These are just my “musings”. If you have any insight, please, please add to comments at bottom of page or email me directly ( and I will post here. Thanks! Shari

April 21/2021 (2:55 pm) – Renfrew Open
Tables: 12

Okay, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here. Sorry about that.

Congratulations to Burt Curry – Wayne Perrin (67.93%) for coming first overall!!!

We had “lots” of tables today and at least one interesting hand to try and bid.

Board 6: Almost everyone bid this differently! Assume there will be spade interference. How would you bid it?

We play better minors and my partner (East) opens 1C. South passes.

Now, I have 16 high cards and a 6-card diamond suit. I can’t jump to 2 diamonds as that indicates a weak hand for us so I bid 1D (6+ points). North overcalls with 1S with only 3 points but a 7-card spade suit (at least 2 other teams overcall 3 spades forcing E/W into a diamond contract).

My partner bids 1NT indicating a stopper in spades. South passes and I bid 2H showing a 4-card heart suit and 10+ points (maybe I should have jumped to 3 hearts?).  North and my partner pass (oh, oh). Luckily for me, south bids 2S. I bid 3D and my partner bids 3H. Now, I can go 4H. “6 hearts” makes but no one finds it.

North – South East – West 
#1 Jacques Grise – Robert Blanchette#1 Bert Curry – Wayne Perrin
#2 Dave Willis – Marg Willis#2 Walter Wojtas – Sheila Duke
#3 Pravin Shah – Ian Towner#3 Lucille Harris – Robert Harris

March 10/2021 (2:55 pm) – Renfrew Open
Tables: 9

I now count these games as learning experiences and just having fun. As you can see, the high scorers are the best of the best and great to learn from.

Congratulations to Edward Zaluski – Bob Zeller (68.4%) for coming first overall.

Today, it’s back to slams.

Board 5: Back to bidding slams (and making 7). How did four teams find it?

Three teams open up with 1D by East, followed by 1S by West and then a jump to 4S by East. West bids 4NT, East 5S (2 key cards plus Queen) and West goes to 6S. Easy peasy.

The fourth team did it slightly different. East bids 1D (4+ diamonds and 11+ points). West bids 1S and East responds 3H (splinter raise – singleton heart). West bids 4C and East responds 4D. West then bids 4NT, East responds 5S and West bids 6S.

Unfortunately, we were the only ones who had interference which I’m going to use as the excuse for not finding slam. After the 1D opener, South overcalled 2 hearts with only 1 point, 7 hearts, vulnerable and 9 loosing tricks. West bids 2S and East goes to 4S. I guess after my partner bids 4S, I should have explored slam.

North – South East – West 
#1 Dave Willis – Marg Willis#1 Edward Zaluski – Bob Zeller
#2 quad38 – Linda Nelson#2 Yongjun Lu – William Clarke
#3 James Selig – Elaine McGuire#3 Avi Poriah – Preston Carlisle

Feb. 26/2021 (12:30 pm) – Arnprior Open
Tables: 23

Sorry folks, I’ve been a little lazy and skipped a week.

Congratulations to Bala Srinivasan and Michel Bertrand (67.23%) for coming first overall.

Now, for something a little different, defense.

Board 10: How the heck do you put the opponents down in 4 hearts?? (Most were in 4 hearts although they may have gotten there in different ways.)

In this hand, everyone of the N/S teams leads the Ace or King of clubs indicating they had the other honour. They win the 1st trick and then lead the other honour.

East trumps the second club and then leads a spade to the dummy. He then leads a small heart to his hand and plays the Queen of Hearts for the finesse. South takes with the King of Hearts for a 2nd trick. (Note: I looked at every hand that went down one and they all played it this way.)

Now, here is the trick to defeat the contract. South leads the Jack of clubs. Why? You know the Queen has dropped so your club is good and East will have to trump in.  It’s a nice safe lead and may grow your partner’s hearts up.

East does trump the club and then leads the Ace of hearts trying to draw two of the remaining three hearts. He now finds out that they’re badly split but he still needs to draw trumps as all his outside suits are good. He leads the 10 of hearts to force out the Jack (3rd trick) leaving just the 6 out which is smaller than his 9.

To defeat the contract, North leads his final club forcing out the last heart making his 6 of hearts good (4th trick).

Someday, I will be able to think like these brilliant players and lead that third club but not today unfortunately.

North – South East – West 
#1 Bala Srinivasan – Michel Bertrand#1 Francoise St Pierre – Bob Scruton
#2 Zohreh Gerami – Dalal Carpentier#2 Lucille Harris – Robert Harris
#3 George Pothier – Richard Bourne#3 J Mark Siegrist – Layne Noble

Feb. 10/2021 (2:55 pm) – Renfrew Open
Tables: 11

Congratulations to Yongjun Lu and Preston Carlisle (62.22%) for coming first overall.

Another interesting board today.

Board 5: What an interesting hand. At my partner’s urging I had just read an article on counting losers. So, when she overcalled 2D over opps’ 1S opening, I jumped to 4H (counting 7 losers). Now, the only flaw in this is that my partner’s bid was an overcall and not an opening bid. Oops. As it turns out she did have an opening (lucky me). After North bid 4S, I went to 5H(we weren’t vulnerable and I thought they could make 4S). As it turns out, we make 6 hearts!! But of course, two teams did find the slam.

Paul Kilger & Gloria Orr
Ghulam Fazil & Bill Wheeler

Today’s Winners

North – South East – West 
#1 Valerie Smith – Andrea Conway#1 Yongjun Lu – Preston Carlisle
#2 Brian Savill – Peter Clark#2 Ghulam Fazil – Bill Wheeler
#3 Dave Willis – Marg Willis#3 Paul Kilger – Gloria Orr

Feb. 5/2021 (12:30 pm) – Arnprior Open
Tables: 23

Congratulations to Linda Roach and John Chrombie (68.31%) for coming first overall. The overall North/South and East/West leaders can be found at the end of this article.

Today’s boards, one a slam and another trying to decide when to open a weak 2.

Board 5: Eight teams found the 6NT. I thought we had the most unique bid however it seems we were in good company. Note: In all cases, E/W did not bid so I’m just showing the N/S bids.

  • Nancy Cavanagh & Phillippa Baran: 1C (could be short), 1S, 2C, 4NT, 5H, 6NT
  • Andre Gaudet & Robert Tremblay: 1C, 1S, 2C, 6NT
  • J Mark Siegrist & Layne Noble: 1C, 1S, 2C, 6NT
  • Dalal Carpentier & Zohreh Gerami: 1C, 1S, 2C, 6NT
  • Mary Simon & Lois Clermont: P, 1C (could be short), 3C, 4NT (1430), 5H, 6NT
  • Hellmut Plattner & Robert Provenche: 1C, 1S, 2C, 6NT
  • Audrey Jukes & Shari Phillips: 1C, 1S, 2C, 6NT
  • Rachel Pernica & Eveline Patten: 3C, 4NT, 5H, 6NT

Board 7 vs 15: Last Wednesday, I was advised that if I was opener and had a weak hand, long minor and a 4-card major, to pass. You can usually assume that if you have a weak hand someone will bid and you can show your long suit after that. Today, I had two of those. Here is what happened with those boards.

Board 7: South was opener. Passed out by 5 teams including us! Five teams opened 2D making 4D. Three teams opened 2D and the opponents overcalled with spades, going down in most cases. There were a couple that opened 1C in third seat but again the opponents won the contract in spades.

Board 15: As you can see, I have a weak hand, 6 diamonds and a 4-card major. Again, I pass. The opps end up in 4 hearts despite my interference in the auction. Others open the 2D but again the opps wins the contract. So, the jury is still out on the best strategy.

Today’s Leaders

North – South East – West 
#1 Nancy Cavanagh – Phillippa Baran#1 Linda Roach – John Crombie
#2 Joseph Galon – Doreen Colket#2 Gerry Browning – Jacques Gilbert
#3 Mary Simon – Lois Clermont#3 Bert Curry – Bob Zeller

Feb. 3/2021 (2:55 pm) – Renfrew Open
Tables: 13

Congratulations to Lisette Hutchins and Avi Poriah (63.66%) for coming first overall.

Today, I have only one board that caught my attention, board 16.

Board 16: Top boards were the four teams who found 4 spades by East (excluding the “one” team that found 5 hearts by West). I was West with all those clubs but was told I should have passed instead of bidding 3 clubs. West on the top four teams did pass. So, how did they get there with all those diamonds that North/South had?

Bill Wheeler & Gerry Bernard
Lisette Hutchins & Avi Poriah
Nancy Cavanagh & Phillippa Baran
Yongjun Lu & William Clark

North – South East – West 
#1 Ian Sherwood – Julia Beatty#1 Lisette Hutchins – Avi Poriah
#2 Barbara Tench – Jean Stevenson#2 Walter Wojtas – Sheila Duke
#3 Carol Bell – Hank Schriel#3 Dave Willis – Marg Willis

Jan. 27/2021 (2:55 pm) – Renfrew Open
Tables: 13

Okay, I’m late posting this. Been a bit lazy.

Congratulations to Ghulam Fazil and William Enright (68.88%) for coming first overall. (The rest of the top leaders can be found at the end of this article.)

For me, boards 1 and 12 were the most interesting.

Board 1: First board out the door was interesting. It makes 6-7 hearts but only two teams bid the slam.

Team 9 (Ghulam Fazil and William Enright):  North bids 1 club (could be short) and South responds 1 heart (5+ hearts, 6-12 points). West doubles and North jumps to 3 clubs (as you can see, he has 17 high card points). South responds 3 spades and North bids 4NT (blackwood). South responds 5C (no aces) and North jumps to 6 hearts. The lead is the 6 of clubs from West, making 7. They’re able to get rid of all the spades on the clubs.

Team 10 (David and Carol Sulpher): This is a little different. North bids 1 club (could be short) and South jumps to 2 hearts (we play that weak but the Sulphers play it 5+ hearts and opening points, alertable). West interferes with 3 diamonds and North bids 4NT (blackwood) like the previous pair. South responds 5C (no aces) and West bids 5 diamonds. Missing two aces, North bids 5 hearts (supporting partners heart bid) and South raises to 6 with the 6 hearts, 3 kings and a void. The lead is the Ace of spades from West, making 6.

Board 12: Pair 9 were the only ones to find 4 spades simply by bidding up the line (and denying a 4-card major with their diamond bid, alertable). I think I want to add that to my repertoire. Makes a lot of sense to me. (I’m not sure if they have to have 4+ diamonds even though in this case they did.)

North – South East – West 
#1 Ghulam Fazil – William Enright#1 Bill Wheeler – Gerry Bernard
#2 Barbara Tench – Jean Stevenson#2 Peter Clark – Avi Poriah
#3 Caroline Sulphur – David Sulpher#3 Sheila Perras – Irene Churchill

Jan. 22/2021 (12:30 pm) – Open Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 24

Well, this was even tougher and larger than Wednesday with 24 tables and with at least one Gold Life Master from the U.S. One person had a “J” next to his name which I later found out means he has BBO Royal Awards and is listed as between “101st-250th in the historical table of BBO Points won” worldwide!! We were definitely out of our league but still had fun.

Congratulations to Andre Gaudet and Robert Tremblay (69.05%) for coming first overall and receiving a whopping 6.4 silver points. (The rest of the top leaders can be found at the end of this article.)

Today there were a “lot” of slams possibilities, Board 1, 6, 11, and 15. Some people bid and made them, while others did not. Here’s a look at a few.

Board 6: As you can see, we were one of the ones who stopped at 3NT but made 6. Six teams bid 6NT by south making 7 and a 3 of diamonds lead (we had a spade lead). How did they find the slam?

  • Team A7 (no bids by opps): 1C, 1S, 3NT, 6NT
  • Team A9 (no bids by opps): 1C, 1S, 3NT, 4NT, 6C, 6NT
  • Team A10 (no bids by opps): 1C, 1S, 3NT, 6NT
  • Team B3 (no bids by opps): 1C, 3S, 4NT (1430), 5D, 6NT
  • Team B10 (no bids by opps): 1C, 1S, 3NT, 4C (gerber), 5C, 6NT
  • Team B12 (no bids by opps): 1C, 1S, 3NT, 6NT

Board 11: Most people bid 3NT on this hand, making 6. But one pair bid and made the 6 diamonds. Here is how they got there. Note, my screenshot cuts off the last 2 bids which were 5H by south and 6D by north. The team also plays inverted minors and thus the alert on the 2 diamonds.

Board 15:  Finally, a slam that we actually bid and made 7! It was one of those hands that my partner and I (who have only played 4 times in all 20/21) understood each other perfectly. 1H by south, 3H by North (4 hearts, 10+ points), 4C showing the Ace, 4D showing the Ace of diamonds, 6 hearts. I was looking for that Ace of diamonds to get rid of one of my spade losers (and I have 20 on distribution). Opps leads a diamond and I take with the Ace and discard a losing spade. I then lead my Jack of hearts and opps ducks. I lead another heart and the King drops to my Ace. I then play out all my clubs and the rest is history.

North – South East – West 
#1 Andre Gaudet – Robert Tremblay#1 William Hanes – Marilyn Li
#2 Peter Doherty – Howard Dudley#2 Clara Desjardins – Stella Chan
#3 Donald Lewis – Ted Hill#3 Judy Darling – Richard Darling

Jan. 20/2021 (2:55 pm) – Open Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 19

Happy New Year everyone!

Well, I attended my first Arnprior afternoon open game today. And what a strong field!!

Congratulations to Jacques Gilbert and Gunnar Gunnarsson (68.98%) for coming first overall and receiving a whopping 3.8 silver points. (The rest of the top leaders can be found at the end of this article.)

Kudos to the pair that messed with us on Board 12. Although they went down “five”, we had a game and ended up with bottom board. ☹

Here’s that hand and another interesting hand. Enjoy!

Board 12: Opponents open with1 spade. My partner overcalls with 2 hearts (letting me know she has at least 10 points and 5 hearts) Well, I’m sitting here with 16 points (including distribution) and support for her hearts. I don’t want to miss game so I jump to 4 hearts (which could also be weak with lots of hearts)!! Now opps jumps to 4 spades with “no” support from his partner and only 6 spades. Not sure what to do now, we stop. In hindsight, I could have cuebid 2 or 3 spades instead of going straight to 4 hearts. Thoughts (you can add comments below)?

Board 4: Opponents opens 1 club. Now my partner has 14 points but no five-card suit. If she doubles, it implies she has both spades and hearts. So, she overcalls 1 diamond with only four. Opps bids 1 heart and I raise my partner’s diamonds to 2. Opps bids 2NT and wins the contract. My partner is sitting with most of the key cards behind west and we defeat the contract by 2 and tie for top board (97%). Question: Is an overcall of a 4-card suit at the one level alertable? Have you ever done it? I can definitely see the advantage.

North – South East – West 
#1 Paul Kilger – Gloria Orr #1 Jacques Gilbert – Gunnar Gunnarsson
#2 Irene Churchill – Sheila Perras#2 Nancy Cavanagh – Phillippa Baran
#3 Preston Carlisle – William Clarke#3 Marlee Fazil – Denis Lavoie

July 17/2020 (12:30 pm) – I/N Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 3

Congratulations to victord4 (Romania) and quad38 (Canada) for placing 1st with a whopping 72% (whoever you are)!

It was a tough day today but here is one interesting board that I would love to know our opponents bidding system. They found 6NT making 7. The other two tables were in 3NT.

As you can see, west had 28 points!! Does anyone know what the jump to 4C means? It was brilliant in that it kept the bidding going.

July 9/2020 (12:30 pm) – I/N Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 6, 3 sections (under 751, 494, or 141 points)

Okay, today went much better! (And the house has sold, all conditions waved. No distractions.)

Congratulations to Sheila Duke and Walter Wojtas for placing 1st!!

Here are some hands from today.

Board 1: We’re right off to the races with the first board. As you can see, North opens with 1S. My partner overcalls 2D. South replies 2H. I jump to 4D with my 5-card support and 12 points on distribution. North jumps to 4H with his 4-card support for his partner. Two passes and I wonder if I should go 5D. We aren’t vulnerable and there’s a good possibility the opponents have 4H. But of course, I chicken out and pass. The contract goes down one for third place. But guess what, one team bids the 5D and makes! Congratulations Sheila and Walter.

Board 4: All over the place. Five North/South teams end up in four different contracts (2N, 3D, 3N, 4S) and one East/West team ends up in 1S. Top board N/S is 2N by North making. Top board E/W is 4S by North going down 3. Why don’t you take a look at this hand and see how you and your partner may have bid it.

Board 18: Okay, last board. This was a very competitive auction. Two N/S teams ended up in 5S while two E/W teams ended up in 5C doubled. 5 clubs goes down 2-3 tricks (300 – 500 points) but 5 spades makes (650)! Again, what would you have done?

Everyone have a good week and stay safe! See you next Thursday.

July 2/2020 (12:30 pm) – Online Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 6, Intermediate/Newcomer Game (under 750 points)

Today was one of my worse days ever. We recently sold our house “conditionally” and the inspection was today. My husband said I didn’t have to cancel my bridge because it was just an inspection. Cool! But oh no, the prospective buyers came with them!!! I could see them through windows, hear them upstairs and had the inspector take a heat reading over my shoulder. So, do you think I could concentrate? Nope. My apologies to my partner for playing so badly (hey but we weren’t last!).

P.S. The game also went a half hour over!!!!

Here are how some of the hands went today.

Board 6: What a distribution! East passes. I have 11 high card points, a void, a singleton, 7 diamonds and 5 hearts. With the rule of 20 and a 5-card heart suit, I could open 1H. But no, I bid 3 diamonds. West overcalls with 4 clubs! Now my partner has 20 points. She responds positively with 4 spades showing me her 5-card spade suit. Of course, that’s my void. So, I bid 5 diamonds since I have all the high cards and can count tricks in my hand alone. She goes 5NT (looking for the Ace of Diamonds for a slam try). I didn’t believe that was Blackwood at the 5 level so I pass. We make 6. But as I said, I should have opened a diamond to begin with and I’m sure we would have found our slam. Three teams were in 6D and two teams were in 6N.

June 25/2020 (12:30 pm) – Online Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 4, Intermediate/Newcomer Game (under 750 points)

Another interesting day of online duplicate bridge playing in the I/N section. Congratulations to Marg Leach and Barbara Haydock on placing first!!

Here were two tough hands today.

Board 11: My partner passes and West opens 1C. Now, this could be bid a couple of different ways. I chose to overcall 1D (but I was too strong and should have doubled).  East passes and my partner bids 1H (a free bid) so I now know she has 6+ points. West rebids their clubs. At this point, I should jump to 3 hearts to show my 17 and even though we may only have a 7-card fit (but I do have 3 great hearts). It is now up to my partner whether they want to go to 4 hearts with 8 points. Funny, how the alternative would have provided less information. If I had doubled the opponents, East would have still passed and my partner would have still bid 1 heart but now I don’t know if she had any points at all. What would you have done with this hand?

Board 12: Okay, this one is all over the place (1S by East, 2H by South, 2N by North and 3C by North). In our game, West passes and I open 1C. East overcalls 1S. My partner bids 2H. West passes. Now, I don’t know what to do. I only have 2 hearts to support. I see others bid 2N denying the hearts. I’m glad I didn’t, it goes down for bottom board. I also see that someone else rebid their clubs which makes for top board. Okay, so I wimped out and passed with my J and 10 of hearts hoping she had 5. It went down one but we still made 66.7% on the hand.

June 18/2020 (12:30 pm) – Online Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 5, Intermediate/Newcomer Game (under 750 points)

Well, I’ve just completed my first online duplicate game and it was a lot of fun!! My partner (Mary Anne Marshall) and I played in the new Renfrew Intermediate/Newcomer game. It was a nice laid-back game with 15-minute rounds and we didn’t even have to figure out where our next table was. AND it was only 1.5 hours!!

Here are some interesting hands we had.

Board 4: No matter what, you were going to be in trouble. My partner (West) is dealer and passes with only 7 points. North passes with only 5 points. In 3rd seat and with 11 points, I open my 5-card diamond suit. South doubles (17 points). My partner bids her 5-card spade suit. North passes. Now, I’m stuck. I’m afraid my partner may only have 4 spades and I have only 2. I’m also afraid of NT because I only have 2 clubs. So, I rebid my 5-card diamond suit. I get doubled, down 3 vulnerable (bottom board). Other teams bid 1NT by East (down 2), 1N doubled by North (makes), 1S doubled by West (down 1), and 2C by south (makes 3). So what did I just learn after googling it? Never open light with a minor suit and when you open light in third seat, do not bid again. Be prepared to leave partner in their suit. Next time, I just pass.

Board 5: Okay, I’m not sure how almost everyone else ended up in 3NT while we were in 4S. To me it was standard bidding. Three passes to partner. She opens 2C (with 21 points – close enough to 22). I respond 2D (less than 8 points). She bids her 5-card spade suit. I have 7 points and a 3 card spade suit to support here. I bid 4S and we are down one.  Unfortunately for us, the spades are split 5 nothing for the opponents. Even playing NT gets interesting. North has 6 clubs.

Board 10: Now, that was fun. We got to play Cappelletti. The opponents open 1NT. I overcall 2D (with 11 points and four/four in the majors). Some say I need 5/4 in the majors but I didn’t remember that. In the meantime, I’m hoping my partner remembers what my bid means (we have played this so rarely). She’s not sure but she has a 5-card spade suit and 10 points so bids 2S. We’re passed out making 4S and tying for first.

If you aren’t sure about playing online, especially against the good players, I really recommend the I/N game however you have to be an ACBL member. NO PROBLEM. The Arnprior and Renfrew clubs are covering the cost for a one-month trial period for new ACBL members until the end of June. P.S. We placed 3rd and my partner got her first black points as a new ACBL member during her 1-month trial period. You rock Mary Ann.

May 15/2020 (12:30 pm) – Online Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 15

Week four and we’re now up to 15 tables!!

Board 3: I wish I could of seen what these hands were. North/South were either in 4S or 3NT but that extra trick is what counted. Four pairs bid 4S and made 6 for top boards.  In one case, 3NT made 5 but it wasn’t enough.

Board 6: Five E/W pairs found the small slam however two of those pairs made 7! Congratulations to William Enright/Richard Duncan and John Shepley/Lee Teperman.

If anyone has an interesting hand please send me a pic at and why you found it interesting. I will include with the weekly results. Thanks!!


North – South East – West 
#1 Sheila Perras – Irene Churchill#1 Pat Kilger – Paul Kilger
#2 Peter Holmes – David Roth#2 Hank Schriel – Ted Hill
#3 Avi Poriah – Preston Carlisle#3 Marg Leach – barbdianne

Bridge Hand Challenge (Updated)

Yesterday, I played in the online Renfrew Rubber Game and came across a hand I just didn’t know how to bid. How should I have bid it? Please enter your suggestions in the “Leave a Reply” section at the bottom of the page. All help is greatly appreciated. – Shari Phillips

We made 5 diamonds on this hand. I’ve since spoken to others and they suggested 3NT. I guess after my partner bid clubs twice, I shouldn’t of worried about them. So after 2C, I should have bid 3NT. Here are all the hands. Even with a club lead from West (although they are more likely to lead spades), I have them stopped after the take the first trick. I can then take two diamonds and give them the third. I can make 3 to 4 NT. Without the club lead, I’m held to 3NT.

May 7/2020 (12:30 pm) – Online Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 14 (20 boards)

Week three and going strong. So, what hands appeared interesting this week. Hmmm.

Board 3: Four tables passed this out. However, five EW pairs bid 3S going down 1-2 tricks vulnerable (top boards for NS). Two other EW pairs stopped at 2S making their contract or going over by one (top boards for them). You never know what is going to happen when the points are spread evenly.

Board 6: Two NS pairs found and made the slam (6S). Congratulations to Layne Noble / Brian Savill and Mary McCann / amarieleo. Three EW pairs interfered with the bidding and bid 3-5 diamonds (3 diamonds making). Congratulations to the John Shepley / Lee Teperman, Robert Blancette / Jacques Grise, and Ian Ferguson / Julia Beatty. I wonder if EW forced NS into the slam? Most others stopped at 4S. Again, I wish I could see the hands.

Good luck next week everyone.


North – South East – West 
#1 Pat Kilger – Paul Kilger#1 John Shelpley – Lee Tepermen
#2 Douglas Young Lewis – Wayne Daze#2 Robert Blanchette – Jacques Grise
#3 Richard Duncan – William Enright#3 Liz Cain – Audrey Copeland

April 30/2020 (1:00 pm) – Online Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 14 (20 boards)
Competing: Renfrew and Barrhaven
To learn more about playing in an online game, click here.

For our second week of playing online bridge, we had 14 tables, up 2 from last week! I believe we had about 20 players from Renfrew County but it’s hard to tell with user names like “timonadude”.

Congratulations to Jacques Gilbert and his partner for placing 1st N/S, Paul Kilger and partner for placing 3rd N/S and Wayne Daze and Leo Coulas for placing 3rd in East/West.  Nice showing for Renfrew county.

Unfortunately, still no hands posted but there were still some interesting bids.

Board 3: A slam hand. Two West pairs (one being William Enright & Richard Duncan) found 6N (1470) while three East pairs found 6S (1430) including Wayne Daze/Leo Coulas and John Shepley/Lee Teperman.  The rest stopped at 4S making 6.

Board 7: Another 6H slam hand but by N/S this time. Five teams found it including Barbara Lamb/Phillippa Baran, John Polak/Paul Kilger, and Pat Kilger/Jacques Gilbert. The rest stopped in 4H except for one 3N.


North – South East – West 
#1 Pat Kilger – Jacques Gilbert#1 Robert Blanchette – Jacques Grise
#2 Andrea Conway – Valerie Smith#2 Hank Schriel – Ted Hill
#3 John Polak – Paul Kilger#3 Wayne Daze – Leo Coulas

April 23/2020 (1:00 pm) – First Online Duplicate Bridge Game
Tables: 12 (18 boards)
Competing: Renfrew and Barrhaven
To learn more about playing in an online game, click here.

This is the first online duplicate bridge game for our club since the unfortunate onslaught of the Coronvirus and the temporary closing of our club. These games are sanctioned by the ACBL, are only about 2 hours and include black points.

We had a whopping 12 tables with, I believe, 14 players from Renfrew County. Unfortunately, the hands have not been posted but there were a couple of interesting looking ones based on the bids.

Board 10: This was definitely an EW hand in clubs. 3 pairs bid 5Cs making 6 (620 points) and a 4th pair bid only 3Cs making six. However, the top boards found 3NT making 5 (660 points). No one bid the slam.

Board 13: All East players bid 1NT. Only four made it. Four went down one and four went down two. Without being able to see the hand, I’m going to assume the lead was critical on this one. Well done Dan Baran and Phillipa Baran for being one of the four to make it.


North – South East – West 
#1 Robert Blanchette – Jacques Grise#1 Dan Baran – Phillippa Baran
#2 John Shepley – Lee Teperman#2 William Enright – Richard Duncan
#3 Layne Noble – Brian Savill#3 Doug Reynolds – Ruth Browning

Mar. 11/2020
Tables: 14

The good news, all the hands are available this week on ACBL Live. The bad news, although there are scores for all the hands, the actual bids are not listed. So once again, I am going to be inventive in my commentary.

It was a very interesting day. We had a demonstration of the automatic shuffling machine that the club is considering buying and used the hands randomly produced. Now, I’m not sure if the machine had anything to do with it but the one thing I heard over and over was that the hands felt like a STaC’d game… distributional, consistently down games and so on. So, lets take a look at a couple.

Board 5 is one of those distributional hands. West has a void in Clubs and South has a void in hearts. Only one team bids and makes game while two teams make a partial score and nine teams go down one or two.

On Board 19, four E/W teams bid and made the slam while five teams went down. So what happened? If 6NT is in the East and South leads anything other than a spade they’re in trouble, especially a club lead. 6NT by West is much easier.  Anything that North leads is safe.

Next week are STaC hands so consider this good practice.


North – South East – West 
#1 PHILLIPPA Baron – Barbara Tench#1 Gloria Orr – Paul Kilger
#2 IRENE CHURCHILL – Sheila Perras#2 Alice Smaglinski – Diaan Juby
#3 Leanne Cheliak – Guy Vaillancourt#3 Lee Teperman – John Shepley

Mar. 4/2020
Tables: 5.5 (299 section), 8 (Open Section)

As per the memberships survey responses, stratified sections will again be held at the club on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month with today being the first session.

Unfortunately, the hands were not posted and I was unable to attend so I can only comment on some of the interesting results.

299 Section:

Due to the odd number of tables in play and to avoid a lengthy sit-out, a Howell movement was used in the 299er Section.

Wow, what a lot of partial games. Not until Board 20, do you see South looking for that elusive game. Two teams found it with an overtrick.

On board 20, it was East/West trying to find that game. Game tries were 4S, 4H and 3NT. It was 3NT with two overtricks that won top place. Well done!


#1 Bev Kobus – Ron Wilson
#2 Audrey Copeland – Mike Nagrodski
#3 Mary Anne Marshall – Sandra McGregor

Open Section:

Today, there were a lot of hands that were pretty average across the board. However, here are a couple of hands that stood out.

On board 10, only 2 people bid and made the 6H slam while one bid 6NT which unfortunately goes down.

Board 12 also looked interesting. All but one team were in diamonds ranging from 4D to 6D. The 6D doubled makes while others were held to four or five. I wish I had a peak at that hand. I bet you the results were all based on the lead.


North – South East – West 
#1 PHILLIPPA Baron – Barbara Tench#1 William Enright – Bob Cotnam
#2 SHEILA DUKE – ELGIN DUKE#2 Guy Dagenais – Bob Provencher
#3 Carol Sulpher – David Sulpher#3 ERNIE BERNDT – Eric Brown

Feb. 26/2020
Tables: 14

Bridge players are a curious lot. Even though everyone knows that STaC hands have diabolical distributions, cruel voids and an almost certain guarantee your finesses will fail, inevitably the Club sees a good turnout whenever STaC’s are being played. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to test your playing skills against others all across our wide District?  

As it was a STaC day, it probably wasn’t too surprising that only 6 slams were attempted over the course of the afternoon. Since only 2 of those efforts were successful (33%), the cynical might suggest that if you think you have slam with a STaC hand, you’re likely wrong.  

Boards #7 and #8 were prime examples how STaC hands can drive players completely mad. Both were played 13 times and there were only 3 successful contracts scored on each board; sadly though, there were a depressing number of down 2 and down 3 results observed. 

A kind thought should be spared for those cruelly disappointed Norths on Board #4. Imagine happily surveying a hand of  18 prime points, smartly laying down a 1S bid, with the expectation of continuing on to game or maybe slam, only to have South, holding a bedraggled 4 points, sheepishly lay down a green card, thus obliging the stunned North to play a dinky 1 level contract.  Yes, it truly remains a mystery why the STaC hands are so popular.


North – SouthEast – West
#1 Lew MacDonald – Ruth Grant
#2 Arthur Ham – Phyllis Brennan
#3 Jane Wilson – Ellen Penney
#1 Bruce Tennant – Judy Hill
#2 Guy Dagenais – Bob Provencher
#3 Lee Teperman – John Shepley

Feb. 19/2020
Tables: 10.5

So all last week’s headaches of flaky batteries, misbehaving power cables and balky computers were finally sorted out and today’s session progressed smoothly. Surprisingly, though it was a lovely day, there were only 10 ½ tables in play; perhaps the yearly snowbird exodus has started?

Well, it can definitely be said that NT contracts were the favourite destination of many of the partnerships today. All contracts on Board #4 were 3NT. All contracts on Board #8 were some flavor of NT. All contracts on Board #22 were 3NT (results ranging from +3 to -2). And finally, the contracts on Board #28 ranged from 3NT to 6NT. Considering the variable results of the NT contracts attempted, it’s apparent that though the Club may have taken Wayne’s “How-to-bid-NT-contracts” Chalk Talk to heart, we still have some stumbles regarding the best way to play them. Perhaps that’ll be the topic of a future Chalk Talk?

Once again there was a very “Happy Place” for the North-South partners. On Board #18, every pair made good use of singletons or voids and a mere 27 combined points in their hands to score 12 or 13 tricks in a Spade contract. Unfortunately, only 2 of the pairs actually bid the slam. (Obviously, Wayne still has much work to do!)

Today’s Board #24 was definitely a curiosity. All of the North-South pairs who boldly took their combined 24 points and barged into a 3NT contract, were rewarded for their boldness. The more timid North-South pairs who didn’t venture past a partial diamond contract didn’t fare so well at all.

North – SouthEast – West
#1 Amanda Walley – Bruce Tennant
#2 Sheila Duke – Elgin Duke
#3 Mary McCann – Ruth Grant
#1 Peter Phillips – Sue Phillips
#2 Rick Duncan – Tom Sewter
#3 Guy Dagenais – Bob Provencher

Feb. 12/2020 (STaC Game)
Tables: 13.5

Name those players that I missed or may have gotten wrong. Just scroll to bottom of page and in the “Leave a Reply” box indicate picture number and players’ names.

Unfortunately, we ran into some technical difficulties in the second last round. The unit STaC results are ready but not our Live for Club results yet.

At the unit level, there were 208.5 tables who played the same STaC hands as our club and I’m proud to say that Bruce Tennant and Judy Hill placed 8th in A and 5th in B!!! Congratulations!!

North – SouthEast – West
#1 Irene Hill – Sheila Perras (63.5%)
#2 Arthur Ham – Phillis Brennan (59.4%)
#3 Leanne Cheliak – Gary Churchill (56.5%)
#1 Bruce Tennant – Judy Hill (64.4%)
#2 Rick Duncan – Tom Sewter (64.0%)
#3 Wayne Daze – Shari Phillips (61.0%)

Feb. 5/2020
Tables: 16

Today’s session started with a pizza lunch supplied by the Club. Afterwards, the Club’s AGM was held and a new executive elected, with all positions filled. No doubt, as the yearly reports were read, the members would have been pleased to hear that the Club continues to grow and has been able to accumulate a healthy amount of savings. Carol Sulpher did present some results of the stratified game survey. However, no conclusions or future actions were suggested, as those decisions were left for the new executive to consider. Accordingly, all play dates in February will not be stratified.

Most of today’s East-West pairs could be hear complaining with heart-felt sincerity: “it just ain’t fair” and they probably had a case. While the North-South cards often seemed suitable for game contracts (or slams!), the East-West cards were much weaker and those pairs were frequently forced to scramble creatively for even partial games.

Each week there seems to be a “Happy Place” for some of the partners. This week it was definitely Board #17, as 6 of the North-South pairs scored slam contracts on the board. Perhaps more interesting to observe were the 6 North-South pairs who stalled in a 3NT contract, making 7. No doubt there were several heart-to-heart shoulda-coulda-oughta been conversations after those results.

Board #23 definitely took the day’s “Grand Canyon” award (or the biggest gap between max top and max bottom), as the North-South scores ranged from all the way from an impressive +990 to a confidence-crushing -1190. None of the players seemed to lack for courage on that hand, as there was a surprising number of double and redouble cards being casually tossed around as the bidding progressed.


North – SouthEast – West
#1 Lee Teperman – John Shepley
#2 Ernie Berndt – Eric Brown
#3 Arthur Ham – Phyllis Brennan
#1 Gloria Orr – Paul Kilger
#2 Diane Gilman – Carolyn Milford
#3 Rick Duncan – Tom Sewter


4 thoughts on “Musings

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