Bridge

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - by Phillip Alder

GOULASH GIVES LONG, LONG SUITS

Martin H. Fis­cher, a Ger­man-Amer­i­can 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 no-trump. 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.

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