Sarasota Journal – 22 Mar 1963
It would be the greatest understatement of all time to say that one sees some funny things happen in bridge. So we won’t say it. But here was one of them, one of those funny things. And some pretty good local players were involved. No, we won’t identify them.
West dealer Neither side vulnerable
Two notrump by South is a bid we don’t like. Secondly, note , that West had a chance to pass the hand out with the opponents holding the contract at three hearts: yet West pushed the opponents on to game and neither saved at spades nor doubled. Strange doin’s!
Reluctant to set up a possible king in Declarer’s hand, West did not lay down the ace of spades as his opening lead. Instead, he led a small heart. With a chance given him to pick up all the hearts without loss, or at least to reserve dummy’s trump strength and put East to the guess, Declarer blew it by going up with dummy’s queen.
East covered, setting up West’s nine, and Declarer took the trick with her ace. Declarer now tackled the diamonds, letting her singleton jack ride to East’s queen. East came back with the queen of club, Declarer rising with her ace. The latter then pulled a second round of trumps with her jack, cashed the king of clubs, and played a small club to ruff out in dummy. But here West, with a chance to torpedo the contract but good by unloading his king of diamonds, gave the hand away by ruffing with his good nine of hearts.
All Declarer had to do was to toss dummy’s ten of spades on this trick, and every other card in dummy would have been good, Declarer making five on the hand. Instead, Declarer threw one of dummy’s diamonds. West proceeded with the ace and another spade. This second spade was ruffed in dummy and the ace of diamonds was played, dropping West’s king. Declarer at least had her contract because all of dummy’s diamonds were still good, but she forgot that the jack had been played and that she had originally owned it herself.
So she came out of dummy with a small diamond, trumped it in her own hand, cashed her two little trumps hopefully, and gave up a spade at the end for down one.
The moral: don’t think you’re the only one in the world that can do weird things at the bridge table.