North-South vulnerable. West deals.


x5 2

uA 10

v7 4 3

wQ J 8 6 5 4


xJ xK Q 9 6 4 3

uK 9 7 5 4 2 u3

vQ 6 2 vK 9

wA 9 3 wK 10 7 2


xA 10 8 7

uQ J 8 6

vA J 10 8 5


The bidding:


2u Pass 2x 2NT

Pass 3NT Pass Pass


Opening lead: Jack of x

Just as the bridge expert is capable of finding wonderful ways to fulfill or defeat a contract, so too can one produce a world-class error in judgment. This deal merits recall.

Sitting West was the inventor of the weak two-bid and one of the great players of all time, Howard Schenken. South was the then-editor of “The Bridge World,” Alphonse ”Sonny” Moyse.

After West’s weak two-bid and East’s nonforcing response, South’s two-no-trump was hardly a thing of beauty. But for a player who hated to allow anyone to steal from him, it became a joy forever.

West led the jack of spades, East signaling with the nine as declarer allowed West to win the trick.

Afraid that dummy’s long club suit could be established with the ace of hearts serving as an entry to the long cards, Schenken found the expert defense of switching to the king of hearts!

Declarer won in dummy with the ace and finessed the ten of diamonds, losing to the queen. West returned a heart, taken by the table’s ten.

A diamond now enables declarer to pick up the suit, and declarer was home with one spade, four hearts(!) and four diamonds.

Schenken’s remarks on discovering that declarer was void in clubs have, fortunately, been lost in the shrouds of time!

2012 Tribune Media Services

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