Stop the presses!

PartnersThe Physicist and I tonight kicked butt. Yes my friends we won tonight’s session in the final of the Bridge Association of WA Mixed Pairs with a massive 62.1 per cent… Ooooh baby! And we weren’t playing numpty-heads. No, we had some very good players agin us.

Of course we needed about 80% to win the final overall but our score did get us into the top half, which given our poor effort on the first night wasn’t too bad.

The board of the night was board 24 where The Physicist earned himself a Double Beer Card in Defence. What is she talking about? Well, as I understand it if you win the contract by winning a trick with the seven of diamonds (the beer card) as your final trick you have earned yourself a beer. It’s a tradition that grew from youth bridge apparently. In WA if you set the contract in defence – it’s worth two beers.

So the hand…

Dlr W Nil Vul

The Physicist QT3, 864, AJ752, 98
North 5, AK75, T95, KJ762
Me AJ87642, QJT3, VOID, T4
South K9, 92, KQ863, AQ53

The bidding goes: Pass – (1C) – 3S – (4D) – 4S – (Pass) – Pass – (4NT*) – Pass – (5D) – Pass – (Pass) – X – all pass

4NT = she reckoned it was show your best minor, he reckoned he’d already shown no interest in diamonds so thought it was ace asking.

Down 3 for 500+ and a top. And The Physicist gets that last trick with the 7D. A double defensive beer card = 4 beers.


Anyway that’s the last of the serious bridge for a while. I’m off to buy another charm for my bracelet in celebration!

Who knew? Life IS fair.

And Marty has finally been voted off.


In the meantime we came fourth (it seems to have changed from 3rd for some reason) tonight in bridge which was a good effort but not enough to raise us from the depths of despair after last week. 🙂

We reckon we need about 80% next week in order to place.  For comparison, we got about 54% tonight and 38% (gulp) on the first night.  We are about 126 match points off the pace at the moment so it’s a big ask.


Received by SMS while at bridge

Carl and Tarasai safe.

Matt, Marty and Ben up on the stage.

Cookie Monster safe.

Oh my God!

I can’t believe I’m watching adverts.

It’s time to go… Ben.

Ah well, at least it wasn’t Natalie.

And the winner wasn’t…

I know since our tremendous debut in the BAWA Women’s pairs 5 weeks ago, you have been panting with anticipation to hear about your correspondent’s mastery of the game but sadly, it is my duty to inform you, we crashed and burned… badly.

And it wasn’t even one night… for three consecutive nights we, or let’s be fair here, I, played like a numpty head.

I don’t even know what a numpty head is – but I bet it looks like me.

Even so, The Physicist is still keen to play in the Mixed Pairs which starts on October 8. He even saw tonight’s scorecard. Not pretty.

Unless you appreciate the zen like absence of score.

Evan Almighty

Today we all trooped out to the Ascot Cinema in Mt Lawley to see a preview of Evan Almighty.  Rated G, a father’s day family flick.

It’s harmless enough.  An ex-TV anchorman turned congressman is elected on the slogan Change the World.  When he prays for help doing just that, God appears and tells him to build an ark.

As a family we rated it 2.5/5.  It has some funny moments, but it’s too moral heavy and sanctimonious for me.

I’d rather watch Australian Idol. (Go Sarah, Natalie, Mark and Daniel… tho I’d be happy with Carl as well)

In the afternoon, my orchid hunter and I played bridge at JT’s Sunday Club at Nedlands.  A very relaxed session and good fun, although not as relaxed as the kitchen bridge I played with Mum and Dad and the hunter this evening… I thought I was intuitive until I played with Dad.  Still his methods – such as they are – seem to work.  We won!  Must be that Father’s Day magic. 🙂

Reality bites

So the second round of the women’s pairs wasn’t quite so fab dahling. Indeed it was a little bit average.  Even below average.  However we did have some good boards among the dross – most of those gifts – thank you opposition.

And there was some dross.

Here’s one of the less successful bidding sequences…

Board 23: I open 2NT (21-22 flat) Partner holds:

S A75
H 2
D J93
C QJ9742

Partner bids 3C, asking for majors.  She wants to rule out a 5-3 spade fit.

I bid 3D, yes I have a four card major.

Partner bids 3NT.

Here’s my hand:

H AQ84
C AK65

So how do we get to 6C?  Or even maybe 6NT?

After discussion and given our lack of transfers to minors over 2NT, we figured it was probably going to end up being a punt. Maybe partner could bid 3C, then over my 3D, 5C to show long clubs, and then I guess 6C.

Or maybe we try cue raises… 3C – 3D – 4C – 4H (showing AH) – 4S (showing AS) – then maybe I’m thinking slam… either that or horribly confused. 🙂

Are you a bridge player?  What would you do?  Tell me your nifty convention. 🙂

In bridge news…

Tonight was the first night of the BAWA Women’s Pairs.  I’m playing with the trendy one and guess what?!  No you’ll never guess… we came first tonight!

It’s not often that I get to say that… in fact I can’t remember the last time and as we’re only ahead by one point I feel it best to skite while I can. 🙂


In accepting this place I must take a moment to thank Mum and Dad for looking after the kids and my partner for having faith in me.

To be honest it was such a frantic rush today with four people sick at work that I didn’t think I would make it.  Occasional food was luckily available, and my darlings were very good to get ready so quickly and without fuss.

To Groover, stuck in bloody Karratha again, I’m sorry I took my frustrations out on you.  It’s not your fault that the client is inconvenient.

When do we get to give up full-time work?  I think it should be soon.

I’m all fired up now to play more bridge! 🙂


So I’m standing at the corner of a card table, my laptop perched precariously on a stack of four dining chairs, my feet sweating in a pair of heels that are too high.

I am a vugraph operator for Bridge Base Online for the Australian National Championships in Fremantle WA.

Correction.  I am a virgin vugraph operator and this is my first official match.

It is the Womens’ teams finals and it’s WA versus Victoria.  For the first time Alida Clarke is playing in the womens’ team.  It has given the whole team a lift.  They know they can win it if they keep cool.

The team is made up of Annabelle Booth, Leonie Shiels, Jill Del Piccolo, Kate Smith, Alida Clark and Leone Fuller.

At my table Alida is sitting North, Leone South and EW are Mary Elson and Diana Jacobs.

So my boards are loaded, they seem to be in order, we begin.

Now at this point let me tell you what I’m trying to do.  As the players bid and then play the cards I’m supposed to follow the action using a mouse and clicking on the card they play as they play it.  Bidding isn’t so hard.  They use bidding cards, they bid slowly, I don’t have to move the mouse around much.  Easy peasy.  Unless…

Unless you miss a crucial pass bid from dealer and then the whole auction is with the wrong pairs.  Yes.  So then as they are about to play their first card, you are (or rather I am) rapidly undoing the last 15 bids and then remembering the bidding (as best you can) so that you can get to the right auction and get the opening lead…

My shoes are a little slipperier, and I thirst for water.

The first board was a lively 6H by South.  Leone plays what seems to be perfectly good cardplay and claims.  Well she claims conceding a trick for one off but I didn’t see that until I was onto the next board.  So a mistake on my first board.  I went back and fixed it manually, apologised to the watching crowd and prepared for the second.

The second board was straight-forward and I managed to follow quite nicely thanks to some deliberate cardplay by the ladies.

The third board was a mess as previously described.

So now my hand is aching.  Carpel tunnel must be a risk for vugraph operators! My heels put me at just the wrong height for my four chairs but I can’t take them off because that would leave me barefoot and someone has just complained about a junior player kicking off his shoes because he finds it more comfortable to play with bare feet, and besides, my feet have been sweating so much I’m not entirely confident they wouldn’t stink.  Also, after a litre of water I need the bathroom… but they’re bidding again.

Three hands pass and I manage – just – to keep up. At worst, it kind of goes, first trick – yep.  Second trick – was that a King she played??? Must be.  Third trick – yep. Fourth trick – ahhhh losing it.  Fifth trick – lets see what she makes at the end.  Claim.

Around Board 7, and the Open Room have their scores in for Board 1.  5Dx – off 4 for 800.  But something’s wrong.  The lovely and very kind (to what must seem to her a chaotic vugraph operator) commentator suggests I have a look at the score.

So now I’m trying to keep up with the bidding, the cardplay and work out why there is a problem with the score.

I decide to wait til it’s over as it looks okay to me.

Finally we’re on the final board.  It looks pretty straightforward. I let the young girl standing next to me have a go (she can hardly do worse) and she aquits herself nicely.  The team leaves the table.

Anyway turns out the teams were all sitting in the wrong seats – so that’s why the score looked funny to the commentator.  Victoria won 13:30.

Round Two.

Oh did I mention that while I’m typing in these bids and plays, scores of people are watching in from around the world?  Just a little added pressure.

So we go back in the room for the second round.  This time I have my Victorian friends back again sitting N/S and Annabelle Booth and Leonie Shiels sitting E/W.  It’s lovely putting faces to all these names and seeing how they sort their cards and how they like to sit while they play… Leone for example never sorts the cards in her suits – although she does put her suits together…  Mary likes to tuck her legs up on her chair while she plays…

I feel like an insider.

So round two.  I load up the first deal.  It bears absolutely no resemblance to the cards I see Mary and Annabelle holding. Panic!

It is discovered that the wrong deals have been loaded in the machine.  This is a problem.  We abandon the vugraph and my little helper goes off to bed.

Nick from BBO Australia reckons he can get the deals somehow and goes off to do some computer magic.  We wait on the sidelines to see if we are needed to continue.

By the time the girls are on their third board we are back on… but most of our audience has gone.  Just 25 of the 125 are left – bless them.  Still it’s all good practice and I’m rostered on again tomorrow.

This session goes off without a hitch.  I practice back stretches between boards to loosen the lower lumber strained by my odd set-up.  I’m now more able to keep up with the cardplay and can actually enjoy the bridge.

WA are ahead after the second ground, making up for the loss in the first. The score 54:43. [view scores]

Afterward I go into the other room to watch the Open teams finish their match.  The ANC has set up a projector and has a couple of commentators describing the action and telling tall tales between boards so that people can see what was going on.  A bit scary to think that they might view my vugraph stumbles… 🙂

Still I survived and tomorrow is another day.  See you back at the tables after lunch.

UPDATE:  WA won!  Yay!!


Went back for my second physio appointment today.  My shoulder is much better thanks for asking, and although still stiff doesn’t make me want to die.  So I felt a bit of a cry-baby going for my follow-up appointment. 

After I demonstrated how much more movement I had in my neck – a full 180 – with only slight stiffness to the right as opposed to barely 90 yesterday – I thought he’d say “well done, I don’t need to see you anymore”.  But he didn’t.  I got a compliment on my new sandshoes, a shoulder massage, acupuncture (I thought physios didn’t dabble in the dark arts – I was wrong) and some homework.  It’s all posture related apparently.  Sigh.

The acupuncture was interesting, I haven’t had it before.  I couldn’t feel the needle at all – just a slight tingling when he jiggled it around a bit.  Not sure how much good it’s done but I’m sure it hasn’t done harm.

Then I went of to Nedlands to play bridge with Kate Elsey’s (see banner) Mum, Dymphna.  We had fun although a terrible result.  Still no major misunderstandings so that’s a start.  🙂

Tonight we go to dinner – fine dining with fine wines – can’t complain about that!

Four things on Sunday night

  1. Loving Rove‘s Mothers’ Day special where all the regulars’ (including his) mums were a part of the show. Hamish and Andy’s segment had me rolling.
  2. Annoyed by BB07Bodie and TJ gone – what the?
  3. Hating government advertising about the new liquor laws – they tell me nothing and cost me as a taxpayer – is this where the stamp duty is going??
  4. Feeling good about bridge – spent most of the day playing at the Youth Fundraiser with my boy. He did brilliantly and I was very proud! We did okay too winning 3/6 matches, drawing two and losing one.