Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Country Club Bridge **

After a lovely lunch with iced tea and coffee we adjourned across the room to the best table: next to the windows and overlooking the well-manicured golf course. Our foursome consisted of my mom and Pat and Jo, two friends of the family. They were a little worried about playing with The Expert.

We decided to play 4 hands and then switch partners. I picked up a solid 19 count and opened 2NT:


As we weren't playing transfers, partner bid 3N. The dummy came down and I saw that we belonged in 4S (from my side).

x x

I won the heart lead and saw that I was going down. The momentum shifted back and forth. I noticed that if I had opened 1D then my partner would have played 4S and a H lead would probably have scuttled the contract.

Finally, after the SA was ducked twice (!), I had 9 tricks. Justice was served-in a manner of speaking-because 4S would have made.

We went on like this for a few hands when we decided that we needed to order some Pecan Balls. These turned out to be miniature nutty, chocolatey, whipped-cream-topped ice cream sundaes. Each time you took a bite it dripped down the glass. A sticky puddle soon formed under my confection.

As we dealt the next hand we seemed to be missing a card. We recounted our hands. We looked under the table and under the chairs. We recounted. We looked in our purses. I seriously pondered whether we could have played the first few hands with 51 cards. Finally, after a concentrated last effort, we discovered the stuck card. The table was sticky.

We switched partners and kept going. We talked about reverses, signals and suit preference signals. We talked about golf, the beautiful weather, the California wine country, blogs and men. I landed in 6NT after a quantitative auction:



After a S lead I could only count 11 tricks but something good could happen in diamonds or the heart finesse could work. I cashed a few tricks and led a D to the J which held. Now…what to pitch on the spades? I finally fell back on the H finesse. It lost and the DA was cashed. There was silence. The Expert had gone down in a slam.

The penultimate hand had great potential:


RHO opened 1H and I overcalled 1 S. LHO bid 2H, pass, pass to me. I really liked my hand so I bid 2S. LHO doubled! 3 passes.

Dummy wasn’t much:

LHO must have all of the spades. I lose a H and manage to lose only 1C and 1D but can’t avoid losing 3 spades. (LHO had 6) Down 1. (!)

We hugged our goodbyes. Thanks--we’ll do it again!
Next time they probably won't be worried.

See you at the table!

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