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In Dutch with Esperanto

April 23, 1962
April 23, 1962

Table of Contents
April 23, 1962

Yesterday
Boom
  • The game busted out all over with tinseled stadiums, fascinating new teams and a touch of carnival hoopla. Outlook: more color, more interest, more baseball

  • James A. Farley Jr. is a bank president and one of three members of the New York State Athletic Commission. The son of the former Postmaster General of the U.S., the 33-year-old Farley has had a close interest in boxing since he was a youngster. Not a man to duck a battle, he has chosen this highly critical time to speak out in behalf of a sport he loves

World Sports
Hopkins
Horse Racing
Bullfight
Tennis
Golf
Baseball Books
Acknowledgments
Baseball's Week
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

In Dutch with Esperanto

Since contract bridge is an international game, bidding may be considered its Esperanto, a simple, worldwide language where the sole goal is the exchange of information. In tournament play the actual bidding language is English, but since every bid has some kind of code meaning the important thing is not the language in which it is made, but whether it is understood. Let me be your interpreter for the lengthy and rather involved bidding of the following deal. The hand was played by Helen Sobel and me in a match against the Netherlands Antilles champions when the S.S. Atlantic, carrying the first "Travel-with-Goren" cruise, touched at Curacao. After a standoff first half we managed to win by 76 to 34, but with no thanks to this hand.

This is an article from the April 23, 1962 issue Original Layout

Goren: One diamond. [I have at least 13 points. I have less than 25 or 26 because I didn't open with a two-bid. If I have a balanced hand, I do not have between 16 and 18 points in high cards.]

Sobel: One spade. [I have at least six points and spades.]

Goren: Two no trump. [I have a balanced hand with 19-20 points. In other words, my hand was just too good to open with one no trump. You may be sure I have at least two spades, otherwise I would not have bid no trump.]

Sobel: Three diamonds. [My hand is unbalanced. I have reasonable support—probably four, or at least three good ones—for your unrebid diamond suit.]

Goren: Three spades. [I have already indicated my preference for no trump. But if your hand strongly suggests suit play, I can conveniently play at spades.]

Sobel: Four clubs. [You know this must be a cue bid, partner; with a real club suit, I'd have bid it before raising diamonds. Now I am not only showing the ace of clubs; I am also implying ruffing power in my short heart suit.]

Goren: Four hearts. [Two can cue as cheaply as one.]

Sobel: Four spades. [I have a five-card spade suit, but I am not strong enough to insist on getting past game.]

Goren: Five clubs. [I have more or less decided to go for a slam, but I am allowing for last-minute changes of mind. Meanwhile, this lets you know I have the king of clubs.]

Sobel: Five diamonds. [I've done about enough, I guess.]

Goren: Five spades. [Well, partner, I will give you one more chance, though I think I am being craven.]

Sobel: Six diamonds. [I've already bid plenty, but it looks like the hand will produce one more trick at diamonds than at spades and it sounds like we may have just one spade loser if the diamonds are solid. Besides, who wants to play hands at five spades?]

Actually, the slam contract is not too bad, though it was set. If the diamonds split, you simply draw the trumps and give up a spade trick. Even with the trumps not splitting, if I had it to do over again I might have made six diamonds double-dummy by putting through the jack of spades early, taking a finesse later against the 10, assuming that East covered the jack, then sluffing a club on an established spade.

EXTRA TRICK
No, I will not let you hear what Helen or I said when the slam went down. It wasn't in Esperanto.

ILLUSTRATION

Neither side vulnerable South dealer

NORTH

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

WEST

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

SOUTH

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

EAST

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

SOUTH
(Goren)

1 [Diamond]
2 N.T.
3 [Spade]
4 [Heart]
5 [Club]
5 [Spade]
PASS

WEST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH
(Sobel)

1 [Spade]
3 [Diamond]
4 [Club]
4 [Spade]
5 [Diamond]
6 [Diamond]

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

Opening lead: queen of hearts