Althea Gibson was the first top black tennis player. She won 11 grand slam titles before becoming a golf professional. She explained, “I always wanted to be somebody. If I made it, it’s half because I was game enough to take a lot of punishment along the way and half because there were a lot of people who cared enough to help me.”
At the bridge table, when you have the chance to help your partner defend correctly, do not dump the ball into the net.
In this deal, West leads the club ace against four spades. What happens after that?
When South opened one spade, West might well have made a takeout double. North responded with one forcing no-trump, showing 6-12 points and fewer than four spades. After South admitted to a sixth spade, North jumped to game, upgrading for the nine-card fit and hoping that his diamond suit would prove useful.
With the club queen in the dummy, East did not need to make an attitude signal. Instead, he gave count, playing the seven to show an even number of clubs. (Yes, he probably should have played the nine.) Then, when West cashed the club king, it was East’s chance to help his partner. Since he had a heart honor and nothing in diamonds, he played the club jack, his highest remaining club being a suit-preference signal for hearts, the higher-ranking of the other two side suits.
Now West knew it was safe to lead away from his heart king, and the contract failed, the defenders taking two clubs, one spade and one heart.