Judy Kay-Wolff


This is what my late husband Norman used to call a "napkin" hand and I was his "napkin champ."   Translation:  If someone gave me a hand (at dinner written on a napkin) as a problem, I knew there was something to look for so I usually rose to the occasion.   If someone had presented the hand to me, I would have made what Bobby thought was the right call. 

Hats off to all of you who were good enough to bid 2S.   I didn’t!  Most of those given the hand after the game bid either 2NT (my bid) or 2H (should really be six or a better five bagger).   The Master told me (PLAYING FLANNERY) my bid was A-U-T-O-M-A-T-I-C.   (Don’t you just love when someone tells you that — especially if it is Bobby Wolff)?  If I had three, he was willing to play it there.

However, upon reflection, it should have been a piece of cake.   Playing Flannery (11-15), if I had 4/5 I would have opened 2D.   If I had 16+ with 4/5, I would have opened 1H, intending to reverse into 2S.  SO, partner suspects I have only three spades and would pass with his hand.    If I had the Flannery hand (with 16 or more), over the negative double, I would have either jumped to 3S, or with a maximum, either cue bid or jumped to 4S (though I don’t like the cue bid, causing it to play from the wrong hand if it should matter).

THUS, I tend to have only 3S and he will know that by my rebid of 2S (not 2NT or 2H) — and the hand will still be playing from the right side with KJ2 of diamonds.

The sad story, I (Dumb-Dumb) bid 2NT and went down -200 (and lucky to have the diamonds 5/4 rather than 6/3 after taking the losing spade finesse or it would have been -300).   Had I thought it out (and it really wasn’t such a difficult problem in retrospect), I would have bid 2S which Bobby would have passed and even with the 4/1 spade split would have scored up +110.

We were not playing in a very good field and Righty might have bid 3D (for down -200 their way unless they guessed how to play the diamonds, restricting themselves to one loser).

Here are our hands.   It was a great learning experience for me and I wanted to share it with you.  I’ll get it right next time.   I usually don’t make the same mistake twice.  I look for new ones!

                 AJ763    92       8     Q8632

                  Q98   AK854   KJ2   97       


LuiseMay 29th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I usually don’t make the same mistake twice either…

You would think that would mean that eventually I would run out of mistakes to make. If only that were the case!

Judy Kay-WolffMay 29th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Hi Luise:

You’re young. You gotta lotta catchin’ up to do. If I had a dime for every mistake I made at the bridge table, I’d be a rich woman today. The older you get, the wiser you




JoanMay 29th, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Hey Napkin Champ:

I know exactly what you mean.

Thanks for sharing. I don’t play Flannery but get the drift.

PaulMay 31st, 2010 at 7:35 am

I think that Flannery is a distraction. Okay it does make 2S a lot easier, but even without that I feel it’s the right bid.

Judy Kay-WolffMay 31st, 2010 at 12:45 pm


Can’t argue your point! 2S in any case! Flannery was a ‘given’ so I take full responsibility. However, I must add that in our partnership the auction 1H 2D X does not unconditionally guarantee four spades — maybe only 90% of the time. Therefore, if partner does not have four, he will have a hand with which he can comfortably correct:

Say, his holding was AXX XX XX AQ10XXX

Our style does not allow a free bid of 3C (forcing to game), so he would make a negative double and await developments.

By the way, I love The Beer Card site — especially the attractive hand presentation. Great look!


Danny KleinmanMay 31st, 2010 at 5:17 pm

2S is absolutely right whether or not you play Flannery. If you had a similar hand, S-Q98 H-AK854 D-972 C-A8, you would bid 2S in a flash, as 2NT wouldn’t tempt you. With your actual hand, 2S is right to right-side spades when you belong in spades; 2NT is wrong because facing a minimum Negative Double and receiving a diamond lead, you can’t expect to keep RHO off lead, and you’ll run out of tricks quite soon. Your D-KJ2 will be quite useless for developing tricks; it is merely a stopper, and you can’t hope to take eight tricks in notrump with only about half the deck in high cards. 2NT in this auction should show substantial extra strength.

PaulJune 1st, 2010 at 12:03 am


The hand presentation on the Beer Card is thanks to Fred, who freely provides the technology through the BBO web site.

Luise LeeJune 1st, 2010 at 11:25 am

Judy: you too can include your hand using the same presentation. Remind me some day if we ever meet face-to-face, and I’ll teach you how. It might be difficult to do it over the phone or via email, but I’m confident that if you can master blogging, then you can master posting a BBO hand 🙂

Judy Kay-WolffJune 1st, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Luise: I’d be willing to try it with you on speaker phone. It is really delightful. Call me when you can and if I’m out I will return your call.

Thanks so much.