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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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The World Olympiad, which began in New York last week, is not restricted to men. There will be women's competition, too, and although many big name players such as Helen Sobel, Edith Kemp and Dorothy Hayden will be missing, the U.S. team should do well. The three U.S. pairs are Jan Stone and Muriel Kaplan, Stella Rebner and Alicia Kempner, and Helen Portugal and Agnes Gordon. All are experienced players.

To hone the skills of his players, Captain Paul Hodge recently took five members of the women's team—Helen Portugal was unable to go—to Toronto for a grueling weekend of practice against both the Canadian Open team and the Canadian Women's team. It was a strenuous test. The girls played about 235 deals in three and a half days—nearly half as many as they'll have to play in twelve days in the Olympiad. What Hodge saw was pleasing. He watched his girls outscore Canada's Open Team in four of six sessions—even though in the final aggregate they lost by a few IMPs—and he saw Jan and Muriel sail smoothly to a grand slam on this hand, despite obstructive tactics by Canada's top pair, Eric Murray and Sammy Kehela.

WEST
(Jan Stone)

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

EAST
(Muriel Kaplan)

[King of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[8 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[— of Clubs]

After East passed, Murray, sitting South, opened with three hearts. Jan, vulnerable, bid four diamonds. Kehela passed, and Muriel bid six diamonds. Jan decided that her partner would not make that bid without a single ace and so she carried on to the grand slam. The opposing diamonds divided, and although East had only two trumps left with which to ruff losing clubs, Jan was able to take two ruffing finesses through South's king-jack of hearts and establish a heart trick in dummy for the vital 13th trick.

Oddly enough, the hand that gave Hodge a great deal of encouragement was one that saw both U.S. pairs meet disaster. This was the deal, played in a match against the Canadian women:

Both sides vulnerable South dealer

NORTH

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