A Jean Besse’s Nice Hand


Bal Harbour FL ~ Sept. 13-27, 1986

Source: ecats bridge

Jean Besse and Edgar Kaplan often are friendly adversaries at the commentators table at world championships. Once this week they were friendly adversaries at the bridge table. Edgar often comes off the winner in the battle of words, but Besse was the victor in the battle of cards on this deal from the Rosenblum.

Dador: Oeste; Vul Ambos

  8 6 5
A K J 7 3
8 7
K 8 4
A 4
Q 6 5 2
K J 5 4 2
A 5
  Q J 3
10 4
10 9 3
J 10 7 6 3
  K 10 9 7 2
9 8
A Q 6
Q 9 2
West North East South
Kay Catzeflis Kaplan Besse
1 1 Pass 1
Pass 2 Pass 4
The end      

Norman Kay, West, didn’t have a particularly attractive lead, but he decided to go with the ace of trumps and another spade to the jack and king. Besse knew desperate measures were called for –and he took them.

He finessed the J and cashed the K. But he didn’t think he was going to find the suit 3-3, so he led a low heart. Kaplan saw that it would do no good to ruff and discarded a club while Besse ruffed. Next he led a club, ducked by Kay and won with the king.

Besse led the A and Kaplan ruffed in with the master trump as declarer shed a diamond. Edgar quickly shot back a diamond, but Besse rose the ace. He still had the 8 as an entry to dummy. The good heart let him pitch his last losing diamond.

But Besse still needed one more good break to make his ambitious contract — he had to drop the A doubleton. When he led a low club from dummy and flayed low from hand, he was gratified to see the A fall on air. Chalk one up for Jean.

Incidentally, it was Edgar himself who brought this hand to us.