Archive for Musing

A dream hand

An unbelievably handsome hand to cap the girls night in.

Linda dealt, paused and then said, 4N. She has 26 hcp: 4 aces, 2 K+J and 1Q.

Me? A lonesome ♦️J. So I passed, reluctantly.

Her partnerJoyce, looking pleased, 5N.

My partner Barb said cheerfully, pass. As it turned out, she was blessed with a ♥️J.

After I led with my only prized possession and the dummy laid down her hand, Linda said, “let’s not to play …” ha ha ha… no point, indeed.

asking for aces 4NT & kings 5NT: ♣️4 or none,♦️1, ♥️2, ♠️3 kings.


Ira: Correct response to 4N (asking for aces) sb 5C (all or none); next bid sb 5N (asking for kings since they have all the aces) correct response sb 6H (2 kings) then 7N

… 7N is the proper bid.

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3 As and spaces

without much support: another Aces and spaces.

My partner opened with 1♦️ who has all hcp in the suit.
2♦️ me: 8 hcp, 4 diamonds

Upon hearing my response, my partner jumped to 4♦️.

Actually, our hands are pretty lousy.

Your 2D response indicates you have d’s BUT neither of you have anything else. Partner’s response to you s/b 3d. Then pass all around since neither of you have any other suits. Partner barely has opening points,12, you have 8, not enough for game. You have aces and spaces.



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The blue moon 2023 @ pool

The Next Full Moon is a Supermoon and a Blue Moon
, and Rakhi Purnima posted by nasa on August 24, 2023.

For the past two days, our skies were cloudy, perhaps from Idalia that passing through Florida recently. This morning as I was heading to the pool, the moon was high and mighty.

All photos are taken with my iPhone 12 Pro. The info on the large photo below: telephoto camera 52mm f2, 3mp · 1780×1763 · 1.3.mb. ISO 100; 218mm; 0 ev, f2, 1/109s ⇓

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My first slam, really; 4N asking for aces

Ok … finally, I played my first real small slam 💃…

My hand had 14 hpc, 17 with singleton (2 pt) and doubleton (1 pt)

♠️KQ8762, ♥️3,♦️Q764, ♣️AK

My partner has 17 hcp, 20 in total distribution.

♠️J, ♥️AKQ42, ♦️AK92, ♣️42

Slam bidding by MIT is a good read:

  • To make a small slam (bid of 6) ↔ 33 pts.
  • To make a grand slam (bid of 7) ↔ 37 pts.

Our bidding:

  1. P;  me 1♦️; P; 1♥️
  2. P;  me 1♠️; P; 2♦️
  3. P; 4NT; P; 5♥️ which means 2 As
  4. P; 6♦️

At Step 3, I asked for my partner’s As

Blackwood convention: 4NT is asking for how many Aces (such as this dream hand), 5NT for kings, the reply should be:

  • 5♣️ = None or all four aces
  • 5♦️ = One ace
  • 5♥️ = Two aces
  • 5♠️ = Three aces

… 5NT is asking for kings, the reply should be

  • 6♣️ = None or all four kings
  • 6♦️ = One king
  • 6♥️ = Two kings
  • 6♠️ = Three kings


My first set of question to Ira the expert:

Conventionally, I should open with 1♠️ ? … I didn’t bec I want to give my partner a chance to bid at 1 level, to know her hand better.

With distribution, you have 16 points. Conventionality, bid s/b 1NT BUT you’re short in clubs. Better opener is 1S bc of strength and length. You’ll probably end up in 6D anyway but you asked for correct opening bid.

Make it short in clubs and hearts

Irene, rule of thumb, if you have opening, by point count OR length of suit, ALWAYS bid your strongest and longest suit.

My subsequent questions:

  1. Does winning 12 or 13 tricks but bid at level 5 or below, still consider a small / grand slams? … Yes
  2. The conventionally method to bid longest and higher suit, vs bidding low to let my partner to bid at lower level hence to know her/his hand better?


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Won my 2nd slam

A new player, Phil joined us today … and it’s men vs women … and I played a slam on my first hand … unfortunately we didn’t bit for it, as usual. The bidding went

1♦️ (me)
2♦️ (me)
2♠️ my partner
3♦️ – after giving much consideration

As it turn out, suit diamond is better for us: 8 vs 7 spades. I made 12 tricks.

We played 13 hands: 8 went up and 5 down.

My big disaster is the 4th hand when I bib 3♣️ – I only made 6 tricks.

This hand ⇓ The 1st round my partner opened with 1NP; 2♥️; 2♠️ (me); 3♣️. The 2nd round 3♦️- my partner. This hand was played 3♦️… and we were down 2 – made only 7 tricks!


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Ace and space

Bridge‘s honor cards are A K Q J and 10. So, having As are great but what beneath the A, is as important. 

~ ♦️AKQJ but nothing else … 4 aces

This week, I’ve two hands that are Aces and space. 

This hand, I’ve three aces: ♥️♦️♣️ but nothing else. Luckily my partner bid 1♠️ and won – we made 7 tricks.   

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Wimbledon women’s final 2023

The second time in a row, Ons Jabeur (6 seed this year) lost to unseeded Marketa Vondrousova / Vondroušová (1999; 2016; $5,447,411 with only two titles with £2.35 / $3.08m from this toruney) of Czech Republic on Saturday, July 15. My heart goes out to Jabeur: I’m so hopeful for her to win, to make an impact for the women of Tunisia and the region at large.

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Weak two, in bridge

I’ve an interesting hand: a void, ♠️2345678, ♥️AQ76 and ♦️AK.

My partner played a weak 2♠️ a couple of hands earlier (se below ⇓). So I tried it on this hand.

Weak two means you’ve weak hand (5-10 pt) but with at least 6  ♠️/♥️/♦️. 2♠️ is the most effective, because it’s the top suit, making it harder to top – only 2NT or going to 3 …

My hand has 13 HPC without counting in the void which is an additional 3 pts. But I went with it anyway, for the novelty. We ended up making 10 tricks.

According to my expert, my bidding was wrong:

Count your points! You can’t bid a weak 2 anything; with distribution you have over 13 points!

My partner’s weak 2 bid: she opened bid by weak 2♠️, 2N, me pass, 3♦️. I doubled it. They only made 9 tricks – didn’t make it.

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First time back on court

It has been four weeks since I stepped on to a court. Although the pain I suffered was all too fresh, but the joy of playing tennis is overwhelming. 好了伤疤忘了痛 The injuries come with it, requires compromise. Finding that perfect balance is the key.

No matter how much warm up prior to and stretch after the game, injury seems unavoidable. Now I do jacuzzi/spa before the game too. Hope this helps.

The 4 weeks layoff is very apparent: I feel tired after an hour hitting. I didn’t even try to serve.

The down side of playing on the har tru (sandy) is we’ll have to swipe the court afterward.

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Point, bid & response

Bidding opens a bridge game, and points determine how you bid, or not.

There are total 40 points in a deck: A K Q J, the high card point HCP.

  • Ace = 4 points
  • King = 3
  • Queen = 2
  • Jack = 1
  • long suit:
    1.  = 5-card suit
    2. = 6-card suit
    3. = 7-card suit
  • short suit:
    1. = doubleton
    2. = singleton
    3. = void

Just so you know, the maximum points a hand can have – mathematically proven ha ha ha, is 37 HCP bec each hand has only 13 cards.

♠️ A K Q J
♥️ A K Q
♦️ A K Q
♣️ A K Q

The very basic rule for bidding in each level:

  1. 12-13 HCP to open bid in ♠️♥️♦️♣️, 16-17 to 1NT
    • ♦️/♣️ = 3 in the suit
    • ♠️/♥️ = 5 in the suit
  2. see ⇓ conventions; 21 HCP NT; 22 in ♠️♥️♦️♣️
  3. ♠️♥️♦️♣️: weak (5-9 HCP) 7-card suit
  4. ♠️♥️♦️♣️: weak (6-10 HCP) 8-card suit

 Some conventions

  • 2♣️ bid is artificial = 22 HCP or 9+ tricks
  • 2♦️♠️♥️ bid is weak 2 bid: 5-10 HCP and 6-card suit


Responses to partner’s 1NT opening bid: (Responses to a 2NT opening bid are the same, except 2NT 3C is Stayman)

  • Pass: Normal if game is out of reach, unless 2D 2H or 2S is a safer contract.
  • 2C is Stayman, promising some 4+ card major and asking partner to bid her 4-card major (2H or 2S) if she has one, otherwise to bid 2D. You can subsequently shift to a major to show a 5-card suit and invite game.
  • 2D, 2H, or 2S is a sign-off; partner must pass.
  • 2NT is invitational to 3NT; partner will raise if at the high end of her 16-18.
  • 3-of-a-suit is forcing. Partner will raise with 3+ card support, and otherwise bid 3NT.
  • 3NT or 4H or 4S is a sign-off in game.
  • 4C is Gerber, asking for aces. Partner responds 4D with 0 or 4 aces, 4H with 1, 4S with 2, 4NT with 3.
  • 4NT is invitational to 6NT (This is quantitative, not Blackwood.)

Responses to partner’s 1-of-a-suit bid

  • Pass with 0-5 points.
  • 1H → 2H = 6-10 points and support in the suit (8+ cards between you)
  • 1H → 3H = force a game, 13 points and support.
  • 1H →  4H = is a sign-off, indicating a weak hand but with many trumps.
  • 1H →  1S = 6-18 points, and 4+ cards in the suit. Forcing, i.e. don’t let the bidding stop there.
  • 1H →  2C = 10-18 points, and 4+ cards in the suit. Forcing (except by passed hand).
  • 1H → 2S = 19+ points. Forcing to game, and slam is likely.
  • 1H → 1NT =: 6-9 points, no fit in partner’s suit, no other suit that can be bid at one level. Not necessarily balanced.
  • 1H → 2NT = 13-15 points and a balanced hand, and usually no 4+ card major suits.
  • 1H → 3NT = 16-18 points and a balanced hand.

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