Chicago Sun-Times - - WEATHER - BY FRANK STE­WART

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.)

East dealer

E-W vul­ner­a­ble

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