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West had a very clear idea as to how the defence should go on this deal, but unfortunately his partner was not on the same wavelength. Could he have made matters easier for East?

After a pass by West, North opened One Diamond, South responded One Spade, and now West came to life with Two Diamonds - a Michaels cue-bid, suggesting length in the unbid suits. North doubled - not because he expected his opponents to play there, but conventionally showing three-card support for spades. East passed, and South's jump to Four Spades ended the auction. (A save in Five Hearts by East-West would have cost only 100 points.)

West led 2Q against Four Spades and was allowed to hold the trick. He realised that the defenders could come to at most two club tricks and he continued with 23 to East's ace and awaited a diamond return.

He is still waiting, for East switched to the queen of hearts. East never got in again, and South was soon able to claim.

You might argue that the three of clubs was a clear suit preference signal, but West had a more direct way of clarifying the position. Suppose he switches to !9 at trick two. This makes it clear that he has nothing of value in the heart suit, and later, when he gets in with the ace of trumps, his second club lead will be sure to attract the right return.