Eugene Register-Guard – 18 Dic 1972         

If you have enjoyed thinking of bridge experts as supermen, I don’t want to disillusion you. I just want to point out that some of the best players in the world pull some awful clinkers even when they’re trying as hard as they can.

North Dealer, N/S Vulnerable

Lead: Q

West’s boner in today’s hand occurred during a playoff to pick the North American team for the 1973 World Championship. West opened the queen of spades, normally enough. New York expert Jeff Rubens won in dummy with the ace of spades and returned the ten of clubs for a finesse, losing to the king. West switched to the ace of diamonds and continued with the Jack of diamonds. In the hope of getting two fast tricks in that suit.

South had to over-take dummy’s queen of diamonds with the king. South drew another round of trumps, led a low heart to dummy’s ace and returned to his hand by ruffing a spade. He then led a trump to dummy’s nine and ruffed dummy’s last spade. Finally South led the jack of hearts, and West made the typical beginner’s error of covering with the queen.

South promptly claimed the rest of the tricks. The play had been slow enough (or West to count declarer’s hand). He know South had started with six trumps, one spade and two diamonds. South surely held four hearts to complete his 13-card hand.

West’s only chance to defeat the contract was to play low casually on declarer’s Jack of hearts. If South decided not to finesse (as he might, with nine hearts in the combined hands), West would eventually get the setting trick with the queen of hearts. If West made his correct play, South might still guess right; but when West made the Incorrect play South had no chance of going wrong.