At moments such as these, all you have to do is nod and smile. There is no point in guessing the bid because you are about to be told the answer. As a matter of fact, the bridge player doesn't want you to say anything. He just wants someone to talk at.
When the first match began, the championship ended, although it took 11 more days to make it official. During those periods when the U.S. fell behind, Corn would develop a headache, and he would twist and turn his massive body in his chair in the Foresta ballroom where the hands were shown on the screen. Invariably, the Aces would rally. The wives and other U.S. rooters would stare anxiously as the play of the hand was phoned in and the cards were crossed out on the screen. A critical moment. Will Wolff make the right play? Tension. Come on, Bobby, play the jack. He did! A squeal from the wives. Wolff and Jacoby set the contract that Goldman and Eisenberg made in the other room. A big 13 IMPs to the Aces. They're ahead.... It happened almost every time.
And then the Aces would emerge from their card-playing rooms, smiling, trying not to snicker. But it was hard. There were a few good players among the other teams, like the lively Gabriel Chagas of Brazil, but not enough. The consensus was that any one of five or six U.S. teams could have won this year.
After every session it was up to Ozzie's room for a team meeting, but to get to Ozzie's meant going through the lobby. And that meant pausing for a few moments to pitch a few kronor. Just a few. The Aces will be right there, Ozzie, but right now they feel the need for a little competition.