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BRIDGE



Published: Tue, March 19, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

BRIDGE

East-West vulnerable. North deals.

NORTH

xA K 6 2

u7 5

v9 8 6 3

wA K 8

WEST EAST

xJ 9 7 4 xQ 8 3

uA Q 10 6 uK J 9 8 4 3

vQ 7 2 vJ 10 5

wJ 6 w5

SOUTH

x10 5

u2

vA K 4

wQ 10 9 7 4 3 2

The bidding:

NORTH EAST SOUTH WEST

1v Pass 2w Pass

3w Pass 5w Pass

Pass Pass

Opening lead: Four of x

For those who know the history of bridge, the game’s greatest woman star was Helen Sobel Smith. In all, she won almost 100 national titles, most in partnership with Charles Goren. The only ones she did not win were the men’s events, and she would probably have won her fair share of those as well, had she been eligible to play! Though her bidding was sometimes a trifle erratic, she had an annoying habit of making most contracts she was in, and defeating almost every contract that was beatable. This little gem dates back to the 1953 National Pairs in Chicago.

The two-club response might be frowned upon nowadays, but to Helen, it was automatic. Despite only 9 high-card points, she had no qualms about leaping to game when North raised.

West led the four of spades and the universal result was 11 tricks for North-South, declarer losing a trick in each red suit — except for Mrs. Sobel. She called for the deuce of spades from dummy at trick one. East won with the queen and, had the defender shifted to a heart, the result would have been the same as at the other tables. But, not surprisingly, East elected to shift to the knave of diamonds.

Declarer won with the ace of diamonds, drew trumps in two rounds and cashed the king of diamonds. South crossed to dummy with the king of spades, and discarded a diamond on the ace of spades. A diamond was ruffed in hand, setting up a long card on the table. Dummy was entered with a trump; so that declarer could discard her losing heart on the established diamond for a top-on-the-board overtrick!

2013 Tribune Media Services


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