Finding the Right Level

Jean Besse
Jean Besse

Finding the Right Level at the 24th European Bridge Championships 1965, Ostend

Just how good a hand is: 10 8 7 5 4 10 9 8 7 2 8 6 4 ?

If your partner remains silent, at what level should you, non-vulnerable against vulnerable opponents, introduce the spade suit? Jean Besse of Switzerland decided to mention it for the first time at the six level, after the bidding had reached Six Hearts.

mano Besse 2

In his own words, Besse was at one stage afraid that he was going to make the contract.

He lined up an impressive array of tricks as the opposition seemed reluctant to take any winners.

West led the Ace of hearts, Besse ruffed and took a winning club finesse.

Another heart was ruffed in the closed hand and the club finesse repeated. East was loth to make one of his master spades on a mere club so he discarded a diamond.

He also refused to ruff the Ace of clubs, so declarer made the first five tricks and, with the clubs set up, scraped together three more tricks for a score of -700.

The contract in the other room was Seven Clubs, which cost -900 and the other team lost 5 IMPs.