BRIDGE: IN MY OPINION
Congratulations on the addition of Mr. Goren to your excellent staff. I'll venture to say that the budget problem of the U.S. Post Office will disappear. Your weekly mail will no doubt soar to unbelievable amounts due to the highly controversial subject of bridge.
I should like to question Mr. Goren's first commandment of the pre-emptive two-spade bid, which, in this illustration, would appear to confuse South's partner. Also, I would question whether it is pre-emptive enough to prevent East and West from arriving at a game contract. In my unauthoritative opinion, the rule of three and two, down three unvulnerable or two vulnerable applies. South has six sure spade tricks and one diamond in the king, since East, surely holding the ace, cannot finesse South. With seven sure tricks and 100 honors in spades, isn't three spades vulnerable or four spades unvulnerable the proper bid in this case? If North and South are doubled, the most they can lose is 400 points and North might have some help for partner.
JOHN S. SPEAR
?South, if he plays the hand, will undoubtedly win six spade tricks, but there is no guarantee he will win the diamond king. Assuming that East does hold the diamond ace, South, to establish his king, must either receive a diamond lead from West (don't count on it) or play a diamond through East. If North holds Spades 6 3; Hearts K 10 9 4 3; Diamonds 9 8; Clubs K 9 8 2, South will find it difficult to reach the board. If North does not hold the club king, reaching the board will be impossible. Therefore, South will lose seven tricks. At a nonvulnerable four spades, doubled—minus honors—the loss is 600 points. At a vulnerable three spades, doubled, the loss is 700 points. Pretty expensive.—ED.
BRIDGE: SOUTHERN EXPOSURE
For four years, my brother, now 12, and myself, 14, have been playing bridge with our parents. I have read with interest My Ten New Commandments (SI, Sept. 16) and I thank you for a fine article. One thing troubles me. That is the fact that in Hand 6 Mr. Goren advises a jump to game in a major suit after a raise, with 19 points in your hand. He tells South to go to game, yet South, as far as I can see, only has 18 points. Can't I count or is there a reason for this move?
?There are only 18 points, Mr. Hayes—17 in high cards, one for the double-ton. But when North replies with two spades, South adds a point for his five-card trump suit. If he held a six-card trump suit, he could add two.—ED.
BASEBALL: WHY, OH WHY?
Being a Redleg fan, I read with great interest, and a lump in my throat, Mr. Creamer's fine article (Wreck of the Red-legs, SI, Sept. 9).
Baseball is considered big business. It certainly follows that it should conduct itself accordingly.
Why, oh why, didn't the powers that be in the Redleg camp do something last spring, before the season began, regarding the pitching staff? They certainly must have known, or at least strongly suspected, that this group wasn't all it should be!
The fact that nothing was done at that time seems to be shockingly poor business judgment on their part. It's unbelievable that pitchers are that hard to come by.
At times, watching them on television was more than one could bear. It seemed like such a waste of superb talent to see them so humiliated by inferior teams.