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JUST BRIDGE...

 

HALL OF FAME A CRYING SHAME

 

by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish

 

Although you wouldn't know it by visiting the American Contract Bridge League's Hall of Fame in Memphis, Canada has produced its fair share of outstanding bridge personalities. Canadians have appeared on the list of North American nominees from time to time, but the voting is done only by players who have achieved a certain stature (based solely on master points). Inevitably, a vast majority of the voters are American, most of whom have little recollection or active interest in the great names in Canadian bridge. That there are no Canadians in the Hall of Fame is an outrageous state of affairs that won't be amended until the League appoints the equivalent of Baseball's Veterans' Committee to ensure that justice is eventually served.

A short list of deserving Canadians would include the legendary Sam Gold of Montreal, and Eric Murray, Sami Kehela, and Percy Sheardown of Toronto, each of whom has contributed far more to the game than his considerable bridge expertise. A case could be made for several others, but we'd be content to see a start in the right direction.

In 1963, when you could still find someone you were looking for in the lobby of the tournament hotel, Toronto's Sami Kehela and Baron Wolf "my friends call me Willie" Lebovic journeyed to the Spring North American Championships (a.k.a. the Nationals) in St. Louis. Although Sami had already made a name for himself on the international scene, no one expected them to win the first two events - the International Events Fund game (then a serious affair) and the Men's Pairs. Today's deal is from the Men's Pairs.

Both vulnerable; South dealer

  J 8 6 3
K Q 9 8 4 2
K 4

 3

K Q 10 9
A
A J 8 5 2
10 8 4
7 4 2
J 7 6 3
9 6

Q 9 7 2

  A 5
10 5
Q 10 7 3

A K J 6 5


 

West North East South
  Lebovic   Kehela
      1
1 1 Pass 1NT
Pass 3 Pass 3NT
Pass Pass Pass  



Lead:
K

Lebovic's 3
bid was encouraging, but not forcing. West led the K. Kehela won the ace and led the 10. West took the ace, cashed the Q, and continued with the 10 to dummy's jack. Declarer cashed the K and Q, finessed the J, and cashed the A and K.

West had been reduced to three diamonds and the
9. Declarer led a low diamond. If West followed low declarer would win the king and throw him in with a spade to concede a trick to the K in the end. Declarer would take three clubs, two spades, two hearts and two diamonds. To avoid this ending, West played the A, intending to cash his spade and tuck declarer in dummy with the K to lose a heart to East. Kehela was a step ahead of West, however. When West played the A, he called for dummy's king. Now, after cashing his spade, West was forced to lead into declarer's diamond queen-ten at trick twelve.