Today’s East-West were using special defensive carding agreements. In their method, the lead of the jack denied a higher honor. From a holding such as A-J-10-x-x, the proper lead was the 10.
So when West led the jack of hearts against 3NT, East knew his partner had no higher honors. But South knew it too; he played low from dummy. When East played the six, South took his ace.
Declarer led a diamond, and West won and led a second heart. When dummy played low, East had to play the king. South won the club return, forced out West’s other high diamond and took the rest, making four.
Some theorists think the “jack denies” helps declarer more than the defenders. What is sure is that EastWest should beat 3NT regardless: East must unblock his king on the first heart.
If South wins and starts the diamonds, West wins, sets up his hearts and gets in with his second high diamond to cash them.
This week: communication on defense.
Question: You hold: ♠ 85 4 ♥ J10975 ♦ AK6 ♣ 9 8. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?
Answer: Your partner did not jump at his second turn. Still, a pass would be too conservative. Neither a two-heart rebid on a weak five-card suit nor a bid of 1NT with no club strength is attractive, but the diamond support, although only three cards, is impressive. Bid two diamonds. South dealer Both sides vulnerable