In the next example, your reporter fell back on psychology to augment a small deficit in high cards.
Our bidding performed a two fold mission. We arrived at a ticklish game contract, which might have been set by no more than 100 points if doubled; at the same time, we kept the opponents from arriving at their own best spot—four clubs, at which they would have scored 130. The next step along the victory road was to try to bring home the game.
I won the ace of hearts and played a high trump. Now if I led a high heart through, I could establish a trick for the discard of a diamond—but not without having West win a trick. The danger would then be apparent, and West would shift to a diamond at once. If the ace-queen were offside, as the bidding strongly indicated, I would lose one heart, two diamonds and one club trick—down one!
So I had to lull any fears my opponent in the West might have, and hope that East would win the heart trick that had to be lost. To this end, I led the 3 of hearts from the South hand. West played his 7, but it wasn't high enough. East had to win the trick. He cashed one high club, but I ruffed the next club and led the jack of hearts through West's marked queen. West covered, and dummy ruffed. A club ruff put me back on lead to cash the 10 of hearts and get rid of one of dummy's two losing diamonds. We lost only one trick in each of the plain suits and brought home the game for a top score.
There are a great many who believe that marriage has a deleterious effect on bridge partnerships, but during these championship events two couples provided evidence to the contrary. Mr. and Mrs. Fritz J. Hopf of Ardmore, Pa. won the Flight B Masters' Pair event, and Mr. and Mrs. William Rosen of Chicago were on the team that captured the Masters Mixed Team title. Their partners were Mrs. Leonard Goldstein and Leland Ferer of Miami Beach.
Eunice Rosen had never before come through to a national title, but her young husband is a clever performer who has in the past represented the United States in world championship competition. The dexterity which he manifested on this deal accounted for one of the matches which contributed to his team's margin of victory.
Declarer at five clubs, Rosen trumped the second diamond. It required three leads to exhaust the adverse trumps, and this spoiled any chance for a strip and end play. Instead, declarer had to find a way to avoid losing more than a single heart trick, though compelled to play the suit for himself.
He found the winning combination in the assumption that West held four hearts and East only two. On winning the third trump lead in dummy, Rosen led a low heart to his hand and put in the 9, forcing West's jack. South won the spade return and led the queen of hearts. This play simultaneously smothered West's king and East's 10-spot. South lost only one diamond and one heart, winning the board for his team.
The Men's Pair title winners, Ira Rubin of Rutherford, N.J. and William Grieve of New York, were two others who annexed their first national titles. And of the five players that captured the Knockout Team Championship, only Paul Allinger had ever before managed to win a national.
High drama attached to the team event before it even began, for the reason that victory carried with it the right to play off against the Vanderbilt Cup team winners—the team of Harry Fishbein, Lee Hazen, Sam Fry Jr. and Len Harmon of New York, with Ivar Stakgold of Washington—to decide which team would represent the U.S. in the 1959 World Championship unless, of course, the Fishbein team itself were victorious on this occasion.