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Size isn't everything

Sept. 11, 1961
Sept. 11, 1961

Table of Contents
Sept. 11, 1961

Yankees
Walker Cup
Deane Beman
Hunting
Baseball's Week
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

Size isn't everything

Playing championship bridge can be terribly wearing on a person, and I have often felt that, other factors being equal, some persons have won tournaments simply because they were bigger, stronger and fitter than their opponents. Yet, when I won my first national championship in 1936, my partner weighed only 85 pounds. She was Sally Young of Philadelphia, and she packed in her small frame remarkable strength and energy.

This is an article from the Sept. 11, 1961 issue Original Layout

So does Clara Watanabe, a sylphlike Hawaiian of Japanese descent with whom I will be partnered in the Honolulu Regional this fall. We were partners once before in the mixed pairs at the first state of Hawaii championship last winter. With great imagination she defeated what had seemed a sure slam contract.

After North responded with one spade, South, unwilling to settle for less than game contract, jumped to three no trump. This call normally designates a balanced hand (no singletons) and about 21 high-card points. However, South had some compensating features in his almost solid six-card suit and the reasonable expectation of winning at least eight tricks.

North had 11 high-card points, enough to justify overbidding the game as a slam invitation. South was at liberty to pass the four no-trump call if his values were not substantial. However, since he had so many points and it was certain that the opposition could not cash two fast tricks, South accepted the invitation by contracting for the slam in diamonds.

Mrs. Watanabe, seated West, opened the king of spades, which declarer took with the dummy's ace. Declarer trumped a spade with the deuce of diamonds. (The deliberate shortening of his trump holding was a thoughtful move, as will be observed shortly.) The ace and king of trumps were then cashed, as East discarded a low spade on the second round.

Since West had a sure trump trick, and it appeared that a club must also be lost, the contract was apparently doomed. The only hope was to execute an end play on West that would require the stripping out of all her side cards, then throwing her into the lead when she would have nothing left but trumps. To bring off this plan, declarer first had to shorten his own trump holding.

A club was led to the king; Mrs. Watanabe, sensing the end play, began to unblock by playing the jack of clubs. Another spade was ruffed with the 4 of diamonds, reducing the South hand to the same number of trumps as West had. Now the ace of clubs was cashed, but Mrs. Watanabe shrewdly threw the queen of clubs under the ace. She reasoned properly that if I could not produce the club 10, all was lost anyway.

Three rounds of hearts were played and then a third club. Had Mrs. Watanabe failed to rid herself of the high clubs, she would have been saddled with the lead at this point and forced to surrender the last two tricks in trumps. As it was, my 10 of clubs held the trick. I led a spade and my talented partner made her jack of diamonds.

EXTRA TRICK
The less-than-expert player is so intent on winning tricks that he rarely realizes how important it may be not to win the wrong trick.

ILLUSTRATION

Neither side vulnerable South dealer

NORTH

[Ace of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[King of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[5 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

WEST

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[8 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]

SOUTH

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

EAST

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

SOUTH

1 [Diamond]
3 N.T.
6 [Diamond]

WEST
(Mrs. Watanabe)

PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH

1 [Spade]
4 N.T.
PASS

EAST
(Goren)

PASS
PASS
PASS

Opening lead: king of spades