winning bridge. However, when an opponent takes a number of double-dummy off-centre actions like this, my antennae start twitching.

Linda LeeOctober 29th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

It did feel strange to me too. But it is hard to tell if somebody is lucky (and not that good) or cheating over a few boards.

I didn’t care anyway. This wasn’t for blood it was for love (blush).

JessicaOctober 29th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

If this was an election, I would totally ignore the 37 other vanity candidates on the ballot, and fill in the little arrow voting Ray into office (of Online Bridge Player).

Ray LeeOctober 29th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Judy, I posted my comment before yours had showed up for me — how could I refuse such an offer? If ever we’re in LV, you’re on.

ColinOctober 29th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

You mean the tiny little pointer to the left of the name to the right of the arrow above the hole in the center of the ballot? I’d definitely vote for Ray then!

nick fahrerOctober 29th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

fwiw, I was at the table at the time and I didnt notice any “helper” kibs on the grand hand. And I did check!

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 30th, 2010 at 7:02 pm


Despite all the attributes of BBO, especially during the major championships, where we can enjoy it at our home computers, I (and Bobby) well understand your reaction to playing on line. As you remember, in partnership with John Sutherland, they were supposed to monitor a Junior event, and Bobby at first accepted, but wanted the option of investigating something he suspected as fishy and having control. When

he was refused, he bowed out and John handled it alone. So, we know well where you are coming from.

But, why not get reinvolved in live bridge competition. It only hurts for a little while.



idbluOctober 30th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Of course Ray still has it…he NEVER lost it 🙂

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