The tensions are high on the 3rd night of the Junior Championship Singles. Four players are concentrating on Board 2. They do not want to put a foot wrong, especially given they have a beginner fresh out of the classes watching their match. West is also in contention for the overall competition, so her results are important to her. The bidding goes wild:
West is indignant and thinks to herself, “How dare they steal our contract of 4S ! There is no way they can make hearts, by bidding this suit for the first time at the 5 level, I will have a piece of that, thank you”
As West waits for her partner to lead, she hopes the beginner will be impressed with their bidding skills and the result will be a nice juicy top or near top board.
East leads the Ace of spades. Ruff, “oops” thinks West, “I did not expect that, ah well, still should go light”.
Play progresses with everyone engrossed in the play. Finally NS goes one light for -200.
“Oh heck" says West, "that was not a good enough result, was it partner ? Could we have done better, do you think ?”. All four huddle over the Bridgemate studying the hands and debate the merits of the bidding and play. Finally the Kibitzer (the beginner watching) could take no more. Despite being told they should not comment when watching a game, he felt compelled to ask a question. “Excuse me, but was there any reason why no one put down a hand as Dummy ? Am I missing something here ?”
Blank looks all around, then suddenly a load roar of laughter from the table erupts, as the players realise that someone (namely South), forgot to put their hand down and a beginner was the only one to notice !
The Director was called and even she could not contain a giggle. She had never seen anything like it before in her long bridge and directing career and did the only thing that could be done, by awarding an average board.
What a lucky escape for EW and a great story to dine out on for many years to come !!!
Posted: Thu 20 Aug 2015