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September 27, 2016

Judy Kay-Wolff

Breaking News We Have Been Hoping For!

The following series of corrrespondence (in reverse order) will inform you of what persistence can achieve… meaning Try, Try and Try Again!

September 27th

Dear Gianarrigo,

Sincere congratulations for allowing bridge to gain entry into the Asian Games in 2020.

This could very well be the great opportunity our sensational game has needed and your work in getting it done is monumental. All of your many admirers, including Bridge itself, rise as one, in support of your colossal achievement.

Your great friends,
Bobby and Judy Wolff

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 6:24 AM, (from Alvin Levy)

Great news. Kudos to Gianarrigo and all who made this happen. This may help in our pursuit of a future Olympic Games acceptance.

Best regards,

On Sep 27, 2016, at 4:54 AM, (from WBF President)

Dear Friends,

Great News: Bridge has been admitted at the 2018 Asian Games. Hereunder the info BR received from Bambang and attached the news to be publish on the web.

It’s a great day for Bridge!

In abbraccio

World Bridge Federation
Gianarrigo Rona

Subject: RE: Bridge in Asian Games
From: Michael Bambang Hartono
Date: Monday, 26/09/2016 7:38 AM

Dear all,

At last, the big news we all had been waiting for, realized last night, September 25 2016.

In a decision made by the General Assembly of OCA in Da Nang Vietnam, Bridge was finally included to be competed in the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia.

I will take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continuos support and effort to make this possible.

Especially I would like to mention the “Arm Twisting” effort of our WBF President to all Zone 4 and Zone 6 members that if we fail this time, there will be no more chance in the future “It is now or never” he said.

I would like to remind Nakatani your promise after bridge was accepted in ASIAN Games to include (try) Bridge to be competed in the Olympics in Tokyo Japan 2020.

I also like to remind all Zone 4 and Zone 6 members of their promise to send their teams to participate on this event.

Sincerely Yours,
Michael Bambang Hartono
President SEAB

by Judy Kay-Wolff at September 27, 2016 08:32 PM

September 24, 2016

Paul Gipson

Next summer

For me the EBU Summer Meeting has always marked the end of the season and I start thinking about which events we intend to play in next year. Of course some plans have already been made, with the English Premier League (three weekends in October-November), SBU Winter Foursomes (27-29 January), and the EBU Spring Foursomes (28 Apr-2 May) always the first in the calendar.

The big decision is what to do next summer. I'm pretty sure what we'll do, but I thought I'd outline the various options if others are interested in playing outside the UK.

North American Bridge Championships

The ACBL Summer Nationals will be in Toronto from 20-30 July. With cheap direct flights from Glasgow this may be attractive to Scottish players despite the fall in sterling. General information on NABCs is available on the ACBL website but I can provide a lot of information if you ask. Alternatively read this blog (Toronto 2011) which covers the last time we went and includes a full guide for aliens travelling to an NABC.

European Open Championships

The 8th European Open Championships will be held in Montecatini, Italy, from 10-24 June. This is the EBL's money-grabbing exercise that is supposed to be the equivalent of the ACBL event, but at a higher cost for less bridge. If all you want to play is Mixed Pairs and Mixed Teams then the costs tend to be more reasonable, but for the other events it seems extortionate. The EBL will probably provide more information on its website at some point. A discerning reader may suspect this is not my preferred event.

World Transnational Open Teams

This will held alongside the Bermuda Bowl and other events of the World Teams Championship. The Championships are to be held in Lyon and the Transnational Open Teams will be from 21-25 August: it starts with a three-day Swiss followed by two days of knockout play, and I believe there may be a two-day side event for non-qualifiers.

To my mind, the WBF events are just too expensive, especially when you can lose 20% of a day's bridge if there is an odd number of teams.

Swedish Bridge Festival

Scotland has sent representative teams to this event for the last couple of years and the feedback has been uniformly positive with many now going under their own steam. It is a high standard, organised unbelievably well, with lots of events and the friendliest environment. Scotland even installed its own translator into the country, although she seems to be going native.

The dates for the Swedish Bridge Festival 2017 are Friday 28 July to Sunday 6 August. The Chairman’s Cup is played Saturday 29 July to Thursday 3 August. More information will be published in the end of 2016, but there are already flyers available on its website.  Mike Ash and Jim Hay are an excellent men to talk to if you are interested in this.

Other European events

Greek Islands Bridge Festival was on 20-27 August this year. I don't have dates for next year so keep an eye on bridgefestival.gr

The Pula Bridge Festival is reputed to be the largest in European and is on 2-10 September. I don't have dates for next year so keep an eye on its website - pulabridgefestival.com.

Tom Townsend says there is also the 57th Baltic Bridge Congress in Sopot, Poland around the end of July - details will be on the Polish website.

Stay at home?

And for those who prefer to stay at home, there is the SBU Summer Congress in Peebles on 14-16 July and, earlier than usual, the EBU Summer Meeting in Eastbourne on 4-13 August.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at September 24, 2016 09:35 AM

September 23, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Colin Kehe - 1943 - 2016



Too soon again, it is my painful duty to report yet another loss in Minnesota's bridge community.  Please join me in saying goodbye to one more of our long time, excellent players:  Colin Kehe. In today's world, at 73, Colin leaves us way too early.....

A beautiful obituary for Colin appears in today's paper. You may read it here.



Colin is survived by his lovely wife and bridge partner of 27 years, Theresa. And, as bridge players, we know that special, long time partners such as Evan Sachs will be grieving, too.

Please note that tomorrow, Saturday, a memorial service shall be held for Colin.  It will be at 2PM at the Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, 3600 Hennepin Avenus S. Minneapolis. Visitation begins at 1:30.  The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Doctors Without Borders.

Every player in our bridge community is so valued.  Colin will be greatly missed.


by Peg at September 23, 2016 04:26 PM

September 20, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Celebrating Jonathan

Jonathan family
Jonathan and his Beloved Family


Monday evening, September 19th, a large gathering of family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and - of course, a great many bridge players - met for a memorial service honoring Jonathan Cohen.



Wonderful stories were shared by Jonathan's brother Harlan, colleagues of Jonathan's from the University of Minnesota, neighbors....  And Charlie Nauen, long time friend and bridge partner, expressed thoughts about Jonathan that were moving, complimentary - and funny.  

It still remains difficult to know that Jonathan will no longer be giving the rest of us a tough time at the table, nor attempting to share his baggie full of vegetables and rotting fruit to others.  Still, sharing memories of Jono with one another was comforting.  Tears - and smiles - were clearly both in evidence.



As the Minnesota bridge world celebrates years of friendship and competition with Jonathan, we also send our deep condolences to his family; wife Barbara, daughter Ilana and her husband Craig, grandchildren Nolan and Clara and others.

As a final remembrance, we will share thoughts from Dave Anderson. Though it has been many years since Dave has lived in the Twin Cities - no one who knew Jonathan could forget him. 





Jonathan was a 30+ year participant in Light Entertainment and its lunch time Fridays precursor.

He was to many the stereotype of a perfect nerd.  He would rarely use a 50 cent word when a $5 hypersyllable was available.  And he had an enormous supply of them.  He grew up in New York City the son of a Superior Court judge and brother of an eventually high ranking foreign service officer.

Jonathan dressed like a flood victim and always wore a plastic shirt pocket protectors which held four pens of different colors, to every bridge game and tournament. At two session events he brought plastic bags full of carrots, celery, tomato and stuff that looked suspiciously like what the rest of us sprayed on our lawns.

He had a Ph.D. in chemistry and four years of post doc research at a Canadian University, prided himself in always driving slowly in the left lane, drove down entrance ramps and slowed or stopped at their end to assess the best time to merge and was a polymath of the performing arts.  He would refuse any and all bridge events whenever there was a noted opera, symphony, play or ballet available.

Despite being the worst and most dangerous driver I've ever known, he would put chains on his tiny Hondas and drive to high brow venues on Minnesota winter nights when even the snowplow drivers wept.  

He was as socially inept as his brother the state department counsel was ept.

I loved him.

We all had nicknames back in the day.  Given Jonathan’s taste in entertainment, and soft spoken nature, I hung Cohen the Barbarian on him.  I knew he liked it, even though he would never admit it.

I probably won 10-15% of the master points I earned in my 17 years in Minnesota playing with him.  More often than anyone but Nancy. He had an eager willingness to learn all the conventions he could and even new systems.  He never lost his composure in competition.  He was a delight to play with.

He played so slowly and carefully he probably drove 100 people away from the game.  Having finished most hands two or three minutes after the time limit, he would take laborious notes, in four colors, with his pens.

He quickly came to appreciate the politics, quality of life, customs and mores of Minnesota.  In mid life he joined a hockey league, had the bruises to prove it, and took up cross country skiing.  On the hideously coldest days, he would often come out to our house on Lake Minnewashta to ski the 20 ft. slope and 300 ft. run down to and out onto the lake, so he'd have a place to come into and warm up.

After this tough guy choice of the additional hobbies, partner Peg Waller amended his nickname, more accurately, to Jono.  Maybe he got the taste for those manners of punishment from his decade in Canada.

Jonathan developed in a few short years a curious accent; the Bronx and Brooklyn of course, a twinge of Canadian from his decade there, and a Minnesota edge.

The year I wrote the MGSC club newsletter I appointed him copy editor, to correct my grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice and subject matter.  But only after it was published and distributed.  He loved the job carefully editing every issue.  I often published his corrections in subsequent issues.

If he were writing this he would bid himself a fond adieu and bon voyage.

                        Dave Anderson


We are pleased to be able to add the thoughts of Jonathan's brother, Harlan and Aliza, Harlan's daughter, as was shared with everyone at the memorial Monday evening.

Download Jonathan-Harlan

Download Jonathan-Aliza

by Peg at September 20, 2016 11:15 PM

September 19, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Unit 178 - Board of Directors 2016

Linda Brammer, President of Unit 178, has provided us with a new list of the Unit's Board of Directors, other key people for the Unit, plus additional information.

The link is below, and will also appear on the left column of MN Bridge.

Thank you Linda and all of our wonderful volunteers!

Download Unit178Board2016

by Peg at September 19, 2016 05:02 PM

September 17, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Unit 178 - Upcoming BOD Agenda

Unit 178's Board of Directors will meet at the Twin City Bridge Center on September 24th.  Details of the agenda are below!

Download AgendaSept24.Unit178

by Peg at September 17, 2016 04:40 PM

Jonathan Cohen - 1947 - 2016



Your blogmaster so enjoys reporting our triumphs, promoting our game, photographing our parties and tournaments, plus so many other bridge activities. Just like you, I love our game and our people!

Yet, one activity breaks my heart. Reporting when we have lost one of our own is painful.

Today, I am sad to share that Jonathan Cohen passed away on Tuesday, September 13th. Many are aware that Jonathan had battled Parkinson's for some time. Now, Jonathan's fight has ended.

Good friend and partner Charlie Nauen shared this information with me:

Jonathan had not been well the past few months. Yet, this timing came as a surprise to his family and friends. Jonathan played bridge just a bit over a week ago with long time partners and friends Mark Krusemeyer and Patti Stuhlman.

Jonathan was an iconic member of our bridge community. He will be dearly missed.

A memorial service will be held Monday, September 19th. An obituary will appear in the newspaper this weekend, with details and location

We will be updating the website as we have more information, and stories about "Jono."

Please note.  Patti Stuhlman, broken hearted to have lost her friend and partner too soon, shared with me that Jonathan's service will be held at 6PM, September 19th, at the Cremation Society in Edina, 7110 France Avenue South.

Jonathan's obituary can be viewed here.  A great photo of our friend, along with memories and description that capture Jono so very well.

Deepest sympathies to Jonathan's family and his many friends.






by Peg at September 17, 2016 04:32 PM

September 15, 2016

Paul Gipson

End of the run

When they started playing twelve days ago, I'm pretty sure none of the Scotland Women team at the World Bridge Games imagined that they would be playing in the semifinal. With an array of world-class teams at the event, the realistic aim was to qualify for the knockout stages and then, hopefully, give a 'good' team a fright.

So it is a mark of their achievement that they were in the semifinal, losing by 1 imp with 8 boards of the 96 to play, against one of the strongest teams in the event. I know the fact that they finally lost by 19 imps will be heartbreaking for the team, but once they stand back I hope that they will appreciate their achievement and how proud not only their Scottish supporters are but also the level of support that they got from a huge number of British players.

Like their round of 16 match, they started the semifinal poorly as France sped to a 27 imps lead. Given the relative experience of the teams, and France have multiple world champions in their team, it would have been no surprise if the match had been over at half-time, but the Scots came back strongly to lead by 14 imps overnight. France responded in the first two sets today to go into the final sixteen boards leading by 11 imps, but Scotland reduced this to a single imp with eight to play. Two late swings meant that the final result really didn't reflect how close, and tense, the match was.

France played consistently well throughout the match and they will now face USA in the two-day final. Scotland will play China in a 48-board match for the bronze medal.

The match was not the closest of the semifinals. Spain, including fellow BBO Forums and Bridge Winners contributor, Gonzalo Goded, were level with Monaco in the Open Series with three boards to play. An overtrick and then a partscore swing gave the match to the favourites, but it was an incredible performance by the Spaniards.

Like the Scots, the Spanish performance was way above original expectations. Both teams are largely amateur players in a sea of professionalism. Interestingly both teams did poorly at the European Team Championships last June. I wonder if this championship, where the top teams are just as impressive but there is a sprinkling of weaker teams, gave both teams the opportunity to build up confidence and momentum with some wins that they rode almost all the way to the final.

Good luck to both teams in the bronze medal games. Again neither will be favourites, but that hasn't bothered them up to this point.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at September 15, 2016 07:57 PM

Judy Kay-Wolff

Never Lose Your Sense of Humor

…especially when it comes to our unique game.This appropriately pertains to the huge realm of bridge players’ leanings from all parts of the world. I was fascinated by the post below which doesn’t make any effort by the author to restrain this individual’s strong views on recent changes to ACBL policies.The writer’s solution is quite humorous but I must confess the game has been so desecrated by so many recent happenings, I would not attempt to disagree. See for yourself!!

What Are We Buying?

Defending the indefensible, David Sievers writes to the ACBL Bridge Bulletin (“Pay Up”, July 2016 letters) in support of the ACBL’s new policy to charge five-member teams 25% more and six-member teams 50% more than four-member teams at national tournaments, on the grounds that everyone should “pay the same the same amount per masterpoint earned.” Of course, the ACBL could achieve the same kind of equity by awarding masterpoints to teams, for apportionment among teams members according to number of boards each plays. To adopt this view is to claim (I would say, confess) that the ACBL is in the business of selling masterpoints. I demur. In my view, the ACBL is in the business of providing fair sporting competition.

Saturday summers when I was a kid, I would go to the park and play ball (well, actually, spend most of my time out in right field watching the dandelions grow) with the other boys. Then everybody grew up and spent time studying, working, and raising families. Now I’m an old boy, and decades after the demise of the last rubber bridge club in town, I go to a local duplicate bridge club, or an ACBL-run tournament, to play with other (mostly old) boys and girls. What I buy are an abundance of playmates, playing cards and other equipment, interesting deals with hand records afterwards for further study, umpires to call balls and strikes (well, actually, rule on revokes and insufficient bids) impartially, and some recognition when luck and the performances of partners and teammates (well, actually, errors by my opponents, for without them I could never win) favor me with success.

To accommodate those with the views expressed by David Sievers, I suggest that the ACBL set up kiosks where kibitzers and surplus sitting-out members of teams can purchase masterpoints for cash, preferably at a discount, as the cost to the ACBL is lower than for players who actually participate. My roommate kibitzes but does not play bridge. She sure would like a plaque honoring her to hang alongside the ten stuffed heads in our trophy room right now; perhaps it could be inscribed with her name and a new category of Life Master, Cubic Zirconium, that I now modestly propose for those who acquire their masterpoints the simple way, by direct purchase.

Jonathan Slow

by Judy Kay-Wolff at September 15, 2016 01:38 PM

September 14, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Paul Bunyan Sectional Results



This past weekend, many players from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada headed to Duluth for September's Paul Bunyan Sectional. There, they enjoyed 3 days of pair and team games, plus great hospitality.

At the top of the masterpoint list, no surprise to find two of our Minnesota super stars: John Koch and Carole Miner. Together, John and Carol earned 29.15 masterpoints. Two other partnerships also did quite well: Tom Grue and Gregg Van Dyke nabbed 22.68; Terry and Kathy Beckman, 19.68. The entire masterpoints earned list is here.

Tom and Gregg also performed a rarely seen accomplishment.  In the Saturday night pair game, they racked up a mindboggling percentage of 80.42%!  Not surprisingly, the next closest percentage was 25% lower!  Very well done, boys!

Our thanks to tournament chairmen Diane Carr and Warren Nelson, tournament director Tony Ames and all our other fine volunteers.

All results from the tournament can be viewed here.

by Peg at September 14, 2016 09:59 PM

September 13, 2016

Paul Gipson

The run continues ...

With the match not on BBO Vugraph, I expect most of the Scottish supporters have worn out their F5 key as they kept refreshing the results page to see how the Women were doing against Norway. A good fifth set saw them extend their lead to 41 imps but there was plenty of potential in a swingy final set to give everyone a nervous wait except, I imagine, for the players at the table who had some element of control.

Sam, Anne, Helen, Fiona, Liz, Paula
Photo courtesy of Danny Kane

In the end there was nothing to worry about as Anne, Helen, Liz, Fiona, Sam, and Paula emerged victorious by 267-206 imps.  With 28 imps scored in the last five boards, the result doesn't really reflect the nerves we were all struggling with through during the last set.

I think this is a good start rather than a good result. They are now in the semifinals and will have the opportunity to gain revenge over the team that beat them four years ago, France. Good luck to them all as they play 96 boards over two days.

I expect every session to be on BBO Vugraph - go to http://bridgebase.com/ and click on login/register, choosing 'Look around the site' to watch without needing a user name. The schedule is 16-board sets starting at 9.30am, 1pm, and 4pm (BST).

They are the last British team in the event, as neither English team could overcome tough opposition. The Women lost a tight match to China and the Open team had a disastrous fifth set (2-60 imps) against the strong Dutch team and were not in the match after that. 

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at September 13, 2016 07:44 PM

September 11, 2016

Paul Gipson

WBG Round of 16

Pride of place tonight go to the Scotland Women, who came back from a 52 imps deficit at half-time against The Netherlands to win by 5 imps (177-172). They pulled back 40 imps in the final two sets, a great performance against one of the favourites.

In the quarter-finals they will face Norway. A match that I expect both teams will feel that they have a good chance of winning. Good luck to Anne, Helen, Fiona, Liz, Sam, and Paula!

England Women looked in complete control of their match against Italy, winning 223-130 imps. They now face China, which I expect will be a very close match.

The vagaries of the seeding and draw meant that England Open had to face the strong Israel team. England established a small lead and then played very solidly from what I saw, winning 182-137 imps. They will now face The Netherlands and I expect this will be close too.

There were some big upsets in the Open round of 16: France and Italy were defeated by New Zealand and Canada respectively. There was also controversy as Spain beat USA, another huge upset - you can read about some of the issues on the WBF site and Bridge Winners.

The England Mixed team could not make the most of their last-gasp qualification as they lost comfortably to Bulgaria.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at September 11, 2016 09:05 PM

September 10, 2016

Eamon Galligan

Teams Qualifiers World Bridge Games conclude

The qualifiers for the round of 16 of the various teams events in the World Bridge games has concluded. The great card playing nation of Ireland has no teams left standing.

The Open Team has plenty of missed chances and several unforced errors all of which added up
to a hopeful performance which in the end missed out by 6.3 VPs. Those VPs were available with a
little more bridge knowledge.

So with Ireland gone I will support USA .. whose Justin Lall showed up to win at The Regent Bridge Clubs 90th anniversary a few years ago .. and England Ladies as they have Fiona Brown from Fermoy playing.

Yesterday morning I was 2 strange actions on the first 2 boards against Hungary by our esteemed front pairing....Now maybe its a weakness in their bidding system ..

They open 1C which is 10-13 or 17 plus in normal peoples high card points.
The opponent overcalls 3H and its passed back to the 1C chap whe o owns the 17+ hand.
Somehow they contrive to launch into 3NT with a combined 23 count ...
Now out in Malahide the folk play penalty against 3 level ...so it goes double and everyone passes.
Not for our two heroes who declare 3NT and go down 2 ... should be plus at both tables for 5 imps
but instead is flat board ... if they get it doubled its 300 + 100 = 9 imps

Then on the 2nd board we had our 2 heroes attempting 4H with a combined 18 count .. The Hungarian was not happy so he doubled and gathered in 800 and 14 imps
Now this won't total up to the 6.3 VPs required but it puts a large hole in it ..
Maybe the 3NT-4 two times in the other room would get us over the line
Of course there were another 20-30 hands over the week to gain VPS.

Meanwhile out in Malahide last night I saw a declarer holding Kx opposite Jxx and on receiving a heart switch declarer rose with KING and thus losr the whole HEART SUIT.
playing low establishes a HEART trick by force ..

Other players in Malahide failed to push the lads up a level ... example 1D 1H 2C all pass..
I am pretty sure I am going to bid 2S without even seeing my hand unless I have lots of clubs.

Another pair sailed into 4S vulnerable with my partner making a DIAMOND noise in the auction and holding 5 diamonds and being non vulnerable I tried the effect of 5D... I was quite surprised to find it
went PASS PASS PASS ... This is daylight robbery

Then we had

This one went Pass 1C X 1H ...I ventured 1NT
Then 2C Pass Pass back to me

I tried 2D with the 3 card suit ... with better agreements I could double but did not want the
Big Man to be huffing and puffing and blowing..
Anyway 2D got home ... Of Course I was only hoping to push the opponents up a level
but they left me alone in 2D ..
Finally I must mention Declan the Donplayer ...who scored 56.62% on

Despite never having played a physical game of bridge .. but he keeps threatening to visit
Malahide. ....says I work for myself ..I am allowed play bridge on a Monday morning.

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at September 10, 2016 04:07 PM

Declan Donplayer amazes yet again

Last night I directed the Gala Pairs in Malahide. This is the annual season opening event. We had 39 tables after a couple of late cancelations. All went well and on departing Malahide Bridge Club about midnight I expected that was the end of bridge for the night.

I headed back to Rivervalley in Swords and parked up the car. Then over to Rivervalley Community Centre for a couple of Guinness. On entering the club I meet Declan the Donplayer. He gets a little excited and says "Eamon I need you to help me with something " ..

Now Declan is a local guy who learned bridge from scratch and who has never entered a bridge club as a player. He visited Malahide Regional one night for a look at how it all worked and kibitzed Maurice Quinn for a while. I taught him bridge in about 10 minutes one night and then introduced him to


For about the last 3 months Declan the Donplayer has been busy with his other pursuits of
catching trout , drinking , gambling , painting and decorating (his day job) , looking after his parents and his kids as well as playing the odd game of DON.

So it was quite a surprise to see Declan digging into his pocket and pulling out an Easons receipt with a bridge hand written on it.



The above hands are in order from the top Spades Hearts Diamonds Clubs

1NT 2D
2H    2S
3H    4C
4D    4NT
5S     6H

I had a quick glance and said .. So you made 6H and you are showing me that you done Transfers and Cuebidding and Roman Keycard Blackwood and bid a slam .. OK well done

"No Eamon this was my opponents and I have no clue what they mean .. Yer man is bidding diamonds when he has spades + hearts  and the other lad is bidding HEARTS twice  with a 4 card suit. Then yer man bids that ACES gerber thing you told me and the other lad says I have NONE when he has 2. Then he does that Blackwood thing as he does not believe the GERBER ...so I have no clue what their bidding means.
However I got 14% and I want to know how these 2 dunce robots can bid a slam in 6H and not have any idea about bidding .... The only part they know is the No trump thing showing 15-17 points."

So I explained to Declan ..

1NT ... 15-17
2D ... a transfer to HEARTS
2H .. complete the transfer
2S .. presume shows HEARTS and SPADES and is forcing
3H .. Agree HEARTS
4C ... A cuebid in this case showing a shortage in Clubs
4D ... A cuebid in this case showing Diamond Ace
4NT ... Roman Keycard Blackwood asking for 4 aces and the Trump King as 5th ace
5S ....  2 of those 5 aces and also the Queen of trumps
6H ... Missing an Ace so lets stop in 6

So there we have Declan the Donplayers interpretation and my view of what the robots are showing.

Of course if I was bidding I would be transferring to SPADES first and I am surprised the robots did not do this as well. However Declan the Donplayer wrote down the hands and auction so I better believe him.

Now Declan is a strange character for bridge ... Anytime I mention bridge to Declan ..He gushes
"Eamon I love that game and I am delighted you accidently showed it to me one night. "

One night he said to me (after he had imbibed probably a couple of gallons of beer ) ... Eamon 2 people did something for me in this life ...

1. My uncle taught me fishing when I was a kid and I am still reeling in 2 pounder trout to this day ..

Eventually I took the bait as nothing was happening ...

"Declan ... ok the fishing is good and what did the 2nd person do for you ...

" Ah Eamon I thought you knew about the 2nd person ... "
"That's you and teaching me this bridge game that is so intriguing and changes on every hand"
"Eamon I am from Sheriff Street and nobody was playing bridge down there and I absolutely love this game "

So if people happen to use http://bridge-now.com one day they might see Declan McKenna

Declan has never played in a bridge club but he has scored above 52% some weeks on bridge-now.
This is a serious score for a chap who never went to a bridge class or a bridge club and learned from me about 2 years ago.

Actually I told an untruth ... Declan did go to a bridge class once .. Seamus Costello the well known North County Dublin player runs bridge classes in our community centre on a Wednesday night.
I told Declan to go down for a look some night .. Declan did ...

He met Seamus and had a chat and filled in when there was an odd number of players ..

However he came back and said ..

"Eamon those people are learning which side of the card is up ...they are starting from scratch ..
They don't know the concept of a trick or a trump or anything .... I have been playing cards for 45 years so its just not going to work with this learner trying to work out which side of the card has the good stuff printed on it"

I will just play the http://bridge-now.com
and fight the robots on http://bridgebase.com

And we are all good ...

I almost forgot ... The Easons receipt ... a non-bridge book

Religion for Living .. 24 euros 50 cents .... I did not realize Declan the Donplayer did religion.
You learn something everyday ... I thought .. Gambling Drinking Ladies and a little bridge online.

Another chap who is past 60 and also a veteran of DON for almost 50 years played a few hands of bridge upstairs during a break in the DON game ... Afterwards and ever since ...Jimmy the Donplayer
gushes ..

"WHAT A GAME ... and tells anyone who will listen .... "100 times more complex than DON and also so easy to learn ...but I don't think I know 1% of it yet .."

And these are just 2 of the chaps I found in a small Swords boozer ...

There is also Shane who learned DON and BRIDGE and unblocked KQJx to defeat 6NT on the first bridge hand he ever declared .. However that's another story ...


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at September 10, 2016 03:28 PM

September 09, 2016

Paul Gipson

World Bridge Games update

After six intense days of competition, the round-robin phase of all series is now complete.

As expected, Scotland Open did not qualify for the knockout stage but they seem to have enjoyed the experience. England Open have a tough route to a medal match, facing Israel in the round of 16 and, probably, the Dutch in the quarter-finals with Poland likely to be waiting in the semifinal. USA, Monaco, and France are in the other half of the draw.

As I expected, and despite a late attempt to miss out, Scotland Women qualified for the knockout stage so congratulations to Anne, Helen, Liz, Fiona, Sam, and Paula. They will face the Dutch, a tough but winnable match, over the next two days (96 boards) and then Germany or Norway. France are the likely semifinal obstacle.

England Women will expect to beat Italy easily and will then probably face the greater challenge of China. I expect they'll face the USA in the semifinal and then France or Scotland in the final.

The luckiest team in the event is probably the England Mixed team, who got 9 imps on the final board of the round-robin to get the final qualifying place by 0.01 VP! This has been written up by Mark Horton. They face Bulgaria in the round of 16, with every match being a bonus from this point on.

Michael Yuen has sent me the following photographs:

Stephen Peterkin

Alex Adamson

Sandy Duncan

Danny Kane

Helen Kane

Samantha Punch

Fiona McQuaker and Liz McGowan

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at September 09, 2016 08:21 PM

September 08, 2016

Eamon Galligan

World Bridge Championships

The World Bridge Championships are taking place at the moment in Wroclaw. It is pronounced somewhat different but such is the Polish language. Now most of us will never play in the World Bridge championships but thanks to Bridgebase Online run by Fred Gitelman we can all watch if we choose.. Now lets be clear ... the average player in the World Bridge Championships would destroy the best player in 99% of our local Ireland Clubs .. The best players in the cities would be ok as in Mesbut Fitzgibbon ... but the local stars like Toomy or Johnny or Rory or Mickey or Jimmy would have no hope.


We can watch at the above website for free ..

There is also live video ...now watching bridge is like watching paint dry or a kettle boil ..
so only for the diehards .. and yes they do pick their nose ....just the odd time ..

The other day I saw two Irish lads bidding ...

1S P 2C P
2S  P P P

Amazingly the 1S 2S chappy owned only 4S ... Not even in my local club ..
However no doubt there is an explanation ...as both these players are very well educated and successful in their chosen fields outside of bridge. They are also both damn good bridge players..
So what are we missing,

Maybe the 2C bid is 3+ spades invitational or GAME FORCE ... all might be revealed ..

The next day we noted a fine pair of players declaring 5C with a 5-1 fit I think ...

and to cap it all we found 2 World Champions declaring in 7D with 2 trumps each ...

However don't even think of getting brave ... on the other 95% of the boards they are bidding slams that make and doing squeezes and other stuff never heard of in Dublin Bridge Cluibs ..

Now today the Irish ladies went into battle against the USA ladies ...
4 bridge legends versus 4 of Irelands best female bridge players and I think 3 of the Irish have playerd full Camrose Trophy .. and own multiple Irish Ladies championships ..

After 3 boards the score is 34-0 USA .. with a final score of 94-30 to USA ...
so average it out to 9-3 in goals in a soccer match or whatever ...

Manchester City versus Dundalk (arguably England /Irelands top soccer teams)
If they play 12 matches ...its will be without doubt 12-0 to Manchester City ..
So to gather in 30 imps versus the US professionals is a good earner ...

I don't really have any point to make here except that it is tough at the World Championships
so lets knock those who are trying ..

Big Boy Murchan is out there too ... and its not easy for him either ...no matter what he says ..
Ciara Burns well known player from Northern Ireland is also fighting hard .. but the opposition is
serious ..Michael McGloughlin one of the greatest players in Dublin is battling hard on the same team. The remainder of the Moxed Team is Harold Curran Ann Fitzpatrick and Heidi Lillis..
One expects to see them make the last 16 at the end of the round robin and bow out after getting chosen by a top team ......but if they want to prove me wrong ...at least make the final 16 first ..

I am glad Team Open are not on vugraph tomorrow as I did 20 situps yesterday every time Boland Moran made a contract ... and they made quite a few against somebody ...

I should be ready for more situps by Friday ...

Expecting a poor return on http://bridge-now.com
this week ... should still be around 62% ....but losing ELO points

Its that bad that Declan the Donplayer is touting 57.5% and indicating if I have a bad week
I will be looking up at the Donplayer ..

Eamon Galligan


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at September 08, 2016 01:40 AM

September 07, 2016

Peg Kaplan

The Best of Bridge



We bridge players well know that our game is the finest mind game ever created. Fascinating, tough, challenging, never-mastered - no matter how good you are ... One can play bridge for a lifetime - and it won't be enough.

As great as our game is, however, our people match it. And part of what is so exceptional about our people is how we can get connected with one another, no matter who we are, where live - and so on.

A short while ago, I received an email from Professor Francis Shen at the University of Minnesota Law School. His folks were going to be visiting from out of town, his dad wanted a game of bridge; did I know anyone who might be interested?

Of course I did; me - your webmaster!  Jerry Shen and I set up a game during the Labor Day Sectional for Saturday, agreed upon a card - and went on to have a very enjoyable and mostly successful game. We also learned of mutual friends we had in Jerry's home town of St. Louis - including a long ago successful Twin City player (and an early regular partner of mine) - Chris Patrias.

But - that wasn't all!



Near the end of the session, we faced Jenna Tichon and Freddie Mykytyshyn.  Since I'd never seen them before, I inquired if they were local players.  Nope! Visitors all the way from Winnipeg!  Jenna has been playing for about ten years; Freddie much less. Both, however, love the game and were glad to be competing in Minneapolis.

A great game - great people - new friendships.

Nothing better!


by Peg at September 07, 2016 10:06 PM

September 06, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Bill Quinn Labor Day Sectional - Results




If you're pondering who might have been the top masterpoint winner at any Minnesota tournament, guessing John Koch often will give you the correct answer.  So it was over Labor Day weekend. John earner 23.72 masterpoints; about a point and a half behind was Joseph Koester.  Quite impressive was third place; Sandy Nelson has less experience than many of our competitors, yet she was the only other player to earn over 20 masterpoints for the tourney!  Well done, John, Joseph and Sandy, plus the other players who placed high in a number of events.  The full list of results is here.



Always wonderful to see people having a great time at the bridge table....  



Or - after the game has ended!

As always, our thanks to our hosts, Teri & Chip Blu, great director, Brian Weikle, and the omnipresent player, director and all around wizard at the TCBC, TGLO (The Great Larry Oakey!)



Many thanks to all who came, fought, contributed and volunteered!  Hope you had a wonderful time!



by Peg at September 06, 2016 11:31 PM

September 04, 2016

Eamon Galligan

Dunne Kelly Trayor O'Leary of Bankers on Vugraph now from Pula (Sunday 1530)

Amazingly I was watching the World Bridge championships on vugraph a few minutes ago and up pops Dunne on the screen .. Hmmm could it be David Dunne (former Irish chess champion) and old partner of mine.. Then the other side of the table fills up with Kelly .. could that be Sheila Kelly regular cross table opponent of David Dunne ..

So if you are bored with World Championship Bridge ... Ireland Open front 4 ran into a warmed up Dutch quartet this morning and got beaten by about 70 imps .. They won next match small against New Zealand ..
You can kibitz Sheila Kelly on vugraph NOW ...Its an 8 board match so hurry up ..
Even with Dunnes thoughtful  play it won't be lasting too long ..

Looks like some Trayer and O'Leary in the other room .. 5 imps up after one
Maybe its John Comyns partner Blanaid and maybe its Morris O'Leary.
I don't play much these days so I don't know all the new kids on the block.
I think O'Leary does some directing

Irish women got beat by France in round 1 and after rising the Templogue Terrors from the bench defeated Iceland by a small margin in round 2 ..

The Mixed Team had a good win in Round 1 .. got a hiding in Round 2 and eased past China in Round 3 with Lillis and Burns in top form ..

Team Dunne got beaten small .. 15-9 in Pula ..
Looks like they now use WBF scoring so Team Dunne back to 10th place in Pula Mixed Teams.


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at September 04, 2016 03:42 PM

September 03, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Gordy Anderson - 1923 - 2016



Our community is passionate about bridge - and equally passionate about the people who play it. Thus, whenever our community loses one of our members, the grief is significant.

August 29th, Gordy Anderson passed away.  Though friends were not aware, Gordy had been suffering from liver cancer, and lost his battle after a short hospital stay.

I requested some thoughts from Gordy's close friends and partners.  Terry Lijewski was kind enough to send me these warm and wonderful memories.

Gordy was a gem of a person.

I started playing with him in November of 1986 at the Minnesota State tournament. I put my name in for a partner and got him. Maggie Grue said "Boy were you lucky you got him!" We finished 4th overall that day and won the men's pair in the Winter Carnival in January 1987.

I played with  Gordy for thirty years and only once did we have a misunderstanding when one of us didn't show up. For seventeen years we went to local and close sectional tournaments. After that we played in many club games.

Gordy, this year, wrote up a system to use as a defense against Bergen, just one of countless systems he wrote up for us over the years.

He was a fantastic person and a superb bridge player. I and many other people will sorely miss him.

            Terry Lijewski


Terry also shared with me details about Gordy's funeral.

Services will be 11AM Friday, September 2nd at the Zion Lutheran Church.  Visitation is one hour prior to the service. Lunch will be served following the service.

The address is:  1601 4th Avenue, Anoka 55303.  

Gordy's obituary is in Wednesday's paper.  How amazing that Gordy played bridge at a high level through 93 years of age!



Bill Voedisch attended Gordy's funeral on Friday.  Bill was kind enough to share these reflections with us.
Terry Lijewski spoke at the funeral, attending with his wife and son.
Other bridge players at Gordy's funeral were Janet Williams, Mary Meinecke, Grant Duffrin and myself, all of us from the Bridge Center of St. Paul.
Hearing stories about Gordy, a most interesting fellow, was so nice.
His family was grateful that Gordy's bridge friends were at his service.



by Peg at September 03, 2016 02:03 PM




MN Bridge is always looking for stories about our bridge players.  Here's a great one!

Alice Ernster is a duplicate player from the Chatfield area.  And - a self described "floozy"!

If you think that most bridge players are old and dowdy - well, you have not met Alice!

Here are the details - dressed up in 4 inch heels!

Our thanks to Greg Caucutt for a great story about a fun lady!

by Peg at September 03, 2016 02:12 AM

September 02, 2016

Paul Gipson

World Bridge Games

The World Bridge Games, formerly known as the Olympiad, starts on Sunday and the groups have been published (and then rearranged) for the team events. Each country (NBO) is entitled to send one team per series: England is presented in all four disciplines (Open, Women, Seniors, Mixed) while Scotland is sending just Open and Women's teams.

This tournament is a prestigious one to win, but as it falls in the same year as the European Team Championships you often see the European NBOs send weaker teams: perhaps because the players cannot afford the time (or money) to attend both events, or the selectors wish to expand their international experience in their squads, or the NBO struggles to fund both events.

In the Open Series there are three groups with the top five in each (and best sixth) to qualify for the knockout stages. England has a tough group, with Monaco, Poland, Norway, USA, and Argentina their main competitors but with dangerous teams like Iceland and Belgium lurking.

Scotland sends an inexperienced Open team and they will do exceptionally well to finish in the top half of a group containing the Netherlands, China, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Austria, and Hungary, with New Zealand, Canada, and the up-and-coming Singapore threatening. But hopefully there are a number of less experienced teams that they will be able to beat and perhaps gain some momentum.

There are two groups for the Women and they look relatively balanced with eight teams in each qualifying for the knockout stages. David Burn disagrees and says the balance is poor - as the England Women's coach he is preparing hard so I'm sure he is right, but I still expect England to qualify comfortably alongside the Netherlands, China, and Sweden. Scotland stand an excellent chance of qualifying, with France, Poland, and the USA the main challengers but plenty of opportunities to join them.

I don't really know enough about the Seniors and Mixed events, but I suspect USA will be the teams to beat.

All the information on the event can be found at http://www.worldbridge.org/2016-world-bridge-games.aspx. (Update: perhaps not all information because if you want to pronounce the host city, Wroclaw, correctly then I can recommend Youtube).

Some Americans are very unhappy about the seeding and have started a protest on Bridge Winners. I have little sympathy given how poorly the objective seeding in their major events works when considering non-American and junior players.

It makes little difference: play well and you will not care; play badly and it will not matter.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at September 02, 2016 07:12 PM

September 01, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Bill Quinn Labor Day Silver Point Sectional - Sept 2-5



Celebrate Labor Day weekend in the best way possible - with a bridge tournament!

Head to the Twin Cities Bridge Center at 60th & Nicollet.  Four days of one session events; the schedule is here!

by Peg at September 01, 2016 11:27 AM

Success to the East

Eau claire2


Eau Claire is outside of Minnesota and District 14. Nevertheless, some Minnesotans traveled to the nearby regional last week - and the top five masterpoint winners were all from our fair state!

Congratulations to Barry Purrington, winner of more points than anyone else with over 74. Mike Cassel was a hair behind Barry.  Tom Grue, Greg Van Dyke and Steve Gaynor were 3rd through fifth.

Mike was excited about this statistic; he entered six events in Eau Claire - and won every one!  Well done, Mike.

Mike's favorite hand was this one,

He held:  x, AQJx, x, AKQxxxx.

As he was weighing whether he should open a Precision 1C strong, forcing and artificial call, his vulnerable left hand opponent opened a strong 2C!

East bid 2D, promising game forcing values!

Mike was pretty sure that his LHO had a big two suiter in spades and diamonds. So, Mike "put it to him" and bid 6C!

Without much pause for thought, LHO bid 6S. Thinking that 7C would be a good sacrifice, Mike bid it.

His partner held the king fifth of hearts, so unless the opponents found a diamond shift after cashing one spade, 7C is only down 1.

At the other table, the auction was slower.  Holding two aces, Mike's counterpart did not wish to save.

Mike's team won by only 10 IMPS, so his judgement to preempt the auction, then save, was critical to success.

The full hand: 



by Peg at September 01, 2016 12:02 AM

August 29, 2016

Paul Gipson

Not a fair deal

The first EBU Summer Congress in Eastbourne, at least in my bridge playing life, has finished. We did not play well enough to make either of the two finals, which was disappointing, but slowly crept up the field to finish in second place in the Swiss.

Although Alex and I made a couple of clear errors and misjudged a few hands, it often felt that things were not in our control and subsequent analysis shows why. The EBU dealing machine dealt West an average of 9.16 high-card points and East an average of 9.50 points over 112 deals; and in each of the four sessions both East and West were below average.

In our first session none of the team were spectacular and our opponents guessed most things right. This left us on a miserly 13/60 VP and already struggling to make the finals. On Saturday afternoon we met a further two teams who had started poorly and would be expected to do better, and tight matches against them left us all worse off! With all chances for a final gone, we finally got some good results on Saturday evening to leave us better placed for the final four matches of the Swiss.

Mike and Chris played consistently well through Sunday to move us up into second place.

France Hinden, who won the Swiss ahead of us, has already posted one of the most interesting hands on Bridge Winners.

This was not as interesting but not simple:

This was a hand which we failed to get right. The auction at our table was slightly different but this happened at many that I heard of. Any ideas?

And, from the first set,

What is your plan?

I suspect the EBU will be very disappointed by the turnout this weekend. The previous weekend, the Swiss Pairs, had 269 pairs (comparing favourably with the 287 pairs from 2015). However the 113 teams in 2015 dropped to 87 this year and next year will only be worse with the Bermuda Bowl and World Transnational Open Teams in Lyon starting just after Eastbourne.

All the results can be seen at ebu.co.uk/summer-meeting.

In general the performance by others based in Scotland was disappointing, with Iain Sime and John Murdoch the only shining lights as they won the B Final.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at August 29, 2016 06:18 PM

Peg Kaplan

Detroit Lakes NLM Sectional



Many thanks to Mary Anne Bond and Mary Shaw of Unit 103! The District 14 NLM Sectionals continue to be a big hit with our Intermediate and Novice competitors.

Friday's two sessions drew a total of 22.5 tables!!  We look forward to the report about Saturday's third and final session at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Detroit Lakes.


A big hats off to Mary Anne and Mary for their successful promotion of this excellent tournament!



by Peg at August 29, 2016 12:03 AM

August 24, 2016

Judy Kay-Wolff

Riches to Rags!

What you see above is not a mistaken reversal of the old concept. It has been happening over the last few decades and presently, with all the ugly whispers, everyone is aware of the decline of the ACBL from numerous vantage points. My greatest concern at the moment is of huge magnitude: Exactly WHO is at the helm of our once-great ship .. and WHY?? When I came upon the scene, those in top administrative positions (with or without official titles) were greats like Ralph Cohen, Johnny Gerber, Lee Hazen, Edgar Kaplan, Alvin Landy, Lew Mathe, Eric Murray, Sidney Silodor, Margaret Wagar and many other prior legends. The prime objective was the betterment of the game and most of the aforementioned served on the impressive Board of Directors. Later appeared Bobby, Jeff Polisner, Peter Rank, Tommy Sanders and a few others who dedicated a huge portion of their busy lives directly to the majesty of bridge. Because of the respect they earned (both at and away from the table), their leadership was revered and the recommendations were appreciated, heeded and voted upon positively.

Much of what I am about to relate is ‘old hat’ and has been said time and time again (by myself and countless others with much greater experience, know-how and genuine talent). The big question: Just who should be making the major bridge decisions concerning the honor, improvement and preservation of our game, both here and abroad? To many, the answer is a slam dunk: those who have earned unchallenged reputations for their bridge expertise, great familiarity with the laws AND enough knowledge to refute/change or add to those passages in the Bridge Laws no longer appropriate because of negligence to adapt to the times. It is this group who should have the responsibility because they are more qualified to serve as the uncontested judge and jury of questionable behavior … similar to our Supreme Court. And … the sooner the change is made … the better! Most importantly (which is my top priority) is that we should have on this mighty qualified group all trustworthy individuals — devoid of showing partiality to some and ill-disposed toward others. To cut to the chase: no favoritism, cronyism or personal or political leanings (either positive or negative). If such a situation occurs, one must recuse himself or herself immediately upon notification of the individuals involved. Recusal is not a dirty word! This is not about the administration of bridge .. but mandatory when it comes to making high-level bridge decisions (now and as precedents).

To understand the earlier workings of a carefully planned device to protect both the game we love and the dignity and honor of all involved … my husband, Bobby Wolff, back in the Eighties presented two proposals which were received with overwhelming acclaim by his peers: (1) The Recorder System; and (2) The Ethical Oversight Committee (EOC). I shall share the happenings below, so if you are unfamiliar with the facts, fasten your safety belts or grab a cocktail!!

The Recorder was an appointed individual to whom a player sent a written complaint about the propriety of a questionable incident. Said Recorder examined the facts and either dismissed it … or … If the grievance had merit, it was sent to the EOC for a verdict. Bobby served as the first National Recorder but because of time restraints, turned it over to Bob Rosen, whom Bobby felt did a sensational job. And just for the record — neither Bobby nor Bob ever served on the EOC!!!!!  They prosecuted the cases similar to the role of a district attorney and sent them on to the EOC.

The Ethical Oversight Committee also organized by Bobby was a mutually agreed upon self-appointed committee which consisted of fifteen or so fair-minded true experts who were originally (without question) qualified to make final judgment. To keep it Off Limits (so less-learned individuals would not creep in as members), when a vacancy occurred (either death or resignation), replacement was made by the remaining members of the EOC — keeping it free from politics, etc. It worked fine with Bob Rosen at the helm until the proverbial brown stuff hit the fan. Most people know the smelly details, but if not, check it out in The Lone Wolff for specifics.

An incoming ACBL high official was accused of a heinous bridge crime and after the customarily routine, but thorough investigation by the Recorder, Bob Rosen, he then presented the documented findings of the EOC to the BOD — advising by unanimous vote of the EOC that the charged individual was found guilty!!. The BOD refused to honor the EOC’s findings, fired Bob Rosen and disbanded the hand-picked exemplary EOC … taking over the whole operation itself. This was the BOD’s way of showing the world they knew more than the carefully chosen Ethical Oversight Committee and sadly still choose to make far reaching decisions regardless of their obvious lack of expert knowledge on a variety of subjects.

Another hair-raising conclusion came to fruition again this past year when a top player was given a strong punishment by the then-current EOCwhich was ‘hand-chosen’ by the BOD itself, no less! There ensued astounding universal negative resentment and criticism toward the perpetrators when the BOD reversed the harsh ruling of their own hand-chosen EOC and made a big joke of the embarrassing disclosure by giving the victim a mild slap on the wrist. I am not here to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused. That is hardly the issue! My objective is to investigate and examine the qualifications between administrations concerning the running of Horn Lake and distinguish it from those long-time experienced players (the EOC) who should be the final jurists as to the disposition of any serious wrongdoing.

Where on earth does a National Board of Directors get off with the very controversial handling of such a grave matter and still hold their heads high when they were responsible for the mess in the first place? It is time this longstanding ‘routine’ is carefully re-examined and a more equitable policy put in place … helping Zone 2 rise to the occasion as a democratic bridge society!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at August 24, 2016 11:17 PM

August 23, 2016

Lakshmanan Valliappa

Good defenders can help you place the cards

All non-vulnerable, in a robot tournament, my partner (North) opens 2H and this gets passed out:

Do you agree with my pass?  The 2H at equal vulnerability ostensibly promises to go down 3. I can see that I cover 3 of partner's losers, so I should probably bid 4H.

East leads the 10 of diamonds. I cover and West plays the Ace of diamonds and returns a spade.  East cashes the AQ of spades and returns a diamond to the 9, queen and king.  At that point, I lead the Queen of hearts and East covers.  These are the cards that have gone so far:

Now what?  I lead the 8 of hearts.  West plays low.  Finesse or not?  Think about it before reading further.

East and West are good defenders, so it is worthwhile to consider their play to the hearts. With 3 hearts to the King, East would never cover. (well, perhaps if he had KTx, he would cover because it makes no difference).  Ergo, East started with 1 or 2 hearts. If East had King singleton, West will always get a trick. So, the only case to consider is that East started 2 hearts.

If that is the case, West now has 2 hearts and East now has one.  The odds are 2:1 that West has the 10 of hearts. Take the finesse.

At the table, I didn't bid 4H, and I didn't take 10 tricks. The full hand is here (click Next to see the play).

by Lakshmanan V (noreply@blogger.com) at August 23, 2016 08:27 PM

Peg Kaplan

Detroit Lakes NLM Sectional - August 26-27

Detroit lakes

You don't have to be an expert to enjoy bridge!

This coming weekend, Detroit Lakes is hosting a 0-500 non-Life Master tournament. 

See the last few weeks of summer in beautiful Minnesota, be treated to expert lecturer Platinum LM G.S. Jade Barrett - and compete against your peers!

Here's the flyer - no better way to complete summer!

by Peg at August 23, 2016 01:24 PM

From Here to Eternity


Not quite, but - pretty darn close!

Our thanks to Steve Gaynor for keeping Minnesota's bridge players up to date with bridge activities here and beyond!

Download SCHEDULE.sept.2016+

by Peg at August 23, 2016 12:13 AM

August 20, 2016

Eamon Galligan

CBAI International Committee might be guilty of Agism

Rumours are emerging that the International Committee has developed a policy of ageism in the recent weeks. Apparently this committee which is charged with the control and direction of Irish international bridge has decided that a persons age affects their bridge skills.
I understand that some post teens expressed an interest in attempting to qualify to play in the Camrose Trophy and that it was indicated they were too young. Two years ago in Belfast a teenager was representing Scotland in the Camrose Trophy. Our experienced  committee would deem him ineligible.
The current suggested entry point for the Camrose Trials is 100 B points. I personally own around 200 B points but I stopped collecting about 2006 when I started focussing on learning the LAWS and becoming a TD and bridge facilitator. However since 2006 or so I have attended most of the Open Team training sessions so I see stuff and hear stuff and learn stuff indirectly.
I am quite confident I would defeat comfortably most  CBAI players holding 100-200 B points.
I know I am stronger than or at least the equal of  several of the CBAI grandmasters. The 100 B points entry point means I will qualify for trials for the foreseeable future despite hardly ever playing.
Strong players mainly collect B points by thrashing lesser players. You get 0.25 B point for thrashing intermediates/area masters  at the Holmes Wilson and other National Teams events. Thus everytime BJ plus 3 meets 4xSligos or 4xCavans its 1 B point added to BJs Team Total. 0.25 each player.

B points are an attendance record and are nothing to do with Bridge Skill. Bridge Skill is attained through training and dedication. There are no B points awarded for training and dedication.


The above link shows the results of the August issue of the Regent Summer Bonanza

42 pairs participated and 52 of the 84 players are eligible for Camrose Trials.
However the 3rd placers and 9th placers are deemed not good enough. The winners on 61.82% are both members of the International Committee and they feel they have the right to deem their 3rd place opponents not good bridge players.... just 1.4% behind them on the same hands.
2nd 3rd and 4th all played in the same Howell .. Possibly the winners were lucky to play in Howell A where the opposition starts at 11th 12th 13th 15th 16th places ..

I personally know these juniors are serious as they ask me for bidding practice hands.

Maybe CBAI could upgrade promising juniors to 100 B points so they can play only in the top Irish events. Most likely the players from the Confined Grade or Area Master Grade don't want to be meeting juniors who have been hardened from toughing it out in Peggy Bayer and Junior Camrose.
Juniors need to focus on School and College rather than chasing B points. A grade A in a Leaving Cert exam is worth far more than the  100 B points required to play in Camrose Trials.

These lads have been working on bridge since getting an impromptu lesson in the 4 Seasons B&B
in Galway about 3 years ago from Eddie Fitzgerald. 4 Juniors are not going to get B points when they have to beat Grandmasters and internationals at the top of the field.

I also hear David Synnott is also deemed not good enough for Camrose Trials ... however he was allowed play in 2012 when it suited the movement or the politics. I understood that once you played in a trials you could not be refused in the future. You were meant to be upgraded to the B point level.
Same applies for Hugh Gormally...

One night about 4 years ago I was co opted onto a team to play a Regent Bridge League event.
David Synnott Hugh Gormally and CBAI Treasurer Mullally were my team mates..
The BJOBrien team rolled in fielding BJ himself Michael O'Briain and David Jackson ...Their 4th player was held up in traffic but eventually Nick Fitzgibbon arrived in the Regent.
4 legends of the Irish game ..

After 12 boards it was Synnott by 30 imps but the BJ team got going
After 24 boards Synnott prevailed by 10 imps ...

but deemed not good enough or too young to play in a qualifier for a 3rd division Bridge event ..
Maybe its Ageism ... Why should a 60 something year old brain be allowed deem itself more powerful than a 20 year old brain.

The prosecution rests or maybe I am the defence ..

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at August 20, 2016 11:39 PM

August 18, 2016

Peg Kaplan




Being at a big, super regional is always a treat.  Last week, the Nebraska Regional was that treat, with cherries and whipped cream on top!

Steve Gaynor and Jean Boettcher added the nuts when they reached the ultimate - a grand slam.

Steve shares with us how they did it!




Board 6.  E deals, E/W vulnerable.

                        ♠ 9

                        ♥ K 8 6 2

                        ♦ K 6 4 2

                        ♣ K 9 7 5

        ♠ Q 7 3 2                                 ♠ A K J 10 8 6 5        

        ♥ —                                         ♥ J 9 7 3

        ♦ A 9 8 7 3                               ♦ J

        ♣ A Q 10 6                               ♣ 8

                        ♠ 4

                        ♥ A Q 10 5 4

                        ♦ Q 10 5

                        ♣ J 4 3 2


My sweet and lovely wife and bridge partner Jean and I played this hand on Tuesday afternoon in the second session of the Open Pairs at the Nebraska Regional in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Jean thought her 7-4-1-1 hand was too good for a preempt, so she decided to open 1S.  South passed and I chose a splinter bid over Jacoby 2N.  Our agreement is that the splinter is usually limited in strength and I thought she needed to know what I had more than I needed to know what she had.

Despite her minimum, she could see potential so she bid 1430 RKC.

Now remember that last week I wrote an article about a hand I played with the recently deceased Murray Appelbaum, a longtime Minnesota bridge star and great guy, where he answered a previously undiscussed 5N to my Blackwood bid showing two keys and a void.   So with that fresh in our minds, I bid 5N here.  This was all Jean needed to hear and she bid the spade grand.

South, Liane Turner, a longtime fine player got off to the accurate trump lead.  Jean had no problem ruffing out the diamonds for a late heart pitch to make her bid.

7S = 2210 was worth 25 out of 25 matchpoints. 

Thanks, Murray, I hope you had a chance to kibitz us from up there.

                                Steve Gaynor


(Cross posted at District14bridge.org)

by Peg at August 18, 2016 01:26 PM

August 16, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Tributes to Larry



In addition to the fun game at the Twin City Bridge Center, along with the pot luck to honor Larry Oakey's 10,000 masterpoints and Platinum status, we had more.  People talked about just how special Larry has been - both to our Minnesota bridge world and as an amazing player.



Sharon Anderson, our District 14's ACBL Board of Director, gave a fine intro.  



Then, Ron DeHarpporte gave exemplary examples of just how impressive Larry's 10K masterpoint achievement really is.

Ronald contrasted a baseball player's "batting average" to the accumulation of masterpoints:

A baseball player can be judged by the number of home runs he hits over is lifetime and/or his lifetime batting average. 
Home runs are simply added to the previous years total each year and lifetime grand total is used to evaluate his career.  But batting average is calculated by dividing the total number of hits into the players total number of “at bats”.
So a player who got 2000 hits in 10,000 opportunities would have an average of .200.  And a player who got only 1500 hits in 6000 at bats would have a batting average of .250.  Which is the better hitter?  It is the .250 hitter even though he got 500 fewer hits in his career that the guy who got 2000 hits.
In bridge we count only masterpoint totals like home runs.  If we evaluated a bridge player’s “batting average," his masterpoints divided by the number of points he had an opportunity to win, it would obviously favor those who won one more while playing less.  Oakey has a higher batting average than anyone else around here.  He has 10,000 points but played far less than others thus had fewer opportunities to accumulate more.  
I am not a follower of baseball. I think that Ron's super point, however, is that Larry has been "up to bat" far fewer times than many others in the years he has played bridge.  When Larry does have the bat in his hands, though - he belts the ball out of the bridge ball park.
And, I have more knowledge than most.  Your webmaster was blessed with having this super person and stellar player as a bridge partner for some years.  I know there were times where I almost did Larry in with my unthinking plays.  On the other hand, if I were to count the times Larry didn't shine, I would come up woefully short.
When defending, I remember hands where, looking at dummy and my hand, I'd think "the only way to beat this now is if Larry has an unsupported queen and leads it."  Moments later - there it would be on the table.
And then I shared another Larry brilliancy with a different ending.
Playing in a knockout team event at the Gopher Regional, my LHO opened 3 spades.  Larry bid 5 hearts!  I was all ready to cue bid 5 spades, when - RHO, Irving Steinfeldt, beat me to the punch.
Alas, too many years have now passed for me to remember my exact hand.  But - it was excellent.  I had good hearts, the spade ace, other values on the side......  I sat there, going back and forth, weighing what I ought to bid.  Finally, I went for the gusto:  7 hearts!
My LHO pondered this for a bit.... Then he passed.  Irving, in pass out seat, flickered for a moment, then he, too passed.
Finally, as has always been his wont, Larry piped up with some table chatter.  "Well, at least I know we're not off the ace of hearts."
"Ace of hearts?"  I sure didn't have it!  Was this yet another of Larry's amusing comments he would issue to moderately torture me?
Alas, it was not.  Irving had the heart ace, but wisely judged not to double and potentially give his partner a chance to "save."
And - speaking of "saving" - I could have taken virtually any other action and we would have won our match. 6 hearts, double, pass .... all would have resulted in a win for us.
At the other table, the player holding Larry's hand bid only 4 hearts, and the partnership played there.  Larry committed yet another brilliancy with his 5 heart call ... and at the end of the day, I learned my lesson that when the auction is jammed, you then take a "middle of the road" action and don't gild the lily with your partner's original excellent decision.
This hand was an example of simply one of so very many wise decisions Larry has produced over the years - in addition to all of his other countless hours of volunteerism, directing, aiding, teaching and so forth and so on.
Congratulations again, to our TGLO Larry.  A gem in our bridge world, a friend to so many - and now, our newest Platinum Life Master!


by Peg at August 16, 2016 02:16 PM

Juniors Win the Board-A-Match Teams in Italy!

Junior BAM
Ben Kristensen, Kevin Rosenberg, Zach Brescoll, Zach Grossack, Adam Kaplan, Adam Grossack

In Salsomaggiore, Italy, Duluth's own Ben Kristensen, along with partner Kevin Rosenberg and teammates Zach Brescoll, Zach Grossack, Adam Kaplan and Adam Grossack won the Junior BAM title by 4.5 boards!

Congratulations to these fine players, all of whom have already won either medals, other junior titles and NABC events!

We especially look forward to more reports on Ben's successes at the bridge table.  We can say, "we knew him when!" 

by Peg at August 16, 2016 12:28 AM

August 15, 2016

Eamon Galligan

Some Blur chap plays bridge

I saw a post on Facebook recently where a music chap from a band called Blur got a small hook on bridge.


Now I have to go on youtube to see if Blur are any good at music or I could ask my musical brother Paul

Alex James was born in 1968 and rose to fame as the bassist in Blur. His autobiography, ’Bit of a Blur‘, is possibly the best book ever written by a pop star. He lives in the Cotswolds.
Alex James de Blur
Alex James de Blur
 These are a few of his thoughts about bridge…
Bridge is utterly compulsive once it has got hold of you. It isn’t too hard to learn and the joy is that you can play it and actually start enjoying it before you get very good. You can take it on at any level that you want. The big problem is that very soon after you start you want to be brilliant.  Alex James
Take It To The Bridge
Alex James on the many pleasure of the king of card games
Aren’t casinos rotten? I mean, great to visit with good company, but there, where isn’t? Woolies is potentially a scream. Take Caesar’s Palace. You think you’re going to feel like James Bond and then you end up being surrounded by ghastly lizards and tough nuts in a neon lit Ancient Greece. Fuckin’ losers. It is absolutely certain, that is absolutely certain, that the more you play, the more you will lose. It must be the playing that people are willing to pay for and it’s a pity because there are far better games than blackjack. Blackjack is a arsehole’s game for people who drive cars with personalised number plates. 
Although the origins of most are obscure, all card games tend to fall into two categories – those where you have to win tricks (whist, black maria, belote) and those where you try to make runs and groups of the same value (gin, rummy, canasta, poker). People really started playing cards after gas lighting was invented and before telly. Various games enjoyed enormous popularity at different times, and the national British card game is in fact cribbage, which seems to work well in December.
The ace of all card games, though, is bridge. It was invented in 1925 by Harold Vanderbilt while he was on a cruise. It is played by two opposing teams of two players using all 52 cards of a standard deck and is a whist-type game. It is the most sophisticated, subtle and posh game in the world. I have the same compulsion to play bridge today as I did to play football when I was twelve. I could happily go on all day and think of nothing else. The formality of the game, slightly annoying to begin with, soon becomes a source of comfort, a place, even. The strictly observed etiquette is all for the purpose of conviviality and making the game flow smoothly. You have a lot of common ground with other people who play. You can look your partner in the eye and tell them the truth in a secret language on an island of calm and it’s you against them and nothing else matters.
Dave Rowntree en Bridge-Celebrity-Grand-slam
Dave Rowntree in Bridge-Celebrity-Grand-slam

Cards are a delicate but profound pleasure. Going to a bridge evening is like attending the AA , in that you get a total cross section of all kinds of dudes. The amount of laser thinking that has been applied to the game is stupefying. Foyles is jammed. A good bridge book would be a guide to bridge books. 
It takes about as long to learn the rules of bridge as it does to learn the rules of chess and I’m not going to explain them here,but for how to play and for willing partners try msn/bridge or yahoo/games/bridge. Pretty soon you’ll start saying things like this: “The club bi was artificial, asking for partners major. North’s jump shift to four spades was conventional. Stayman showing opening control and Blackwood’s five diamonds confirmed they had slam potential,” or: “Making seven no trumps redoubled is better than a nosh in the bog.” 
There really is no better pension plan for our dotage.

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at August 15, 2016 09:16 PM

Paul Gipson

Summer is coming ... soon

For those of us who live in the northern climes of the UK, we are really still waiting for the summer to start. Luckily for some the EBU Summer Meeting starts this coming weekend in its new location, Eastbourne.

I believe the move away from Brighton, its traditional home during my playing career, is mainly to do with costs: both for the organisers and competitors. I'm only playing the second weekend but certainly cheaper accommodation is available and I expect the food options will still be plentiful.

It might be interesting to compare the cost of actually playing bridge with our trip to the ACBL Summer Nationals. Obviously it costs a lot more for me to get to Washington DC than Eastbourne and the hotel was a lot more expensive there - these costs dwarf the playing costs. But to play in the Roth Open Swiss, the most similar event, cost $150 for three days presuming you qualified each day. For this money you'd play 56 boards a day, the last day using screens. So it cost us $0.89 per board. The three-day Four Stars Swiss Teams at Eastbourne costs £83. If you qualify for a final, then you play 136 boards at £0.61 per board: if you don't, then you play 112 boards at £0.74. So, at current exchange rates, this is pretty similar.

Information on the EBU Summer Meeting is available on its website. Good luck to everyone competing!

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at August 15, 2016 11:25 AM

August 11, 2016

Eamon Galligan

Sonya Britian Trophy 2016 .. CBAI regain trophy decisively

In The Sonya Britian Trophy at the weekend the CBAI decisively regained the trophy from the NIBU. A disappointing NIBU team failed to win any of the 8 rounds. However next year on home territory the big guns could be fielded although said Big Guns are getting rusted these days.

Hands and Results can be gleaned from www.fob.ie but you got to make your way to his Bridgewebs pages for that.

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at August 11, 2016 10:44 AM

Bray Swiss Congress 2016

There will be a Bridge Congress out in Bray this September I think

Now Michelle hopefully that will be ok for you ... Hope some people read it

Then last night while I was in the pub this hand came up on www.bridge-now.com
A hand like I never saw before but I grabbed the nettle and stung myself

Well I have seen hands like this before of course and I was thinking would I open 1H like a normal person but then I noticed my partner had opened 1H and the Right Hand Opponent had bid 2C.
So I tried 2S to be going on with and partner bid 3D ...
Still at a loss but going to bid 6H at worst I bid Blackwood and 5D showing 1 or 3 came back
I decided the Club overcall owned the Ace of Clubs and that as we had at least 11 trumps we mght be good for no trump loser and I bid 7H and myself and my Guinness awaited the dummy with trepidation

All Good 7H makes .. and the other lad doubled me as well ..
36 players played the hand and half bid 6H and half bid 5H
Nobody bid 7H and its not a bad punt ..I am fully aware I could have been off an ACE or a King of trumps but the odds were good ...Oops Now I see 2 more people bid 7H
However 5H is a joke

7XXX = A 2470
7XXX = A 2210
7XXX = A 2210
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
7XXX -6 A 1400
5XXX -4 A 800
5XXX -4 A 800
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
4XXX 3 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 4 710
5XXX 2 4 710
5XXX 1 4 680
5XXX 1 4 680
5XXX -3 A

There will not be any hands like this in Bray

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at August 11, 2016 10:21 AM

August 07, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Larry Oakey - Pure Platinum

TGLO - working away, even during the party honoring him!


Friday, Minnesotans and fans from afar came together to celebrate Pure Platinum Larry Oakey. The man who has contributed so much in so many varied ways to our bridge world has now earned an amazing 10,000 masterpoints. Friends and fans partied and competed to honor TGLO.



Long time partners and friends from all over came to celebrate!



During a lunchtime break, everyone enjoyed a fabulous pot-luck and regaled one another with TGLO stories.



Larry's SPECIAL 10,000 point, Platinum Life Master cake!



Thanks to Sharon Anderson and Sue Jackson for organizing, and of course, to Teri & Chip Blu for hosting the party.  



No one is the slightest bit surprised that Larry was working alongside Teri and Chip at his own party!  Larry may now be a Platinum Life Master - but - some things never, ever change!

More photos of everyone below. And - another post coming, highlighting honorifics for Larry!



by Peg at August 07, 2016 05:59 PM

Judy Kay-Wolff

Bugs Unlimited

For purposes of this frothing at the mouth, I have altered the name of our local exterminators which enticingly is named Bugs Limited (although I am told it was once called Bugs Unlimited).

As we grow older, more and more happenings seem to get on our nerves and sometimes I cannot control my tongue — of which I am not proud. When it comes to cheating (especially at bridge), I offer no apologies as subjects which at one time were considered taboo — are now the primary topics of the chatter on Internet sites and few stones are left unturned.

Before I get to our favorite pastime, I want to confess to a couple of my favorite annoyances in real life.

Perhaps it has to do with living in LV … where traffic regulations are quite differently interpreted. In New York … if you ran a yellow light, you might get a warning, a ticket or your life might be in danger. Here, it appears to be commonplace to pick up speed as YELLOW seems like an invitation to beat the RED. Most times, you get away with it .. but at your own risk.

That could be dangerous .. but my second grievance is simply nitpicking. In LV (and I suppose in most cities), it is allowable (and sensible after checking both ways — to make a right hand turn on a red light … if the coast is clear). If it is observed, it is a wonderful time saver .. especially if you are late or in a hurry. HOWEVER, an inordinate number of drivers are either ignorant of the regulation or just plain inconsiderate. Many times I have been fifth or sixth in line and the lead car is going straight and we must all sit patiently till the light turns green; but on second thought, it is even more annoying if you are car number two and wait and wait and wait. Enough bitching. There are worse things in life.

Now to our favorite subject: Certain players have an uncontrollable habit of butting into conversations not addressed to them. It is bad as an opponent .. but worse as an uninvited onlooker. I know of an incident where someone walked in mid-game and asked the partner of a rather well-known player if it would be alright to watch. The Brief Answer: “Only if you do not talk!” (as this person had a long rap sheet for blathering)!!! Clear enough?? I think so!! The pair he was kibitzing reached 5 of a minor — making! With no prompting, “big mouth” said authoritatively, “if you didn’t lead your king (from king/queen) .. they would have made a slam.” The person who had issued the ultimatum obviously to no avail) had to bite her lip .. and it still hurts.

My mother always told me … children should be seen but not heard! Smart woman!! If I had only listened!

C’mon .. don’t be shy .. let it all hang out (but shield your cards)!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at August 07, 2016 01:46 AM

August 05, 2016

Bob Mackinnon

Jekyll and Hyde Bridge

There are some lessons that need to be learned over and over again. Here is one of them. In 4th seat, nonvulnerable against vulnerable, I opened 1NT on AJ75 AT2 K84 QJ2, right in the middle of my range of 14-16 HCP. The auction proceeded without opposition as follows: 1NT – 2; 2 – 2NT, alerted as invitational not promising 4 hearts. Should I accept the invitation at matchpoints where going plus takes precedence? A hand with 5 controls, 2 jacks and a ten looks promising despite the 4=3=3=3 shape, but I decided to pass against a pair that could be expected to play excellent defence. Our opponents were Matt Smith, the international director, and his brother, Duncan Smith, a leading Canadian player who has amassed over 12000 masterpoints. After the hand was over Matt asked why I hadn’t accepted the invitation as I was above the minimum for my range. I didn’t answer because I hate discussing the hands at the table – there are too many factors involved, some of them personal. Besides which, once the hand is over we should file it away for later. Here at last is my answer.

One aspect to keep in mind is what the field will be doing on a deal. One can expect the very same start. What will the majority decide? In the present case I am sharing with the field an auction that I hate. The closer the decision the better it is not to give away information that will benefit the defenders. Rather than invite with 9 HCP and no 4-card major, I would just as soon that partner would bid 3NT from the start. The diamonds are developable, and the 3 outside controls make this dummy better than invitational opposite a strong NT. Without this pointless rigmarole one is more likely to get a favourable lead. Here is the deal in its entirety:


When the dummy comes down some may ask themselves what The Field is doing, as if The Field were an individual. This is akin to saying, ‘I wonder what Dr Jekyll is doing this evening, as a scientist having a quiet dinner with his virginal fiancée (played unconvincingly in the 1941 movie by Lana Turner) or out on the town as a wildly popular figure among the dissolute London ladies of the night (represented unconvincingly by the wholesome, intelligent Ingrid Bergman. What was Hollywood thinking?) Myself, I have always wondered about the hidden resources of the former and her innermost thoughts behind the frozen smile concerning the dull doctor who only talks about his work. If it were at all possible, Jekyll and Hyde would have formed a formidable bridge partnership. Any attempt to emulate The Field is to put oneself in danger of acquiring a dissociative identity disorder.

The tendency of many is to play to justify the contract – if they are in 3NT they go all out to make 9 tricks, but if they are in 2NT they pull in their horns and are content with 8, the contract taking on the aspect of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The double dummy result is 1NT making 2, so it appears to make sense to play carefully to make the contract, but to achieve it South must first avoid leading his 4th highest from his longest and strongest after which 9 tricks are easy to come by. Duncan Smith, who gives due regard to an opponents’ bidding, sensibly chose to lead the 9 giving nothing away. This was the position with me on lead having won 2 tricks with good prospects of 3 tricks in clubs and 2 more in the majors:


If finessing the 9 results in 9 tricks being made there is no gain when the field is in 3NT making. In 2NT one subconsciously hopes the diamond play fails. A diamond to the queen safely fulfills the contract, whereas a diamond finesse losing to North’s minor honour puts 3NT in danger if North holds the A as well – he will set up his 5th spade with an entry intact. Consequently I led to the Q and claimed 8 safe tricks. Wrong at matchpoints! North’s holding AJ or AT was much against the odds (2 in 15).

So what were the results across the field of 14 tables? My assumption that most pairs would be in 3NT was far off the mark. Two pairs stopped in 1NT, 2 pairs played in 3NT, making, and 10, yes 10, pairs played in 2NT. Half of the multitude in 2NT made 9 tricks obtaining a 62% score, while the other half who, like myself, achieved the double dummy result, scored a lowly 27%. My supposed safety play proved costly.

While it is dangerous to guess the statistics of results on a single board, it is valid to generalize on the basis of a pair’s record of achievement over several sessions. If a pair is consistently below average, one can conclude safely they are not so good. We don’t play for averages against such a pair, because to achieve a good score overall one must score above average against them on the boards presented. On the other hand if one is facing a good pair, like the Smith brothers who score consistently above 60%, an average score will put you ahead of the field by 10% on that board. Logically it pays to take more chances against good players as you are risking less. On the above board if I had boldly bid 3NT and gone down 1, I would have scored a zero, but if I had succeeded, I would have scored 12 MPs. However, making 9 tricks in 2NT was worth 8 MPs, so bidding and making game would gain a mere 4 MPs while risking 8. In a field of non-aggressive players the chickens come home to roost in 2NT.

The very next deal gave me a chance at recovery. Having learned my lesson I put my faith in the diamond suit.


After the auction, 2NT – 3NT, I was sure I was in a contract shared by the field. The low heart lead appeared to be normal, the J winning in dummy. When against a strong hand a careful player makes a dangerous lead from a broken suit I expect him to have an outside entry, else he might have tried to set up tricks in his partner’s hand. Thus I was inclined to place the A with South. Nine tricks were assured by playing on spades, but what about an overtrick? As I was in a contract shared by most if not all the field it made sense to take a risk for a 10th trick. It would be somewhat dangerous to rely on spades for two tricks if I played to the K and South held up his presumed ace, a defence I would fully expect from this South. Eventually I would have to play on diamonds, so why not now, before the defenders got wind of what was happening?

The a priori percentage play in diamonds is A and Q, and I didn’t mind losing to North, the 9 and 8 represented some safety with respect to a spade switch. North took the Q with his K and returned his remaining heart, which caused little worry. With diamonds 3-3 I eventually made 10 tricks without scoring a spade trick. This time I got it right – every pair played in 3NT, but 4 were making less than 10 tricks. Over the two deals we scored near average which is what I hope for against superior opponents.

A Director Comes Calling

I am annoyed when a player opens a standard 1 and his partner announces, ‘could be short.’ To me it makes sense to open 1 on AQ 543, so what’s the big deal? Most of the time 1 is opened on 3 or more cards in the suit, even with 543 AQ, which to me is even more deceptive. The auction proceeded: 1 (Pass) 1 (2 by me). So what so you think my 2 bid signifies? At the table I was the only one who was sure of the meaning. Is that a matter for legal experts? Here is the full deal.

All Pass

Everyone cooperated in getting me to the right contract. South asked John what my 2 bid meant and he answered he didn’t know. He thought I might have clubs, or I might be asking him to bid his better major. The 3 was led, the A taking the J. A club was returned to the king. The club continuation and ruff set up the J as a winner in the dummy. Not the best start for the defenders. At this point the director was called. The complaint was that I had bid clubs when I didn’t have clubs. The Director asked me if John should have known what my bid meant, a question that puzzled me. My assertion was that ‘could be short’ doesn’t mean, ‘is short’. In fact ‘could be short’ most often acts as a smoke screen for hands that have many clubs.

Here 1 was called on a perfectly normal shape. It was the takeout double that was rather questionable, albeit effective, yet there was no howls of protest when dummy appeared without at least 3 cards in each unbid suit, not even 4×4 in the majors. Should I announce this double next time as ‘may be long in clubs’? As Charles Dickens might have written, ’if the law supposes that, the law is an ass.’ Most of the time one must rely on judgement when choosing bids and not to be required to give free lessons to the opponents. Of course, it is regrettable when one makes a bid so brilliant that even a partner can’t fathom it. Here I draw the veil. RIP Marshall Miles.

by Bob Mackinnon at August 05, 2016 07:04 PM

Peg Kaplan

Steve Gaynor Remembers Mur

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2016-08-05/3ba8583186614569a7b6688fb6d919d2.png
Murray & Arlene - 58 years ago

Many of us in Minnesota's bridge world mourn the loss of Murray.  Our thanks to Steve Gaynor for sharing his wonderful recollections of Mur.

We lost a good bridge player and a great guy when Murray Appelbaum passed away this week. Usually I was his opponent and much more often than not his fine play was responsible for crushing our pair or team. However, one time, at least 20 years ago, Murray agreed to play with me in New Partner night at the MGSC. I do not remember exactly how we did except we did not win, but we scratched and there was one hand of note.

The exact hand is lost for the ages, but we had good cards and after we established a fit I bid 4N blackwood. Murray responded 5N. Undiscussed. I had to figure this out.

I looked up and across the table Murray had a little smile on his face. I had never seen the bid before, but somewhere in the recesses of my brain I remembered reading that this was supposed to show two key cards with a working void. If that was true, I was pretty sure where his void was and that we could make a grand slam.

So I bid 7 and was not disappointed when dummy came down. The play was academic and we scored it up.

After that we communicated more often, sending e-mail back and forth on bridge, politics and our mutual Jewish heritage.

Murray was a very wise and worldly man, someone I will greatly miss.

Shalom, Murray.

            Steve Gaynor

by Peg at August 05, 2016 12:10 AM

August 04, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Murray Appelbaum - 1935-2016



Always a treat to report triumphs and success about Minnesota's bridge players. Conversely, such sadness to relay the loss of a long time, integral member of our state's bridge community.  So it is today, as I must report Murray Appelbaum's death on August 3rd.

Murray was among the top bridge players in Minnesota for decades.  He achieved Gold Life Master status, and as recently as 2015, was 53rd on the Top 100 list, despite being unable to play bridge for years due to health issues.

In addition to a never ending sense of humor, Murray was a prolific writer and communicator in his professional life and in the bridge world. Well informed, Murray and several other bridge players (including yours truly), met for years over lunch. There, we solved world issues, bridge problems, debating back and forth for hours.  Murray was always in the thick of things.



In addition to Murray's talents at bridge and communication, he was quite the fashion plate!  Day Glo orange, hot pink and amazing combinations of plaid and color were Mur's MO.

Murray's obituary, including information about funeral arrangements and shiva, can be viewed here.

Farewell to a funny, warm and talented member of our bridge community ... Loving husband to Arlene, father and grandfather - and good friend.  

You will be missed by many, Mur.

by Peg at August 04, 2016 02:07 PM

August 03, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Dazzling in DC!



The Summer NABC 2016 is complete. Washington DC sizzled through the nationals - and - a number of our Minnesotans were hot!

At the end of the Life Master Pairs, Steve Garner and Ralph Katz were 2nd, a tiny fraction behind the winners.

Also achieving 2nd place were Paul Meerschaert, Carol Miner, Serdar Ogut and Peg Waller in the 0-10,000 Mixed Swiss Teams.

Claiming a first place finish in the 0-1500 Mini-Spingold, we find Curt Kristensen! Curt won his event with teammates Greg Sellgren, Ti Davis and Brian Rink.

And, seizing the Big Prize of the nationals, the Spingold, first place went to Joe Grue, with teammates Brad Moss, Sabine Auken, Roy Welland, Marty Fleisher and Chip Martel



Other of our players placed in NABC overalls and had successes in regional events.

So proud of everyone; very well done!

(If I happened to have missed anyone with a fine finish - my apologies.  And - please do let me know, so I can highlight your achievement!  Also - sorry no additional photos of our players, but some individuals to come and looking forward to seeing smiling faces from the ACBL photographer!)

by Peg at August 03, 2016 10:46 PM

Judy Kay-Wolff

Procrastination is not the Solution

It is very refreshing and encouraging that so many qualified and determined worldwide recognized and respected bridge players have recently stepped up to the plate in the name of furthering honorable bridge competition. They have volunteered to work unyieldingly to (1) EXPOSE AND DETAIL BOTH CHEATING AND PROVEN UNETHICAL CONDUCT … especially at the higher levels; and (2) TO PUT IN PLACE FAIR, UNCHALLENGEABLE METHODS OF PROVING BEYOND A DOUBT THAT THE ACCUSED ARE FOUND GUILTY OF SPECIFIC CHARGES AND PUNISHED ACCORDINGLY. Wishy-washy excuses won’t cut it!

Although I consider outright, deliberate swindling at any level abominable, we will all agree that punishment must be meted out fairly. It should be determined (1) DEPENDENT UPON THE DEGREE OF INTENT AND SEVERITY; and (2) THE EXTENT OF THE CRIME OR MISDEMEANOR in relation to the violation of the rules or serious and deliberate attempts to defraud their opponents (often affecting the entire field). Add to that the already humiliating universal publicity that the game has recently suffered … and not without due cause. Don’t delude yourself. These are not new tactics of despicable deceit (and they keep on improving and refined them as we speak). There is NO JUSTIFICATION for such behavior. If you want to learn about similar improprieties, check out ‘The Lone Wolff” which details another disgraceful method of deception called “Double IMPS.” Subterfuge in bridge has existed for decades but attempts early on were made to hush them up and not give our game a bad name (mostly for fear of lawsuits). Though it is painful and humiliating … the only solution at this point in time is to RECOGNIZE ITS EXISTENCE and LINE UP THE CULPRITS — with the ultimate goal being: TO STOP AND DESIST.

I will conclude my rant of disgust and furor by adding that neither Bobby nor I know who the individuals involved in the current scandalous ‘reporting of imaginary scores’ actually are … but that is immaterial. Stopping the fires from spreading are our only concern. 

For further details (if you can spare an hour), check out:

by Judy Kay-Wolff at August 03, 2016 01:55 PM

Peg Kaplan

GNT Chuckles in DC



As many of you may know, Bill Voedisch and his GNT Flight B team of Dennis Cerkvenik, Andrew Clements and Jonathan Cohn earned a very respectable 5/8 finish in their event.  Well done, men!

Denny wanted to share a moment from their competition.  This is not some insightful declarer play or devilish defense.  Instead, it is one of the many whacko oddities that we all have experienced at the bridge table.

Thanks, Bill!

By now you know we failed against a solid CA team in the quarter finals.  But along the way we had one if the all time crazy director calls.

Cerks opens 1D and my RHO sitting on the same side of the screen as me bids 2S which he alerts to me as like a good weak 2 bid.  I held :  T, Qxx, ATxxx, ATxx.

I tried 3S at the moment, looking for a spade stopper.  LHO passes, Cerks bids 3NT, RHO passes and after some thought of 4D, I also passed.  (We have favorable vulnerability.)

The skate board slides back to the other side and in little time slides back to us.

The skate board may not have been pushed all the way back to us as both RHO and I failed to notice that LHO (North) had called 4S !!

We pushed it back and of course neither of us added another PASS card but the other side never would have caught that anyway.

Now the other side of the screen is waiting for me to lead against 4S while i'm waiting for RHO to lead at 3NT which he dutifully does.

You can predict what happens next.  RHO puts the 4 of spades on the table, I put down dummy (creating 13 penalty cards) we lift the window ...  and the guys on the other side say something like "What are you bozo's doing?" To which we reply "Playing 3NT!"

They call the director and my side of the screen still doesn't know what's going on.  The director shows up and they explain the contract is 4S but DECLARER made the opening lead while West put down his hand.

The director marches over to our side and asks us both, what's the contract?  We both say 3NT by East.  "You both failed to see North bid 4S?"  Errr .. Huh?  RHO and I just sat there, stunned.

"Well, isn't this side of the screen a treat.  Lead out of turn and 13 penalty cards!"

Now we have two directors.  They declared the board fouled and warned as to pay attention .. get the trolley all the way over etc.

When comparing scores Clements and Cohn had plus 620.  Even though they are short on HCP they have 2 excellent suits, the cards are well placed and 10 tricks are there.

I sheepishly announced the board was fouled at our table.  We tried to explain it as best we could ...

Had I seen 4S out of North at favorable vulnerability i would have called 5D which gets cracked for minus 500 and a 3 imp win for us.

Ahhh ... those bidding screens.

        Bill Voedisch

by Peg at August 03, 2016 01:32 PM

August 02, 2016

Peg Kaplan

Ben and Curt - We are So Proud!



Some years ago, I met Curt Kristensen and his son, Ben, at the Gopher Regional. I recall my team winning a Swiss Team - yet Curt and Ben's team being the only team to beat ours. From that time on, I felt that this young boy was headed for the top.

All Minnesotans are proud of how Ben has succeeded in junior bridge - here in the ACBL and with a World Youth Silver Medal in 2014.

Now - Curt himself has won an NABC title, 0-1500 Mini Spingold, and Ben is playing in major events with the Big Boys.  After 3 days of play, Ben and his partner, Kevin Rosenberg, along with illustrious teammates Steve Robinson, Peter Boyd, Kit Woolsey and Fred Stewart, were 16th in the prestigious Roth Open Swiss.

When I first heard of Ben's team (also for the Spingold), I told Kit, "So nice of you guys to play with Ben and Kevin."  I loved Kit's response.  "We are fortunate that Ben and Kevin are willing to play with us!"

Now, while we await Ben achieving his first win on the national stage, we will let his dad report on the huge success Curt himself secured in DC.

Congratulations to a wonderful father and son from our great state!

And now, some thoughts from Champion Curt Kristensen about his adventure and win!

I met Greg Sellgren at the partnership desk of the 2014 Summer Las Vegas NABC. We played on a Swiss team there with different partners, and then one session together. Ti Davis and Brian Rink were added to our Spingold team using the ACBL partnership desk. They had played 3 sessions previously in the last year or so.

In our quarterfinal match, we led by 39 IMPS with 14 boards to play. We felt confident, setting the opponents' contracts on 6 of the boards. But we ended up tied - ultimately winning 20-0 in 6 boards, with each team bidding to the same contract.

During the event, I learned that my sister-in-law had been hospitalized with metastatic cancer. Thus, we decided to devote our team effort as a dedication to her and her family.

Each round, our team play improved as we faced better opponents. In our final match, we beat the Chang team 160-131. Their team had placed 2nd in the GNT C-Flight; for the Mini Spingold, they added Frank Lin. Their entire team showed class throughout. Playing against them was just great!

Curt Kristensen


by Peg at August 02, 2016 07:38 PM

Paul Gipson

Eat, sleep, play, repeat ... STOP

An average first half was followed by a below average second as we finished 35th in the Roth Open Swiss. I don't normally comment negatively on our teammates' performance, but I don't think this applies when we receive a 4VP telephone penalty; not Alan's best moment! On a positive note, at least we finished the day without an appeal, unlike the first two days!

Overall it's been a good Summer Nationals and I'd only complain about the oppressive temperatures. It's easily been the best tournament as we received no complaints or sarcastic comments about our system and the number of pre-alerts we had, perhaps a sign that the regulations for torment play could be updated without the furore that the Conventions Committee fears.

From a play perspective I thought Alex and I played really well on four days: our day in the Spingold and the three days of the Roth. The good news is that these were easily the most important days of the week, but we were more erratic when playing in the regional events: a couple at the start having flown in the previous evening and a couple in the middle, perhaps as a result of missing out on a Spingold run; apologies to our teammates for those.

Given we came across on our own this time, we've been fortunate with our teammates. Gerry and Bob who we found at the partnership desk and played a couple of regionals: their high spot was beating Schwartz in a Compact KO when we'd had a poor set against Gold and Bakhshi.

Alan and Rick, who we played with last year, were good company and good teammates and it was just unfortunate that we didn't go deeper into the main event. Melody stepped in when Rick had to leave on Friday and she brought a more visible competitiveness to the team. Along with LotG and many of the women bridge players I know, they just make a farce of the theory that women can't compete effectively in the Open game and, I believe, demonstrate that there is no reason to hold women-only events.

Melody and Alan

Hand of the week was possibly this:

My slow approach worked well as I scored an overtrick when the clubs behaved ( Alex held the two minor aces and four clubs).

Alan did very well to save in six spades when four had been doubled! He went one down for +11 imps. His auction:

Next summer the nationals are in Toronto. It's easy to reach, with direct flights from Glasgow, and a great location. Personally I'd recommend going there rather than the European Open: the cost of playing is a lot less; there is a lot more bridge available and the standard is a lot higher; it's a lovely city and place to explore if you decide to take a day off or add time before or after the tournament. If anyone hasn't been to a Nationals before and wants an idea about schedules, costs, or just playing in these events just drop me a line.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at August 02, 2016 04:06 PM

August 01, 2016

Peg Kaplan

10,000 Masterpoints for The Great Larry Oakey!



If you have played duplicate bridge in Minnesota some time over the past 45+ years, then the odds are high you know Larry Oakey (TGLO).  Larry has been involved in so many aspects of our game for decades - one might say he is truly the icon of Minnesota duplicate.

Everyone knows that Larry is an incredible player. As someone who was lucky enough to have TGLO as my regular partner for some years, I can attest to his enormous talents. I remember once looking at dummy, and thinking to myself "the only way to beat this hand is if Larry has the unsupported heart queen - and he leads it." No sooner did my brain form this thought, when - there it was; the queen of hearts.  We could use up all the space in the Internet regaling people with stories of how Larry has shown his prowess at the bridge table!

Yet, as everyone knows, Larry's stellar bridge abilities are only one portion of the impact he has had on Minnesota bridge.

Larry is a master director.  If you need it done, as well as humanly possible and in the blink of an eye - Larry is your guy.  If you need some one to volunteer - no matter what the task - Larry is there.  If you need someone to play with club players needing a game, filling in, solving any issue you can imagine - again, Larry is The One.

Away from bridge, Larry's other talents shine. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of movies.  Any movie worth seeing (plus about 10,000 others in addition) - Larry's viewed it, knows the cast, the story behind the story, and so on. I don't know Larry's IQ - but, let's just say if you are a betting person, don't put up much moolah thinking someone else's number is higher than Larry's.

Now, despite virtually his entire bridge career playing with lesser mortals (as almost all of us are), Larry has earned over 10,000 masterpoints.  And, in honor of Larry's "going over" and reaching Platinum Life Master, the Twin City Bridge Center is hosting a party to celebrate!  The details are below - and note, this is one game and celebration you do not want to miss!


The Great Larry Oakey Goes Over 10,000 Masterpoints Celebration!


Friday, August 5th - 11AM

Twin City Bridge Center

Pot Luck - Bring Your Favorite Dish

See Everyone Friday! 

by Peg at August 01, 2016 09:34 PM

July 31, 2016

Paul Gipson

Quick post

Last day of the Summer Nationals today and just a short post add play begins at 11am. We had a good day in the Roth Open Swiss yesterday but a big defeat in the last match meant we only just qualified. But we are happy to be in the final and looking forward to rising up the field.

David Gold and David Bakhshi qualified in 16th place, also well set for a run today.

Also qualified is Barry Rigal. I apologized to him yesterday for not including him in my list of Brits, thinking he had gone native over here. But he assured me that he supports Britain (aka Europe) in the Ryder Cup so I'm pleased to include him today!

I hope I'm well prepared:

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at July 31, 2016 02:10 PM

Peg Kaplan

Unit 178 - Agenda for Upcoming Board Meeting

Unit 178 shall be soon having their August meeting. The Board's agenda is below!

Download Unit 178.Agenda.8.6.2016

by Peg at July 31, 2016 01:08 PM

July 30, 2016

Paul Gipson

A good day for the Brits

Just a quick update today as we had an appeal a review of a ruling that went on very late last night. I was not surprised when it went against us.

The first day of the Roth Open Swiss is all about getting to the second day, which means finishing above average. All the Brits managed this, mostly with a match to spare, in a field of 169 teams.

David Gold and David Bakhshi, playing in Ritchie Schwartz's team, finished 9th.

Alex and I, playing with Melody Bi and Alan Watson, finished 16th.

Andy and Shireen, playing with Richard Popper and Zach Madden, finished 29th.

And Ed Levy and Gary Hyett, playing with Lee De Simone and Marshall Lewis, were 56th.

You only have to look at the teams who did not qualify and the Spingold-seeded teams who scrapped in to appreciate how tough this event is.

The aim for the second day is to finish in the top 44 places in the field of 86 teams. Our carryover means that we start 6VP better than the 45th-placed team, pretty small when you will be playing eight matches.

In other news, I'm currently leading the Bridgewinners Fantasy Spingold competition and just need Lavazza and Fleisher to win their semifinals today and then see the Italians (and Argentineans and Dane) prevail tomorrow.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at July 30, 2016 04:13 PM

July 29, 2016

Paul Gipson

A good start needs a good finish

It turned out that our teammates from Saturday were willing to play the Compact KO with us. There were nine teams in the top bracket and that meant an 'interesting' format: there would be three three-ways with six-board matches, with the top two in each group remaining in the event (the three losers all play another three-way, but only for the masterpoints as they have been eliminated). So, after 12 boards, the six qualifiers repeat the process to get 4 teams for the evening session.

Alex and I had two huge boards in the first match but I played poorly against David Bakhshi and David Gold, losing concentration after finding a winning line in three no-trump. We also went for a penalty, so that match looked lost.

Scoring up with Gerry and Bob we'd win the first match as expected, but surprisingly beat the strong Schwartz team too. We'd only lost 13 imps on our bad boards but got 17 on partscores - Gerry and Bob played above themselves!

In the second triple, we lost one match 0-1 on an overtrick and the other match more heavily, meaning we would not play in the evening.

Meanwhile Alan and Rick were scoring 59% in the first session of the Pairs Final. They were quick to tell me about their final board of the session:

Alan led the king of diamonds. Rick overtook and switched to the queen of clubs! This went to the king and ace, followed by a low club. Expecting Rick to ruff this, declarer played small and Rick's ten won. A diamond to the queen and club ruff followed, and Rick still had two trump tricks for down three and +300 for a top.

Andy and Shireen also had a sound start to the final with 51%.

It was raining in the evening so we ate in the hotel:

Unfortunately both pairs failed to build on their first sessions and would not break 50% in the second. Alan and Rick just made it into the overalls, but not the finish any of them were looking for.

Today Alan has a new partner, Melody, for the Roth Open Swiss as we try to qualify for the second day.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at July 29, 2016 01:12 PM

Eamon Galligan

Dublin Summer Bridge Congress further information

Some further information on Dublin Summer Congress which came in my email and all others on the mailing list. Double the playing area that's a serious move as it was a large playing area last year albeit with 119 tables approximately in play at peak playing time.
Some important information on Staffords Dublin Summer Bridge Congress this weekend

Staffords Dublin Summer Bridge Congress

A huge thank you to all participants in our congress this year and a final reminder to anyone who wants to put in a last minute entry.

This year we have doubled the size of the hall and have created the most experienced team of Tournament Directors in the country headed by Fearghal O’Boyle, Diarmuid Reddan, Brian Lalor and John Crimmins.

Friday the 29th

The event kicks off on Friday evening with a Mixed Pairs competition starting at 7.30pm. For those of you who would prefer not to play in the formal competition, there will be an Open Pairs competition also where pre-booking is not necessary.

Saturday the 30th

Intermediate A, Intermediate B, Area Master and Congress Pairs will start their two session events at 1.30 pm. There will be a break at approximately 5.15pm for dinner.
Novice Pairs only will play in a single session event which starts at 7.pm

Sunday the 31st

Novice, Intermediate A, Intermediate B, Area Master and Congress Teams will start their two session events at 11.am with a short break for lunch as ordained by the Tournament Director.
On the Saturday, Citywest Hotel will be running a buffet at the Bistro with prices for salads, main courses and desserts starting at €15.50. On the Sunday, they will be running a carvery from the main restaurant. There will also be a Soup & Sandwich Combo available at the bar on both days for only €8.
Last minute entries may be entertained at the pleasure of the Tournament Committee and should be made by email to – dublinsummercongress@gmail.com or by text to 087 677 9406.

Finally, our sincere thanks to our sponsors, headed by our main sponsor Staffords Funeral Homes.

We would also like to thank Fáilte Ireland, IPB Insurance and South Dublin County Council for their continued support this year. Once again we have my own Oracle Communications, Home Instead, Irish Life and Dr Martha Mulcahy sponsoring and this year we would like to give a special welcome to Mary Gleeson and Gleesons of Booterstown. 

Please support them all throughout the year remembering how they have supported us.

Thank you all on behalf of the Staffords Dublin Summer Bridge Congress Committee
Rory Egan, Ann Burns and Stefan Ekman.

Copyright © 2016 Rory Egan, All rights reserved.
This is an occasional newsletter about Bridge events that I am involved in. You are receiving this email because you have shown an interest in Bridge, have corresponded with me about the game or your email address was part of list that I was also part of. If, for any reason, you would like me to take you off this list, please email me with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the title and I will be happy to do so.

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Rory Egan
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Declan the Donplayer plans to make his bridge debut at Dublin Summer Congress this weekend on the Sunday Open Pairs. He has a plan and placing last is not part of it.
Team Amoils exited the Spingold Trophy early this morning despite my support of watching on vugraph.

Some serious free bridge content and comments are available on this website

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at July 29, 2016 09:53 AM

July 28, 2016

Paul Gipson

Watching the world go by

We had yesterday off, so I went to the zoo and then kibitzed some friends who were still in the Spingold.

Giant Panda, courtesy of the ACBL

David Gold
I watched David for a session and a half and the only worrying aspect of his play is that I would have done the same on most hands. Basically the boards were uninteresting.

In fact whoever I watched seemed to suffer the same fate. I arrived halfway through the first session and sat behind Tom Hanlon, playing with Les Amoils.  I saw them potentially lose two partscore swings, but they won the set convincingly because the first 7 boards were exciting.

Then I watched David play a boring 22-22 set, followed by watching his teammates, Brogeland and Lindqvist, on a slightly more interesting set featuring this hand:

Boye's opening promised just two clubs and Espen's one spade was either a transfer to one no-trump or game forcing with diamonds.

Three clubs promised a good hand. I thought three diamonds might be best now, but three spades does get the power of the hand across even if you don't have a fit yet. Four spades showed a void, and four no-trump was 'Last Train' -would you have this agreement?

Five clubs showed minimum, for the auction to date. Your call?

In the end this team would lose by about 30 imps. From what I saw it was just not their day. Tom won however and will play in the round of 16 today.

As Alan, Rick, Andy, and Shireen have made the final day of the Werner Open Pairs we're playing a Compact KO with Gerry and Bob.

Sad news overnight with the passing of Patrick Jourdain. Just last month he played 350 boards for the Wales Open team at the European Team Championships, an impressive final performance. I didn't know him well, but he made a big contribution to bridge in the UK and, through his bridge journalism, to the worldwide community.


by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at July 28, 2016 04:18 PM

Eamon Galligan

2nd Dublin Summer Bridge Congress

Good afternoon

Just in case folk have forgotten the 2nd Dublin Summer Congress is taking place this weekend in CityWest near Saggart Co.Dublin

Link to Dublin Summer Congress pdf

The Congress will be held in the CityWest Complex. Plenty of parking space near the building venue.
Easy access just off the M7 South take the exit near a company called Meile or something like that
Head towards Saggart and CityWest will be on your right ...Its a long driveway..
Bridge is normally in to the right before the main hotel.

Plenty of refuelling (food) places in the complex and Saggart also has a fine chipper if you are stuck for time. Some people are slow bridge players so might eat into the break time.

Last year I think there was about 119 tables in play at the highest peak but I don't know what the plans are for this year. The Directing Team is top notch though with Fearghal O'Boyle flying in via Knock Airport and Diarmuid Reddan flying in from Shannon assisted by several local Dublin TDs.

Diarmuid Reddan is on some 10 day plan to lose 10 pounds ... He will lose it at CityWest .. Last year on the Saturday I broke my record of walking ...somewhere in the region of  24000 steps. ..that's about 17 kilometres for my short legs

Email Entries to dublinsummercongress@gmail.com
Text Entries to .. 087 9779406
Further information from the Congress Co-ordinator  Rory Egan 086 8192765

Open Pairs on Friday night ..
Open Pairs on Sunday but I am not sure if its 2 sessions ..
Check with the phone number above ..

The venue is great though .. Should be a good event so if you want to play bridge outside the
comfort zone of your local club .. Dublin Summer Congress is there .....

If you are hoping for a high finish in any event a couple of Mars Bars for Fearghal might work but I doubt it. Probably best you eat the Mars Bars yourself at around board 16 or 17 of the event.
Bridge players often indicate they get tired about 3/4 way through an event of 26 boards or so.
However they might not be getting tired ...their glucose levels might be low.

When a large and intimidating partner of mine is playing .. he usually stocks up on a large Gin and Tonic about 10pm on a 730pm game start. One does their best to keep his hands off the dummy at these times as GIN and low Glucose don't add up to securing lots of tricks.
Another chap I know always heads for the bar about 10pm for 2 small bottles of wine ... It just does not make sense. He sees me looking at him and he says its for after the session ... Strange as the bar is still there at 1045pm.

I almost forgot .. Thomas Hanlon and his team have reached the last 16 of the Spingold Trophy in the USA. 90 teams started out in this event which is a large knockout event. To understand the strength of the field in this event .. The 90th seed knocked off the 5th seed over a 60 board match ...
That's like me beating Mesbut and Fitzgibbon

Patrick Jourdain a well known Welsh bridge international and journalist passed away last night.
He would be well known to anyone who has attended any Camrose or Senior Camrose events or even
Welsh Congresses. I was in his car once when I played in Portcrawl Congress. I think he played Camrose for Wales in 5 different decades ..

From my email via  Simon Richards

I am very sorry to inform the bridge community that Patrick Jourdain died in the night following a short battle with pancreatic cancer. It was peaceful and he was asleep. Not only is this a devastating loss to the bridge community but it is also a personal loss to many of his friends. It was mercifully quick, however. Only last month Patrick was representing Wales in the European Championships in Budapest and was still playing tennis and golf.

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at July 28, 2016 01:22 PM

July 27, 2016

Paul Gipson

No need to check the result sheet

It was an up and down performance in the Swiss and we never threatened the overalls. I think we're all still feeling a little down after crashing out of the Spingold.

Alan and Rick are playing in the Werner Open Pairs for the next two days, so Alex and I are taking today off to do some sightseeing and then kibitzing when we are completely dehydrated. We'll want to play some one-day event tomorrow but have nothing arranged yet. Them on Friday their is the Roth Open Swiss, a three-day major event but with half the field getting chopped each day.

Unfortunate Ollie and Ed withdrew from their round of 64 Spingold match after just one quarter. I presume one of the team fell ill, disappointing after doing so well on Monday.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at July 27, 2016 02:05 PM

July 26, 2016

Paul Gipson


Our Spingold experience, like last year, did not survive the first day. Our team made too many costly mistakes and, combined with ill-fortune in the slam zone, meant that we are now history.

In the first match of our four-way, against #18 Levine, Alex and I had a soft card against Verhees and van Prooijen. This was one decision:

Your 2C response is Drury, promising a maximum pass with three or four hearts. Alex's two diamonds shows a normal opener. Two or three hearts now, or two no-trump? Naturally I got this wrong.

We were 24 imps down at the half with the prospect of facing all the pros in the second half, We had an excellent set helped by the scoreline, getting a 5-level decision right on a wild hand and bidding a thin grand slam. Unfortunately two defensive disasters at the other table, plus a <50 3="" and="" bid="" by="" dutch="" evening.="" have="" imps="" in="" losers="" lost="" made="" meant="" on="" other="" p="" pair="" play="" set="" slam="" the="" to="" we="" would="">
Our second match was against #43 Baker. We were down 4 imps at the half with only two big swings, Alan and Rick making a slam but also letting a silly game make. In the second half our opponents relayed to an excellent grand slam and, at the other table, bid and made another anti-percentage slam from which we could not recover.

Elsewhere, Dan, Gary, Ollie, and Ed made short work of #22 Onstott and earned the evening off (Onstott did better in the evening to get through). They face Mahaffey today over 64 boards. Unfortunately Andy and Shireen also went out, losing their first match by just 3 imps.

We are playing a one-day Swiss today.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at July 26, 2016 04:07 PM

July 25, 2016

Judy Kay-Wolff

Considerations for the Future!

I, and other bridge lovers, have been distressed by the recent happenings on the local scene. Bobby and I have loved the excitement of life in Vegas (which is now over eleven years) despite the complaints of the heat. That is why air conditioning in homes, cars, casinos, restaurants, markets and other locales are so popular. Every problem has a solution.

We both came from active, thriving bridge communities .. Bobby from Dallas and I from Philadelphia. No one needs to remind any of us that bridge is a very competitive activity and with the rapidly deteriorating economy, the situation is slipping vigorously in a downhill direction as evidenced by worsening attendance at clubs and tournaments. Sadly, it has become a dog-eat-dog scenario caused by unwise (and possibly unilateral) decisions of earlier hotshots deemed to be in charge. In recent years, the friction between our district and unit has become more evident with constantly changing slates which is not all bad if their primary interests are not deluded by self-interest, ego and politics.

Although we only play duplicate bi-weekly, news travels fast throughout the community about ploys to distract their members to keep them loyal. Early on, we tested the waters of the various clubs and I must confess the handling of the players and methods of ruling and judging obvious violations (either because of favoritism or lack of knowledge of the staff) gave us no choice but to move on. Incidents such as allowing the officially printed election candidate list to be tampered with, revised and posted on the club pillars (possibly resulting in the change of the expected results of a major unit election) and playing favoritism to ‘regulars’ relating to huddles and allowing unethical information to be overlooked .. we found UNBELIEVABLE! Some clubs (to survive) will do anything to keep their customers. With one (or possibly two exceptions) … that is the way it is. Oh, and lest we forget, we learned that when a two-day special 299er event was being held to attract more newbies to the fold, one of the clubs offered free plays on that day/s if they did not attend. That is not only poor sportsmanship but to me falls into the category of PURE GREED and disparagement of what bridge is all about.

Believe it or not, the above were merely ‘side issues’ that have distressed many Las Vegan bridge players. As far back as I can recall, there were always doubts by the members questioning who had the authority to make decisions for the Unit AND whether these decisions/contracts had to be approved by the UNIT Board. However, what I am about to focus upon (at least to me and dozens of others locals) resides in a category of and unto itself. I don’t know the individual/s responsible (nor does it matter as long as we don’t have a Repeat Performance) … but how can anyone be so stupid, uneducated, unknowledgeable, uninformed, indifferent. and out of touch to designate October 3rd. 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th as the LV Sectional being held once again at The Boy Scout locale far past the popular, easily accessible Las Vegas Strip. The site itself is quite comfortable but for visitors who fly to Vegas for bridge as well as gambling and to enjoy the famous entertainers at the prime hotels … the travel time, effort and inconvenience are not conducive to dragging themselves here to find themselves in the hinterlands. However, in all fairness, the handling (or possible neglect) of contracting with more conveniently located sites may have placed us in this untenable position.

BUT WAIT. Don’t hang up! I HAVE NOT ARRIVED AT THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG: PRAY TELL … who on earth was responsible for not confirming that anything conflicted with our tournament dates (October 3rd through the 7th)? APPARENTLY … NO ONE … UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE. How could it NOT be of primary concern to clear those dates … and unless blind … see in living color that sundown on Sunday, October 2nd (a Sunday) and continuing on MONDAY AND TUESDAY (the 3rd and 4th) are the SACRED DAYS OF ROSH HASHANAH (also known as the High Holidays) where most Jewish people observe either at home or their local synagogues and temples. ALL EVENT DATES should be checked out on the computer or calendar beforehand to verify that no potential conflicts exist. I know the current Unit Board headed by Bob LaFleur and many very dedicated individuals, including JoAnn Sprung and Ed Matulis (Co-chairs of the upcoming Sectional) have been very involved.. The previous Unit Board suffered countless conflicts as doubts were raised as to whether many of the decisions were made and put into force independently or with Board approval … which made for much bad blood (including resignations of a few who wanted no part of it). JoAnn’s and Ed’s efforts also included proposals for major changes in the by-laws and other constructive recommendations which will be voted upon at our next meeting in August; BUT someone has a responsibility to get to the bottom of the disrespectful oversight to assure there is no recurrence. How would other sects react to major local events being held on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Eve … whenever and whatever … which customarily are either religious or ‘family’ days … a tradition which has been time-honored and observed for centuries? Bridge has overstepped its bounds and encroached upon the practices of other equally entitled groups.

Does anyone know by whose authority these ‘dates’ are legally determined? Unit? District? BOD? ACBL? I would like to get a definitive answer from someone-in-the-know. Decision making authorization comes from somewhere! Who is endowed with that power?

In the interest of the future of our once-great game (where Las Vegas a few decades ago was one of the leading tournament sites in the country), please take heed of our local predicament/s. To resume the continuance of our earlier success and survival of bridge in our area, we must band together to get our administration back on track because it will necessitate all the help, cooperation and guidance it can garner!!


by Judy Kay-Wolff at July 25, 2016 07:24 PM

Paul Gipson

Waiting for the Spingold

We played in the Swiss yesterday but with little success, save for a win against a very good team in the first match. I was chatting to Simon de Wijs, Dutch world champion, before the session and agreed we should meet in the final round. It proved to be the first. Unfortunately we didn't take advantage of a big win and finished just above average.

I had one interesting play hand:


West led the two of diamonds, fourth best against no-trump. You duck, East wins the queen and returns a diamond. What do you do now?

In the Life Master Pairs there was a terrific performance by the young (compared to almost everyone) English pair, Ollie Burgess and Ed Levy, who finished 21st. Even getting through the first day is an achievement, but reaching the third and then having two 50+% sessions is remarkable at your first nationals. Ollie said he expected the standard to be similar to the EBU National Pairs Final, but it only took 4 boards to appreciate that it was significantly different!

For the Spingold this afternoon we play the #18 seed, Levine, a team that features another Dutch world champion pair. We are #77 (teams seeded 65-80 are randomly shuffled). If we lose then we'll play this evening against either the Baker or Kolesnic teams. We need to win one of these 30-board matches to survive into tomorrow.

Ollie and Ed are also playing in a four-way, playing with Dan Crofts and Gary Hyett. They are in the same seeding group as us. Andy and Shireen, playing with Bruce Rogoff and Michael Wilkinson, are #61, theoretically meaning an easier draw. In reality there is no such thing here.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at July 25, 2016 03:29 PM