Bridge & Humor: An Incredible Hand By Jay Becker
On 13 February, 2017 At 16:30
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Ludington Daily News – 5 Mar 1970
South dealer. Both sides vulnerable.
I was South. It was the best hand I ever held. Quietly, without fanfare, I opened with seven clubs. West passed, and so did dear partner, but East bid seven spades. This was very disturbing, but there was little left for me to do except double. West passed, and so did partner, but East came to life with st vibrant redouble. Now I have known East for many years, and a more conservative bridge player you have never seen. When he redoubles, – you can dismiss all thoughts of beating the contract.
You have no idea how cautious this man is. He always wears suspenders in addition to a belt. Alongside him, Casper Milquetoast would look like an absolutely reckless individual. I was getting ready to lead, when all of a sudden the thought struck me that East must have thirteen spades. In a flash I saw the way out.
I backed my judgment and bid seven notrump.
West couldn’t have a spade and I had thirteen tricks with any other lead. When East doubled I was so carried away by my brilliant deduction that I redoubled. When West opened the four of spades I could hardly believe my eyes. East took it with the ace, followed with the king, and then, with fiendish delight, cashed his spades, one by one. Never have I been more miserable. With every trick East took, I winced. The biggest set in history was taking place, down thirteen — 7,800 points.
The word would get around. I could never live it down. With a final flourish, East played his last card—the four of spades. Suddenly, it hit me. This was the same card West had led originally. Something was wrong. My anger mounted. My anguish sought to express itself, but I couldn’t get the words out.
Just then a familiar voice said: “Wake up, dear, and stop groaning, for heaven’s sake. You have to write tomorrow’s column.”
So here it is.
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