Happy Holidays

 Hi All,

I know we've all got the Covid Blues. Penny has come forward just when we need a smile. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Dave

                           Happy Holidays

This COVID thing's getting harder to swallow.
With nine months gone by and still more to follow.
But we can't lose our humor. We can't lose our hope,
Though it's easy to moan and it's easy to mope.
Catch up on projects, clean closets, scrub floors,
Whatever you choose you must do it indoors.
After a while the closets are clean, the projects all done.
Now what, you wonder, what shall I do for some fun?
No movies, no parties, no family or friends.
Aaagh!  We cry loudly, will this ever end?
Take a deep breath, have patience. We don't have a choice.
Find something to take your mind off the trouble and noise.
Sudokus are good.  Word puzzles, too.
But if you want something REALLY good to do, 
Play Bridge!  Seriously, that's my advice.
It's amazing how fast the time goes. So quick! In a trice!
Dave's lessons come through, even though he's not here.
"You must show preference." I hear in my ear.
Or perhaps an echo from a lesson long past
On reverses or transfers, maybe the rebidding class.
I admit it's not like a partner sitting across
to reassure and comfort when you've taken a loss, 
Or smiling delightedly when you've made a hard bid.
(Plus the computer doesn't know how to kid.)
It's true. Missing Thursdays is a hard cross to bear.
Perhaps the New Year will see us back there.
Until then, though, I hope your Holiday's healthy.
When you reconvene Thursdays, we'll all feel quite wealthy
To see friends again and get back to normal.
No need to break ice, no need to be formal.
I guess we'll just have to wait for awhile
And try to stay positive, face the day with a smile.
Happy Holidays to you!  Happy New Year as well.
I hope your 2021 is incredibly swell.

Question of the Week 19

 Hi All,

The North who sent this board could make several slams, but settled for 4 Spades with overtricks. How should it go?

                    

                     North

                     ª A K Q J 9 7

                     © 9 3

                     ¨ A J 5

                     § Q 3

West                                  East

ª 4 2                                  ª 8 3

© J 7 6                                © K Q 10 8 5 4

¨ 9 8 3                               ¨

§ J 10 5 4 2                         § K 9 8 7 6

                     South

                     ª 10 6 5

                     © A 2

                     ¨ K Q 10 7 6 4 2

                     § A

 

North opens 1 Spade, East overcalls 2 Hearts to show his 13-16 points and 6-card suit and South bids 3 Diamonds to show 4 or more Diamonds and 10 or more points. North wants to get to game and can't bid anything that partner can pass short. He's not sure if partner has Spade support and he fears a 4-3 Diamond fit, so just bids what he thinks he can make, 4 Spades.

South passes, but might stop to ponder slam chances. She has adequate Spade support and figures partner for about 19 points or more with the Spade fit. She reevaluates to 16-17 points and her 7-card suit might set up.

South would like to check the Aces, but they have not overtly shown a fit which rules out Blackwood and Control Bids. She might bid 5 Spades to show the trump support, extra strength and to invite slam or she might just blast to 6 Spades.

That process is difficult for South, so let's suppose she instead cue-bids 3 Hearts in the Negative Double seat. This takes advantage of East's helpful overcall and promises support for North's Spades and enough strength for game.

Now North will reevaluate his hand for around 21-22 points with a good fit opposite partner's 13 or more points. He bids 4 No Trump, Blackwood, and, when partner shows two Aces, bids 6 Spades. He makes it easily with an overtrick, but  neither partner could see 13 sure tricks so they don't bemoan missing the grand.

Good luck and stay well.  Dave