Amy Lowell, a poet who died in 1925, said, “In science, read by preference the newest works. In literature, read the oldest. The classics are always modern.”
That sounds reasonable. At the bridge table, we have a preference that comes up in this deal. First, though, look at the East hand. What should he bid after South opens one spade, West passes, and North responds three no-trump to show 4-3-3-3 distribution, three spades and 15-17 highcard points? Then, where does the preference occur?
North’s three-no-trump response is an unusual agreement these days, but was textbook 50 years ago. (Nowadays, North would probably respond two clubs, which would leave East in a quandary. He might make a three diamond weak jump overcall.)
Over three no-trump, East should intervene with four notrump, showing at least 5-5 in the minors. South would probably double because his hand does not suggest a slam in spades. West will run to five clubs, and North will double.
Against five clubs doubled, North might lead the ace and another club, which would result in down one. Better here would be the club-two lead. If declarer misguesses, he goes down two (or three if South shifts to a low spade at trick two).
However, suppose North rebids five spades. Then West will lead his singleton diamond. East wins with the ace and returns the diamond 10, his highest-remaining diamond, as a suit-preference signal for the higher-ranking of the other two side suits (hearts and clubs). West ruffs and gives his partner a heart ruff to defeat the contract.