There is scarcely a place in the world where ability to play a fair game of bridge won't serve as all the introduction you need to the society of your peers. We all like to be with people who share our interests; hence, with some 350 bridge players forming the vast majority of the passenger list aboard the S.S. Atlantic, the first "Travel-with-Goren" cruise was bound to be a success—at least for the bridge players. In fact, by the time the ship returned to New York on March 16 it carried more players than when we set sail, for many of the nonplayers took the opportunity to attend the lectures given by my fellow experts and me on the cruise staff.
That staff, by the way, was good enough to form a team that would have been a seeded entry in any national championship, for I was seconded by my favorite partner, Helen Sobel, as well as Harold Ogust and A. Mitchell Barnes. It was somewhat of a surprise, therefore, that when we played a challenge match in Cura�ao against the champions of the Netherlands Antilles, the first half ended in an exact tie, each team having scored 21 International Match Points. In the second half, however, our greater international experience made itself felt, and we won by a score of 76-34, thanks in part to Ogust's play on the deal shown at right.
According to the book, North should pass the opening spade bid, but he elected to keep the bidding open in deference to partner's fourth-hand position in the auction. Once he bid, there was no way to get off the hook below game.
East won the first trick with the ace of spades and, for his return lead, made the costly choice of a low diamond. Ogust won with the queen, cashed the heart ace and trumped a heart in dummy. That put the lead in dummy and enabled him to repeat the successful diamond finesse. Next declarer cashed his minor suit aces and exited with the heart jack, won by West's queen.
West tried to get out of the box that was closing in around him by leading the spade 10, but Ogust ducked the trick. West used up his last escape card when he led the club king. South ruffed and nailed up the box by leading the heart 10. Not only did West have to trump his partner's trick, but he had to concede the last two trump tricks to Ogust's king-8 and the contract went down only one trick.
At the other table, where Helen Sobel was East and I was West, North also elected to keep the bidding open and chose to do so with a bid of two clubs. South jumped to three no trump. Against the same opening lead of the spade jack, he played dummy's queen. Helen won with the ace and shifted to a heart. I got the heart queen and played the 10 of spades to drive out the king.
After that, declarer had to operate entirely from his own hand and wound up going down three tricks. The gain of 100 points on the net result at the two tables was worth 3 International Match Points to the floating Americans.