X-Clubs 41

“The art of table talk”

Board 23 from Friday 25/11/22
Dealer South All Vul


3C should be everyone’s opening bid, but not all Easts would then pass. East might well be justified in trying 3NT, with hearts well stopped and a half stop in diamonds. I certainly do not agree with the Easts who would bid 5C because eleven tricks is a long way away whereas nine in No Trumps is more realistic. Across all of X-Clubs, there were only ten or so Easts who tried 3NT but the interesting thing is that all but one made two overtricks, and only one was down two, as it should be.

Why should all aspiring defenders learn the art of table talk? It is so easy, when you know how, to talk to your partner with the cards you play. Let’s hear how the table talk should go after South leads the diamond five against East’s 3NT. North wins the king and immediately lays down the king of spades (NOT the ace).

North: “Yes, I know you have the ace of diamonds, but you may need to know that I have the ace AND king of spades. I will return your suit next, but this is something you may need to know.”
South follows with the four, knowing that North will now lead a diamond to return South’s lead. North does, and leads the TEN of diamonds.
North: “I am leading back the higher of my remaining two diamonds.”
Declarer follows with the nine and South wins the ace.
South wins the ace and switches to the TWO of spades: “There is no future in diamonds, because you and I both know that declarer must have the queen, because I know your highest one was the ten and you know that if I had the queen I would take the rest of my diamond tricks. You should know that you can now win your ace of spades and return another to me, for either one down if declarer started with four, or two down if declarer started with only three spades.”

It seems that very few bridge players have learnt the art of table talk. Strictly legal table talk of course.