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How can you get partner on lead?

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Updated: January 21, 2013 2:12PM



David Letterman said, “Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.”

Bridge signals are also rough guidelines; however, most of the time, as when driving a car in New York or elsewhere, it is best to follow the signals. However, sometimes you will know what to do only if partner sends you the right signal.

South is in three no-trump. West leads the heart jack. East takes dummy’s king with his ace and cashes the heart queen. What should East lead next?

When the heart king lost, South thought he was doomed. With hearts 6-2, though, suddenly he was reprieved.

East, who had diamonds under control, wondered how to get his partner on lead. West could have one of two useful cards, the spade king or club ace — but which one?

Since East expected that declarer could not take nine tricks without establishing dummy’s diamonds, East first assumed that his partner had the spade king. If that proved not to be the case, East knew that he could shift to a club when in with the diamond queen. But which spade did East lead?

He carefully selected the queen. This Deschapelles Coup defeated the contract. South took the trick with dummy’s ace, cashed the diamond ace, crossed to his hand with a club, and led a diamond to get the bad news. He could not do better than cash out for down two.

Even though the spade switch was correct, West helped at trick two by signaling with a suit-preference heart 10 under his partner’s queen. (With the club ace, West would have played the heart two.)



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