’s Heerenberg and other stuff

First, a sort of commercial. I’ll be teaching a bridge course for students at the WUR (Wageningen University of Research) start September 25. If you are reading this, then you are probably not in the target audience, but if you do know students interested in picking up the game, point them to the page of the course.Note that we’re not too strict on “Students at the WUR”, students at other colleges or event those who recently graduated are welcome too. If I get the minimum of 8 people, this promises to be a lot of fun.

I hardly ever play in the local pub tournaments but when J. invited me to the one he is running in ’s Heerenberg, I couldn’t say no. ’s Heerenberg is an old city literally on the eastern border of the Netherlands with some 8000 inhabitants. Close to the border? Well, yes, the city-limits sign coincides with the “welcome to Germany” sign so I don’t think that you can get any closer. It got established in 1379 after the count of Bergh built a castle in the 1200’s and the locals started to live next to it. The castle was destroyed and rebuilt a couple of times over the centuries, the present version is only some 100 years old. It is in use as a museum nowadays.

Anyway, this was a pub drive, which means that the game isn’t played in a single room, but rather in bars and restaurants all over the village. You play a round in one establishment, then move to the next one for the next round. Halfway, lunch is served wherever you are at the moment. That adds a luck factor to the game: the quality of the lunch strongly depends on where you are halfway. We were lucky here.

An event like this attracts all kinds of players, from seasoned tournament players all the way down to beginners. And, unfortunately, the players who blame their opponents for their bad results, even though they caused them themselves. An example, on board 1, my LHO overcalled a 1opening with 2holding this hand. South passed, then passed the take-out double holding AQJT7 and a few more high cards. Down 1100. You’d expect somebody to shut up now.

No, she started to berate my partner that she had to bid over a take-out double and, when dummy chimed in, that according to her book, one has to overcall holding 5 card suit and 8 or more points. And, if south had bid like she should (well, passing is always an option), she’d gotten an average score.

One can only smile, then help her to sell the book to all my future opponents.

Fortunately, this was only one opponent. The rest of the day was much more enjoyable. Bottom line: fun tournament, but don’t expect any high level bridge. For results and next year’s date, go to their site.


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Henk Uijterwaal 2019