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Belated Congratulations Steve and Disa

2016 has consisted of me sitting at a desk writing a fiction novel yada yada yada that no one will ever read. Once in a while, I give my mind a break, and play a bridge tournament on BBO. Typically with Robots. (They don’t have comments). Yesterday, during that cherished hour when I think less than I normally do, I had the following auction.


W(vul)  N(nv)            E(vul)            S(ME)(nv)


P          P                 1NT                 X

XX       3NT               P                    P



N=Jxx, xxx, Qxx, Qxxx

S=KTxx, KQT, Kx, AKTx


When I asked my regular partner, the man I have mostly abandoned to take on my writing challenge, he said, “there is something wrong with your robot. You should tell someone. Take two aspirin, you’ll feel better in the morning.” (I think the last bit of advice is his favorite piece of advice for all issues). Anyway, for my own sanity, I decided to quit the tournament and do something else.

First, I caught up on my e-mail. A friend of mine, a somewhat successful poker player, sent me a message inquiring as to what it meant to be a Platinum Life Master. Turns out a man playing a WSOP senior final table holds that status. (Congratulations David Smith?) I had a million comments on the subject (none scientifically or mathematically sound like Mr. Kit Woolsey would have). I wrote to my friend.

Needing at least another forty minutes of “down time,” I decided to attend to the pile of mail on my desk that was shaping up to be the paper version of the leaning tower of Pisa.

Bridge Bulletins (4)—only two issues.

A Baron Barclay Bridge Supply catalog—unreviewed.

Working with Bitches—A book left on the table in the lobby of my apartment building that someone picked up and brought to me because he “thought I might find it useful.”

Opera News (4)—one issue reminding me that I missed Sondra Radvanovsky play Mary Queen of Scots while I had been losing track of time.

Lawyer Magazines (3)—nothing on the covers about why the words ‘natural born citizen’ in the Constitution do not actually mean what they say.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

1.      Correspondence reminding me that my membership has expired.

2.      A magazine on Asian Art.

I opened the oldest copy of the Bridge Bulletin and flipped through the pages. On the first of the Life Master Milestones pages, I saw two familiar faces. I am very late, but I would like to congratulate Steve and Disa on their accomplishments.

Rather than use my brain to think while I am playing bridge, I sometimes ask myself one question—“What would Steve Weinstein do?” While I can never analyze the situation for all of the nuances, thanks to his responses on the “It’s Your Call” pages and his general candor, I can make an “educated guess.”

As for Disa, I find her nice, but so intimidating at a table I think she is my worst enemy. But that championship bridge player from Iceland (or Huntsville according to the magazine) has gotten me, a person who alphabetizes her classics, to read a contemporary fiction novel just because it’s “one of her favorites.” And those closest to Disa say “she reads everything and quickly.”

Anyway, to these two extraordinary players and people whose faces appear in one of the issues, under the dust, on my desk, I want to thank you. I have learned a lot about myself as a bridge player and a person having known you both.

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