Source: Ludington Daily News – Sep 18, 2004 by Phillip Alder

 The details of many wonderfully dramatic and entertaining bridge deals have been lost. (Some clubs keep a record of deals of this type.)

1937 NYC National Bridge Championship Winner BJ Becker
1937 NYC National Bridge Championship
Winner BJ Becker

Many years ago, B.J. Becker told me this tale, although he refused to name East and West. If I hadn’t known that he was such a great player, I would have assumed that he was one of them.

In 1932, this pair failed to score a trick with any of their seven aces during the course of the afternoon. They were suffering from mixed emotions, downhearted at their errors, but trying, to see the funny side. Then this deal occurred toward the end of the session.

This was West hand: A 9 8 6 3 2  2  9 5 2  8 6 5

At unfavorable vulnerability, South opens four hearts. You pass. North raises to five hearts and South goes on to six hearts, which your partner doubles.

What would you lead?

  K 5
A 9 7 6
K Q J 7 4 3
A 9 8 6 3 2
9 5 2
8 6 5
  Q J 10 7 4
A 10 6 3
A 10 9
K Q J 10 8 4 3
K Q 8 7 4

South’s opening bid wouldn’t meet with universal approval, but is reasonable. North’s raise though is crazy – how could they have slam? (Remember that Blackwood wasn’t invented until 1933.)

East doubled, expecting finally to score a couple of aces.

 West led the spade ace saying «This is one ace that won’t be lost». Famous last words.

South ruffed, played a trump to dummy, and cashed the spade king to discard his low club. Next came the club king. South ruffing away East’s ace.

Back to the board with a trump and all of declarer’s diamonds dissapeared on the five club winners.