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A test of skill for the holiday season
Charles Goren
December 21, 1964
Here is a chance to find out if your game needs polishing. Below are 10 problems in bidding and two in play, plus two special puzzles. If you score 50 points or more, your opponents should beware. A score of 35 or more is creditable, but to those who get fewer—well, a Merry Christmas anyway
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December 21, 1964

A Test Of Skill For The Holiday Season

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4
3 CLUBS—5 PTS. 2 DIAMONDS—2 PTS.

You have the material for a raise in clubs, since the void suit is worth five points in support of partner. To defer the raise by bidding two diamonds first will lead partner to believe that your club support is rather shabby, when in fact it is excellent.

5
2 HEARTS—5 PTS. 3 CLUBS—3 PTS.

To bid a four-card suit before rebidding a good six-card minor may seem questionable, but the quality of the heart suit steers us in this direction. If partner raises hearts or calls no trump we shall proceed to game. The jump in clubs is a reasonable alternate but misses the mark if partner fails to bid no trump for lack of a heart guard.

6
PASS—5 PTS. 3 CLUBS-1 PT.

In view of the bidding by the opposition, partner may have been dragged into the fray with very little, and a discreet pass is indicated. A gentle raise to three clubs may seem harmless, but it is quite possible that partner has spades and has been constrained to bid a three-card club suit in response to our takeout double.

7
6 NO TRUMP—5 PTS. 6 HEARTS—3 PTS. 5 HEARTS—2 PTS.

Partner's two-no-trump opening marks him with the king of hearts, and it appears that he should have a reasonable chance to bring home 12 tricks. We prefer no trump to hearts in case partner has a guarded king which needs protection against the adversities of the opening lead.

8
2 SPADES—5 PTS. 2 CLUBS—3 PTS. 1 NO TRUMP—1 PT.

We do not consider the lack of a fourth trump an obstacle against a raise in spades. Although worth 16 points, our hand is a minimum opening; and since we have adequate support for spades, the two-spade bid is attractive. Two clubs is worth considering but may result in a spade game being missed if partner has length in that suit, plus a key card or two.

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