Meet the team: SIDNEY LAZARD

This is the fourth of a series introducing some of the players in the forthcoming World Bridge Championships
January 26, 1959

The new partnership on our bridge team, which goes into action against Italy and Argentina for the World Championship next week, is Sidney Lazard, 27, an oilman from New Orleans, and Lee Hazen, a New York attorney. They will be playing a "hit-and-run" system which allows extremely light opening bids on hands with as little as 12 points and occasionally a trifle less. Since attack is the best defense, especially against artificial systems, it is expected that these powder-puff opening bids will often rob the Italians of their most effective weapon—the artificial one-club opening.

Lazard is a fine player, as evidenced by this hand.

The explanation that Lazard gives for his bidding proves how valuable it is to be familiar with what the opponents' bids mean. In this hand, Sidney had the advantage of playing against his frequent partner, Bill Hanna, who held the East cards.

Here was Lazard's chain of reasoning. East's pass on the second round disclosed his bid as a psychic. It was his invariable habit (at that time) to psyche in his longest suit. West's three-heart bid (knowing Bill had psyched) expected a raise from East, providing East held four hearts. Since East had thought briefly before bidding four hearts, Lazard reasoned this could only be because he held three cards in the spade suit and was considering bidding three spades. So South counted East's distribution as not including more than a single diamond.

On the other side of the table, West's bidding seemed to Lazard to show at least 11 major-suit cards. That left room in his hand for no more than two diamonds and revealed that North must have at least a six-card diamond suit. As Sidney modestly describes his ratiocination, "The opponents' tactics had made it necessary for me to guess and, luckily, I guessed right."

There was still a lot of good "guessing" required before the slam came home. West cashed the heart king and continued with the ace, which South trumped with the ace of diamonds (he needed the little ones for re-entry to dummy)! Next he cashed the diamond king and led low to dummy's diamond jack. The jack of clubs was led, covered with the queen and taken by the ace. Next came South's last trump to get back to dummy, followed by a fourth diamond, leaving this position:

NORTH

[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[4 of Clubs]

WEST

[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[— of Diamonds]
[— of Diamonds]
[— of Clubs]
[— of Clubs]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[— of Hearts]
[— of Hearts]
[— of Diamonds]
[— of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

EAST

[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[— of Hearts]
[— of Hearts]
[— of Diamonds]
[— of Diamonds]
[10 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]

Leading a fifth trump forced East to discard a spade, and South threw a club. Next came a club finesse, won by the 8; then the king of clubs, on which dummy's spade 10 was thrown. On the next club, which dummy trumped, West had to blank his king of spades in order to keep the queen of "hearts. So dummy led the queen of spades to South's ace and Lazard's spade 3 won the last trick and brought home the slam.

PHOTO

North-South vulnerable East dealer

NORTH

[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Jack of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

WEST

[Ace of Hearts]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[King of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[10 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[8 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

EAST

[9 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[4 of Diamonds]

EAST

1 [Club]
PASS
4 [Heart]
PASS

SOUTH
(Lazard)

PASS
2 NO TRUMP
6 [Diamond]

WEST

1 [Spade]
3 [Heart]
PASS

NORTH

PASS
PASS
PASS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)