An Old Trick from a New Dog
When Germany met France, Klaus Reps found a rusty old club in his golf bag. The grip was rather worn, but his swing was certainly sweet:
Game All. Dealer South.
S 7432 S A98
H T H QJ8532
D 97 D 3
C KJ9872 C AT6
Klaus was North in 3NT and received the HQ opening lead from Christian Mari. When the ten appeared from West, North and East both knew the heart layout and knew that the other player knew it as well. How should declarer swindle his ninth trick in this situation?
In the other room, Paul Chemla tried a spade immediately, but Michael Gromoeller hopped up with the SA, laid down the CA and continued clubs in response to partner's signal; +300 to Germany.
Klaus tried something much more audacious. Having won the HK, he crossed with a high diamond and led a club to the nine, Queen and Ace. Christian tried the SA now. Although he caught the S2 from West, the position was quite unclear.
After much thought the S9 appeared and Klaus's golf ball went straight into the hole. +630 was worth 14 imps.
Without wishing to detract in any way from Klaus's play, there is something more to this story. West's C9 was intended to clarify a possibly ambiguous club position. However, this partnership uses a fair amount of suit-
preference signalling, the C9's message might well have been "spades".
Christian had to consider the possibility of West holding S KJ72. If that had indeed been the case, he could not have
afforded the S7 on the first round. Both black suits were completely logical alternatives and Christian decided to go