I started playing club bridge in 1973 and consider myself to be a competent player and a sensible, if somewhat conservative (at times), bidder. In all those years I have had my fair share of disasters at the bridge table, but few have compared with the one I am about to describe! I am hoping that by sharing my story other bridge players might like to ‘entertain us’ during these difficult times with, with a story or two of their own. So, what happened?
Two years ago, I was playing at a congress in Cumbria with a partner who lives near York. We have known each other a long time having had a regular partnership at a club in Hampshire in the 1990s and more recently playing together at congresses in Brighton, Harrogate, Scarborough and Peebles. On the hand in question I was seated North playing a vulnerable 3 level contract in the congress pairs against Catherine Draper, who has played for the England women’s team in the Lady Milne, and her male partner who I did not know. By the end of the hand, I hadn’t taken a single trick, not one! So, I wrote down -900 on my scorecard which is not a score you will come across very often.
So how did we reach such a ridiculous contract I hear you ask? Well, I opened the bidding with 3NT! That shows a long solid minor suit with no more than a Queen outside and is commonly known as ‘the gambling 3NT’. Catherine Draper passed in tempo and my partner after a short pause also passed. My right-hand opponent then went into the proverbial tank and thought and thought and thought. The longer he thought the more I knew what was coming! A Pass. Catherine led a Spade and dummy came down with not a single Ace – in fact it had very little in the way of high cards. I was in a completely hopeless position.
Of course, my partner should have bid 4C, which I would have left, given the chance as that was my suit. In reality, my right-hand opponent would have taken some action and the opposition would probably would have reached their cold 6D contract. So, my partner’s pass saved us from a shared bottom as one EW pair did bid 6D for 920. We got a second bottom instead. Well bid partner (not)!
Although I was annoyed with my partner at the time, I did see the funny side, eventually. Needless to say, I ‘dined out’ on that story for some time afterwards.
If you have an amusing bridge story, why not share it with us all!