Ted Horning has written the daily syndicated column Canadian Bridge with Torstar Syndicate for over eighteen years-6600 columns and has been teaching bridge for more than thirty years. He has represented Canadian in different World Championship events.

IMPs Dealer South. E/W Vul

J 3
A 9 8 4
A 6 3
9 8 5 4
A K 10 9 5 4
6 5
10 7
J 7 6
West North East South
1
21 Dbl 4 5
Pass Pass Pass

1- Weak

Opening lead: K

TheK won the first trick as East followed with the2 and South the six.

It there anything to consider before leading trick two?

One of the difficulties with defensive signals is that a player can normally give only one message at a time.

Defending against contracts up to and including the four level, the standard message third hand is expected to give when a high honor is led is attitude or a low spade to show a lick of interest in a continuation.

However, many partnerchips switch the message to count when defending against a high level contract (the five level and higher). Then, a high spade shows an even number of spades while a low spade indicates an odd number.

However, there is an over riding message when it is obvious that a second round of a suit will be of no value – the suit preference signal. Here, East knows that is the case. Whit four spades in the East hand, two in dummy and an announced six in the West hand, South can have only one spade.

Should West know the situation as well? Yes. East would hardly have jumped to 4, vulnerable versus non vulnerable, with few high card values and only three spades. east must surely have four spades and in the case, East’s2 is a suit preference signal, asking for a shift to the lower ranking suit, clubs.

That will do the job. With a club shift, the defense obtains one spade, one club ruff and the K

The complete deal:

J 3
A 9 8 4
A 6 3
9 8 5 4
A K 10 9 5 4
6 5
10 7
J 7 6
Q 8 7 2
K 7 2
J 9 8 5 4 2
6
Q J 10 3
K Q
A K Q 10 3 2

 Don’t forget to follow us @