Source: Daily News – May 9, 1977

A perfect safety play is one that is going to work against any and all card combinations. Here is one that is not well known. A story goes with it. Some 40 plus years ago a young lady played for the first time at New York’s Cavendish Club.

Dealer South N/S Vul

A 7
K 9 3
J 8 6 2
A 6 4 3
J 8 6 4 2
J 7 5
K
Q 9 8 5
10 9 3
Q 8 6 4
Q 9 7 5
J 2
K Q 5
A 10 2
A 10 4 3
K 10 7
West North East South
1NT
Pass 3NT Pass Pass
Pass

She became declarer at 3NT and won the first trick. Then she played her ace of diamonds. The king fell from the West hand and it was a simple matter for the girl to score two diamond tricks and make her contract. That girl later became known as Helen Sobel Smith, the greatest woman player of all time. A male chauvinst player said:

“You were lucky. The correct play would have been to lead a diamond from dummy and put in your ten.”

Of course, he was wrong. Her play was sure to produce two diamond tricks for her against any and all diamond combinations.

A couple of months went by, Helen was faced with the same card combination. Again she played her ace. Again she made the two tricks she was sure to make and the male chauvinst said,

You will never learn…

Don’t forget to follow us @