Sometime when Univac has a few minutes to spare, it might be possible to discover how many bridge deals are played in the course of a single year. With some 35 million players in this country alone, many playing several times each week, I am sure the number would be staggering, so huge that one should be chary of claiming that any hand was the most remarkable of the year.
However, here is one that, if not the most remarkable, surely was the biggest swing hand in a national tournament during the past 12 months. It produced 2,980 points for the team captained by Sidney Silodor of Philadelphia against the team led by Ben Fain of Houston. The deal must also have carried the biggest swing in tricks won and lost.
In team-of-four play, as you know, the same hands are played in two rooms. In one, team A will hold the North-South cards; in the other, their teammates will hold the East-West cards. Thus, when the hand has been played in both rooms, each team of four will have held the stronger pair of hands. Only, in this case it was hard to decide which hands were the stronger.
With the Silodor team playing North-South, and the bidding as shown, the excitement was over as soon as the auction ended. West's ace of diamonds was the only trick his side could win. There was no way to prevent declarer from winning 12 and scoring 1,210 points (500 for the slam bonus, 300 for the game, 360 for the trick score and 50 for fulfilling a doubled contract).
In the other room, Silodor's team (one of the four which will represent the U.S. in the World Bridge Olympiad next April) was playing East-West, and the excitement lasted considerably longer. The bidding: