Bridge & Humor: The Good, the Bad and the Unbelievable

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The following deal, which we have pilfered for your edification, falls in the last-mentioned category but apparently occurred…

By Ana Roth
On 12 October, 2015 At 10:38

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Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune – 6 Jul 1980

In a recent issue of International Popular Bridge Monthly, Britain’s Joe Amsbury compiled a group of hands to include in a feature which he titled “The Good, the Bad and the Unbelievable.” The following deal, which we have pilfered for your edification, falls in the last-mentioned category but apparently occurred, exactly as described, in a rubber bridge game for juicy stakes (spelled correctly here).

aaThe exclamation points in the bidding table are ours. After West’s somewhat stupid double of North’s seven diamonds, South chose to run out to hearts, which was doomed to an even greater defeat — that is, unless something miraculous transpired. And something miraculous did transpire — or maybe perspire is the word.

West led a diamond, not unnaturally, and East instinctively ruffed what he thought was to be dummy’s good trick. After Declarer over-ruffed, however, East went into a real tizzy. Not only had he unexpectedly been beaten out of the setting trick right away, but also, he figured, he had jeopardized his sure trump trick, for now Declarer would be able to finesse through and pick up his queen of hearts.

Accordingly, when declarer at trick two went to dummy with a high club and played another high diamond, East determined he would at least use his trumps to spoil any discards declarer might be seeking to take in his own hand. (It’s hard for us to see what discard Declarer could be looking for, but remember, East was in a disturbed state of mind.)

East, then, ruffed trick three with his heart seven and was over ruffed by declarer. Back to the board went declarer for another high diamond. This time East sacrificed his heart ten to “spoil” the trick, and declarer topped that with his jack. There was no reason for declarer to feint further. He just laid down his ace of trumps and the opposing king and queen fell together in a neat pile. Declarer thus brought in all 13 tricks at his impossible contract.

“That was lucky, the trumps broke,” remarked the declarer, no doubt trying to maintain a straight face.

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