Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Teaching Contract Bridge to Intelligent Women

I learned contract bridge at 13 and played through grad school. Then came almost 40 years without a bid. But for the last year or so, I’ve been teaching bridge to a group of women. It has been a particularly satisfying endeavor for two reasons: 1) they are members of AAUW—American Association of University Women—and quite intelligent; and 2) the process enables me to recapture what I once knew and long since sequestered in remote memory recesses.

My weekly practice is to prepare a few hands that teach specific lessons and go over them pedagogically after each is played. For the rest of the Monday afternoon, the women deal and play rubber bridge, and I kibitz. This week they dealt and played the following:

Were I South, I suspect I would have bid the hand exactly she did. After West doubled, here’s what would’ve gone through my mind:

• One loser in clubs
• One loser in diamonds
• And since my partner made a free bid of 2 spades, she has a strong five- or a six-card suit, so probably just one loser in spades. In fact, if North’s spades set up, I may be able to toss my diamond loser. Four clubs looks solid.qd

West had never doubled before. With great excitement, she led her diamond queen…and I needn’t go through the carnage. South went down five…smiling!

Should she have escaped to four spades? It would’ve likely gone down only two. Would East/West have countered with a doable five hearts?

*     *     *     *     *

(I’m going to categorize this under Sports…because South was such a good one!)

One Comment

  1. elizabeth vega says:

    Steve,

    I am a AAUW wanna be, interested in contact bridge…. I mean contract bridge. I live in Healdsburg.. Can I play?

    I am also interested in having you play music for my third grade class at Fitch Mt. School in Healdsburg where I teach.

    Please give me a shout at evega@husd.com.

    Thanks!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published or shared.