Preparing for busy tournament play

Published 11:05 am Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Like most churches in the area, Riverchase Presbyterian has Wednesday evening activities; service, supper, then Bible study, ending at 7:30 or so.

After service we’ll break down the tables and set up 26 card tables.

One of the Sunday School classrooms will be converted into a coffee/tea/water and snack room, with two coffee stations. At one end of the fellowship hall, we’ll have our director’s tables set up with the primary game computer and printer, scoring supplies for the players, and multiple boxes of playing cards called “boards.”

I put welcome signs out at the entrance to the church, another on the US 31 side of the church, and a third in the rear parking lot.

Linda will have spent most of the day on Tuesday making Thursday’s lunch of stuffed shells and meatballs; preparing for up to 80 people for lunch. Our wonderful regular players will bring various snacks, breakfast goodies, salads and side dishes.

If you walk away hungry from one of our tournaments, it’s your own fault. We’ll be having a pure potluck on Friday for lunch, then on Saturday one of our good friends Aileen Hill will be preparing chicken teriyaki.

Thursday and Friday we’ll have three sessions of pairs games with three stratified levels; game times at 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. On Saturday, we’ll have a two-session Swiss Teams event at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., in addition to pairs games at 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

We try to leave the church as clean as we’ve found it, which means on Saturday in addition to running the games, we gradually start to shut the tournament down when the afternoon games are completed; the Saturday evening game is normally pretty small.

This involves sweeping the floors and carpet, cleaning the kitchen, making sure the refrigerators are clear of leftovers, the tables and supplies put away, signs picked up, trash buckets hauled to the street and church locked.

We normally finish around 11:30 on Saturday night, and we’re pretty tired!


You’re East in third seat and hold the Q-J-x-x of spades. Partner leads the ace, which shows he has the king.

You should discard the queen on his ace!

This particular discard tells partner to underlead his king on the next trick, that you are guaranteeing the jack. Why is this important? The advantage of being declarer is that the defenders have to lead through dummy and third seat before playing; almost always promoting a trick for declarer.

By getting East into the lead, he can put declarer into immediate pressure by leading through him, perhaps trapping an honor card.


Played carefully, all 13 tricks can be made. The ace fo hearts wins (1), followed by two rounds of trumps (2,3). The top two clubs are played (4,5) and a club ruffed (6) in hand. A diamond to the ace (7) is followed by a fourth club, ruffed in hand (8). The top diamond is played in hand (9) followed by a ruff with dummy’s last spade (10). Declarer is now able to cash dummy’s last club (11) and sluff the board’s remaining heart. Declarer is left with two good trumps (12,13).

John and Linda Randall run the Shelby County Bridge Club. They can be reached by e–mail at