Al The Plumber

Extreme Bridge #6: Part 3

Part 3

(Click this link to read Part 1)
(Click this link to read Part 2)

Sorry this part got delayed — partly because some sites and pages that posted the problem were out of sync, plus I was exhausted from overbidding, as usual.

As some of you have guessed, I was the culprit who was West.  The deal was played years ago, and I was playing with Warren Rosner who tragically passed away last year.  He had put up with my bridge and other antics since we were in college!  He’s probably counting his lucky stars up there somewhere that he won’t have to hear me for the zillionth time ask questions such as, “Why did you lead the HQ from xxx QJT876 xx xx against 3NT when a low one probably would have fooled the declarer?”  With us vul and quiet (rare for me, but they already had picked off two of my suits), the bidding by them went 1C-1D-1N-3N.  Dummmy on his left had something like HK9xx, naturally I was void, and declarer had HAxx.  The next time that you think you had really bad luck on a lead, think about this one!

Anyway, my West hand for Extreme Bridge #6 was:



Despite the lack of some exotic play like an inverted triple squeeze with a rotating periwinkle, I think there are more interesting points to this deal than there appear to be at first sight. “Unfortunately”, I often can concoct such things about loads of deals.  I staged lots of drone attacks long before drones were commonplace. 🙂

First of all, many people questioned aspects of the bidding and play that took place on the actual deal.  Some were:

1. Why didn’t S bid 3S instead of 3NT?  I don’t know.  Ordinarily, I would have, especially on a hand that looks suit oriented due to all those controls, but maybe the declarer was shooting???

Other slight possibilities are that he pulled the wrong bid from the bidding box or that he didn’t see the cards properly.  (This might have been the case for another situation that I’ll mention later.)  He was an excellent player, but EVERY player except you and me, of course, makes mistakes.  Some that aren’t mechanical types of errors even go undetected after hordes of players and analysts examine the hand in post mortems — even with computers.  BTW, don’t tell anyone else about us, and just let them think we might be screwing up when we play them!  Sometimes we can use that to our benefit.

2. Some people said they would open either version 1S, or at least would do so for the second one.  Today anything that vaguely resembles a 1NT opening is opened as such by loads of experts and other players.  Some players did this many years ago, but I think that the tendency has become stronger over the years.  Sometimes it works well for various reasons, e.g., just because the defenders often find out little during the bidding. 

However, with such great controls, I think there is a good chance that 1NT might make it more difficult to reach the best contracts, e.g., good slams — although for some layouts, the opposite is true.  In addition, the hand with the AJT43 of spades is such a powerhouse for a 15-17 1NT opening that I would open 1S instead.  If anyone wants to count points, I’d promote for the controls, good 5 card suit, etc.  It’s better than lots of 18 point hands that huge numbers of players would open with one of a suit, and then jump to 2NT or raise 1NT to 2NT.  I’ll use the polling feature to see what others think.

3. Maybe S should hold off taking the DA, instead of taking it to try to block the suit.  Then sometimes W might discontinue the suit because he can’t read the spot cards, W might have 5 solid diamonds except for the DA but have no outside entry, etc.  Then again, W might have bid with a good 5 card diamond suit, perhaps with other excuses.  Who knows?

4. Maybe S should discard the CT instead of a low one.  It seems like that could work out either way, sometimes depending on defensive mistakes, telltale hesitations, etc.  Also, if a spade-club squeeze develops, sometimes it will not matter.

5. Maybe S shouldn’t cash the 3rd round of hearts to get more information.  Sometimes it risks down 2 if things go wrong.  However, maybe someone has been lulled to sleep by the 3N bid (instead of a supposedly “normal” 3S), you’re behind the 8 ball already if straightforward play makes 4 or 5 spades, you can get more info than 4S declarers can because there probably won’t be any opposing ruffs in NT!, etc.                     

Now, I’ll switch to W’s viewpoint: 

1. As some people said, it was strange that S discarded a club and spade.  Since he evidently held only 5 red cards, eons of bridge experience or 1st grade math would indicate that he held 8 black cards — presumably 4 spades since he didn’t rebid them and therefore also 4 clubs.  BUT — then how does he expect to make it with a virtually certain club loser even if he has the CT? (Or maybe no club loser but a losing spade to be used for an endplay instead.  Whoopee-doo!)  That also might result in down 2 instead of down 1.  If he really had 4-4 in the black suits, he probably would plan to develop one of them, and discard twice from the other.

As previously mentioned, the most likely possibility is that he has 5 spades, but he chose not to show them.  Possibly he is shooting, just loves 3NT so much, etc.  Errors such as those stated above, and later realizing the correct hand are slight possibilities.  Similarly, perhaps he thought he had 4 spades, later realized he had only 3, and he really has 5 clubs.  Sometimes when opponents do unexpected things, it pays to be alert for their possible errors.  Otherwise, they may be the ones who are laughing at the end of the deal! 🙂  However, many times there may be no reasonable way to take them into account.  

2. Assuming S has 5 spades, he knows that a significant percentage of the field may be in 4S, but a fair number probably will play 3NT because spades never get bid, or they will get there in various ways even if they are bid and raised.  He doesn’t know it, but 4S usually is making assuming he has as little as the SA, which is virtually certain on the bidding.  Many declarers probably will lead to dummy and then toward the AT or AJ.  (Occasionally, 4S may go down if E has the QJ and declarer concocts a safety play for down 1, a low spade is started from dummy instead and E pops the Q from QT, etc.  However, 4S has pretty decent chances on various layouts even if there is a sure spade loser.  For example, there may be an endplay to avoid a club loser, declarer might be able to trump two diamonds and his last losing club will go on a defender’s trump at trick 13, etc.)

3. If the declarer has SAJ, he may try to do something different from what the 4S declarers rate to do.  Playing to drop the doubleton Q is one obvious possibility.  3NT making 3 isn’t going to be all that wonderful if they make 4S or more.  Of course, he has to be somewhat cautious because he might wind up losing to both the 4S and the 3NT declarers.  Getting part of a loaf usually is better than none at all.  Naturally, if he really is shooting, a partial as in loaf may not be of much interest!

4. After running the diamonds, we probably weren’t getting any more tricks if S planned to play either of us to have Q dub, or for Warren to have the SQ (assuming S didn’t play for highly dubious situations such as restricted choice regarding the possibly missing QJ AND a black suit squeeze).  At least he was not making 4!  I got out with a heart, and declarer played another round so he seemed to be looking for info and/or hoping the defense would screw up.  It wasn’t a big surprise.  So why not give him some info/hope, mess with his head, etc.? 😉 I was hoping too.  

BTW, I presented the S hand with the SAJxxx first to see what many players would do.  A fairly large percentage played the SA, and then when E played the T, played W for Qxxx originally.  Some others went to dummy with a club, then led a low spade intending to finesse for the Q, but said they might change their mind if the T came up.     

If declarer had the J, with other things being equal, of course the odds were against my partner’s spot being the T.  However, as indicated above, I thought that declarer might have opened 1S with that hand, particularly playing with an expert partner who presumably has some idea how to play NT contracts, so that affects the odds.  (Of course, I guessed wrong about that part!  What else is new?)  As far as I knew, he wasn’t a shy bidder. 🙂  Regardless if I discarded a club or made the technically “idiotic” spade discard, with him having the red suit count, and if only missing the Q in spades, etc., I judged (guessed again?) that he probably would play me for the Q (guarding against me having started with 4 or even 5 spades) if he were about to finesse someone.  Maybe the spade discard portion was just a matter of the number of levels of he knows that I know that he knows … 🙂

I couldn’t dawdle or else I’d probably have to explain to a committee why it took so long to pitch a spade from xxx!  In addition, I figured that no amount of time would help so despite all the preceding rambling, I just played a spade without a loss of tempo.  He played me for the Q and went down 2.  Warren and I needed almost every matchpoint that we scraped up on this and all the other deals.  We won a squeaker by less than 1/6th of a board. 

5. Alan Truscott asked us for a deal for his NY Times column.  Even though I’ll probably never know whether my discard changed declarer’s play on that layout, we asked Alan if he wanted to use that deal.  He liked it and called it a Psychological Double-cross.

BTW, bridge journalists sometimes say to me that they don’t want a “book” about a hand, tons of “wonderful” drivel that didn’t happen to matter on an interesting deal, etc.  I can’t imagine why they think I might give them such things! 🙂 (Naturally, it’s obvious they often have a pretty limited amount of space, and even less when they have to report results, make announcements, etc.)

At the point where I had to discard on the heart, holding S865 and CQJ76, Truscott wrote as follows:

“The obvious discard was a club, leaving South to guess the position of the spade queen. But Stauber threw a spade, a play one would expect from a beginner.

No expert would throw a spade from three small cards in such a position, thus indicating the right way to play spades. Or so South thought. He concluded, as Stauber meant him to conclude, that Stauber had begun with four spades including the queen.”

Hey, that reminds me.  I’ve got to leave to play in a Novice Pairs event.


Extreme Bridge #6: Part 2

Part 2

(Click this link to read Part 1)

OK, that was lots of fun, right? I’ve collected comments from various places, but that was the practice round! I think practice should be tougher than the “real world”. Therefore, when it counts, you’ll really “Be all that you can be!” 🙂 (BTW, if you have more comments regarding Part 1, please send them.)

Anyway, I psyched regarding what South held in the spade suit. The actual holding was AJT43. You can believe me this time because later I will tell you about a bridge journalist who reported the deal, and we all know that journalists always tell the truth!

Sooo — this should be EZ. I’ve made some minor changes to Part 1, but the play is the same, and merely the SQ is missing. Go to it!

I’LL BE BACK again with a summary of the comments, some of mine, and what happened when the deal was played.

Extreme Bridge #6: Part 1

Yes, it’s time for another fix for bridge addicts, but who will be the fixers, and who will be the fixed?

Extreme Bridge #6

Both Vul, S dealer, Matchpoints



All Pass
(1) 15-17 HCP
(2) 2C was Stayman, but maybe without a 4 card major
(3) When something will confuse two opponents and only one partner, it must be reasonable to do it, right? Ha! Ha! So bid 3N instead of 3S (showing 5 cards), which also would have accepted the invitation!

Lead: DK asks attitude (usually about the A or J). E plays the D4. Assume regular Smith Echo and other standard defensive signals to make things “simple”.

If you have seen this deal before, please do not comment until I show the entire deal, probably in a day or so.

For whatever you want to make of them:

  1. If the opponents wanted to bid over 1N, it is not certain now what they were playing then, but assume they were using 2C = H & S, 2N = C & D. When the deal occurred, some of today’s common methods did not exist or seldom were played.
  2. It was the final of an ACBL National event, and when the deal was played, all four players had won at least one REAL National very recently — Not the other kinds that the ACBL concocts by the truckload! 🙂

I’ll start the play as it actually went, but feel free to comment on bids, plays, or whatever that you would do differently.

S decided to take the DA to possibly block the suit. Then it went H4, 8, Q, A. E won the DJ and played the 3. W took the T & Q, E pitched the H3, and you discarded the S3 and C5.

W got out with H5, and you took two heart tricks ending in your hand. E followed with the 2 & 7, and W played the S5 on the 3rd round.

Now it’s your turn to plan the rest of the play. I’ll put it on some other FB pages, and also on bridge websites such as and under my Al the Plumber blog. So if you want to comment, you may want to do it on those.

I’LL BE BACK! (Possibly early if someone has a question about a typo, something else that may be needed to analyze the hand, etc.)

Extreme Bridge #5: It’s Not Your Birthday, But It Could Be Slam Time! — Part II

Yes, it’s time for yet another Bridge Fanatic Special!

Extreme Bridge #5: It’s Not Your Birthday, But It Could Be Slam Time! — Part II

This is the second part of a recent problem. I got delayed by the U.S. pot mania! As soon as I turn on my computer, I get even higher than my usual stratospheric bidding takes me. Huge amounts of web pot smoke spew out continuously. During bizdays, it is even more EXTREME! I get high even faster from the pot stock mega-mania. The companies are like smoking jets on super afterburners! They make the dotcom mania look like a little blip. Anyway, I’ve mellowed back down for now to only slam levels so here we go again. If you already have seen the first part, please go to Part II below.


Nobody Vul, Matchpoints, South Dealer. You are East. Your partner obviously does not possess your incredible flair for the game. He is probably a bit above average Regional event player.

Even though North had hardly played in any National or higher events for 16 years, and only plays in some scattered ones now, to paraphrase some Rodwell guy, he is “The Always Dangerous Al the Plumber”!

Anyway, you pick up:


You’re already revving up your favorite slam bidding methods when this happens:

2S P 4D (Alert!)

What the heck is this nonsense? Why does this kind of thing happen only to you?

The first decision is should you ask what 4D is? Whatever it is, there is a good chance that it seldom occurs. Maybe there is a screw-up??? Most of the people to whom I gave the hand did ask. To speed up some matters, I’ll just tell you it gets Alerted as an asking bid in diamonds. Of course, you can comment about anything that is imposed, regardless whether you would have done the same thing or not.

So what do you do now? Once again, I’ll speed things up by saying the majority bid 4H.

Now it goes: 5C (Alert), P, 6S!!

Your turn again. Isn’t this fun?

So I’ll impose that you ask about the 5C bid. It’s Alerted as AK or a void. I’ll let you try to decide which it might be.  

BTW, just for laffs, if your partner had bid 5H instead of passing, would that change your decision?

After cogitating about it, please page down for the second part.

Part II:

Did you really think you were going to beat this with a mere 23 HCP’s, including 3 aces, one of which is trump? You’d be lucky to get that ace! When spades were trump, 3 TIMES I’ve seen the SA not take a trick!!! ☺ Judging from those deals and other losing trump aces that I know about, it may have happened millions of times!

Assuming that 6S is even a semi-sane bid (even though it is from Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy), probably there are two red suit voids that basically void most of your hand. (Yes, some other deals and crapshoots might be slight possibilities.) What do you rate to beat it with? It also certainly doesn’t sound like this auction will be repeated often, or ever, even if it is played in lots of games throughout the bridge world. How is anyone else going to get to 6S? Maybe on rare occasions a pair will take the “save” over 6H???

Yes, I know what the hands are, but I think that the 23 HCP piece of junk should not X or PASS. Furthermore, those two calls probably won’t get you written up in bridge columns, except maybe for being a victim of the opponents! Isn’t that what really matters?

At the outset, you thought there were pretty good chances that you might end up bidding a slam. What are you waiting for?

Bid ONE OF THEM! Lots of things could happen, and some might be good, especially since there may be saves that go for less than the value of the opponents’ game, or perhaps at least less than their likely doubled 4S or 5S contracts. Those contracts may be quite common, even if some were intended as saves! If I have what appears to be a likely zero, I’ll try just about anything that seems like it has some chance. It’s amazing how often it gets something, and sometimes a good score or even a top. In this example, it is not so impossible that you even might make a grand (sometimes cold after the wrong lead), or that maybe an opponent will take a chance/save with 7S! Often they will not be sure who has the SA, and might assume their partner has it in some forcing pass or other auctions. After all, the opponents are there to help you!

BTW, it’s really uber-hilarious when even a phantom save by you is a super score! That could happen here.

Based on the bidding, the 2S opener presumably has 5-6 spades and 0 diamonds. 3-4 hearts and 3+ clubs are likely. Although not so likely, his hand could be VERY, VERY distributional. Maybe 6-5 either way — or even more EXTREME. It is unlikely to be super short in hearts because pard might have bid 5H with big length there, even with a Yarborough, unless it just looked like losers up the kazoo elsewhere.


If it matters to you, you also might want to ask about the opponents’ style with a side 3, 4, or possibly even longer major.

The most important unknown may be what RHO holds. Here are some of the possibilities. He probably has 4+ spades (although 3 might be a slight possibility), 0 hearts, and 2+ diamonds. That probably “narrows” it down to 0-7 clubs. ☺ Whatever he has, the prospect of the 2S opener having 3-4 small ones doesn’t seem to concern him too much, if at all, unless he is hoping for the wrong lead. His possible 1-3 card club holdings may consist only of winners, although possible crapshoots may be headed by the AQ. Since your CJ doesn’t look enough like the CK to fool the opponents, that finesse will win if declarer needs it to keep control or for a winner. RHO’s hopes might be that a long diamond suit could be established, and/or there would be a huge cross ruff. 4+ card club holdings probably are headed by the AKQ (because he probably is not relying on long diamond tricks) unless they are very long. Then only the AK (or possibly an AQ crapshoot) might be possible.  

So what are the possible bids?

7H: On the bidding, LHO probably should lead a club, after which you quite often are going for too much in top tricks and ruffs, unless RHO happens to have the A as his only club honor, maybe stiff. But “quite often” doesn’t mean always. For example, from the 2S opener’s point of view, his pard could have something like SAxxxx H— Dxxxxxxxx Cx. Of course, the diamond suit could have been headed by some honor(s). He may lead a non-club without thinking about it much. Plus, some opposing hero may find a 7S bid, possibly after a forcing pass. Who knows???

7D: This seems like a pretty wild shot, but it definitely stops ruffs with diamonds! ☺ And with a spade lead, you are claiming on “merely” HJx Dxxxxxxxx, HJxx Dxxxxxxx, etc. in the reds in the dummy. There also may be others ways to get to 7D if pard has a ton of them. BTW, there are many types of tons. A bridge ton usually = 7+. Who the leader is could be a double-edged sword, depending on whether LHO gives a heart ruff to his partner, how many club losers your partner has, etc. If your RHO is on lead, he rates to get 1-3 tricks in clubs, and often 1-3 in total also, and even -500 could be a good score.

Furthermore, if RHO is drooling a lot, you still can try 7H if you want to.


7C: That’s ridiculous

6NT: In apparent save situations, NT usually suggests suit(s) that were not bid, or something else about the distro – possibly a disparity in bid suit lengths. The NT bidder might pull the response to clarify what he is doing. Sometimes, it means other things such as which suit to lead. AND occasionally, it is meant to play. It may be right to play it there for this deal, but it may be hard for partner to read it, even though there may be ways to find out in many situations if an opponent thinks he is forced to hit 6NT. (Otherwise he won’t collect enough in undoubled undertricks.) That X can be used to advantage. Bids, passes, and XX’s can be used to try to define what the NT bidder is doing.

Whatever action partner takes has some chance of working if he has certain hands, the opponents mess up, etc.


Well, that’s enough choices. What’s yours?

Here’s the actual hand.

Oh, wait!


Oh yeah, about that ridiculous 7C bid: That’s my choice! First of all, often LHO will have to decide whether or not to make a forcing pass. Also, there’s a chance of a mix-up. Sometimes pass, especially by the supposedly “weak” hand, and in wild auctions, can show better trump than might be expected. Even many “expert” players often are not sure what some forcing passes mean. E.g., does KQxxxx of trump = extras for a NV weak 2? For some players, they are. Or is something like a suit headed by AK or AQ needed? Or on this type of auction, is the trump holding not too material? Is only something like the CA “extra”? BTW, on occasion, psychic forcing passes add to the general bridge hilarity. ☺ Over X, my pard will be in a position to XX to suggest a lot of diamonds and some heart tolerance. Even if pard passes, I still can bid 7H if I want to. That’s if it’s still available! Ha! Ha!  

BUT — from what is known about the auction, there’s a good chance that partner will prefer hearts immediately, or later on in some auctions. Occasionally, he might try 7D if he has a ton of them, which is a lot more likely than usual on this auction, especially if he doesn’t support hearts. At any rate, if pard bids 7H as is quite likely, LHO rates to be pretty confused about my hand, and may not even consider a club lead after this, no less lead one. After all, I really could have clubs! I might even make 7H!! Something like Sx Hxxxx DJxxxxx Cxx opposite me would be real tough to take! ☺ Pard might have bid 5H with some such hands previously, but it could appear to him that it might go for 500+ fairly often.

If my partner and I had discussed our methods in these situations, I might bid 6NT instead.


RHO’s hand was

SJT763 H— D98643 CAKQ.

The 2S bidder had SKQ9542 HJ95 D— C9753. Partner has S8 HT862 DJT752 CT62

6S is cold since spades are 1-1, and it has other significant chances if they aren’t, even before considering a defensive error or misguess such as following low to a spade lead from dummy with Ax, which sometimes would be necessary if declarer had opened one of those disgusting Stauber Weak 2’s.

So if you X’ed or passed, you were doomed to a ZERO in the actual event, and probably that or very close to if it had occurred elsewhere instead.

6NTX is -300 at worst. It didn’t have to be right, but it was this time. Bidding it and staying there may have been tough though, especially without a lot of agreements about NT bids in apparent save situations.

7CX would have been amusing to the opponents. (Amusing for you if they, for some reason or non-reason, forgot to X! ☺ )

7DX = not nice! (Once again, amusing for you if not X’ed!)

7H = nice!

7HX = nice on non-club lead. Not nice otherwise.

7S, 7SX by opps = Whoopee!

7NT (Ha! Ha!) = -150 at worst.

7NTX = -500 at worst. Beats the X’ed spade contracts. Not too bad for a phantom save!

Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy

P.S. Bridge lunacies and random semi-sane bridge stuff at,, and Facebook (Allan Stauber & various bridge pages)

PPS Immaterial spots are not known, and were inserted arbitrarily for some computerized bridge diagrams.

Extreme Bridge #4: Fast and Furious Grand Theft Action!

OK, Bridge Addicts! Listen up!


EXTREME BRIDGE #4: Fast and Furious Grand Theft Action! — Update

If you already have read the first part of this article somewhere, please skip to the “Update:” label. Otherwise, please start here.

I’ve numbered a few recent lunacies as follows:

#1. The 7NT Opening Preempt

#2. 2-Way Direct Finesse for a King in NT

#3. 13 Clubs Played, but No Ace

So this is #4. As usual, I’m pretty much beyond help, but perhaps some of you can help anyway. Here’s the action on this deal:

1. A woman who isn’t exactly a super expert had HKx. I want to make this “Fast and Furious” so I won’t bother you with any other cards. (At least there won’t be a safety play for 2 points at Trick 1, as in some “SUPER GAMES”.)

2. An expert RHO is in 7H, and it was apparent that he had lots of long great hearts. Maybe he even opened 7H or whatever.

3. She didn’t X. Probably, she was worried that they would run to 7S or 7NT and make it. (BTW, I’ll call BS on that last statement. : ) )

4. She suavely led a non-heart, and the declarer won trick 1, failing to find the play of rectifying the count. (My partners and I do that quite often for the first trick or two of a grand, usually because we can’t win the trick(s). BUT — sometimes, even when we can!)

5. He banged down the HA at trick 2. She brilliantly played low.

6. Then at trick 3, he banged down ANOTHER HA, DROPPING HER KING!!! “Making” 7H!

7. A kibitzer asked the woman why she didn’t X 7H.

8. She replied something like, “He always redoubles! See, I was right not to X. He made it!”

9. Yes, she was! ROFLMAO! (Note that this declarer played his best as he is supposed to do at all times per the ACBL rules, continuing on despite the two HA’s! Both of the declarers for Deals #’s 2 and 3, just “gave up” when their “discovery plays” determined that there were 2 CA’s and ZERO CA’s, respectively, for those deals. #2 involved the best play of dummy’s CAQx for no losers despite that I held the supposedly “protected” K behind dummy. AND — without any endplays or whatever. Declarer held CAJx. LOL!)

10. Anyway, this 7H story has been around for decades, and may have taken place in or near the site of the 2/2/14 not so super SUPER GAME. Perhaps NYC??? Supposedly, it was a new deck that had “a problem”, or maybe more than one. Does anyone know if it really occurred, and if the comments were similar to those shown above?


Update: The Noble Henry Bethe is the son of Nobel Prize Winner Hans Bethe. Unlike some of the Comedy Central types of PC “Nobel Prizes”, it was a REAL one for Physics in 1967. Obviously, Noble Henry would not stoop to skullduggery and besmirch the family name, as Al the Plumber would, regarding this deal. Henry reported as follows:

“In the original of this story it was rubber bridge at either the Regency or the Cavendish in NYC and Johnny Crawford was declarer. Crawford was a notable ‘card shark’ and in fact during WWII was hired by the army to go around and demonstrate to GIs various ways that cards could be manipulated. As I was told the story, Crawford had in fact substituted a small heart for the already-played Ace as he collected the first trick.”

That sounds like a lot more plausible “lunacy”. : )  It’s probably correct. BTW, I was hired by card sharks to go around and demonstrate various ways that bidding could be manipulated! When I couldn’t explain them quickly enough to A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez), I just showed him how to buy his bad board results from the directors instead.



Coming Distraction: As much as I hate to get even semi-serious, by some amazing coincidence, this all LEADS to my next topic which actually may interest some “serious” people for a change.

Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy

Email: (but not used for many multiple mailings due to Comcast limits)

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Bridge Blogs: Al the Plumber on and

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NSA: (redacted by NSA)

Extreme Bridge #1: The 7NT Opening Preempt

Yes folks, it’s time for yet another Bridge Addict Special Report!


Extreme Bridge #1: The 7NT Opening Preempt


Almost as soon as I started playing bridge, I realized that my center-hand opponents (CHO’s) were highly confused, huge obstacles on the road to victory in all types of bridge events.  I’m sure that enormous numbers of other players would agree — not only regarding my CHO’s, but even many of theirs.  I decided that I would try to develop strategies to confuse the other two opponents as much as each CHO.  On many deals, that 2-1 advantage quite often should be enough to overcome many of the other opponents’ usually gigantic number of HCP’s, trumps, etc.


Naturally, most bridge organizations love to bar the most effective bids and systems.  Some of those are various types of 2 level openings, forcing pass systems, many types of controlled psychs, preempts bar CHO, 8+ level bids, etc., etc., etc.  Despite that, I struggled on, developing whatever I could despite all the restrictions.  It seemed amazing to me that few players bid in numerous “obvious” situations.  Later, I hardly played in any National Tournaments for about 16 years, but recently I have started playing in some again.  Despite that the fact there is more bidding today, I still see that almost all players, including just about all “great” experts”, are infatuated with green cards, and are mesmerized into passing so frequently.  [Of course, the non-PC version is that they are all pussies. : )  ]


I found that one of the most unmined areas of potential minefields for the opponents was preempts.  Even more amazing was that there were few NT preempts, especially by the opening bidder, except when they had an artificial meaning.  Just about the only exception was an infrequent 1NT preempt by some players who were self-described comics.  BUT – a preempt without a jump really is a wimpempt.  PLUS – usually they had a suit to which to run if the X’ing started.


All right, that’s more than enough of a bloated intro for this topic.  Among my NT patents is the 7NT Opening Preempt, which I unleashed in real ACBL combat!  Obviously, anyone can just up and bid it, but when would it rate to get a good score?  No, the other players hadn’t tipped their hands, made some revealing remarks, etc.  Barring CHO having a super rock crusher, there was no hope of making the contract.  As previously mentioned, the ACBL isn’t keen on players running to a suit on the 8 level to reduce the penalty either.


I didn’t get some great 100% of the matchpoints score on the board, but I was over average.  Of course, that is a great feat on any board because so many players “play for averages”.  Sooo — think about how this possibly could happen, and then page down for the answer.




There are some director screw-ups in matchpoint events that result in players meeting boards that they already have played.  Evidently, all pairs sometimes can run into this mess on the same round, and in other situations, it may occur on different rounds.  The usual fix is to shuffle, and then play the new boards.  Therefore, a given board is scored separately for each version, and the scores are factored up in total to whatever the top for a normal board was supposed to be.  Of course, that’s assuming that there really are normal boards in bridge.  We happened to meet previously played boards on the last round.  So I asked the director what we should do.  He said to shuffle and play them.  So we did that.


On the first one, I was the dealer and had about 8 random HCP’s with pretty flat distro.  I preempted with, “7NT!”  (I saw no reason to waste energy with that usual “Skip Bid” or “Stop” stuff.)  That got hammered.  Since my partners always like to win bridge congeniality awards, I figured that would be a great time to give them some pointers.  Accordingly, I XX’ed to prolong the opponents’ ecstasy, even though I was the only one at the table who appeared to be on Ecstasy.  Everyone decided to pass after that.  The lead was made, and I delighted the opponents even more by conceding the first 13 tricks.


Lo and behold, no other pairs played the boards, so with whom could we compare scores?  Nobody.  Both pairs were given the higher of an average plus, or percent of game.  Incredibly, there were somewhat related lunacies and scores on our companion board, even though I wasn’t the dealer.


BTW, innumerable players think that the total of those two scores was the most that I’ve even been over par for a round, even with the benefit of my unique methods.  However, that is completely false.  I have been far more over par for a round — especially, in golf!


Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy

Email: (but not used for many multiple mailings due to Comcast limits)

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NSA: (redacted by NSA)

Chaos After Artificial 2C Opening Bids!

In recent years, I have played in some National events, after having stopped playing in most of them over 20 years ago.  Well — the more things change, the more they stay the same!


Bidding after strong artificial 2C bids often was ill-defined in “the old days”, especially in competition or when the opener did not have some sort of NT hand.  “Experts” didn’t even know what was standard in some rather basic situations.  Furthermore, even when partners were on the same wavelength and there was no competition, it was often impossible to find the best contract.


Fast forward 20+ years.  I see that a lot of this is still true.  Here are some examples.



I. These two recent auctions caused beaucoup disputes, even among some of the world’s best players, and even though there weren’t many possible choices of bids with the actual 2C openers’ hands.


A. 2C – (2S) – P – (3S)


B. 2C – (3D) – P – (P)


In both cases, assume that the responders’ Passes showed some type of values that rated to make game or more reasonable.  (X would have shown junk or a penalty X.)


So know we have the “simple” question, “What does X by opener mean in standard ‘expert’ bidding?”  Also, in example A (non-pass out seat), “What does Pass mean in standard ‘expert’ bidding?”  In addition, if you think that any of those X’s or Passes should mean something else, what is it?


II. If you are super ambitious, please consider some of the more general cases of an overcall by LHO, Pass by partner, and then Pass or support at various levels by RHO.


Also, consider auctions such as 2C – (P) – (2D) – (any non-Pass) with 2D negative/waiting.  If you play something other than 2D negative/waiting, please include that if you wish.



III. In any of the above kinds of situations in which LHO does not pass, what kind of strength, suit, distribution, etc. does responder need to bid a suit?


In I.A above do any of these qualify?


A. x Kxxxx KJxx xxx

B. x KJxxx Kxxx xxx

C. x QJxx Axxxx xxx

D. x Jxxx AQxxx xxx

E. xxx Kxxxx KJxx x

F. xxx KJxxx Kxxx x

G. xxx QJxx Axxxx x

H. xxx Jxxx AQxxx x


(One of these was the actual hand, but I’m not telling which it was. J )



Due to Comcast email limitations, I have too many addresses to have discussions.  If you want to post your answers, please put them on my Al the Plumber blog on or  You may send them to me instead, and I might include them in later general or specific comments.  I won’t use your name if you say not to.


Go to it!


Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy!

Another SSS: Stauberian Sick Squeeze

Recently, some bizarre folks at a bridge tournament were discussing bizarre bridge hands.  Of course, that is “normal” in such circumstances!  Anyway, I dredged up this lunacy from my intra-cranial hard drive.  It was from around the time when I started playing in many bizarre National events, but I played it in a different tournament.  I had to stop playing in almost all National tourneys, because there weren’t enough energy bars and drinks yet in existence to replenish the nutrients that were burned up by all of my high altitude overbidding.

After finally recovering some stamina in recent years, I’ve played in some random, though supposedly “high quality” National events to see if the bidding and play are even more random now.  I wasn’t disappointed.  For example, I saw that “great” players still are getting to lots of grands off one or more cashing aces.  Of course, some of the contracts make anyway.  [I recently congratulated one who thereby won a “prestigious” event, and noted that his bidding is on the same level as his driving — BUT that’s another story.]

However, for some reason, they usually don’t make when the trump ace is missing.  [I also congratulated one of those perpetrators on winning a different “prestigious” event, even though he unluckily did have to lose the trump ace in his grand!  Of course, he won IMPs anyway, because the other team’s declarer did likewise, and was doubled!!!!!]  Oh well, maybe the results for that type of grand are statistical flukes.  I have seen other deals in which the trump ace did not take a trick!            

Naturally, any even halfway interesting bridge position only can be reached via massive insanity!  Per ACBL and WBF dictates, such prior actions may not be revealed because of the “For the Good of the Game” Bridge Police who guard against such activities 24/7.
Anyway, here was the situation after approximately an infinite number of lunacies to reach this 5 card ending:

Al the Plum

I was South, and CHO had bumbled me to yet another too high contract, all of 2NT.  I needed 3 of the last 5 tricks.  Well, make that more than the last 5 tricks if I could sneak in some others somewhere.  It turned out that I did not need other tricks beyond #13.

It is a very unusual triple squeeze.  Of course, despite their appearances in numerous bridge books, even the “common” types seldom pop up in REAL play, regardless whether they are “pop up” squeezes or not.  However, this one makes most of the known types seem comparatively “common”!

On the lead of the CQ, LHO is rotating in 3 unpleasant directions, and one of them is doubly guarded by RHO!  Note that discarding a low heart does not help.  After leading a heart, cover the card that LHO plays, and continue such that only RHO can get the lead.  That produces another heart trick.

[Note: If LHO wants to be really helpful, other discards can produce 4 or even 5 tricks for N-S!  Otherwise, it is not a “triple repeater” or other type of squeeze for more than one trick.  Incidentally, if you have nothing better to do, try to construct a deal in which a squeeze yields THREE TRICKS, even on the off chance that the opponents defend perfectly!  It can be done, but I’ve never seen one performed in REAL play.  [To conjure up an example, I used some time in an Astronomy class that diverged from astronomical levels in bidding or elsewhere.  Obviously, such topics were of no interest to me.] 

After I played this hand, I checked with some people who keep track of new plays, bids, etc.  None of them said they ever had heard of this type.  Perhaps it was a first.  Perhaps it never has occurred again either.  If anyone knows otherwise, please advise me.

One of the people with whom I checked was Alan Truscott, the former “NY Times” Bridge Columnist.  By an odd coincidence, I was talking to someone in a hotel lobby at a Regional Tournament quite a while later, and saw a “NY Times” minding its own business on a sofa.  I said, “I wonder what bridge lunacy is in ‘The Times’ today.”  AND that was the deal!!!

For those who enjoy even more nausea, the deal is in “The Times” archives.  Truscott actually snuck the entire play of the hand by the “For the Good of the Game” Bridge Police.  However, it was too risky to show the REAL auction to 2NT. J  We had concocted something that also was stupid, but maybe at least quasi-plausible.  Believe it or not, LHO and RHO were supposedly “excellent” players — probably in the top couple hundred or so in the U.S.

In its infinite “wisdom”, “The Times” has espoused KAOS techniques in many of its archived diagrams.  It’s not just an anti-bridge campaign.  I think they are anti-Maxwell and anti-everything else Smart!  I have attempted to reconstruct the entire layout from their garbled info:

Al the Plum

You may want to use it to try to make some sense out of the following article:
Bridge Possibilities of play

If any of you epitomes of naiveté are shocked that this finaglization happens in bridge columns, please consider this.  As some bridge addicts are aware, I have studied and traded “econo-lunacies” full-time for 18 years.  For a few years, I also have written about some of them to give “Delete Key” practice to the recipients.  Many of the debacles have cost HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS, or even TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS.  However, most of the “news” media seldom or never report a lot of them.  PLUS, sometimes even when they are reported, the coverage is FUBAR!  If you are not familiar with that “technical abbreviation”, please Google away.  I doubt that you will have much trouble finding loads of links.  SNAFU and some other abbreviations, with and without “FU”, are relatives. 

So — if that is the case for innumerable huge econo-lunacies, what’s the big DEAL with a bunch of “modified” bridge DEALS here and there?

Bye for now.  In the meantime, remember that the opponents are there to help you, as in this example.  Oh, except for the CHO (Center Hand Opponent).  Keep that one in the dark as much as possible.

Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy! & Al the Plumber
Twitter: @Al_the_Plumber (non-bridge lunacies, etc.)


As some of you know, the ACBL excommunicated me from most ACBL events long ago due to my egregious overbidding.  At the time, the high grand slammin’ poo-bahs all played an ancient system called Gilbert & Sullivan.  I don’t have any notes about that, but there is a WeeWeeLeaks report that they moved on to a real pisser of a system called Standard Culbertson.  Actually, Ely Culbertson sold it to the highest misbidders when he transferred himself to an even bigger lunacy called the United Nations.  Cleverly abbreviated as the UN, it is world famous for its UN-surpassed World’s Biggest Psycher contests.  The greatest contract artists from each of the national organizations come to a big building in NYC that serves no other purpose, which also is true of the UN.  Directors tie up innocent kibitzers for light-years in every misdirection, and the National Asses, uh, that should be Aces, battle it out in a format that is called DUPE-LIE-GATE.  Between the recap sheets, there are also reams of tricks in their “free” $35,000/night hotel rooms.  Well, they are free to the contestants anyway.  It is irrelevant who ends up paying for them in the end, and in which ends. 

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Anyway, my bid that made them decide that enough was enough, even though they said I didn’t have enough, was my 7NT preempt.  Of course, it got a good matchpoint score!  I psyche you not.  My bid was based on bridge logic, and as we all know, luck should have no place in the game.  However, somehow millions of players get screwed by their partners and at least an infinite amount of other unsuitable bad luck besides — regardless if in a suit or NT, or if they complain about it more than 24/7 or not, etc.  (Naturally, that does not apply to you.)   

EXTREME WARNING: The 7NT Preempt should not be attempted by anyone who does not have a PHD (Preemptor, Highest Degree) in Stauberian Preempts.  Even those with Inquiring Cerebrums may require lobotomies.

The ACBL did give me one last chance to cough up lots more entry fees from then on.  I still could play, or whatever it is that I do at tournaments, if I agreed to use a far, far, far more conservative system called Meekwell.  Talk about adding insult to injury!  I saw that the guys who concocted it obviously bid far, far, far less frequently than I did.  Worse yet, they seemed to believe that white men can’t jump!  Furthermore, I watched one hand and that cured me of ever playing such nonsense.  Even when one of them finally did something other than wimp out yet another nauseating PASS card, the guy had a great hand, and he bravely mustered up the courage to bid all of 1C!  AND — he didn’t even have any clubs!!!  Sure, I bid voids all the time, but why not preempt that suit instead?  Who wants to play a pus* system that was designed by WIMP bidders, especially for WIMP events?  (I can’t think of the appropriate word, but I think it starts with “pus”.)       

I did sneak into a few Nationals anyway, but didn’t put my name on our convention cards so no one else knew.  Judging from my partners’ bidding and play, I don’t think they knew we were playing either.  Then a few years ago, the ACBL, well-known for its charity, kindly gave me special dispensations to play in some such random National events again.  I’m sure that being desperate for lots more entry fees due to the world endplaying itself had nothing to do with it.  They said that my previous bidding had gotten less absurd with aging due to the horrendous drop in American and worldwide standards for just about everything, including bridge.  Wow!  Finally, some good degenerate news!  In addition, the WeeWeeLeaks reports that claimed my invitation was due to the bribes, er, I mean donations, that I had arranged for the ACBL from Bernard Madoff, Marc Rich, George Soros, and the Koch/Righteous Brothers are complete BS, not to mention, patently false.  [Besides, the U.S. Patent Office was closed because the High Commissar said there were no bids left to invent.]  In any case, pardon me, but I will not dignify any advances regarding such contracts with any further responses. 

Shortly before the afore-mentioned papal pap, I had moved to FL because I was not game to getting snowed any longer by the ACBL or any other entity, partially or otherwise.  Another player, Lew Finkel, also had gotten fed up with the snow jobs, but made the mistake of moving only a few miles from me.  I had played against him occasionally years ago, but as with other ACBL big, medium, or small cheeses, I didn’t talk to him either.  Likewise, no other ruff riffraff  wanted to know a persona non gratin such as myself.  You can bet that the feeling was pair-mutuel.

I snuck up on Lew with massive quantities of Kool-Aid that were being given away by a bunch of politicians.  Therefore, I immediately was able to indoctrinate him into using Stauberian methods.  Just as with the politicians’ victims, he had no vote in the matter.  Moreover, little did the ACBL know that I had re-disorganized my bidding, and was once again several deviates below their newly degraded standards!

He scribbled some notes, but I couldn’t read them anyway.  Of course, I had previous experience with this situation.  Before my excommunication and that of Marty Bergen for similar reasons a little later, he would give me zillions of pages of blurry purplish notes that would have been illegible even on non-dumpster paper.  Naturally, I ignored them too.  Actually, he seemed to do likewise.  I just kept bidding whatever I felt like jumping to at the time.  That “system” seemed to be good enough for a lot of Government, I mean ACBL, work.  Excluding a beginners’ mistake eons back when we had been deluded into believing that Weak 2’s required 6-12 HCPs and a 6 card suit, we won 40% of the National events in which we overbid as partners — well, maybe I should say across from each other.  (Attn smart asses: No, it was not because 40% of 0 = 0!)

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, the Colorado Springs, CO Unit #360 had developed a champion rating system during my enforced hiatus.  It is maintained by the super aptly named Chris Champion!  You can read about it at  (Please activate the link in the center before going to the other links.)  I doubt that he will be overjoyed to get the kind of comments that I always seem to get about my research.  However, if you have any non-Stauberian, i.e., constructive, responses, I think he would be pleased to get them, well, maybe at least most of them!  I even gave him a suggestion, and within just a couple days, he had incorporated it.  It had to do with a big bonus rating if your name happens to contain the letters “Star” in that order but not necessarily consecutively.  I’m not very knowledgeable about a lot of the details of the system, but it may be similar to the power rating systems for many sports, games such as chess, etc.

Among other uses, one may be to assist in determining which seeded players/pairs/teams are the seediest.  I had noticed over the years that the seeding often was “strange”.  Of course, some of the highly seeded pros probably could follow suit occasionally.  BUT — it was rather awkward for other players who really knew something about the game to play along, and hide all of their drooling when playing against them! J  Incidentally, another seeding problem occurs when some little-known good to excellent players make an appearance.  I’ve even known an occasional player here or there who was at least equal to and maybe better than most of the top seeds in a National Event!  Of course, most or all of the seeders usually would have no way to know these kinds of players, and they probably would not get any seed at all.  If such players at least had played enough within the designated timeframe to be rated, the seeders would be able to do a better job.       

Chris gets results from over a gazillion games from the club level all the way through National shootouts.  By cross comparisons, or even friendly ones, almost an infinite number of players/pairs/teams are rated vs. each other.  They must have 12+ scores within the prior two years to be included.  It appears to me that it also will be useful for justifying what may appear to be Zero Tolerance obscenities and unwarranted sharpened duplicate boards that are directed at partners, teammates, and opponents.  Fortunately, I’m not a lawyer, but I believe, “The truth is an absolute defense”!  [Actually, the truth is that I have never had a partner who had any clue how to defend.]  For many of you, it will be just like college déjà vu all over again, even if Yogi Berra wasn’t a classmate of yours.

Lo and behold, I caused another ACBL disaster.  The more that Lew and I made a mockery of the game, the better our ranking got!  We had gotten up to  9th-10th in the whole American Contract Bridge League universe of pairs, apparently even counting the mysterious Unit #999 pairs who may have no or only one player from The Americas, or perhaps in only Area 51. 
What a travesty!  A few more depravities out of my research lab, and we might even get to the top!  —  Maybe even higher than that if we had any idea what was on our convention cards or in Lew’s scribbling.  Everything that the ACBL stood for was in imminent danger of being preempted out of existence, and they decided that they could not take any more of this sitting down.  Therefore, they sat us down.  We could not play together until we dropped below the required 12+ session scores over the past two years, and any events that we entered could not get us to that number either.  No number of additional entry fees would change their minds.

As our results dropped off, we finally had fewer than 12.  What a relief to the ACBL.  Therefore, they have issued the most important Alert of all time!  It is now safe to check the ratings again!

Well, as of this writing, I’m getting even more oceans of Kool-Aid than usual from the politicians, so I might preempt the ACBL yet again.  Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts — not to mention the spades, diamonds, and clubs of bridge decks everywhere.  Only the Shadowy Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy knows!          

P.S.: * I just remembered!  The word is “pusillanimous”.


If you have not read “CAN’T ANYBODY HERE PLAY THIS HERE GAME HERE?” – INTRO, you may want to do so before proceeding to any of the cases.  However, you probably will survive even if you don’t!  Don’t forget about CASE #1: PART I and CASE #1: PART II !!


Ghostwritten by Casey Stengel with Assists by Yogi Berra
Doctored by Al, the Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy

Please reference the following link for the New York Times Bridge Column on 2012/06/02 (print copy date)

Of course, this is a relatively tame hand (at least by my standards), and here is a copy of Phillip Alder’s report of the proceedings at both tables, repeated for your convenience:

All Pass


Reisinger Knockout Teams at Eastern States Regional
Published: June 1, 2012


The two main events at the Eastern States Regional in Manhattan were the Goldman Pairs and the Reisinger Knockout Teams.


The Reisinger started on Memorial Day, and the 52-board final was played on Thursday and Friday evenings.  At half time, Margie Gwozdzinsky, Ira Herman, Allen Kahn, Jeffrey Rothstein, Pietro Campanile and Brian Glubok led by 24 international match points against Jared Lilienstein, Michael Polowan, Jeff Aker, William Ehlers, Glenn Milgrim and Barry Rigal.

The diagramed deal occurred on the first day.  It nearly became one of the most remarkable ever.

At the first table Gwozdzinsky (West) opened one spade; North overcalled five clubs; Herman (East) made a card-showing double; West control-bid six clubs in an effort to reach a grand slam; and East signed off in six spades.

North led the club king.  South ruffed and shifted to a heart, three players being very surprised when North discarded.

Six spades bid and made.

The auction at the second table is in the diagram.  Initially Rothstein (North) settled for a quiet two-club overcall, but on the second round he jumped to five clubs.  Then, on the third round, he decided to sacrifice at the seven-level, bidding six no-trump to show long clubs and secondary diamonds.  Kahn (South) corrected to seven diamonds, doubled by East.

West led the heart ace.  Declarer trumped in dummy, ruffed a club in his hand, played a trump to dummy’s ace and led the club king.  When East played low, South discarded a heart. He was worried that if he ruffed, and West had started with three clubs, he would have gone down four.  This way, he was sure of down one at most.

West won with his ace and led the spade king.  Declarer trumped in the dummy and played winning clubs through East.  When he ruffed, South overruffed, cashed the diamond king, trumped a card in the dummy and took the rest of the clubs.

Plus 1,430 and minus 100 gave the Kahn team 16 imps on the board.

But it could have been more.

Afterward Kahn thought that he should have made the grand slam.  The spades were presumably 6-4, based on the bidding.  West had to have the club ace to justify his six-spade bid and to be void in diamonds to pass over seven diamonds, inviting seven spades.  Also, given West’s aggressive bidding, he was more likely to be 6=5=0=2 than 6=4=0=3.

If South had ruffed the second club, bringing down West’s ace, he would have made his contract.  He would have trumped something in the dummy and led winning clubs to pick up East’s trumps, as just described.  Then plus 1,430 and plus 1,630 would have given the Kahn team 22 imps.

Perhaps Rothstein is the first person ever to use six no-trump as the unusual no-trump to show both minors, preparing for an apparent sacrifice at the seven-level.  And when did you last see both sides able to make a grand slam?  Note that seven spades by East is unbeatable.

•The women’s and senior trials are taking place in Schaumburg, Ill.  These will select the United States teams for the World Mind Sports Games in Lille, France, starting on Aug. 9.  Details are at, and play can be watched live at




First, just as a bridge insider aside, do you remember ever seeing the North-South minor suit distribution (even if reversed, and not the same cards) in a grand slam before?  Later on, Casey and I also may be back to duke it out with you about that rather infamous famous deal.


After reading the article, I immediately contacted Surely’s Institute.  They patched me in to Casey so I could relay it to him, even though there were none of those weird relays that some players use to increase the chances that they have no idea what any of partner’s bids mean.  I asked Casey what he thought about the play portion of the deal.  He opened fire with his typical English(?) spitfire lingo.  I emailed some of Casey’s bombastic “wisdom” to Phillip, but of course, per the modern non-plagiarism rules, I took credit for it myself.  Not only that — I should get a big reward for having to put up with the batty Old Perfessor.  Anyway, Phillip already was aware of some of it.  However, he had to cut some parts because The Times limits his space.


Obviously, The Times is beyond absurd!  Why waste so much space on all the standard lunacies?  Governments and politicians who are clueless about many matters and corrupt about everything else.  Businesses who misfire on all cylinders.  Innumerable schools in which the highest test scores are ZERO.  Athletes who continually screw up trying to hit, kick, push, carry, etc. a ball or whatever all over the planet.  That is news?  Please write to The Times, and DEMAND that they stop this drivel, or else you will cancel your subscription.  If doesn’t matter if you really are a subscriber or not.  Just tell them you are using your pen name, even if you type the letter.  Anyway, then there will be much more room for the much more important bridge news stories and deals of the day!           


OK, that’s enough from me.  Go to it!


Al, the Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy!


P. S. Standard Boilerplate: Remember, Casey is interested in real life bridge and sound procedures, not doubledummy success or result merchant type stuff, unless otherwise specified.  For example, even if you get the best possible result, but don’t go about it properly, he’s going to BATter you — and you had better hope it only will be verbally!  That will be unmerciful enough.  He may refer the worst of the spaced out offenders, whether on offense or defense, to Ming the Merciless!


This series is primarily about lunacies during the play.  Sometimes only one player might have made an unrecognized error.  On other hands, many players may have made the same mistake.  Examples in which there is more than one type of error also could be lurking out there.  Unless stated to the contrary, please consider the entire case as presented — regardless how many players, tables, plays, hands, etc. are given.  In any situation, Casey is yearning for those who find every edge (but no spitballs and the like at those times!), no matter how big or small it is.


However, you may opt to go further.  It can’t hurt to get some extra practice!  Please feel free to make any other comments about bidding, how other vulnerabilities or scoring conditions may affect the deal, etc.


PSS: For many types of bridge and non-bridge lunacies, pictures, etc. that do not appear on my blogs due to technical and other reasons, please reference —

My restarted Facebook page: Al the Plumber

Twitter: @Al_the_Plumber

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