Mathe is a great tactician and he has magnificent table presence—which means that he usually knows what is going on. But he has always had to play the captain's role in any partnership. Perhaps in this case Lew felt that his immediate jump to the grand slam in diamonds might prevent a nonvulnerable sacrifice bid of seven spades by the opponents. Whatever the reason, for all Krauss knew, Mathe had all 13 diamonds, so he passed. When the diamonds failed to break and the grand slam went down one trick, he could only offer his condolences.
At the other table, Aces Goldman and Lawrence did considerably more exploring before reaching a contract of seven no trump with Goldman (North) as the declarer. Strangely enough, if the North hand had not contained the king of clubs, seven no trump would have gone down also. As it was, Goldman had one more trick than he needed, with only three of them in diamonds.
Will the Aces, reinforced by Soloway, win at Miami Beach and keep their world championship string intact? I would say yes—except for one thing. Italy's Blue Team, whose dynastic reign extended over 13 years and included 12 world titles, is coming out of retirement in an attempt to prove that it is still the best. The first clue as to which team really is best will come in a challenge match between the Blues and the Aces to be played Dec. 7-11 at the Hilton International in Las Vegas, where the prize will be cash ($15,000) as well as kudos.
I am reminded, too, that the Blue Team, even after three straight Bermuda Bowl wins, failed to make the finals of the 1960 Olympiad. So if you don't mind, I'll withhold my 1972 Olympiad prediction until next year.