Effective signaling by Lars Blakset, Denmark

Carol van Oppen/Max Rebattu were North/South against the editor of the IBPA bulletin, Patrick Jourdain, playing with Tony Ratcliff.


N/S Vul. Dealer South.
                        NORTH
                        S  Q 7 6
                        H  Q 3
                        D  9 8 2
      WEST              C  9 8 6 4 3      EAST
      S 10 8                             S K 9 5 3 2
      H 10 9 8 6 4                       H J 7 
      D 10 6 3                           D K Q 7 4
      C Q 10 7                           C K 2
                        SOUTH
                        S  A J 4
                        H  A K 5 2
                        D  A J 5
                        C  A J 5
WEST       NORTH     EAST      SOUTH
                               1C
Pass       1D        1S        2NT
Pass       3NT       All Pass 

North/South played strong club, and 2NT showed 21-24.

At most tables declarer  had to struggle after a heart lead removied dummy’s entry to the clubs. The best line seems to be to win with the queen and play a club to the jack, since the  normal play of letting the 9 run is sure to fail because of the lack of communications. With the king of spades in the East hand, declarer now goes down at least one.

At the journalist-table Ratcliff naturally started with the 10 of spades which ran to declarer’s jack. South,Max Rebattu, laid down the ace of clubs dropping the 10 (couldn’t East have the stiff king?) and the 2. East, Patrick Jourdain, won the next club with the king and shifted correctly to a small diamond. From declarer s viewpoint East was sure to have the queen of clubs, so it seemed very dangerous to let West come in and shoot a spade back through dummy s queen. Accordingly declarer confidently played the ace of diamonds and played his last club. To his surprise West came in on the queen of clubs, but everything was not lost since West might play back another spade in response to his partner s encouraging signal on the first trick.
Patrick could of course see the danger and found a brilliant defensive discard to get partner back on the right track -- he threw away the king of spades! West was quick to return a diamond for one down.