Bridge By The Lake

By Ken Masson 


Those who read last month’s ramblings may remember that herself and myself were well-placed going into the final round of our first duplicate back in Toronto this spring when disaster struck on the first board. We needed to recover smartly if we were going to finish first in our direction, East-West.


On the second board, herself, sitting East, passed in first seat and South opened 1 heart. Although I had an opening bid myself, I had no convenient way of entering the auction and so passed. North also passed and the spotlight fell on herself. Knowing that it rarely pays to let the opponents play at the one level, she made a takeout double. I was marked with “stuff” based on the bidding; indeed I could well have had a “trap pass”, a strong hand with long hearts, just waiting for my partner to reopen with a double.


South passed and I had an awkward choice of bids. I didn’t feel I was quite strong enough to pass for penalties, nor did I feel that game could be on for our side as my partner was a passed hand. 2 no trump, 1 no trump, 2 spades and 1 spade all struck me as viable alternatives. In the end I convinced myself that there was no point in jumping the bidding as whatever call I made was likely to buy the contract so I settled on a timid 1 spade.


To everybody else’s surprise North now suddenly came alive with a bid of two hearts. When this bid came back to me visions of revenge for the debacle of the first deal leapt before my eyes and I swiftly pulled out the “double” card sending the message to partner: “we’ve got them!” Just one down doubled and vulnerable would surely make up for the measly score we had picked up in the previous hand. After all, wasn’t I sure to get 2 hearts, 1 diamond and a possible club ruff, in addition to the tricks my partner, the takeout doubler, was sure to contribute?


I led a low spade and nearly fell out of my chair when the dummy came down with the AJ3 of hearts sitting over my lovely collection. How could he have passed the first time? Well, there was no point in worrying about that now; I had to concentrate on trying to beat the contract. Herself won the opening lead with the spade ace and switched to the king and queen of diamonds, the second of which declarer ruffed.


In quick order he cashed the king and queen of spades, before leading a heart to the dummy. I split my honors and declarer won with the ace. He now ruffed a diamond back to his hand and ruffed a spade in the dummy with the heart 3 and played a club to his ace and cashed the king – he now had 8 tricks in and had to come to another in the wash – 2 hearts doubled making three for the unlovely score of minus 870 and zero match points on the deal.


In the last two boards we had dropped from first to eighth place. That sure was some welcome home!


Questions or comments: email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Pin It
Bridge By The Lake  By Ken Masson March 2019 Bridge By The Lake February 2019 Bridge By The Lake January 2019 Bridge
The Dark Side Of The Dream By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez, Arte Publico Press 434 pages $11.95 US Reviewed by ROB MOHR (Initially published in The
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   The great thing about duplicate bridge is that it reduces the luck factor in the game. Every hand in matchpoint
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   The Annual Valentine’s Sectional Bridge Tournament in Ajijic was once again a big success this February. 
BRIDGE BY THE LAKE By Ken Masson   Sometimes, despite holding a wealth of high cards, you will reach a slam and when dummy comes down you will
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals
 Find us on Facebook