Finding the Right Game 

We have another hand that came up in club play showing the advantage of finding the right game. East had the values to force to game after west showed 15 to 17 points by opening 1 notrump, but the lone heart in his hand was a liability in this case as his partner did not have hearts covered. His bid of 2 diamonds asked for a 4 card major suit, a variation of the stayman convention, and when west denied holding 4 of either major, he carried on to game in the diamond fit. The spade bid along the way showed a fit in diamonds and also the spade ace, but east stopped at game.

The east-west pairs who bid notrump went down when the defense collected 5 heart tricks and the diamond ace, but 5 diamonds made easily, losing only 2 aces. This is a good illustration of the usefulness of the convention popularized by Sam Stayman in the early days of contract bridge. The convention is universal, another tribute to its utility.

The first qualifying game in the Grand National Teams event saw two teams tie for first place. Joan Grim, Lu Stratton, Kathy Dowen and Earline Thomas on one team and the other team of Anna Holley, Sandy Watson, Lynda Hempel and Craig Jones had 5 wins each out of 6 matches in a recent Swiss event, and all qualify for competition in the next round. The event will culminate in a national final to be held at the Summer National Championships later this year.

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