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Bridge 12/01

The deals of time play on

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Englishman Mark Horton has put together an interesting collection in "The Hands of Time" (Master Point Press). He claims that they are the most exciting bridge deals ever played. And the English are supposed to be prone to understatement!
    This deal features probably the best piece of disaster discipline ever. It occurred on the final day of the 1956 European Team Championship in Stockholm, Sweden. Italy needed only to draw its last-round match against France to take the title. At halftime, Italy led by seven international match points. This was the first board of the second half.
    At the other table, the French North-South pair bid and made six spades.
    In this auction, Pierre Jais (West) bid one heart with a hand that would now be opened with two hearts. Pietro Forquet (North) chose the practical overcall of four spades. After Roger Trezel (East) passed, Guglielmo Siniscalco bid four no-trump, Blackwood. North tried to convey his wild hand by jumping to six diamonds (that today would show a diamond void!). Then, when South corrected to six spades, North raised to seven. East's unsound double told North how to play the trump suit and the contract would have made, but South, thinking his partner had the heart ace and expecting to have 13 top tricks, retreated to seven no-trump. That contract was doubled and went down six.
    Did Forquet explode? No, he said absolutely nothing. And Italy won the gold medal.
    The book is available from Baron Barclay Bridge Supplies. Call (800) 274-2221 to order.
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