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Opening lead: queen of hearts
If it seems odd that Harmon bid a grand slam in a broken suit which his partner had never raised, the answer lies in the highly artificial four-diamond bid, called the Ingberman Fragment, which was to prove a fragmentation bomb to our title hopes. Rarely seen, it works like this. A double jump in a new suit (it must be the third suit bid) confirms four-card support for partner's suit, announces strength although not necessarily four-card length in the third suit, and positively guarantees no more than a singleton in the fourth suit.
Harmon had no difficulty making all 13 tricks, trumping two hearts in dummy and discarding his remaining low heart on dummy's queen of clubs.
This was by no means the only crucial hand of the match, but it was more than enough to account for our first defeat—by 6 International Match Points—and throw the Spingold into a three-way tie among teams that had all lost once. The third team was led by G. Robert Nail.
A 36-deal round-robin playoff at the end of so much competition is a fearsome strain. One had only to look at the unbuttoned shirt collars, the rolled-up sleeves, the full ashtrays and empty stares of the competitors to appreciate this. Any player who had taken part in every previous session of the championship had already played the awesome total of 636 deals. Now there were 72 more to go. And I was on the sidelines as a result of my rib fracture.
There were, again, perhaps any of two dozen hands or more that might have changed the final result, but the most dramatic was another disastrous grand slam, again against the Kantar team. This time our team bid it and was set.
[7 of Spades]