Fort Myers Florida Weekly

Famous hand



If you don’t believe in fairy tales, you won’t believe this happened. It is said that the deal was actually played in the early days of contract bridge — more specifically, in 1927.

South opened the bidding with one spade. Of course, today we’d bid one club, but in those days the principle of opening the suit below the singleton had not yet been developed.

West ventured two hearts, a hair-raising action by present standards, but people were more sporting in those days. North got into the spirit of things with three diamonds, but at least he had an opening bid by South to lean on.

South thought he’d be unlikely to score many diamond tricks if he undertook a three-notrump contract, so he tried four hearts, even though West had already bid the suit. He was hoping he’d make enough high-card tricks in the side suits and low-card trump tricks to bring the contract home.

West doubled, and North, who had no idea what was going on, passed. West led a diamond, whereupon South quickly wrapped up 10 tricks.

He won the diamond with the ace and cashed the king, discarding a club. He then played a club, losing the king to the ace. Back came a club to South’s queen. Declarer then cashed the A-K of spades, ruffed a spade in dummy and a diamond in his hand.

By this time, South had won seven of the eight tricks played and still held the A-Q-10 of hearts, a spade and a club. West had only the K-J-9-8-5 of hearts left.

Declarer led a spade, and West was forced to ruff and return a trump.

South won with the ten and exited with a club.

Again West had to ruff and return a trump, handing declarer his 10th trick and his doubled contract.

Those were the good old days. ¦

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