Bridge & Humor: Expert Skill, Amateur Luck By Oswald Jacoby
Usually even the unluckiest of experts comes out all right against a very bad bridge player. This time the bad bridge player’s ineptness let to defeat for the expert.
On 10 February, 2017 At 15:37
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The Southeast Missourian – 30 Jun 1967
Both vulnerable South Dealer
Stories of the unlucky expert and the very bad bridge player have appeared in this column before. Usually even the unluckiest of experts comes out all right against a very bad bridge player. This time the bad bridge player’s ineptness let to defeat for the expert. South’s three no-trump contract was normal enough but the spade lead was slightly embarrassing. He ducked the first spade on general principles but West continued the suit and South was in.
The hand was one of those typical laydowns. As you can see, the club finesse was on and South could take it and bring him his nine tricks. South was ready to try clubs eventually but he saw an extra chance. East just might happen to hold the singleton king of diamonds so South played out the ace of diamonds.
As far as East knew he did hold the singleton king and he played it. South smiled happily and led a diamond to dummy’s 10. East discarded a spade and South was about to lead another diamond when West asked,
“No diamonds, partner?”,
“No diamonds,” replied East. “Look carefully,” asked West.
East looked carefully and suddenly discovered the jack of diamonds mixed among his hearts. He played it and won the trick. Even then South might have been successful. East was a very bad player and might not have led a spade but, unfortunately for South, East had already exposed a spade and was compelled by rules to lead it. He did. West did the rest and the unlucky expert was down two on a laydown hand.
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