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Nel blu dipinto di blu (Volare)
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My position on his "depth chart" is way down the bottom but I get the odd call from Harrison Luba "Can you play this evening? Oh, and can you give me a ride?" We have never played the same system in two consecutive sessions but I try to swim with the tide. Occasionally, I'm closer to drowning... but this isn't about me.

Harrison, who will be representing the US in China in August at the 17th World Youth Team Championships ("Kids" team) is fearless in his bidding and a mean declarer when he gets to play the hand (which is most of the time!).

Last evening at a club NAP game, I got a couple of useful lessons (see Forcing to what?, for example, where I made what I thought was an invitational bid but which put us into a no-play game). But what really impressed me was his use of the "blue" card. Hence the title of this piece which attempts to express his degree of comfort (and joy) flying in the "blue" zone. Old-timers like me will recognize the words of this ever-popular song (and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest) from 60 years ago.

Exhibit A:

North
AJ762
643
6
AQ82
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
?

North
AJ762
643
6
AQ82
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
XX
P
P
P

Without pause for thought, Harrison redoubled. Making four for 880 and a top. My hand? K9854 AT 742 T65.

Exhibit B:

East
K86
6
A1097652
96
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
4
P
P
X
?

East
K86
6
A1097652
96
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
4
P
P
X
XX
P
P
P

Again without pause, Harrison redoubled. Making four for 920 and another top. Note that, this time, I had shown no values whatsoever. My hand was QT7 KT7543 Q43 7.

Exhibit C:

South
J
J10953
Q1095432
W
N
E
S
P
3
3
P
4
4
4
5
X
?

South
J
J10953
Q1095432
W
N
E
S
P
3
3
P
4
4
4
5
X
XX
5
P
P
X
P
P
P

For the third time that session, out came the blue card, quick as a flash. This time, he didn't get a chance to score up the redoubled contract (which would have made). But we still got a top for the only plus score in our direction. My hand was Q2 AK842 -- KJ9742.

My advice to the other "kids" in China? Go easy with the red card if Harrison is going to be the declarer.

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