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The Chinese took them to the cleaners

June 15, 1964
June 15, 1964

Table of Contents
June 15, 1964

Tennis Events
Scrambled League
Emperor In Harness
People
Fishing
Horse Shows
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

The Chinese took them to the cleaners

One of the most interesting sessions of last month's World Olympiad was the second-round match between the U.S. and the Republic of China. The U.S. team had started fast by defeating Bermuda 78-4 in the first round and was feeling a little cocky as it sat down against the Chinese. But when the 18-board session was over, China had won easily 52-6, or 7-0 in victory points. Said Robert Jordan, justifiably unhappy with the game he and Arthur Robinson had played: "I was going to ask them to do my laundry when the match was over. Now I think I'd better do theirs."

This is an article from the June 15, 1964 issue Original Layout

This hand, the third of the match, helped China on its way to the landslide victory:

East and West vulnerable South dealer

NORTH

[Jack of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[Jack of Clubs]
[9 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]

WEST

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

SOUTH

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]

EAST

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

SOUTH
(Krauss)

2 [Club]
2 [Spades]
3 [Diamond]
6 [Diamond]

WEST
(F. Huang)

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH
(Hamman)

2 [Diamond]
2 N.T.
5 [Diamond]
PASS

EAST
(Shen)

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

Opening lead: 8 of hearts

The two-club opening was an artificial strength-showing bid. When North responded two diamonds to show a weak hand, South bid spades. North's two-no-trump response was again a minimum bid, and South feared to bid only three spades, because this might be passed (the two-club opening is forcing only to the level of two no trump). His diamond bid was not a raise; it was the first genuine mention of the suit, and North, having twice signed off, jumped to the diamond game. With the assurance of good diamonds in North, South bid the slam.

With North as declarer, the Americans were lucky to escape the singleton-spade opening that would have set the contract at once. They needed still more luck, since, after trumping the first heart, declarer could pull only two rounds of trumps before knocking out the spade ace; he needed to keep one trump in dummy to control the heart suit. East had only two trumps, however, and the six-diamond bid limped home on a set of horseshoes.

In the other room, when the Chinese held the North-South cards they bid to six spades on different and, in my view, superior bidding:

SOUTH
(Wu)

2 [Club]
2 [Spade]
4 [Spade]
6 [Diamond]
PASS

WEST
(Robinson)

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH
(Wong)

2 [Diamond]
3 [Diamond]
5 [Spade]
6 [Spade]

EAST
(Jordan)

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

Having denied anything much in the way of strength with his first bid, North encouraged his partner after South jumped to four spades. The resulting spade slam was better than the diamond slam, not only because it scored higher but because it was safer. Six spades can be set only if diamonds split four-one and the short hand has two or more trumps, not including the ace. Six diamonds could go down on a three-one spade break, which is more likely than the four-one diamond break. But even without a spade ruff, if the diamonds are four-one, six diamonds is in real trouble when the opponents attack hearts.

The opening lead was the ace of hearts, and South had no difficulty in knocking out the ace of spades and bringing home 12 tricks for a score of 980 and a gain of two IMPs to China. From then on, Jordan, Robinson and the rest of the U.S. were on their way to the cleaners.

ILLUSTRATION