Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A birthday gift

Tuesday was my birthday. I had friends and relatives call or use Facebook to wish me a happy one. Don't ask how old -- that's top-secret government information.

On our birthdays, Kate and I play bridge online and try to bid what we call "the birthday grand." Bidding and taking 13 tricks isn't so easy, so this year we decided to shoot for a small slam. I guess when you get older, your ambitions aren't as high.

On Board No. 7, I held:
Q 4 2 J 7 K 10 9 5 K Q 10 4.

With both vulnerable, my right-hand opponent opened 1. I passed and LHO bid 1, partner passed and RHO bid 1NT. It passed back to partner who balanced with a double. I bid 2 (no use bidding more, no need to punish partner for balancing) and LHO bid 2. Partner bellied up to the table and bid 3, pass, pass back to LHO who bid 4.

What is going on? It's your birthday, stupid, and this is your present. I doubled, they ran to 4 and I doubled that as well. Here are all four hands:

What is it with these people? They refuse to defend (it looks like 3 would be down one), so they continue to overbid. As long as they do that, Kate and I will keep pushing them up.

Declarer (North) played it about as well as she bid it, and went down four tricks instead of three for +1100 for the good guys and 14.6 IMPs -- no small slam, but a nice present indeed. You can see all the results for this deal here.


  1. Happy Birthday!

    You probably know this, but you don't need to use a paintbrush to hide the opponents' names.

    On BBO, you can export a handviewer link. Open it in a browser window and you will see the full URL. Now, you can edit the URL to delete the opponents' names (or just call them rho and lho) and then embed the hand itself into your blog using "iframe". That will let readers see the play as it develops using "Next".

  2. @Lakshmanan: I used to do the iframe, but it makes the blog page slow to load. The trade-off is (as you pointed out), it allows the reader to follow the play. In this case, the lady ducked the first club. Later when she lead a club, she put up the ace, not noticing that Kate had ruffed it and so going down an extra trick!

  3. Well, happy birthday. I was going to guess your age but decided not to. I only have ten fingers and toes! :) As to your game, every little bid helps! Did you know that you're supposed to celebrate birthdays for one whole week? Enjoy!