The Milwaukee Sentinel – Jul 22, 1980
Fun gives you a forcible hug and shakes laughter out of you. David Garrick
In a rubber bridge match played in Houston, there were lots of laughs after the play and defense of this hand. But not for the defenders; their laughs came later when the hurt of the net cash had healed and the hilariousness of the situation became obvious.
Opening lead: 3
South’s bidding could only take place in these days of runaway inflation and high interest rates. But there was some logic to his bids. His 2 opening was an all purpose force, an attempt to steal the hand from slumbering opponents. North’s 3 was a positive with diamonds (two diamonds would be negative) and South introduced his heart suit.
Now North produced the shocker = 4NT. Thanks to South’s strong opening bid a response of 5 would have shown either zero or four aces and South had no stomach to play a grand slam. So he fudged with the smallest lie possible and bid 5 — better to lie about one ace than to risk a lie about four. One ace seemed about right for North and six hearts became the final flyer.
West led a low trump. There were just no prospects in sight. Undaunted. South won and led a low diamond to dummy. West could see no problems: he flew up quickly with his king, intending to cult the spade ace. But there was horror in his eyes when East’s lone ace wrestled the trick (how could East possibly have the diamond are when South’s Blackwood response had pinpointed that?).
East was now in his own state of panic and thinking South had the spade ace he decided to do something abnormal. So he banged down his king of clubs in a shortsighted attempt to isolate dummy’s diamonds.
Declarer won dummy’s club one in surprise, but was not too stunned to claim his 12 tricks.
«With a hundred honors, partner.?