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There was drama in each of the seven championships in the 1962 Fall Nationals. But in the women's team event there was a bit of sentiment as well, for the winning lineup included a pair of sisters.
The title was taken by Mrs. Stella Rebner and Mrs. Alicia Kempner of Los Angeles, Mrs. Teddie Warner of Fair Lawn, N.J. and the sisters, Mrs. Edith Kemp of Miami Beach and Mrs. Ann Burnstein of Las Vegas. It qualified them to play in the trials that will lead to the selection of our women's team for the 1964 World Bridge Olympiad. A big win is nothing new for Mrs. Kemp, but for Mrs. Burnstein the victory meant a trophy for one of the most underrated of the country's top players. Here is a sample of the play that brought success for sister Ann.
According to the book definition South's double was for penalty, not for takeout, but experts no longer adhere rigidly to the rule that a takeout double must be made at the first opportunity. In this case, South's double said, in effect: "Partner, I might have doubled for a takeout the first time, except that I did not wish to encourage you to bid spades." West's pre-emptive raise of the spade bid made this more apparent. Mrs. Kemp then gave her sister a shaded raise, for the competitive situation demanded it.
West's opening lead of the 7 of diamonds was taken by East's ace, and a diamond return was won by South's jack. When West followed with the deuce of diamonds, it was clear that she had begun with only a doubleton. Declarer's problem was to draw trumps and, if possible, avoid having her king of diamonds ruffed away. So, after giving the matter considerable thought, she laid down the king of hearts from her hand!
The result was startlingly successful. West won with the ace, and East's blank queen fell. West shifted to a spade, and South won the trick and drew all of West's trumps. Next, declarer, having cashed the last trump and the king of diamonds, forced East to come down to four black cards behind dummy's queen-10 of spades and ace-8 of clubs. East kept the king-jack of spades and the king-6 of clubs, and South now had her choice of end plays. She could lead two rounds of clubs and put East in, forcing East to concede a spade to North's queen. Or she could lead a spade, giving East two spade tricks and forcing a lead away from the king of clubs. The two tricks East could take in addition to the red aces already cashed brought the defenders' total to only four and allowed Mrs. Burnstein to make her contract and win the board.
Note that the normal way of playing the trump suit would have resulted in defeat. If South goes to dummy's club ace in order to lead a heart from dummy, West will get in with the heart ace. Now West can give her partner the lead with the club king, and a diamond ruff and a spade trick would set the contract.