Oscar Robertson, who has more triple-doubles than anyone in National Basketball Association history, said, "Who do I think was the greatest? This might shock you: Elgin Baylor. He did so many great things. Nobody could guard him, playing in the forward spot." (A triple-double occurs when a player accumulates a double-digit total in three of five categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots.)
In bridge, nobody can make a defeatable contract against opponents who know how to signal with their spot cards and are spotting the signals their partners are sending.
In this deal, how should the defenders use some of their spot cards to help defeat four hearts after West leads the club ace?
From the dummy, it should be apparent to West that his side needs to take two diamond and two club tricks. There are two ways to do that. First, find East with the diamond king; that is the easy route. Or second, get into the East hand for an effective diamond shift.
How can West get into the East hand?
Only with the club queen. But how will West know if East has that card?
By looking at East's trick-one signal. Here, East should drop his 10-spot to show the queen. (Without the queen, he would play his lowest club. Then West would cash the diamond ace, hoping East would signal with a high spot to announce the king.)
Now West should continue with a low club spot at trick two. Then East can win the trick and shift to the diamond queen, giving the defense the first four tricks.
(EDITORS: For editorial questions, please contact Gail Borelli at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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SPADES A K Q 10 9
HEARTS Q J 7 4
DIAMONDS 10 8
CLUBS 6 5
SPADES 8 5 3 2SPADES 7 6 4
HEARTS 6 3HEARTS —
DIAMONDS A 9 6DIAMONDS Q J 7 5 3 2
CLUBS A K 9 4CLUBS Q 10 3 2
HEARTS A K 10 9 8 5 2
DIAMONDS K 4
CLUBS J 8 7
2 HEARTSPass3 HEARTSPass
Opening lead: CLUBS A