This deal, from a recent pairs event, illustrates the big advantage that the "bashers" have over the scientists: the opponents are left in the dark. South opened 14, West overcalled with 22 and North raised to 24. After East had passed, South could have suggested game in a variety of ways according to agreement. 3! - "I need help in this suit"; 3# - "This is my second suit, how do you rate your hand?"; or 32 - a short suit trial. In real life, South adopted what is known in the trade as the "Landy game-try" (Sandra Landy was an aggressive but highly successful player) - he bid 44 and tried to make it.

Prospects were grim when West led the !K and dummy appeared. East signalled dutifully with his ten and declarer ducked. He won the heart continuation and, as there was really no genuine way to succeed, decided to put his opponents in and see if they could find a way to go wrong. It was West who had to win and, although a peaceful switch to trumps might seem automatic, decided to switch to the #9. Do you see what I mean about giving them the chance to go wrong?

The diamond switch went to the jack, king and ace and, after crossing to dummy with a trump, declarer led #8. Rather gloomily, East covered with the ten and the vital seven fell under the queen.

You can see the rest: declarer drew trumps in two more rounds, ending in dummy, and was able to lead #2 for a successful finesse of the four against East's five. It was hardly surprising that the game in spades was not made at many tables.