North: (20) I disagree. 3NT may still be a make, if
South has a different type of hand. (21) And if he
hasn't, 3t will be safer than 2NT.
West: (22) That's all very well, but how is the
wretched South to tell?
South: (23) Of course, I should have been able to
tell. North is quite right.
East: (24) Perhaps I should have bid a 1´ over
North's 1t. It would have helped West with his
South: I daresay West needs all the help he can get,
(25) but you'd still have got a pretty poor result
on the hand.
POST MORTEM ANSWERS
(1), (2), (3) & (4). East's contention is perfectly
valid. The opponents' bidding has been pretty
revealing. North's opening is substantially based on
length in diamonds and South, in spite of the
warning issued by his partner's bid of 3t, has made
a gambling try for game. Unless there are nine tricks
on top, which is unlikely, he will only succeed if he
can establish either diamonds or clubs. East knows
the diamonds to be stacked, and from his singleton
in the suit has good reason to suppose that the clubs
are too. The contract will therefore probably fail and
may flop very badly, but only provided the play
takes its normal course and the declarer is not
actively assisted to set up one of his long suits.
North's remark (3) is very much to the point in this
connection; he is known by West to have very
considerable length in diamonds and, since he
opened the bidding, to be not entirely lacking in
entry cards. West is fortunate in that he has a
perfectly safe lead in the ™Q, and even if the suit
cannot be established through lack of entries, the
threat of its establishment may well embarrass the
In contrast to the 'Lightner' double of a slam
contract, a double of 3NT is never an absolute
command to lead a suit bid by dummy. If during a
somewhat complex round of bidding, the player
who subsequently becomes dummy has bid one or
more suits and has not been supported by his
partner, a double is obviously a strong suggestion to
the defender on lead that an attack on one of these
suits will provide the most hopeful line of defence,
but it cannot be generalised into an invariable rule
and must be considered in the light of all the
circumstances of the individual hand.
(1) A. (2) B. (3) A. (4) A.
(5) A. If East had doubled 3t, West would have
had a stronger case for leading the suit. As it was, the
absence of such a double is an additional reason for
not doing so.
(6) & (7). Intelligent, as opposed to purely double
dummy, defence does break the contract. If East
plays the heart deuce, he indicates that from his
angle there is no future in the suit. West, knowing
that declarer has the ace and king and that he
himself is entryless, should also realise that there is
no future in hearts, and should switch.
(6) B & 7 (A).
(8) B. This is quite preposterous. Suit Preference
Signals only apply in the most obvious cases and
should never be permitted to interfere with normal
signalling methods. East's play of the heart deuce
does no more than suggest the abandonment of
hearts and a switch to West's most natural lead.
Quite clearly this should be spades, both because
East probably has substantial values in the suit and
because the removal of an entry card from dummy
is patently desirable.
(9) & (10). Even if South is known to be addicted
to the practice of bidding a suit with the object of
inhibiting its lead at no trumps it is unlikely that he
would have taken the dangerous course of doing so
on the first round. Moreover, if he has neither clubs
nor diamonds he must have length in spades, and it
would indeed be odd if he never attempted what,
for all he knows, may be a lay-down major suit
game. The fact that such a remark should have been
made by South is illustrative of how the mere
reputation of certain players for 'clever' bidding can
be exploited to induce quite irrational fears in the
minds of the opponents.
(9) B & (10) A.
(11) A. A switch to the ®J would not be bad, in
that the contract can still be defeated and an attack
in a no trump contract on a doubleton honour,
especially when the dummy includes two
doubletons, is well known to experienced players to
tend to disrupt declarer's communications, even
though the suit itself cannot be established. The
spade switch is, nevertheless, much to be preferred,
since, if East's jack is transposed with one of South's
small spades, it alone will prevent East being endplayed
on spades and the contract being made. 71
August 2018 English Bridge