Bridge & Humor: No Laughter will be Tolerated by Alfred Sheinwold

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I once gave up contract bridge. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life. If you, want to know the whole story, it occurred immediately after…

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On 3 May, 2015 At 9:07

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Alfred Sheinwold
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St. Petersburg Times – Nov 5, 1971

I once gave up contract bridge. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life. If you, want to know the whole story, it occurred immediately after the play of the hand shown today. I should warn you that no laughter will be tolerated. (A few tears will be much appreciated.)

South Dealer Both Sides Vulnerable

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Lead: clubK

West, a fiend in human guise (to coin a phrase), opened the king of clubs. I let him hold the trick, and he continued with the queen of clubs. I won with the ace of clubs, and it would have made you proud of the human race to see the way I played the next few tricks.

Two rounds of trumps, then the two top spades and finally a club. West won with the jack of clubs and nonchalantly returned the jack of diamonds.

Unaware at the time of the full depravity of my left hand opponent, I assumed that he had led from a diamond holding topped by the J-10.

Naturally, I left the jack of diamonds ride around to my queen. And then I returned a diamond. West played low, and I took a finesse with dummy’s nine.

Cackling

giphy (10)East won with the ten of diamonds and returned a diamond to his partner’s ace. You never heard such cackling in your life. As I pointed out, when I could make myself heard, it was perfectly obvious to West that any lead but a diamond would cost a trick and that leading the one at diamonds was equally futile. The jack of diamonds was the only card that could give me a guess.

I also pointed out that West’s lead would not have deceived me except that I was just getting over a cold; and I was giving up bridge anyway because only idiots played it, especially idiots who couldn’t stop laughing. So there you have the full story. Not one of my finest moments, but worth a tear or two from any sensitive person.

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