Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Favorite Stories

As we are coming up to the Thanksgiving holiday I thought it might be a good time to think about some of my favorite bridge stories … things that happened to me.

Somehow it is the weird things that I remember most.

It all started when I was at university. I was playing in a competition with other students at a special game at the local bridge club, Kate Buckmans. My partner was Andy Altay (a friend of long-standing then and now). Andy was the best partner and you will agree with me after I tell you what happened.

Andy and I reached a grand slam in a trump suit. Dummy came down and I could see that I was missing the trump king (those were the days before keycard Blackwood). I led one up to dummy to take a finesse when my right hand opponent showed out. I shrugged my shoulders and played low and shortly thereafter claimed one down. The result was the same at the other table. Unlucky? Not really it was stupid. There was only one trump missing, the king. Both declarers finessed into the stiff king. And what did Andy say? Nothing. He did smile but it was an encouraging smile! Now you know why Andy is one of the best partners. 

Moving ahead in time my husband Ray and I were playing at a sectional in a town not too far from where we lived. We were playing an Open Pairs and then the next day planned to play with our friends, Ray and Gail Jotcham, who were staying at the hotel. Anyway Ray and I had a terrible afternoon in the pairs and as they used to say “We qualified for the Consolation”. Things didn’t go much better in the Consolation but we had some really funny stories to tell the Jotchams. On one deal the opponents bid to a heart game while our side was bidding spades. Vulnerable against not, we took the push to 4  which was doubled.  For some reason we redoubled, probably because “why not?”. On this hand my job was to find the trump queen. I had a two way finesse. Being a student of the game I decided to play some other suits first to try to deduce the opponents distribution and work out the best way to take the finesse. Unfortuantely on the way to “getting a count” one of the opponents ruffed in. So I went down without every taking a finesse (or even playing trump).

The next morning when we were back in the playing area the Jotchams came over to tell Ray and I that we had in fact won the event. And the 4  redoubled hand … it was a top. The field had sold out to 4  making for -420 while 4  redoubled done one was only -400!

Do you have some good stories to tell? Send them to me at and I will post them or write them up as comments.

Im a lifetime of bridge I admit I have a lot more to tell myself.



1 Comment

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 25th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Hi Linda:

I enjoyed your tales of woe.

I, too, have a lifetime of bridge memories — mostly happy, but a few sad (and embarrassing) ones intertwined. I think the secret of success (which is hard to adhere to) is to not take oneself too seriously at the table. I believe improvement is brought about by acknowledging one’s mistakes and focusing on no repeat performances .. perhaps just new boo-boos! After all .. no one is infallible — even bridge players.

Thanks for sharing. It’s funny how those happenings dwell in one’s mind — seemingly forever. Bridge is a cruel taskmaster but looking back and laughing about one’s foolishness is what it is all about. That’s life.

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