Archive for August, 2023

USO 2023: racism at work? Coco vs Siegemund 

US Open 2023, the first night. Chair umpire, Marijana Veljovic sits over the first round match between Coco Gauff  her German opponent, Laura Siegemund.

  • multiple time violations
  • sitting down when it isn’t allowed

Coco’s situation brings up Zhang Shuai’s last month and Serena’s in 2004 where and when USTA apologized – wasn’t that a little TOO late?


This is so wrong and unfair. The chair empire should be dismissed and shouldn’t be used again. This reminded me of Mariana Alves in 2004 on Serena’s due to horrible line calls.

The fact the chair empire has an absolute sway/power on such high stake marches is just unbelievable. There has to be a better way for such unthinkable behavior of the empires.

Fire her.

Never use her again.

I actually watched German’s post match interview: she’s a good actor and dreadful player.

Here is 2004 New York Times coverage on Serena’s match

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Responses to opening bids

This hand I’ve 19 hcp +1. My partner has 11 hcp +1 too, who opened with Pass. The bid:

  1. P; P; 1N (me); P
  2. 2♠️; P; 4S

Did I miss anything, by jumping to 4S? My reasons are: partner passed the first round, means he has less than 12 points; but two opponents also passed. So when my partner bid in the second round for 2S, I know that he at least would have 4♠️ (in fact he does ♠️KJ10 7), and I’ve ♠️AQ985. We made 5 (11 in total).

This hand I’ve 11 hcp +2. I shouldn’t have forced the issue – should stay put. The bidding:

  1. 1♥️; P, 1NT, 2♠️ (me)
  2. 2♥️; 3♦️

Responding 1NT, means the bider has 6-9 pt.

A good read on response to opening bids.

We only made 1 trick: 2 short to make the contract.



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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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My serve … arm’s up

A few players have pointed out that my tossing arm should stay up till I hit the ball, when serving. I tried but it isn’t working for me

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Rays @ Tropicana Field

My first Rays’ game.

The stadium @ 1 Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Bay Area means SF or Tampa? 😂 The battle of the Bays

The stadium: it looks old, feels old and it is old. The name shows the age … nowadays, the sport arenas use the names, like Bill Games and Steve Jobs, -:) you get the picture. I wonder if the Field is ever used for circus, which I think is pretty appropriate.

The national anthem is so so

Ok, to the game. It’s an exciting game, Rays won 12-4. The 8th inning is something to remember for: they scored 9 runs, of which is the grand slam home run by the rookie Osleivis Basabe (2000-, Venezuela), who made ML debut early this month, August 13, to be exact. By now he has 8 rbi.

Below is what I wrote on my FB during the first innings …

Everyone loves Raymond

Parking lot directors: I asked them if I could bring my bottle of water in. They said only sealed bottles. And followed up with “if you’ve beer 🍻 you can leave them with me.” Little Irene “beer? I’ve whole bottle of grey goose.” I lied but they said they love me.

Seeing the fans in purple, I asked the gate checkers why don’t you direct them to another ball park? They so love me 😂

Ticket agents. As my better half busy conducting his transaction. Little Irene saw a couple of guys walked over who looked like have no clue. I told them “if you’re Rays fan, the tickets are free …” The agent was so not happy, kept saying, “look at me who wears uniform … trust me …” Guess it’s politically incorrect to say don’t trust woman … shouting match ensured 😝 ha ha ha

⚾️ what ⚾️? It’s only the end of the third inning 😂 long way to go 😭 the night is so young

@ 7:29 Rays ties the game at 2:2

Social Roost is really, will return.

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A lobster day … Fritz, PegulaA lobster day …

🎾 9-7. One set. 1.5 hours. One ace to the T, and three deuce court baseline lobs. I’m the last one to serve, and everyone holds their serve, except the last one – so I def face a little pressure.

AM is def better time to play than the afternoons.

今天是高球日 三球同一位置: 笨人偶尔也有好运气🍀 👍 俺是最后一个发球的…鸭梨山大

Rosé: Summer in a Bottle 2022 Côtes de Provence from Wōlffer Estate vineyard in Bridgehampton – Sagaponack, LI, New York. 

It’s also a good day for the Americans at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati – Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio. It started in 1899 – a long time ago -:). One of the warm up tourneys before the US Open.

Taylor Fritz and Jessica Pegula all advanced.

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Afternoon games

I definitely play better in the morning than the afternoon or early evening.

The last few matches played at 6:30pm weren’t enjoyable – I was tired, didn’t move and mis-hit a lot … overall not a good match.

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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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My 2nd grand slam of 2023

I’ve been playing well, and my hands have been generally good to great – played my second grand slam of the year.

This hand I’ve 20 hpc without counting the doubleton. But it’s the doubleton’s ♥️4 & 8 worries me – my opponents can wipe us out if they’ve strong heart suit.

Here is the bid:
Pass – my right
1NT – me
2NT – my partner (Is 2♥️ be correct bid?)

I could have gone to 3NT but I didn’t: we only need 10 point at this time to make the third rubber. Another reason I got a grand slam was I was diligent till the last trick.

A 2h bid means you have an actual heart suit which you do not. Your partner made improper bid of 2n , which is a very weak response. Partner has 16 points, proper response to your 1n s/b 4c asking for aces

The freshly baked cake is delicious!

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