Fresh from a humbling in “Maritime Bridge Line”, in our Guest Column this month it’s happily now Gerry “The Bear” Callaghan’s turn to:

Pass the Kleenex


One of my favourite opponents over the past five years has been Ian Crowe.  His style in many ways is similar to mine – “adventuresome” would be an apt if not only description.  For most of ’96 and ’97.  Ian has definitely gotten the better of me, the latest being in a team game at the end of ’97.  Ian had double-KJ of clubs defending against my 3S contract, and found the J lead.  Dummy held Qxx and I AT9x.  The Q held and being short of dummy entries I decided to repeat the sure finesse and y ten lost to the K at trick 2.  Ian found a red ace in partner’s hand and secured an immediate club ruff causing me to eventually go light one in an otherwise cold contract.  My partner Mike Betts passed me a Kleenex to wipe the tears from my eyes; Ian’s partner tossed him a paper towel to wipe the grin off his face.


An opportunity for revenge arose playing duplicate at MCG in March.  As Dealer Non-Vul against Vul holding:

                     S:   K

                     H:   -----

                     D:   QJTxx

                     C:  AKQTxxx

I selected the pass card to commence proceeding planning to parachute into the auction later.  The auction proceeded as follows:

                     Me                Ian                   Bill H                     Mike O’

                     PASS           1H                  1S                         Pass

                     2C!               2H                  3C!!                      Pass

                     3H                Dbl                  3S                         4 C

                     6C                DOUBLE         All Pass

After my 3 H and 6C calls Ian inquired of Bill if my 2C was forcing & got a negative response.  He felt he was being had but holding two red aces he felt compelled to double.  Bill had:

                     S:   AQxxxx

                     H:   Q

                     D:   Kx

                     C:   J9xx                                all this for a PLUS 1070.  I passed Ian a Kleenex and asked Bill to get me a paper towel.


I know Audrey Grant wrote The Joy of Bridge and hands like these two are probably not in it, but this is my joy in bridge, win or lose, matching wits against worthy and graceful opponents.  Our actions on either hand could have been disastrous.  No matter the outcome though, there would also be a story to share with our low-like friends at the tavern or the Inn.  Audrey Grant, by the way, will be at our Can-At tournament.  If you are a new player or a teacher you just have to take this opportunity to hear her & if you haven’t done so already buy a book of hers.  As co-chair of this marvelous event with Madeline Conrad I promise an ample supply of free Kleenex for all.


Best of luck to MCG – Madeline, Kathie & Balon - & thanks to Shawn & Caroline for getting our newsletter started.  The future of our bridge scene has never appeared better.  Be a part of it, leave those egos behind and let the fun shine through.  C’est bon, mon ami, c’est bon.

May 1998