The Doctor's Consultation: by Dr. Iain Corness
Cosmetic Surgery. Are you a candidate?
The other morning, one of my
colleagues tripped in the doctor’s lounge and fell face first into a glass
coffee table. This immediately broke into two pieces, with one piece neatly
nicking an ear, whilst the edge of the glass top opened up a 3 cm gash on
This was something which happened so suddenly everyone was taken aback;
however, with so many doctors on hand, the situation was quickly taken care
of and one of the plastic surgeons came in to repair the wounds. Later, I
joked that if she wanted a face lift all she had to do was ask for it. I
don’t think she appreciated the humour!
So what does a real facelift entail, not just simple repair of lacerations
caused by coffee tables? The medical terminology for a facelift is a
Rhytidectomy Procedure, which is designed to improve sagging facial skin and
jowls, and loose neck skin by removing excess fat, tightening muscles, and
re-draping the skin.
By standing in front of the mirror and placing your hands just in front of
your ears and drawing back, you will suddenly see how you used to look some
years ago (and you’ve done it many times already, haven’t you). That is what
the facelift procedure is designed to do, but note that it is not just a
simple case of cutting away sagging skin, but excess fat (in the wrong
places) is removed, and the muscles tightened as well. Tightening the skin
alone will not last, as older skin has lost its elasticity and will soon sag
again. This is why a full face lift requires a skilled (experienced)
cosmetic surgeon, and also why the operation takes several hours.
Being a major procedure, in cosmetic surgery terms, the anaesthetic is
usually a general one, though it can be carried out under local anaesthetic.
You would have to talk to your surgeon about this, but if you have some
chronic medical conditions (as well as an aging face) it may be better to
look at local, rather than general anaesthesia.
Some centres will carry out this procedure as an out-patient, but I honestly
believe that something as major as this deserves an inpatient stay, and
probably for a couple of days at least. Those who have had this done, do say
that the first two days are the worst, and the bruising is fairly extensive,
as well as the swelling. It often looks as if you have done 10 rounds with
Mike Tyson (and lost every one of them).
The good books mention the following side effects and risks to be considered
before being subjected to the cosmetic surgeon’s knife. There can be
temporary bruising, swelling, numbness and tenderness of skin; a tight
feeling, and dry skin. For men, there may be a permanent need to shave
behind ears, where beard-growing skin is repositioned. The risks include
injury to the nerves that control facial muscles or feeling (usually
temporary but may be permanent), infection, bleeding, poor healing,
excessive scarring, asymmetry or change in the hairline.
Recovery time as far as return to work is concerned (or being able to be
seen in public) is generally 10-14 days. The good book also suggests that
more strenuous activity should be postponed for at least a couple of weeks.
The bruising should have all settled by three weeks, and it is also
recommended that you stay out of the sun for several months.
There is also a further downside, in the fact that the aging of the skin
will still continue. A facelift does not stop natural aging taking place.
Consequently, your surgery will probably need to be redone in five to ten
However, many of the world-famous glamour faces have had this done, more
than once, and those who I have met who have had it done are delighted with
the result. After all, who doesn’t want to look several years younger?
Now all that is stopping me having my facelift is the time needed, the
thought of pain, shaving behind my ears and the money!
Heart to Heart
I have recently read in “The Scalpel”, the journal for barber-surgeons
and loblolly boys, that quality champagne can have a most deleterious
effect on aunties in general and horizontal aunties in particular!
Aunties become most frolicsome and frisky! The thought of you taking a
tumble from your hammock and being scraped off the deck by your editor,
does not appeal to this correspondent! Buy you a Chateau Yummy? Not on
I have absolutely no worries over your buying me even a soda pop. You
are what we would call “kee niow”, meaning mean and stingy. I think you
should also give up reading “The Scalpel” as some of the words have
several letters and would be taxing for your brain. The thought of you
taking a tumble while trying to find the big words in the dictionary
does not appeal to this correspondent either. Go back to reading The
Beano, I think it is more your style.
Everyone seems to complain about what the Thais are doing. My problem is
different and I am complaining about what farangs are doing in this
town, making very abusive remarks about me and my son when we are out
We are a very normal family, with my Thai wife and I still very happy
after 15 years. Our son is 14 and a normal teenager. But when we go
shopping together, that is my son and myself, we hear all types of
remarks which a 14 year old boy should not have to hear. I know there
are farangs with young boys, but the people should not believe that
everyone is like that. This is my son!
What should I do? Go up and fight with them, or ignore them, which is
very difficult as I am a normal Dad and want to protect my growing son.
I get angry just writing about this abuse.
Dear Normal Dad,
I agree that it must be very annoying, but fighting with people never
fixes anything. I suggest you get a couple of T shirts made with “He’s
my Dad” on one and “He’s my son” on the other. It should be enough to
stop the background innuendo. (And that’s uncomplimentary remarks, not
an Italian suppository!)
A couple of weeks back you published a letter from some guy calling
himself “Living It Now”. What a load of claptrap! I don’t know why you
print letters like that. Or from that Mistersingha creep. These guys
wouldn’t make it anywhere in the world, but think that because they can
buy a woman over here that makes them smart asses or something. Selfish
is all I say. Just ignore them, Hillary. Don’t give creeps like that any
more column space.
I think it is important for everyone, including you and me, to know how
people are thinking out there. If I were to censor every letter just
because I might not personally believe in the sentiments, it would be a
fairly slim column. I published your letter too, my Petal, even though I
don’t quite agree with you either. It’s time there was a lot more live
and let live, I’m afraid. Though it doesn’t look as if that will happen
in my lifetime.
I am not sure if anyone has written to you before about this, but there
seems to be even more lady-boys than ever before. I (almost) got trapped
the other night by this gorgeous creature who stopped me in the street
beside the beach. I will say I had a few under my belt, so maybe my
judgment wasn’t crash hot, you know the old beer glasses routine, but
how can a man be sure at times like those? Any foolproof way, Hillary?
You seem to know the answer to everything else, so this should be easy.
And make it quick before I go out again, that’s a sweet pea! I don’t
want to make a mistake that would make me the laughing stock of my
Dear Mighty Muscles,
In answer to your question, yes I have had other letters over the years
from guys who have been caught out. Or worried about being caught out.
I’m not sure which category you fit into, Petal, but I think it has been
the morning after the night before. Correct?
So what to do? It probably is a little difficult to arrange a chromosome
examination at the side of the road, but there are a few pointers.
Firstly, Thai ladies tend to be small, while the lady-boys tend to be
tall. Look for wide shoulders and narrow hips and the tell-tale Adam’s
apple - but remember they can have this surgically shaved. The voice
also tends to be dark brown too. As far as the figure is concerned, Thai
ladies are generally not well endowed, while someone with a Pamela
Anderson superstructure has bought it at the local plastic surgery shop!
Thai ladies are also not aggressive. After the first refusal they will
leave you alone, whilst the lady-boys will persist. And like all of
these sorts of transactions, Caveat Emptor (let the buyer beware)! And I
am nobody’s sweet pea!
by Harry Flashman
Auto-focus and senior citizens
For senior citizens, Auto-Focus (AF) was supposed to be the
answer to their prayers, the ideal compromise for them. No
longer would they have to rely on their own eyes to get sharp
photographs when their eyes were getting a little fuzzy
themselves, but the magic brain in the camera would do it for
them. Well, that was the theory.
in focus, animal out of focus!
Like all great theories, it wasn’t quite the same in practice.
Even with the magic AF, it was still very possible to get soft
out of focus images in the end.
There are unfortunately many situations where the magic brain
just cannot work properly. For example, if there is no contrast
in the scene, then the AF will not work. If you are trying to
focus in a “low light” situation then the AF will “hunt”
constantly looking for a bright area. When trying to shoot
through glass or wire mesh in the zoo, the AF can become totally
confused, and give you a sharp photograph of the mesh, instead
of the animal in the cage. No, while AF may be a great
development, it still is not 100 percent foolproof.
One of the reasons for this is quite simple. The camera’s magic
eye doesn’t know exactly what subject(s) you want to be in focus
and picked the wrong one in the viewfinder! You see, the
focusing area for the AF system is a small circle in the middle
of the viewfinder, so if you are taking a picture of two people
2 meters away, unless you have the magic eye focused on one of
the people in the shot, the camera will focus on the background,
several kilometers away.
What you have to do in this situation is to use the “hold-focus”
(sometimes called “focus lock”) facility in your camera (and 99
percent of all AF cameras have it). To use this facility,
compose the people the way you want them, but then turn the
camera so that one person is now directly in the middle of the
viewfinder. Gently push the shutter release half way down and
the AF will “fix” on the person. Generally you will get a “beep”
or a green light in the viewfinder to let you know that the
camera has fixed its focus. It will now hold that focus until
you either fully depress the shutter release, or you take your
finger off the button. So, keeping your finger on the button,
now recompose the picture in the viewfinder and shoot. The
people will now remain in focus, and the background will be soft
and fuzzy, instead of the other way round.
So what should you do in other situations when the AF is in
trouble? Simple answer is to turn it off, and focus manually!
Sometimes in poor light it is possible to shine a torch on the
subject, get the AF fixed on the subject and then turn off your
torch and go from there. But this is only when you cannot turn
the AF off! It is amazing, here we have all these new
“automatic” developments, and I am suggesting you turn them off!
Another focusing problem is when photographing a moving subject.
When say, for example, you are attempting to shoot a subject
coming rapidly towards you, the AF is unable to “keep up” focus
with the constantly moving target. The answer here is to
manually pre-focus at the point where you want to get the
photograph and then wait for the subject to reach that point. As
it gets level with the predetermined point, trip the shutter and
you have it. A sharply focused action photograph.
Another super tip from the photographic studios of the glamour
photographers - when making a portrait shot, focus on the eyes,
nowhere else. I know it is easier to focus on the collar for
example, but you run the risk of the shot going “soft” around
the eyes. Very, very carefully focus on the eyelid margins and
you will have a super shot, no matter how shallow your depth of
field may be. Try it this weekend.
Money Matters: Paul Gambles MBMG International Ltd.
False Promises - then and now, part 2
As we saw last week, continued
concerns regarding the credit crisis and recession continue to run amok. The Dow
put in its record high of 14,164.53 back on October 9, 2007. Recently, it has
been down well below 7,500. This is a reduction of nearly fifty percent in less
than two years.
For some perspective on the magnitude of the current bear market, the attached
chart illustrates that, at this stage, the current correction has been by far
the most severe correction in the post-World War II era and the second most
severe correction since 1900. The only correction that was down more at this
stage was the correction that began in 1929.
Given that more and more people are saying they see light at the end of the
trouble, let’s visit that time with more famous ‘Crash’ quotes:
- “Hysteria has now disappeared from Wall Street.” – The Times of London,
November 2, 1929
- “The Wall Street crash doesn’t mean that there will be any general or serious
business depression... For six years American business has been diverting a
substantial part of its attention, its energies and its resources on the
speculative game... Now that irrelevant, alien and hazardous adventure is over.
Business has come home again, back to its job, providentially unscathed, sound
in wind and limb, financially stronger than ever before.” – Business Week,
November 2, 1929
- “...despite its severity, we believe that the slump in stock prices will prove
an intermediate movement and not the precursor of a business depression such as
would entail prolonged further liquidation...” – Harvard Economic Society (HES),
November 2, 1929
- “... a serious depression seems improbable; [we expect] recovery of business
next spring, with further improvement in the fall.” – HES, November 10, 1929
- “The end of the decline of the Stock Market will probably not be long, only a
few more days at most.” – Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics at Yale
University, November 14, 1929
- “In most of the cities and towns of this country, this Wall Street panic will
have no effect.” – Paul Block (President of the Block newspaper chain),
editorial, November 15, 1929
- “Financial storm definitely passed.” – Bernard Baruch, cablegram to Winston
Churchill, November 15, 1929
- “I see nothing in the present situation that is either menacing or warrants
pessimism... I have every confidence that there will be a revival of activity in
the spring, and that during this coming year the country will make steady
progress.” – Andrew W. Mellon, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury December 31, 1929
- “I am convinced that through these measures we have re-established
confidence.” – Herbert Hoover, December 1929
- “[1930 will be] a splendid employment year.” – U.S. Dept. of Labor, New Year’s
Forecast, December 1929
- “For the immediate future, at least, the outlook (stocks) is bright.” – Irving
Fisher, Ph.D. in Economics, in early 1930
- “...there are indications that the severest phase of the recession is over...”
– Harvard Economic Society (HES) Jan 18, 1930
- “There is nothing in the situation to be disturbed about.” – Secretary of the
Treasury Andrew Mellon, Feb 1930
- “The spring of 1930 marks the end of a period of grave concern... American
business is steadily coming back to a normal level of prosperity.” – Julius
Barnes, head of Hoover’s National Business Survey Conference, Mar 16, 1930
- “... the outlook continues favorable...” – HES Mar 29, 1930
- “... the outlook is favorable...” – HES Apr 19, 1930
- “While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now
passed through the worst - and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly
recover. There has been no significant bank or industrial failure. That danger,
too, is safely behind us.” – Herbert Hoover, President of the United States, May
- “...by May or June the spring recovery forecast in our letters of last
December and November should clearly be apparent...” – HES May 17, 1930
- “Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over.” –
Herbert Hoover, responding to a delegation requesting a public works program to
help speed the recovery, June 1930
- “... irregular and conflicting movements of business should soon give way to a
sustained recovery...” – HES June 28, 1930
- “... the present depression has about spent its force...” – HES, Aug 30, 1930
- “We are now near the end of the declining phase of the depression.” – HES Nov
- “Stabilization at [present] levels is clearly possible.” – HES Oct 31, 1931
- “All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed...
and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S.” – President
F.D. Roosevelt, 1933
All of this sound familiar? Please note that the Dow did not bottom out until
mid-1932. Maybe we should look back further in history: “The national budget
must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the
authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments
must be reduced, if the nation doesn’t want to go bankrupt.” - Cicero (106 BC -
43 BC), 55 BC.
The above data and research was compiled from
sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd
nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in
the above article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as
a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading
the above article. For more information please contact Paul Gambles on
Life in Chiang Mai:
by Mark Whitman
The wreck of the Mary Deare
It’s about a month since I
got back to Thailand from the U.K. Long enough to realize that Chiang Mai
(and according to all reports, the rest of Thailand) is at a crisis point in
terms of tourism and visitors. That deserted ship is called to mind as one
enters restaurants, bars, hotel lobbies and shops. Quite how most, indeed
all but a very few, are managing financially, is one of the many mysteries
that we farangs will never understand. We’ve grown accustomed to the term
double whammy, but it seems that Thailand is reeling from the effects of a
quintruple whammy, if such a thing is possible. Can businesses survive the
next few months and what happens if the next high season is an echo of the
The five ‘problems’ are headed by the insoluble one of the global downturn.
Money is more than tight. People are cutting back on holidays and travel
generally; those who took two or three contemplate one, those who took long
trips cut back on the duration and the budget. A couple of years ago I knew
plenty of people who considered thousands of pounds the norm for the family
or two-person holiday. Not so now.
Since the revenue from tourism is supposed to count for 7% of the nation’s
income, and six times that in centres such as Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai
and so on, this is a dire situation. Staff outnumber occupants in some large
hotels and one doubts whether bookings are much higher in July and August.
It only needs another hyped up story about swine ‘flu, how the media love
such stories and thrive on half-baked information and opinion, or something
similar, and the masked faces will disappear altogether. A propos of that,
those flimsy cotton masks so beloved at airports and stations, offer no
benefit whatsoever. The moment they are damp from a person’s breath they are
useless and far too ‘open’ to prevent any germs spreading. But I digress…
The major problem has been accentuated by the strength of the baht against
so many major currencies. No one that I know or have read has any
explanation for this. True, the pound made a small rally a few days ago but
it seems that the U.S. dollar, the Euro and other currencies are still oddly
weak over here. Surely this affects exports as well as tourism.
Also, Thailand is still reeling from the effects of the self-inflicted
wounds by the yellow shirts at Suvarnabhumi, then by the red shirts at
Chiang Mai at the time of the proposed gay pride parade and more latterly –
and disastrously, since it was also humiliating – in Pattaya and Bangkok
during the run up to the Asean conference.
It is not just the press that loves to talk up a drama but those in the
midst of one – those caught at the airport or in fear of their lives as paid
bullies harangue them in this beautiful city – also recount their
‘adventures’. The three major confrontations have had the effect of at least
another tsunami. It may take another year or two before confidence is
restored. Another such P.R. disaster would be a catastrophe. And all the
while, costs seem to be rising in Thailand. Even a short absence has
revealed that the fourth problem is inflation. True, there are sales and
discounts galore but underlying costs of essentials seem to be rising
Meanwhile, the fifth problem is the inroads being made by other countries,
not least near neighbours such as Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. True, they
cannot yet compete with the infrastructure of tourism which Thailand has
developed over the past decades but they are certainly catching up and –
except at the top end of the market – they more than compete with Thailand
in terms of cost.
Thailand has had a good run for its money and, although I cannot think of
another country that I would prefer to holiday or live in, there are plenty
of people who do not feel the same. It is going to take a Herculean effort
on the part of the authorities, the tourist board and above all the
government, to counter the decline. And here I think lies the main problem.
I am not sure that many people here even want tourists or residents from
other countries. Forget the idiocies of such dubious practices as double
tier pricing, which cause annoyance quite disproportionate to the cost
involved, just think of the deeper issues. There is no doubt that many
people find the visa system both complicated and onerous. It must be
possible for a more streamlined system to be put into operation. No one
denies the right of the immigration authorities or the government to impose
controls and restrictions, but the present system is complicated to the
point of being unwelcoming.
A friend also put it to me recently that he felt there was an assumption of
‘guilt’ on the part of incomers as though we had to prove our good
intentions or innocence rather than the other way round. Put frankly, he
felt almost threatened. If it were not for his Thai partner, he would leave
for Sri Lanka, selling up his beloved farm here and ending the lease on his
Chiang Mai house. And yet he would be sorely missed since he employs local
people and more than pays his way in the Thai economy.
It is sad that someone should feel – not uniquely – that he is to some
No doubt loftier minds than mine in the Thai government are thinking on
these things. One can only hope so. Waiting for the world economy to ‘turn
around’ may be a lengthy business. Waiting for people to forget the violence
of some recent events and the anti-gay, anti-Asean, anti-tourist activities
in general may also be a long haul. A charm offensive, a blitz in terms of
promoting tourism, may help. But the root causes of inflation, combined with
a strong baht and a reluctance to wholeheartedly welcome foreigners of all
races and persuasions need a deeper response than plentiful advertising and
better public relations. I may be wrong, and I hope that I am not, but
unless Thailand enters a period of stability and supports the present prime
minister, I think the present doldrums may last for longer than this present
low, low season.
Let's Go To The Movies:
by Mark Gernpy
Now playing in Chiang
Up: US (Disney/Pixar), Animation/ Family – Everyone’s current
favorite, tops at the US box office, and the most loved film of the year so
far! An animated fantasy adventure about a 78-year-old balloon salesman
(voiced by Ed Asner) who finally fulfills his lifelong dream of a great
adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to
the wilds of South America. He discovers all too late that his biggest
nightmare has stowed away on the trip: 8-year-old Russell. Also starring
Christopher Plummer, and a speech-assisted dog. Another masterful work of
art from Pixar – an exciting, hilarious, and heartfelt adventure, impeccably
crafted and told with wit and depth. Reviews: Universal acclaim.
Dek Khong: Thai, Comedy/ Drama – The “King Kong Gang” is a powerful and
invincible gang that rules and terrorizes all the kids in the kindergarten,
led by a boy of such immense size that a high-school girl who thinks he’s in
high school falls for him, rendering him incapable of leading his gang.
Roommate: Thai, Romance/ Drama – About three young females and two young
males who live together and play together in a rock band named Roommate. As
you might expect, includes the band’s music as well. (In Thai only/ no
Drag Me to Hell: US, Horror/ Thriller – Terrific! Director Sam Raimi
started out making perversely entertaining horror fare like the Evil Dead
movies before directing blockbusters like Spider-Man. Well, he’s
back, and in outstanding B-movie form. Get into your horror-film frame of
mind, and go for a lot of laughs and chills. Alison Lohman stars as a loan
officer who becomes the victim of a curse, with evil spirits on her trail
and certain damnation in her future – unless she can break the spell.
Drag Me to Hell is a wickedly good time: blood-curdlingly scary and
ghoulishly funny, it’s also taut and timely. It’s the best-reviewed horror
film in years; I thought it a hoot! Reviews: Universal acclaim.
The Vista version is dubbed into Thai, with no English subtitles; in English
at Airport Plaza.
Angels & Demons: US, Crime/ Drama/ Mystery – A tight, taut thriller.
The team behind the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code returns as
Tom Hanks reprises his role as Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who once
again finds that forces with ancient roots are willing to stop at nothing,
even murder, to advance their goals. Mixed or average reviews.
Blood: The Last Vampire: Hong Kong/ Japan, Action/ Horror – A thoroughly
disgusting mess of violence and killing. A remake of the 2000 movie of the
same name about a vampire who is part of a covert government agency that
hunts and destroys demons in Japan and who is inserted into a military
school to discover which one of her classmates is a demon is disguise.
Rated R in the US for strong bloody stylized violence. In English,
I think this film is depraved in its depiction of the “beauty” of killing –
the graceful spumes of blood, lovingly photographed in slow motion; the
languorous way that severed limbs and chopped heads slowly curve to earth.
I consider it a shameful and perverted use of the potentialities of cinema,
and serves only to brutalize the people who come to see it. Constant
watching of films like this immures people against empathy with anguish and
death. I would be happy to see this film and its ilk prohibited from ever
being seen anywhere, and all those remotely connected with its creation
Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins: US/ UK, Action/ Sci-Fi – In
this new installment of The Terminator film franchise, set in
post-apocalyptic 2018, Christian Bale stars as a man fated to lead the human
resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators. If you’ve seen any
of the other three installments of this series, you know what to expect:
Plenty of chases, explosions, and great effects. Mixed or average reviews.
Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian: USA/ Canada,
Action/ Comedy – If you liked the first adventure, you’re sure to like this
one even more – bigger, better, and with fantastic special effects. After a
wacky night at the New York Museum of Natural History, the perpetually
hapless Larry (Ben Stiller) must infiltrate the Smithsonian after some of
his resurrected friends were shipped to Washington for storage. He finds
himself in the middle of a vast conflict between many of the museum’s most
noteworthy historical figures. Mixed or average reviews.
Scheduled for June 18
Apparently, the previously scheduled State of Play has
been delayed or cancelled. It’s a highly-regarded thriller about an
investigative journalist (Russell Crowe) in the midst of a vast conspiracy –
engrossing, smart, unnerving, and timely. The excellent cast includes Ben
Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn, Jason Bateman, Jeff Daniels, and
Helen Mirren. Generally favorable reviews. Here’s hoping it shows up some
Bridge in Paradise :
by Neil Robinson
Last week’s column was about bidding and so is this one. Imagine you are
sitting South and you hold the hand below. Your partner deals and opens the
bidding with 2C. What contract do you expect to end up in?
This hand was played
recently in the Sunday duplicate game in Chiang Mai, generously hosted by
Phil Watts. The bidding below was typical. No one vulnerable and North
North East South West
2C P 2N P
3N P 4N P
5S P 5N P
6H P ?
The bidding needs a little
explanation. 2C is of course strong, showing 22+ high card points or 8+
playing tricks. 2N is a step response showing 10+ high card points – it is
conventional and does not mean a no trump type hand. 3N on the other hand
does show a no trump type hand and a minimum range for a 2C opener, i.e. 22
to 24 high card points. 4N is asking for aces and 5S shows three. 5N asks
for kings and 6H shows two. Sitting South you know that you are missing one
king and missing about three additional high card points somewhere. So what
do you bid now? When this hand was played, two tables opted for 6N and one
table (with a different bidding sequence) ended up in 6D. This was the full
S: Q10753 S: J42
H: 765 H: K983
D: J63 D: 72
C: 97 C: 10842
Thirteen tricks are cold:
six diamonds, four clubs, two high spades and the ace of hearts. So, should
the grand slam have been bid rather than the small slam? I believe the
answer is yes! South has an almost certain six diamond tricks, particularly
when partner shows at least two diamonds by bidding a no trump shape. Since
partner has opened 2C, surely partner has seven tricks to contribute. The
chances are high that the grand slam can be made without a finesse for the
missing king, but at the very worst, it should only be a finesse away. So,
my answer to the question at the beginning of this column is that South
should immediately be thinking: “if we have all the aces, then this is 7N –
or 7D if I want to be cautious”.
Chiang Mai now has an official bridge club – the Bridge Club of Chiang Mai.
We welcome new players. For information on the Club please contact Chris
Hedges at: [email protected] If you have bridge questions, or
to send me your interesting hands, please contact me at: