One of the joys of encouraging new players is watching them bid and play successfully. This hand came up at the club while I was playing with Dave Tabor, who was in only his second session of bridge. East bid 2 clubs, an artificial bid to tell her partner that she had 5 spades and 5 hearts. Dave saw that his hand was not defensive, but would take a lot of tricks in a club contract. He allowed himself to be pushed to the level of 6 by our opponents, who then doubled and gave him a top score. Other pairs bid to slam on these cards, but no one else was doubled.
The play of the hand was short and sweet, requiring only that Dave draw one round of trumps and then claim the rest of the tricks. Note that even though they are vulnerable, east-west will get a better score by bidding 6 hearts and going down 2, a loss of only 500 instead of the 1090 points they gave away.
The bridge community has lots of interesting happenings this month, with the North American Championships in Pittsburgh, the annual tournament in Ontario, and local qualifying for the national team championships called the Grand National Teams. This is a fancy name for a grass roots competition culminating in the finals in Atlanta at the Summer National Championships. Several players have also just returned from the regional tournament in Portland, others are making plans for the next event in Casper, Wyoming, in May.
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