Goulash gives long, long suits
Martin H. Fischer, a GermanAmerican physiologist who died in 1962, said, “A nickel’s worth of goulash beats a five-dollar can of vitamins.” At the bridge table, a goulash deal beats five contracts played in notrump. You presort the cards into their suits, cut the deck without shuffling, and deal in groups. I do threes and fours, but some prefer a three and two fives. The deals often have very long suits. The one in the diagram was played in a social game last month. What do you think of the auction? How did five hearts doubled fare? It is rare to open with a one-bid in goulash. West’s Unusual No-trump was weird; since partner rated to have a major two-suiter, just bidding some number of diamonds would have been preferable. East hid in the bushes over three spades. Then South, who was preparing to double five diamonds (it probably would have failed by one trick), was pleasantly surprised to hear partner raise hearts. East finally revealed his major-orientated hand.
If West had led a club, the contract would have failed, but she selected the diamond king. Declarer looked at the diamond void and joked, “Ruff it!”
South took the first trick and played four rounds of hearts. East won, cashed his second heart trick, then tried a sneaky low-spade lead. However, declarer knew that East, who couldn’t have a second diamond, had started with 7-5-1-0 distribution. South discarded a diamond. When he won the trick on the board, he conceded only two trump tricks and claimed for plus 850.