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Goren Bridge

Bob Jones

Dlr: North ♠ A K 9 4
Vul: N-S Q 6 3
A 5 3
♣ 7 6 3
♠ J 10 8 6 2 ♠ 5
A K 5 10 9 8 7
J 4 2 K 10 7
♣ Q 4 ♣ A K J 10 5
♠ Q 7 3
J 4 2
Q 9 8 6
♣ 9 8 2
North East South West
1♣ Pass 1 1♠
1NT Dbl Pass Pass
2 Pass Pass Dbl
All Pass

Opening lead: A

Charles Goren required six points to respond to partner’s opening bid, but many modern players will respond with only five, even four if it’s an ace. Modern computer studies have shown that the 4-3-2-1 point count slightly over-values queens and jacks while under-valuing aces and 10s. Kings are valued correctly. The South hand, with the worst possible distribution along with two queens and one jack, doesn’t get up to five points on our abacus.

On a good day, declarer will escape for down one in 2, but East-West were Clay Hall and Mark Jones (no relation), en route to victory in the recent national IMP Pairs held in Philadelphia. The defense was perfect.

Hall shifted to the ♣Q at trick two and the defense took three rounds of clubs before East shifted to a spade. Declarer won in dummy with the ace, cashed the , and led another diamond. East rose with his king, returned a heart to West’s king, and ruffed the spade continuation. A fourth round of clubs promoted West’s J into a winner and the result was down three for 800 points to East-West.

This event was scored at IMPs, not matchpoints, and this proved to be a huge result when scored across the field. The 11 IMPs that Hall and Jones picked up on this part-score deal was almost the equivalent of a slam swing.

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