Unit 216 & Des Moines Area Bridge
by Evelyn Mintzer

Earning a Game With Rich

Last night I was reading one of our Hawkeyers and read the article by Rich Newell. In it he stated that when inquired about the most important convention he thought useful, he replied, “Counting”. He admitted he sometimes becomes lazy in doing this, but if he is focused, it may make a better result. At the end of his article, he challenges an opponent to describe his hand and if accurate, Rich will play with him in a Wednesday game.


Yesterday I had an interesting hand which fortifies what Rich’s article stated. Al and I were playing against Steve Whitaker and Lester Cadwell in the GNT event. By the way, I believe Steve is a rising star in our bridge community.

Here is the hand:





Axx                                                                                         xxx

Jxxx                                                                                        10x

AJ9xx                                                                                     10x

x                                                                                              KQJxxx





The bidding:  (we play 2/1)  so a response of 1NT is forcing, opener will bid his next longest lowest suit.

N       E        S      W

1♠      P      1NT    P

2♣      P      3NT    P

I won the opening diamond lead with my K.  (wanted to fool Steve but he did not bite). Played the J of spades and lost to the A of spades on the 3rd round.  Steve returned a heart, I won with the A, cashed my spades, discarding 2 clubs and a diamond, played the Q of hearts on the board and the K of hearts in my hand.

Here is where counting becomes important. What did Steve have?


3 spades, 4 hearts, probably 5 diamonds and a singleton club.

I cashed the A of clubs, removing Steve’s exit card of a club, threw Steve in with his good J of hearts and he was forced to give me a diamond trick. If I had played the heart before the A of clubs, I would have lost 2 diamond tricks. The other table went set in a spade contract. 

Rich, I cannot play in a Wednesday game, but do I qualify to play with you in another game?