The World's Loudest Suit Preference Signal by Barry Rigal


On this unusual deal, North-South can't quite afford to play in hearts, the suit opened by East (the defense has five top tricks against 3H doubled for 200).


S A K 5

Dlr: East H K Q 10 9 8 6

Vul: N-S D 7 5 2


S J 10 8 3 S 7 2

H J H A 7 5 3 2

D A Q 6 4 D K

C Q 9 5 3 C A 10 8 6 2

S Q 9 6 4

H 4

D J 10 9 8 3

C K 7 4


On the normal lead of the DJ by South against East's contract of 3C after the unopposed sequence 1H - 1S - 2C - 3C, North can see that the situation calls for desperate measures. When declarer cashes the HA, North follows with the king! When declarer leads a second heart, South ruffs with the king as North follows with the HQ. Now the defense get to cash their winners before declarer takes his discards on the diamonds. This holds East to just 10 tricks.



Those Extra Little Chances by Barry Rigal


Kit Woolsey reported that Fred Stewart found an amusing play on the

following deal from the first final session of the Life Master Open


Pairs: Dlr: East S K

Vul: Both H 10 2

D J 10 9 8 7 6 4

C Q J 9

S 8 6 4 3 S 10 9 7 2

H Q 3 H A K J 8 7 6 5

D Q 3 D ---

C A 10 8 7 3 C K 4

S A Q J 5

H 9 4

D A K 5 2

C 6 5 2



Woolsey - Stewart -

- - 1H Dbl

1NT (1) 2D 4H Dbl

All Pass


(1) Clubs.


Look at that South hand and plan the defense.


The best way to beat 4H has to be to put partner on lead to play spades through declarer's presumed king ---isn't it? So our unnamed hero (or was it goat?) in the South seat led a low diamond. Imaginative and unlucky, but only if Fred put up the DQ --- and he did! That was his 10th trick, not surprisingly for a great score.

Of course the purists would point out that with hearts and clubs splitting there were always 10 tricks anyway except on the lead of the SA --- but this was more fun.



Ruff and Discard by Barry Rigal


To give one ruff and discard looks like carelessness. To give two looks very like . . . brilliance?


S 10 6 5

Dlr: North H 10 8

Vul: Both D K J 6 5 3 2

C A 9

S A K Q S 7 3

H J 7 4 2 H A Q 6 5

D A 10 D 9 4

C 10 7 6 5 C Q J 8 3 2

S J 9 8 4 2

H K 9 3

D Q 8 7

C K 4


Most of the field played in a heart contract from the East seat, making 10 tricks. But consider the defense to 4H on a diamond lead. Declarer must cash the three top spades to get rid of his losing diamond.

Now it seems sensible to take the heart finesse. The defense wins the king to play a second diamond. Declarer ruffs to lead a club. The winning defense is to take the CK and force declarer with a spade or a diamond. Declarer ruffs -- it does not matter in which hand and plays a second club. The defense plays a second plain suit card, forcing declarer to ruff again. Whichever hand he ruffs in, he'll find the trumps blocked. Declarer can't draw all the trumps, and although he can draw a second round of trumps, he has to leave one trump out and then play on clubs. That lets the defense score the 13th trump, holding declarer to only nine tricks. This defense saves a very valuable trick.