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The lively style of Nippon

Oct. 14, 1963
Oct. 14, 1963

Table of Contents
Oct. 14, 1963

Shopwalk
Yesterday
World Series
Watkins Glen
El As
See How They Run
Pro Football
Boating
Harness Racing
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

The lively style of Nippon

En route to the Orient aboard the S.S. President Roosevelt along with several hundred people who have joined me in a six-week bridge cruise, I have been getting an advance line on the opposition we may expect when our ship's team plays matches against the top players of the Philippines and Japan. My source of information is the Bulletin of the Japan Contract Bridge League, published in Tokyo. The JCBL had exactly 400 members in July of this year, 127 of whom are non-Japanese. But it is patterned on our league in its award of Master Points and ranking of master players, and the standard of Asiatic bridge has been rising rapidly. It is only a question of time before Asian players win a place in the competition for the world championship.

This is an article from the Oct. 14, 1963 issue Original Layout

This amazing hand was played in a match between Japan and Malaya in the Far East Asia Championship:

Both sides vulnerable East dealer

NORTH

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

WEST

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

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[Ace of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]

EAST

[Ace of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[10 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]

EAST

1 [Heart]
PASS
PASS

SOUTH

1 N.T.
3 N.T.

WEST

2 [Spade]
PASS

NORTH

3 [Club]
PASS

West for Japan opened the 9 of hearts

East won the first trick with the heart ace and shifted to a diamond, giving declarer plenty of time to win nine tricks. However, even if East had continued the heart suit, South could have made three no trump by leading a diamond at once, knocking out East's side entry. Only by ducking the first two heart leads could East be sure of setting the three no-trump contract.

In the replay, Malaya scored game the other way:

EAST

3 [Heart]
3 [Diamond]
4 [Heart]
PASS

SOUTH

DOUBLE
PASS
DOUBLE

WEST

2 [Spade]
3 [Heart]
PASS

NORTH

PASS
PASS
PASS

South for Japan opened the king of spades

Declarer won with the ace, discarding a club, and led to his diamond ace. He ruffed two diamonds in dummy, returning to his hand by ruffing spades. On the fourth lead of diamonds South could not gain by ruffing, for it would cost him a trump trick. When he discarded, dummy ruffed and returned a good spade, ruffed by North. East could have made his contract by discarding his remaining club; he also made it readily by overruffing. South also overruffed but could win only one more trump trick and his ace of clubs. Malaya gained a total of 1,390 points.

A high trump would have been a much better opening lead, but even that would not have set the contract. East wins the trump opening with the ace, cashes the diamond ace and ruffs a diamond. On dummy's spade ace, declarer discards a diamond. He ruffs a spade, ruffs a diamond and trumps .another spade, establishing the suit. Next he leads a club. North cannot get in to cash the high diamond. Dummy must gain the lead with the club king and declarer discards his last diamond on a good spade. South can win only two trumps and the ace of clubs.

In spite of the huge swing gained by Malaya on this one hand, Japan won the 64-deal match. So I have warned my teammates to be prepared for some violent action.

EXTRA TRICK
When your own hand holds insufficient entries to insure establishment of your suit, it is usually best to duck an early trick. That way, you may leave partner with a card of your suit to lead if he happens to hold the necessary entry.

ILLUSTRATION