SI Vault
December 22, 1958
This is the season when some people exchange cards; some exchange gifts; you and I exchange roles. I ask the questions, and you get the first opportunity to furnish the answers.
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December 22, 1958

Goren's Year-end Quiz

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Three hearts 5 points
Five clubs 3 points
Four clubs or Three diamonds 2 points
Four no trump 1 point

That East has dragged a red herring across the scene has just become apparent. If East did not stretch the truth, where did North find sufficient high-card strength to justify a jump response? In an effort to expose the gay deceiver, a cue bid of three hearts is recommended, with the intention of supporting clubs vigorously on the next round. You have more than you needed for your one no-trump bid, and the quality of your points is first-rate. Of the other calls, only the immediate jump raise approached being adequate to describe your values.


Five diamonds 5 points
Four no trump 4 points
Double 3 points
Five hearts or Five clubs 2 points
Pass 1 point

In view of partner's display of strength, you should regard your holding with a bullish eye. Remember, partner has asked you to bid at the level of four, fully aware that you might have nothing. Your favorable distribution and high cards in the red suits should induce strong action at this point to circumvent East's hijacking effort to silence you.

With an advanced partner, four no trump is an enlightened call, asking him to select the suit. It should be quite clear that your bid is not Blackwood inasmuch as you were able to make a free bid the first time. Nor could it express a desire to play the hand at no trump, for with adequate spades you would have doubled East. A penalty double will at least yield a greater profit than a pass, which shows complete timidity—a charge which can hardly be leveled at anyone who bid five clubs or five hearts.


Pass 5 points
Five spades 2 points
Six spades 0

Before you decide that your inquisitor is suffering from a fear neurosis, consider the significance of partner's four-spade response. The jump raise of an opening bid of two in a suit is a specialized bid, describing a hand which contains very good trump support but no ace, king or singleton. Therefore, it is clear that your side lacks the club ace, has a heart loser to dispose of and requires a bit of good fortune in the location of the king of diamonds. Any slam bid should be regarded as far too remote to consider.


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