At the Bridge Table: July 3
Jim Kaplan

Bear with me, and we’ll get to bridge. First, I have to get some pet peeves off my chest.

The endlessly misused word “lay” tops the charts. It’s a transitive word, people. You lay an egg. You don’t “lay around,” you “lie around.” This misstep applies to people who should know better. Joan Didion’s novel Play It as It Lays matched a similarly ungrammatical golf term.

Read More

At the Bridge Table: June 26
Jim Kaplan

Wikipedia defines an endplay in bridge as “a tactical play where a defender is put on lead at a strategic moment, and then has to make a play that loses one or more tricks. Most commonly the losing play either constitutes a free finesse, or else it gives declarer a ruff and discard.”

Here’s an example roughly based on an online deal. South is dealing, with no one vulnerable. Here are the North-South hands:

♠️ A K 9 4
♥️ K 9 7                    
♦️ J 8                 
♣️ A 8 6 4   

Read More

At the Bridge Table: June 19
Jim Kaplan

The redoubtable Marty Bergen has created two online quizzes to carry you through the quarantine season. Labeled 1-20 and then 21-40, they ask questions about auctions that start:

Partner           You
1♦️                1♥️
1♠️                ???

Here are some cases that intrigued me.

Your hand:
♠️ A 10 4    ♥️ A 10 9 8 7 6    ♦️ K 10 3    ♣️ 3

Marty’s answer: 2♣️
“I love the distribution, intermediates [add a point for three tens} and controls, so am willing to force to game.”

Read More

At the Bridge Table: June 12
Jim Kaplan

Paul Laliberte and I were sitting North-South, with no one vulnerable and East dealing, in an OK Bridge tournament:

Read More