Details for COL HOUSE - Ad from 2022-01-15

Fun and Games

by Phillip Alder
There are days on defense when you
are dealt the right cards. Your partner
makes a good lead, and you have an eight
or a nine with which to encourage him to
continue. On bad days, you have only the
two and the three with which to signal.
He thinks your three is discouraging and
makes a fatal shift.
This deal occurred during an expert
knockout team match. At the first table,
North was the declarer in four spades
undoubled. East led his singleton club.
Declarer won with his ace, drew trumps in
three rounds and ran the clubs, discarding
two heart losers. Then North led a diamond
and lost only three red-suit tricks.
At the other table, the bidding, which
is given in the diagram, was aggressive.
South, with such a balanced hand, might
have doubled four hearts and collected 200
or 500. Instead, he went for his own game.
West led the diamond ace. East was in
an ideal position: He dropped the diamond
nine. Whether his partner thought this was
encouraging or a suit-preference signal
for hearts, East held what was needed!
West, holding a singleton diamond, read
the signal as suit preference and switched
to a low heart at trick two. East won with
the heart queen, cashed the diamond
king, gave his partner a diamond ruff and
regained the lead with the heart king. Now
a fourth diamond effected a trump promotion. If South had ruffed low, West would
have overruffed, but when declarer ruffed
high, East scored a trick with his spade
jack. Down three, plus 500, and a gain of
14 international match points.