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When I play online bridge, I keep an eye out for really interesting deals that I can write about on this website. Sadly, the human race perpetrates many more acts of sorrow than transcendence at the bridge table. Many, many, more.

So this is Hand 1 in a series of articles that I will write about all the bad bridge out there in the world. I will keep adding to this series until I exhaust myself of the bitterness in my heart born from suffering years of poor bidding, play and defense. I promise to document my own errors if they are bad enough to write about. It will be therapeutic.

This particular hand, though, focuses on an 'Advanced' pick-up partner in Bridge Base Online. Have you ever seen that survey in which 74% of the population considers itself smarter than average? I think that pretty much sums up the mentality of bridge players.

IMP Pairs       Me         Pick-up Partner
Both Vul A843 SKQJ52
DJ965 AQ43
CA 9



Because we were playing on BBO, I automatically saw the full deal when I became dummy:

QJ6542 SKQJ52 KT873

West led the Q, which pick-up partner won in dummy. He then started drawing trumps.

Now, if you have ever been in an auto accident, you may have experienced a few surreal seconds before the actual crash. You suddenly realize you're about to Eat It. Time slows down. Your brain puts its head between its legs.

That's how I felt when I recognized the diamond situation. As partner finished drawing trumps, I began praying for him to take the safety play in diamonds at IMPs. At vulnerable IMPs. Cash the diamond ace. Cash it. Cash it!

The moment of impact came with a deafening, horrible thud. A diamond finesse through the Q. West winning his singleton K. East later scoring a diamond trick with the T. Hearts, of course, do not split 3-3, nor is there a heart-diamond squeeze. Minus 12.80 IMPs.

To be entirely fair, I might have lazily taken that finesse myself. But I can only hope that 'kibitzer mode', where you automatically see all four hands as dummy, is made optional in the next version of BBO (as it is in OKbridge). The next time I am involved in a crash, I want to shut my eyes.

Update September 7, 2012 : It has since been pointed out that an endplay is superior to cashing the DA. Draw trumps, eliminate hearts and then exit with the DQ. Thanks to Bill March for pointing this out.