“Shadwell hated all Southerners and, by inference, was standing at the North Pole.” — Terry Pratchett, “Good Omens”
Some inferences are clear in bridge; others are subtle. In today’s deal, South took the ace of diamonds and led a club. West played low. Should South play the king or jack from dummy? Are any inferences available?
South chose the jack. He thought West might have grabbed the ace if he had it (a shaky assumption). East took the queen, cashed his high hearts and led a club to West’s ace. Down one.
South missed a subtle inference. Part of the time, East would hold the A-K of hearts. Then he couldn’t have the ace of clubs, else he would have opened the bidding in third position.
South’s percentage play was the king of clubs. East wins the next club with the queen and may take his A-K of hearts, letting declarer claim. Even if East exits with a diamond, South has the entries to set up and cash dummy’s fifth club for his 10th trick.
Question: You hold ♠ 97 3 ♥ AK102 ♦ 7532 ♣ Q 7. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart, he bids two clubs and you return to two diamonds. Partner then bids two hearts. What do you say?
Answer: Your preference bid of two diamonds was timid. Your hand was worth a game-invitational jump to three diamonds. Since partner has bid again, you must make sure of reaching game. Bid five diamonds.