They call it Precision for good reason

May 17, 1970

When the Dallas Aces go to Stockholm next month to challenge for the Bermuda Bowl, they will encounter the team that was America's nemesis in the world championship in Rio last year. Nationalist China, which finished second to Italy's Blue Team in Rio—keeping our team out of the finals for the first time since the beginning of Bermuda Bowl competition in 1950—also won the 1969 Far Eastern Championship by a wide margin. The Chinese scored 118 victory points to 101 for the runner-up, Hong Kong.

The victorious Chinese team included Patrick Huang and M. F. Tai, using the Precision System they employed so successfully in Rio; K. J. Cheng and C. H. Hsioa, who did not play Precision but may adopt it for Stockholm; and V. C. Chow-C. H. Lee, who will have to be replaced with another pair because, as officers of the Nationalist Chinese Air Force, their presence in Taiwan cannot be spared.

The inventor of the Precision System is C.C. Wei, who was the nonplaying captain of the team in Rio. Wei and his wife Kathy, who rules the off-hours conduct of her team with ironhanded but feminine charm, do not claim to be bridge players of world class. But the discipline imposed by Mme. Wei away from the table, and by her husband's Precision System at the table, had much to do with China's stunning success in Brazil. The system, as played by Huang-Tai, was again a big factor in the Far Eastern Championship, as witness this deal from their match against fourth-place Indonesia.

When the hand was first played with Indonesia holding the North-South cards, South uneventfully reached a three-no-trump contract and, after a heart opening, made 10 top tricks for +430. But with Huang as South and Tai sitting North, the Precision System took them through seven rounds of bidding before they ended up in a precise contract of six diamonds:

SOUTH

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

WEST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH

2 [Club]
3 [Diamond]
4 [Club]
4 [Heart]
5 [Diamond]
6 [Club]
PASS

EAST

PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS
PASS

Opening lead: ace of hearts

South's opening club bid was strong and artificial; it was also a mini in that the hand included only 17 points in high cards and was no great shakes in distribution. North's forcing-to-game two-club response was also a near minimum as far as high-card strength was concerned—it guaranteed eight points, and at least a five-card club suit. South's rebid showed at least a five-card diamond suit, and North's hand suddenly became enormously valuable because of the heart void. It was worth five more points in support of diamonds. North established the suit with his diamond raise (precisely, his four trumps should have included the jack or better). South showed minimum values and no six-card suit with his no-trump rebid. North's four-club bid showed six-card length, and, thereafter, once North had cue-bid hearts, South drove to the slam.

Against the heart opening, declarer had little trouble. He ruffed in dummy, played two top trumps, leaving the queen outstanding, and then ran clubs. West could ruff anytime he chose, but dummy still had a trump left as an entry to the established clubs, which provided sufficient discards to take care of declarer's remaining losers.

Even against what would seem to be the most threatening opening—a spade—declarer can make his slam by taking the spade ace, the two top trumps and playing four rounds of clubs, discarding his two spade losers before West can ruff in with the high trump.

ILLUSTRATION

East-West vulnerable South dealer

NORTH

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

WEST

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

SOUTH

[Ace of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Queen of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]

EAST

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

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)