What’s he calling for?

The eternal question for a bridge player… whose fault was it, who is guilty? This article is dedicated to a domain that is the reason for many discussions at the end of tournaments: signaling.

It is 5:00 pm, time to sit down for the daily training duplicate. In the East-West seats we find a pair of two young players who aim at getting a spot in the upcoming mixed events. South is a small shark accustomed to the digital rooms who takes pleasure in leading everybody at the table astray, starting with his partner who is serious and well-mannered.

After two trivial deals, here is the diagram that appears on the screen:

Deal 3. Dealer South. North-South vulnerable.

There is not much to say about the bidding:

The young lady duly leads the Ace of Hearts, on which appear successively the 6 from dummy, the 2 and the Queen. After some moments of thought, the young lady switches to the 9 of Clubs. Baby shark wins the trick with the Queen. Even online, his way of collecting the trick leaves no ambiguity in the air as to his satisfaction. After drawing trumps, he now plays a Heart to set up his tenth trick: he has five Spades, two tricks in each minor and a Heart.

No mood marks, no comment in the chat window of one of the two partners of our future mixed pair. But when a new diagram appears, the young lady is slow to bid.

The protagonists inside the room do not know it more than the few spectators, but her partner couldn’t resist calling her on the phone. And the discussion is everything but calm.

– “Really, what an idea to lead away from your King of Clubs! I understand that you may be reluctant to continue with another Heart, but you can switch to a Diamond without any risk, anyway!

– “Listen, you discouraged in Hearts. I thought we needed three tricks from Clubs to beat the contract, so I played a Club… I’m sorry, but given that you are so clever, can you please explain to me how I could have known?

Now it is your turn, dear reader. Are the young lady’s theories defensible? Is the wrath of the young man justified? Was there another way to solve this? In one word, who is responsible for the catastrophe? The young lady, the young man or destiny?

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