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Words will never hurt them
Charles Goren
May 11, 1964
The six players on the U.S. women's Olympiad team have experience and skill, but most important of all, they get along with each other
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May 11, 1964

Words Will Never Hurt Them

The six players on the U.S. women's Olympiad team have experience and skill, but most important of all, they get along with each other

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WEST

PASS
PASS
PASS

NORTH

2 N.T.
PASS
PASS

EAST

DOUBLE
DOUBLE

Not unnaturally, Jan was suspicious of the opening two-bid and simply disbelieved her opponent's jump to game. The winning bid would have been a pass—but would you have passed East's hand? At any rate, declarer made five-odd for a score of 990.

Why should Paul Hodge have been pleased with any part of this hand? Because it helped to clear up some partnership misunderstandings? Well, partly that. But mostly because the girls were able to laugh at what happened and to suggest that, of all the hands they played that long weekend, this be the one I should write about. The women's title will be decided by a round robin, and each match will count as much as any other. In a long tournament, where no single match is enough to swing the decision, the success of any team—and especially a women's team—hinges on the absence of teamsmanship. What is teamsmanship? It is the manner in which you greet the other half of your team immediately after the play ends, in order to compare your scores. An extreme example is the case where one pair announced to their partners: "We killed them on every board but two." The two boards they neglected to mention were a grand slam they permitted the opponents to make and a 1,400 point penalty they incurred against a possible two-spade bid the other way. This sort of thing can destroy team morale. That is why I think Captain Hodge is fortunate. Not only has he got six good players, but a real team as well.

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