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BRIDGE



Published: Wed, July 17, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

BRIDGE

Neither vulnerable. West deals.

NORTH

x7 4

uK 6 4

v7 4 3

wA Q J 3 2

WEST EAST

xA K 10 8 3 xQ J 5 2

u7 5 u3 2

vA 10 6 2 vQ J 9 5

w8 7 w10 9 6

SOUTH

x9 6

uA Q J 10 9 8

vK 8

wK 5 4

The bidding

WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH

1x Pass 2x 3u

Pass 4u Pass Pass

Pass

Opening lead: King of x

Defenders have only one means of communication — the choice of which card to play in a specific situation. This can be complicated by the fact that the same card can tell a different story under other conditions. Consider this deal.

The auction was straightforward. With a minimum bid and good defensive values, West elected not to compete over three hearts. That action proved justified with perfect defense after the opponents reached game.

West led the king of spades, and the hand was already at the crossroads. As the cards lie, it was essential for West to get to partner’s hand to lead a diamond. How can East convey to partner how the defense should continue?

East must drop the queen of spades under the king! The play of her majesty guarantees possession of the jack, so West can safely underlead the ace of spades. East wins with the jack and shifts to the queen of diamonds, and the defenders collect two tricks in that suit to score the first four tricks. What about those cases where the defender holds a doubleton queen? It is probably too wasteful to squander the queen just to show only two cards in that suit. The defender has to play low and hope partner can read the situation.

The moral of this hand: When partner leads the king and you follow with the queen, you either have a singleton or a holding that includes the jack as well.

2013 Tribune Media Services


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