Cam French

Eye in the Sky

Alan Parsons Project – Eye In The Sky


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Sidney Lazard held this hand as South , vulnerable vs. not in 1954, yes back before some of us were born.


     A3   8   AK92   AK9832


             N           E         S          W 


               –         1C        P        1S

               P          P!        2N      3H

               P          4H       ?  



Once East failed to reply to his partner’s forcing response, the gig was up and it was clear to everyone the he had psyched.

When West continued brazenly with 3H, followed by East’s raise to 4H South could logically infer as follows:

: West has at least 10 major suit cards.

: East has a poor hand with 4/5 clubs and 4 hearts.

: North therefore is marked with modest values and at least 5 diamonds.

Accordingly Lazard leapt to 6 diamonds! Think about that for a second, it is a remarkable call.

As one in the know called it “This was surely one of the top inferential bids in the history of the game;” Indeed it was. The play was swift and merciless.

This was the hand:


aler: S




















♣ AK9832



1)     HK;

2)      HA ruffed.

3)      DK

4)      DQ

5)      CJ-Q-K.

6)     Run trumps reducing to 5 cards, with the lead in the dummy.







              KJ                                     9

              Q97                                    –

               –                                        –

               –                                      10765








For the last 5 cards, East must keep 4 clubs (else ruff out) so can’t keep 2 spades. Then (marked) club finesse, king clubs, club ruff to squeeze West between the majors.  

Eye in the sky indeed.

Please bear in mind that the inferences available on the above hand are hardly analogous to the Piltch hand.

This story is as sweet as mangoes, the new Orleans story is more like cod liver oil, of foul odour and a bitter aftertaste. More on that later.





Cam FrenchAugust 30th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

By the way, the “tactical” coach was Joey, not the Professor for some (few) who may have been confused.


Richard PavlicekAugust 31st, 2010 at 7:22 am

You omitted the need to ruff high at trick two.

Also, it seems fitting for Sidney to have won the last trick with a deuce, not another S3. 🙂

Great inference! Leave it to Sidney.

Cam FrenchAugust 31st, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Thanks Richard for the clarification.

I think what struck me about this hand, was the inferences drawn from the bidding and later exploited in the play.

Bart Bramley kindly gave permission to publish his thoughts on this hand and later playing with Sidney:

Hi Cam,

Sidney’s hand is my candidate for the single greatest solo tour-de-force of all time. I remember reading about it way back when (mid-’60s), and many times since then. When I gave the speech to introduce Sidney at his Hall-of-Fame induction (in 2000) I told how we got fixed up as partners in 1995 and that the thing that most excited me was NOT that I was getting to play with one of the all-time greats (although I was definitely excited about that, too), but that I was getting to play with the guy who played THAT HAND.

I invite the readers, bloggers and bridge players to share a like hand which has reasonated throughout time. We should celebrate these moments as they showcase the best of our game.


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