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by David Stevenson


So I had an L&EC meeting in London, as I do every six weeks or so. I left it to the last minute before emailing a couple of ladies to see if they would play bridge with me, one at the Young Chelsea on Wednesday night, one at the ACBL club on Thursday afternoon.

Paula had just arranged a partner for Wednesday when she got my email, so I had to play with John Probst. He makes some funny calls, for example he held a 3=2=1=7 hand with the ace of clubs but not much else, and opened an 11-13 1NT. No problem so far. LHO doubles, partner bids 2C and RHO doubles. Now what?

For those of you from the wrong side of the pond or France, let me explain that playing a weak no-trump as fairly standard in the country means that it is general bridge knowledge that this sequence might easily be a hand without clubs that is about to do something else, like redouble for takeout. What is your plan?

Anyway, we were above average, not too bad I suppose, and during the evening Didi phoned. She is a New York lawyer from California, now living in London! She could play on Thursday [good] but her normal partner Caroline could not [damn] so Probst could not play with Caroline.

No matter. Probst got Gordon, a good player, to play. Now that's not fair - you don't get good partners for the ACBL club. That should cost me money!

Anyway, Thursday dawned, and I got Probst into his car at just after the crack of dawn [11.00 am]. During the drive to the club he taught me about spread betting - I only won 14 pence off him on what time we were going to get there.

So, to the ACBL club. My partner bid a slam using Blackwood [she had a void, but what the heck!] and I played it quite nicely, I think. Gordon played it just as well - but he was in game.

Didi did quite nicely, though playing a few more hands than I liked [that's nothing against her: I don't like any of my partners playing any hands ]. I began to think that the penny per percent bet with Probst would not be too expensive.

60%, wahey! Second - damn. Oh good, it isn't Probst. He and Gordon were third, but that was another seven pence into the coffers. I am looking forward to the November meeting.

Oh, the hand? Probst bid 3C to try to stop me taking it out of clubs - but that is psychologically wrong. I got it wrong now, redoubling 3C when it was doubled, and lost 1600 there. The solution is to pass 2C doubled, and then when I redouble that, pull it to 3C. That will convince me it is the right place to play and we do get a few matchpoints for -800.


Editor's note:

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