When a player opened the bidding with three Q-J combinations plus a K-J, an observer commented : ‘Looks as though he has thirteen points in low cards.’ Two players were on the way to get a cup of coffee. Ted : How’s your game going tonight? Jed : Not so good. I budget on making three idiotic errors each session, but we’ve played only eight hands and I’ve been declarer twice already. A dear old lady found herself playing in a teams match against two very famous Grand Masters. Her partner was also a distinguished Grand Master.
Feeling considerably outclassed, she spent the entire match praying for 4-3-3-3 yarboroughs (that is, a hand with no card higher than a 9), so that she would not have to make any decisions and could not be criticised in front of the kibitzers for getting a decision wrong. She also worked very hard in the bidding to try to ensure that her famous partner played all the hands. She had been reasonably successful with her ‘relay’ system until this monster came along : A K Q A 6 K Q J 10 9 8 A K She and her partner were playing Benjamin Twos and in this method she had an automatic 2 Diamond opening which promises a hand of 23 points or more, or at least enough for game in one’s own hand. However, she figured that if she did open 2 Diamonds, it was highly likely that the final contract could be 5, 6 or even 7 Diamonds and then she would have to play the hand. Therefore she rejected the 2 Diamond opening and instead opened 2 Clubs which showed around 19-22 points, about 8-9 playing tricks.
This clever ploy was in anticipation of her partner bidding the 2 Diamond negative reply, in which case he would end up as declarer if the final contract happened to be in diamonds. However, the contract turned out to be 6 Spades, played by her partner of course, and after the lead was made and she tabled this gigantic dummy, the Grand Master on her right stared at dummy goggle-eyed and exclaimed : ‘Good grief! That’s the biggest eight-playing trick hand I have ever seen. What do you need to open with 2 Diamonds?’ Her reply : ‘Weaker opponents.’ It is not uncommon for players to play ‘professionally’ these days. This means that they are hired by individuals who pay a fee to play a session or a tournament with a professional. The fee varies according to the skill and status of the professional. This conversation was overheard at the local club : ‘I believe that there are some bridge professionals who earn more money than the Prime Minister.’ ‘And why not? They play a lot better.’ Two new players sat down at the smart alec’s table. ‘We’re novices,’ said one. ‘Really? Which order?’ A beginner had just started playing duplicate and was very, very nervous. On an early hand when her partner called 4 No-trumps, she knew just what she was supposed to do, so she confidently replied : ‘Five . . . five . . . uh . . . aces!’
At most clubs there are special sessions for novice players. At our club, the Director is a very experienced player who can help the novice when a problem is encountered. On such a novices’ evening, the following incident took place : The bidding had started No bid : No bid : No bid . . . The fourth player contemplated his cards and from his consternation it was clear that he did not know what he should do. Finally he put his cards down and, excusing himself from the table, he sought out the Director. ‘What should I open if I hold thirty-two points?’ he asked. ‘Who are you kidding? Look, if you have thirty-two points, you can sleep with my wife.’ ‘Which one is your wife?’ ‘The Director pointed out his wife, whereupon the player returned to the table. ‘No bid.’