Page 0044

MANY partnerships have serious problems

resolving when they should be signalling either

attitude or count.

Indeed some partnerships take it to an extreme

and only play one or the other. This seems to me

very limiting, as clearly, assuming both members of

the partnership can get on the same wavelength,

there are many instances when both are necessary.

With reference to the opening lead, a style which

has come into vogue is to play:

Ace for Attitude (A = Attitude)

King for Count (K = Kount)

This alliteration can certainly help with memory!

The principle is that against trump contracts (I

will deal with no-trump contracts in the next

article) the opening leader can decide in advance

which signal he wishes to receive before he actually

makes the lead.

On the lead of the ace (or indeed any honour

other than the king, to be accurate) you will receive

an attitude signal (standard or reverse - this is by

partnership choice, of course). Whereas the lead of

a king will receive a count signal.

Defending High-level Contracts

People have known of these methods for a long

time; in fact many have always played that at high

levels (usually the five level or above) the necessity

to be able to 'cash out' side suits is vital. Thus at the

five level or above I strongly recommend leading the

king from an ace-king holding in a suit to receive a

count, not an attitude signal. So from A-K-x-x lead

the king, not the ace: partner's signal will be able to

tell you how many tricks you can attempt to cash in

this suit before declarer can ruff in. If defending

against a slam, playing this method gives you a real

chance to defeat the contract - if, of course, there is

any chance at all.

Defending Lower-level Trump Contracts

This method of playing ace for attitude and king for

count can most certainly be applied at lower level

contracts as well, of course, provided some ex amin ation

of principles and ideas takes place.

I recommend leading the king for count when

you have A-K-Q, K-Q-J, or indeed A-K only, but

with greater length. Thus:

A-K-Q-x

A-K-Q-x-x

K-Q-J-x

K-Q-J-x-x

A-K-x-x-x

A-K-x-x-x-x

But look at these also:

A-K-x-x

K-Q-x-x

Q-J-x-x

So essentially you make your standard lead, but

when holding both the ace (or another honour)

and king you can choose which one to lead. The

idea is that when holding nice solid sequences like

A-K-Q or K-Q-J, all you really need concern

yourself about is how many cards partner has in the

suit, rather than the added worry of whether it is

safe to even continue the suit at all.

There are actually 'negative inferences' to be

drawn sometimes. If for example partner leads an

ace at trick one, we can surmise that he does not

hold A-K-Q of the suit. This may well help in

building up a picture of the unseen declarer's hand.

Varying the Signal Once Dummy Appears

There are three very important extra factors to

44 English Bridge June 2015 www.ebu.co.uk

Ace for Attitude, King for Countby Neil Rosen

Advanced Defence

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Index

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