DAILY BRIDGE CLUB
Defenders deal with the handicap of not seeing each other’s hands by signaling. Most signals are “attitude”: a high-card signal shows a desire for that suit to be led or continued. “Count” and “suit-preference” signals are also useful.
In today’s deal, West leads his singleton diamond against four spades: ace, 10, four. South next leads a trump to his king. If West takes his ace, he may lead a heart next: the suit East bid. South wins, draws trumps, and loses a club and a diamond, making game.
West should duck the first trump and win the second, giving East a chance to signal where his entry lies. When he discards the nine of clubs, West knows what to do.
True, East could follow with his deuce on the first diamond. That would work if West treated the deuce as suit preference: East’s lowest diamond to suggest strength in the low-ranking suit. In my view, East’s play would not clearly be suit preference. It might be attitude, saying East doesn’t like diamonds. Daily question
You hold: ♠ A63 ♥ 108532 ♦ 9 ♣ 8 6 5 3. Only the opponents are vulnerable. Your partner deals and opens one heart. The next player bids one spade. What do you say?
Answer: Bid four hearts as a two-way action. If all pass, partner may make the contract. If the opponents can make four spades, you make it harder for them to get there. (Actually, you would have promising defense against four spades by leading your singleton diamond.)