At about trick five, my partner Phil Fast looked up and gave me a great big smile because obviously we were not going to set this contract. He smiled, because he is the nicest guy you could have as a partner, and he was not about to say, "What kind of moron would double on this hand?" We were playing against K.C. Jones and Judd Copeland, and I thought that Copeland in the south had walked into the middle of our auction to make sure we didn't buy the contract too cheaply. I calculated that Fast had opened the bidding, showing at least 12 points. I was sitting with 10 points, and Copeland had passed at his first turn. Therefore, he probably did not have a large hand, and we should get a nice big plus score. In fact, the play of the hand did not take long, because 12 tricks are cold on any lead.
When I went back to look at the board after the game, I saw that Judd's hand had only four diamonds and I wondered at his bravery in coming in at the three level. K.C. looked at the hand with me, and when I commented on Copeland's bid, he told me that Copeland had bid in response to his double. I had totally missed his bid--we don't bid aloud--and when he put his double-card on the table at his second turn, I didn't see it.
An axiom in the pairs game of duplicate bridge is that you should not sell out at a low level if the other side has found a fit. I'll now add a footnote to the list of axioms that you had better watch the other side's bidding or you'll end up with a zero and a lot of egg on your face!
We are into Christmas party season. The Boise Unit is on December 3 at the club (4620 Overland Rd., 327-0166) and the Nampa-Caldwell party is on December 4 at the Elk's Lodge in Caldwell (1014 N. Kimball) at 11:30 a.m. The Boise Bridge Club will have its party on December 8 at 11:30 a.m., with bridge starting at 12:30 p.m., as usual.
We are also holding a Sectional Tournament at Clubs in the first week of December, beginning Monday evening, December 4. If you like good competition and lots of points, plan to play every session. All the hands will be pre-dealt and the results compared with hundreds of other players in the West and South. See you there.