From the desk of Bob Jones:


September 26, 2012

Hi All,

It’s been a while since the ‘Miracle in Philadelphia’ hand. Yesterday there was an incredible hand dealt at Jourdan’s:

As the cards lie
bridge hand

Most East players opened 1D and rebid 1NT over West’s 1H response. West now had a choice to make. Some chose to bid only 3NT, reasoning that partner’s rebid showed 12-14 points and slam was very unlikely. A very sober decision. Some West’s refused to give up so quickly and bid an invitational 4NT. All the East players passed with their balanced minimum, but on this incredible lie of the cards, all 13 tricks are easily available. Double finesses are working in all three suits besides the heart suit. I estimate the chances of this occurring at about 1½%.

Things went differently at Ora’s table when her partner choose to raise her 1H response to 2H. It doesn’t take much to light a fire under Ora and she was off to the races when her suit was raised. Blackwood showed that East-West had all the Aces and they ended up in 6H! The horrible trump split assured the defense of one trick, but Ora was able to make all the rest to land her slam. Only 12 tricks for her, but a great score just for getting to a slam.

Another miracle? Nah. A 1½% chance coming home is not quite a miracle, but a true rarity in any event.