By Val Rhead
Bridge is a game of mistakes and usually it’s the player who makes the fewest mistakes who wins. Periodically all of us make a mistake in the bidding of our hands. If we make a mistake, how do we ethically attempt to minimize the damage and get our bidding back on track?
Melinda opened the bidding with a One Heart bid. Her left-hand opponent passed. Her partner bid One Spade. The second opponent passed. Melinda passed! “You can’t pass, Melinda,” her partner gasped. In modern Bridge an unpassed responder is unlimited and could have up to thirty points.
“The pass will stand,” said one of the opponents who happened to be the club director.
“Melinda may have violated her partnership agreement, but she legally can pass.”
The lead was made and Melinda put her cards on the table. It was apparent why she had been so reluctant. She had just eight points. Melinda’s partner made five Spades. “I didn’t have thirty points, but I did have eighteen,” the partner grumbled.
“I’m sorry. I’m tired. I had a good Heart suit, but I forgot to count my points,” said Melinda. “I just didn’t want my partner to bid any higher, so I passed. What am I supposed to do when I make a stupid mistake like this?”
“Well what you are not supposed to do is to pass,” said the director. “Also, what you are not supposed to do is to clutch your head in your hands and say, ‘Ooh no, darn it, darn it, darn it, I goofed!’ You are to remain calm and not let on that you think you have just made the biggest mistake of the century.
“The best thing to do is to make a bid that indicates that your hand is a minimum opening hand. After your One-Heart opening and partner’s One-Spade response, the three weakest bids you can make to give this message are a Two-Heart bid, a One No-Trump bid or a Two-Spade bid.
“Of course responder would still be determined to bid game. You can’t blame her. She has eighteen points and she thinks that you have an opening hand. An opening hand plus a second opening hand are usually enough for game and possibly a slam.
“So wake up Melinda and enjoy the rest of the game. There’s just one round to go!”
If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.
NEW SOCIAL BRIDGE GAME IN HUNTSVILLE
Games are at the Active Living Centre on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room 2nd floor (elevator) at the back entrance of the Canada Summit Centre. Just come – with or without a partner. For information, please contact Donna or Peter Tikuisis at 647 471 1774 or [email protected]
For now, this game will be played following Chicago Rules (allowing both fast and slow games). You will keep your same partner for the entire evening. Cost is $1.50 per person. Parking is outside the North Entrance opposite Heritage Village Railway Station.
PORT CARLING SOCIAL BRIDGE CLUB
Games for the Port Carling Social Bridge Club are Monday afternoon 1pm at the Port Carling Community Centre, 3 Bailey Street. Please arrive with your partner at least 10 minutes before game time.
For information, contact Andree or Scott 705-764-3827 [email protected]
Monday, Feb. 11th winners: 1. Els Vandenberg & Peter Rhead 3730 points; 2. Louise Kirbyson & Joan Frost 2910; 3. Kathy & Jim Haller 2710 points
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games at the Huntsville Club are Tuesday afternoon 1pm, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street (side door, three steps up in the Hearth Room). Please arrive at least 15 minutes early. For information and partnerships call Liz Graham (705)789-7187 or email at [email protected]
There was no game Feb 12 due to the snow storm. The following winners are for Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019 with 8 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Helen Pearson and Jim Smith; 2/3. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 2/3. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; 4. Joanne Garvey and Betty Rintoul
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]
The following winners are from Monday, Feb 11, 2019 with 10 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 2. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 3. Val Rhead and Joanne Garvey; East-West 1. Kel Andresen and Jim Smith; 2. Frank Vagnoni and Gerry Lawrence; 3. Mary Mitchell and Isabel Hellberg
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