In the midst of tournament play

Because this column was written as our tournament was in progress, I’ll have a full write-up of the list of winners in next week’s column.

I’m also in the process of finishing up a Beginner’s Bridge class at our Huffman Road location at the Huffman Baptist Church, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Congratulations, this is a great place to play.

Jan. 13, 2009 I’ll be starting another Beginner’s Bridge class at the Riverchase Presbyterian Church from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The seven-week course is free to the public. I’ll be using the award-winning Audrey Grant Introduction to Bridge as the optional text in addition to weekly handouts of my own. Please call me at 451-5997 to reserve a seat or e-mail me at letsplaybridge@riverchasebridge.com.

WINNERS THIS WEEK:

Monday: Jerrie Friar and Betty Branch, followed by Carolyn Giles and Nancy West, then Barbara Wall and Maureen Bryant, Judy and Don Hasseld, Janet Johnson and Peggy Olson. In our evening game Linda and Len Block finished first just ahead of Guy and Roy Martin, then Jane Lewis and Helen Brooks, Susy Philhours and Sarah Smith, Jill Salmon and Bonnie Segers.

Thursday: Lorette and Clark Ogle finished first ahead of Peggy and Gene Graham, Janet Johnson and Barbara Dawson, Jerrie Friar and Aileen Hill.

Friday: John Lusco and Mac LaCasse finished first, followed by Janet Johnson and Barbara Dawson, Lanell and Paul Saeger, Judy and Don Hasseld, Judy Chase and Bernie Liberman, Jo Weatherly and Charlotte Lusco, Sarah Smith and Mary Ellen Thomas.

Saturday: Susy Philhours and Maya Altarac, Judy Hasseld and Judie Fair, John Griffith and Jill Salmon, Judy Chase and Jan Lovorn, Mac LaCasse and John Lusco, Kathryn Howell and Adelaide St Raymond.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Following up on last week’s tip on pitching the queen on partner’s lead of the ace, this week I want you to watch your discards when you hold poor cards and partner might have a winning honor. If you hold the x-x of spades and the board has the A-J-x-x and you suspect that declarer has either the K-T-x-x or Q-T-x-x, protect your partner’s honor card by NOT discarding one of your two spots as declarer runs a side suit. If you pitch one of your spot spades, it’s a sure tip-off to declarer where the missing honor card is.

HAND OF THE WEEK:

No one bid this slam this morning because all the teams started out with 1S-2S. With a void in hearts, East’s hand is powerful enough to open 2C. The 2H response is a Step Response indicating 5-8 HCP (0-4 = 2D, 5-8 = 2H, 9-12 = 2S, 13+ = 2NT). West knows that he must continue bidding until partner parks the contract in game at minimum. The three level bidding is all natural with West showing his 5-8 HCP points being in the club suit, which pleases East no end.