Cam French

Do It Again





                                            Steely Dan – Do It Again


A couple of weeks ago I found myself in a CBF Regional  – for the first time ever hosted in my backyard. After being KO’d with great team mates (Mike Kenny and Steve Cooper) by Jeff Smith and Paul Thurston on Saturday, Sunday came and we were on a roll.

All Vul.

 108x   Q10x  Ax  Q108xx

I passed and 1H was opened on my left and passed around to me. Any thoughts? Very good opps. And although I prefer to see and document the names of all participants, in this case I violate my own rule out of respect for them.  

Possible actions in no particular order:

Pass. 1NT Double 2clubs 

Think about your bid before you scroll down.





















My mind flashed back to Fred. For those who don’t share that memory, here is a link.

Stealing a page from Fred’s playbook, I balanced 1NT. The subsequent effect was rather profound. LHO doubled, partner redoubled and 1NT rewound became the final contract! I awaited the dummy with bated breath.

As expected – I bought a favourable dummy. Would it be enough?

KQ  xxx Qxxx AJ9x

Hearts were opened (with the opener having 7!) and cleared.The club finesse worked (had it lost I can assure you I would not be writing this up) and now 6 tricks were in the bag,  I could cash the ace of diamonds for trick seven.Obviously that is a great result. But I could easily count out west’s hand as 3-7-2-1. Therefore I  played a spade. he cashed his two hearts and was endplayed in diamonds for an overtrick.

This was the end position:


♠ KQ 
♦ Qxx
♠ A
♥ J9
♦ Kx
East (irrelevant)
♥  –
♠ 10xx  
♦ Ax


  The full deal.                             



♠ 10xx  



My point in writing this is not to bask in the limelight of a glorious result but to note the high road of one of the opponents. When we were young and hopeless and always drew a superior team round one of the Swiss –  and I always wondered why that was. Now I know. I recall in my totallity of bridge playing a whopping two players whose team we as significant underdogs had defeated, coming back to our table to say “nice match boys”. This time I will out those two. They were Irving Litvak and Wayne Timms. Irving, a club proprietor, (and as recently as this week a team mate in an imp match where I served as a victorious fill-in) is ever gracious, and Wayne although  convicted as a cheater some 25 years later but always had charm, time for younger players and the charisma lacking too often in our game. Perhaps that was part of his charade. Truth is, I always admired and respected Wayne because of the atypical way (intimidation was a big part of the game in my youth) and Wayne was the antithesis if that. Sadly his conviction (for bringing and inserting pre-dealt hands into a match) and cheating on OKB (elevating his Lehman to 70! by playing with himself on two computers simultaneously) has (to be kind) caused us all to reassess that former position. 

On this day, Doug Baxter joined this modest duo by coming to our table to congradulate us. (Doug played at the other table.) That makes three players in about 30+ years, so one per decade. I say THANK YOU to Doug, to Irving to Wayne. It takes (apparently) a big man to say so.

Maybe we all should learn from this lesson. Once in a while (I know rarely) you are beaten by an inferior team, or even peers. Perhaps you might steal a page from this sportman’s handbook which says – congratulate the other team. Is that too tough? Apparently yes. I congratulated the only team (Steinberg/Korbel) that beat us. But maybe attitudes can change. I think Doug’s actions speak to that.

Thanks Doug. 





1 Comment

PaulFebruary 25th, 2012 at 9:53 am

Playing in the last Sunday Swiss at the Washington NABC 2009, we played the Lynch team in the penultimate round and all the pros were in – Gromov, Dubinin, Balicki, Zmudzinski. We beat the 4-2 imps, mainly because I had a heart in with my diamonds on one hand, but Gromov came up to us after the match to say well played and good luck in the final round.

Pretty sporting from a team who had only been knocked out of the Spingold at 1am on Sunday morning.

Coincidently we also beat Steinberg/Korbel that day, a match we agreed was a blog-free zone 🙂

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