BRIDGE

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - NEWS - BY STEVE BECKER

Many years ago, a British Columbia team jour­neyed to Seat­tle to play a team-of-eight match against a U.S. Pa­cific North­west team. One deal pro­duced a startling se­ries of re­sults and in­di­cates how bridge play­ers’ minds run in dif­fer­ent chan­nels.

At one of the four tables, the bid­ding went as shown. The U.S. South reached five clubs dou­bled, North re­dou­bled, and de­clarer then took all the tricks for a score of 1,150 points.

A heart was led to dummy’s ace, and de­clarer cashed the ace of spades, dis­card­ing the jack of hearts. After play­ing the ace of di­a­monds, South led a low trump to his nine. He then ruffed a di­a­mond, fi­nessed the 10 of clubs, re­peated the fi­nesse and cashed the ace, catch­ing East’s king. When the di­a­monds turned out to be di­vided 3-3, the Cana­dian de­fend­ers wound up with no tricks at all.

At the sec­ond ta­ble, some­thing very strange oc­curred. All four play­ers passed! Ap­par­ently, the U.S. North thought his hand was not good enough to open, and South, lack­ing the ma­jors and hold­ing only 11 high-card points, also passed. Thus, North-South never bid on a hand on which they could make a grand slam!

At the third ta­ble, the U.S. West opened three spades, which ev­ery­body passed! This was eas­ily made, as the Cana­dian pair at this ta­ble also didn’t ut­ter a peep.

At the fourth ta­ble, the U.S. West also opened three spades. After two passes, South de­cided to put up a fight. He bid four di­a­monds, which ev­ery­one passed, and some­how went down two for a loss of 100 points.

The U.S. team would have fared even bet­ter if at one ta­ble it had not passed out a hand on which it could make a grand slam!

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