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Who Understands them?

“Who” or is it “whom” are we talking about…or to be grammatically correct, “about whom are we talking?” Women, of course. Follow me through one particular recent hand and explain the logic. I held :

Spade-small 93

Heart-small -

Diamond-small QT9743

Club-small AK974

With the opposition vulnerable, this seemed to be a perfect hand for the unusual 2NT. There was just one problem. Partner had first shot….and not being very co-operative, she decided to open with 1Heart-small. My right hand opponent called 1Spade-small. 2NT hardly fitted the bill now whether it was natural or game-force with heart agreement! I decided on 2Diamond-small (you can email the reasons I should double if you wish!) only to hear 2Heart-small from partner.

Lovely. I tried 3Club-small. You can email the reasons why I should have passed, if you wish! I will be probably be getting a lot of emails very soon!

3Heart-small came partner’s next offering and, fearful of finding my inbox would be soon over-full, I passed. Yes, I know 3Club-small should be game forcing, though that is surely only from the point of view of the partner? If the 3Club-small bidder chooses to pull up short of game, they can. I did and on the lead of Club-small5 rather apologized as I put down dummy. Partner thanked me, a sign of either politeness or genuine pleasure! I feared the former. Let me set out the dummy again for you:

Spade-small 93

Heart-small -

Diamond-small QT9743

Club-small AK794

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed a small difference from the hand given at the start of the article. Partner called for a low club from dummy and won the trick with the Club-small10 in her hand. Out came Heart-smallA (“at least partner has not a totally ragged heart suit” I mused) and I was told (sorry, “requested”) to discard a low club. I played the Club-small9 as it was at the bottom of the club suit.

With decided emphasis, partner reached across to dummy, retrieved the Club-small9 and replaced it with Club-small7. I felt humble, duly apologetic, quite inadequate (I could not even lay dummy down correctly….and I was only challenged to lay down three suits!).

Next came partner’s Heart-smallK (‘’good on you, partner”) with Heart-smallQ dropping on my right (lucky I did not give you a singleton might have taken a losing finesse!). Oh, which card did partner call for from dummy? You guessed it. That oh so valuable Club-small9 which had been so carefully preserved from the previous trick!

Club 9.png         "wasted"

                    rubbish bin.png

Just as well you saved it, partner!

Can you explain? Not I.

Anyway, of rather secondary importance was the fact that partner went on to make precisely 9 tricks, losing one heart (Heart-small9) (do you see how valuable these 9's are?), one diamond and two spades. Great bidding! You want to see all four hands?

Board 3
South Deals
E-W Vul
9 3
Q 10 9 7 4 3
A K 9 7 4
A 10 8 7 6 4
Q 5
A 8
8 5 2
W   E
9 6 4 3 2
6 5 2
J 6 3
J 5 2
A K J 10 8 7
Q 10
West North East South
1  2  Pass 2 
Pass 3  Pass 3 
All pass      


I was reflective of partner’s attention to detail of my little club pips but decided it was best not to mention any inconsistency in this regard. Seeing partner’s wonderful trumps and 15 hcp, I was very glad we had stayed out of game. Facing my own bidding (that's bidding both hands!), I am sure my second bid as South would have been 3Heart-small while my third bid would have been 4Heart-small. More email correspondence?

So, all I can say is that I may not understand much about them but, this day, I was very glad to have one of them as my partner.

Richard Solomon (brave or foolish enough to put my name to this piece).





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