Logical thinking is the hallmark of the strong player. Virtually every bid or played card tells a tale, although sometimes the tale is too murky to be of much help. For instance, suppose
partner deals and passes. Partner’s strength is limited to 0–11 (or 12) points, depending on your opening bid style. Further, partner has excluded certain kinds of long-suited hands because of the failure to preempt. Not much to go on, but it’s a start. After a few rounds of bidding that provide details, a much clearer picture of the deal should emerge. Try to focus your attention.
In the card play, the inferences tend to be crisper. The first few tricks are particularly apt to contain potentially useful clues. It’s a good time to be alert.
7. The opponents have the following auction:
You are West. Playing fourth-best, partner (East) leads the ♦2. Dummy (North) shows four diamonds and you have a doubleton diamond. What distributions can opener hold?
You are defending a notrump contract and lead the heart deuce, partner’s secondarily-bid suit. Dummy plays low, partner the 10, and declarer the king. Where are the missing hearts?
The opening lead is the ♣7. Who will you finesse for the vital ♠Q?