2017-05-17 / Arts & Entertainment News

Famous hand

CONTRACT BRIDGE
BY STEVE BECKER

This deal occurred in a U.S.-Argentina match in 1958. South was B. Jay Becker, editor of this column from 1955 to 1987. The following is his own account of the deal:

“I was South and bid only one spade, although I had a practically sure game in my hand. The Argentine West doubled, and East responded two hearts. I bid two spades, confident that in a hand where I was missing 12 hearts and 13 diamonds, someone would bid again.

“West bid three hearts, and when this rolled around to me I decided I had dillydallied long enough. So I bid four spades, which East doubled.

“The defense started out in a rather distressing fashion. East won the heart lead with the ace and returned the three of clubs. West took my jack with the queen and continued with the ace of clubs, East contributing the two.

“I sat there petrified, waiting for West to play a third club and ruin the best hand I’d held in months. But West tried to cash the ace of diamonds at this point! I ruffed, drew trumps and so made four spades doubled.

“The bidding and play went differently at the other table. The Argentine South opened two spades and jumped to four spades after North bid two notrump. Tobias Stone (West) led a trump, and South could have drawn trumps and claimed the contract.

“Instead, he won the trump lead with the eight and played a low trump to dummy’s jack. Then, trying to steal a trick, he led a low heart from dummy. However, East went up with the ace and returned the three of clubs.

“Stone took declarer's jack with the queen and cashed the ace of clubs, East contributing the two. Stone did not bother to look at the deuce. He led the ace of diamonds. Finis.” ¦

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