My Game with Zia

In a drawing for the monthly NewTricks¬†bridge tournament September 27, 2022, I won the chance to partner with Zia. Basically he just consistently plays good bridge. He generously emailed me three times about our convention card. We came in 3/20 with 63%, despite 5.6% for 6H-1 on a finesse and 22% when the opponents made 3N by a smart deep finesse in Hearts (Board 17 below). Zia made some of his characteristic deceptive plays, such as leading 2 from A962 in dummy’s Heart suit against 3D, leading 6 from QJ63 in dummy’s suit against 3N, and playing K from KQJ752 on my lead against 4C to make Declarer think his points were elsewhere. In my favorite example, Zia was playing 6C on Board 16 below. How to play the Spades? After drawing trump he immediately discarded the SJ on the HA and called for a low Spade from the Board. Of course his RHO, now imagining Zia with the stiff K and not wanting to hesitate (and realize if Zia started with doubleton KJ he would thrown both on the Hearts), would pop up with the A if he had it, saving Zia from the guess. Otherwise Zia could let the 9 ride. Of course on this particular layout, he couldn’t go wrong.


You can watch our whole match with expert commentary at

And my NewTricks “Challenge an Expert” Peter Crouch

And my NewTricks “Pros vs. Patrons” Part 1 Part 2











I got to bid and play a grand in Clubs on Board 13. After the bidding, Zia said, “Whatever happens, you’re now my favorite partner this week.” Of course I made it by setting up a Heart to discard a Spade.












Here’s how it looks playing on IntoBridge. In the first image you can see Zia and me top right. In the second we’re playing against Mike Kohler and Manny Mehta.



Many thanks to Sue Johnson, New Tricks, and IntoBridge for this great opportunity.