To thwart a strong declarer, one defender must think deeply; the other, draw inferences accurately. This is where the true nature of a bridge partnership can shine . . . 

Dealer: East
Game All


North’s 2H response is a Transfer, indicating a 5-card spade suit. Over North’s suggestion of 3NT, South opts for the major-suit game. Following such auctions, the hand laid down as dummy — with five trumps — is the master hand; the declarer’s hand is really dummy.

West led 10♦, North played A♦; East encouraged with 7♦. Declarer took the losing trump finesse and West led a second diamond. East wins K♦, but South can now pitch two hearts from the master hand on Q♦ and the thirteenth club: the contract is made. East must persuade West to switch to a heart at trick three — this leads to defeat.

Once clear to East, he must try to persuade West to follow this line. At trick 1, East should discourage diamonds: K♦ can be scored later. When a trump is led from dummy, East should follow with 9♠. West wins K♠, he stops to cogitate: partner does not want a diamond, but is a club or a heart the correct switch? The inference to draw is that East has played the highest trump he could muster. This must be a suit preference signal for the higher-ranking suit: hearts opposed to clubs. This defence can only be achieved by thought, a commodity far too easily discarded.

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