Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - By Frank Ste­wart

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

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