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by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish


Don't let the names fool you. We're married up. There was a time when we played bridge together. It's been years, though. Which may explain why we're still married. Another reason that our marriage has endured these thirteen years is that we tend to finish one another's sentences, no matter how arcane. Keeps us amused. But this is a bridge column. Are these survival credentials enough to justify a daily visit to your breakfast table with a sliver of life at the bridge table? Surely some prowess at bridge is essential too.

Neither side vulnerable; North deals

  K 8
K J 6 4 3 2
10 4

  A J 9

J 10 9 4
Q J 8 7 5 3
10 2
Q 7 3
A 9 7
K 9 6 2

7 5 3

  A 6 5 2
Q 8 5

K Q 8 6 4


West North East South
  Kraft   Kokish
  1 Pass 2(1)
Pass 2 Pass 3
Pass 4 Pass 4
Pass 4 Pass 4
Pass 6 Pass 7
Pass Pass Dbl All Pass

(1) Natural, forcing to game

Opening lead: 3

1984. The Epson World Intercity Teams Championship in Tokyo. We were the defending champions in part because we had been better at avoiding grand slams with the ace of trumps offside. Our teammates loved us for this one. We did not win the tournament.

Kraft: If I were interested in seven I would not have jumped to six.

Kokish: My hand was unlimited, so your jump had to be descriptive. What you were supposed to have was six or seven good hearts and the ace of clubs, all your values in the suits you bid. You should have continued with 5
, then 5 over my 5 continuation. Given your retreat to 4, I would have known that you couldn't have everything I needed for a good grand slam.

Kraft: Maybe you're right, but you weren't playing with you; that was l'il ol' me over there, a simple soul who bids what she thinks she can make.

It's a fine line between bridge at the top and bridge at the bottom. We've been through stretches at both ends of the spectrum, but it's never been dull. In the coming months, we're going to share some of those experiences with you and keep you up to date with what's going on in the wonderful wacky world of bridge. We'll show you some beautiful deals and (less often) some ugly ones, and introduce you to many characters and personalities whose exploits you might enjoy. We'll review some books and software for you, and take you to some exotic venues and, perhaps, to the bridge club in your neighbourhood. If you send us queries, deals, stories, and news items by e-mail to, we'll try to reserve one column a [[week]] for write-in material.

Although the early evidence might suggest that you will usually get two different perspectives from us, it's really not that way at all. For example, we both love the game of bridge. We both love our children and our dogs. We both hate celery.