This story was told to me by Ron Anderson many years ago. A group of bridge players from Minneapolis were driving home from a tournament that had been held far from their homes. Ron was driving. Among the passengers was a blind player, who typical of the sick humor usually employed in bridge, was called the Mole. After they had been driving for quite a while The Mole said that he had to go to the bathroom. Ron said that he couldn’t see anything ahead, but that he would stop at the first place they came to that had a rest room. They continued to drive. After about twenty minutes The Mole said, “I can’t hold it anymore.” Ron said, “I still don’t see anything. I’ll pull over to the side so you can go.” When The Mole was reluctant to do that, Ron reassured him, saying, “Don’t worry. There’s nobody around.Ron helped The Mole onto the grass, and The Mole relieved himself on his own front lawn!
Early one afternoon in the sixties four bridge players had started in Philadelphia and were going to a tournament by driving north on the New Jersey Turnpike. The driver, whose identity is unknown to me, Ethel Silver and Annie Gittelman were in the front seat of the car. In the back seat was a priest dressed in casual attire. He who is still living and has asked that his identity not be revealed. After they had been driving only for a short time, they heard a police siren behind them. The priest said, “Wait a minute.” He started rummaging through the contents of his suitcase He found his clerical collar and put it on. A police car caught up with their car, and the trooper driving it motioned for them to pull over. He stopped , and got out of his car and walked to theirs. The priest asked, “ What seems to be the problem, officer?” The policeman looked and saw the priest wearing his collar. He said, “” No problem Father, have a safe trip.” He walked back to his cruiser and drove off.
When you feel you should be splitting honors, you should be consistent if it will help your partner and not declarer. Say declarer is in four spades and dummy is to your right. Declarer calls for a small heart from three little on dummy. It is your play, holding KQJ2 of hearts. You should have an agreement with your partner to always play the lowest, which I prefer, denying the ten, or the highest, denying the ace, but not the queen which would leave your partner in the dark as to the possession of the other honors. Obviously, this only applies if you know your partner will need to know the information, but unless you are trying to deceive declarer it will assist your partner to defend as well as possible if you are consistent. Related to this, if you have KQ doubleton of a suit, have reason to believe your partner has the ace, and are leading through declarer, you should first lead the queen followed by the king. This alerts your partner that you only have two of the suit in case she would have to overtake for some reason.
If you a singleton high high honor, you obviously have no choice. It is up to your partner to work out what is the true situation.
I think if he hadn’t seen me he may have kept going until he hit the Pacific.
During most of the time I’ve written about Walt being in
Washington. he was going to law school. He finally graduated and had to
take the District of Columbia bar exam. To ensure he wouldn’t be late for it, he
rented a hotel room very close to the exam site and stayed in it studying .
He called the hotel switchboard and asked the person at the desk
to make sure that his room would get a wake up call early enough so
that he would have plenty of time to get to the exam. When he
woke up the following day ,he realized he had never received the call, and he was very late. The exam had already started. He hurriedly dressed. By the time he actually arrived
at the bar exam, it was half over. He wound up having to take it again many months afterwards which was the next time it was it was given.
This may not apply if you play a specialized defense when your opponents
open a big club. However, sometimes it is not their hand. It may be yours.
Suppose the opponent opens a big club and your partner overcalls ( probably to obstruct the opponents auction) it’s impossible for you to force easily.
It is difficult for your side to have a constructive auction. I have found if my partner makes a one suit overcall of a big club my partner and I don’t have a forcing bid, so I arbitrarily play two clubs (or three clubs if responder bids on the two level) as a cue bid in this
situation, forcing one round, and saying nothing about clubs. You lose a
natural club bid, but that is usually unimportant versus the ability to have a forcing bid available for the overcaller’s partner. It also may help the
overcaller if she happens to have a very good hand. The alternative of using jump shifts forcing to accomplish this, precludes either partner from
preempting. If the bidding reaches a very high level rapidly, it’s up to
each defender to decide how high to bid , as they would normally have to
if the opponents had managed to get that high in some other way.
I was getting a ride to a tournament from my apartment in Philadelphia. In the front of the car were Adele and Bernie Kotzen. Adele was one of the more successful female players in Philadelphia in the sixties. Her husband, Bernie, was a salesman who liked liked to brag about his family. As we were well underway Bernie turned to me. He boasted that his son in law, who was very wealthy, was a self made man. Bernie kept on telling how his son in law had made all of his money all by himself.