Be careful when you make a signal
Ben Bernanke, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, said, “My proposal that Fed governors should signal their commitment to public service by wearing Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts has so far gone unheeded.” Bridge defenders should signal to each other and try to make the signals as conspicuous as a Hawaiian shirt or a miniskirt in a Middle Eastern bazaar. But at times they need to be careful -- as in this deal. South is in three no-trump. After West leads his lowest heart, what should happen?
South does not like to respond one no-trump with only one heart stopper, but with seven points, he should do something positive. North, looking at seven sure tricks, should have no compunction in jumping to three no-trump. Why look at five clubs, where 11 tricks are needed for game, when nine will do in no-trump?
If you did not support partner’s bid suit, lead low from length even without an honor in the suit. Giving length information is more important than strength information. Since South must have the heart king for his one-no-trump response, if East takes the first trick with the heart ace and continues with the heart queen, South will win that trick and run for home, taking the spade finesse if he needs a ninth trick to go with one spade, one heart and six clubs. East must hope that his side can immediately take four diamond tricks. He wins with his heart ace and shifts to the diamond ace or queen. West does have the diamond king, so should signal his enthusiasm, but it must be muted with the six, not the nine.