It's been years since I played bridge -- we played obsessively when I was in college, often starting after dinner (7pm) on Friday and continuing till breakfast (7am) on Saturday. But haven't played since then, unless you count a few times when the four of us got together on the internet to play for old-times sake.
Thursday, I went to the Norman bridge club. The director was kind enough to ask D. to come, so that I had a partner.
When we played bridge (back in the 80s, as D. helpfully reminded me a couple of times), we used the Precision bidding system where 1-club is an artificial bid made by someone with a strong hand and 2-clubs is a natural bid made by someone who has a lot of clubs. The Norman bridge club however insists on Standard American, where 2-club is an artificial bid with a strong hand. My memory of Standard American was quite sketchy to begin with. And I've forgotten half of what I knew.
So, the first hand. I have 5 clubs, reasonable points. I bid 2-clubs, thinking "natural clubs bid". My partner understands it as "strong hand" and responds "2-diamonds" (meaning "I have a weak hand"). I of course assume that he has a lot of diamonds and a reasonable hand (after all he pushed up the bidding, right?). To cut the bidding story of misunderstandings short, I ended up in 6 diamonds. Big oops. We went 3 down.
We did recover from that disastrous start though, finishing third overall. So it wasn't too bad.
But I'm going to review SAYC this weekend. Maybe even take a cheat sheet with me the next few times.