Discuss defense with partner
Zeno, a Greek philosopher who is best known for his paradoxes, said, “The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.”
The goal of a successful bridge partnership is to have agreements that both players remember and employ correctly. As I mentioned yesterday, it is great to have a well-oiled bidding system, but it will also pay dividends to discuss defense in depth. For the rest of this week, let’s look at some useful agreements to have.
In this deal, how should the defenders card to defeat four spades after West leads the spade king?
North has a middling gameinvitational limit raise. Five trumps and a decent four-card side suit are good; the two queen-doubletons are not so hot.
When a defender discards from a suit not yet led by either side, it is an attitude signal. Assuming you use standard signals (not upside-down), your lowest card in a suit says that you think your side would do better to lead a different suit. Alternatively, if you pitch an unnecessarily high card, you are asking partner to shift to that suit — unless he knows better.
In addition, if you can afford to signal with an honor-card, do so; even an unobservant partner will notice that.
Here, East could signal with his heart jack, but much better and more fun is to place the heart ace — yes, the ace! — onto the table. If you can afford to, when you cannot win the trick, play the top of touching honors.
West will momentarily think that East has lost his mind, but then West will lead the heart eight and defeat the contract.
Look for the Saturday Bridge and Chess and local Bridge results in the new Saturday Fun & Games section